There are so many fun things to do on Cape Cod for adults! This activity guide includes unique New England activities like eating Lobster, exploring lighthouses, & whale watching. We’ve also included some typical vacation activities for adults like golfing, hiking, & entertainment.
If you’re looking for things to do in Cape Cod with a family, you’re in the wrong place! These activities aren’t designed to be kid-friendly.
21 Things to do on Cape Cod for Adults
Table of Contents
- 21 Things to do on Cape Cod for Adults
- 1. Go Whale watching
- 2. Shop for cosmetics at the Cape Cod Lavender Farm
- 3. Have a Spa Experience
- 4. Taste New England Wine
- 5. Climb the Pilgrim Monument
- 6. Golf
- 7. Eat a Lobster Roll
- 8. Have an artsy experience
- 9. Visit Nantucket
- 10. Explore beautiful gardens
- 11. Rent Mopeds on Martha’s Vineyard
- 12. Bike the Cape Cod Rail Trail
- 13. Take a Lighthouse Tour
- 14. Hike
- 15. Relax at the Beach
- 16. Taste freshly made Cape Cod Potato Chips
- 17. Edward Gorey House
- 18. Crosby Mansion
- 19. JFK Museum
- 20. Shop at Orleans Farmers Market
- 21. Watch a movie at the Wellfleet Drive-In
You can get to Cape Cod by flying or driving. The most convenient airport to fly into is located in Boston. It takes a couple of hours of driving (depending on traffic) to get to Cape Cod from Boston. If you fly into Boston, you’ll need to rent a car.
Cape Cod is a charming coastal vacation destination. Picture beaches with lighthouses, and cottages with weathered grey shingles and American flags. The best time to visit Cape Cod is summer, and most of the things to do in Cape Cod in the summer are outside.
To view all the best attractions and best beaches in Cape Cod Massachusetts, check out our Attractions Map.
21 Things to do on Cape Cod for Adults
If you are looking for the best places to stay in Cape Cod Massachusetts, or the best spa on Cape Cod, visit our Cape Cod Hotel Guide. It includes the best places to stay in Cape Cod for couples, solo travelers, and families.
1. Go Whale watching
Whale watching is one of the most iconic things to do. Cape Cod’s coastline offers plenty of opportunities to spot Humpbacks, Finbacks, Minkes, and the Atlantic white-sided dolphin.
Whales are so prevalent here because of the Stellwagen Bank. It’s a marine sanctuary between Cape Ann and Cape Cod. This area is teeming with plankton which the whales feed on.
If you didn’t already know, whales are incredible. They’re intelligent and highly social, like us. Male humpback whales sing complex songs to their prospective mates. These songs can last 20 minutes and be heard from miles away. So, they are definitely one of the best things to see in Cape Cod.
The best time to go to Cape Cod for whale watching is mid-April through October. Although, the best months are the summer months. Wales are reliably seen on whale watching tours, especially on the best whale watching tours in Cape Cod.
2. Shop for cosmetics at the Cape Cod Lavender Farm
The Cape Cod Lavender Farm is a beautiful place to get lost. This is one of the cool things to do on Cape Cod. The peak season for lavender harvest is between June and July. However, you can stop by the farm anytime to hike the surrounding woodland trails and pick up some enticing lavender treats.
The Lavender Farm store sells cosmetics, home goods, and, even, pet goodies (we picked up some lavender catnip here). All their products are handmade made with their locally grown lavender.
This farm is a small family-owned business that offers unique products in a rustic, enchanting, setting. For more information regarding their farm and their products, visit their website here. It’s one of the lesser-known attractions in Cape Cod Massachusetts.
3. Have a Spa Experience
Who doesn’t want to be pampered on vacation? No one, ever.
A spa experience is the ultimate adult vacation activity on Cape Cod. There’s no shortage of options for pampering, rejuvenation, and relaxation.
One of the best places to go is the Chatham Bars Inn. They offer a wide array of European style body services. There’s also a seasonal Japanese Zen Garden on site.
In Provincetown, guests love Shui Spa. You can enjoy body treatments, nail care, or reflexology. Guests also take advantage of the mineral soaking tub, steam room, and Himalayan Salt Sauna.
4. Taste New England Wine
Not many realize that wine tasting is one of the fun things to do on Cape Cod in the fall, spring, and summer. Yes, wineries are some of the most visited attractions in Cape Cod!
Consider visiting First Crush Winery in Harwich. They offer an intimate tasting gallery and tours. Their grapes are grown in California, so there are no vineyards on site. This is a better spot to take your significant other, and less likely to entertain a family with kids.
Truro Vineyards is located in the northern Cape on a beautiful estate. There are vineyards on-site, and you can enjoy tours and tastings. Food trucks often hang out here, and there are fun games like cornhole. You may also choose to visit their sister company South Hollow Spirits.
The Cape Cod winery is most instagrammable. It’s located in East Falmouth. They do not do tours here, only tastings. However, their outdoor tasting space and grounds are quite lovely.
5. Climb the Pilgrim Monument
The Pilgrim Monument is located in Provincetown. Visiting here is one of the best things to do in Cape Cod. The pilgrim monument stands to commemorate the spot where the Mayflower pilgrims initially stepped foot on American soil. They signed the Mayflower Compact here before sailing off to Plymouth.
If you climb the monument to the top, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean as well as Provincetown. There are over 100 steps to the top, so be prepared for a workout.
While you’re here, you’ve also got to check out the Provincetown Museum. It’s one of the iconic Cape Cod tourist spots. You’ll learn more about the Mayflower Pilgrims and the historical significance of Provincetown. For more information, visit the Museum website.
Golf is one of the best attractions on Cape Cod for adults. There are several different courses all along the Cape, so we’ll help you find the best golf on Cape Cod for your vacation.
There are over 25 public courses and 15 private ones along Cape Cod. Cape Cod is the perfect place for golf due to its mild climate. You can golf year-round! There are various types of facilities, everything from tournament-grade courses to historic courses from the 1980s.
In Yarmouth, the Bayberry Hills and Bass River courses are particularly regarded for their scenic vistas. Other memorable courses include the Cape Club in Falmouth and Captain’s Golf in Brewster.
The Wequassett Resort is one of the best Cape Cod hotels for couples, and it includes access to an 18 hole golf course. Since golf is one of the most popular things to do in Cape Cod Ma, it should come as no surprise that this region has produced some of the best golfers in the world. Jason Caron, Jim Hallet, Sally Quinlan all have roots in Cape Cod.
7. Eat a Lobster Roll
Eating lobster is one of the most iconic things to do in Cape Cod Mass. It’s also one of the fun things to do in Cape Cod when it rains! Why is Cape Cod lobster so famous? Lobster is harvested locally at Cape Cod fisheries. Your meal is freshly caught & it supports local fishermen.
A lobster roll is one of the common ways to eat your lobster on the Cape. A lobster roll usually consists of a brioche bun with lobster meat. The lobster meat is prepared with butter, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. It’s usually served with chips.
Arnold’s Lobster and Clam is one of the best places to eat on Cape Cod. Make sure to try their lobster roll. It’s located in Eastham which is one of the best towns on Cape Cod. It’s known for the Nauset Lighthouse and Coast Guard Beach.
Other great places to try a lobster roll include the Black Cat Tavern in Hyannis or the Skipper Chowder House in Yarmouth.
8. Have an artsy experience
Having an artsy experience is one of the cool things to do in Cape Cod on a rainy day. You’ll find no shortage of art museums, art galleries, and boutiques all along the Cape.
The two best museum attractions in Cape Cod Ma for art lovers include the Sandwich Glass Museum and the Cape Cod Museum of Art. The Sandwich Glass Museum has an extensive collection of unique glasswork and fun glass blowing demonstrations.
The Cape Cod Museum of Art is located in Dennis, and it’s one of the best places to go in Cape Cod. Their collections include art produced on the Cape and the islands, as well as art inspired by the region. Some of the important artists featured include Edwin Dickinson, Charles Hawthorne, and R. H. Ives Gammell.
Provincetown may offer some of the best shopping on Cape Cod for art lovers. There are several art galleries in Provincetown as well as the Provincetown Art Association and Museum. Consider visiting the Rice Polak, Cortile, or Bowersock art galleries.
9. Visit Nantucket
The beautiful island of Nantucket lies just off the coast of Cape Cod. Riding the ferry is a popular way to get to the island. You can catch a ferry from Hyannis or Falmouth. Visiting Nantucket is one of the fun things to do around Cape Cod.
Spend a day in Nantucket and you’ll have enough time to hit the major sites, enjoy shopping and fine dining. If you spend a day in Nantucket, you’ll have plenty of time to visit the Compass Rose, the Brant Point Lighthouse, and the Whaling Museum. Find more information about Nantucket attractions. Be sure to shop along the designer boutiques lining Nantucket’s downtown. Imagine cobblestone streets, historic cottages, and American charm.
Some of the best places to eat in Cape Cod are in Nantucket. These include Cru, Straight Wharf, and Dune. Dining at one of these places is one of the most memorable things to do in Cape Cod at night.
Nantucket is such a wonderful place to visit, you may consider spending a night or two here.
10. Explore beautiful gardens
Cape Cod is known for manicured lawns, blooming flowers, and enchanting gardens. Having a garden stroll is one of the best things to do in Cape Cod Massachusetts. There are a few gardens we’d recommend.
Visiting the Heritage Museums & Gardens is one of the iconic things to do in Cape Cod Massachusetts. The museum includes an antique car collection and a historic 1908 carousel. There are also over 100 acres of gardens and greenspace. It’s Cape Cod’s most famous botanical garden.
In Sandwich, check out the Shirley Cross Wildflower Garden. It’s part of the Green Briar Nature Center, and it has over 300 species that are cared for by volunteers. You may also visit the Wildflower Garden at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History. Brewster Gardens is another lovely spot.
11. Rent Mopeds on Martha’s Vineyard
Visiting Martha’s Vineyard is one of the romantic things to do in Cape Cod. You can get there by ferry from Falmouth or Hyannis. The ferry ride is only an hour, and it’s one of the best ways to experience the Nantucket Sound.
Once you get to Martha’s Vineyard, you’ll have the opportunity to walk around Oak Bluffs and enjoy boutique shopping and delicious seafood. Make sure to stop by Mad Martha’s Ice Cream, and check out the Gingerbread Houses. To experience more of Martha’s Vineyard, consider renting mopeds for a day. It’s one of the most adventurous things to do near Cape Cod.
Once you walk off the ferry onto Oak Bluffs Avenue, you’ll see the street is lined with several bike shops with models lined up outside. You can ask around for availability and pricing. You’ll learn basic safety tips and look around the street under supervision.
Martha’s Vineyard is a safe place for first-timers to enjoy mopeds. Car traffic tends to be patient and accommodating. With mopeds, you’ll be able to venture out to the East Chop lighthouse, or Vineyard Haven. It’s the best way to get the most out of a Martha’s Vineyard day trip. Plus, it’s one of the unique things to do in Cape Cod.
12. Bike the Cape Cod Rail Trail
The Cape Cod Rail Trail is one of the best places to enjoy biking in Cape Cod. It is a 27-mile stretch of paved pathway that passes through 6 Cape Cod towns. Biking here is one of the top free things to do in Cape Cod! The terrain is relatively flat which makes biking pleasant, and not too strenuous.
Besides biking, other things to do at the Cape Cod Rail Trail include rollerblading, walking, horseback riding, or cross country skiing. You can find bike rentals, restrooms, and parking along the trail.
The trail was built in the spot of an old railway that transported freight to Cape Cod from the early 1800s through to the 1960s. Biking here is one of the fun things to do in Cape Cod because you’ll experience cranberry bogs, salt marshes, and pine forests.
If you haven’t brought your own bikes, there’s plenty of places where you can rent. Consider the Dennis Cycle Center, the Rail Trail Bike Shop, or Brewster Bikes. No matter what you do there, visiting the Rail Trail is one of the cool things to do in Cape Cod.
13. Take a Lighthouse Tour
Lighthouses are an important part of Cape Cod’s scenery and history. Lighthouses were vital navigational aids that helped sailors avoid perils in rugged coastlines and rough weather. Visiting a lighthouse and taking a lighthouse tour is one of the best things to do on Cape Cod.
One of the best places to see in Cape Cod is the Nobska Lighthouse in Falmouth. In 1829, it was the first lighthouse at the convergence of Nantucket South and Vineyard Sound. Visit the website for more information about volunteer-led tours.
The Highland Lighthouse is another one of the famous things to see on Cape Cod. Make sure to stop by when you can take a tour and climb the winding tower steps. Highland Light in Cape Cod’s first lighthouse, and it’s located in Truro.
One of the best beaches on Cape Cod in Nauset Beach because you can walk from the Nauset Lighthouse to Three Sisters Light. Nauset Beach is located in
All year round, hiking is one of the best things to do. Cape Cod’s Nickerson State Park is an excellent place to go. The most famous trail in this park is named the Cliff Pond Trail. It is a 2.8-mile easy loop through beachy nooks and wildflowers.
Locals advise you to bring a swimsuit and towels because you’re going to want to stop for a dip in the water. Aside from this trail, Nickerson State Park offers many other wooded trails as well as campsites and beaches.
Hiking is one of the best free things to do. Cape Cod’s National Seashore is another great place to do it. The Cape Cod National Seashore encompasses miles of protected Massachusetts land. From beaches to ponds and marshes, there’s plenty of different activities you can do here.
Within the National Seashore, the Great Island Trail is said to be one of the best hikes in all of Massachusetts. It’s 7.5 miles long and would take 3-4 hours. Visit their website here.
15. Relax at the Beach
Beachgoing is one of the relaxing and adventurous things to do in Cape Cod. There are over 550 miles of beaches in Cape Cod Massachusetts! So, no matter what town you’re staying in, you’ll be sure to find a beach right around the corner.
Besides hiking, beachgoing is one of the top things to do at Cape Cod National Seashore. One of the most popular beaches there is Marconi Beach in Wellfleet. At Marconi Beach, there are fun sand dunes and you can sometimes spot seals hanging out.
Another famous spot is Mayflower Beach in Dennis. One of the fun things to do in Cape Cod MA is watching the sunset at Mayflower Beach. This beach has public restrooms, lifeguards, and picnic areas.
There are so many awesome beaches to choose from on Cape Cod, you can’t go wrong!
16. Taste freshly made Cape Cod Potato Chips
The Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory is located in Hyannis. One of the top things to do on Cape Cod is to stop by for one of the free weekday walking tours. Hyannis is the best town in Cape Cod because of the Potato Chip Factor, Ferries, and the JFK museum.
This is one of the cool attractions in Cape Cod MA because the chips are so famous. In fact, you’ve probably eaten them before! They come in an iconic white bag with a picture of a lighthouse. You may recognize the lighthouse – it’s the Nauset Light discussed above.
Take your time strolling through the factory. Learn about the mechanics that go into the perfectly crisp potato chip.
17. Edward Gorey House
Visiting the Edward Gorey House is one of the most excellent things to do on Cape Cod when it rains. Edward Gorey was a famous American artist. He is most regarded for his illustrated books. Although, the museum’s collections include his illustrations, plays, costume designs, and written work.
The Edward Gorey House was purchased by Edward Gorey himself in 1979. It was a historic ship captain’s house. It’s located in Yarmouth (one of the best towns to visit in Cape Cod). Since his death, it’s been transformed into a charming museum.
Besides art, Edward Gorey is remembered for his love of animals and his contributions to local and national animal welfare issues. Visiting the Edward Gorey House is one of the interesting things to do in Cape Cod in September or year-round!
18. Crosby Mansion
The Crosby Mansion is located in Brewster, and visiting here is another one of the cool things to do in Cape Cod in the rain. The Crosby Mansion sits on an excellent slice of land with sweeping views of Cape Cod Bay. Albert Crosby made his fortune by selling medicinal alcohol to the US Army during the Civil War.
He built this 3 story mansion for his new young wife in 1888. He named it ‘Tawasentha.’ This opulent home has 35 rooms, 15 fireplaces, and a 60-foot viewing tower. Design elements included imported tile, carved mahogany, and marble.
Inspiration for this mansion came from the Palace of Versailles and Buckingham Palace. Checking out the art gallery within the Crosby Mansion is one of the coolest activities on Cape Cod.
19. JFK Museum
Visiting the JFK Museum in Hyannis is one of the best things to do on Cape Cod in the rain, and it’s one of the coolest things to do in Cape Cod in winter. It’s a modern museum that uses interactive and engaging exhibits to walk you through the life of one of America’s most famous presidents. The Kennedys are considered American royalty.
JFK was the 35th President of the United States, and he was assassinated before he could finish his first term in office. JFK presided over Cold War America, and he helped to maintain peace with the Soviet Union.
This museum is also a great place to learn more about Jackie Kennedy – a fashion icon, political legend, and a cultural phenomenon. Learn more about Jackie Kennedy on Season 1 Episode 2 of First Ladies.
20. Shop at Orleans Farmers Market
The best shopping in Cape Cod is at the Orleans Farmers Market! You’ll be able to taste freshly grown local produce and find cute artisanal goods. Stopping by the Orleans Farmers Market for lunch is one of the (tastiest) fun things to do in Cape Cod.
The Orleans Farms Market has been going strong for over 25 years! Locally grown produce is thought to facilitate community engagement, create connections with the environment, and provide highly nutritious content.
There is often live music on Saturdays. Checking out the Orleans Farmers Market is one of the top things to do in Cape Cod.
21. Watch a movie at the Wellfleet Drive-In
Watching a movie at the Wellfleet Drive-In is one of the romantic things to do on Cape Cod at night. It’s located in the town of Wellfleet, midway along the Cape. You can get o Wellfleet in 30 minutes driving from Chatham or 25 minutes driving from Provincetown.
The Wellfleet Drive-In is a historic place. It’s been around since 1957! There are only 300 of its kind left across America. A drive-in theater visit is a quintessential American experience, and one of the best things to do in Cape Cod in summer.
Also, there’s mini-golf on-site to play while you wait for your movie to start. The Wellfleet Drive-In also hosts Cape Cod’s largest and most popular flea market – visiting here is another one of the activities to do in Cape Cod. There are often over 150 vendors selling memorabilia, antiques, handmade goods, and much more! Here, you’ll find some of the coolest antiques in Cape Cod.