I’m currently down the Cape for a few days and thought it would be fun to do a round up of the fun and free things to do in Cape Cod since there’s so many free fun to take advantage of!
Here are some free things to do in Cape Cod, Massachusetts:
Enjoy the Cape Cod Canal
60 Ed Moffitt Drive, Sandwich, MA 02563 (Cape Cod Canal Visitor Center)
Visitor Center Hours: 10-5PM from May 1 to October 29, 2017, Recreation open year round
Discover the Cape Cod Canal with a lot of fun and recreation. Bike, walk, picnic, grill, and more along the Cape Cod Canal for some free family fun. There are multiple canal access points along both sides of the Canal and there are restrooms, picnic areas and free parking lots. For more information, please head here.
Feed the Fish at Sandwich Fish Hatchery
164 Rte 6A, Sandwich, MA 02563
Open daily from 9-3PM
Bring the little ones to the Sandwich Fish Hatchery to see and feed the fish. It is free to visit, but you may want to bring some quarters with you as it is .25 to get fish food from dispensers to feed the fish (you can’t bring your own). You may also want to bring a cup or a small container with you for the fish food too. This is a fun and quick stop for young children to feed fish in a great atmosphere, but there are no public restrooms or facilities so keep that in mind. For more information, please head here.
Visit the Woods Hole Science Aquarium
166 Water Street, Woods Hole, MA 02543
Open Tuesday-Saturday from 11-4PM year round (seal feedings at 11AM & 4PM most days)
Enjoy this small aquarium in Woods Hole with approximately 140 species of marine animals found in the Northeast and Middle Atlantic waters. Free and open to the public but donations are appreciated. Open 11-4pm Tuesday-Saturday year round. More info here.
Note: There is no parking at the Aquarium, but there are (tight) meter parking spots available in Woods Hole on side streets, but you may need to drive around a little first.
Tour the Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory
100 Breed’s Hill Road, Hyannis, MA 02601
Tour the factory of Cape Cod Potato Chips in Hyannis, MA with a self-guided tour and see how the chips are made. Tours are Monday-Friday 9-5pm and are FREE and open to the public. More info here.
Visit and Drink Cape Cod Beer
1336 Phinneys Lane, Hyannis, MA
Free tours Monday through Saturday at 11AM. Closed on Sundays. (Farmer’s Market from 3-6pm on Fridays in the summer too)
Free guided Tours Monday-Saturday at 11AM and free self-guided tours and tastings all day. Tastings are $5 for five 3oz beers, 21+ if tasting. For more information, please head here.
Bike the Cape Cod Rail Trail
Trailheads are open in Dennis and Wellfleet
Enjoy one of the best bike trails in New England with this 22-mile paved trail around lower Cape Cod. There’s also a shoulder that’s great for horseback riding, rollerblading, walking and running. Trailheads in Dennis and Wellfleet are $5 for parking for MA plates and $6 for out-of-state plates.
However, there’s free parking at The trailhead at Route 134 in South Dennis, Headwaters Drive in Harwich, Route 137 in Brewster, Orleans Center, The trailhead at LeCount Hollow Road in South Wellfleet and more spots along the way. For more information, please head here.
Climb Scargo Tower
152 Scargo Hill Road, Dennis, MA
Climb up this stone observation tower at the highest point of land on Cape Cod with views of Cape Cod Bay to Provincetown. Free. For more information, please head here.
Catch a Cape Cod Baseball League Game
Catch a baseball game during the summer months with this elite Cape Cod Baseball league. There are 10 Cape Cod teams throughout the Cape so cheer on your favorite team for free. Find the schedule here.
Visit a Lighthouse
There are a lot of Lighthouses on Cape Cod and some are free to climb and enjoy the views from. For more information about Cape Cod Lighthouses and to find the best free lighthouse for you, please head here.
Enjoy a Wildlife Sanctuary
Take a walk and enjoy one of the many wildlife sanctuaries and walking trails down the Cape Cod and the Islands. Some properties you do need to pay a small fee per person but there are some free wildlife sanctuaries as well. Most are run by either The Trustees or Mass Audubon and members of each can get in free. To find Wildlife Sanctuaries and more properties run by The Trustees, please head here. To find Wildlife Sanctuaries and more run by Mass Audubon, please head here.
Head to the Beach
With over 500 miles of coastline, Cape Cod offers so many beautiful beaches. With the exception of Cape Cod National Seashore, it is free to visit and enjoy Cape Cod beaches. However, some beaches in peak season will charge a parking fee or require a resident sticker and some lots can fill up early on busy beach days. However, there are some free options, and parking is often free in the evenings and off season.
You can also request a DCR MassParks pass at your local library that is valid for beaches run by DCR and seniors can purchase a LIFETIME pass for $10— which is a great deal if you are 62+. Also, look for National Park Days for free access to Cape Cod National Seashore!
We booked a house rental through AirBnB (my ref. link– we both get free credit if you sign up) for a few days and the house came with private beach access. Many rentals may come with beach passes to borrow so that’s another route to go if you are staying at the Cape for a few days and need a place to stay but don’t want to pay the crazy rates for houses right on the water.
To find the perfect beach for you and your needs, please head here.
Please let me know if I missed any of your favorite fun and free things to do in Cape Cod!