Down on Cape Cod, the preppy, old-school beach resort peninsula, it’s all about the sea creatures. Tourists visit the Cape to see the local fauna at play – whales, Kennedys, clams, NBC News anchors.
WHAT TO DO
If you don’t spot any actual Kennedys in Hyannis, the town’s JFK Museum is the next best thing. Other unique museums abound, including the many kid-friendly, world-class sea-and-study spots in Woods Hole. (Notably, the Marine Biological Laboratory, the Oceanographic Institution, and the Science Aquarium.) Then there’s Hyannis’ Toad Hall, a private collection of classic sportscars, all of them red.
Spend some time sailing, and no, riding the ferry to Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard doesn’t count. Why not charter a day trip or evening fete on Falmouth’s Liberté, a 74-foot schooner, with a full bar and room for dozens of guests?
WHERE TO STAY
Luxury lodging is easy to find, from the Bayside Resort in West Yarmouth, which features golf packages and nightly bonfires, to the newish Winnetu Oceanside Resort, where you can play life-size outdoor chess, in exclusive Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard.
WHAT TO EAT AND DRINK
Fine dining? Well… hope you like seafood. Sure, visit one of the ubiquitous Black Dog outposts (the original is in Vineyard Haven, on Martha’s Vineyard); it’s one of those places where everyone stops and buys a T-shirt just to say they’ve been there. For more formal fare, there’s the Regatta in Cotuit, a romantic eatery described as a “foodies’ delight” in a 220-year-old mansion, or the Straight Wharf Restaurant in Nantucket, where John Kerry has been known to dine, and which is known for creative seafood offerings like smoked bluefish paté. For the authentic New England clam shack experience, try Mac’s Seafood in Wellfleet, one of the Cape’s few bivalve bistros that actually offers beachfront dining and a spectacular sunset.
You may not think of Cape Cod as wine country, but there are wineries there, including Truro Vineyards (in Truro) and Cape Cod Winery in East Falmouth, both offering tours and tastings.
HOW TO WIND DOWN
Finish off the evening at the Wellfleet Drive-In, one of the last drive-in movie theaters operating in America.