63 Reasons Why We Love the Cape & Islands

From whale watching to timeless villages to miles of soft, sandy beaches, this fabled Massachusetts peninsula and its island neighbors have it all.

By Yankee Magazine

Jul 01 2020

Marconi Beach Cape Cod Mark Fleming

Marconi Beach in Wellfleet, part of Cape Cod National Seashore.

Photo Credit : Mark Fleming

There are so many reasons to make a summer escape to the Cape and Islands that we’re taking a look back at the more than two dozen pages dedicated to loving the Cape in summer from ourMay/June 2019 issue. Here’s hoping it helps inspire safe summer fun this year, and for summers to come. 

Please note that businesses, attractions, and events throughout New England have been modified, closed, and/or canceled in response to the COVID-19 health crisis. Please travel responsibly, and check with state guidelines and individual businesses and organizations before making travel plans.

Bass Hole Boardwalk, Yarmouth Port
Photo Credit : David Trifiletti

Henry David Thoreau was a bit of a prophet when, after a three-day walk along the outer Cape in 1849, he predicted, “This place will be a place of resort for those New Englanders who really wish to visit the seaside.” But even he would be astonished at how Cape Cod and its islands, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, have become one of the most recognized destinations in the nation and around the globe. Every year the Cape and Islands region draws an estimated six million visitors, most of whom come in the summer — all the better to soak up the endless outdoor diversions of this oceanside playground, from boardwalks to beaches to bike paths. There are classic lighthouses to visit, whales to watch, and holes-in-one to sink at mini golf courses. There’s handmade ice cream and superlative fried seafood practically everywhere you look.

63 Reasons to Love the Cape & Islands
Marconi Beach in Wellfleet, part of Cape Cod National Seashore.
Photo Credit : Mark Fleming

Read on to find out what we’ve loved discovering on our trips to Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket, which might just inspire you to go out and find even more reasons of your own.

63 Reasons Why We Love the Cape & Islands

5 Reasons Why We Love Cape Cod: Things to Eat

Freshly churned ice cream, fried seafood feasts, dueling French bakeries, and more.

15 Reasons Why We Love Cape Cod: Things to Do

Small-town band concerts, ballpark thrills, whale-watching adventures, and more.

9 Reasons Why We Love Cape Cod: Things to See

Pirate’s booty, gee-whiz science centers, unbeatable sunsets, and more.

13 Reasons Why We Love Cape Cod: Everything Else

World-class lifeguards, people-watching in P-town, a talking clam, and more.

10 Reasons Why We Love Martha’s Vineyard

Local farms, storied lighthouses, fairy-tale cottages, famous faces, and more.

10 Reasons Why We Love Nantucket

Seaside bike paths, whaling lore, New England’s prettiest island stroll, and more.

Cape & Islands Lodging That’s Worth Checking In To

Best of New England winners that deliver on location, views, and amenities.

Web Exclusive!
Senior Food Editor Amy Traverso’s Cape Cod Dining Guide