Wake up to the sounds of the ocean waves crashing into the white sand beaches and the seagulls crying above. Fill the cooler with all your favorite snacks, grab the towels, and get the kids out of bed for an early morning splash in the Atlantic Ocean before spending the rest of the day exploring the local sites, finding the best lobster rolls, and enjoying too many cones of homemade ice cream.
Falmouth is home to over 68 miles of shoreline dotted with white sand beaches, eight charming New England seaside villages, and a lighthouse. Located in the Upper Cape, there is no shortage of fun family-friendly activities nearby for the whole family to enjoy for a weekend or week.
Martha’s Vineyard is a magical place. Once a prominent whaling community in the 19th century, the island is now a popular summer destination. Many presidents have visited the island over the centuries and President Obama and his family own an estate on the Edgartown Great Pond. Martha’s Vineyard is an easy day trip from Falmouth. Hop on the Island Queen Ferry for a 35-minute ride over to Oaks Bluff. Once you’re on the island, there are tons of things to do from shopping to eating everything lobster to snapping photos of the historic Gingerbread Cottages. Kids will love the Flying Horse Carousel, which is the longest continuously running platform carousel.
Cape Cod Baseball League
One in every six Major League Baseball players have played in the Cape Cod Baseball League including many Boston Red Sox players. First started in 1885, the Cape Cod Baseball League was primarily populated of GIs returning from war until 1963 when the NCAA officially sanctioned the League. The League consists of 10 teams across Cape Cod, including the Falmouth Commodores. The games are fun and affordable for all ages, and you never know what future Major League Baseball player you might see hit a homerun!
Shining Sea Bike Path
Grab your bikes and enjoy the natural beauty of the 10.7-mile Shining Sea Bikeway from the Steamship Authority ferry terminal in Woods Hole to North Falmouth. The year-round two-laned paved bike path was built on the Old Colony Railroad’s Woods Hole branch line. While the bike path does have some climbing, it’s relatively easy making it kid friendly. Spend your morning on two-wheels taking in the lovely views of cranberry bogs, salt marshes, and charming Cape Cod villages.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
Attention shark lovers! Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute is one of the premier research institutes dedicated to ocean research, exploration, and education. Just a short drive from Falmouth, the research facility is the perfect destination for young (and young at heart) ocean lovers. The Ocean Science Discovery Center contains a variety of exhibits, including the REMUS SharkCam, the Ocean Twilight Zone, and Titanic. For older children and adults, the Summer Walking Tours are a great way to explore the WHOI dock area and restricted village facilities.
Heritage Museum and Gardens
Sitting on 100 acres on the banks of Shawme Pond in Historic Sandwich, the Heritage Museums & Gardens is a must visit place for any garden lover. The gardens feature over 1,000 varieties of daylilies, hostas, herbs, and more. In addition to the colorful and fragrant gardens, the Heritage has three galleries containing classic American automobiles, a vintage hand-carved carousel, and American folk art.
Highfield Hall and Gardens
Built in 1878 by the Beebe family of Boston, Highfield Hall is one of the few Stick-style Queen Anne architecture in the Northeast. Surrounded by 700 acres, the estate held grand parties up until the last Beebe family member died. Over the decades, the large estate passed through various hands where it was mostly used as a hotel. In 1949, the estate was purchased by DeWitt TerHeun, who expanded the theatre and turned it into a training ground for student actors. Visit the mansion, see the art exhibits, wander through the gardens, or catch a show. The options are unlimited at Highfield Hall.
Get lost in the woods! Part of the Highfield Hall & Gardens, the Beebe Woods is comprised of 383 acres of land in Falmouth. Beebe Woods is home to an extensive network of walking trails that wind through picturesque forests that surround the “Punch Bowl” pond.
Similar to Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket is a former whaling island turned New England summer getaway destination. Filled with weathered cedar-shingled buildings, dune-back beaches, and lots of seafood restaurants, a day trip to Nantucket is a great way to experience this enchanting island. Take the traditional of high-speed Steamship Authority ferries from Hyannis to Nantucket.
Nobska Light House
Located on Nobska Point, the first Nobska Light House was built in 1829 at the confluence of Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds. A new Keeper’s House and 40-foot lighthouse tower was later built in 1876. In 2017, the Town of Falmouth and the Friends of Nobska Light took responsibility for the lighthouse and have since been turning it into a publicly accessible museum. Bring the whole family and enjoy the stunning views of the sound from the Tower.
Cape Cod Winery
Nestled in the East Falmouth neighborhood just three miles from the Ocean, Cape Cod Winery was established on old strawberry fields and cranberry bogs. Serving a variety of wines, including some mixed with summer berries, one of their most famous bottles is the Rose Mermaid Water, which is perfect for afternoon on the porch overlooking the ocean. Spend your day walking through the vineyards and wine tasting under the sun.
Spend a quiet morning sipping your coffee in the six-acre woodland garden next to Oyster Pond. Sophr Gardens is the charitable trust of Charles and Margaret Spohr. The couples moved to Falmouth in 1950 and began building their gardens. The gardens are full of daffodils, rhododendrons, azaleas, day lilies, and hundreds more. From July through September, the Butterfly Garden is home to hundreds of butterflies from Monarchs to Painted Lady to Spicebush Swallowtails.
Discover the Beauty of Falmouth
If you’re looking for New England coastal charm, then you have come to the right place. The seaside town of Falmouth is the perfect place to use as your home base as you explore the natural beauty of Cape Cod and the islands. Just don’t forget the sunscreen.