There’s no shortage of museums, art galleries, and historic sites on beautiful Cape Cod. One of the most popular attractions in the area is the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History. This organization’s mission is to inspire appreciation, understanding, and stewardship of the surrounding natural environment through discovery and education. Learn more about the past as well as the current preservation of Cape Cod through your explorations at this museum.
Request a copy of our Vacation Guide for more innkeeper-selected recommendations on how to spend your time on Cape Cod!
10 Exhibits You Need to See at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History
1. Archaeology: One Cape, Many Waters
One Cape, Many Waters is a wonderful exhibit at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History that highlights the archaeological investigation. Prepare to be transported back 10,000 years to the glacial melting! Then, let the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History take you on a journey through time. Learn about the Cape’s native people such as the Wampanoag, as well as discover current studies on early settlers and life in the region.
The Cape Cod Aquarium at the Museum of Natural History explores the diversity of freshwater and saltwater habitats in Cape Cod. You will learn about and view local marine life in the ever-changing aquarium. See eels, lobster, turtles, crabs, moon jellies, sharks, and a variety of fish. Visit Mother Nature’s aquarium while you’re here with whale watching on Cape Cod! High-season for whale watching on is from mid-April through October. This is another great way to explore the flora and fauna of the Cape.
3. Eldridge Arnold “Wing”
Eldridge Arnold was a man of many talents. He started his own award-winning graphic design company, was an avid outdoorsman and fisherman, and is best known for his work as a world-class bird carver. The Eldridge Arnold “Wing” at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History commemorates Arnold and replicates his Hyannis Port bird carving workshop.
4. Honey Bees
Honey bees are essential to our life on earth! Likewise, the Honey Bee Observation Port is an integral exhibit at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History. Here, you can learn about these interesting creatures that are so vital to our food source. Better yet, observe the inner workings of an active hive. You can also appreciate the bee’s hard work with your daily breakfast at Candleberry Inn. We use fresh, locally-sourced ingredients in each of our dishes— so you’re sure to find honey in our recipes!
5. Marshview Room
The Marshview Room at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History celebrates Cape Cod’s wildlife. Appreciate everything from salt marshes and high tides to the upland wooded area of Wing’s Island. The Marshview Room houses a variety of plants and animals across diverse ecosystems. There is also an Osprey Cam set up on a nest in the marsh. If you come at the right time, you might even get to view a hatching!
6. Naturescape Gallery
The Naturescape Gallery features various rotating exhibits that highlight artists from Cape Cod and the surrounding New England area. Long-term exhibitors include artist, author, and naturalist, James Prosek and nature illustrator Barbara Harmon. Inspired by the fabulous work here? Enroll in a class with Cape Night Photography to capture our area’s naturescape for yourself!
7. People of the Land
The People of the Land exhibit at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History was produced in collaboration with Plimoth Plantation and modern-day Wampanoag. It shows the early inhabitants of the Cape Cod regions and includes artifacts that were recovered from archaeological excavations.
8. Preserved Bird Collection
The Preserved Bird Collection at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History is known as Bird Alley. It features an extensive collection of mounted specimens that can all be found on Cape Cod. There is also an additional nest exhibit. For more bird watching on Cape Cod, head on over to the best Massachusetts Audubon wildlife sanctuaries!
9. The Cape Takes Shape
Cape Cod’s geological blueprint is ever-changing. The Cape Takes Shape exhibit showcases the dramatic coastal erosion on Cape Cod and offers solutions on how to preserve the land that we all love. This particular exhibit looks back as far as 10,000 years when the glacier sheets began to melt across North America. This exhibit also looks as many as 8,000 years into the future with predictions of landscape change.
10. The Butterfly House & Pollinator Path
The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History’s show-stopper might just be the Butterfly House. This Lepidoptera rium is free with summer admission. Here, you can see these fragile creatures take flight and land on nearby flowers. You will also have access to the Pollinator Path gardens to further marvel at the magic!
Stay at the Historic Candleberry Inn
Come back to Candleberry Inn after a day of exploring your preferred exhibits at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History. Our Brewster, MA, bed and breakfast features a unique history of its own. Once a sea captain’s home, this building on Route 6A has a rich history that our innkeepers are happy to share with guests!
Consider a stay in the Copeland Room during your trip to Cape Cod. This room is named after George Copeland, the building’s original resident. This room features a queen-size bed, private bathroom, and access to all of our luxurious amenities.
Check our availability and start planning your trip to the Cape!