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.
Famously known as the Cape Cod Light, the Highland Light is an active lighthouse and also said to be the tallest and oldest lighthouse on Cape Cod. The lighthouse is accessible to the public from May through October- tours are available too, while the grounds can be visited throughout the year. This lighthouse occupies a spot on the National Register of Historic Places as the Highland Light Station.
Few people know that the pilgrims first struck land in Provincetown, on November 21, 1620, before continuing on to Plymouth. While anchored in Provincetown Harbor, the Pilgrims signed the Mayflower Compact, dedicating themselves to a community governed by democratic rule. This tower was built in 1910 to commemorate that landing, was modeled after the clock tower of the Palazzo Pubblico (specifically the Torre del Mangia) in Siena, Italy. A climb to the top affords one of the best views on the entire Cape, and the tower also incorporates the Provincetown Museum.
There are few better ways to get an overview of what Provincetown has to offer than to take a picturesque trolley ride. The trolleys leave every half-hour from Town Hall on Commercial Street, and tour the National Seashore and other interesting sites for about 40 minutes.
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's third lighthouse, Race Point Light was constructed in 1816. The original rubblestone tower was one of the first to feature a revolving beacon, and after significant refurbishment in 1876, was electrified in the year 1957. Today, the lighthouse is open for tours, and the restored Keeper's and Whistle Houses offer comfortable accommodation.
Marconi Beach located on the Cape Cod shoreline gazes out on to the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. Named after the renowned Italian innovator, the beach is located near the station that sent out the first wireless transmission across the Atlantic. This beach is a popular surfing and skim-boarding destination amongst locals and tourists alike.
The Three Sisters of Nauset is a set of three historic lighthouses that were erected in 1838. The white color contrasted with the black lanterns, so these lighthouses appeared like three ladies dressed in white with black bonnets and hence the name 'Three Sisters'. Visitors can explore these historical lighthouses.
Nauset Beach Light is a cast iron plate shell situated in Eastham, Massachusetts. Built in 1877, it stands 48 feet (15 meters) tall and has a rather long and interesting history behind it. Saved from decommissioning by the Nauset Light Preservation Society, formed by the local residents, the lighthouse was donated to the National Park Service in 1998. For those who visit the top, the view from the lighthouse is absolutely stunning, but tours are not as frequently conducted, so make sure to check the timings before you visit.
Liquor lovers are in for a treat as they visit the Truro Vineyards + South Hollow Spirits. This property is known for its beautiful vineyards and also features a distillery known for producing some of the best spirits in the region. Learn the art of making wines or understand the distilling process of your favorite liquor variety. You can enjoy a free tour around the property and also opt for a tasting session where you can sip on to the wine and rum varieties. After your tour here, treat yourself to a delightful meal at the food truck on the property.