See More of Cape Cod!

The familiar dunes of Cape Cod
The familiar dunes of Cape Cod | Source

As the typical vacationer drives along Route 6 from Wellfleet to Provincetown, they are greeted by the most typical Cape Cod scenery, rolling sand dunes along the horizon of the Atlantic seashore, fronted by scrub oak and occasional ponds and marshes.

Inflatables for sale (along with just about anything else you'll need)
Inflatables for sale (along with just about anything else you'll need) | Source

Of course, long before you reach your desired beach, you will pass any number of roadside vendors displaying colorful inflatables across walls and roofs. Stop in for gas, soft drinks, sun block, pizza, sand buckets, tee shirts, sunglasses, shorts, film (who uses that anymore?), hot dogs, swimsuits, flip-flops, and perhaps even a lobster or two, with steamed clams on the side.

Perched Birds in P'Town
Perched Birds in P'Town | Source

By the time you make it to any of the traditional fishing harbors, like Hyannis Port or Provincetown (P'Town to the locals), you begin to notice the traditional arts and crafts of the fishermen and whalers that long ago settled these parts: carved wooden figures of birds and mermaids and sea creatures, traditional wood framing and lapped or shingled siding, colorful combinations of pigments.

A calm respite in Woods Hole, MA
A calm respite in Woods Hole, MA | Source

Along your journey, take a moment now and again to simply take in the calming coastal scenery. The rhythmic sounds of the bright blue currents along a sun-drenched shore can leach all of your workaday troubles away surprisingly quickly.

Buddy, can you spare a dime? (or a thousand or two?)
Buddy, can you spare a dime? (or a thousand or two?) | Source

If shopping therapy is one of your favorite vacation pursuits, why then just amble along the narrow gridded streets at harborside, sampling the wares of the many merchants vying for your transient dollars. You'll find snack foods of all variety, arts and crafts of every color and material and stripe, clothing to suit your laid-back days.

Traditional architecture
Traditional architecture | Source

As you stroll the streets of any of the smaller, older Cape Cod villages, you'll see plenty of traditional architecture: Cape Cod cottages alongside Queen Anne Colonials, and structures that are amalgams of ad hoc design accreted over the centuries.

National Park Service at Race Point Beach, above P'Town
National Park Service at Race Point Beach, above P'Town | Source

Once you make it to any of the many beaches, odds are you will be within the Cape Cod National Seashore (CCNS), a 430,000-acre national park, operated by the U.S. Park Service. Here the fragile ecosystem of seashore, dunes, grasses, scrub oak, marshes, ponds and pine barrens are preserved and protected. In turn CCNS and the remainder of the Cape protect Cape Cod Bay and the southeasterly coastline of the State of Massachusetts from the brunt of North Atlantic weather.

Back to the mainland
Back to the mainland | Source

As you depart the long and broad peninsula of Cape Cod and reenter the mainland of Massachusetts, you will be crossing one of several bridges that span the Cape Cod Canal. This Canal, which in fact turns the Cape into an island by severing it from the mainland, connects Cape Cod Bay to Buzzards Bay to the southwest, facilitating sea traffic that need not negotiate the lengthy and hazardous route around the Cape.

The Mayflower II, Plymouth, MA
The Mayflower II, Plymouth, MA | Source

Leaving the Cape for parts west, consider stopping less than an hour from the Cape Cod Canal in Plymouth, MA. There you can view the historic Plymouth Rock, sheltered within its own prominent pavilion, as well as the replica Mayflower II, commemorating the vessel that first brought Pilgrims to the Cape and New England in 1620.

A markercape cod, ma -
Cape Cod, MA, USA
[get directions]

A markerProvincetown, MA -
Provincetown, MA, USA
[get directions]

Be sure to travel all the way to charming Provincetown!

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Comments 4 comments

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Really enjoyed your photo journey of the Cape Cod area. The replicated Mayflower ship looks like a beauty! I am assuming that one can board it and take a look around? Enjoyed this virtual tour of the area. Hope to see it someday in person. Many up votes and sharing.

rickzimmerman profile image

rickzimmerman 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio Author

Yes, Peggy, one can board and tour the Mayflower II, to get a sense of what 65 days crammed among 130+ other humans plus uncounted small animals and barrels and crates of provisions on a rolling, heaving vessel might be like. I'll be posting more of New England in future hubs. You might like some of those I've already posted on Marietta, OH; Cambridge, MA; and Harvard.

GlstngRosePetals profile image

GlstngRosePetals 4 years ago from Wouldn't You Like To Know

I have always wanted to visit Cape Cod and now the pictures make me want to enen more. Voted up!

rickzimmerman profile image

rickzimmerman 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio Author

Keep an eye out, I'll be adding more of Cape Cod (and other cool destinations) in the weeks and months to come. Thanks, again.

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