Joined: 06 Dec 2006
|Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 9:05 am Post subject: Free Stuff To Do On Cape Cod
|Cape Cod has loads of neat things to do all year round, and many of them are even free. If you are a family on a tight budget, or you just want to save money, here are some great activities that you can enjoy on the Cape at no cost.
When it comes to beaches on the Cape, not all are free or open to all. Many require a prepaid sticker for parking or entry fees, and some are private or resident-only. There are beaches that you can enter free of charge and that are open to the public. Some of them are - Bass Hole Beach (Gray's Beach) in Yarmouth Port; Bank Street Beach in Harwich Port; Ridgevale Beach in Chatham; Craigville Beach in Centerville; Kalmus Beach in Hyannis; Sandy Neck Beach in West Barnstable; Mayo Beach in Wellfleet; and Nickerson Park in Brewster, which has 3 freshwater ponds in the park.
On the Cape there are loads of places to fish and it also offers you a choice of the type of angling you want to pursue - deep sea, fresh water, surf, along the canal or off of a pier. Deep sea fishing is expensive, but the others offer opportunities for fishing with no cost other than your bait and your time. A few suggestions for good free fishing spots are - along the Cape Cod Canal; Bass River Pier in Yarmouth; Schoolhouse Pond in Brewster and the Scusset Pier in Sandwich.
One of the more unique ways that towns on the Cape have used to allow people to experience the natural beauty and habitats is by building boardwalks over marshes and bogs. Kids especially seem to enjoy the opportunity to enjoy the wildlife and sea life that you can see from them. Sandwich, Brewster, Eastham, Wellfleet and Yarmouth Port all have interesting and very unique boardwalks.
HIKING & WALKING -
There are so many places on Cape Cod for hiking and walking that I could not begin to list them all. You can traipse through woods, around ponds and marshes, along the canal, or on the beach. There are some trails that can accommodate wheelchairs and some trails that are equipped so the sight-impaired can enjoy them, too. Every town on the Cape has something to offer the walking or hiking enthusiast.
If you bring your own bicycles. or are staying at lodging that provides bikes, than this can be a no cost option - and one of the most fun for a family. Two easily accessible bike trails come to mind right away - the Cape Cod Rail Trail and the Cape Cod Canal. The Cape Cod Rail Trail is a perfect example - it uses an old railroad right-of-way through the towns of Dennis, Harwich, Brewster, Orleans, Eastham and Wellfleet to create a 22-mile paved path safe for bikers to enjoy. There are few hills and well-marked crossings wherever the path intersects with roads, and the wide shoulder of the path provides space for walkers, horseback riders, and runners. Restrooms, food and beaches can be accessed from several locations along the trail as well. Along both sides of the Cape Cod Canal run 7-mile paved roadways that walkers, runners, rollerbladers, and bikers can enjoy. It can be accessed from many locations and gives bikers the opportunity to observe ships and other vessels glide through the canal on their way in to the bay or out to sea.
NATURE UP CLOSE -
Again, the Cape abounds with things to do involving nature. The National Marine Fisheries aquarium in Woods Hole is one place where everyone is encouraged to touch the specimens. There are 16 tanks with a wide-range of marine life and curious wonders from the sea to view up close and personal. The Sandwich Fish Hatchery raises trout to stock the state’s ponds. You can feed the fish if you bring quarters, so there can be a small cost. The hatchery is open year round as well. A trip to the Outer Cape would not be complete without a visit to the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. Explore the tidal flats for seashells, skate cases and other animal life at low tide, and look into the many programs that are offered, too.
For those of you who like extreme adventure, than windsurfing is for you. Even if you are not a windsurfer yourself, you may still find it fun to watch others. Good windsurfing sites are all over the Cape. Chatham alone has 6 beaches that windsurfers use. There are areas suitable for beginners and experts alike.
TOURS, MUSEUMS & HISTORICAL BUILDINGS -
Many of the historical houses on the Cape allow free entry but do request a donation. I have never had anyone pressure me to give though. Tours can be taken free of charge at the Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory in Hyannis, the Pairpoint Glassblowing Store and Factory in Sagamore, and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole. The Marine Lab requires an advance appointment, but the hour-long tours are well worth it.
There are tons of other free stuff to do on the Cape and we have just highlighted some of them. In addition you can go bird watching, participate in ranger programs, visit lighthouses, listen to story tellers, tour wineries, attend outdoor concerts, meander through old cemeteries, and climb towers. So grab the family, leave your wallet at home and enjoy some of the best deals that Cape Cod has to offer.