Yankee editors share some of their favorite picks for kicking back at a bed-and-breakfast, Cape Cod–style.
By Yankee Staff
May 17 2022
Please note that many establishments throughout New England have modified their hours and/or operations in response to COVID-19. Please check with individual businesses for the latest information before making travel plans.
Dreaming of a romantic escape to a coastal New England bed-and-breakfast? With more than 500 miles of coastline — including several beaches and a federally protected national seashore — Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is one of the best places to look for that dream getaway. This scenic peninsula is home to famed seaside towns such as Provincetown and Hyannis; a number of acclaimed restaurants and roadside shacks that serve the best seafood around; and views that include stunning over-the-water sunsets from vantage points like Race Point Beach.
Below are more than a dozen of our favorite places to overnight on Cape Cod, all of which have earned the distinction of being a Yankee Best of New England Editors’ Pick for Massachusetts.
Formerly the Mostly Hall Bed & Breakfast Inn, this comfortably elegant spot has options including six guest rooms and a two-story suite. Each is distinctively and tastefully decorated, but they share classic touches such as four-poster beds, high ceilings, and original shuttered casement windows. Outside are landscaped gardens and a gazebo.
This popular oceanfront getaway features 12 spacious rooms, eight of which offer straight-on water views; all have private baths, while five include private balconies. Don’t pass up the inn’s famously large breakfast — it’s a beautiful way to start a day on the beach (and look, Falmouth Heights Beach is just steps away!).
If the room names weren’t enough to make us smile (One Fish, Two Fish, and so on), the optional and ample “breakfast-to-go” bag — thoughtfully designed with early-morning ferry departures in mind — sure does. Of course, there is also a full gourmet breakfast provided for those guests emerging from their cheery, comfy, eco-friendly quarters slightly later in the morning, too.
A B&B that accepts pets is rare; to do it with the kind of warmth and style you’ll find at the Lamb and Lion is almost unheard of. Innkeepers Ali Pitcher and Tommy Dott are dog owners themselves and welcome guests who travel with canine companions (35-pound maximum in the summer months). Amenities for humans include a courtyard with solar-heated saltwater pool and a year-round hot tub.
Among the fascinating bits of the past you’ll discover at this rambling 19th-century farmhouse are beehive and proofing ovens in the original kitchen (now the main house parlor) and an 1850s wood-burning railroad stove that today warms the great room in the carriage house. The hospitality is equally old-fashioned, and the dozen or so cozy guest rooms and suites come decorated with Oriental rugs and country antiques.
Built in 1825, this Greek Revival mansion is the epitome of a classic New England bed-and-breakfast inn, from the wraparound porch with rocking chairs outside to all the tasteful period furnishings inside. Among the nine relaxing guest rooms await the weary traveler: the rosy-hued Cranberry Room (clawfoot tub, four-poster bed) in the main house, and the buttery-yellow Waterford Room (gas fireplace, bubble jet tub) in the carriage house.
Stroll through the heart of the Old King’s Highway Historic District and you’ll run right into this Georgian-style beauty, where the nine guest rooms feature Winslow Homer prints and poster beds, fireplaces, and 200-year-old pine floors. Loved for its epic breakfasts taken in the 1790s dining room, it’s an ideal spot from which to explore the rest of the Cape.
Manicured lawns, an impeccably trained staff, tasteful antiques, and amenities such as Jacuzzi tubs and welcome baskets — it’s easy to see how this retreat earned its AAA Four-Diamond status. Choose from rooms and suites in an 1839 Greek Revival mansion, an attached carriage house, beautifully converted stables, and the 200-year-old Captain’s Cottage.
With commanding views of Pleasant Bay and a contemporary aesthetic, this inn offers nine crisp, contemporary guest rooms — many of which have private outdoor perches in the form of decks and patios, and all of which are memorably named for the types of sailboats that frequent the bay (e.g., Beetlecat, Wainno). Breakfast is a generously stocked European buffet that ranges from fresh-baked breads and fruit to quiches and Benedicts.
A perennially popular Cape destination for couples, this Victorian sea captain’s home is a breezy, modern, adults-only getaway of eight rooms with king beds (some with gas fireplaces) and one with a queen. The pampering property is overseen by Mike and Stefanie Hogan, who bring top-drawer hospitality experience from stints at Four Seasons resorts.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more hospitable B&B with a more impressive location on the Cape — and it’s all for just us grownups. In a charming 1868 Greek Revival farmhouse set on three acres, there are two suites that share a living room with a wood-burning fireplace; a third, wonderfully private suite is in a freestanding cottage with a gas fireplace and its own garden.
All 16 rooms and suites at this former whaling captain’s house are choice and upscale, with many boasting fireplaces and private balconies. The full gourmet breakfast can be enjoyed with a garden view, while the heated indoor pool, hot tub, sauna, and optional spa treatments promise bliss at the end of the day.
Hidden away on a leafy side street and featuring clean lines, a soothing white-on-white palette, and thoughtfully collected antiques, Salt House Inn is a handsome respite from the Commercial Street crush. On the lovely sun deck or in the shaded garden, you can tuck into daily breakfast treats such as homemade blueberry doughnuts.
This post was first published in 2019 and has been updated.