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15 Activities Centered around Animals on the Cape and Islands

Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard are home to countless unique and interesting animals, and opportunities to enjoy animal related activities are abundant. Whether you want to be an active participant and get up close and personal with the animals or prefer to learn about them from a distance, there is an animal related activity to suit your interests and budget. Below are just a few offered on Cape Cod and the Islands.

Find a starfish in a tidepool

Looking for an experience of a lifetime? Go on a Whale Watch. Seeing whales up close is a truly unbelievable experience. The Provincetown Center for Coastal Study also offers free walks led by CCS staff and scientists. Walks are offered to Race Point, Wood End, and Herring Cove to watch for whales as they feed in the surrounding waters, often only a few hundred feet from shore. For more info, visit Coastal Studies

Explore the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster and learn all about Cape Cod's natural environment. Learn about the creatures that live in the Mudflats, the birds that fly overhead, fish that swim in our sea, the bees that buzz in our gardens, and much, much more. The marsh tours are excellent!

Attend a dog-related event. Attend Paws in the Park with your pooch, or bring Fido to the Carnival of Dogs in Provincetown. Other dog centered events include Cape Cod Doxie Day and The Cranberry Cluster Dog Show.

Spend the day at the Woods Hole Science Aquarium. The Woods Hole Science Aquarium has over 140 species of marine animals, as well as touch tanks, exhibit cases, and in depth information about the marine animals and their environments.

Visit one of the many working farms on the Cape and Islands. The Farm Institute and Island Alpaca, both on Martha's Vineyard, Coonamessett Farm in Falmouth, and Taylor-Bray Farm in Yarmouth are just a few that offer educational programs, tours, and the opportunity to interact with the animals that are a part of the farm.

Head over to Lighthouse Beach in Chatham to watch the seals frolic in the waters close to the beach. On some days, you may catch a glimpse of just a few - or a few hundred! Want a closer look? Arrange for Seal Cruises to see Chatham's best known residents. Blue Claw Boat Tours or Beachcomber Boat Tours

Horseback riding Cape Cod Rail Trail

Explore Cape Cod on horseback. Emerald Hollow Farm offers guided Trail Rides in Brewster. Don't want to ride? Visitors are welcome to stop by - be sure to bring some carrots and sugar cubes!

See what is underneath the sparkling waters of Cape Cod and the Islands. Arrange for a scuba diving or snorkeling excursion. You will find all sorts of small fish, conch, starfish, crabs, lobsters, striped bass, and even sharks, just to name a few.
Sea Sports Cape Cod
Vineyard Shark Divers
Animals in Wildlife Sancturies Cape Cod

Visit one of the many Wildlife Sanctuaries on the Cape and Islands, and catch a glimpse of animals native to the area in their habitats. Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary in Barnstable, Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge in Chatham, Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, Sesachacha Heathlands Wildlife Sanctuary on Nantucket, or the Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary on Martha's Vineyard are all beautiful areas to explore and look for wildlife.

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a bird, and another bird, and another… The Cape and Islands are home to countless birds and also serve as a rest stop for hundreds of species of birds heading south. Grab you binoculars, guide book, and prepare to be amazed at what you will see. View more on Cape Cod birdwatching

The Green Briar Nature Center in Sandwich has a host of activities centered on animals ranging from Critter Capers, where you will learn about life cycles, habits and habitats of different animals, to Animal Story Time, which involves hearing a story about “Peter Rabbit” and friends and a chance to visit with one of the nature center's animals.

Attend a lecture at the Cape Cod Wildlife Center located in Barnstable. Topics range from learning about the endangered Cottontail Rabbit to the behavior of Coyotes.

Go on a Critter Cruise out of Nantucket or Provincetown (Viking Princess Cruises), or climb aboard a Discovery Cruise. These family friendly cruises offer a hands on experience as you explore the marine world.

An unforgettable experience is in store for you when you visit the Chatham Fish Pier or Rock Harbor in Orleans in the afternoon. You can catch a view of the fishing boats coming into dock with their daily catch as well as see the Chatham seals swimming right alongside the boats hoping there might be some fish for them!

Have fun with these activities while enjoying one of our Cape Cod vacation rentals.

About Susan Hutchins

About Susan Hutchins: I joined the WeNeedaVacation team in 2012 and write website and blog content as well as promote WeNeedaVacation.com through social media. Having grown up spending summers on Nantucket, I have a strong connection to Cape Cod and the Islands. I now live in New Hampshire with my husband, two children, and golden retriever, and we are frequent visitors to the Cape. I love running local road races, the Brewster in Bloom 5K being a favorite. My family enjoys biking on the Cape Cod Rail Trail, hiking in Nickerson State Park, and relaxing on the beautiful beaches (usually a dog friendly one!).