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I’m honestly not sure how we went all these years without seeing Cape Cod National Seashore. We finally made it this summer though, and we were blown away by the beauty and fun we found there. Seriously, if you’re trying to decide where to take your RV next, this is the place.

Oddly, we went into this particular RV adventure without doing much research at all. This isn’t like me, but we were so rushed at the beginning of our summer travels that it just happened this way. It worked out alright, but I don’t recommend doing it that way. Instead, read the rest of this article so you can know what we had to learn for ourselves once we got there. This will allow you to skip the frustrating bits and jump into the fun.

Without further ado, here are the best things to do in Cape Cod National Seashore!

Boondock on the Beach

Did you know you can boondock on the beach in Cape Cod National Seashore? I didn’t, and I really, really wished I had known. In fact, I didn’t even figure this out until our last day there when I happened to see an RV parked on the beach and asked someone about it. Otherwise, I might have skipped the rest of our RV park stay and moved my rig over to that beautiful sandy beach.

If you’re visiting this area in your RV, this is definitely something to look into while researching your lodging options.

Photograph Lighthouses

Everyone knows that Cape Cod is famous for its lighthouses, so it only makes sense to make a point of seeing some of those lighthouses while you’re there. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to find many of these, and you won’t really have to go out of your way to do it. I made a game of photographing as many as I could while we were there and ended up leaving with some great photos and even better memories.

Enjoy a Beach Day (or Five)

Perhaps the most obvious thing to do while at any national seashore is to enjoy the beach. We ended up spending several days just relaxing on the beach while we were in Cape Cod and I don’t regret one minute of it.

We especially loved Nauset Light Beach for the views of the lighthouse and Marconi Beach for surfing. That said, Nauset Light Beach plays host to a lot of tiny biting bugs, so be sure to pack bug spray!

Watch for Seals

Seal watching was one of the coolest things we did at Cape Cod National Seashore. The thing is, we didn’t even mean to go seal watching. The adorable animals just sort of appeared in front of us while we were out enjoying the beach!

This happened several times in several different locations, so spotting some seals while you’re there shouldn’t be a hard thing to do, and it’s a totally fun and unique adventure that the whole family can enjoy together. Just make sure to pack some binoculars!

(Note: I hear whales can sometimes be spotted as well, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for those.)

Go on a Hike

Most people don’t think of hiking when they think of the seaside, but being the hiking fanatics we are, we thought we’d give it a try. Amazingly, there are a number of trails all over Cape Cod and many of them are located along the national seashore.

We ended up on the Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Trail and thoroughly enjoyed it (though the bugs were a bit overwhelming). We’ve also heard good things about the Great Island Trail, the Sand Dune Trail, and the Long Point Lighthouse Trail.

Learn Some History

During our week in Cape Cod, we also visited the Old Life Saving Station. This was a fun way to squeeze in a history lesson for our road schooling kiddos. The whole space was set up like it would have been when still in use as a life-saving station. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a lot of signage explaining what the people living and working here did, but the ranger on duty was incredibly knowledgeable and happy to share all kinds of information.

Eat Lobster and Ice Cream

No trip to Cape Cod is complete without a meal of lobster followed by soft-serve ice cream, so we made sure to enjoy both. You will need to leave the national seashore to obtain either thing, but both are available very nearby at a number of eateries.

We ended up at JT’s Seafood and enjoyed our lobster rolls as well as the amazingly creamy soft-serve ice cream. (It was probably the best soft-serve we’ve ever had, in fact.)

Attend a Ranger Program

We’ve been to a lot of NPS ranger programs over the years. Cape Cod had two of the best ones we’ve ever experienced.

One was a program geared toward kids (perfect for putting toward that Junior Ranger badge) that was all about horseshoe crabs. The ranger was obviously passionate about the animals—to the point of having a horseshoe crab tattoo!—and came prepared with plenty of hands-on ways for the kids to learn about these fascinating animals. Both our 10-year-old and our two-year-old loved this presentation.

The other program we attended was a nighttime celebration of the June supermoon. It was also a fabulous time, and it brings us to our final point:

Look at the Night Sky

Cape Cod is an official International Dark Sky Park. This means the light pollution here is very low, leading to some seriously spectacular night skies. Be sure to look up after the sun goes down so you can enjoy the show while you’re there. It’s worth staying up for!

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About the author: Chelsea Gonzales

Chelsea has the amazing opportunity to take part in full-time RV living and traveling with her tiny tribe. She homeschools her five-year-old son as they travel, and takes full advantage of their unique situation by using the entire world as her son’s classroom. A group of total Disney fanatics, Chelsea and her family often find themselves in the Orlando area in order to visit the Disney parks, but they have also visited over 25 of the 50 states with plans to see many more along the way. No matter where her travels take her, Chelsea enjoys riding bikes, gazing at beautiful sunsets, finding new coffee shops, Irish dancing, and sitting around a campfire with her family.

You can join her adventures through her blog, Wonder Wherever We Wander.

Matthew W.“Mary was very friendly and very knowledgeable. She went above and beyond to make sure we were ok. Overall it was a great experience!”