The Thrifty New England Traveler is a blog of VisitingNewEngland, a web site that features real New England travel stories told by a lifelong local.

Why You Should Rent a Vacation Home on Cape Cod

Picture of Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Mass.

The picturesque harbor at Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Mass. (photo by Eric)

Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is one of the ultimate New England travel destinations to rent a vacation home.

A 70-mile stretch of vacation bliss, Cape Cod features beautiful, expansive sandy ocean beaches and scenic winding roads through charming, tree-lined small towns and villages with fine examples of stately captain’s homes. Its world-famous vacation destination status certainly didn’t happen by accident! The look and feel of Cape Cod remains in the mind long after a memorable vacation there.

Think about how nice it would be to rent a vacation home on Cape Cod. Imagine yourself beach side, dining on lobster and New England clam chowder, boating, biking, golfing, as well as strolling the quaint downtown streets of so many great Cape Cod towns. It rarely gets better than this in New England — noteworthy, given all the wonderful vacation destinations in the six-state region.

For those looking to rent a vacation home on Cape Cod, I have found that Homeaway — a vacation rental site — has the most extensive list of Cape Cod vacation rental listings that we have seen, to date.

At Cape Cod, you’ll come across some restaurants and seafood shacks with phenomenal seafood, many public golf courses, ice cream stands and miniature golf courses, public boating areas,  and a light and breezy feel that intimates a constant carefree classic summer…

Photo of New Silver Beach, North Falmouth, Mass.

New Silver Beach, North Falmouth, Mass. (photo by Eric)

On the other hand, you can also have your Cape Cod vacation more lively, especially in more commercial towns like Hyannis and Falmouth with their developed downtown districts that feature entertainment (major headliners at the Cape Cod Melody Tent in Hyannis) myriad shopping and dining opportunities, as well as several museums — including the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum (397 Main St., Hyannis, Tel 508-790-3077) that highlights his life through several exhibits. Here is an example of the busier side of Cape Cod, this scene from downtown Falmouth…

Photo of downtown Falmouth, Cape Cod, Mass.

Downtown Falmouth (photo by Eric)

Provincetown requires the most travel as it is located at the tip of the Cape. It’s certainly worth the drive as this lively town features numerous beautiful ocean beaches, as well as restaurants, galleries, specialty shops, nightclubs and cabarets galleries in the central district. And at the “elbow” of the Cape, Chatham might just be the most quintessential, charming Cape Cod town with its sleepy but interesting Main Street with lots of mom and pop shops and seafood restaurants.  Several spectacular ocean beaches grace the community.

You’ll also find a few bike trails — like the Cape Cod Canal Bike Trail and the Cape Cod Rail Trail that all scenically hug the coast. The 22-mile Cape Cod Rail Trail is especially impressive, bringing you through the picturesque Cape Cod towns of towns of Dennis, Harwich, Brewster, Orleans, Eastham and Wellfleet. In many areas, you’re close to a beach so we recommend leaving the trail to find your own special spot. The Cape Cod Canal Bike Trail, while only seven miles, is another gem that will surely get you in a Cape Cod frame of mind — particularly in the beautiful town of Sandwich

Picture of Cape Cod Canal Bike Trail

Cape Cod Canal Bike Trail, Sandwich, Mass. (photo by Eric)

And don’t forget the islands, also, which are considered part of Cape Cod: Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Martha’s Vineyard features five lighthouses and 11 beaches including Moshup Beach, East Beach, and Lighthouse Beach. Oak Bluffs, on Martha’s Vineyard, has a wonderful 19th century look and a pleasing stretch of classic Cape Cod gingerbread houses. Nantucket offers a somewhat refined, quaint, quintessential New England travel experience with historic buildings, seaside cottages, cute little mom and pop shops, galleries, boutiques and restaurants, and old-fashioned street lamps — as well as open expanses of spectacular beaches.

In the fall, winter and spring, Cape Cod becomes less crowded, thus allowing for a true, quiet getaway. Many restaurants and shops are still open given the growing year-round population of Cape Cod — and if you catch a good day, a walk on the beach feels simply amazing.  In some cases, you’ll virtually have the beach to yourself…

Picture of Scusset Beach

Scusset Beach, Bourne, Mass., in November (photo by Eric)

A vacation rental seems like a logical choice when staying on Cape Cod. First, you will more elbow room by staying in a home instead of one hotel room. Second, you have the chance to save money as vacation rentals typically cost less, say, on a weekly basis than a hotel. This is especially true if you split the cost amongst family and friends as opposed to booking several hotel rooms. Plus, most vacation rentals have full kitchens, so you’ll have the opportunity to cook more, thus saving additional money.

Where would we stay if renting a vacation home on Cape Cod? I think it would be either Orleans, Eastham, Welfleet or Truro  — quiet communities along the Cape Cod National Seashore Park, a 40-mile stretch of expansive beaches and myriad dunes. It’s a beautiful area, one that I know makes my jaw virtually drop open, each and every time…

Photo of moon above Coast Guard Beach at Cape Cod National Seashore

The moon above Coast Guard Beach at Cape Cod National Seashore (photo by Eric)

We hope you consider renting a vacation home on Cape Cod, it’s truly a special area! We’ll leave you with one more image, this one in quaint downtown Chatham…

Photo of Downtown Chatham, Cape Cod, Mass.

Downtown Chatham (photo by Eric)

More Cape Cod articles:
Visiting a self-serve dog wash in Dennisport
How to vacation in Nantucket on a budget
Mexican restaurant in Orleans spicing up Cape Cod restaurant scene
Finding affordable Cape Cod beach lodging
Chatham Candy Manor is one sweet place
Taking in a Cape Cod Baseball League game
Visiting beautiful Chatham

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Long Sands Beach 8X10 unframed photo print

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Twilight at Sohier Park unframed photo print

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