cape cod scenic tours
Authors: Marco & Angelo

Authors: Marco & Angelo

We own the Candleberry Inn, a boutique bed and breakfast in central Cape Cod. We're glad to share our recommendations on all the great things to explore throughout Cape Cod.

15 Best Cape Cod Scenic Tours & Sight-Seeing Excursions

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    The New England charm of Cape Cod attracts so many visitors throughout the year, and understandably so. It’s full of natural beauty and has an interesting history and unique culture. Taking Cape Cod scenic tours is one of the best ways to experience everything possible.

    We’ve put together a list of various tours based on the mode of transportation. Whether you want to see Cape Cod by land, sea, or air, there’s a scenic tour for you.

    Get our free Cape Cod Vacation Guide, full of the best things to do in Cape Cod. The best activities, restaurants, museums, events, views, and much more!

    Click here to request the guide.

    Cape Cod Scenic boat Tours

    Boat Tours & Sightseeing Cruises

    Hopping on a boat is a fun way to experience Cape Cod and everything that it has to offer. A lot of tour boat companies offer scenic sightseeing cruises of the coastline, Cape Cod Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean.

    Hy-Line Cruises

    While Hy-Line Cruises operates high-speed ferry services to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket from Hyannis, it offers an array of sightseeing tours too. The one-hour Hyannis Harbor Cruise takes you by area landmarks, such as the Kennedy Memorial, historic Kennedy Compound, and Point Gammon Light. The company provides deep-sea fishing excursions as well.

    If you don’t mind driving across the bridge to the mainland, Hy-Line Cruises runs Cape Cod Canal Cruises from Onset Massachusetts, just 10 minutes from the Bourne Bridge. It has several options — 1.5-hour to three-hour cruises, musical Bingo and live music cruises, cocktail cruises, and a friendly and family music cruise.

    Bay Spirit Tours

    From Hyannis, Bay Spirit Tours provides daily guided tours of lighthouses in the harbor. It takes you through Lewis Bay to see and learn about some of the lighthouses in the area. You can also book sunset cruises, live music cruises, wine-tasting cruises, and private charters. Plus, the boat has a spacious salon with a bar that serves snacks and drinks.

    Blue Claw Boat Tours

    Operating several boats out of Chatham Harbor, Pleasant Bay, and Orleans, Blue Claw Boat Tours is the only tour boat company on Cape Cod that has been awarded six gold medals. It offers a variety of narrated cruises, all of which are filled with history and stories about buried treasure and pirates, great white sharks, the Pilgrims, seals, and shipwrecks. You’ll see historic locales, grand mansions, and wildlife depending on the tour that you choose.

    Beachcomber Boat Tours

    While it might be most well known for its seal tours, Beachcomber Boat Tours also specializes in private harbor cruises from Chatham. When you arrive at the office, you’ll be provided transportation to Ryder’s Cove, where the boats are docked. Then, you’ll explore Pleasant Bay and other waterways in the area with scenic views of beaches, lighthouses, and various wildlife.

    BlueWater Entertainment

    For a full Cape Cod experience, BlueWater Entertainment runs a 2.5-hour Harbor Cruise/Seal Tour from Chatham that allows you to get close to gray seals. Or, you have the option to book all-day charters that include pulling up lobster traps, meeting local fishermen, doing some fishing, and seeing sharks and whales. In addition, BlueWater Entertainment offers separate whale watching and shark tours, as well as sunset cruises and fishing charters.

    Cape Cod Scenic Sailboat Tours

    Sailing & Kayaking Tours Around Cape Cod

    If you want a different boating experience than riding a traditional tour boat, you can always sail around the Cape on a schooner. On the other hand, you could get even closer to Cape Cod’s waterways in a kayak or stand-up paddleboard. Here are a couple of options for these types of Cape Cod scenic tours.

    Liberté, The Schooner

    From Falmouth, the Liberté takes you on sails to the east, west, or south depending on the tide and wind. To the east, the schooner passes the Falmouth Heights bluffs and Waquoit Bay — a nature sanctuary. To the west, it passes Nobska Lighthouse and the Elizabeth Islands. And, to the south, it heads toward Oak Bluffs and Martha’s Vineyard. During each excursion, you learn the history of the Cape, the islands, and the schooner.

    Moment Sailing Adventures

    With daily sailing charters of the Outer Cape, Moment Sailing Adventures departs from Provincetown for two, four, and six hours at a time. Each scenic sail includes beaches, lighthouses, and wildlife. If the weather and time allow, there’s a chance to anchor at Herring Cove Beach or Long Point Beach for swimming during the four-hour and six-hour sails.

    Cape Cod Kayak

    One of the best options for guided kayaking tours, Cape Cod Kayak has a range of kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and accessories to accommodate customers of all skill levels. The kayak tours out of Bourne generally last from two hours to a full day. Some places that the guides take you include Bassetts Island, the Mashpee River, Monks Cove, the Pocasset River, and Toby Island.

    If you want to take a self-guided tour of the Cape by kayak, you can rent equipment from Cape Cod Kayak as well.

    Rideaway Adventures

    From Mashpee and Sandwich, Rideaway Adventures is touted as the most “flexible outdoor adventure company” on Cape Cod. It has a huge fleet of kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. You can either rent the equipment that you need for your own excursion or book one of its kayak and stand-up paddleboard tours. Each tour is a nature-based adventure that teaches you about the Cape along the way.

    If you want to plan a self-guided bike ride, Rideaway Adventures has bike rentals too.

    Cape Cod Scenic Tours by air

    Cape Cod Scenic Tours in the Air

    While getting close to nature and the historic sites is a fantastic way to get to know Cape Cod, a bird’s-eye view offers a completely different and breathtaking experience. Check out these scenic plane tours!

    Stick’n Rudder Aero Tours

    Flying out of Chatham Municipal Airport, Stick’n Rudder Aero Tours takes you high above the Cape and ocean in its three-passenger Cessna Skyhawk or two-passenger Waco YMF-5 biplane. From the air, you’ll see the magnificent lands, waters, and wildlife that make the Cape so alluring. You’ll also see the Provincetown Monument and the SS James Longstreet shipwreck — a Liberty ship that now rests under 20 to 25 feet of water in Cape Cod Bay. After your flight, you can take a picture with the plane that you flew in and pick up souvenirs.

    Cape Cod Airfield

    Nestled in the woods of Barnstable’s Marstons Mills, the Cape Cod Airfield is a 1920s airfield that operates plane tours in a Waco YMF-5 Biplane. This plane was built in 1988 as a replica of a 1930s design. The rides last 15, 25, and 35 minutes depending on how much of the Outer Cape that you want to fly over. Along with sightseeing tours, you can book sunset rides.

    Other businesses operate from Cape Cod Airfield as well, such as Skydive the Mills — the premier tandem skydiving company in New England.

    Cape Cod Scenic Tours

    Scenic Tours of Cape Cod by Land

    There are a few other unique Cape Cod scenic tours that allow you to enjoy the area’s beauty and history. You can go on a train ride, an SUV ride through sand dunes, a self-guided bike ride, or a drive from one side of the Cape to the other!

    Cape Cod Central Railroad

    Riding the Cape Cod Central Railroad gives you the chance to see the Cape’s varied landscape — cranberry bogs, sand dunes, salt marshes, and more. In fact, a scenic train ride is the only way to see some areas in the Cape region.

    The trains depart from the Hyannis Depot and Buzzards Bay Depot, traveling through West Barnstable and Sandwich and next to the Cape Cod Canal along the way. Each ride is a narrated adventure, and you could even enjoy an elegant, award-winning dinner or other meal during your train tour.

    Art’s Dune Tours

    With a fleet of six SUVs, Art’s Dune Tours gives you an up-close look at the sand dunes at the tip of the Outer Cape in Provincetown. The sand dunes seem to stretch on forever, so all you can see are the beach grasses, beach plums, and pine trees in the background against the blue sky.

    During your ride, you’ll see the dune shacks of the Peaked Hill Bars Historic District where famous American artists and writers have been inspired to create since the 1920s. Your guide will also take you by the now vacant Peaked Hill Life Saving Station and tell you about the heroic efforts of the courageous people who were stationed there.

    Self-Guided Cape Cod Rail Trail Bike Ride

    If you enjoy biking, the Cape Cod Rail Trail offers an awesome scenic tour of the Cape. This more than 25-mile trail stretches from Yarmouth to Wellfleet. That covers almost half of Cape Cod! Since it passes through seven towns, there are tons of attractions and restaurants to choose from along the way. It even connects to the Old Colony Rail Trail, which leads to Chatham.

    Route 6A Self-Guided Scenic Driving Tour

    Another way to see the vast landscape of Cape Cod is to drive Route 6A — also known as Old King’s Highway. With National Scenic Byway status, this road is the most iconic scenic drive in the state and is one of the most historic byways in the country. It stretches for about 65 miles from Bourne to Provincetown. With lots of stops along this route, the drive will give you a very memorable experience of Cape Cod.

    Get our free Cape Cod Vacation Guide, full of the best things to do in Cape Cod. The best activities, restaurants, museums, events, views, and much more!

    Click here to request the guide.

    details in guest room at Candleberry Inn
    Bathroom with Jacuzzi tub and separate shower

    Luxurious Lodging to Rest for Cape Cod Scenic Tours

    No matter which Cape Cod scenic tours that you choose, Candleberry Inn is just a short drive away. Our location in Brewster is central to all the best things to do on Cape Cod. All of our cozy rooms feature wood floors, colorful walls, and Oriental rugs to make you feel comfortable. And, you’re invited to enjoy a daily homemade breakfast in our elegant dining room or on the patio with a garden view. Start planning your Cape Cod getaway today by booking your stay!

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