If you’re planning a trip to the Cape, and are wondering what the best towns to stay in on Cape Cod are, you’ve come to the right place! I’ve been traveling to this region for over 10 years now, and really know the best towns to suggest to travelers based on their preferences and plans.
Cape Cod is home to 15 different towns, some of which have their own villages. While many of them are similar, some of them have a distinct vibe to them, or are in a great location, making each town an ideal place for different types of travelers. In this post, I’ll give you a general guide to the towns on the Cape, and break down my suggestions on where to stay on Cape Cod based on what type of trip you’re looking to have.
With that, let’s get into it!
General Guide To The Towns Of Cape Cod
First, I should start by saying that there’s no bad town to stay in on Cape Cod. While some towns are more ideal than others for a variety of different reasons, all the towns on Cape Cod will provide a wonderful vacation. But, that said, most people stick to certain regions if you’re vacationing on the Cape because of accessibility to beaches and charming downtowns.
The best things to ask yourself to help you decide is, what kind of vacation are you looking to have? Easiest access to the best beaches? Nightlife? A good mix of everything (shopping, dining, beaches, sightseeing)? A family-friendly town? This will be the easiest way to help you decide.
One thing that’s important to know is that Cape Cod towns are organized by region, and it can be a bit confusing. I’ve drawn up a map for you to help you visualize where each town is, as well as which region it falls into.
Pro Tip: If you’re trying to decide where to stay based on beaches, there are three bodies of water surrounding Cape Cod:
Atlantic Ocean, which is known for colder water and often has bigger waves and longer stretches of sand. The Cape Cod National Seashore beaches are all along the Atlantic side. Race Point and Herring Cove provide beautiful sunsets.
Cape Cod Bay, which has warmer and calmer water, and really awesome sunsets. Also known for its extreme low tide.
Nantucket Sound, also known for warmer and calm water.
All of them are ocean beaches, but it’s just a matter of which type of water you like. I enjoy visiting all three of them for different reasons during my stays.
Map Of Cape Cod Towns & Regions
A Quick Guide To Each Cape Cod Town
Bourne: One of the easiest towns to get to, and the closest to the mainland. Bourne is a nice town to stay in, but it’s one of the least popular simply because it’s very far from the rest of Cape Cod, and the local beaches aren’t as impressive. You likely won’t find a strong “Cape Cod” vibe in Bourne, but if you’re looking for convenience as far as a shorter drive, it can’t be beat. I do recommend going further into the Cape, though.
Hyannis & Mashpee: These two towns are the most commercialized and residential. Hyannis, while made famous by the Kennedys, is a fun town to explore, but I don’t usually recommend you stay here. It’s where you’ll find the mall, a ferry terminal and a downtown area with shops and restaurants. There are some great restaurants in Hyannis, but it doesn’t feel as Cape Cod-y as other towns.
Mashpee is very residential, and will likely feel more like the town you live in. You’ll find another shopping plaza with chain stores and restaurants. This is also a nice town to visit if you’d like to do some shopping, but not the best place to stay for a vacation. Mashpee does, however, have some nice beaches.
Falmouth: I really enjoy Falmouth, and I personally recommend it for shorter stays, but not if you’re visiting for longer than a weekend. Falmouth is a great Cape Cod destination for a few days, but because it’s so far from the rest of Cape Cod, it’s not necessarily ideal for longer stays because you’ll likely want to explore the rest of the Cape, and you’ll be doing a lot of driving. But it’s great for a weekend visit. This is just my opinion – I know people who love to stay in Falmouth for a week or so at a time.
Falmouth has a very nice downtown and Main Street with awesome shops and restaurants, great beaches and lots of things to do. This is also a nice place to stay if you’re looking for easy ferry access to Martha’s Vineyard.
Sandwich: I love Sandwich! It falls into a similar category as Falmouth, in that it’s simply far from the rest of the Cape. But, that said, it has some stunning beaches (I prefer them over Falmouth beaches, personally), a gorgeous boardwalk over salt marshes, tons of history since it’s the oldest town on the Cape, and some really lovely shops and restaurants.
It does have a small town center, but things are more spread out. If you want to explore the National Seashore and Outer Cape, you’ll be doing a lot of driving. During a longer stay, I recommend visiting Sandwich for the day.
Barnstable: Barnstable encompasses a few other towns, including Hyannis, which I already talked about, but wanted to mention it separately because I often get asked if Hyannis is a good place to stay. Other towns in Barnstable that are popular are Osterville and Centerville. These are all more laid back towns with nice beaches and a relaxed feel. Osterville and Centerville aren’t usually towns I recommend to stay in, simply because they’re also a bit further from the rest of the Cape.
There are some nice beaches in these areas (including Craigville Beach, which is very popular), but I still think it’s worth it to go further into the Cape.
Yarmouth & Dennis: Dennis and Yarmouth are typically some of the more affordable towns that are centrally-located. In fact, I often stay in Dennis for my week-long stays because I find the rental prices to be the most competitive. Dennis and Yarmouth both have really nice town beaches on both the Bay and Nantucket Sound side, plenty of restaurants and some nice shops to explore. Outer Cape towns and beaches will be a bit of a drive, but still accessible, especially compared to upper Cape towns.
Brewster: Brewster sits along the Cape Cod Bay side and has some really spectacular sunset beaches. It’s also home to the Brewster Flats, which extend out about a mile at low tide. Brewster has some nice shops and restaurants, but is more spread out and doesn’t have a big downtown feel. It also has a very laid back vibe and an awesome general store. I know a few people people who always stay in Brewster and love it.
Harwich: One of my favorite towns is Harwich, specifically the village of Harwich Port. From Harwich Port, you can catch the ferry to Nantucket, enjoy the downtown feel of Main Street, and enjoy some nice Nantucket Sound beaches. It’s also very close to Chatham, which appeals to a lot of people, and about 20-30 minutes to the start of the Cape Cod National Seashore.
Chatham: Another one of my favorite towns because it has an amazing Main Street and downtown for shopping, and tends to have a very strong “Cape Cod” feel with lots of character. For this reason, however, Chatham hotel and vacation rental prices tend to be higher. But, if it works within your budget, this is a great town to stay in, and you’re about 20-30 minutes to the start of the National Seashore. Chatham also has its own really nice beaches.
Orleans: Orleans is the closest town you can stay in before hitting the National Seashore, so the location is great. Orleans also has beaches on both the Atlantic side, and Cape Cod Bay side, making it a great option if you’re looking to be close to both bodies of water. Orleans is also more spread out with a very small downtown feel, and plenty of restaurants. Orleans is home to Nauset Beach, one of my favorites.
Eastham: Eastham is the first town that allows you access to the Cape Cod National Seashore, which is home to some of the best beaches in the entire region. Eastham doesn’t have a downtown, and is more spread out, so the biggest appeal is the accessibility to the Outer Cape region. You’re also only a 30-minute drive to Provincetown from here. You’ll see lots of cute streets with traditional Cape Cod-style homes here, so you’ll still feel like you’re on the Cape.
Wellfleet: A bit quieter than Eastham, and the main appeal of Wellfleet is also the accessibility to the Outer Cape, the National Seashore and stunning beaches. Wellfleet has a small Main Street with some shops and restaurants, as well as a harbor with some really good seafood shacks and more restaurants. You’ll also find Bay-side and Atlantic beaches in Wellfleet.
Truro: Truro is probably the most “sleepy” of all the towns on Cape Cod. This is the place to stay if you want lots of peace and quiet, and access to the National Seashore and both Bay-side and Atlantic waters. You won’t find a ton of shops and restaurants here, but you’ll be a quick 15-minute drive to Provincetown to get your fill of eateries and shopping. Truro is home to some really stunning beaches as well.
Provincetown: The most unique town on Cape Cod is Provincetown, and it’s another one of my favorites. I also think its one of the best beach towns in New England! There’s no other place in the world quite like it.
Provincetown can be both lively and peaceful all at once, depending on where you stay, and you’ll never run out of restaurants to visit, or shops to explore. It’s also home to beautiful beaches and great night life. The only downside is that it’s far from the mid and lower Cape regions where you’ll find more downtowns to explore. It’s both secluded and the center of all the action, if that’s makes any sense.
Best Towns To Stay In On Cape Cod For First Timers (2022)
The best towns to stay in on Cape Cod for first-time visitors would be the mid or lower Cape regions, including Dennis, Yarmouth, Harwich, Brewster, Chatham and Orleans. I suggest these areas because they’re centrally located, but most offer more of a “town” feel and beach access, so you’ll find the best of both worlds. Depending on where you stay, you’ll be about 30-40 minutes from the National Seashore, and up to an hour from Provincetown (which makes for a really nice day trip).
If you’re visiting Cape Cod for the first time and staying in the mid-Cape region, I always suggest getting to the outer Cape to see the beaches and explore Provincetown (even if just for a day) because I find it to be the most beautiful part of the Cape. I feel like you can’t really say you’ve seen Cape Cod without getting to the National Seashore or outer Cape. So that’s also why I suggest staying closer to the mid to lower Cape regions so you’re not too far from the outer Cape.
For a quieter and more laid-back vacation with good restaurants nearby, Brewster is a great selection. If you’re looking to have access to shops and restaurants, as well as nice town beaches, all the other towns will work for you. Chatham has the strongest downtown area of the towns in this region.
Again, there’s really no wrong answer! I typically find that when I suggest mid-Cape towns to first-timers, they’re very happy with where they stayed because of the balance between nice towns and access to beaches.
Best Places To Stay On Cape Cod For First Timers
Best Beachfront Option: Inn on the Beach: Located in Harwich Port is the awesome little Inn On The Beach, which is right on Bank Street Beach (one of my favorite small, town beaches in the mid-Cape area). Rooms are decorated in perfect coastal calm designs, and the inn has a small stretch of private beach access for guests that includes lounge chairs and umbrellas. You’ll also be able to walk to Harwich Port’s downtown to easily access shops and restaurants, as well as Sundae School Ice Cream.
Best Almost-Beachfront Option: The Seadar Inn is located directly behind the Inn on the Beach, and is a slightly more affordable option that’s still almost on the beach. The rooms at the Seadar Inn are very basic, and it has smaller bathrooms, but it’s clean and comfortable, and the location is hard to beat. It doesn’t come with private beach access, but all you’ll need to do to get to the public beach is cross the parking lot, and that’s it. I love staying here.
Best Oceanfront Splurge Option: Pelham House Resort in Dennis Port is another awesome beachfront hotel that’s recently been renovated, and provides a bit more of an upscale experience. It sits right on Sea Street Beach, has beautifully decorated rooms and as well as a rooftop restaurant, a high-end pool and private beach access. The location is also amazing and you’ll be able to walk to Sundae School Ice Cream, as well as a few nearby restaurants.
Awesome Vacation Rental Option: Joy Cottage – This house in Orleans is close to both Nauset Beach and Skaket Beach, making it a great place to stay for first-timers. You’ll be close to the mid-Cape towns, and have easy access to the beaches on the National Seashore. This vacation rental is great for a family, or a group looking to rent a place because it has two bedrooms, an outdoor shower to clean off after beach days, a really nice deck for outdoor gathering and fire pit for evenings.
Best Towns To Stay In On Cape Cod For Families (2022)
Yarmouth is widely regarded as one of the best towns to stay in on Cape Cod for families, and as you drive through it, you’ll see why. It has the highest concentration of kid-friendly activities, as well as calm beaches for small children. Along Route 28 through Yarmouth, you’ll see tons of mini golf courses, bouncy house playgrounds, go-kart tracks and trampoline parks.
Besides Yarmouth, some other best towns to stay in on Cape Cod for families would be Dennis, Chatham, Brewster, Harwich and Orleans (many of these towns will also have kid-friendly activities like mini golf and such). These towns all offer beaches on either the Nantucket Sound or Cape Cod Bay sides, which have calmer waters, and are easily accessibility to lots of restaurants. Sandwich and Falmouth are also good options if you’re okay being further away from the Outer Cape.
The Outer Cape region is also nice for families, but you’ll start to loose easy access to shops and restaurants in that region. When I say that, however, I don’t mean you’ll be hard-pressed to find any, it just means they’ll be more spread out and you may have fewer options than the mid to lower Cape regions.
Best Places To Stay On Cape Cod For Families
The Cove Resort in Yarmouth is a really nice hotel for both adults and kids. With room types ranging from traditional to townhouse, you’ll have some options to choose from for your family. And there are tons of activities at the resort for both children and adults, including arts and crafts (for adults, too!), arcade games, bingo, t-shirt painting, pool games and so much more. The location is great, making it easy to get around to the local beaches with children, too.
The Lighthouse Inn in West Dennis is another great option for families. Not only is it home to a cool lighthouse, it’s beachfront, and also has an on-site playground and mini golf course for kids. Additional amenities include an on-site restaurant and private beach access along the calm waters of Nantucket Sound.
This awesome beach cottage in Brewster is a great option if you’re looking for a vacation rental for a family with children close to the beach. Just a block away from a really nice sandy beach on Cape Cod Bay, this house has one master bedroom for parents, a room with 3 bunk beds for children, a full kitchen and an outdoor shower to get everyone clean after a day at the beach.
Not quite the rental you’re looking for? Check out VRBO!
Click here to start your search for the perfect place!
This is my preferred website for vacation rentals – I tend to find better options here than on AirBnB.
Best Towns To Stay In On Cape Cod For Beaches (2022)
The Outer Cape towns, including Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro and Provincetown are known for having the best beaches, and while I love most beaches on Cape Cod, I have to agree with this sentiment. The outer Cape and National Seashore beaches are the most beautiful, in my opinion, and the ones you’ll think of when you hear “Cape Cod.” Big sand dunes, swaying beach grass and long stretches of soft sand is what you’ll find on the outer Cape.
That said, it’s important to note that every town on Cape Cod has its own beaches. While I do think the outer Cape has the best ones, many of my favorites are some of the smaller beaches along the Cape Cod Bay or Nantucket Sound. Mid and lower Cape towns will simply offer more of a balance between access to shops and restaurants as well as beaches, whereas the outer Cape is a bit more quiet, spread out and remote (with the exception of Provincetown, which is definitely packed with action!).
But if your only reason for coming to the Cape is the beaches, then the best places to stay in on Cape Cod would be in the outer Cape or Orleans, which is the last town before hitting the National Seashore area. These are the best towns to stay in on Cape Cod for beaches.
Best Places To Stay On Cape Cod For Beaches
For the ultimate beach experience, you’ll want to consider this beachfront condo in Truro, which comes with a private deck that spits you right out onto the sandy beach. You’ll also be a short drive to Provincetown, which will provide the best of both worlds by offering lots of restaurants, bars and even more beaches.
Endless Coast in Wellfleet is an awesome little boutique motel-style hotel that’s recently been renovated, and offers basic but stylish rooms, and has a pool and pet-friendly room options. The location is also great with it being only a 2-minute drive to some awesome restaurants and the Main Street area with more restaurants and shops. You’ll also be a short drive from the amazing beaches along the National Seashore.
The Whaleback Inn & Spa in Eastham is a great option for easy access to beaches because you’ll be close to the National Seashore, as well as Nauset Beach in Orleans (one of my favorites!). This inn is more traditionally decorated and offers a wide variety of room types, including standard inn rooms and an independent cottage option that’s recently been renovated (check out Salt Box Cottage for this option!). And of course, as the name suggests, there is a wonderful on-site spa for a bit of pampering.
Best Towns To Stay In On Cape Cod For Couples (2022)
Chatham is one of the best towns to stay in on Cape Cod for couples looking for a little luxury, as well as a great downtown experience and a picturesque atmosphere. If you’d like to indulge a bit, and are looking for exclusive beach service, an on-site spa and amazing dining options just outside your door, you’ll want to book a room at the Chatham Bars Inn.
Chatham also has a romantic ambience with more higher-end restaurants, and very charming cottages.
But, that said, while Chatham is the first town that comes to mind for couples, all of Cape Cod will work, including the outer Cape (a cozy little beachfront cottage in Truro would fit the bill here, too). If you’re a couple that’s looking for a fun and exciting atmosphere, Provincetown may also be a great option for you.
Best Places To Stay On Cape Cod For Couples
As mentioned, the Chatham Bars Inn is the ultimate luxury resort on Cape Cod. Here, you’ll be able to indulge in spa treatments, lounge on oceanfront cabanas in-season, only need to walk across the street for beach access, and have some of the best dining experiences right at the hotel. This resort is also a short walk to Main Street’s shops and restaurants, as well as the Chatham Fish Pier Market.
The Chatham Seafarer Inn is a nice option in Chatham for couples looking for access to downtown, as well as beaches and activities. This inn is close to the Cape Cod Rail Trail for easy access to bike paths, and you’re also only a short walk to Ridgevale Beach (one of my favorites in Chatham!). You’ll need to drive to downtown, but with the recent renovations to the inn, as well as a really lovely pool, this is a really great option.
This adorable condo in downtown Chatham is perfect for two people, and has been updated with modern decor that’s still cozy with lots of coastal charm. The location is awesome, as you’ll be able to walk to the shops and restaurants on Main Street, making this an amazing choice.
The Platinum Pebble Inn in West Harwich is an adults-only boutique inn that’s perfect for a romantic getaway. A gourmet breakfast is included in each stay, and the inn also has a nice pool and offers complimentary bikes for a 5-minute ride to the beach. And since this is a more luxury experience, rooms are beautifully decorated in a modern style, some with gas fireplaces.
Best Downtowns On Cape Cod (2022)
Chatham, Provincetown, Hyannis, Falmouth and Harwich Port are the best towns to stay in on Cape Cod with downtowns that have a distinct Main Street lined with shops and restaurants. Of all these towns, Provincetown has the largest, and definitely wins in the “downtown” category. Commercial Street in Provincetown is about 3 miles long, and while all 3 miles aren’t packed with shops and restaurants, the selection of things to do seems to go on forever.
The next best downtown would go to Chatham, followed by Falmouth, then Hyannis, and finally, the small but mighty Harwich Port.
What Towns On Cape Cod Are Walkable?
The most walkable town on Cape Cod is definitely Provincetown, and honestly, I think it’s the only town on the Cape you can get by without a car. Even though all the towns mentioned above have great Main Street destinations, you still need a car to get around and access the beaches and the rest of Cape Cod. An exception may be Chatham if you stay at the Chatham Bars Inn, which has direct beach access, and is walkable to Main Street.
While you still technically need a car to explore the rest of Cape Cod from Provincetown, you also don’t necessarily have to leave Provincetown once you’re there. The entire town is walkable (as long as you’re not too far in one direction), and there are seasonal shuttles that run from MacMillan Pier downtown, to Race Point and Herring Cove beaches (which would otherwise require a car to get to).
Best Places To Stay In Provincetown
This beachside condo on the East End of Provincetown is perfect for a solo traveler or a couple, and is right on the beach! This condo is also walkable to Commercial Street, and since parking isn’t included on-site, this is perfect for those coming on the ferry without a car. You’ll also have an awesome little deck with a sideview of the ocean.
The Crowne Point Inn & Spa is a gorgeous, victorian-style historic inn located in the heart of Provincetown, and walkable to MacMillan Pier. The inn is adults-only, and offers complimentary breakfast, a farm-to-table restaurant, a relaxing pool and patio area, complimentary wine and cheese hour every day, a hot tub, and of course, the spa. There are so many amenities here that you may not want to leave the hotel!
This waterfront condo is an amazing location. It’s a bit pricier than some other options, but if you’re looking for prime location in the heart of everything, and are looking to splurge on gorgeous water views from your deck, this is it. The condo also has a designated (but off-site) parking spot to leave your car if you drive into town, and an amazing private deck overlooking MacMillan Pier. You’ll be steps from the heart of Commercial Street, making this the ultimate condo if you want to walk everywhere.
Best Towns To Stay In On Cape Cod For A Bachelorette Party (2022)
Depending on the type of bachelorette party you’re looking for, all of Cape Cod will make a great destination for you! I would suggest thinking about what vibe you’re going for, and then take it from there.
If you’re looking to relax at beaches during the day, and then do a little partying at night, Provincetown is one of the best towns to stay in on Cape Cod for nightlife. Two gorgeous beaches, Race Point and Herring Cove, are located in Provincetown, and then you’ll have endless options for bars and cabaret shows at night.
While Wellfleet is one of the more quiet towns on the outer Cape, it’s also home to The Beachcomber, which is a bar and restaurant right on Cahoon Hollow beach that’s known for having more of a party atmosphere. This would be another option to balance relaxing beach days and a bit of partying.
The Pelham House Resort in Dennis Port (mentioned earlier in this post) may also fit the bill for your plans. With the rooftop restaurant, private beach access and really nice beachfront pool make for a fun girl’s weekend.
This resort is also very close to Ocean House, a really awesome restaurant with an outdoor beach bar and live music on most nights in the summer. You could enjoy a nice, more upscale meal inside the restaurant, and then head out to the beach bar for a fun night out. The Ocean House Beach Bar has a more relaxed vibe compared to The Beachcomber, but is still lively.
If you’re looking for a quiet bachelorette weekend with lots of relaxation and more subdued bonding time, any other town will work. Depending on how many people are attending, I would recommend looking into renting a house with a nice outdoor space, stocking up on some great wine and planning either a clambake at home, or getting reservations to some of the nicer restaurants.
For this type of girl’s weekend, this cottage in Yarmouth would be awesome if you can split the cost with everyone. The cottage is recently renovated with a modern design, is waterfront along Bass River and comes with a giant hot tub, fire pit and outdoor dining space. You’ll even be able to use the cottage’s kayaks and paddle board’s, so you may not ever need to leave!
What Is The Most Charming Town On Cape Cod?
I think most would say Chatham, and I have to agree. While so many towns on Cape Cod are very charming, Chatham just has something about it that gives it a slight edge in this category. In late June through July, you’ll find an amazing display of hydrangeas in Chatham, and lots of gorgeous houses and beach cottages. It has a very distinct village feel to it that just feels cozy and welcoming.
Other towns that are also very charming on Cape Cod would be Harwich Port, Provincetown (especially the West End) and Sandwich. But as I’ve said before, almost all towns on Cape Cod are honestly charming in their own way.
Best Towns To Stay In To Get To Nantucket Or Martha’s Vineyard
If you’re looking to take a day trip to one of the Cape Cod Islands during your stay, or are spending most of your time on the islands, it’s a good idea to think about this before deciding where to stay. Remember, while Cape Cod isn’t huge, it’s also bigger than most people think, and summer traffic can be tough. You don’t want to be late for your ferry!
If you’re just taking a day trip, you don’t need to base your entire vacation around your island plans. It’s just good to keep in mind where you’ll be boarding the ferry. This is more if you plan to spend a night or two on the Cape, and then head over to the islands for longer stays.
If you’re looking for the best towns to stay in on Cape Cod to access Nantucket, you’ll want to look at the mid to Lower Cape regions. The Freedom Ferry provides service to Nantucket from Harwich Port, and Hyline provides service to Nantucket from Hyannis.
If you’re looking to head out to Martha’s Vineyard, Falmouth is a town to consider, as you’ll be able to take either the Edgartown Ferry or Steamship Authority from Woods Hole (which is a very short drive away). If you’re taking a day trip to Martha’s Vineyard, and don’t want to stay in Falmouth, another option is staying in the mid to lower Cape regions, and catching the Hyline ferry from Hyannis.
Places To Stay On Cape Cod Closest to Nantucket & Martha’s Vineyard Ferries
The Coonamessett is located in Falmouth, and is an awesome place to stay with a modern farmhouse/shabby chic feel. My husband and I stayed at The Coonamessett once before catching a ferry to Martha’s Vineyard, and we absolutely fell in love with the room designs, and the charming inn.
The Treehouse Lodge is located in Woods Hole (a short drive from Falmouth), and a great option for catching the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard. The entire hotel is designed to make you feel like you’re in a modern treehouse, with earthy tones and modern decor that still feels connected to nature. With this hotel being a short drive to the ferry terminal in Woods Hole, this is a great option for island hopping.
If you’re looking for accommodations close to the Nantucket ferries, you’ll want to stay in either Harwich Port if you plan to catch the Freedom Ferry (see recommendations in the Places To Stay For First Time Visitors section above for recommendations!).
If you’re catching the Hyline Ferry out of Hyannis, and want to stay close by, a great option is the Hyannis Harbor Hotel, which is right across the street from the ferry terminal. It doesn’t get more convenient than that!
If you’re looking to take day trips to either island while staying on Cape Cod, be sure to click the links below to my posts! I’ve written up detailed guides on day trips to each island to help you plan your trip.
Here are some posts on day trips to the islands to help you plan:
- Nantucket Day Trip Guide
- Martha’s Vineyard Day Trip Guide
- Is Nantucket Or Martha’s Vineyard Better For A Day Trip?
- Best Things To Do On Martha’s Vineyard
- How To See Martha’s Vineyard Without A Car
Best Towns To Stay In On Cape Cod On A Budget
While Cape Cod, and honestly, all of New England, tends to be a more expensive place to travel, especially when you’re near the coastline, there are definitely some towns to focus on if you’re on a budget. Dennis (including West Dennis, Dennis Port, South Dennis and East Dennis) is known as an affordable area to stay in because property taxes trend lower than other towns. I often stay in the Dennis area for this reason.
Yarmouth, including Yarmouth Port and South Yarmouth, also tend to have more affordable options. I’ve also seen affordable hotels and rental options in Sandwich (especially East Sandwich), as well as Eastham. But with a bit of research, you can find cheaper places to stay all over. Below are some of my suggestions.
Best Places To Stay On Cape Cod On A Budget
The cottage that my husband and I rented for a long time is Tiny House in Dennis Port, and we loved it. The owner is incredibly nice, and she often stays at her properties herself, so she puts a lot of effort into maintaining them, and providing nice amenities. The location of Tiny House is awesome, and you can walk to a few restaurants, two beaches and Sundae School Ice Cream from here.
This Tiny House is perfect for couples, or two people traveling together that really just need a place to crash at night, and don’t mind, well, tiny living. The bed is a full, and there’s not a lot of space to spread out, but we’ve stayed here at least 6 times and always enjoyed it (the location is the biggest perk).
Cape Cod Wishing Well Motel in West Harwich is another great affordable option. The rooms are basic, but they’re very clean and comfortable, and the West Harwich location is nice. And if you’re up for walking, you can get to a beach in 10 minutes from this motel. Every room also has a fridge, which I like for making quick cereal breakfasts in the morning, and some rooms even have a kitchenette for cooking your own meals to save even more money.
Skaket Beach Motel in Orleans is another awesome place to consider if you’re on a budget. It’s only a short 7-minute drive to Skaket Beach, which has gorgeous sunsets, a 10-12 minute drive to Nauset Beach and a 15-minute drive to Coast Guard Beach at the National Seashore (my all-time favorite beach on the Cape!). For the location, it’s hard to beat the price. Rooms are clean and comfortable, and there’s also a pool on-site.
If you’re up for camping, my favorite campground on Cape Cod is North of Highland Campground in Truro. From the campground, you can walk to a gorgeous beach, and you’re only a short drive from places like Highlight Lighthouse, Truro Vineyards and Provincetown. Camp sites and bathrooms are pretty standard, but this is a great location to consider to save money, have a great camping adventure and be in an awesome location on the outer Cape.
Unique Places To Stay On Cape Cod
While there aren’t a ton of unique places to stay on Cape Cod, there are definitely some really great options if you’re looking to think outside the box a bit. Here are some amazing and unique places to stay on Cape Cod.
AutoCamp Cape Cod offers luxury AirStream and camping accommodations in Falmouth, making this a really unique place to stay during your trip! All AirStreams and tents include luxury bedding and robes, stylish decor and free bikes to get to the beach. The grounds are landscaped beautifully, so you always get the feeling of staying in a hotel, but with tents and AirStreams, you feel like you’re also having a totally unique and cool experience.
Located in Sandwich, The Belfry Inn & Bistro sprawls over three different buildings, but one of them is a renovated church from the early 1900’s, making this one of the more unique places to stay on Cape Cod. If you’d like to stay in the renovated church building, you’ll want to book a room in The Abbey, and here you’ll find some rooms with gorgeous stained glass windows, and lots of cozy character that still makes you feel like you’re in a quaint inn.
If you’ve ever wanted to experience what it’s like to live like a lighthouse keeper, you can book an overnight stay at Race Point Lighthouse in Provincetown! There are two houses at the lighthouse that are rented out in the summer season each year, and accommodate up to 8 people. Race Point Lighthouse is rather secluded, and overlooks a gorgeous beach with lots of seals that swim by, making this an awesome and unique place to stay on Cape Cod for a truly amazing experience.
Where To Stay On Cape Cod With Pets
In season, Cape Cod can be accommodating to pets, but I’ll be honest, we’ve started to leave our dogs at home when traveling in the summer because beaches can often be off-limits to dogs during shore bird nesting season, making it difficult to bring them anywhere.
But, that said, outside of shorebird nesting season, there are plenty of dog-friendly areas on beaches, and some towns are great for bringing along your furry friend. If you’re traveling with your pup, Provincetown is one of the best towns to stay in on Cape Cod, and the outer Cape in general tends to be more pet-friendly as far as beaches go. We brought our dogs with us to the Cape for years, and you’ll also be able to find pet-friendly vacation rentals, too.
Pet-Friendly Places To Stay On Cape Cod
If you’re looking to bring your pet with you, you’ll want to consider a stay at Dune Crest in North Truro. This place has easy access to beaches on the Outer Cape, is close to Provincetown, and has pet-friendly rooms. Dune Crest is more of a casual motel, but some rooms offer partial ocean views, and the rooms are also clean and comfortable. This hotel also has a pool.
The Breakwater Hotel in Provincetown is just across the street from a beach where leashed dogs are allowed, and a short drive from the dog park in Ptown. The rooms here each come with a small outdoor deck space (that’s semi-shared, but you get your own outdoor furniture!), and has been recently updated. The rooms here are clean and comfortable, and you’re a short drive to downtown Provincetown.
Southfleet Motor Inn in Wellfleet is a traditional motel that’s basic, but pet-friendly and is clean, comfortable and well-rated. The motel also has a pool, and is super close to Marconi Beach, making this a great option for those looking to be close to beaches, too.
You may also find these posts helpful:
- Best Time Of Year To Visit Cape Cod
- Best Things To Do On Cape Cod For Adults
- What To Pack For Cape Cod
- A First-Timer’s Guide To Cape Cod
- Unique Things To Do On Cape Cod
- Best Ice Cream On Cape Cod
- Best Lobster Rolls On Cape Cod
- Best Waterfront Restaurants On Cape Cod
- Best Shopping On Cape Cod
- Cape Cod vs. Nantucket: Which Is Best For You?
That’s A Wrap On The Best Towns To Stay In On Cape Cod
There you have it! Hopefully now you’re ready to decide the best town to stay in on Cape Cod, based on what kind of vacation you’re looking for, and what your ideal location is. I always like to stress, there is no bad place to stay on the Cape, and regardless of where you stay, I’m confident you’ll have a great time. But I hope this post helped you to narrow down your choices a bit!