Planning a Cape Cod Vacation?

If you have ever been to Massachusetts during the summer or known anyone from Massachusetts, you have likely heard great things about Cape Cod. Known as a popular vacation spot for New Englanders, Cape Cod is a long narrow island off the southeast coast of Massachusetts that fills with beachgoers and tourists every weekend during the summer. I have often heard people who are not from Massachusetts do not actually find "The Cape" to be as enjoyable as do natives and I happen to agree.


One thing that Cape Cod does have going for itself is that it is naturally beautiful. Beaches surround the land and the towns that dot The Cape have a historic charm. But in my opinion, this is about all that Cape Cod has. 

I remember my first time going to The Cape a few years ago and getting stuck in terrible traffic for three hours. This was my first memory. Though one may think this is just bad luck, I assure you that this will happen almost anytime you travel to The Cape. There is a long stretch of Route 6, the only main route travelling The Cape, that is just two lanes divided by yellow cones. As tens of thousands of drivers clog this narrow roadway, traffic is sure to ensue. 

In stark contradiction to the stress caused by the congestion, many people own or rent vacation homes on The Cape because they feel that it is a relaxing place to be. Massachusetts and New England in general are known for a fast pace of life and everything moves much slower on Cape Cod. There are few activity options that are not directly related to relaxation so for people who like more active trips there is very little to do. Not to mention that it is innately not relaxing to spend a weekend on The Cape,  leaving late Friday and driving for 2 or 3 hours trying to avoid traffic and then doing the reverse on Sunday morning. 

Many people simply enjoy going to The Cape to enjoy the beaches. Cape Cod in particular is known for its dramatic tidal shifts, which I actually find to be fun to watch. But let's face it, New England beaches are cold no matter where you go. But Cape Code beaches are colder than many other nearby beaches in Rhode Island and Connecticut. In June the average water temperature is about 60 degrees!

None of this is to say that I hate Cape Cod, I do still enjoy going sometimes. After all, I am from Massachusetts. I just do not think that it deserves quite the hype that it receives as being the best vacation spot in New England. For some people, Cape Cod is really perfect, but do not let this fool you into thinking that everyone will enjoy The Cape. Before planning a vacation to The Cape explore other options to make sure that you are getting the most out of your time away from work.