Cape Cod has cultural and recreational activities for any age or interest. Combine that with a long history as one of America’s oldest settled regions, and it’s no wonder the area is bristling with museums.
Museum hopping is the perfect rainy-day (or otherwise) activity for history, art and culture buffs visiting the Cape. Some are open seasonally, some year-round, and all have something informative and interesting waiting for you.
Museums Worth Exploring
- Cape Cod Maritime Museum
See the Cape’s maritime past and present in rotating exhibits and hands-on activities.
- John F. Kennedy Museum
Photos, video, and oral history from the days JFK spent on Cape Cod in the “summer White House.”
- Mass Audubon’s Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary
Live animal exhibits, and educational programs, including water-based activities and walking trails.
- Cape Cod Museum of Natural History
Showcases the natural world on Cape Cod, and features aquarium, terrariums, nature trails and interactive activities.
- Edward Gorey House
The residence of the late author and artist Edward Gorey celebrates his life and work.
- Cape Cod National Seashore Salt Pond Visitor Center
Family0oriented programs and exhibits next to expansive views of the marshes and ocean, with walking and biking trails nearby.
- Cape Cod Children’s Museum
Twenty+ interactive exhibits designed for children up to eight years old.
- Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
Come and enjoy nature trails, a butterfly garden, exhibits, seal and nature cruises, kayak tours, and family programs.
- Woods Hole Science Aquarium
Small aquarium with over 130 species on display. Self-guided tours give you a behind-the-scenes look at the operation.
- Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Ocean Science Exhibit Center
Learn about the institution’s ocean science research and the vessels and tools developed by WHOI engineers.
- Heritage Museum & Gardens
Heritage is perfect for the whole family, with walking paths, beautiful gardens, permanent collections and changing special exhibits. The Adventure Park at Heritage features aerial adventure trails.
- Cahoon Museum of American Art
Exhibits of fine art, folk art, and American art from the 1800s to today, with artist's talks, workshops, and family activities.
- Whydah Pirate Ship Museum
Highlighting the wreck of the Whydah and the world’s only recovered pirate treasure as found by famed explorer Barry Clifford, the museum is a National Geographic Society “Special Event.”
- Provincetown Art Association and Museum
PAAM is a nationally recognized, year-round cultural institution that fuses the creative energy of America’s oldest active art colony with the natural beauty of outer Cape Cod.
Local tip: Be sure to visit the Cape Cod Museum Trail website for more ideas