Cape Cod will always feel like summer to us, from the abundance of fresh crab to the sandy beaches and brisk Atlantic waves. To celebrate the release of brand-new Cape Cod aerials, and to serve as some summer travel inspiration, we investigated the locals-only, hidden gem spots on Cape Cod that are well worth adding to your bucket list. From the best places to watch the sunset (yes, even on the East Coast!) to the under-the-radar hikes that will take you away from the crowds and into the heart of the Cape’s natural beauty, these places alone are worth the trip. Keep reading to see how to get off the beaten path and into nature, and browse the entire collection for more stunning aerials from this summer destination, including some of our favorite places right below (because let’s face it, even the most well-known places on the Cape are worth a visit! ).
Without further ado, here’s how to make the most of your summer on the Cape…
If you’re searching for a spectacular sunset, it’s hard to find a better spot to watch it than Monk’s Park. Stroll out onto the peninsula and watch the sun sink behind the cluster of islands in the distance. If you’re feeling ambitious, pack a picnic or grab a bottle of wine to enjoy at the nearby tables for a memorable end to the night.
Trying to escape the crowds while still enjoying a day of sand and surf? Take the one-mile hike down the sandy path leading to Bound Brook Island Beach for a secluded retreat. Our favorite spot to see the shoreline is the hill just behind the beach, which, on a clear day, offers stunning views as far as Plymouth.
Meander along this lengthy boardwalk all the way to the beach for the perfect end to an East Coast day. Keep an eye out for crabs scuttling around at low tide and for bigger marine life like seals when you reach the sand at the end of the stroll. Don’t forget bug spray though—the marshy pools attract all kinds of wildlife.
This under-visited peninsula near Wellfleet Harbor has nearly 8 miles of hiking trails, shipwrecks that emerge only at low tide, and an abundance of natural beauty. Stock up on sandwiches and drinks at the nearby market in Wellfleet and prepare for a day of exploration (without the crowds).
Our ideal day in Cape Cod? Renting bikes from a local store, cruising down the 10-mile Cape Cod Rail Trail to Cliff Pond in Nickerson State Park, and jumping in the crystal-clear water to cool off, followed by a picnic on the beach. This park is one of our absolute favorite spots in the area and it’s worthy of a full day of exploration.
Grab a bike from a local rental shop, strap on your helmet, and get ready for some of the most beautiful views along the coast as you bike on a paved trail through sand dunes, over hills, and through shaded forests. Remember to bring snacks before you hit the road, since there are no stores along the way… but if you ask us, that makes this peaceful ride even better.
Take a stroll down the winding wooden stairs to this peaceful stretch of sand. With few crowds and gorgeous sunset views, this makes an ideal getaway if you need a break from a day of activity on the Cape. Bring your favorite book and settle in for a relaxing afternoon.
Pack lunch and your beach bag and take a hike down this easy walking trail to the water. Dusk brings beautiful views and a secluded beach, making this the perfect spot to avoid crowds and soak in nature.
Butterfly-filled meadows, its own beach, hiking trails and kayaking make this retreat on Barnstable Harbor a must-visit for families or anyone looking for a natural hideaway. Visit farm animals or head out to the tidal pools to experience nature in the wild, but be sure to scope out the “million-dollar view” on Sandy Neck Barrier Beach.
Hike your way alongside the marshlands for an up close and personal look at the natural beauty of the Cape. From here, you can rent kayaks to get a different perspective, and put you in the perfect vantage point to enjoy a sunrise.
What’s on your Cape Cod must-see list?
Find even more stunning aerial shots here, and check out our travel page for more getaway inspiration.
Xx Team GM
Photos: Gray Malin