Honeymoon on Cape Cod and the Massachusetts Islands

chatham bars inn view
Chatham Bars Inn

Cape Cod, Boston's playground, is where New Englanders go to dig their toes into the sand. Yet for sun-and-surf-loving honeymoon couples from any region, it's worth a visit when the weather is warm. In addition to the climate being more agreeable in summer, it's easier to reach at that time. While ferry service runs year-round, commercial jet service is limited off-season.

Along the undeveloped, 40-mile-long Cape Cod National Seashore on the Atlantic, every town has its pristine wide beach. Kayaking and canoeing can take you into quiet coves. Each morning deep-sea fishing charters head for the ocean, and boat captains seem to have a seventh sense about where striped bass, bluefish, shark, and tuna run.

Whale-watching expeditions can yield as many as a hundred sightings on a single trip to the Atlantic. Back on land, nature lovers and bird-watchers may take a self-guided tour through the Audubon Society's Wildlife Sanctuary in Falmouth.

And it truly is romantic here: Walk along the docks of authentic fishing villages and visit farmers markets, artisan fairs, art galleries, and pop in to concerts, films, and lectures. Share a dozen oysters and explore their reputed aphrodisiacal qualities. Salute the sunrise, the sunset and the starry nights that seem custom-made for lovers.

Provincetown: On the Edge

On the tip of Cape Cod, miles of beach coast edge the peninsula where Provincetown is located. In summer, crowds spill over the sidewalks of Commercial Street and into this bohemian town's art galleries, leather and jewelry emporiums, even unique stores devoted solely to pets and their paraphernalia.

At the Provincetown Art Association and Museum visitors find books that detail the area's history and artistic residents who called this place home. For a truly exhilarating and romantic experience, horseback riders can follow a trail that takes them over the dunes at sunset.

The Islands off Cape Cod

Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard are charming islands off the Cape. Swimmers find the unexpectedly warm water around Martha's Vineyard's powdery south shore beaches a delight. Other honeymooners play tennis and golf here.

There are many small, cozy places to stay on Martha's Vineyard. If you love antiques and genuine, old-fashioned hospitality, consider booking a stay at The Charlotte Inn in Edgartown. It's a member of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux group of inns, and takes pride in its cuisine.

From the air, silvery shingled rooftops distinguish Nantucket, a former 19th century whaling town. It's reachable by plane, boat, or ferry. New arrivals often convert to two-wheel transportation, bicycling down flat roads to reach the wide public beaches ringing the island.

Should one of you like the city while the other prefers the beach, consider starting off or ending your trip to Cape Cod with a few days in Boston. The compromise will ease you gently into marriage.

Where to Stay

Cape Cod has every kind of lodging from AirBnBs to venerable old inns to motels (there aren't a lot of major hotels here; they'd overwhelm the environment). Chatham Bars Inn, which opened in 1914, is in the style of a grand old hotel. Guests can choose to stay in the main inn or a semi-private cottage.

If you prefer going off on your own, investigate short-stay house rentals in Hyannis, Truro, Wellfleet and other summer havens.

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