Top 5 Summer Activities

By Andy Tomolonis

We’ve compiled this “sand-bucket list” of five fun things to do in and near Yarmouth – from beach walks to bike rides to meals on railroad wheels. Start your summer vacation with a few of these ideas, and the sizzling memories will keep you warm until next summer.

Shore delights:

Yarmouth’s beautiful beaches beckon long past Labor Day, with white sand, spectacular scenery, and warm Nantucket Sound waters (slightly cooler on the Cape Cod Bay side). Bare-footers take note: the sand is cooler in late August and September so you can wriggle your toes in comfort. After Labor Day there are no lifeguards, which means you’ll need to watch the children carefully. But regulations also ease up in the fall, allowing for dogs on leashes. Please be courteous and clean up after your pup (think about those bare-footers). Find more information about fresh- and salt-water beaches on the Chamber’s website:  https://www.yarmouthcapecod.com/scenic-yarmouth/beaches/

Sand Sculpture Trail:

Like sand? How about art? Then take a tour of the nation’s largest Sand Sculpture Trail, done by Fitzysnowman’s Studios. Grab a map of the trail at the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, the Route 6 Visitor Center, or download one from the website. And remember to take pictures at your favorite sculpture. The Chamber’s photo contest is still open through Labor Day, and you could win great prizes from local merchants. Learn more at https://www.yarmouthcapecod.com/sand-sculpture-trail-photo-contest/

Inflate your spirit:

Cape Cod Inflatable Park – along with its adjoining Challenge Zone obstacle course and H20 waterpark. Tame Pavlin the Bull, stick yourself to the Castle Wall or try the Triple Bungee. Too old for trapezes, wrecking balls and slam dunks? That’s OK. Parents who want to do nothing but relax, while the kids bounce from ride to ride are admitted free to the Challenge Zone and Inflatable Park. Check the website for information on rides, parking, food, lodgings and prices. https://capecodinflatablepark.com/

Pedal the Rail Trail:

The iconic Cape Cod Rail Trail – a favorite spot for cycling, jogging, strolling, and rollerblading – extends all the way to West Yarmouth. Put your pedals to the mettle with a long ride from Higgins Crowell Road to Lecount Hollow Road in Wellfleet (and back, whew!) … or take it easy with the kids on a shorter section. The Rail Trail course is generally level and smooth, which makes for easy riding, running, or rolling. The new section includes three bridges – one spanning Route 134 in South Dennis, another stretching across Station Avenue in South Yarmouth, and the George Allaire Bridge over Bass River and into Dennis. Find more info at the Cape Cod Rail Trail website: https://www.capecodbikeguide.com/railtrail.asp

Dine on the Rails:

Hungry for scenery? Board the Cape Cod Dinner Train in the neighboring town of Hyannis for a five-course meal and a three-hour evening ride through cranberry bogs, marshes, woodlands and quaint Cape Cod villages. Along with the scenery, history, and old-fashioned charm, guests will listen to romantic music by candlelight and dine on a sumptuous meal. There’s also a brunch and luncheon trains, along with scenic (non-dining) tours. Find more information about the dinner train and other rail rides at https://www.capetrain.com/.

Andy Tomolonis is a nonfiction author, travel writer and freelance journalist.

Things to Do with Kids on Cape Cod

man and woman with two children in beach attire

You’re planning a vacation on Cape Cod with the whole family, but other than spending time on the beach, you’re not sure how you’re going to pass the time. Your kids want to stay plugged into their devices. You want to focus on family time and creating memories to last a lifetime.

First, book a stay in Yarmouth, MA for convenient access to activities throughout the Cape. Then check out our list of fun things to do when you are visiting Cape Cod with children of any age.

1. Explore the area by land or sea

With water water everywhere, you can enjoy a nautical adventure with a sightseeing cruise or a ferry to one of the nearby islands. Or take a drive through quaint towns and villages–an opportunity to encourage younger ones to take a nap while you soak in some of the picturesque views.

2. Go whale watching

cruise ship on the ocean

Seeing whales in their natural habitat is awe-inspiring. While there’s no guarantee how many whales you will see on your excursion, the boat ride alone will take a significant part of your day. Whale watching trips are generally close to four hours, and you’ll want to leave yourself enough time beforehand for boarding.

3. Reel them in with some fishing

fishing on the jetty

The variety of water bodies on Cape Cod provide a wide range of fishing options. Search out a lake, pond, or riverside fishing hole or take to the high seas for a day of trawling on the open waters. Even if you prefer catch-and-release, a day spent fishing teaches patience and persistence. Plus, it can give you time to slow down, relax, and talk with your kids about anything, everything, or nothing it all.

4. Get out

Burn off some energy with outdoor adventures. Take in the scenery biking, kayaking, sailing or taking a trek on the dunes. Let the kids take the wheel on a go-kart track or cool off at the water park.

5. Play a round or two

golf course on a sunny day

On Cape Cod, you’ll find expertly designed golf courses of all sizes. Not only can you take the whole family mini golfing on a putt-putt course, but you can play 9 or 18 holes with your older children on links with incredible scenic views.

6. Step back in time

Explore Cape Cod’s rich history and culture at a variety of museums and historical centers. Visit the homes of notable literary figures, check out sites that recreate the region’s legends and lore, and give your children an education without their even realizing it.

7. Indulge in a sweet treat

hand holding ice cream cone

Regardless of how else you spend the day taking a break for ice cream makes everything a little sweeter. Treat the kids to an afternoon snack or delicious dessert. Or, for teens who sleep in all morning, surprise them with ice cream for a late breakfast. It’s sure to create memories they’ll hang on to for years to come.

8. Cheer for the home team

No tickets are needed to turn out to root for your favorite Cape Cod Baseball League players. Bring the whole family to watch some of the best collegiate players take to the diamond. You never know when you’ll see a future phenom, like former Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale.

9. Spend time on the beach

beach chair and umbrella in the sand

Yes, this one is kind of obvious, but it’s an essential part of a stay on Cape Cod. There are so many beautiful beaches with options on both the bay and ocean sides. Not only can you go swimming, but you can walk or play along the water’s edge or just listen to the waves going in and out. Teaching your children how to unplug and just live in the moment is an important lesson for the years ahead.

Kids grow from toddlers to teens all too fast. But with our suggestion of ways to entertain your family on the Cape, you’re sure to find plenty of reasons to keep coming back year after year. If you are looking for more general ideas, more than just kids take a look at our other list of Things to Do on Cape Cod for inspiration!

Biking in Yarmouth Cap Cod

bicycle in the forest

What do you ride for? When you put your foot on the pedal, kick up the kickstand, and push off, what do you ride for? Is it the joy of the outdoors? The thrill of exploring new turf? The pleasure of spending quality time? Well, with whatever purpose you ride, you ought to be prepared. Biking is one of the many great things to do in Yarmouth, and we’ve compiled all the info you need for bike riding in Yarmouth.

Where to Ride

Yarmouth is home to many bike trails running through differing terrains and scenery. The Cape Cod Rail Trail currently spans 27.5 miles, with plans to extend even further. Starting in Yarmouth and ending in Wellfleet, the paved road follows an old freight rail that was in operation until 1960. The route passes through beautiful landscapes and various points of interest.

Bud Carter Conservation area

You can also take bikes into permitted areas in Yarmouth’s many conservation areas, like the Bud Carter Conservation Area. Bud Carter is home to Yarmouth’s highest point, 118 feet above sea level.

Whether you’re riding along the beach, the town, or a designated trail, you can be sure that you’ve never taken a bike ride like you’ve taken in Yarmouth.

What to Ride

bicycle in the forest

If you didn’t pack your own ride, you’re gonna need some wheels. The bike you’ll need depends on where you want to go and what you want to do. If you’re looking to travail the dirt trails around the lakes and conservation areas, you’ll want a mountain bike or something with fatter tires. If you’re riding along a paved road, a road bike might just do. If you’re taking a scenic ride around the beach with a pal, you might just be fixing for a tandem bike—or not. The good folks at Bike Zone in South Yarmouth off Route 6 or Barbara’s Bike Shop in South Dennis near the Bass River, will fix you up with the perfect ride and send you off with all the equipment you’ll need.

How to Ride

Before you push off, there’s a few key things you should know about the biking laws in Massachusetts. Follow these rules and regulations to keep yourself and others safe from harm:Cyclists are required to obey all local and state traffic laws and regulations

  • Cyclists are required to obey all local and state traffic laws and regulations
  • All cyclists under 16 must wear a helmet
  • Verbally alert other cyclists and pedestrians when passing
  • Use hand signals to let others know you plan to turn or stop
  • You may not park your bike on a street, road, bikeway, or sidewalk where it will be in the way of others

Click here for more information about Massachusetts biking laws.

Now you have all the resources and information you need for bicycling in Yarmouth. Get on your bikes and ride!

Top 5 Best of Yarmouth: Walks & Hikes

Bud Carter Conservation area

Gray's Beach

Gray’s Beach

One of the best ways to appreciate the nature and history of Yarmouth is enjoying a walk down one of our historical lanes or hiking on one of our nature trails. On foot, you have the time to enjoy the natural beauty of the seashore, marshes, botanical trails, or the 18th and 19th century architecture of the sea captain’s homes and the churches that are linked to the founding of the town.

No matter the time of year, we all want to get outside and enjoy Cape Cod’s salty air with a nice walk. Lucky for us, Yarmouth has many beautiful hiking paths on Conservation Land, sidewalks for strolling, and a great stretch of shoreline for those seaside walks. Here are our favorites!

By Cindi Griffin, Cape Interactive Media

Botanical Trails

Botanical Trails

#1 The Botanical Trails at the Historical Society of Yarmouth

A favorite walk among residents of Yarmouth is hidden just behind the Yarmouth Port Post Office off of Route 6A. The Botanical Trails, or Nature Trails, of the Historical Society of Yarmouth, boast a nature lovers dream of plants and tree specimens that add a bit of variety to a traditional walk through the woods. If you’re a first timer, this is one walk worth taking with the Trail Map and Nature Trail Guide so you can see where you are, and know when to stop and look for notable flora, fauna and geological points of interest. You can pick up the guide at the gatehouse at the beginning of the trail and, no matter the time of year, it’s a good idea to apply your bug repellent. The trail winds around Miller Pond, one of Cape Cod’s many kettle ponds formed by glacial ice deposits, and has some variety of terrain that is great for sure-footed adults and older children.

At the end of the trail you’ll see the lovely little Kelley Chapel, a non-denominational chapel built in 1873 and donated to the Historical Society in 1960 when it was moved from the Georgetown area along Bass River in South Yarmouth. Kelley Chapel is available mid-spring through December for special events and weddings.

Gray's Beach

Gray’s Beach

#2 The Callery-Darling Conservation Trails at Gray’s Beach

The Callery-Darling trails that wind through the marshes of Yarmouth Port, have some of the best payoffs of any hike in the Mid-Cape area. Follow the trail that takes you through the Center Street Marshes (entrance located on west side of the road), and you’ll find a whimsical old fashioned swing, and a spectacular view of Barnstable’s Sandy Neck. On the east side, the trails wind through the Chase Garden Creek Marsh, with views overlooking the Grey’s Beach and Chapin Memorial Beach in Dennis. MAP/GUIDE.

Captains' Mile

Captains’ Mile

#3 The Captains’ Mile

Getting to know the historical significance of the Old King’s Highway and it’s early residents, with a nice stroll along the “Captains’ Mile” on Route 6A in Yarmouth Port. MAP/GUIDEThe black and gold relief carved plaques featuring a schooner ship signify each captain’s home on the Captains’ Mile, which are now mainly private residents. To see inside, visit the Captain Bangs Hallet House at 11 Strawberry Lane on the north side of the village green. If you’re into supernatural history, you can also download the Ghosts, Myths and Legends guide to accompany you on your tour. GUIDE.

#4 Old South Yarmouth and Bass River Village Walking Tour

On the south side of Yarmouth is another historical walking tour through Bass River Village. On top of the Greek Revival architecture we see so prominently on the north side, there are homes with charming Victorian and Italianate flourishes and a history in keeping with Yarmouth’s seafaring founders. MAP/GUIDE.

Crab Creek

Crab Creek

 

Bass River Beach

Bass River Beach

#5 South Shore Drive

One of the longest stretches of shoreline (about 1.3 miles) in Yarmouth runs from Bass River Beach (aka “Smuggler’s Beach”) along South Shore Drive to Thacher Park Beach. Lined with oceanfront hotels, beach cottages, private residences, public and resident-only beaches, South Shore Drive also has a sidewalk that’s perfect for walkers and joggers who want to take in the fresh ocean breeze. Those interested in a longer walk, can park at the Bass River Beach lot (see in season fees) and walk the beach, with several options to double-back and return up to the paved sidewalk via South Middle Beach, Parker’s River Beach, Seaview Beach or Thacher Park Beach, which is quite convenient since the beautiful soft sand of the Nantucket Sound beaches are a little more difficult for running and walking than you might expect. If you want an even longer walk, keep following the sidewalk past Bass River Beach down South Street, which also connects to Old Main Street. Along the way, you’ll enjoy seeing many beautiful homes, gardens and points of interest. If you work up an appetite, there’s a new gelateria, Caffe Gelato Bertini, next to the Great Island Bakery on South Street, and the Skipper Restaurant and Chowder House, which also serves ice cream, on South Shore Drive.

Things to do in Yarmouth, Cape Cod

There are plenty of “THINGS TO DO” to keep you busy here in Yarmouth and on Cape Cod!
Click the links below for a complete listing.

FREE ACTIVITIES in Yarmouth

From hiking trails to visiting cranberry bogs, Yarmouth has a variety of free activities to do. Browse our list of free activities in Yarmouth below.Free Activities in Yarmouth, MA

MUST-SEE PLACES in Yarmouth Cape Cod

Yarmouth boasts many historic and scenic attractions. Checkout our list of must-see places below:

Must See Places List in Yarmouth, MA

FAMILY ACTIVITIES in Yarmouth Cape Cod

Are you looking for things to do in Cape Cod with your family? Yarmouth offers many fun activities for you and your loved ones to enjoy! Browse our list below for details or also see our list of things to do with kids on Cape Cod

Family Activities List in Yarmouth, MA

RAINY DAY ACTIVITIES ON CAPE COD

When Mother Nature disrupts your beach plans, having a rainy-day activity in your back pocket is a must! Checkout our list below for fun things to do in Yarmouth when it is raining.

Rainy Day Activities List in Yarmouth, MA