Lower Cape Travel Guide

Discover the best things to do, see, and eat in Lower Cape, Massachusetts. Learn about the cultural and natural attractions, food and drink scene, accommodations, local culture, safety tips, and transportation options in this comprehensive travel guide.

Introduction to Lower Cape

Lower Cape is a beautiful region located in Cape Cod, a peninsula in Massachusetts, United States of America. It is a popular tourist destination, known for its stunning beaches, diverse wildlife, charming towns, and vibrant culture. Lower Cape includes the towns of Brewster, Orleans, Eastham, Harwich, and Chatham, each with their unique offerings and attractions.

List of Places to Visit in Lower Cape

Here’s a list of the top places to visit in Lower Cape:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Cape Cod Museum of Natural History

The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History is a popular attraction among nature lovers. It features exhibits on local flora and fauna and offers educational programs on environmental conservation and sustainability.

Chatham Marconi Maritime Center

The Chatham Marconi Maritime Center is a museum dedicated to the history of wireless communication and radio technology. It features interactive exhibits and displays that showcase the role of Marconi in the invention of wireless communication.

Atwood House and Museum

The Atwood House and Museum is a restored 1752 family home, now turned museum. It features exhibits on the historic life, culture, and architecture of the region. It also showcases the works of famous local artists.

Natural Attractions of Lower Cape: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Cape Cod National Seashore

The Cape Cod National Seashore is one of the most beautiful natural attractions of Lower Cape. It features 40 miles of pristine beaches, marshes, ponds, and dunes. Visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, fishing, and wildlife watching.

Nickerson State Park

Nickerson State Park is a popular camping and recreation spot, known for its freshwater ponds, woodlands, and trails. Visitors can enjoy swimming, fishing, boating, and picnicking, among other activities.

Monomoy Island Wildlife Refuge

The Monomoy Island Wildlife Refuge is a protected area that serves as a sanctuary for migratory birds, marine mammals, fish, and other wildlife. Visitors can explore the island’s beautiful beaches, dunes, and tidal flats.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Lower Cape

Lower Cape is a great region for hiking and biking enthusiasts. Here are some of the best trails in the area:

Cape Cod Rail Trail

The Cape Cod Rail Trail is a 25-mile trail that runs along the former railroad tracks of Cape Cod. It features stunning views of forests, marshes, and cranberry bogs.

Nickerson State Park Trails

Nickerson State Park has over 8 miles of trails, including the Red Maple Swamp Trail and the Beech Forest Trail. These trails showcase the park’s stunning natural beauty and wildlife.

Fort Hill Trail

The Fort Hill Trail is a one-mile loop trail located in the Cape Cod National Seashore. It features stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and surrounding hills.

Best Things to Do in Lower Cape: Activities and Tours

With an array of activities to choose from, Lower Cape has something for everyone. Here are some of the best things to do in the region:

Whale Watching Tour

Whale watching is a popular activity in Lower Cape, and there are several tour companies that offer these excursions. Visitors can see humpback, fin, and minke whales, as well as dolphins and seals.

Beach Day

With miles of beaches to choose from, Lower Cape is a great spot to spend a day in the sun and sand. Some beaches to visit include Nauset Beach, Chatham Lighthouse Beach, and Corporation Beach.

Sunset Sail

A sunset sail is a great way to see the region’s stunning coastline from a different perspective. Several companies offer sunset sailing tours along the Cape Cod Bay and the Nantucket Sound.

Week-Long Itinerary for Lower Cape

If you have a whole week in Lower Cape, here’s a suggested itinerary:

Day 1: Visit the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History and the nearby Brewster beaches.

Day 2: Explore the historic town of Chatham, including Chatham Lighthouse Beach and the Chatham Marconi Maritime Center.

Day 3: Hike the Red Maple Swamp Trail in Nickerson State Park and catch a sunset at Rock Harbor.

Day 4: Take a whale watching tour in the morning and visit the Atwood House and Museum in the afternoon.

Day 5: Spend a day at the Cape Cod National Seashore, including a hike on the Fort Hill Trail and a swim at Nauset Beach.

Day 6: Visit the Monomoy Island Wildlife Refuge and have a picnic lunch on Morris Island.

Day 7: Take a sunset sailing tour in the Nantucket Sound and enjoy a seafood dinner in Harwich Port.

Food and Drink Scene of Lower Cape

Lower Cape is known for its fresh seafood and farm-to-table cuisine. Here are some of the must-try dishes and local beverages:

Must-Try Dishes

Lobster Roll

A lobster roll is a classic New England dish that you must try while in Lower Cape. It typically features a toasted brioche bun, fresh lobster meat, and melted butter.

Clam Chowder

Clam chowder is another New England classic, and Lower Cape offers some of the best versions of this dish. It usually features a creamy base, potatoes, and chopped clams.


Lower Cape is home to some of the best fresh oysters in the region. Some popular spots to try oysters include the Chatham Pier Fish Market and the Brewster Fish House.

Local Beverages

Cape Cod Beer

Cape Cod Beer is a local brewery that offers a range of craft beers, including IPAs, stouts, and pale ales. They also offer brewery tours and tastings.

Truro Vineyards

Truro Vineyards is a local winery that produces a range of red, white, and rose wines. Visitors can book a tour of the vineyards and schedule a wine tasting.

Where to Stay in Lower Cape: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Lower Cape has an array of accommodations to choose from, including hotels, hostels, and guesthouses. Here are some popular options:

Chatham Bars Inn:

Located in Chatham, this elegant hotel offers luxurious accommodations with stunning ocean views. It features a private beach, a pool, and several dining options.

Hostelling International Eastham:

This hostel in Eastham offers affordable accommodations for budget travelers. It features shared dorm rooms and private rooms, as well as a communal kitchen and lounge area.

The Southfleet Motor Inn:

Located in Orleans, this family-friendly inn offers comfortable accommodations with outdoor barbecue grills and picnic tables, a heated pool, and an easy access to the Cape Cod Rail Trail.

What to Buy in Lower Cape: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Lower Cape is known for its charming boutiques and locally made products. Here are some popular souvenirs and local products to bring home.

Cape Cod Potato Chips

Cape Cod Potato Chips is a popular snack brand that’s based in Lower Cape. These chips are known for their kettle-cooked crunch and unique flavors.

Handmade Art and Crafts

Lower Cape is home to several artists and crafters who produce unique handmade products. Some popular items to check out include pottery, jewelry, and wooden crafts.

Local Culture and Customs of Lower Cape

Lower Cape has a rich cultural history and unique customs. The local culture is influenced by the region’s maritime heritage, French settlers, and Native American tribes. Visitors should be respectful of local customs, such as dressing modestly in places of worship and being mindful of noise levels in residential areas.

Best Time to Visit Lower Cape

The best time to visit Lower Cape is between May and October when the weather is warm, and the region is bustling with activities and events. However, visitors can still enjoy the region’s natural beauty and charm in the off-season, when crowds are thinner, and prices are lower.

Do’s and Don’ts of Lower Cape

Here are some do’s and don’ts for visitors to Lower Cape:


  • Explore the region’s natural beauty by hiking, biking, or kayaking.
  • Support local businesses and farmers by buying locally made products and dining at farm-to-table restaurants.
  • Visit the historic attractions and museums to learn about the region’s rich cultural history.


  • Litter or disturb the natural habitats of wildlife.
  • Ignore local customs and traditions.
  • Be disrespectful to the region’s residents or fellow visitors.

Safety and Health

Visitors to Lower Cape should take some precautions to ensure a safe and healthy trip.

Safety in Lower Cape

Lower Cape is a relatively safe region, but visitors should still be aware of their surroundings and take appropriate precautions. They should avoid leaving valuables in parked cars, lock their hotel room doors, and be mindful of their personal belongings in crowded areas.

Health in Lower Cape

Visitors to Lower Cape should protect themselves from tick-borne illnesses by wearing insect repellent, checking themselves carefully for ticks after spending time outdoors, and seeking medical attention promptly if they notice any symptoms of tick-borne illnesses.

Getting to Lower Cape: Transportation Options and Logistics

Lower Cape is easily accessible from several major cities on the East Coast. Here are some transportation options:

Airports Near Lower Cape

The closest airports to Lower Cape are Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) and T. F. Green Airport (PVD) in Providence, Rhode Island.

Bus Stations Near Lower Cape

The closest bus station to Lower Cape is located in Hyannis, where visitors can take buses to other parts of the Cape Cod region and Boston.

Other Options

Other transportation options in Lower Cape include rental cars, taxis, and ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.

How to Get Around in Lower Cape

Lower Cape can be explored by car, bike, or on foot. There are several rental car companies located in the region, and visitors can also rent bikes from local bike shops or bring their own.

Where to Go Next from Lower Cape: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

If you have more time to explore the region, here are some nearby destinations and excursions to consider:

Martha’s Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard is a beautiful island located off the coast of Massachusetts. It’s known for its stunning beaches, quaint towns, and relaxed atmosphere. Visitors can take a ferry from Woods Hole, a village in Falmouth located about 30 minutes from Lower Cape.


Provincetown is a popular tourist destination located at the tip of Cape Cod. It’s known for its vibrant LGBTQ+ community, art galleries, and theaters. Visitors can take a ferry or drive from Lower Cape to Provincetown.


Lower Cape is a stunning region that offers something for everyone, from its beaches and natural beauty to its museums, art galleries, and delicious food. This comprehensive travel guide will help you plan your next trip to Lower Cape, Massachusetts, and make the most of your stay.