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gs logo Cape Ann Camp Site
Gloucester, Massachusetts
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Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts
gs logo Circle CG Farm Campground
Bellingham, Massachusetts
gs logo Normandy Farms Family Camping Resort
Foxboro, Massachusetts

Cape Cod

New England meets Americana in the towns along eastern Massachusetts

Get the full Cape Cod experience at these three classic Cape Cod towns. Whether it’s dining on succulent lobster or walking along a remote beach, these destinations have it all.


For so many visitors and residents, the picture-perfect town of Edgartown distils the essence of all that is Martha’s Vineyard. A bastion of good taste, and arguably Cape Cod’s toniest town, ravishing Edgartown preserves the best of small-town America, and there’s not a golden arch in sight. In the gleaming harbor, a procession of boats glide past Edgartown’s iconic lighthouse while, along Main Street, the town’s elegant denizens shop for fine art and exclusive attire in the town’s swanky boutiques, galleries and antique stores. Steeped in whaling history, Federal- and Greek Revival-style captains’ homes have manicured front lawns framed by white picket fences draped with red roses.

Edgartown’s classic Fourth of July parade is a slice of wholesome 1950s Americana. With patriotic zeal, jubilant crowds wave flags and cheer as vintage fire trucks and star-spangled floats parade down Main Street to the beat of marching bands and the drones of bagpipers. A quintessential Cape Cod summer colony, Edgartown boasts a string of scenic beaches and glistening waterfronts. On the northeast side of town, a sandy path meanders to secluded Lighthouse Beach, which delivers captivating views of the town’s harbor. On Chappaquiddick Island (accessed from Edgartown on the twee Chappy Ferry), East Beach (part of the Wasque Reservation) is one of Martha’s Vineyard’s hidden treasures, with rolling surf, pristine sweeping sands, excellent bird-watching and plenty of bike paths along the beach.



While all of Cape Cod’s poster-child towns brim with genteel pleasures and succumb to the odd smattering of kitsch, it’s fair to say that not all towns in these parts are created equal. With a gorgeous backdrop, pleasantly ensconced on the tip of the Cape’s curl—the Cape’s tip is essentially a sandbar, between Cape Cod Bay and the Atlantic Ocean—Provincetown is, and always has been, the area’s most diverse and creative enclave. During the course of its 400-year history, Provincetown has evolved to become a magnet for art lovers, foodies and naturalists. “P-Town’s” artists, writers, beatniks and a thriving gay and lesbian community converge for summer season fun with a spirit of open-mindedness and inclusivity that not only drives the town’s collective imagination but succeeds in pushing the cultural envelope. As far back as 1940, drag queens performed in Provincetown’s lively bars and clubs; Atlantic House is a contender for oldest gay bar in the nation.

Beyond the town’s infectious bohemian vibe, Provincetown has its fair share of historical and cultural touchstones. The 252-foot Pilgrim Monument—the nation’s tallest all-granite structure—serves as a reminder that it was here in Provincetown that the Pilgrims first touched land. Around town, a series of blue plaques provide historical anecdotes; an East End garage squats upon the site where playwright Eugene O’Neill once resided. It was Provincetown’s diffuse light and saturated summer colors that attracted painter Charles Hawthorne, who inserted the ramshackle fishing town into the consciousness of New York intelligentsia in the late 1890s, and garnered the town’s reputation as a fertile artist’s colony.

In 1914, a cadre of Provincetown’s artists and benefactors joined together to exhibit a collection of works by Outer Cape artists. Over a century later, and now boasting a sleek new contemporary wing, the Provincetown Art Association and Museum is the town’s premier cultural attraction. In addition to a stellar collection of more than 3,000 works of art, the museum presents a robust lineup of lectures, seminars, workshops, screenings and cultural events.



For over a century, Nantucket’s historical charm, contemporary chic and stunning natural beauty have proved an intoxicating mix for East Coast urbanites in search of relaxation and the finer things in life. Nantucket’s 19th-century cobblestone streets brim with refined inns, exclusive boutiques, superb art galleries, dusty antique stores and a clutch of restaurants that proudly stake their claim to New England’s “best” clam chowder. One of the region’s most popular attractions, the Whaling Museum, is housed in a former candle factory that was built following Nantucket’s Great Fire in 1846.

The museum elucidates the history of Nantucket and honors the island’s erstwhile whaling supremacy through a well-conceived display of tools and illustrations, as well as artifacts from the Essex, the much storied whaling ship sunk by a sperm whale. The tragic episode provided Herman Melville with the inspiration for Moby Dick. Also worth a peak is the Jethro Coffin House (built in 1686) which is the only structure to survive from the island’s original 17th-century English settlement.

During the peak of summer, Cape Cod’s fabled jewel-box towns morph into fun-in-the-sun playgrounds. Beyond Nantucket’s grace and favor, the island’s myriad outdoor activities, from golf to watersports, biking and nature hikes, satisfy the sporty proclivities of visitors.

Even when the population reaches critical mass, you can always find solitude somewhere, whether it be soaking up the rays on a pristine stretch of sand, walking amidst fecund grasslands that fringe the shoreline, or exploring the cranberry bogs, freshwater ponds, and salty marshes that fleck the island’s unblemished interior.

For More Information

Cape Cod Convention and Visitors Bureau




Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism