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How to get to Cape Cod from Boston

Do you love the beach and the sea? If you're visiting Boston then Cape Cod is a must-visit for you. There are different ways to get to this wonderful tourist destination.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

9 min read

How to get to Cape Cod from Boston

Cape Cod | ©Domenico Convertini

Among the list of things to see and do in Boston you must always include a visit to Cape Cod, a peninsula located in eastern Massachusetts that is very easy to get to from Boston. It is about 112 kilometers by road from the city of Boston and to get there you can use different transportation systems.

1. An organized tour: the best way to travel to Cape Cod from Boston

Getting to know Cape Cod| ©Domenico Convertini
Getting to know Cape Cod| ©Domenico Convertini

Traveling on a tour from Boston to Cape Cod is perhaps the best decision as it allows you to concentrate on the places you want to visit and forget about the logistics. If you like history tours in Boston, you will love these excursions as the guides narrate curious and historical facts during the tour. If you don't know English, don't worry, these tours usually have staff who speak Spanish or provide you with headphones and equipment to listen to the narration.

This tour begins with a sightseeing cruise that can depart from Long Wharf or MacMillan Pier. The ferry passes places such as:

  • The Sandwich Glass Museum, located in the historic town of Sandwich, a museum that exhibits a variety of rare glass and its manufacturing process.

  • The John F. Kennedy Memorial.

  • The Cape Cod Canal, which you will cross while enjoying the breathtaking panoramic views.

Next, you can stroll down Main Street Hyannis for snacks and souvenirs. Your next stop will most likely be Gray's Beach, a beautiful place to take some pictures. There you can also stroll along the walkway over the famous mudflats, depending on the time allowed on the tour. The last tour is usually a trip along Lewis Bay to appreciate the beauty of the scenery and see the Kennedy residences and other landmarks. At the end, a bus will be waiting to take you back.

Practical Information

  • Price: approximately 150 €.
  • Travel time: the whole excursion can take from 9 to 10 hours.
  • Advantages: it is possible to appreciate beautiful views of the city and the islands of Boston Harbor during your sailing.
  • Disadvantages: You must be punctual at all pick-up times to avoid missing your bus or ferry ride. Also, weather conditions are sometimes unfavorable, so you will need to look for another option.

Book a sightseeing cruise in Boston

2. Travel to Cape Cod from Boston by plane, the fastest option

Traveling by Plane from Boston| ©Karen Mallonee
Traveling by Plane from Boston| ©Karen Mallonee

If you are in a hurry, the best thing to do is to buy a plane ticket. With Cape Air you can fly from Boston Logan International Airport to any airport on Cape Cod:

  • Towns of Hyannis and Provincetown (Provincetown Municipal Airport).
  • Nantucket Islands (Nantucket Memorial Airport).
  • Martha's Vineyard.

If you land on any of the islands you will have the opportunity to explore them first before traveling to the other locations. If that is what you want to do, you will have to take a ferry to one of the towns I mentioned before.

Before you buy your ticket, check what kind of luggage you can bring. Personally I recommend you take only what you need, because if you take extra luggage you will have to invest a little more in your trip. Also, if you are only visiting for a day, all you will need is a backpack with the basics for your trip. Also, don't forget to plan your route from the airport to the beach or hotel.

Practical information

  • Price: between 70 and 140 €.
  • Travel time: about half an hour, plus embarkation and disembarkation time and the transfer from the airport to your final destination.
  • Advantages: it is the fastest option you will find.
  • Disadvantages: depending on the date, tickets may sell out or be very expensive.

Book a tour to Martha's Vineyard from Boston

3. Rent a car from Boston to Cape Cod

Driving a Car| ©Orkun Azap
Driving a Car| ©Orkun Azap

For some people, it's much safer and more relaxing to drive to their destination. If that's the case for you, don't worry, you can drive to Cape Cod even if you don't have a car of your own as you can rent one from companies like Budget or AVIS.

Before you embark on your journey from Boston to the Cape, you'll need to find an easy route to follow: the quickest is to take I-93 South from Boston. Then exit onto MA-3 South and US-6 East to MA-132 S/Lyannough Road in Barnstable. To make sure you don't get lost at any point, I recommend using an online map or a printed one, in addition to GPS, in case your car has it built in.

You should also think about the sites you will visit once you get to Cape Cod. Among them is the Cape Cod National Seashore, located on the Outer Cape peninsula. There you will be able to see beaches, forests, ponds and many other landscapes that will be a marvel if you are a nature lover.

Traveller Tip

Don't forget to bring enough water to keep you hydrated when you spend a lot of time under the sun, and check the weather forecast in advance.

Practical information

  • Price: approximately €140 plus the cost of parking (some towns and villages have free parking, while certain beaches have special rates).
  • Travel time: about 1 hour and a half.
  • Advantages: you can plan your departure time and make the stops you prefer.
  • Disadvantages: when you arrive at your destination you will have to look for a place to park and this can generate more expenses.

4. Take a bus to Cape Cod, the easiest and cheapest option

Peter Pan Bus Lines| ©MW Transit Photos
Peter Pan Bus Lines| ©MW Transit Photos

The easiest and cheapest option to travel from Boston to Cape Cod is to take a bus, although you will have to start your trip very early in the morning and, if you do not want to go in a hurry or make a marathon journey, it is best to look for a hotel to at least spend the night.

Peter Pan Bus Lines is a New England bus company that offers different routes to various places in Cape Cod such as Barnstable, Eastham, Falmouth, Orleans, Provincetown, among others. The buses have air conditioning, restrooms, power outlets for recharging electronics, and plenty of room for you to stretch your legs in your seat.

If you want to explore beyond Hyannis and Barnstable, two of the most common destinations, I recommend traveling to Falmouth. Make sure your last stop is at Steamship Authority Pier so you have the option of taking a ferry to Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket.

Practical Information

  • Price: from 16 € to 30 €.
  • Travel time: about 4 hours.
  • Advantages: inexpensive and comfortable
  • Disadvantages: travel time can be very long compared to other means of transport.

Book your tourist bus in Boston

5. Taking the train to Cape Cod from Boston, a convenient option for a few months

Train from Boston| ©davemontalvo
Train from Boston| ©davemontalvo

Unfortunately, the train may not always be a viable option, as the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) offers a train line called the CapeFlyer that only runs from May 30 (Memorial Day) through September 5 (Labor Day), on weekends only.

The good news is that if you travel within those dates you can avoid the traffic when leaving Boston, which tends to be frequent especially during the summer.

This transportation can take you to Wareham Village, Buzzard's Bay and Hyannis. And if you want to travel to the Cape Cod Islands, I recommend taking the trains that have coordinated schedules with some ferries. This way you can arrive at one of these stops, board the boat and start your journey from the islands.

Practical Information

  • Price: approximately 30 €. Children under 11 years old travel for free.
  • Duration of the trip: about 2 hours and a half.
  • Advantages: it is economical and avoids the traffic of road travel.
  • Disadvantages: it only operates for a few months a year around summer and only on weekends.

6. Traveling by ferry from Boston to Cape Cod

Boston Ferry| ©Shadow _ Traveler
Boston Ferry| ©Shadow _ Traveler

Traveling by ferry from Boston to Cape Cod is one of the first options travelers consider. While it's most common to take the ferry as part of an excursion, you can also travel on your own.

Companies such as Boston Harbor City Cruises offer boat rides/water cabs, ferries, cruises and special whale watching excursions, although the only option that will drop you off in Cape Cod is the ferry. Note that they do not transport vehicles, so you will have to get to the departure point by cab or park your car until you return at the end of the day.

On the other hand, ferry trips usually drop their passengers off in Provincetown, from where they can tour the entire Cape Cod. However, you can take other boats to the islands by purchasing your tickets from companies such as Hy-Line Cruises.

Practical Information

  • Price: approximately 70 € and usually includes drinks and snacks along the way.
  • Travel time: about 1.5 hours.
  • Advantages: it does not depend on traffic and the sea route is very interesting.
  • Disadvantages: less frequent than other transports and only one destination.

Tips for the journey between Boston and Cape Cod

On the Beach| ©pedrik
On the Beach| ©pedrik

Cape Cod is a beach paradise that attracts tourists from all over the United States and the world. It is famous for being a corner full of tropical life that many city dwellers crave. Although you can go at any time of the year, the best time is during the summer, as you can enjoy the beaches more.

Usually this destination is very crowded during the weekends, so if it is within your means, it would be better to go on a weekday. This way you will be able to enjoy lower prices and less traffic in case you travel by road.

In any case, there you will find multiple options to enjoy:

  • Going to the beach is certainly among the thingsto see and do in Boston during the summer. You can even choose from the quieter beaches such as Race Point Beach, Cape Cod National Seashore and Herring Cove Beach.
  • If you want to surf then the beaches with waves that I recommend you to visit are Nauset Beach and Coast Guard Beach.
  • If you want to visit the stores, museums and coastal towns with tranquility, I advise you to take your bike. When you arrive you can use it on the Cape Cod Rail Trail, a paved and marked route.
  • You can also use the Shining Sea Bikeway, which directs cyclists to the seashore.
  • If you want to stay on the peninsula, there are many alternatives to suit all budgets. You will find five-star hotels such as the well-known Wequassett Resort and Golf Club but you can also access more economical options.

Compare the options I have offered you

  • Organized excursion
  • Price: approximately 150 €.
  • Duration of the trip: the whole excursion can take from 9 to 10 hours.
  • Advantages: it is possible to appreciate beautiful views of the city and the islands of Boston Harbor during your sailing.
  • Disadvantages: You must be punctual at all pick-up times to avoid missing your bus or ferry ride. Also, weather conditions are sometimes unfavorable, so you may need to look for another option.
  • Plane
  • Price: between 70 and 140 €.
  • Travel time: about half an hour.
  • Advantages: it is the fastest option you will find.
  • Disadvantages: depending on the date, tickets may be sold out or very expensive.
  • Rented car
  • Price: about 140 ¤.
  • Travel time: about 1 hour and a half.
  • Advantages: you can plan your departure time and make the stops you prefer.
  • Disadvantages: when you arrive at your destination you will have to find a place to park and this can generate more expenses.
  • Bus
  • Price: from 16 ¤ to 30 ¤.
  • Travel time: about 4 hours.
  • Advantages: it is economical and comfortable
  • Disadvantages: travel time can be very long compared to other methods. For this reason you may need to start your journey very early in the morning.
  • Train
  • Price: about 30 ¤.
  • Journey time: about 2 hours and a half.
  • Advantages: it is economical and avoids the traffic of road travel.
  • Disadvantages: it operates only for a few months of the year on weekends.
  • Ferry
  • Price: about 70 €.
  • Travel time: about an hour and a half.
  • Advantages: the scenery from the sea.
  • Disadvantages: you will be more limited by the schedules.