It's difficult to define what it is about Cape Cod that has continued to draw so
many of us back to experience it again and again each summer. Perhaps it's the irresistible
combination of its unique natural beauty - miles of beautiful, white-sand beaches
and dunes and lush, fascinating marshes teeming with wildlife - its charming history
dating back to the 17th century, and its abundance of family-oriented activities,
and beautiful Cape Cod vacation rentals. If lying on
a gorgeous beach or reading a book on a porch overlooking wetlands isn't enough
for you, we suggest you take advantage of some of these wonderful, in most cases
free, quintessentially-Cape experiences.
Town Band Concerts
Small town band concerts are a part of Americana. Although these concerts are disappearing
in many areas of the country, they remain a treasured and delightful part of the
summer experience on Cape Cod.
Cape Cod Band Concerts
In parks all over the Cape and Islands, local residents assemble in gazebos in their
band uniforms and present a mix of music sure to delight all and get feet tapping.
While parents and grandparents relax on blankets or in folding chairs waiting for
the music to begin, children run around the bandstand and play in the area set aside
for dancing. Then, when the band strikes up, the dancing begins – couples, parents
with their children and even solo folks enjoy swaying to the music. Adding to the
Normal Rockwell-like experience at some concerts are strings of balloons rising
into the summer skies.
At most of these events, you can bring food and non-alcoholic beverages to enjoy
and make it an even more festive event.
Here is a list of where you can catch the town band concerts during the summer months:
- Brewster -- 6 pm, Drummer Boy Field, Rte. 6A, Brewster
- Martha's Vineyard -- 8 pm, alternating between Owen Park, Vineyard Haven and Ocean
Park, Oak Bluffs
- Harwich -- 6 pm, Band shell at Brooks Park, Oak Street, Harwich
- Yarmouth -- 6 pm, Parkers River Beach South Shore Drive, South Yarmouth
- Mashpee -- 6 pm, Mashpee Community Park corner of Route 130 and Great Neck Road North, Mashpee
- Orleans -- 6 pm, Nauset Beach, Beach Road, Orleans
- Falmouth- 6pm, Peg Noonan Park, Main Street, Falmouth
- Hyannis -- 6 pm, Hyannis Village Green, Main Street, Hyannis
- Various Dates
- Nantucket -- 6 pm, Band Shell at Children's Beach, Nantucket
Cape Cod Baseball League
Cape Cod Baseball League
The Cape Baseball League, established in 1885, is the premier amateur baseball league
in the country. Ten teams showcase the talents of some of the best college players
in the country as they play hard-hitting ball in parks from Wareham to Orleans from
June to mid-August. The League, which bills itself "Where the Stars of Tomorrow
Shine Tonight," is known for its beautiful ballparks, as well as the purity and
simplicity of the games played. Many of today’s Major League players got their start
in the Cape League, including several players on the 2007 World Champion Boston
Red Sox: World Series MVP Mike Lowell (Chatham ’94), team captain Jason Varitek
(Hyannis ’91 & ’93), former Gold Glove first baseman Kevin Youkilis (Bourne ’00)
and speedy centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury (Falmouth ’04).
The league is also notable for its continuing use of wooden bats. Because it draws
top-tier college players, the level of play is often considered the equivalent of
high-A Minor League Baseball. Admission is free and refreshments are available to
purchase. Get your hot dogs and ice cold drinks here!
The Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame is worth a visit. It is located in the
"Dugout," the lower level of the John F. Kennedy Museum in Hyannis.
Visit the individual team websites for team rosters and game schedules:
Cape Cod Whale Watches
Many species of whales, including
humpbacks, spend a portion of the year at
Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary in Cape Cod Bay. Stellwagen
Bank attracts a variety of marine mammals and thousands of human visitors each year.
USA Today named it one of the world's Top 10 Whale Watching Sites.
Just as vacationers return to Cape Cod year after year, so do the whales, and frequently
you’ll see a female with her new calf. Like human children, whale calves are playful
and fun to watch. The whales are used to the whale watch boats and not bashful about
approaching or showing off their behaviors.
Humpback whales have markings on their flukes (tails) that are unique to each individual
whale and are the means by which scientists and whale watch captains identify whales
that return year after year by the hundreds. Many whales have been given names.
Find Cape Cod whale watches and other Cape Cod sightseeing tours in the
Brant Point, Nantucket
Cape Cod and the Islands are home to over 20 lighthouses, many of which are open
to the public. A visit to these historic sites can be fun, and it can also give
you a sense of the hardships of life on Cape Cod and the Islands 200 years ago.
The waters off Cape Cod have always been difficult to navigate due to the rugged
coastline, dangerous sand bars and rip tides, and too few safe harbors to enter
during a storm. Over the past 300 years, there have been more than 3,000 shipwrecks
on the Cape, mainly along the treacherous outer shore between Provincetown and Chatham,
once known as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic.”
Highland Light in Truro, pictured, is the oldest lighthouse on the Cape, built in
1797 in an effort to reduce the large number of wrecks. It was the first lighthouse
in the nation to have a flashing light. The waters off Cape Cod were filled with
ships back in the 18th and 19th century -- in one 11-day period in July 1853, Keeper
Enoch Hamilton counted 1,200 craft passing his station. As many as 600 vessels were
reportedly counted in one day in 1867.
Gay Head Lighthouse on Martha’s Vineyard features one of the most dramatic and picturesque
lighthouse locations on the Eastern Coast of the United States. With a tower height
of only 51 feet, the lighthouse is impressive in person because it is perched on
the 130-foot cliffs of red clay, providing a breathtaking view of the Vineyard Sound,
the Elizabeth Islands and the surrounding area.
- Brant Point Light – Nantucket Town
- Great Point Light – Great Point
- Sankaty Head Light - Siasconset
- West Chop Light – Vineyard Haven
- East Chop Light – Oak Bluffs
- Edgartown Light - Edgartown
- Cape Pogue Light – Chappaquiddick Island
- Gay Head Light – Aquinnah