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About Cape Cod

With its popular beaches, iconic lighthouses, and world-class seafood, it’s no surprise that Cape Cod is one of the most loved vacation spots in the Northeast. Grab your swimsuit, pack up the family, and make the Cape your favorite summertime destination.
 

A Short History of Cape Cod

The barrier island that extends off of Massachusetts’ eastern shore was first dubbed Cape Cod in 1602, when the name referred to just the end of the cape. A century later, the definition expanded to include more of the peninsula, and, today, Cape Cod references all of the peninsula, from the Cape Cod Canal at the southwestern end to Provincetown at the northeastern end. Islands like Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket are also typically included in the Cape Cod region.

Cape Cod has an important role in American history as the first landmass that the Pilgrims saw when they approached the New World in 1620. Early settlers made themselves comfortable along the bay and developed the maritime life that generations of Cape Cod residents are known for. Whaling and fishing were popular livelihoods throughout the 18th century, and in the 19th century, the cape’s culture and tourism industries began to flourish, making Cape Cod the place that vacationers celebrate today.
 

What Cape Cod Does Best

Today, Cape Cod is known as an upscale yet low-key location, and the sea is the star here. With white sand beaches and dramatic seas, Cape Cod is the ideal destination for families who appreciate natural beauty and great food. Highlights here include lighthouse visits, sailing trips, and beach walks.
 

Iconic Lighthouses

Cape Cod’s lighthouses have kept its shore safe for centuries and are still one of the cape’s most popular attractions today. On the southern end of the cape, visit Noboska Point Light, which has protected seafarers and those traversing Vineyard Sound since 1828. Near Eastham, tour the iconic Nauset Light, a red and white lighthouse with a circular staircase that was rescued from tumbling over the side of an eroding cliff. At the end of the cape, don’t miss the 1876 lighthouse Race Point Light, which offers tours in the summer and even allows overnight stays.
 

Atlantic Beaches

Cape Cod National Seashore extends across much of the barrier island and features six beaches with public access. At Nauset Light Beach, you’ll find both a sandy beach for swimming and access to several lighthouses. You ...

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