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Vacationing Responsibly & Safely On the Cape & Islands

Jennie Sparrow | 5/26/2020 (updated 7/8/2020)

Nothing says summer like sunny days spent on the beaches of the Cape and Islands. The sand, the surf, the . . . face masks? This summer will be a bit different from what everyone is used to. Yes, you can still head to your favorite beach, although there will be restrictions, and you can still enjoy delicious seafood from your favorite restaurant, but it will most likely be takeout only. But by vacationing responsibly and respectfully, you will still be able to enjoy summer days in your “happy place.”

Even though summer is here and we’re on vacation, it’s important to remember the virus is not on vacation. Many safety measures have been implemented, and it’s up to all of us (we’re all #inthistogether, right?) to respect the guidelines. Let’s work together to ensure a fun, healthy summer for all as we move towards fewer restrictions.

We’ve compiled a list of things to consider before you arrive to help make your trip as enjoyable and stress-free as possible:


Shop for supplies BEFORE you cross the bridge

Just like elsewhere in the country, there is limited capacity at grocery stores, and with the summer population blooming on the Cape & Islands, wait times to get in and to shop will be long. Why waste time waiting in line at a grocery store? Shop before you arrive so you can enjoy every minute outdoors!

Bring entertainment with you

Sadly, nearly all summer events have been canceled, and theaters and cinemas are closed. Be sure to bring plenty of books, board games, playing cards, and puzzles. Maybe bring a projector, if you can find one, to watch a movie in your backyard! Does your rental home have a firepit or grill? Then don’t forget s’mores ingredients. That’s a fun activity for all ages!

Expect delays and limited menus at restaurants

Cape and Islands restaurants are working hard to operate within new guidelines. Be sure to research how they are operating. (Are they taking phone orders? Do you pay online? Do they only accept cash?) There will be delays, as this is a new way of life for everyone, and local business owners are trying their best to make things as seamless as possible, . . . please be kind, patient, and informed!

Remember your mask

We’ve all seen the signs indicating “No shirt, no shoes, no business.” Well, add “masks” to that list. Nowadays, businesses have the right to refuse entry if you are not wearing a mask. Masks are also required at all Massachusetts beaches when social distancing is not possible (except when swimming), as well as other areas where socially distancing is difficult (i.e., stores, bike paths, hikes, and other outdoor spaces). Massachusetts state beach FAQs found here.

Bring extra supplies with you

Homeowners are following required guidelines for sanitizing the home prior to your arrival, and they will likely be leaving additional cleaning and disinfecting agents for you to use during your stay. But you should bring your own personal protection items such as masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer.


Beach access will be limited, so consider other outdoor activities

Local beaches will be open, but many parking lots will be limited to half capacity. Town beach information found here.

If you find yourself in need of fresh air and can’t get into a beach, consider biking the 25-mile Cape Cod Rail Trail, hiking one of the many gorgeous trails in the area, or spending an evening at the Wellfleet Drive-In (*We suggest you check to see if you need to make an advanced drive-in ticket purchase before going!)


Order in!

Arrange to have a local catering service deliver a meal or prepare the meal for you right at your home. You can’t get more Cape Cod than a clambake in your own backyard! Here are a few we recommend: Cape Cod Chef On Call and Backside Bakes

Do the research before you arrive

Safety protocols are now in place and will be constantly changing and evolving. Check in on our Covid-19 FAQ page and local town chamber websites to get updates, and be sure to do your homework on the status of your favorite restaurants, beaches and stores. “Know before you go!”

Lastly, please be considerate of those around you

We’ve all been housebound for a long time and some tempers are short, but we ALL want to enjoy summer. Try to remember to be present and in the moment—lift your face to the sun and deeply inhale that salt air. You are HERE on the Cape and Islands—enjoy!

For more in-depth information, please visit the Cape Cod Reopening Task Force's website.

Now, more than ever, people want direct communication with the owners of the homes where they are about to stay. When you rent a home through, you get that exact access to homeowners so, even before you book the home, you can ask questions and feel comfortable that the home and setting are right for you. is a family owned and operated business and has been listing homes for over 20 years. We look forward to welcoming your family to the Cape and Islands.