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9 Ways to Enjoy Cape Cod on a Budget

Every year around this time I start planning my family’s summer trip to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. There are always so many fun and inexpensive activities to do there that we never manage to get to everything on the list!

If you happen to be planning a trip to the Cape, make sure to check out these awesome cheap (or free) activities and tips:

 

1. Check out the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce

I love the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce site for numerous reasons, including their lists of activities and restaurants on the Cape, but my favorite reason is the deals! The site lists hot deals and last minute specials for those traveling to the area. You can often find hotel rooms discounted at 20% or more. Check it out at Capecodchamber.org.

2. Spend the day at Lighthouse Beach

Lighthouse Beach is an expansive stretch of beach in Chatham. Spend the day strolling the beach and looking for cool seashells (remember to bring a net and bucket). Usually you can get a glimpse of the seals swimming in the area. While you’re visiting the beach you can check out the lighthouse and view the area through coin-operated binoculars. Lighthouse Beach is located off Shore Road, just half a mile from downtown Chatham.

3. Visit the Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory

Who doesn’t love chips, right? So the chance to get to see the factory in action is pretty darn cool! This self-guided tour is free and open Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. And, yes, you do get free samples at the end of the tour! Get all the details at www.capecodchips.com.

4. Visit The Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge

This Wildlife Refuge, located on Morris Island, was established in 1944 to provide habitat for migratory birds. It has a three-quarter mile nature trail where you can view numerous animals such as crabs, seals and birds in their natural habitat. The walk is serene and absolutely gorgeous. Plus, it’s free! This is a must see for those visiting The Cape, especially for those who enjoy birdwatching. The refuge is open daily from sunrise to sunset. www.fws.gov/northeast/monomoy/

5. Watch the seals from the Chatham Fishing Pier

Head over to the Chatham Fishing Pier and check out the seals, which are always hanging out by the fishing boats looking for something to munch on! You’ll be amazed at just how close you can get to the seals. You can also eat lunch at the Pier and take a seal tour from one of the local seal tour companies. Check out more details at Chathampierfishmarket.com.

6. Watch a Cape Cod Baseball League Game

If you visit the Cape you’re sure to hear about the Cape Cod Baseball League. Players from around the country come to play on this legendary collegiate summer league. In fact, over 950 major league players played in the Cape Cod Baseball League during their college years. You can get tickets and info on Capecodbaseball.org.

7. Visit Main Street Hyannis

Downtown Hyannis is always a great time! There are tons of shops, restaurants, art galleries, and events going on in the area. Hyannis Main Street also has several museums, including the Cape Cod Baseball Museum, the Toad Hall Sports Car Museum, and the Cape Cod Maritime Museum – all of which are free or very inexpensive. Check out a list of all Main Street has to offer, including special events at Hyannismainstreet.com.

8. Check out the Cape Cod Lavender Farm

Here you can stroll through 12 acres of lavender, which typically bloom from late June to mid-July. Let your kids run through their “enchanted forest” (new for 2013) which consists of a miniature version of a Medieval castle and a shade garden. There is also a shop where you can peruse the many lavender-based products made on the farm. The Cape Cod Lavender Farm is located off of Weston Woods Road in Harwich. Get all the details at Capecodlavenderfarm.com.

9. Find the best Lobster Roll on the Cape

Okay, this is where I, personally, like to splurge on my trip! Eating lobster rolls is part of the quintessential Cape Cod experience. I like to choose 2-3 different restaurants each year and try out their lobster rolls, which typically run about $15 apiece. To help with the cost of eating out, I always make sure to stop by one of Cape Cod’s area information centers and pick up all of the pamphlets and activity guides. Many of these have coupons for the local restaurants (as well as for some of the boat tours and other activities).

This is a guest post by Natasha in Dallas, TX
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