29 Best Things to Do on Cape Cod in the Spring
Cape Cod is a great destination to visit during the spring with a surprising abundance of things to do as the winter chill fades away and warmer days arrive. Along with experiencing many activities and attractions, you can take advantage of the smaller crowds and fantastic deals that come with the quiet season.
What Is Spring Weather Like on Cape Cod?
Although spring on Cape Cod is not as warm as summer, the weather is typically warmer than Boston and other New England areas west of the peninsula since the Cape Cod Bay tends to keep temperatures warmer. The average high temperatures are mid-40 degrees Fahrenheit in March, mid-50 degrees in April, and high-60 degrees in May, and sometimes even warmer as the latter days of spring arrive. The average lows are mid-30 degrees in March, high-30 degrees in April, and high-40 degrees in May. Combined with humidity, spring can still feel chilly at times so you may want a sweater or light coat on hand, especially for cloudy days and evenings. With an average of five to eight days of rainfall each month, you may need an umbrella – and you can borrow a Candleberry Inn concierge umbrella!
Best Things to Do on Cape Cod in March
Shop for Spring Decor
If you like to decorate your home with new items every season, stop at Christmas Tree Shops and That! It sells decor for every season, but you can also buy home goods, snacks, and inexpensive souvenirs. Although several locations of this store are now found around the country, the first store originated on Cape Cod. If you’re on vacation, the shop is an amazing place to stock up on spring essentials for you to take back home. You can find locations all over the Cape — Sagamore (near Sandwich), Falmouth, Hyannis, West Dennis, and Orleans.
Go On a Scenic Drive
There are several scenic routes on Cape Cod that offer a great way to experience the peninsula. The best one, though, is Route 6A, which crosses from one side of the Cape to the other along Cape Cod Bay. Another benefit is that it has less traffic than Route 6, otherwise known as the Mid-Cape Highway. Along the drive, you’ll pass historic homes and buildings, antique shops and general stores, and drive through some of the oldest villages in the country. Because of that, the road has been designated a National Scenic Byway, and National Geographic has called it one of the most scenic drives in the world.
Tour the Sandwich Glass Museum
Sandwich is the oldest town on Cape Cod, and it has a long history of glassmaking. You can learn all about that history at the Sandwich Glass Museum. This gem is filled with interesting exhibits, largely focusing on works by the Boston Sandwich Glass Company that operated from 1825 to 1888. The collection of artifacts includes almost 6,000 items, such as candlesticks, lamps, perfume bottles, tableware, and vases. You can even watch a glassblowing demonstration and feel the heat from the furnace. Before you leave, you can purchase reproduction and contemporary glassware at the on-site shop.
Get a Taste of Cape Cod Beer
If you’re in Hyannis while you’re exploring the Cape, stop by Cape Cod Beer to get a taste of some fabulous brews. The brewery makes a variety of pale ales, porters, double IPAs, and more. A growler is a great way to relax after biking, fishing, sightseeing, or doing any other activities on the Cape. While you’re there, you could take a tour of the brew facility and watch a presentation about how the brewery makes the beer. On-site food trucks and pop-up kitchens offer awesome fare to pair with the brews.
Tour the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum
Another one of the best things to do on Cape Cod in the spring is visit the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum. The former president and his family spent a lot of time on Cape Cod, especially during the summer. This museum is dedicated to educating and preserving that history, as well as JFK’s connections with Cape Cod and contributions to society. Even with all of this educational material, the museum has a very personal approach and features family heirlooms, memorabilia, photographs, and videos about the family’s story.
Spice Up Your Wardrobe at Cuffy’s
Did you forget to pack something that you needed for your trip? Maybe you just want to enhance your wardrobe with some new spring clothes. Stop by a Cuffy’s, a Cape Cod brand that has been established since 1980. You can find a wide array of attire from T-shirts to sweatshirts, as well as caps and the latest style in shorts. You might get discounts on winter items as well. However, the stores offer much more, such as novelty boxes of taffy, penny candy, and a collection of more than 40 mug designs. Cuffy’s has locations in West Dennis, Chatham, Orleans, and Provincetown.
Play a Round of Golf or Mini Golf
Do you like to play golf in the spring? There are a few places that you can go to on Cape Cod. Cotuit Highground Golf Club is in Cotuit (near Mashpee), Cranberry Valley Golf Course is in Harwich, and Chatham Seaside Links is in Chatham. If you’re an avid golf enthusiast, you’ll appreciate the Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club, which has the only course designed by professional golfer Jack Nicklaus.
For golfing with a young family or on a date, consider playing a round of mini golf at Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf in South Yarmouth. The course features bridges, caverns, and waterfalls. After a game, you can play in the arcade and have some ice cream. On the other hand, Susan’s Garden Mini Golf in Dennis Port is a classic 1950s course that has been restored. While you play, you’re surrounded by beautiful perennial gardens.
Learn About the Area at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History
To learn about the natural history of Cape Cod, head to Brewster where the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History educates visitors about the historic and ecological significance of the peninsula. The exhibits cover a lot of topics — archaeology, birds, butterflies, native peoples, and more. Because of that, it truly offers something for everyone. Additionally, the museum oversees a more than 400-acre wildlife sanctuary and Stony Brook Valley Preserve, which you can explore via trails.
The trail to Wing Island is great and begins right outside the museum. A visit to the museum and a walk on the trail to Wing Island are perfect activities to pair together during spring on Cape Cod.
Take a Scenic Flight
As soon as the flowers and trees start to bloom in March, seeing the peninsula from above is stunning. You can book a scenic flight with Stick’n Rudder Aero Tours, which flies out of Chatham Airport. The company uses a 2-passenger Waco YMF5 Bi-Plane and a 3-passenger Cessna C172 Skyhawk for its sightseeing tours. While you’re in the air, you can see the gorgeous beaches, harbors, seals, SS James Longstreet shipwreck, Provincetown Monument, and many other points of interest. The pilot will point out these sites, provide some historical information about Cape Cod, and answer any of your questions. You can choose from flight times that are available in 15-minute, 30-minute, 45-minute, or 60-minute increments.
April: Best Things to Do on Cape Cod in the Spring
Walk Along the Cape Cod Canal
Although temperatures are just warming up in April, it’s a really nice time for a walk along the Cape Cod Canal. The 7-mile canal is actually an artificial waterway and separates most of the peninsula from a small sliver that remains attached to the mainland. A path runs along both sides of the canal, giving you the opportunity to go biking, walking, rollerblading, and running. There are even spots for fishing, camping, and having a picnic.
Enjoy a Wine Tasting at Cape Cod Winery
No matter what you’ve been doing on the west side of Cape Cod, there’s always time to stop at the Cape Cod Winery in Falmouth for a wine tasting. The winery is less than 3 miles from the water, and it’s a wonderful place to relax after a bit of exploration. You can sip on nine varieties of wine, savoring the flavors of the peninsula. So whether you like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir, you’ll find a wine that you like.
Smell the Flowers at the Heritage Museums & Gardens
As temperatures rise in April, it’s the perfect time to start visiting the Heritage Museums & Gardens. At the entrance, you’re greeted by cheerful pansies. The daffodils and crocuses emerge with the first signs of spring, and star magnolias start to bloom during the month. If you come in early April, some heathers may still be in bloom. The 100-acre garden has miles of nature trails, a treetop adventure park, and a historic carousel. Also, the museum’s indoor permanent antique car exhibit is quite impressive, showcasing dozens of automobiles in pristine condition with some dating as far back as the 1910s and 1920s – this is a great activity anytime, even on a cooler day or rainy day.
Bike the Cape Cod Rail Trail
The longest biking trail on Cape Cod at 27.5 miles, the Cape Cod Rail Trail winds through seven towns — Yarmouth, Harwich, Dennis, Brewster, Orleans, Eastham, and Wellfleet — and it continues to expand. You’ll pass by and through cranberry bogs, lake beaches, kettle ponds, pine forests, salt marshes, and more too. Many spots along the trail let you park your bike so that you can explore the area on foot.
If you want a shorter bike route, check out the Shining Sea Bikeway, which is about 11 miles long. It travels south from North Falmouth to Woods Hole.
Take Scenic Photos of Cape Cod Lighthouses
With more than a dozen lighthouses around the coastline, getting scenic photos of these picturesque light towers is one of the best things to do on Cape Cod in the spring. Some of the lighthouses have interpretive signs and visitor centers so that you can learn about their history and significance in maritime safety. We highly recommend visiting these five:
- Nobska Light in Falmouth
- Nauset Light in Eastham
- Three Sisters Lighthouses in Eastham
- Highland Light in North Truro
- Race Point Light Station in Provincetown
Enjoy Doughnut Heaven at the Hole in One Bakery
If you love sweet treats, doughnuts in particular, stop by the Hole in One Bakery & Coffee Shop in Eastham. The bakery makes a range of bagels, biscotti, cookies, croissants, cupcakes, muffins, and other pastries, but the hand-cut, fried rings are the star. In fact, it serves almost 44 dozen doughnuts daily. Along with this cake, you can sip on a delicious coffee, latte, or fresh-brewed iced tea. For breakfast or lunch, you can visit the Hole in One restaurant in Orleans.
See a Movie & More at Wellfleet Cinemas and Drive-In Theater
For a break from adventurous walks and bike rides, catch a movie at Wellfleet Cinemas. The 4-screen theater is open all year and features digital projectors and Dolby sound, and JBL speakers. It’s part of a complex that includes a drive-in theater, which has been showing films since 1957. The complex has a dairy bar and 18-hole, retro mini-golf course as well, so you can have ice cream and play a game before or after your film.
Have a Picnic & Taste Wine at Truro Vineyards
Truro Vineyards is another place where you can go for a relaxing wine tasting. The vineyard offers tours, and you can have a picnic on the well-manicured grounds. It’s located in a Federal-style home that was built in 1813, when the property was a fruit and vegetable farm. There’s usually a food truck in front of the property, so you can picnic on lobster if you want. At the gift shop, you can purchase more than just wine. For example, it has a selection of gourmet foods.
Explore the Galleries in Provincetown
On the tip of the Cape Cod arm, Provincetown is one of the oldest art communities in the nation. The art association was established in 1914 and hosts as many as 40 exhibitions a year by local and regional artists. Its permanent collection includes more than 3,000 pieces by over 700 artists. You can visit several galleries just by walking along Commercial Street, which is famous for its shops, restaurants, and more. Along with looking at artwork galore, you can make some of your own in an art class, which some of the galleries offer.
Note: While some Cape Cod galleries in Provincetown are open year-round, many will be reopening for the season in April or early May.
Best Things to Do on Cape Cod in May
Enjoy Fresh Fish & More at Seafood Sam’s
You can’t visit Cape Cod without getting a bite of fresh seafood, and eating at Seafood Sam’s is one of the tastiest things to do on Cape Cod in the spring. It was established in 1974 and has locations in Falmouth, Sandwich, and Yarmouth. The menu includes more than 100 items, offering dishes for land-loving eaters too. You can enjoy your meal outdoors with a view of the water. In addition to the fixed restaurants, you can find Seafood Sam’s on wheels in other parts of Cape Cod. You can see the food truck schedule here.
Book a Seal Cruise
Cape Cod has an abundance of seals, which grace the Atlantic Ocean beaches. Monomoy Island Excursions in Harwich Port is a family business that operates out of Saquatucket Harbor. The seal cruise takes visitors to Monomoy Island, a wildlife refuge just south of Chatham where thousands of seals live. During the cruise, you’re likely to see Gray Seals and Harbor Seals swimming around in the water and sunbathing on the island shores. However, seals aren’t the only sea creatures that you’ll see. Schools of fish are common, and sometimes, you can see dolphins and sharks as well.
Attend a Flower Festival
Blooming flowers begin to carpet the ground with a burst of color in the spring, and you can celebrate the color at the Brewster in Bloom festival. It’s held every year at the beginning of May and includes a range of activities, such as fun crafts, a scavenger hunt, and a parade of flowers.
At the end of the month, the Heritage Museums & Gardens hosts the Rhododendron Festival, which features more than 100 varieties and an explosion of color. You can take a self-guided walking tour that immerses you in the rhododendron legacy.
Eat a Lobster Roll on a Cruise
Boat cruises are a lot of fun, but eating a mouthwatering lobster roll during the ride makes the experience that much better. Lobster Roll Cruises is located in East Dennis, and beginning each year in mid-May, cruises depart from Sesuit Harbor in the evenings. Along with a tour of Cape Cod Bay and a delectable treat, you have the opportunity to see spectacular sunsets and glorious views. During the ride, you can relax on the boat deck and sip on a beer, cocktail, frozen beverage, or glass of wine. Instead of the evening trip, you can book the lunch cruise if you’re on a budget.
Hike Around Nickerson State Park
One of the most diverse places for outdoor activities on Cape Cod, Nickerson State Park has a little bit of everything — paddleboating, fishing, picnicking, and swimming in freshwater ponds. There’s a campground with 400 campsites, so there’s plenty of room for camping. Along with the paths within the park, Nickerson has direct access to the Cape Cod Rail Trail, which allows for even more biking and walking opportunities. If you’re interested in bird watching, bring binoculars because you could see bald eagles, hawks, and ospreys.
Take a Whale Watching Tour
Whales of all kinds start migrating to the Cape Cod area in mid-April, but it’s better to take a whale watching tour in May when more of these magnificent mammals have completed the journey. The whales like to go to Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, a protected feeding ground a few miles north of the peninsula. Several companies offer cruises to the spot, where you’re practically guaranteed to see whales breaching the surface. You may even catch some of them jumping up out of the water, so don’t forget your camera. Learn more about whale watching on Cape Cod before you go.
Go Fishing in Chatham
It’s no surprise that fishing is one of the top things to do on Cape Cod in the spring. The peninsula has numerous docks and bridges along the shoreline and on inland lakes that allow fishing. Some of the best places, though, are on the five freshwater ponds in Chatham. The town is one of the top places on the planet to catch striped bass, which grow up to 6.5 feet long and live as long as 30 years. Other fish that you can catch in the area include bluefish, bonito, breaking stripers, and false albacore.
Take a Dune Tour
Art’s Dune Tours in Provincetown offers a delightful off-road tour experience to its family guests into the heart of the Cape Cod National Seashore Park’s National Historic District. They seek to deliver excellent value, exceptional service, and an educational, enjoyable experience to their visitors.
Explore the Cape Cod National Seashore
Even if May doesn’t have beach weather, visiting the Cape Cod National Seashore is worth exploring. There’s so much more to do there than spend time on a beach and swim. The protected area stretches from Chatham’s outer islands to Provincetown at the tip of the Cape’s arm. It’s full of sand dunes, cliffs, woodlands, marshes, ponds, and more. This array of landscape allows for a variety of activities — such as hiking, fishing, off-roading, and wildlife viewing.
Plan an ATV Adventure on Nauset Beach
Part of the Cape Cod National Seashore, Nauset Beach in Orleans is a public beach on the outer coast of the Cape. Although popular for Boogie boarding, surfing, and swimming, the water is still pretty chilly in May. Instead, consider driving an ATV on the beach. It has seven trails that offer miles of off-roading around the sand dunes. All you need is a free sticker, which you can learn more about here. On the main beach area, you can stop at the snack bar for a break.
Bite Into a Sweet Treat at ScottCakes
If you’re in Provincetown and in the mood for dessert, you have to go to ScottCakes. The shop is operated by former New York nanny and actor Scott Cunningham. He became a street vendor after visiting Provincetown in 2008 for a show. Eventually, he opened his shop in a space that he has occupied for 10 years now. The menu includes one item — vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting — but they’re so delicious that you don’t need another option. You can get them in standard and mini sizes.
Take a Day Trip to Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket Island
Although not actually a part of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Island are just short ferry rides away. Ferries depart from Woods Hole and Hyannis daily, and you can even hop a ferry between the islands. Both islands have a ton of things to do. On Martha’s Vineyard, for instance, you can check out Martha’s Vineyard Museum, the Aquinnah Cultural Center, and the Polly Hill Arboretum. On Nantucket Island, you could visit the Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum, Nantucket Whaling Museum, and Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum.
Candleberry Inn Is the Best Place to Stay on Cape Cod in the Spring
While you check off our list of the best things to do on Cape Cod in the spring, you need a central place to stay on the Cape. Candleberry Inn is located in Brewster, which is approximately in the middle of the Cape. During spring, consider reserving our Garden Suite in the Carriage House, which features a comfortable seating area in the room, private outdoor patio with seating, and a large newly renovated spa-like bathroom with soaker tub and separate shower. You get to enjoy all of our other luxurious amenities too. Check our availability when you start planning your next Cape Cod spring vacation.