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Cape Cod, extending some 60 curving miles into the Atlantic like a beckoning arm, is such a mad amalgam of communities — from the science-wonks in Woods Hole to the off-duty shrinks of Wellfleet and the predominantly gay pleasure-seekers in Provincetown — that whatever your predilections, you're sure to find congenial company (way too much of it in summer, especially if you make the novice's mistake of trying to drive onto the Cape Friday afternoon or off it late on a sunny Sunday). Virtually everyone comes to the Cape in search of what Patti Page extolled as "sand dunes and salty air," available in abundance, whether along the relatively ...

Cape Cod, extending some 60 curving miles into the Atlantic like a beckoning arm, is such a mad amalgam of communities — from the science-wonks in Woods Hole to the off-duty shrinks of Wellfleet and the predominantly gay pleasure-seekers in Provincetown — that whatever your predilections, you're sure to find congenial company (way too much of it in summer, especially if you make the novice's mistake of trying to drive onto the Cape Friday afternoon or off it late on a sunny Sunday). Virtually everyone comes to the Cape in search of what Patti Page extolled as "sand dunes and salty air," available in abundance, whether along the relatively tame bay side or on the wild-waved oceanfront, a good chunk of which is permanently protected as the Cape Cod National Seashore. Come evening, the restaurants — ranging from humble clam shacks to haute foodie temples — beckon. Theater offerings span the provocative and the tried-and-true, and if Provincetown's creative nightlife does finally grind to a halt, it's only so that the celebrants might stagger to the beach while the sun is still high.

Sandy MacDonald
About the Expert

Sandy MacDonald has written guidebooks to Cape Cod and Boston for Frommer's, Access and Globe-Pequot, and for many years has covered Nantucket for Fodor's.

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Sandy MacDonald for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Cape Cod is a cape jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean in the easternmost portion of the state of Massachusetts, in the Northeastern United States. Its historic, maritime character and ample beaches attract heavy tourism during the summer months.
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer rules, but the smart money's on autumn, with its still-warm waves and cut-rate rooms.