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Cape Cod: Ice Cream, Baseball, and Beaches Too

You know how every traveler has that confession that makes people look at him or her sideways? Their “I thought Paris was overrated” or “I went to China and didn’t see the Great Wall” or even “I’m terrified of flying”? Mine is, I’m not much a beach person. Even when I’m so lucky as to find myself on one of world’s best beaches, I become more preoccupied with sun poisoning, sharks, and sand in the pants than with soothing waves.

So one of my favorite types of discoveries is the beach destination for non-beach lovers. And I don’t know how it took me so long to “discover” Cape Cod, because it’s the perfect place to visit if you’re looking for a picturesque beach town with much, much more to offer.

Just about an hour’s drive from Boston, the Cape is a different world. Town after town tempts travelers with unique shops—most with whimsical names à la Dr. Gravity’s Kite Shop—restaurants, and sights. Cape Cod hotels are impressive; from beach resorts to B&Bs, I didn’t see a single one that wasn’t adorable in its own way, nor a single one that wasn’t covered in hydrangeas and other fabulous flowers.

True to form, my favorite stop was the famous Sundae School for its goody-packed ice cream. In fact, eating in general ranked high on my list of highlights (fried clams! crab cakes! oysters!), but there are plenty of other pastimes to keep visitors busy: the Cape Cod Baseball League, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Provincetown, and Plymouth are just a handful of places to spend a day before taking in the sunset with a Cape Codder in hand. (Never again will I order a “vodka cranberry.” It will always be a Cape Codder to me.)

And, of course, there are the beaches. Even I have to admit that they were pretty darn wonderful, with comfortable water and air temperatures, lovely views, and lobster rolls for lunch. If every beach had a little more lobster and little bit of Cape Cod charm, I think I could be a beach person after all.

Have a favorite Cape Cod tip or memory? Please share in the comments!


My name: Michelle Doucette

How I earn my keep: I'm an editor at

Favorite way to get around: Some of my favorite trips involved renting cars in foreign countries and driving through the countryside, stopping on whims. You get a feel for the culture away from the big cities and meet interesting people on the road, including, I must admit, an embarrassingly high number of local policemen. I suppose it would be prudent to learn all of the traffic laws ahead of time.

Best meal I've had while traveling: Since a succession of gelato cones probably doesn't count as a meal, my favorite must have been a fresh crabmeat lunch prepared by a St. John sailboat captain while we took a break from snorkeling in the Caribbean. Sharing baklava as the sun came up over Paros, Greece, (while, once again, not technically a meal) was also memorable.

Travel ambitions: Since climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, I've figured out that I'd like to keep trekking while traveling. I've got my eyes on epic hikes in Nepal, Bhutan, and Peru.



Got back to Louisiana from Cape Cod 2 days ago. Yes, yes to baseball and beaches and ice-cream AND 65 degrees at night!,


Michelle — I lived on the cape for two summers and was a waitress at the restaurant right next to Sundae School so I logged a few hours there. I got engaged on a tiny beach in Chatham called Cockle Cove, which is still my favorite place in the world.

I was on the Cape this past weekend and ate fried lobster (yes, you read that right) at Arnold’s. I went to one of the world’s best bars — the Beachcomber in Wellfleet — and drank margaritas. I got a tan at Cahoon Hollow (also in Wellfleet and adjacent to the Beachcomber). I played mini golf in Dennis. What a fabulous weekend in a fabulous place. Loves it!


Mullady: Yes, you’re right! A HUGE plus that I forgot to mention was the breezy, balmy weather!

Genevieve: How cool! You just added approximately five things to my to-do list for my next trip to the Cape–thanks for the local secrets!

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Cape Cod looks like a great beach site to know, for those who are in the beach mood. I agree with you that beach locations can be annoying when very crowded.


It is so nice. Not the usual seaside. You can relax here. There are all those endless shops that come and not come out. It’s another world.

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Beautiful this place is that it offers peace. There is a crowded place where you can not breathe. Here truly relax.

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I agree with you that beach locations can be annoying when very crowded.

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