Free things to do in Cape Cod, they do exist…

By Contributing Writer, Alice Ross with Travelista

Cape Cod is one of the most popular summer destinations in the United States. Although visiting Cape Cod during the other time of the year would also be a fun experience, summertime offers the most diverse things to do as well as best beach weather. While the region may look small on a map, Cape Cod area consists of 15 towns and more than 559 miles of coastline, so, you can make sure that there is always a beach to explore.

Cape Cod is also known as one of the most expensive places to spend a holiday, but don’t let this put you off as there are many things to do in Cape Cod that don’t require you to spend anything.

Free Things to Do in Cape Cod

Relax at the Beach
Of course, the main reason as to why many people visit Cape Cod is because of its beautiful beaches, however, not each of them are accessible for free. A lot of the beaches here require a prepaid sticker for entrance fee or parking fee as they may own by residents or private establishments. Luckily, it’s still not hard to find beaches that you can access for free. Some of these beaches are – Bass Hole Beach (Yarmouth Port); Ridgevale Beach (Chatham); Bank Street Beach (Harwich Port); Craigville Beach (Centerville); Sandy Neck Beach (West Barnstable); Kalmus Beach (Hyannis); Nickerson Park (Brewster); and Mayo Beach (Wellfleet).

Newcomb Beach, Cape Cod
By Erin McDaniel (Erinmcd) via Wikimedia Commons

Go Fishing
Another thing that amazes me about Cape Cod is the fact that you’ll almost not run out of places to go to do fishing. The region even offers you options of what type of angling you want to do –fresh water, alongside the canal, surf, off a dock, or deep sea. Choosing deep sea fishing can be expensive, but the rest is free, except you have to get bait. Some of the best places to fish are Schoolhouse Pond (Brewster) Bass River Pier (Yarmouth); Scusset Pier (Sandwich); and Cape Cod Canal.

Hike and Wander on the Woods
There are so a lot of places on Cape Cod where you can do hiking and trekking, and I don’t even know where to start. You can trek through woods, around swamplands and ponds, or alongside the canal. You can even find trails that can put up with wheelchairs and especial trails that intended for those who have problems with their vision. Each of the towns on Cape Cod has something to offer for those who like exploring and getting lost.

Explore the Place on Two Wheels
Yes, exploring Cape Cod in your car would be easy, but exploring it on a bicycle would be a lot more fun. Bringing your own bicycle on your trip isn’t necessary as many hotels and B&Bs provide bikes to their guest for free – this is especially fun if you are visiting as a family. There are many easy trails in most towns. One of the best trails to explore is Cape Cod Rail Trail. This trail makes use of an old railroad route through the towns of Harwich, Dennis, Brewster, Eastham, Orleans, and Wellfleet to make a 22-mile concrete track safe for cyclists to enjoy. If you are looking for something a bit more challenging, you can also find some hills and well-marked crossings anywhere the path crosses with roads, and the extensive shoulder of the trail offers space for pedestrians, runners, and horseback riders.

Get Closer to Nature
Cape Cod is filled with activities which involve nature. The National Marine Fisheries Aquarium located in Woods Hole is a place where people are encouraged to interact with the specimens. You will find 16 tanks with many different marine creatures and wonders from the depths of the ocean. The Sandwich Fish Hatchery continuously raising trout to stock the ponds of the state. You are allowed to feed the fish for a quarter, so, it’s not totally free, but it’s not going to hurt your budget. Another place you should check out is the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.  Here you can explore the tidal flats for skate cases, seashells, and many different marine creatures at low tide.

Okay, renting windsurfing board and taking a lesson may cost you some money, but it doesn’t mean you will not enjoy. Watching windsurfers play with the waves of Cape Cod beaches are still a fun thing to do. There are many windsurfing spots in the region. Chatham, for example, has six beaches that are all perfect for windsurfers which are perfect for both beginners and professionals.

Visit Museums and Historical Locations 
Visiting most the historical locations on Cape Cod wouldn’t cost you anything as they are normally free, although they are open for donations. You don’t have to be pressured on giving, though. There are free tours at the Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory, the Marine Biological Laboratory, and Pairpoint Glass Works Factory. Although Marine Laboratory requires an early reservation, the hour-long tours make up for it!

Walk Along the Boardwalks
This may be the simplest, yet most satisfying things to do while on Cape Cod. You can experience the natural beauty of the region by walking through the boardwalks built over bogs and swamps. Everyone, especially kids, will enjoy their chance to get closer to wildlife while walking on these boardwalks. Brewster, Sandwich, Wellfleet, Eastham, and Yarmouth Port offer fascinating and unique boardwalks for everyone to enjoy.

Bass Hole Boardwalk - panoramio
Pintsmasher [CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

These are only eight of many free things to do on Cape Cod as we chose to simply highlight some of the ones we think you shouldn’t miss. On top of these things, you may also enjoy bird watching, lighthouse visits, joining ranger programs, visiting wineries, attending outdoor concerts, roaming around old cemeteries and a lot more.

About the Contributing Writer:  Alice Ross is a travel blogger, world adventurer, and life lover. Join her daily adventures at  or on Twitter and learn tricks and tips for a cheaper, less hassle travel journey.