Planning your visit

Cape Cod National Seashore

Much of the outer Cape (Chatham to Provincetown) is part of the Cape Cod National Seashore (CCNS).
(click on map for larger view)
Cape-Cod-Natl-Seashore-South

A great way to orient yourself and learn about the wonders of the Cape is to visit the CCNS visitor centers at Salt Pond (in Eastham) and Provincelands (Provincetown).  While they share the same informational films, each center offers a different view of the Cape and I encourage you to visit both.

The National Seashore also contains numerous trails and historical sites that are treasures to help you explore the beauty and significance of the Cape.  Explore them all, but some of our favorites are:

  • The double-header Marconi Site (first transatlantic radio communication) and the Atlantic White Cedar Swamp trail (beautiful boardwalk down among the cedars).

    Insider special: If you are on the Cape during a full moon, go to the observation platform at the Marconi Site and watch the sun set in the west, then turn around and watch the moon rise over the ocean.

  • Pilgrim Heights – See the location where the Pilgrims actually first landed in the new world (before heading to Plymouth.  They may have had a rock, but the Cape had fresh water!)
  • Highland Light – Climb to the top of this lighthouse to get a panoramic view of the outer Cape.  See how coastal erosion required a mammoth house moving exercise.  You might even learn about Jenny Lind and the Cape’s role in Cold War early warning defense.
  • Nauset Light – If for no other reason than it’s the one on the potato chip bag.
  • Fort Hill / Skiff Hill – Fort Hill offers great panoramic views of the outer beach (ocean).  Take the Skiff Hill trail to the Indian sharpening rock for fantastic views of Nauset Marsh and Coast Guard Beach in the distance.

See the CCNS web site site for much more information.

Things You Can Do Only in Wellfleet

Click here for our special list of things you can do only in Wellfleet!

The Wellfleet Oyster

Presented by the non-profit Wellfleet OysterFest, the annual October celebration of town’s famous oysters, clams and shellfishing traditions. Learn what makes the Wellfleet oyster special, and how to shuck one!

Wellfleet Chamber of Commerce

Visit Discover Wellfleet to find out what’s going on in Wellfleet, what’s happening in arts & entertainment, and where to go for dining, shopping and playing.

Cape Code Scenic Drive

This roundtrip route to visit the Cape is one of National Geographic’s “Drives of a Lifetime”. It’s easily adapted to your route to/from our Wellfleet Cape Coddage.

You’ll begin this 160-mile (257-kilometer) circuit at Cape Cod Canal, on the Cape’s northern coast, and follow the contour of Cape Cod Bay to the Cape’s “elbow.” From there you’ll drift north to Provincetown, then retrace your way back south to Orleans. You’ll proceed farther south to Chatham, then head back west toward the mainland, cruising through Hyannis and Falmouth.

Thoreau’s “Cape Cod”

I highly recommend reading Thoreau’s “Cape Cod” as a primer for your visit. You can get the book at almost any library or bookstore. You can even read it on-line or download Nook (ePub) or Kindle versions from Project Gutenberg.
Cape Cod - Henry Thoreau