Visiting Cape Cod is one of my favorite New England summer rituals. I've spent my whole life on the beaches of the Cape Cod National Seashore. When I was a little girl, my grandparents rented a house in East Dennis. There are hundreds of photos of me, my sister and my cousins playing on the back deck of that house. When I was about 10 years old, my parents starting renting in Truro. It's the town right before Provincetown, which is at the very tip of the Cape.
This year, we're headed back to Truro for the third week in July and I cannot wait. With our trip coming up, this month felt like the perfect time to share my Top 10 list for must-visit places on Cape Cod. Whether you're exploring the area for the first time, or hoping to discover new places outside your usual go-to spots, I've go you covered.
We're going to do this David Letterman-style, starting with #10 and working our way up to #1.
10. Quissett Harbor (Falmouth, MA)
I visited Quissett Harbor as part of a bachelorette party weekend. The bride grew up spending time at her family's home in Falmouth, and couldn't wait to share this treasure with us.
There's a walking path right along the water, with the most breathtaking views.
If you follow the path all the way to the end, it leads to a small little island of sorts, which is nearly surrounded by water. In fact, that's the exact spot where the bride's husband proposed!
9. Wellfleet Historic House Tour (Wellfleet, MA)
This is not so much a place, as an event. Each year the Wellfleet Historical Society Museum puts on a house tour, where locals open their private homes and share the details of their design choices, landscaping, and much more. My mom and I did the tour in 2016 and really enjoyed it.
Here are a few of my favorite photos from that day:
This year's tour is scheduled for Sunday, July 28, 2019. You can purchase tickets here.
8. Flying Fish Cafe (Wellfleet, MA)
While you're in Wellfleet, be sure to enjoy a meal at Flying Fish Cafe.
They have a big parking lot (you know how I feel about easy, free parking), a beautiful outdoor patio / deck, their sandwiches and burgers are enormous, and their cookies are the size of a human head!
7. Captain Frosty's (Dennis, MA)
Captain Frosty's has a very special place in my family's heart, because it was our favorite place to go with my grandparents. The grownups would order giant platters of fried fish and French fries, while the kids ran around the outdoor patio until it was time to get soft serve dip tops at the ice cream window.
Now, as adults ourselves, we stop at Captain Frosty's for lunch every year on our way out to Truro. Here was our spread from last year's pit stop:
Over the years we've taken many photos with the sign out front, always texting the pictures to our whole crew of aunts, uncles and cousins.
6. Atlantic Spice Company (Truro, MA)
Whenever it rains during one of Cape trips, the very first thing I suggest is, "Let's go to Atlantic Spice!" The shop is right off Route 6 in Truro and is packed, floor to ceiling, with delicious spices, teas, pastas, soaps, and stunning kitchen supplies / decor.
The top of the walls, above the shelves, are lined with work by local artists. In fact, my parents treated me to this photograph (below, center) of Truro beach cottages in the snow for my birthday one year.
The shop is also directly across the street from Truro Vineyards, so you can do both in one afternoon.
5. Chequessett Chocolate (Truro, MA)
I have an incredible sweet tooth, so imagine my surprise and delight when Truro got its very own chocolate shop!
Not only do they sell gorgeous candy confections, but they also have an amazing coffee and smoothie menu. Here are a few photos of me enjoying said drinks over the years:
Last summer when we visited, we were thrilled to see they had expanded the shop and nearly doubled in size. They now sell beautiful housewares. This is a great place to find a thank you gift if your friends are hosting you at their home.
They also have a food truck parked out front, High Tide Kitchen, that serves Southeast Asian-inspired food. I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but it's on my list for this year!
4. Head of the Meadow Beach (Truro, MA)
My dad's favorite beach in Truro is Longnook, but mine is Head of the Meadow. I give Longnook demerits for its incredibly steep hill you have to traverse to get onto the sand (and later climb back up!). Head of the Meadow has the same majestic sand dunes (Truro's signature), but it's easier to get onto the beach, and it has amazing, deep tide pools.
The tide pool water is warmer than the ocean itself, and now with the all the shark sightings in Truro the past few summers, it's definitely a safer way to get that big, blue ocean feeling, without being scared.
You can also get a beach permit to have a bonfire on Head of the Meadow. Read my friend Natalie's advice for how to secure the permit (you need to get it three days in advance) and how to make the most of it!
3. The Beachcomber (Wellfleet, MA)
The Beachcomber is legendary. The oceanfront bar and music venue sits right above Cahoon Hollow Beach in Wellfleet. After a long day on the sand, beach goers arrive to enjoy cocktails, the raw bar, all the classic fried fish dishes, and perhaps a little live music too.
In our family, we jokingly call it the "Comahhhh," which is my brother-in-law's take on abbreviating the name with a Boston accent.
2. The Canteen (Provincetown, MA)
The Canteen is one of Provincetown's newer additions and it has made a name for itself very quickly. Located right on Commercial Street, the Canteen offers delicious food, refreshing drinks and the most incredible backyard.
Though you'd never know it from walking by on the street, behind the storefront, the Canteen has a glorious outdoor space. It feels like you are at the most fun backyard BBQ of your life, but right on the ocean.
From every table you have a beautiful view of the Provincetown monument.
My favorite thing about the Canteen is that they offer a vegetarian version of fish and chips, made with mushrooms. I wind up eating grilled cheese at most seafood shacks, so this is a massive upgrade!
This year, the Canteen acquired a full liquor license, so the bar scene is about to get even more fun.
1. Truro Vineyards (Truro, MA)
If you've been reading Pop.Bop.Shop. for a while, it should come as no surprise that my number one pick is Truro Vineyards.
You can read about many of my past visits here:
- Explore: Truro Vineyards
- Dining Out: Crush Pad at Truro Vineyards
- Explore: Truro, Cape Cod
- 11 Gems to Explore on Cape Cod this Summer
I love so many things about the vineyard. Here's a short list:
- They have a big, free parking lot, making it super easy to get to
- They have tons of outdoor seating (+ corn hole!)
- They offer tastings and tours
- Their gift shop is fantastic
- They often have food and / or ice cream trucks
- They are now making spirits, so you can order cocktails too!
Here are a photos, including my wine slushie, a new drink offering last year!
I try to make it to the vineyard at least once to sit and enjoy a drink outside, and then I usually drop in again on my last day in town to stock up on wine for the fall and winter.
And there you have it! My Top 10 Cape Cod musts.
What would you add to the list?
*Atlantic Spice Company image courtesy of Edible Cape Cod. All other photography by Molly Galler.