What Are the Best Museums on the Cape Cod Museum Trail?

Cape Cod and New England charm go hand-in-hand. The Cape boasts fresh seafood, New England-style architecture, unique beaches, and rich history. The most compelling of these is Cape Cod’s complex American history. Some of the first Cape Cod communities began in the early 1800s. The best way to learn about and appreciate the birth of the Cape to present day is with the peninsula’s various museums on the Cape Cod Museum Trail. This trail is comprised of a collection of museums that highlight the Cape as a maritime mecca, its strong arts, and rich culture. Learn more about our area and what to do when you visit the heart of Cape Cod in Brewster with our complimentary Vacation Guide.

Explore Cape Cod

9 Must-Visit Sites on the Cape Cod Museum Trail

Brief History of the Cape Cod Museum Trail

The Cape Cod Museum Trail provides resources to those wanting to learn more about the peninsula. Start by using the interactive map, which tells you where various museums are located. This is a great tool to know where to spend an afternoon near Candleberry Inn, or you can make an entire day out of going from place to place!

All Cape Cod museums are conveniently listed with an accompanying summary so you can easily decide which suits your interests. Not only does the Cape Cod Museum Trail give you everything you need to design your museum itinerary, but Candleberry Inn is also always happy to give recommendations on our favorite spots!

1. Cape Cod Museum of Natural History 

Cape Cod Museum of Natural History is one of the most popular attractions on the Cape! This organization’s mission is to inspire appreciation, understanding, and stewardship of the surrounding natural environment through discovery and education. Here, you’ll find exhibits on Cape Cod archaeology, an aquarium, a wildlife exhibit, local art, and more. Luckily for you, all of this only 5 minutes from our inn. This premier Cape Cod bucket-list museum can easily fit into your itinerary when you stay with us in Brewster.

2. The John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum

American history runs deep and strong here in New England. Cape Cod was one of late President John F. Kennedy’s favorite spots. The John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum is part of the Kennedy Compound, a treasured place to visit on the Cape that honors the late president and his affinity for our area. You can’t tour the main property, but this museum features an in-depth perspective at the former president by documenting his public and private time in the area. You’ll find interactive interesting and informative exhibits that preserve his legacy.

3. The Heritage Museums and Gardens

The Heritage Museums and Gardens is one of the best museums on the Cape because it combines both beauty and history. Discover traveling exhibitions, permanent collections, holiday displays, and more. You’ll love the breathtaking gardens that span more than 100 acres!

4. The Edward Gorey House

The Edward Gorey House is the perfect historic site for those who want to experience something a little more ominous. Also known as the Elephant House, this building was home to the famous late author, illustrator, puppeteer, and playwright: Edward Gorey. The home has been carefully preserved and now you can see his home as he left it with its eerie artwork and historic architecture.

5. The Stony Brook Grist Mill and Museum

Indulge in Cape Cod’s local history at the Stony Brook Grist Mill and Museum. This picturesque monument features a sparkling brook as well as a charming gristmill that was active back in the late 1800s. Learn about early Cape Cod living in the upstairs museum, then enjoy the gorgeous property.

6. Cape Cod Museum of Art

Appreciate the arts culture of the area at the Cape Cod Museum of Art.  This museum hosts permanent and rotating exhibits that feature regional and worldwide artists via different mediums. Their goal is to make the arts accessible to the entire community.

7. Cape Cod Maritime Museum

One of the most attractive aspects of the Cape is its location on the seaside. For many travelers, relaxing on the beaches or out on the sea is the centerpiece of their getaway. Before the Cape was a quiet vacation destination by the sea, it was home to countless sea captains and seafarers.

Learn more about what makes our seashore location so special at the Cape Cod Maritime Museum. Browse exhibits all about boat building, yachting, and nautical art. Rotating exhibits usually include historic boats and nautical artifacts from the area.

8. Sandwich Glass Museum

The Sandwich Glass Museum is home to some of the most unique art in the area. When you step inside, you’ll see the walls are lined from top to bottom with a range of rare glass. Here, can see everything from historic glass from the local Boston & Sandwich Glass Factory to new creations by local artists. It’s also a great place to pick up a souvenir!

9. Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum

Go back in time. Many Cape Cod travelers call the U.S. home. Garner a deeper appreciation for the country we call home at the Pilgrim Monument which commemorates the Mayflower Pilgrims’ first landing on the United States. They unboarded onto hat is now Provincetown, and you can see exactly where it happened at this historic site and museum on the Cape!

Reserve Your Room at Candleberry Inn

Room view of the Copeland Room at Candleberry Inn.

After you’ve visited one or several of the sites on the Cape Cod Museum Trail, return to your room at our inn. Candleberry Inn proudly boasts New England style, charm, hospitality, and even history! Our inn was once a sea captain’s home and our dedicated innkeepers have spent numerous hours researching and documenting the property’s history. Ask about it at check in!

Our Copeland Room is named for Senator George Copeland, the building’s original resident. This room also has windows that overlook the Old King’s Highway Historic District. This room is perfect for those who wish to stay in quintessential New England luxury while also having access to modern day comforts and amenities. Browse all of our guest rooms and book your trip back in time with Candleberry Inn.