Tips for Best Routes from Boston to Cape Cod

Welcome to our family travel guide exploring the enchanting journey from Boston to Cape Cod! Along the picturesque Massachusetts coastline, Cape Cod offers an idyllic getaway for families seeking a blend of seaside relaxation and vibrant experiences.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, the route from bustling Boston to the serene shores of Cape Cod presents many exciting transportation choices and unforgettable pit stops.

Embarking on this journey opens a gateway to a world of possibilities. From the convenience of driving along scenic highways to the charm of a leisurely train ride, each travel option offers a unique allure. Our guide aims to unveil the best routes, hidden gems, and family-friendly attractions to ensure your expedition from Boston to Cape Cod is not just a mere trip but an unforgettable adventure filled with laughter, discovery, and cherished memories.

We will examine the best routes for driving, ferries, trains, flying, and bus travel. Follow along to learn from our experience traveling to the Cape for an amazing vacation.

visit the Cape Cod national Seashore during your trip

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馃彣My Favorite Hotel
馃殫Car
鉁堬笍Flights
鉀达笍Boston to Martha’s Vineyard
鉀达笍Fast Speed Ferry from Boston to Cape Cod

General Tips

  • If driving, avoid rush hour, especially at the end of the work week. Traffic will significantly increase and will add more time on the road.
  • If you fly into Boston Logan Airport, follow the same tip as above since the airport is in Central Boston, and you will need time to pick up your rental car and drive through the city and southern suburbs. Consider booking morning flights. 
  • The summer months are the busy season for the Cape. New England schools end in mid-June, so traffic and crowds will increase until Labor Day Weekend. If visiting for July 4th, beware of heavy traffic.
  • Fall weekends are also popular getaways, so plan accordingly.

Cape Cod Travel Options

Visiting the Cape had been on my bucket list for years. Recently, my husband and I took off for a week to explore the gorgeous beaches, including Cape Cod National Seashore. We flew into Boston Logan International Airport and opted to drive since we like having our car to explore. We spent a fair amount of time researching the ferry options to Nantucket, too, but decided to soak in our time in quaint towns like Chatham

Getting to the Cape can be daunting, especially if you aren鈥檛 familiar with the area. We studied a bit to explore the best options for us, and I hope to help you plan your next great adventure.

Cape Cod National Seashore

Driving

On our summer getaway to the Cape, we opted to drive. We flew in early on Monday morning, hopped into our rental, and headed south. Luckily, we had very little traffic, but it was early June, and many schools were still in session. We missed the mass exodus for summer vacation to the Cape and arrived by early afternoon- just in time for fresh seafood!

Coming out of Boston, you will hop on I-93 South and merge onto Route 3 South after Braintree. Route 3 South leads to the Sagamore Bridge, one of Cape Cod’s main entry points. Remember that this bridge connects the mainland to the Cape, so expect some traffic during peak times, especially on weekends and holidays. We arrived mid-day Monday and had a little traffic. 

After crossing the bridge, you鈥檒l be on Route 6, which spans across the Cape. This road will take you to various towns and beaches, depending on where you plan.

Tips 

  • Boston to Cape Cod Drive Time-> The best times to avoid heavy crowds are Sunday-Thursday and before early afternoon (2ish). 
  • Without traffic, the drive should take about an hour and 30 minutes. It will, of course, depend on where you are going on the Cape.
  •  If time allows, consider taking scenic detours along the Cape Cod National Seashore or stopping at towns like Sandwich, Hyannis, or Chatham for a break, food, or to explore the local attractions.
  • Always check for real-time traffic updates before you head out, as road conditions and traffic patterns can change. Google Maps or Waze can provide live updates on traffic, accidents, and the best routes to take during your trip.
  • Lastly, be prepared for interruptions, whether they are traffic or accidents.
beautiful beaches in Chatham

Boston to Cape Ferry

Mainland Cape 

A high-speed ferry ride is a fun and quick way to arrive from Boston. Bay State Cruise Company and Boston Harbor Cruises are two great options for a nautical journey. Both offer a fast-speed ride for 90 minutes to the heart of Provincetown. You will disembark right in central P鈥檛own and be able to walk straight to grab food and drink or check out one of their stunning art galleries.聽

Bay State Cruise Company offers a longer leisure ride out of Boston that lasts 3 hours. This is ideal for someone not in a rush and who enjoys the open water.

Tips

  • Warning: I would avoid these options if you are prone to sea sicknesses!
  • These ferries go directly to Provincetown, so if you want the Western side of the Cape, you may have better options, as Provincetown is the farthest tip of Cape Cod.
  • Check the Provincetown ferry schedules for the best option
  • You can purchase round-trip tickets 

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MacMillan Pier in Provincetown to catch the high speed ferry to Boston

Ferries to Nantucket/Martha鈥檚 Vineyard 

Once on the Cape, head to Hyannis to catch a ferry to Nantucket or Martha鈥檚 Vineyard on Hy-Line Cruises. They offer passenger and car ferries. Or you can catch the Island Queen from Falmouth to Martha鈥檚 Vineyard daily. 

Steamship Authority and Captain John Boats Fast Ferry also offer ferry routes to Nantucket and Martha鈥檚 Vineyard. 

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Train

If you want to visit the Cape on the weekend but do not want to mess with driving, consider the CapeFLYER, a train from Boston. It runs exclusively from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. It leaves from South Station headed to Hyannis but makes several stops south of the city. 

Tickets run frequently, but make sure to check their schedules. Round-trip prices range from $8-$40. The cheaper fares are between the communities south of Boston. There are discounted tickets for senior citizens and roundtrip fares on Sundays.

The rail line is handicap accessible and offers wifi and a cafe. Traveling by train takes out all the stress and frustration of traffic. Reservations aren鈥檛 required either, and bikes ride for free!

If you have your own car, it is easy to explore all the beach areas on the Cape

Bus

Peter Pan Bus Lines services the bus routes from Boston to the beautiful beaches of the Cape. Many of their routes include stops at Hyannis, Falmouth, Provincetown, and Woods Hole. 

You can purchase tickets through their website or app beforehand. There鈥檚 a mobile ticket option, which is easier than keeping up with paper tickets. Boston Logan Airport has departure points for the Cape.

Taking a bus is an affordable option for those who don鈥檛 have a car or don鈥檛 want to pay for the ferries. Buses also stop at many towns throughout the Cape, offering the best availability for someone without a car. Ferries, for instance, only stop at a few coastal towns, which limits your destination.

Boston to Cape Cod by driving, flying or taking a high speed ferry

Fly

Cape Air is a regional airline and the best option for flying to the Cape from Boston. Flights arrive in Nantucket, Martha鈥檚 Vineyard, Hyannis, and Provincetown. The flight time is less than an hour- usually 30-40 minutes.

If traveling in the winter, remember New England experiences some brutal winter weather and expect delays if there鈥檚 a snowstorm. 

Tips:

  •  Choose the Right Airport: Several Boston airports offer flights to Cape Cod. The main options are Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) and Barnstable Municipal Airport (HYA) in Hyannis. BOS has more flight options but is further from Cape Cod, while HYA is closer but may have fewer flight choices.
  • In addition to commercial flights, charter and private flight options offer flexibility in terms of schedule and convenience, especially for larger groups or those seeking a more personalized travel experience.
  •  Once you land in Cape Cod, consider your transportation options to your final destination. Taxis, rental cars, or shuttle services might be available depending on the airport and your accommodation’s location.

Flying to Cape Cod can be a convenient and enjoyable experience, offering a quick way to reach this beautiful destination without spending too much time on the road.

Chatham, Cape Cod

FAQ: Cape Cod Routes

馃寠Can you take a day trip to Cape Cod from Boston?

Yes, you can definitely make it a day trip. I would suggest a high speed ferry and spend the day exploring one or two towns before heading back to the city of Boston. 

馃寠Is the Cape worth visiting?

This area captures the natural beauty of the Atlantic Ocean and New England. My favorite time of the year to visit is late May to mid June before the crowds hit. Besides the beautiful beaches and outdoor activities, you will want to explore famous lighthouses, adorable Cape Cod towns, cranberry bogs, the Sandwich Glass Musuem and delicious food

In Conclusion: Tips for Best Routes from Boston to Cape Cod

Reflecting on the travel options for a trip from Boston to Cape Cod, it’s evident that the journey is as enriching as the destination. Whether you opt for the convenience of driving, the scenic allure of a train ride, or the thrill of exploring quaint towns, this route embodies the essence of family adventures. I hope my guide on the best routes from Boston to Cape Cod helps you plan your next great adventure.

馃寠 Cape Cod Resources馃寠
Where to Find the Best Breakfast in Chatham, MA
23 Exciting Activities & Things to Do in Chatham, Cape Cod
Visit Cape Cod in the Fall
Best 4th of July Events on Cape Cod
Tips for Best Routes from Boston to Cape Cod
Best Beaches in Chatham, Cape Cod
Things to do in Provincetown