Falmouth is a great little town in the Upper Cape region of Cape Cod that offers such a fun variety things to do, as well as awesome sites to see, options for days trips, great restaurants and a lovely downtown. And to help you decide what to do during your visit, this post is all about the best things to do in Falmouth, MA.
Is Falmouth, MA Worth Visiting?
Falmouth, MA is definitely worth visiting, and it makes for a great day trip if you’re staying in the Upper or Mid-Cape areas. With a really fun Main Street to explore with great shops and eateries, as well as a beautiful lighthouse, an awesome bike path, a really fun winery and lots of beaches, Falmouth makes for a great day or weekend stay on Cape Cod.
Best Things To Do In Falmouth, MA
Below is my list of all the best activities and sites in Falmouth, MA, and be sure to keep scrolling to learn about things to do in the nearby Woods Hole, as well as free things to do in the area!
1. Shop On Main Street
Falmouth has one of the best Main Streets for shopping on Cape Cod, and you’ll find lots of storefronts with everything from t-shirt and souvenir places, beautifully-curated gift and home decor shops, a lovely bookstore and jewelry boutiques.
Along Main Street, you’ll also find some great places to eat, as well as a nice little candy/ice cream place, Ben & Bill’s Chocolate Emporium.
Some of my favorite shops to visit on Main Street in Falmouth are Twigs and Homespun Garden.
2. Cruise Along The Shining Sea Bikeway
The Shining Sea Bikeway is a beautiful, paved bike path that’s just over 10 miles long, and takes you from Falmouth Village to Woods Hole. The path used to be the old rail trail for the train that went between Woods Hole and Boston, but now, bikers, walkers and runners can use the path to enjoy seaside views, cranberry bogs, salt marshes, beaches and harbors.
Where To Start The Shining Sea Bikeway Path
To start the bike path, I suggest you start at the northern entrance, which can be found right across the street from the Shining Sea Bikeway Parking North parking lot off County Road (this parking lot will come up in Google Maps). From the parking lot, walk back out to County Road and take a left. You’ll quickly see the bike path entrance on your right.
There is a bike shop right by this entrance to the bike path called Bike Zone, so if you need to rent bikes, this is a very convenient option.
3. Spend The Day At Old Silver Beach
Old Silver Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Falmouth, and for good reason. It has a long stretch of soft sand and gorgeous, calm waters along Buzzards Bay. This beach also has nice facilities like a bathroom, showers and changing rooms, big parking lots, snack shacks and lifeguards.
There are lots of beaches in Falmouth, so be sure to scroll down to the beaches section of this post for more tips, but Old Silver Beach is my pick for best overall in Falmouth.
Parking Tip: As of 2022, the parking fee for visitors without a beach sticker is $30 per day. Cash and cards are accepted.
4. Relax At Spohr Gardens
Spohr Gardens is a lovely little hidden gem in Falmouth with lovely gardens (of course), nature trails and beautiful views of Oyster Pond.
Spanning over 6 acres, this plot of scenic land was once owned by local residents Charles and Margaret Spohr, and they’d always had a vision to turn it into a peaceful nature sanctuary to share with the community. They planted all kinds of seasonal flowers for rotating blooms each season, and Charles’ fascination with ship anchors led him to collect several historic anchors, which he had placed around the pond (and they’re still there for visitors to enjoy!).
When the Spohr’s passed away, they left the garden and land to a trust they established before their passing, and it was stipulated that it had to remain free for all to enjoy. Spohr Gardens is located a short drive from downtown Falmouth, and definitely something that’s worth a few moments of your time!
5. Go Wine Tasting At Cape Cod Winery
Cape Cod Winery is located in East Falmouth, which is a quick 10-minute drive from downtown Falmouth, and is a really fun way to spend a few hours in the afternoon. The grounds are beautiful, and surrounded by their grapevines, and they have some really nice seating areas with picturesque bars to order drinks from.
Cape Cod Winery serves up more than their traditional wines. In the summer, you’ll find fun drinks like Watermelon Frose, which is especially refreshing on a hot day (and super delicious). They also offer wine flights, and often have live music events and local pizza places serving delicious food.
6. Set Sail On A Schooner
Schooner Liberte tours are one of the most fun activities in Falmouth! Starting at the Patriot Party Boats Pier, you’ll board the beautiful vessel, and head out into the harbor. Since sailing is entirely dependent on the winds that day, every sail is different, and destinations on tours will vary. You may be able to pass Nobksa Lighthouse in Woods Hole, or cruise toward Martha’s Vineyard. Either way, it’s a real treat to experience a sail on Liberte.
7. Cruise Around In A Surrey Bike
A fun and unique thing to do in Falmouth, MA is to rent a surrey bike and hit the bike trails. Holiday Cycles offers not only traditional bike rentals, but also surrey bikes, which are four-wheeled bikes with bench seating and a canopy.
Holiday Cycles is located a bit further from the Shining Sea Bikeway, but the owner knows the area well, and can recommend a simple cruise close by if you’re looking for an easier experience. You can also stay out for a few hours and tackle the Bikeway for a bit of a workout (and a scenic cruise).
8. Explore The Local Breweries
If you’re looking to sample the local beer, you’re in luck! Falmouth is home to two breweries: Bad Martha Farmer’s Brewery and Aquatic Brewing. Both offer tastings and beers by the glass, as well as food service.
Bad Martha’s is based on Martha’s Vineyard (as I’m sure you guessed!), and has an awesome covered outdoor patio, and lawn area with corn hole games and sometimes even live music.
Aquatic Brewing only has an indoor taproom, but I personally think the beer here is a bit better than Bad Martha’s. They also have snacks available for purchase at the tap room, and usually have food trucks serving up delicious food.
9. Spend The Afternoon In Sandwich
Sandwich is a great little town on Cape Cod that’s only about 30 minutes from Falmouth, and when someone stays in one of these two towns, I always recommend popping over to the other for an afternoon because they’re both worth your time!
One of the best afternoon excursions from Falmouth is Sandwich, the oldest town on the Cape that’s packed with history. There’s also some nice shopping in town, a historic grist mill and a beautiful beach with a boardwalk over salt marshes. Sandwich is also home to my favorite brewery on Cape Cod, Treehouse Brewing, which is a really great way to spend a few hours.
10. Visit Coonamessett Farm
Coonamessett Farm is one of the most fun things to do in Falmouth with kids. At the farm, they offer all kinds of U-pick opportunities for flowers, berries and veggies, and you can also swing by their farm stand, which sells locally-made products, specialty food items, as well as gifts. You’ll also find a great cafe and bakery here, which makes for a really nice lunch in the afternoon.
Kids will especially enjoy their time at the farm because of all the beautiful animals to see like alpacas, goats and chickens.
11. Get A Massage
If you’re looking for a day of relaxation and restoration, a massage is a great way to unwind. There are so many places throughout town that offer both pampering, spa-like massages, and medical massages, depending on your needs. Most also offer iservices like facials, body scrubs, manis and pedis, too.
A few places to check out for booking a relaxing massage are:
12. Explore Highfield Hall & Gardens
Highfield Hall & Gardens is a beautiful way to spend a few hours in the afternoon, and is one of the best places to visit in Falmouth. This beautiful estate is home to a historic mansion that’s surrounded by 400 acres of conversation land, which includes stunning gardens and scenic walking trails for visitors to enjoy.
The mansion was built in the 1870s as a residential home, and after a long and interesting history, it has since been turned over to the town as a permanent conservation space.
During your visit, you’ll be able to explore the grounds and gardens, which includes the nature trails, and admission includes docent-led tours of the mansion. They also encourage you to bring a picnic to enjoy outside in the gardens on a nice day.
13. Get Some Homemade Ice Cream At Smitty’s
We can’t talk about Cape Cod and not mention ice cream, right? The best ice cream in Falmouth is Smitty’s. It’s located a short drive outside of downtown, but definitely worth it for their homemade ice cream. They offers lots of flavors, and it’s hard to pass up driving to a building with ice cream cones on their shutters, am I right?
Tip: Smitty’s is cash only, but they do have an ATM on-site.
Things To Do In Woods Hole, MA
So, what is Woods Hole, exactly, and where is it? Let me help clarify! Woods Hole is a village inside the town of Falmouth. There are some really awesome things to do in Woods Hole that are only a short 10-15 minute drive away (and honestly, these are some of my all-time sites and activities in Falmouth!).
14. Visit Nobska Lighthouse
Nobska Lighthouse is one of my personal favorite things to in Falmouth, MA, and while that’s because I happen to love lighthouses, I still think it’s a great stop to make for anyone visiting the area. In fact, I even named it as one of the best lighthouses in New England to see! The surrounding scenery is absolutely beautiful, and if you time your visit with sunset, you’ll get a clear view of the sun dropping down past the horizon right in front of you.
Be sure to cross the street from the parking lot in front of the lighthouses, and walk down the paths to the rocks that overlook the water. That’s the best spot to take in the sunset!
Tip: Parking here is tough in the busy summer season, as there are only enough spots for about 7 cars or so. There is a blind corner around the bend from the parking area, so be sure not to park in the road, and circle back around to wait for a spot to open up if you can’t get one right away (people usually just park for a few minutes to see the lighthouse and leave).
15. Take A Walk Out To The Knob
The Knob is a really cool piece of land that juts out into Buzzards Bay and offers beautiful vista views of the water. This is also another very popular place for sunsets, especially in the summer season. You’ll get a perfect view of the sunset from the very end of The Knob.
Along the path to The Knob, you’ll also find a really nice beach, which makes for a fun stop on your way to the end. The entire walk to the end is very short (less than 15 minutes at a standard pace), but it’s still nice to take your time and enjoy the scenery.
Tip: Parking here is also tough, especially at sunset in the busy summer season. As you enter Quissett Harbor, you’ll want to take any available parking spot that’s for the general public. If you park close to the main entrance for the harbor, you’ll have to walk a bit to get to The Knob trail head (you’ll see signs once you arrive, and Google Maps can direct you). You may get lucky and snatch up a spot close to the trail head, but it’s not worth the risk passing up an earlier spot if you come by in the summer (especially on a weekend or at sunset).
16. Visit The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a great place to visit if you’re looking to learn more about, and gain a deeper appreciation of, the amazing wildlife that lives in the local waters. In fact, we’re so lucky to have the Oceanographic Institution right here in Falmouth because it’s a world-leading non-profit organization dedicated to ocean research and education.
During your visit, you’ll be able to explore exhibits dedicated to educating visitors about the exciting things happening beneath the ocean’s surface, and also ask to speak to a real scientist that will be able to answer all your questions. This is such a great and important hidden gem in the area!
17. Take A Day Trip To Martha’s Vineyard
If you plan to be in the Falmouth or Woods Hole area for more than a few days, definitely consider taking a day trip to Martha’a Vineyard, as the ferries are very accessible, and located right in Woods Hole. Martha’s Vineyard is a bigger island to visit, but it can definitely be done as a day trip.
I usually suggest renting a car for the day to explore the island, but click the link below for a great tour option that does all the work for you, allowing you to see some of the best parts of the island on a day trip!
Free Things To Do In Falmouth, MA
There are quite a few free things to do in Falmouth including riding along the Shining Sea Bikeway, taking a drive along Surf Road, visiting Spohr Gardens, exploring Main Street, visiting Nobska Lighthouse, walking to The Knob and taking a drive over to Sandwich.
Falmouth, MA Winter Activities
Even in the winter, you’ll find some fun things to do in the area. The best thing to do is to simply embrace the season, and enjoy all the summer hot spots without the crowds. A brisk winter walk on the beach is actually really nice, and then a warm cup of clam chowder after being outside at the beach feels so much better in the winter season.
Catching a sunset at The Knob is also pretty easy in the winter, and you’ll be rewarded with beautiful, pink winter skies.
Another great thing to do in Falmouth in the winter is to visit Ashumet Holly Wildlife Sanctuary. During this time of the year, you’ll be able to take some scenic walks while admire the holly berry trees in full bloom.
While Cape Cod does get snow, it doesn’t get as much as you’d think. If you happen to visit during a snowy period, another option is to cross country ski on the Shining Sea Bikeway.
Does Falmouth, MA Have A Downtown?
Yes, Falmouth, MA has a wonderful downtown with some really nice shopping and great restaurants. In fact, it’s one of the best downtowns on Cape Cod.
Best Beaches In Falmouth, MA
I’ve already talked about Old Silver Beach, which is my favorite in Falmouth, but there are lots of other beaches in town that are worth visiting. Here’s a guide to a few other beaches to check out during your visit:
Surf Drive Beach – And actually, taking a scenic drive along this road is another one of the best things to do in Falmouth because of all the adorable beach shacks and great water views. But the beach here is also wonderful. It’s often a little less crowded than Old Silver Beach (but likely just as crowded on summer weekends), and you’ll find bathroom, shower and food facilities here.
Chapoquoit Beach – This beach is a bit smaller than some of the others, but it’s still beautiful and worth a visit. This is also a great sunset spot! You’ll find bathroom and food facilities here.
Menauhant Beach – Located in East Falmouth, this beach is beautiful and tends to be a bit quieter than the others. You’ll find bathroom facilities here for your convenience.
Tip: Like all beaches on Cape Cod, beaches in Falmouth will have either a beach sticker requirement, or a fee to park for the day in the summer season. It’s best to research which beaches you want to visit during your stay, and plan accordingly.
Where To Park In Falmouth, MA
There is free parking with a 3-hour limit along Main Street in downtown. These spots are usually the first to fill up, so arrive early if this is your preference.
The next easiest place to park is right off Main Street at the Peg Noonan Parking Lot, which can be found by using this address: 300 Main Street. This lot is free, but also tends to fill up fast on summer weekends.
Another easy lot to try if those two options are full is the Village Green Lot, which can be found right off Main Street, also in the center of town, at 84 Main Street.
Between these three options, you should be able to snatch up a spot for the afternoon.
What Is Falmouth, MA Known For?
Falmouth, MA is known for being the home of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, which is a world leader in ocean research and education. Falmouth is also known for being the “gateway” to Cape Cod, as it’s not far from the Massachusetts mainland, and a great place to stay if you’re looking to keep your drive to the Cape short.
Best Restaurants In Falmouth, MA
There are so many great places to eat in this town! Below are some of my recommendations for the best restaurants in Falmouth, MA:
C Salt Wine Bar & Grill – This is a great place for a more upscale evening out, and everything on their menu is wonderful. You’ll find an eclectic menu with Italian and American influences, and of course, great seafood. The wine list is also excellent.
Pickle Jar Kitchen – For a casual lunch with outdoor seating on Main Street, the Pickle Jar Kitchen is great. They have awesome salads and sandwiches, and also serve breakfast. They made their own pickles in-house, and also have really good baked treats like cookies and such.
Epic Oyster – Come here for great oysters and awesome seafood!
The Glass Onion – Another option that’s perfect for a more upscale evening out. You’ll find a pretty traditional menu here, but everything is done very, very well.
Where To Stay In Falmouth, MA
The InnSeason Resort Captain’s Quarters is a great option for those looking to be close to the beach since Falmouth Heights Beach is right across the street. Room options include kitchenettes to stay in and cook during your stay, as well as BBQ facilities on the property, and an outdoor swimming pool.
The Palmer House Inn is perfect for those looking to walk to downtown, and stay at a cozy New England-style B&B. You’ll be able to walk to all the shops and restaurants downtown, and each room is individually decorated to reflect the inn’s history. A wonderful breakfast is also included with each stay for a homey touch.
The Coonamessett Hotel is located just a quick 5-minute drive from downtown (and you could walk if you were up for it), and the rooms here are beautifully decorated in a modern farmhouse/boho chic style that feels super special. The grounds are nicely landscaped with gardens, and a continental breakfast is included in the room rate.
Bottled Water In Falmouth, MA
An important thing to know when you visit Falmouth, MA is that it’s prohibited to sell single-use, non-carbonated, non-flavored bottled water in town. So, when you go into grocery stores, convenience stores or gas stations, you can’t buy a single bottle of water. Flavored and carbonated single-use bottled water is available, but not regular water.
If you come to Falmouth for the day, I highly suggest you bring a reusable water bottle with you, and fill up any chance you get, especially if it’s planned to be a hot day.
You may also find these Cape Cod posts helpful:
- Best Towns To Stay In On Cape Cod
- Best Time Of Year To Visit Cape Cod
- Best Lobster Rolls On Cape Cod
- Best Ice Cream On Cape Cod
- Best Sunsets On Cape Cod
- Summer In New England: Best Places To Go & Things To Do!
- Ultimate Guide To The Cape Cod National Seashore Beaches
And here are some more guides I’ve created on Cape Cod towns:
- Best Things To Do In Wellfleet, MA
- Best Things To Do In Harwich, MA
- Best Things To Do In Dennis, MA
- Best Things To Do In Brewster, MA
- Best Things To Do In Provincetown, MA
- Best Things To Do In Chatham, MA
- Best Things To Do In Sandwich, MA
That’s A Wrap On The Best Things To Do In Falmouth, MA
And there you have it, all the very best things to do in Falmouth to help you plan your next visit. Whether you’re looking to just stroll through downtown and spend some time at the beaches, or you’re excited to visit the lighthouse, and also explore The Knob, there are so many things to do that make Falmouth, MA worth visiting.