Everyone in the family agrees: Cape Cod is our new favorite beach camping destination. We spent a magical week there this summer and can’t wait to return. Here is our list of suggestions for where to stay, what to eat, and how to have tons of family fun!
Where to Stay
Atlantic Oaks RV Park is perfectly situated for exploring the best Cape Cod has to offer. With direct access to the famous Cape Cod bike trail, the campground is only minutes away from beautiful bay beaches and the stunning National Seashore. Located in the quaint town of Eastham, it is a beautiful drive to Provincetown. Famous seafood shacks, miniature golf courses, and a drive in movie theater are all close by. The campground has friendly and welcoming staff, clean facilities, and a well-stocked camp store. We also loved the comfortable lounge and updated game room. The full hook up sites were spacious and well maintained.
What to Do
It is a short and scenic bike ride from the campground to the Coast Guard Beach in the National Seashore. Along the way we enjoyed spotting foxes, rabbits, and birds. Go in the evening, climb up on the life guard stand, and soak in the quiet beauty of the wind and the waves.
The bay beaches are particularly wonderful for families with small children. If you go during low tide, kids will have a blast exploring in the islands of sea grass and tidal pools. The water is surprisingly warm and crystal clear. We recommend bringing along your kayaks, kites, and a picnic lunch for a perfect day on the Cape.
The five dollar entry fee to this state park is the best bargain on Cape Cod. Hike around one of the many kettle ponds, or take a swim and a kayak ride in Flax Pond, where boat and stand up paddle board rentals are available. The park is also famous for biking, birding, and catch and release fishing. There are over 400 sites at the beautiful and secluded campground.
Our boys are still learning to ride bikes and the bike trail was a wonderful way for us to embrace this fun, family activity. We can’t wait to return without the training wheels. The 26-mile trail, directly connected to the Atlantic Oaks RV Park, glides through tunnels and over bridges, pass quiet ponds, noisy miniature golf courses, and sinfully delicious seafood shacks. We recommend rewarding yourself after a bike ride with ice cream at Arnold’s.
After spending several days enjoying the beach, the bay, and the kettle ponds, head over to the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary run by Mass Audobon. Visit in the morning or late afternoon since many of the trails are not shaded. If possible, go at low tide so you can enjoy the beautiful Boardwalk trail. The nature center has puzzles, books, and lots of tanks with fish, turtles, and rare blue lobsters. The variety of landscape was stunning, with salt marshes, wooded areas, and ponds full of frogs and lily pads.
The Cape Cod Baseball League calls itself “the premier amateur baseball league in the nation,” and after enjoying a warm summer evening watching the Harwich Mariners competing against the Orleans Firebirds, it is easy to see why. The collegiate talent is top shelf and so is the clam chowder. Admission to this wooden bat league is free, but donations are welcome. Take home a team cap or t-shirt for the perfect souvenir.
Where to Eat
At least one morning of your vacation should start with donuts from the Hole in One Donut Shop in North Eastham. Get in line early for Cape Cod’s best breakfast splurge, the Glazed Old Fashioned. Yum.
Buy enough coffee for your whole trip at Beanstock Coffee Roasters in Eastham. Then buy some to bring home. We loved the dark and robust Wellfleet Blend and the Vineyard Blend.
If you are on the hunt for the perfect lobster roll, you’d better try one at Arnold’s Lobster and Clam Bar. Bring cash…your cards are not excepted here.
Let the kids romp on the playground at the Friendly Fisherman while you enjoy lobster rolls and crab cakes. If you listen to the locals, this may be the best seafood shack in Cape Cod.
The Marconi Beach Restaurant is perfect for lunch after hiking at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. Ask for Janine as your waitress, since she will gracefully clean up if your kids knock over a huge glass of milk like ours did. She might also recommend the Cape Cod Reuben. Make sure you order it.
Cape Cod had everything we look for in a family-friendly RV vacation. Has your family traveled to Cape Cod? What were your favorite things to do and places to eat? Drop us a comment so we know where to go when we visit next summer! We would love to add to this list…
Jeremy and Stephanie Puglisi blog about camping and traveling with their three young children at livelylittlecampers.com.