Why You Gotta Go: The low-key vibe and cool, salty breezes bring out the beach bum in everyone. But you’ll leap off your towel for the prime-time spectacular: Whale watching! Seeing these gentle giants crashing the waves is a jaw-dropper you’ll never forget. Tours run April through October while the humpbacks summer off the coast. We love Dolphin Fleet, New England’s first whale watch operator, which offers tours daily — boats leave from the tip of the cape in Provincetown.
Which Beach to Choose: These two are beautiful and conveniently located by towns you’ll want to visit: Race Point, near Provincetown, and Chatham Lighthouse, near Chatham. Once the sand is out of your suits, motor a half-hour east to Yarmouth Port to visit the house of author-illustrator Edward Gorey, whose macabre picture books offer a gentle jolt of spookiness. Poke around on your own or join a tour. Gorey’s house has tons of personality and a yard where tots can burn off steam. Kids can also stretch at the Green Briar Nature Center. It hosts a variety of family programs like full moon walks and outdoor storytime.