For anyone wondering where to go for a summer vacation that'll be both relaxing and ravishing, Cape Cod should be on the cards. And it’s not just the insanely beautiful beaches—carpeted by sparkling, powder-soft sand and gently cascading sand dunes—Cape Cod is downright stunning on many fronts. As part of the preparation to fly or drive down to the attractive hook-shaped peninsula, one will need to know how many days to work with. Of course, visiting every nook and cranny would seem ridiculous, even if rewarding, and an hour’s dash would be disturbingly inadequate. Granted, many factors will eventually come into play as well. However, here’s our piece of advice on how long you’ll need to see Cape Cod.

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This Is How Long First-timers Should Spend In Cape Cod

Here’s the truth. Sometimes first-timers need just a weekend to spend in Cape Cod. Other times some 2-hour road trip from Boston to the scenic, laid-back towns in Cape Cod, like Hyannis or Falmouth—just to unwind and clear one’s mind—will be enough. However, for a vacation where one has all the time in the world, we think first-timers will need at least five days to have a reasonable taste of Cape Cod’s captivating beauty. Here’s the reason.

Cape Cod boasts at least 15 quaint, small towns with a strong magnetic feel for those who adore nature, relish seafood, love sandy beaches, and enjoy a dash of colonial history. Of course, visiting all the 15 towns would not be necessary or practical. One will need to pick a few that represents the best in Cape Cod. Then again, the Cape Cod town to visit will depend on the type of vacation. Realistically, five towns would do. So giving each town a day, we have 5 days in our hands. This takes us to the next question: the 5 towns that a Cape Cod first-timer would pick from a pool of 15. We’d start with Falmouth on the southwestern side of Cape Cod. Falmouth is only about 18 minutes drive from Bourne Bridge which is located in the town of Bourne, the traditional gateway to the Cape. So, for those who don’t want to drive for miles after landing on the Cape, it’s reasonable to start with Falmouth. And again Falmouth is near other attractive travel destinations like Martha’s Vineyard.

  • How Long Is The Ferry Ride To Martha’s Vineyard? It’ll take 35 minutes to travel to Martha’s Vineyard by ferry from Falmouth.

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Aside from Falmouth, the other towns we would pick for a 5-day vacation would be Hyannis, Chatham, Provincetown, and Nantucket. Hyannis is centrally located even if a bit more touristy and city-like. Cape Cod first-timers can actually choose Hyannis as a central location from which to launch out to the rest of Cape Cod. We think the rest of the towns are packed with wildly attractive places and scenes—and many fantastic things to do.

  • How Far Is Hyannis From Boston? It’s about 71 miles from Boston To Hyannis, a distance that’ll take about one hour and 15 minutes via MA-3 S.

When Is The Best Time To Go To Cape Cod?

The best time to visit Cape Cod will depend on what’s taking one there. If it’s the beach, arguably Cape Cod’s most defining feature, then the summer months would be the best time to go to Cape Cod. So this means either July or August. It’s warm— and taking a plunge is both thrilling and refreshing. One can enjoy the best swimming, surfing, snorkeling, and diving while taking in the incredible views of sparkling sand, and turquoise waters, below an incredible azure sky. Usually, many restaurants are also open, unlike during winter when the whole of Cape Cod looks uninhabited, dull, and soulless.

So for those who are into culinary tourism and hunger for some distinctive New England flavor—the fried clams, oysters, or lobster rolls—May to October would be the best time to go to Cape Cod. For oysters, late September or October is the time to touch down. The famous Wellfleet Oyster Festival is on show during the first October weekend after Indigenous People’s Day, formerly Columbus Day. And while we always think that humans prefer cold seasons for mating, whales, on the other hand, like it all warm. For a sight of humpbacks’ thunderous acrobatics, check out Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruises during the warm summer months.

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What To Know About Visiting Cape Cod When It's Not Summer

Still, one obvious downside of a summer visit is the high cost of lodging because of the increased numbers. One will have to give out a pretty penny for a room that has a beachside view. Therefore, to save money, January and March would be ideal. To visit the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum, a popular spot for those keen on the former president’s life and memorabilia, spring is perfect. There are usually fewer crowds. The same should apply to other museums as well.

For biking and all those thrilling switchbacks turns, summer is fine—but fall is perfect. For someone who just wants to curl up and finish reading Dog Man: Mothering Heights by Dav Pilkey or some other fine read, winter would be the best time to visit Cape Cod. And in December, Cape Cod comes alive. There are many concerts, parades, fairs, and exhibitions that revolve around Christmas. Also, a winter stroll along the Cape Cod Canal is a popular winter vacation favorite. For a kaleidoscopic display of lights, color, and fireworks, the Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich is the place to be. The exhibition is usually in December.

Still, whatever time one chooses to travel, Cape Cod is that amazing place with an attractive allure that one can enjoy whether it’s during the heat of summer— or the ice of winter. There's just something for every season.