In Cape Cod/ New England/ USA

Visiting Cape Cod Off Season Ultimate New England Holiday

cape cod

The quintessential New England holiday hotspot is exactly that – timeless. After a smooth trip from our farmhouse stay in Massachusetts, we arrived at a very cold Cape on Friday night, and as the first guests of the season, the cabin we were staying in was still frigid from the long and harsh winter it had endured. If you have ever wondered what it’s like visiting Cape Cod off-season read on…you may be in for a surprise.

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We had arrived at the Cape late in the evening, to freezing temperatures. As we woke up in the first morning, sipping a cup of steaming coffee on our cabin’s porch, we wondered where to go…Would we find anything open at all?

We decided to made our way to Provincetown, at the furthermost point of the Cape. The vibrant town is famous for its LGBT and artist community, and we thought out of the whole Cape, it was the most likely to have somewhat of an atmosphere at this time of year. Provincetown has a couple of main streets, one lined with art galleries and indy shops selling local-made products, and another full of bigger seaside-type shops, bustling cafes and restaurants.

By lunchtime the dormant, yet colourful, little town we had arrived in earlier that morning was buzzing, despite still being firmly off-season. Most shops and galleries had by now opened their doors, and the sun blazing through was helping it give a reasonable impression of a summer resort in full-swing.

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As the sun began to shine through, we tucked into a buttery fresh lobster roll for lunch, C with his usual serving of fish and chips, sitting on a roof terrace overlooking the Provincetown harbour. After a wander around the harbour, we went to see the lighthouse, which unfortunately was closed to the public. But the beach itself was dreamy, in that kind of melancholic New England way I’d been dreaming about for so long.

I almost wished the weather was greyer, so it would make me feel nostalgic for the tough winters I had never actually experienced, except through characters in the books I read. The debris from the recent storms was still visible on shore, lines of driftwood, dead seagulls and crustaceans dotted alongside the long stretch of sand. It was kind of beautiful, if like me, you’re into that thing (except the seagulls, which were pretty awful!).


We had read that Chatham was a pretty town, where most of the locals lived, so we decided to give it a go, since that’s where the supermarket was anyway and we were out of food. It was indeed very pretty, almost too quaint, with cute boutiques lining the main road, flower baskets on windows, and well-to-do people roaming the streets. It’s amazing how beautifully well-kept some of these American small towns are, postcard-perfect on every level.

Later in the afternoon we made our way back to Eastham, where we were staying, and visited another of the lighthouses in the area. Again, it was closed to the public, but we could get closer which was a treat. The beach was also closed, as the winter weather had destroyed the access, but the views were breathtaking.

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cape cod - provincetown

Our experience in Cape Cod felt real and authentic, with fewer crowds. We witnessed the damage caused by a difficult winter – it wasn’t all freshly painted and packaged for our enjoyment. We liked that, and would strongly recommend visiting Cape Cod off-season, although your as you’d expect the options for eating, shopping and entertainment are limited.


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Where to stay in Cape Cod Off-Season

Wequassett Resort and Golf Club
The resort is nothing short of extraordinary, with its own private beach, a golf course, several restaurants, pools & tennis courts.
Yes, the resort has a kids club, family rooms and adjoining rooms (by request). Oh, and of course it has free wi-fi for those bringing older kids.

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  • Coombe Mill (Fiona)

    I’m so enjoying following your travels and seeing america through your blog. The photos here really give a lovely insight into your sleeping seaside town. I was just imagining living there right by the sea in one of those big houses. How wonderful. Loving the look of your buttery lobster roll too, what simple treats to be enjoying. Roll on the next installment! Thank you for sharing with me on Country Kids.

    • one tiny leap

      Thank you Fiona, you’ve made my day with your lovely comment! I reckon I’ve got a full 3 month’s worth of consecutive #countrykids posts coming up 😉 Thank you for hosting, I love being able to join in x

  • Redpeffer

    We have family at Cape Cod-they have holiday homes there on a private island and spend the summer months living down there. My husband and I visited years ago. We’ve not been with the children but would love to go back. I loved cycling around-very flat! Your photo’s brought back some happy memories,

    • one tiny leap

      Oh how wonderful!! Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to hire bikes, but it looked like the perfect place for it 🙂 We’d love to go back!

  • Tas D

    I love off season when its all quiet. not always but sometimes 🙂 It really gives you a glimpse of it in a slightly different way. Your photos are gorgeous!

    • one tiny leap

      Yes, sometimes it can be a bit frustrating, but I think it pays off with the peace you get 😉 We did feel a bit like ‘oh what have we done’ when everything was closed on our first morning there, but then the sun came out and all was well 🙂

  • What lovely pictures you really have captured this place. I would love to visit New England, or have the guts to move there #CountryKids

    • one tiny leap

      Thank you 🙂 I think it must take some serious toughness to live here in the cold winter months – I can imagine it’s pretty special to have that kind of relationship with the place though, stick with it for both the good times, and bad 😉

  • Oh, wow. I’m so glad I read your post- we’ve just been discussing how we want to visit New England on our next big trip in a few years. Your photos are stunning and really capture just what I imagine the area to look like! I look forward to reading more about your travels. #CountryKids

    • one tiny leap

      Oh you should definitely do it! It’s where we’ve stayed the longest amount of time so far (a month in total), and we don’t regret a day. We started off in the Cape, moved on to Boston and Mass, Maine and finally New Hampshire. We have LOVED every bit of lobster we’ve eaten 😉 Every town is just picture-perfect, people are friendly and the food is so fresh.

  • Beautiful photos, really gives a great idea of what it’s like there. I love the bucket/spade fence. Really cute idea….although impressive that they don’t get nicked!

    • one tiny leap

      I know exactly what you mean.. we keep seeing things like this in towns, or other types of (not chained-up) decorations around and wondering how on earth no one takes them! We can’t even leave our plants outside our front door without a lock in Brighton ;)! x

  • Merlinda Little

    Wow this place is postcard perfect! I live near the beach and though I know that tourist help my town economy I still love the place to be all mine. So its quiet time for me =) #countrykids

    • one tiny leap

      There’s definitely something special about being able to have that bit of your own beach to yourself, isn’t it? We live in Brighton, and I spend much more time on the beach during winter, when it’s cold, grizzly and well, empty, than during the busy summer months 😉 x

  • The_Paris_Itinerary

    Fantastic photos! You could sell them! Simply wonderful at capturing the essence of The Cape. I love New England in off season. So quaint.

    • one tiny leap

      Thank you so much! We’ve absolutely loved visiting NE … all of it has been particularly beautiful, and we were overwhelmed by the scenery of every single state we visited. The Cape definitely had its own very special off-season character which made is so special… Thank you for stopping by 🙂

  • Sara (@mumturnedmom)

    I am horribly embarrassed to say that we haven’t yet made it to Cape Cod… This post makes me want to go even more than I already do, but I think I would prefer off-season too, so we’ll need to wait till after Labor Day now 🙂 Simply gorgeous photos x #countrykids

    • one tiny leap

      Thanks Sara, and don’t worry – I think I still have a few more inspiring ‘weekend breaks’ for you up my sleeve 😉 I imagine it gets impossible during the summer there, though Nantucket may be ok during the week? x

  • Wow, what a beautiful place!! I honestly find it hard to decide when it’s best to go… but this is a good sign, it mean at any time it will be a great idea!!! Sunny sounds good… but just by being near the ocean I am already happy 😀
    Stunning photos, I love it! By the way, nice to meet you… and thank you for joining in Monday Escapes 😉

    • one tiny leap

      Thank you for hosting – it’s a fantastic idea for a linky! I know what you mean, I was all ‘oh isn’t this perfect in this moody grey light’ but my face doesn’t lie and I was very happy the sun was out int the afternoon 😉 I’m like you, give me an ocean and I’m a happy lady. I’m dreading the next month of our trip a little bit – no sea to be seen until we hit the west coast in July!

      • You’re welcome! I am happy that you like it 😀
        hahaha so we are very much alike! I love the ocean so much that I became a diver 😀
        I just came back from Egypt from a diving trip, but now I will probably only see the ocean in August 🙁
        July is almost there, so you will have some fun by the ocean soon 😀

  • dont call me stepmum

    Aww, I need to go on holiday right now looking at this. Definitely prefer the peaceful off-season. Your photography is stunning. Love this post #countrykids

    • one tiny leap

      Thank you Alexandra 🙂 It was so perfect and very difficult to leave! x

  • Gin

    It looks a perfect destination for spring or autumn, when no one is there 🙂 I’ve never been to new england but sounds like a lovely destination.

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