The ultimate guide to Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket

The ultimate guide to Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket

Taking a chunk out of a hefty lobster roll, deciding on seashells alongside powdery beaches and observing fireworks — nostalgic reminiscences for many Americans who spent their summer vacations visiting these quintessential areas. Steeped in history, Cape Cod used to be the web page online the put aside the Mayflower Pilgrims first docked in 1620 and has been the most neatly-liked summer retreat for many American presidents. This pocket of Massachusetts comprises the hook-formed peninsula of Cape Cod, alongside with the neighbouring islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. From scenic bike trails and nature reserves to seafood shacks and boutique procuring, right here’s a guide for how to make essentially the most of your seek the advice of with.

With its hilly dunes, pristine shorelines and salty sea stagger, Cape Cod has supplied a welcome respite for these looking out to shatter out the hustle and bustle of metropolis life for the explanation that nineteenth century and, over the years, changed into the muse of literary legends admire Henry David Thoreau and Eugene O’Neill. Whereas the beaches are the main blueprint, various highlights consist of the many museums, nautical-themed boutiques, artwork galleries, historic lighthouses and keen locations serving freshly caught seafood.

Cape Cod is made up of 15 towns, and on the tip of the peninsula, Provincetown is the put aside all of it began. The positioning of the Mayflower’s first landing, Provincetown has served as the house of the Nauset tribe, a fishing and whaling hub, and an LGBTQ-friendly artists’ colony. For a sweeping seek of the town, visitors can climb the 252ft Pilgrim Monument, the tallest all-granite improvement within the US.

The oldest town on Cape Cod is Sandwich, settled in 1637. Its historic district facets the indifferent-working Dexter Grist Mill, as effectively as the Hoxie Home, one amongst the oldest surviving homes in Massachusetts. Nature lovers can wander thru the 700-acre Shawme-Crowell Enlighten Forest, which has 15 miles of mountain climbing trails surrounded by pitch pine and scrub oak.

On the elbow of Cape Cod, Chatham is a quaint Fresh England fishing village with a picturesque main avenue, a 48ft-substantial lighthouse and seafood keen locations admire the neatly-liked Mac’s Chatham Fish & Lobster. Additional up the float is the Cape Cod National Seaside, house to scenic mountain climbing trails, six swimming beaches and historic sights that stretch out alongside 40 safe miles of coastline. 

In Mid Cape, Hyannis is the main departure point for ferries to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Here, visitors can be taught in regards to the 35th president’s connection to Cape Cod on the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum or delve into the device’s nautical traditions on the Cape Cod Maritime Museum. Sooner than catching the ferry, produce not miss the likelihood to feast on some fried clams or clam chowder at Spanky’s Clam Shack.

An aerial seek of Nauset Seaside on Cape Cod, a favored holiday device for visitors. The seaside stretches from Nauset Bay within the north to the mouth of Chatham Harbor. 

Photograph by Mirceax, Getty Photographs

Martha’s Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard is a storybook time capsule of tiny-town appeal, regal Gothic Revival properties, overjoyed ice cream outlets, rolling hills and pristine coastlines. Staunch seven miles off the float of Massachusetts, the Vineyard — because it’s steadily known as — is a triangular-formed island made up of six towns, every with a distinctive persona.

The most interesting is Edgartown, an frail whaling port with streets lined with boutiques, artwork galleries, keen locations and the damaged-down properties of whaling captains, merchants and considerable native households. Four miles northwest of Edgartown is Oak Bluffs, a favored stop for day-trippers who come to savor a late picnic on the grassy Ocean Park. Here, visitors can rob a whirl on an vintage carved wooden horse on the Flying Horses Carousel, the oldest platform carousel within the nation, and rob photos of the multi-hued Gingerbread Cottages at The Campground.

Between Edgartown and Oak Bluffs is the considerable ‘Jaws Bridge’, which featured within the 1975 movie Jaws. Visitors can get a within the support of-the-scenes insight into the movie and then delve into the island’s history at Martha’s Vineyard Museum in Vineyard Haven, the town centre of Tisbury. Within the summertime, the farmers’ market in West Tisbury is abuzz with vendors promoting jams, dahlias, contemporary plot, cheese and artisanal bread.

A seek the advice of with to Martha’s Vineyard wouldn’t be complete with out a stop at Aquinnah, on the island’s western spoil. Here, visitors can be taught in regards to the stories of the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe on the Aquinnah Cultural Heart, see the 1799 pink-brick Homosexual Head Lighthouse and marvel on the craggy pink-clay Aquinnah Cliffs.

The charming seaport neighborhood of Edgartown is located in Martha’s Vineyard and has boutique outlets, historic architecture and stunning beaches. 

Photograph by Maremagnum, Getty Photographs


Whereas Nantucket has a recognition for being the playground of the rich and considerable, the island’s unspoiled beaches, scenic mountain climbing trails and historic web sites make it the staunch shatter out for these attempting to internet a laid-support shatter. Nantucket exudes still luxurious with its cobblestone Critical Aspect road, grand Greek Revival homes, curated boutiques and swish dining keen locations. Nonetheless venturing beyond the main thoroughfare, visitors will peep a landscape of rolling hills, rugged pastures and miles of sandy beaches. Surfers favour the larger waves on the aptly named Surfside Seaside, as effectively as Nobadeer Seaside, while households with puny ones want paddling across the shallow waters at Jetties Seaside.

One of the crucial handiest solutions to stumble on Nantucket is on two wheels, thru a network of bigger than a dozen bike paths. After snapping a photo of the 26ft-substantial wooden Brant Level Lighthouse, pedal to the 1686 Jared Coffin Home, one amongst the oldest residences on Nantucket, and then head to the Used Mill, one amongst the oldest operating windmills within the country.

For a more demanding cycle, visitors can rob the 8.7-mile Polpis Bike Path with stops at Altar Rock, the Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifestyles Saving Museum, the Windswept Cranberry Bog and the pink-and-white Sankaty Head Lighthouse. You would stop for a refreshing beer at Cisco Brewers, the put aside there’s also dwell leisure plus meals trucks promoting lobster rolls and oysters. Round the shatter day by toasting the sunset on the harbour-side Straight Wharf Restaurant, dining on even more — you guessed it — deliciously contemporary seafood.

Nantucket is lined with swish waterfront homes with historic appeal, that take into legend onto the harbour.

Photograph by Oleg Albinsky, Getty Photographs

​This paid exclaim material article used to be created for Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce as a joint initiative with Nantucket Chamber of Commerce, Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce and the Massachusetts Space of job of Sprint and Tourism. It would not necessarily have the views of National Geographic, National Geographic Traveller (UK) or their editorial staffs.

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