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Outdoors

Top Rated Attractions in Barnstable

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Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruises

A whale watch is a must when visiting Cape Cod. Step aboard a 100-foot boat and travel past the Cape Cod National Seashore to the open ocean. The boats concentrate on an area known as the Stellwagen Bank - a deep fissure in the ocean floor that is home to a favorite whale delicacy, the sand eel. Naturalists narrate during the cruises. There is a snack bar on board and passengers can bring their own picnic. The trip takes about four hours.

Cape Cod Rail Trail

Although referred to as a bike trail, this paved path also welcomes walking, running, horseback riding and rollerblading. Built on an old railway bed, the scenic 25-mile (40-kilometer) trail takes you from Yarmouth to Dennis to Wellfleet via cranberry bogs, lakes and towns. Nickerson State Park, off Route 6A in Brewster, maintains the trail and is at the halfway point.

Nickerson State Park

A sizable stretch of green, in the Cape Cod region, Nickerson State Park is a must visit for adventure seekers and nature lovers alike. Covering a massive 1,967 acres (796 hectares) this state-owned park is peppered with sandy soil, scrub pines and a number of kettle ponds that make it one of the richest and most diverse ecosystems in the area. Featuring numerous hiking trails, trek routes, campgrounds and fishing areas, this is also one of the hot-spots for outdoor activities and nature tours.

Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

The Mass Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is spread over 937 acres (379.19 hectares) of unblemished forest and scrubland. The sanctuary is home to hundreds of birds, mammals, reptiles, and plant life, making this place perfect for casual strolls amidst the beauty of nature, a bit of bird-watching, and photography. The Silver Spring Trail is a highlight of the sanctuary and should not be missed. The marvelous nature center displays numerous wildlife exhibits. This place is a wondrous green oasis in the midst of Cape Cod's touristy bustle and deserves a visit.

Cape Cod National Seashore

First designated as a protected site by the United States government in 1961, the sprawling 43,607-acre (17,647 hectare) Cape Cod National Seashore offers stunning vistas and a glimpse into the natural and cultural history of the area. The park boasts a number of swimming beaches, as well as nature trails, picnic areas, freshwater ponds, historic lighthouses and Cape Cod-style residences. Avid hikers and explorers will relish the opportunity for adventure offered by the scenic paths slicing across the landscape. The seashore makes a great day trip, but for those who would like to stay longer there are several resorts, hotels and motels nearby.

Offshore Ale Company

When you're on Martha's Vineyard and craving a pint, stop by the Offshore Ale Company for a locally-brewed beer and a bite to eat. The menu features all sorts of pub favorites like seafood, burgers and pizza, including a never-ending supply of peanuts. There's always live music and special events, so check out their schedule for the latest goings-on. Don't forget to toss those peanut shells directly on the floor - it's encouraged!

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