Hotel at a Glance: Heritage House Hotel
Though Heritage House Hotel was built in 1968, the Cape Cod institution has an eye toward the future. A full renovation made it the area’s first hotel to run on solar power, drawn from 464 panels on the roof. The hotel offsets approximately 145,000 pounds of carbon dioxide every year, doing its part to keep Cape Cod a beautiful destination for fishing, swimming, and strolling down historical streets. In addition to its eco-friendly practices, the hotel has a visitor-friendly location in Hyannis—considered the “capital of the Cape” for its charming harbor and sailing industry.
- Where you’ll stay: Newly renovated guest rooms come with free WiFi and a flat-screen TV.
- Onsite restaurant: At Chauncy’s Bar & Grille, chefs cook breakfast each morning as well as later meals of grilled swordfish and filet mignon. Select options include a $30 dining credit.
- Bring a bathing suit to swim in an indoor salt-system pool and relax in the hot tub.
- Take in the view from a furnished balcony or patio, available in many rooms.
- Walking distance to: Hyannis Inner Harbor, where guests can go sailing and learn about regional history at the Cape Cod Maritime Museum.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts: Quaint Villages, Protected Beaches, and Miles of Shoreline
In the late 19th century, Cape Cod began to blossom into a summer vacation destination as visitors swapped crowded coastal cities for the sandy shores of eastern Massachusetts. Today, the arm-shaped peninsula encompasses a string of idyllic fishing villages, rolling dunes, and 300 miles of sandy shoreline—and it’s still the place where many East Coasters choose to spend their leisurely summer days. Popular attractions include fresh-seafood restaurants, quaint stores, and bicycle trails, such as the 11-mile Shining Sea Bikeway that wends from North Falmouth to Woods Hole.
But there’s also plenty to do in winter, when the crowds are a lot smaller. On the uppermost tip of the Cape, the free-spirited art colony of Provincetown attracts visitors year-round. This is one of the best places to head for a vibrant nightlife scene—there are cabarets, bars, and lounges aplenty. Pop into the Provincetown Art Association and Museum to check out local artwork, both historical and contemporary. Farther south, the Woods Hole Science Aquarium houses 140 marine animals native to the Northeast and mid-Atlantic region. You might even see marine biologists feeding the seals in the aquarium’s outdoor enclosure.
On the Mid Cape, you’ll find Barnstable and its seven villages. The city’s southern edge encompasses 100 miles of beaches, including Craigville Beach, the largest in the area. Sandy Neck Beach maintains hiking trails, where you’ll enjoy views of scenic ocean vistas and maritime forests. Head to Hyannis Inner Harbor for sailing and whale-watching tours, or take a walk inland and visit historical attractions such as the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum.