We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

First time going to the Cape...Would love some suggestions

Level Contributor
2 posts
8 reviews
First time going to the Cape...Would love some suggestions

Staying off 2nd Ave in Barnstable at the end of August. Have wanted to go to the Cape for years, and it's finally going to work out. I'm super excited.

Travelling with my husband, children, and my dad and stepmom..so needed a house large enough to accommodate. The only one I could find in our price point was in Hyannis/Barnstable near Craigville Beach. However, after booking, I've seen so many negative reviews concerning Hyannis that I now feel I'm going to be deprived of experiencing the true cape town feel.

We do plan on traveling to Chatham and other towns on the cape, and taking a daytrip to MV at least..perhaps also Nantucket if our funds hold out...

Are we making a mistake using Hyannis as our base camp, of sorts? And, if we could only see one island and perhaps never return...which would we be wise to see? Additionally... is Craigville Beach super packed at the end of August through the week?

Thanks for all your help!

New Orleans...
Level Contributor
5,710 posts
133 reviews
1. Re: First time going to the Cape...Would love some suggestions

Craigville Beach is really nice. Big long beach, can't believe it would be that crowded, especially since the last week of August a lot of kids are already back in school.

Hyannis is a village in Barnstable,which is a geographically large town with several villages in it .Craigville, Marstons Mills, Barnstable Village, Hyannis, Hyannisport, etc. So your rental is in Craigville, not in Hyannis. Relax.

Boston...
Level Contributor
22,456 posts
693 reviews
2. Re: First time going to the Cape...Would love some suggestions

Hyannis is a city, easily avoidable. Good to have nearby if it rains and you want to go to a mall or a movie, or for a special meal as there are lots of restaurants.

New Hampshire
Level Contributor
447 posts
84 reviews
3. Re: First time going to the Cape...Would love some suggestions

In my opinion, Hyannis is the best place to use as a base to explore the Cape. You have ferries to both islands, easy access to upper and lower Cape and Rte 6 to get you to the outer Cape. I'm not sure what reviews you've read, but you would be doing yourself a disservice to not walk Main Street at least once. The restaurants are top notch and there is plenty of shopping, ice cream, candy, arcades, etc.

The islands offer different things. Nantucket is smaller and more historic. MV is more spread out and touristy. MV offers more for kids, but both have great beaches and quaint villages.

I don't think Craigville beach will be packed. It's huge and the season will be winding down. If your rental offers a Barnstable beach pass, use it to go to Covell's beach next door. It's a part of Cragville beach set aside for residents only. It should be less crowded.

Falmouth...
Level Contributor
695 posts
16 reviews
4. Re: First time going to the Cape...Would love some suggestions

Craigville Beach will be very nice. If you're in walking distance to the beach, that will be better, still. (Parking fees at town beaches are for parking, only. If you walk, it's free. National Seashore is different, though.) There are certain down-sides to the commercial area of Hyannis, but you won't be near any of that.

If you're on a budget and want to see one of the islands, check the Steamship Authority ferry from Woods Hole to Martha's Vineyard. If you're buying 5 or 6 tickets, the savings over the ferry from Hyannis might be worth it to you. From Craigville, I would allow 30-45 minutes to drive to the ferry parking lot in Falmouth. That would also get you to Woods Hole which is always worth a quick visit.

Travelling with kids, I would head for Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard. If nothing else, the Flying Horses Carousel would be memories for a long, long time, especially if one of them (or you) caught the brass ring. The Gingerbread Cottages at the MV Camp Meeting Association in Oak Bluffs is a one-of-a-kind place that you won't see anywhere else.

https:/…2017annualbrochure.pdf

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_Eg-TgUrYA

Chicago, IL
Destination Expert
for Cape Cod
Level Contributor
15,882 posts
34 reviews
5. Re: First time going to the Cape...Would love some suggestions

"perhaps never return" Where are you from Sara that you might never return? I know you will Want to return.

Get your hands on a copy of the best guide book for the Cape. You can browse it at Barnes and Noble or your library. Even our little library has a copy. Then you can pick the activities, sights, restaurants that sound good to you because you certainly can't do it all.

The guide book is -- An Explorer's Guide: Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard & Nantucket by Kim Grant. And she only discusses the seasonal and year round attractions, commercial and natural. In addition there are many events.

Will you be on the Cape Aug. 25? If so you can enjoy the final Free Fridays. I can post it for you if you will be here then.

Boston...
Level Contributor
6,716 posts
283 reviews
6. Re: First time going to the Cape...Would love some suggestions

If you're going to explore other areas of the cape, it's a great base. If you were just going to spend your whole vacation in Hyannis, not so much. Enjoy your trip!

Chicago, IL
Destination Expert
for Cape Cod
Level Contributor
15,882 posts
34 reviews
7. Re: First time going to the Cape...Would love some suggestions

Many visitors enjoy Hyannis every summer. Somehow the Kennedy's have managed there too.

The area to visit is about Main St. or North St. south to the harbor area. And, as noted above, it's a great location to hop onto the highway and do a day trip to towns east like Sandwich or west to get out to one of the National Seashore beaches one day or take the ferry to MV.

Congratulations on scoring a house that meets all your needs and will make a good vacation base. Enjoy.

Massachusetts
Level Contributor
157 posts
61 reviews
8. Re: First time going to the Cape...Would love some suggestions

We stay in Barnstable and I can say that it is easy enough to avoid the "big city" vibe of Hyannis if you want to.

You can stay on Rt 6A and enjoy the charm of the small Cape towns.

However, it has often been handy to have all of the stores in Hyannis so close when we have forgotten something or had to fix something (like a flat tire for example).

Staying Mid-Cape is great. It takes less time to get to your vacation house, which also means less traffic on your trip home; and you can go in any direction to enjoy the awesome beaches!

Don't stress over negative reviews you have read. It will be fun to explore the area and you will have lots of choices with both ocean and bay beaches close by, and the National Seashore is only about a half hour away.

Cullercoats, United...
Level Contributor
636 posts
177 reviews
9. Re: First time going to the Cape...Would love some suggestions

We have just returned from a week staying in Hyannis which we chose as it seemed central for trips out. We have had a lovely week, you can get the ferry to Nantucket and Marthas Vineyard from the port at Hyannis it is easy to drive to all of the lovely quaint villages nearby and there are plenty of restaurants on Main Street. Yes it isn't as picturesque as some of the other towns but it is very pleasant by the marina and there is a nice beach by Memorial Park. I am sure you will have a good time.

Centerville...
Level Contributor
2 posts
8 reviews
10. Re: First time going to the Cape...Would love some suggestions

Try Kalmus Beach in Hyannis. One side on the bay and the other on the ocean. Great snack bar. Everything from lobster rolls to hotdogs. The duckboat is fun for kids or try a harbor cruise around Hyannis harbor where you will see the Kennedy compound. Have lunch or dinner on the water at the legendary Baxters. Perhaps you can catch a show at the Melody Tent. Lot's to do. You will have a great time!