Captain Farris House

Nauseat Lighthouse during the winter on Cape Cod with sun rays shining down

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Your Ultimate Guide to Cape Cod Winter Getaways

Updated for 2024

We’ve put together your ultimate guide to Cape Cod winter getaways because winter is fast becoming a great season to visit this island paradise, especially for those within a short driving distance looking for a quieter, relaxing respite from the day-to-day hustle. Use the links below to jump to any sections you are interested in.

  1. Visit the Cape Cod National Seashore
  2. Biking Around Cape Cod
  3. Hike the Heart of Cape Cod
  4. Cross-Country Skiing on Cape Cod
  5. Indoor Ice Skating
  6. Wine & Beer Tastings
  7. Cape Cod Bowling Alleys
  8. Catch a Flick
  9. Get Your Culture On
  10. In the Mood to Shop
  11. Restaurants Open Year-Round
  12. Stay Cozy at the Captain Farris House

Though a cold wind often sweeps across the landscape, in truth, Cape Cod’s winter weather is mild compared to most of New England. Average daily highs reach the 40s, and nights typically cool to the upper 20s. You’ll still need a warm outer layer, hat, scarf, and mittens to embrace outdoor adventures fully. Somehow, it always feels warmer when the sun is brightly shining while hiking, biking, or just breathing in the natural beauty of Cape Cod.  The oceans work magic in maintaining the Cape’s temperate climate. But plenty of indoor activities await those who prefer to enjoy winter inside.

Long known as a warm weather destination for its beaches and dunes, Cape Cod offers a kind of sublime solitude in winter that speaks to those who seek a more relaxed retreat. Though we love the hubbub of spring, summer, and fall here, we appreciate the vast array of activities that entertain us when the days get cooler and the nights longer.

Long walks on deserted beaches. Gentle forays into nature and the simple pleasure of an intimate dining experience without a long wait are the ticket for those who are savvy enough to discover Cape Cod in winter.

So, let’s dive deeper into the pleasures of a Cape Cod winter getaway.


Visit The Cape Cod National Seashore

Stretching along the shoreline from Chatham to Provincetown, Cape Cod National Seashore offers miles of sandy beaches, a smattering of kettle ponds, and untouched salt marshes harboring abundant wildlife. Start your visit at the Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham for an overview of what the park offers. And be sure to watch the delightful orientation film Standing Bold, which showcases the history and natural beauty of the seashore.

Take A Ride on The Wild Side

Miles of bike trails crisscross the bent elbow of Cape Cod. Pedal along the Cape Cod Canal on a 6-mile path, watching for shipping traffic that frequents this artificial canal. The Shining Sea trail runs from North Falmouth to Woods Hole, taking riders through salt marsh and cranberry bogs to the tiny fishing village home to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. And the granddaddy of them all, the Cape Cod Rail Trail, spins a 26-mile route through 6 Cape Cod towns along a paved bike trail that was once used by the Cape Cod Railroad to transport freight and passengers.

Hike The Heart of Cape Cod

If you’d instead trade two wheels for your own two feet, hiking along tidal flats, through nature preserves, and into the woods is a delightful way to spend a morning or afternoon outdoors, even in winter. The diverse nature of Cape Cod’s hiking trails includes wildlife sanctuaries, conservation lands, and state park lands. Choose gentle walks through salt marsh and natural habitats or more invigorating treks through dunes to a remote beach.

Cross-Country Skiing on Cape Cod

While not known as a ski destination, Cape Cod offers plenty of opportunities to test your cross-country skiing skills when a fresh blanket of snow covers the ground. Beebe Woods in Falmouth, with 383 acres of pristine forest, beckons Nordic skiers whenever the snow flies. The trails throughout Nickerson State Park in Brewster create downhill challenges with its hilly terrain. Many of Cape Cod’s golf courses invite skiers to trek along the sloping fairways, even with just a few inches of snow. Be sure to check the club’s rules for cross-country before heading out.

Indoor Skating

A few indoor rinks on Cape Cod offer public skating; most offer skate rentals if you don’t bring your own. Practice your toe loops, Salchows, and camel spins at any of the following public arenas.

Wine & Beer Tastings

An afternoon spent sipping and swirling your way through any of Cape Cod’s fabulous vineyards and wineries sounds like the perfect way to taste the region’s terroir. If wine is not your thing, sample the IPAs and ales at some craft breweries. Plan a self-guided tour or opt for a tour package with Tap Tastings. However you go about it, be sure to have a designated driver and a map to find all these great spots for a refreshing taste of Cape Cod.

Get Your Ducks in A Row at a Cape Cod Bowling Alley

Whether you prefer duckpin or candlepin, Cape Cod sports a few tempting spots to while away a few hours bowling with friends and family. Some even offer more amusements, such as gaming arcades, laser tag, escape rooms, axe throwing, darts, and pool tables. And a few offer dine-in options and live music. Visit these great spots for some indoor fun.

Catch A Flick

Movies present an opportunity to escape reality and enter another world filled with action, adventure, romance, or mystery. Grab some popcorn and a fountain drink, then sit back and relax in a darkened theater for a trip to another destination at any of these local theaters.

Get Your Culture On

Contrary to popular belief, arts and culture on Cape Cod are thriving throughout the year. We are fortunate to be across the street from the Cape Cod Cultural Center, which offers many activities year-round. Dive into any of their countless opportunities to expand your knowledge and insight through culinary programs, films and lectures, music, health and wellness, and so much more. On par with our local venue, the Cotuit Center for the Arts offers a full roster of educational classes and live musical theater throughout the year.

In The Mood to Shop

Shopping may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but for those who enjoy a foray into unique boutiques and antique haunts, Cape Cod does not disappoint. For an old-time village shopping spree, try Mashpee Commons. Main street shopping in Chatham, Hyannis, and Provincetown has specialty shops and souvenirs galore. And if you’re on the hunt for something unusual from the past, check out some of the antique centers that remain open year-round. And for the thrifters among you, you’ll find many treasures at our local thrift shops.

Restaurants Open Year Round

No matter how you slice it, dining out shoots to the top of the list of desired activities on a Cape Cod getaway. And we certainly don’t lack world-class restaurants even in winter. Known for fresh seafood and eclectic menus, the food scene here is ever-evolving but always note-worthy. Check out some of our favorite dining venues that are open all year.

Aunt Liddy's Room at the Captain Farris House

Stay Cozy at Captain Farris House

Captain Farris House welcomes visitors from early February through mid-December. With this ultimate guide to Cape Cod winter getaways, we’re sure you’ll find the perfect assortment of fun things to see and do when the snow flies on our island paradise. Book your favorite room at Captain Farris House for a girlfriend’s getaway, romantic retreat, beer buddies adventure, or family reunion. It’s a world away from every day.

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