Cape days are the best days.

Warm, lazy, care-free beach days are calling to me. Some of my fondest family memories are from our weeklong vacations in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. During our first trips we stayed in different towns. Orleans to visit my mom’s best friend. She now owns The Local Scoop. Harwich to stay by the kid friendly and warmer Long Pond. Brewster at the Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club (more on the resort below). I love them all. Though, over the last twenty years, it’s been hard to pull us away from the Mayflower Beach area in the town of Dennis.

Want help booking your Cape Cod summer stay? As a Fora Travel advisor I can help and hopefully add in some perks too =)

Mayflower Beach, Dennis, Massachusetts
Above: Me, Dad, Katie, and Mom
Below: Annie and Ryan splashing around

Dennis is considered part of the mid-cape and Mayflower Beach is located on the Cape Cod Bay. The water is calmer and a little warmer than the beaches on the Atlantic side. At low tide you can walk for miles along the tidal flats. The beach feels wide open even in the peak of summer. You’ll find families playing catch, bocce ball, wiffle ball, and some pretty intense games of volleyball. The small tidal pools are perfect for little kids to splash around in all day. Beach bums, like myself, will never want to leave. In fact, you might want to order Showtime Pizza delivery to the beach and watch the beautiful sunset over the bay. It’s hard to beat the sunset views at Mayflower Beach but Corporation Beach offers both the sunset and lobster rolls at DMP Surfside Grill. If you can pull yourself away from the beach before 8pm (and any little ones) reservations at FIN Cape Cod are highly recommended.

Sunset at Mayflower Beach, Dennis, Massachusetts

If it’s high tide during the mid-day sun Chapin’s Restaurant offers the perfect escape from the heat and crowded beach. Walk over and eat in the main restaurant or enjoy the raw bar on the patio outside. There’s often live music in the bar area as well. Another great lunch (or brunch) spot with a view is Sesuit Harbor Cafe. Casual picnic tables overlook the Northside Marina. If the weather’s not cooperating head over to Grumpy’s for brunch or cheer yourself up at the Ice Cream Smuggler (check the website for new location).

Views from Sesuit Harbor Cafe, Dennis, Massachusetts

Dennis has everything you need for your home base, but there’s plenty more to do in the Cape! If you prefer a resort stay I highly recommend Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club. We stayed on the golf course side often when we were kids. A recent sunset happy hour has me torn between Dennis and Brewster again! Here’s why.

The sprawling resort literally has everything you need for the ultimate Cape Cod vacation. Ocean Edge has private beach access to Cape Cod Bay and shuttle service to Crosby Landing Beach. There’s also five pools. Two being indoors which is ideal for rainy days with the kids. Activities include kayak and paddle boarding at the beach or Blueberry Pond, oyster tours, golf, tennis, and biking along the Cape Cod rail trail. For ultimate adult relaxation, there is a spa and top-notch views (with drinks) from the the Ocean Terrace or Beach Bar. Or unwind with the whole family while having s’mores after sunset at your private beach fire. Maybe it’s time to add that second week…

Atlantic Beaches

Nauset Beach in Orleans. The waves are great for boogie boarding and parts of the beach are open to off-road vehicles with the right permits. It’s fun to drive along the sand dunes!

Cahoon Hallow Beach in Wellfleet. Another favorite spot to ride the waves. The beach is at the bottom of a large dune (75 ft). The walk up and down can be a struggle, but views of the ocean and The Beachcomber make it all worth it. Check The Beachcomber’s website for live music schedules and head back or stay for dinner, drinks, and music.

Beware of an increase in shark sightings and attacks (one fatal) at Cape Cod beaches over the past years. Those who leave the shallows (surfers, boogie boarders) are at higher risk. Avoid swimming if you see seals nearby. Purple and white flags signal the beach is closed due to shark sightings.


Chatham is quintessential Cape Cod. Park your car and walk about the shops in the center of town. You’ll find boutiques, galleries, gift shops, and restaurants. Lunch at The Impudent Oyster never disappoints. Don’t forget to stop at Cuffy’s on your way out of town to buy a Cape Cod sweatshirt or other souvenirs.

Annie wearing classic Cape Cod sweatshirt from Cuffy’s

Provincetown is the furthest town in the Outer Cape and also offers plenty of shopping, galleries, and restaurants. Enjoy the views of the sand dunes and ocean as you drive towards town. Or set up a tour with Art’s Dune Tours to see them up close and personal.


Brewster Fish House was voted “Best Seafood Restaurant” by Cape Cod Life Magazine (2018) and it’s not hard to understand why. The restaurant doesn’t take reservations so be prepared to wait.

On my bucket list (to eat and stay), the Chatham Bars Inn, offers a variety of dining options from formal dining, an upscale tavern, drinks on the veranda, or seafood classics on the oceanfront deck. The restaurants “follow a farm to table approach and incorporate fresh, local ingredients from the 8 acre farm a short drive away”. Reservations are required for STARS.

Day Trips

Take the high speed ferry from Hyannis to explore the islands of Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket. Shop and have lunch, rent bicycles or scooters to explore the islands, or head over to the beach. Cape Cod Life Magazine’s “Best of Awards” include recommendations for the islands as well.


​Cape Cod Rail Trail covers 25 miles and 7 towns. Check the website for parking and bike rentals in different towns (there’s one in South Dennis). Run, walk, bike, or roller blade along the paved trails.

The Travel Channel ranks Provincetown one of the top whale watching destinations in North America. You can buy tickets and read customer reviews here.

Check out Cape Kayaking for guided kayak tours and clamming.

Go back in time and enjoy a movie at the Wellfleet Drive-In Theater. The viewing may be old school, but the movies are new releases.

The Cape Cod Baseball League is a summer league for college players and soon to be pros. Many league players have gone on to play in the MLB.

Browse Cape Cod Life Magazine’s “Best of Awards” for more Cape Cod recommendations. Awards are sorted by Dining, Food & Lodging, Shopping, and Things to Do. Use the map to narrow down recommendations for a specific area of the Cape.