If you’re planning a winter getaway in New England, consider enjoying some of the best winter things to do on Cape Cod. Winter on the Cape is a slower, more relaxed pace with fewer crowds – perfect for a quiet getaway from the busy cities of New England and the East Coast!
Winter Weather on Cape Cod
Although the temperature drops during the winter on Cape Cod, the bay water actually warms the peninsula during the winter season. In fact, daily temperatures average around 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and evening temps average around 29 degrees. The best part about Cape Cod in winter is that there are fewer crowds during these cooler months so that you can have a quiet, cozy visit if you choose.
Best Winter Things to Do on Cape Cod in November
We’ve put together what we think are the best things to do in Cape Cod in the winter. Our list includes activities and places to visit for each month — November through March. However, many of these best winter things to do on Cape Cod are not date specific and can be enjoyed any time during the winter months on the Cape.
Cape Cod Beaches & Nature Centers
Before it gets too cold, one of the best things to do in Cape Cod in the winter is spending time outdoors. While you’ll still need some extra layers, November temperatures aren’t as chilly as those in January.
- The Cape Cod National Seashore is a must-visit area no matter when you decide to travel to the Cape. It stretches along the outer shoreline from Chatham to Provincetown. Because of that, it has 40 miles of sandy beach, ponds, marshes, and uplands that support a range of wildlife.
- The Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham is a year-round facility within the Cape Cod National Seashore. It has a museum and a theater that plays an award-winning orientation movie and other films. The 1.5-mile Nauset Marsh Trail is nearby, as are a few others.
- Also, you could explore the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, which has an extensive trail network through a pine woodland, salt marsh, and sandy barrier beach. The sanctuary is accessible for everyone and has a nature center with aquariums and exhibits.
All of these are beautiful places to watch sunsets.
Cape Cod Lighthouses in Winter
You can see lovely sunsets at one of the Cape’s more than a dozen light stations as well. From Nobska Light near Nobska Beach in Falmouth to Chatham Lighthouse across from Lighthouse Beach in Chatham to Race Point Lighthouse at the tip of Race Point Beach in Provincetown, the towers are sprinkled around the shoreline. You can explore more lighthouses on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Island if you take an island day trip.
Biking Cape Cod Trails in Winter
If you’re interested in cycling, check out one of Cape Cod’s biking trails. The Shining Sea Bikeway is 10.7 miles of off-road and paved trails that connect North Falmouth to the ferry terminal in Woods Hole. It follows the original New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad route, which winds along beaches, through the Salt Pond Bird Sanctuary and marshes, and past harbors and cranberry bogs.
The Cape Cod Rail Trail is another option. This 27.6-mile paved path runs through seven towns — from West Yarmouth to Wellfleet in the northeast. It follows the same original railroad route, just at different points, and it’s easy to explore each town along the way.
Best December Cape Cod Winter Activities
Cape Cod Winter Holiday Events
Throughout December, many towns offer fun things to do in Cape Cod in the winter by celebrating the holidays. The Christmas Stroll in downtown Chatham is a holiday staple and a fun way to kick off the season with a tree lighting ceremony, horse-drawn carriage rides, homemade cookies, and caroling. In addition, there’s a Christmas Parade in Falmouth and a lighting ceremony for the Lobster Pot Tree in Provincetown.
Cape Cod Museums
Aside from the towns themselves, many Cape attractions get into the holiday spirit. For instance, the Sandwich Glass Museum is a historical site and hosts a variety of exhibits, including a special holiday exhibition. The Heritage Museum & Gardens features the Gardens Aglow celebration in December. This event is a spectacular display of holiday lights throughout the extensive gardens, which makes you feel like you’re in a winter wonderland.
Some other Cape Cod museums for history buffs to visit include:
- Cape Cod Children’s Museum in Mashpee
- John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum in Hyannis
- Whydah Pirate Museum in West Yarmouth
- Edward Gorey House in Yarmouth Port
- Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis
Performance Arts on Cape Cod
You can listen to the exquisite voices of the Skylark Vocal Ensemble, which often performs winter concerts. You can watch a Winter Spectacular burlesque show by the Brazen Belles Burlesque group, Cape Cod’s original and only Burlesque troupe. In addition, the Falmouth Theatre Guild hosts world-class, Broadway-like musicals.
The Polar Express Train Rides on Cape Cod
On top of that, the Cape Cod Central Railroad operates The Polar Express train rides every weekend during the month. The 1 to 1.5-hour ride includes a meeting with Santa Claus, Christmas music, dancing servers, and a reading of Chris Van Allsburg’s “The Polar Express.” Freshly baked cookies and hot chocolate only sweeten the deal.
Cape Cod Holiday Shopping
There are tons of opportunities for shopping throughout the Cape. Main Street in Falmouth, Water Street in Woods Hole, and Lemon Tree Village in Brewster have unique shops where you can buy holiday gifts. However, one of the most famous places to shop on Cape Cod is Commercial Street in Provincetown. You can find nearly anything among its stores.
Best Things to Do in Cape Cod in the Winter for January
First Night Celebrations
As January arrives, Cape Cod is prepared to celebrate the new year. Sandwich, Chatham, and Provincetown have First Night events that are fun to participate in. But that’s only the beginning of the month. There are many more things to do over the following weeks.
Ice Skating on Cape Cod
Since you’re already wearing winter clothes, why not enjoy some time on the ice? The Charles Moore Arena in Orleans offers public skating hours every Sunday at reasonable rates. You can go ice skating at the Tony Kent Arena in Dennis, too.
Afternoon Tea on Cape Cod
After exploring around the Cape, you can warm up with a hot cup of tea. The Dunbar House in Sandwich is a quaint tea room and wine bar. The lunch menu includes delicious soups, salads, and large plates. The afternoon tea service includes tea with scones, jam, cream, finger sandwiches, fruit, and decadent desserts. Vegetarian and seafood options are available.
At Molly’s Tea Room in Falmouth, you can warm up in a comfortable atmosphere with a hot cup of tea and superior food. It has a wide selection of black, green, herbal, and flavored teas, as well as coffee, hot chocolate, and other beverages. The food menu features sandwiches, soups, salads, quiches, and luncheon options.
Cape Cod Antique Shops
When you’ve finished your afternoon tea, you can take advantage of some awesome antiquing opportunities. Every community on the Cape has a rich history, but many predate the American Revolution, so you have a chance to find really interesting relics of the past.
One of the best antique shops is the Sandwich Antiques Center near Sagamore Bridge. Its selection of Nautical-themed antiques might be the most impressive on the peninsula. The Antiques Center of Yarmouth is one of the largest antique co-ops on the Cape with more than 100 consignors and dealers who specialize in furniture, glass, weaponry, and more. It always has a vast inventory of antiques and collectibles.
Best February Winter Activities on Cape Cod
Romantic Restaurants on Cape Cod
Because of Valentine’s Day, many couples celebrate their relationships during February. Combined with the smaller crowds, eating at romantic restaurants is one of the best things to do in Cape Cod in the winter months. Moreover, the peninsula is known for having some of the best food in the region. Here’s a short list of some of our favorite romantic restaurants:
- C Salt Wine Bar & Grille in Falmouth — Fine-dining restaurant with internationally inspired dishes
- Bleu in Mashpee — French bistro
- Gerardi’s Cafe in South Yarmouth — Sicilian-style fare
- The Ocean House Restaurant in Dennis Port — American fare with Pan-Asian flair
- Spinnaker in Brewster — Boutique chic restaurant specializing in seafood
This is only a sample of the best romantic restaurants on Cape Cod to enjoy in the winter months.
Cape Cod Bakeries & Cafes
If you’re looking for more ways to tantalize your taste buds, the Cape has a host of bakeries and cafes to satisfy your sweet tooth. White Lion Baking Company in Mashpee is a reputable and certified gluten-free bakery that makes brownies, cakes, cookies, muffins, and custom goods according to special diets. On the more savory side, it makes biscuits, crackers, crusts, and granola.
In South Yarmouth, Scapicchio’s Bakery makes American and Italian cakes, cookies, pastries, and pies. You can even get Sicilian-style pizzas and Italian breads. Eat Cake 4 Breakfast in Brewster makes delightful cakes of all kinds — cheesecake, decadence flourless chocolate, chocolate mousse, fruit tarts — and pies of all kinds — blueberry, cherry, chocolate cream, lemon meringue. It has cookies, quiche, and a slew of other baked goods too.
Hole In One Bakery & Coffee Shop in Eastham serves biscotti, cupcakes, hand-cut doughnuts, and other pastries alongside gourmet coffee. In Provincetown, Relish Bakery & Sandwich Shop offers a selection of coffee cakes, cookies, muffins, and scones. The menu also includes breakfast and lunch sandwiches.
Wine & Beer Tastings on Cape Cod
Because of Cape Cod’s climate, it produces fruits that make unique wine flavors. The peninsula is home to three wineries — Cape Cod Winery, First Crush Winery, and Truro Vineyards — where you can tour the facilities and taste the wines. You can plan a tour of all three on your own or book a tour package with TapTastings. The tour can be both fun and romantic. Learn more about Cape wineries and wine tastings here.
The Cape has a lot of great breweries as well. Aquatic Brewing in Falmouth, Cape Cod Beer in Hyannis, Devil’s Purse Brewing Company in South Dennis, Hog Island Beer Co. in Orleans, and Provincetown Brewing Co. in Provincetown are all great options on the peninsula. If you decide to take an island day trip, you could visit Bad Martha Farmers Brewery on Martha’s Vineyard or Cisco Brewers on Nantucket Island.
Cape Cod Spa Days
With romance in the air during February, there’s no better time to pamper yourself and your partner. Bellezza Salon MedSpa in Falmouth, the Rescue Room in Barnstable, the E Spa in Brewster, and Shui Spa in Provincetown offer a range of massage and body treatments. Or, you could let Candleberry Inn arrange an in-room massage during your stay.
Best March Cape Cod Winter Things to Do
Cape Cod Bowling Alleys
Since the temperature outside is still chilly through the first half of March, you may want some indoor things to do in Cape Cod in the winter. Bowling is the perfect option to expend some energy while staying warm.
Ryan Family Amusements in Yarmouth offers tenpin and candlepin bowling and has a game room. In addition to those amenities, Ryan’s Ten Pin Eatery at the Cape Cod Mall in Hyannis has three escape rooms, laser tag, a golf simulator, and virtual reality. Some other bowling options include The Lanes Bowl & Bistro in Mashpee and Orleans Bowling Center in Orleans.
Cape Cod Movie Theaters & Drive-ins
The Cape has several places that show an array of films and movies. The largest theater is the Regal Cape Cod Mall in Hyannis, which has stadium seats. At the Falmouth Cinema Pub, you get an unconventional experience in that you sit at a table and can order candy and popcorn. You can also choose from a list of bottled and draft beer, wine, and other beverages.
Then there’s the Cape Cinema in Dennis, which has been open since the early 20th century and features movies, concerts, theatrical performances, and even the ballet. In Chatham, the Chatham Orpheum Theater is another unconventional theater where you can order food from an in-house cafe.
Although the Wellfleet Cinema is smaller than the Hyannis Regal theater, it has a good variety of movies. If you prefer the drive-in atmosphere, the Wellfleet Drive-in Theatre is right next door and the best on the peninsula. The complex has a dairy bar with ice cream and snacks, a mini-golf course, and a flea market that’s open four days a week too.
Cape Cod Miniature Golf Courses
Later in March, the temperature starts to rise a little bit across the Cape. It’s a great time to start getting outdoors after being inside for the winter. Mini golf is a fun activity to start with, and there are numerous courses around the peninsula. Some great ones to visit include:
- Cataumet Light Mini Golf in Cataumet
- Steve & Sue’s Par-Tee Freeze & Adventure Falls Mini Golf in Hyannis
- Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf in South Yarmouth
- Harbor Lights Mini Golf in Brewster
- Cape Escape Adventure Golf in Orleans
Best Lodging on Cape Cod in Winter
As you enjoy the best things to do in Cape Cod in the winter season, you need cozy accommodations where you can keep warm and truly relax. Candleberry Inn Bed and Breakfast in Brewster is in the heart of a town steeped in history. We’re located in the central region of the Cape, so our inn is conveniently located within easy driving distance from all of the best winter things to do on Cape Cod.
Every morning before you start out on your Cape Cod winter adventure, you can enjoy a gourmet breakfast with fresh fruit, hot savory and sweet dishes, and full drink service. When it’s time to rest, your luxury room or suite is ready for a comfortable night of sleep. Contact us for more information or to book your stay.