Only Philistines and acrophobes could fail to fall in love with this, the most rapturous among Cape Cod's many small inns. Part oasis, part museum, the property perches high above Gull Hill and peers over what seems like every crevice of Cape Cod. If you somehow get tired of the view, you can turn you attention to the luxuriant gardens and lavish collection of ornate late-19th-century antiques, Tiffany lamps, and statues. If it's free, book the Bay Tower Room which hovers above the sea, dunes, and miles of marsh; you'll feel like you're sleeping not just at the tip of the Cape, but on top of the world. 22 Commercial St., Provincetown, MA landsendinn.com/.
Shady motor inns might be quintessential Cape Cod, but we don't have to like 'em. So we're thrilled to see the old Cape Inn reborn as the Harbor Hotel, with a mod new look and superb amenities. Spend all day dipping your toes in the pool, then wiggle them in the sand while sitting by the fire pit. 698 Commercial St., Provincetown, MA 2657, harborhotelptown.com.
The golden whole-belly fried clams are worth an impromptu day trip. Add in the Buzzards Bay and Back River vistas, the newly built bar stocked with local brews, and the overstuffed lobster roll served on buttery brioche (yes, brioche), and what you've got is, quite simply, one of the Cape's best casual seafood joints. 290 Shore Road, Bourne, MA 2532, lobstertrap.net.
How many of the Cape's innumerable boat excursions actually let you participate? During this 90-minute cruise, passengers play with oceanographic equipment, pull lobster traps, and examine the chemistry of seawater. Departs from Waterfront Park, Woods Hole, MA oceanquest.org.
A marvelous collection, including both Robert Kennedy's and Ernest Hemingway's papers. Columbia Point, Dorchester, MA .
Mashpee's New Seabury is one of the Cape's toniest communities, brimming with quaint shops, picture-perfect lawns, and crushed-seashell pathways. The Raw Bar, which dispenses cheap beer beneath bare-breasted mermaid memorabilia, is the one place locals and visitors can really let their hair down. And they do—over platters of raw oysters, littlenecks, and heralded lobster rolls. The latter are technically big enough to share, but if you're like us, you'll want to savor every bite of your own. 252 Shore Dr., Mashpee, MA 2649, therawbar.com.
Primarily a caterer, their cookies and petits fours are unrivaled. 123 Appleton St., Boston, MA .
Original art, hand-pressed paper. When you care enough to really send the best. 465 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA .
He has become the most consistently engaging and entertaining sports columnist in any Boston paper.
Thoreau once walked the 40 miles of the Cape's pristine eastern coast and wrote a whole book on the experience. JFK, also a fan, ensured that the shoreline and its marshes, freshwater ponds, and lighthouses were preserved for future generations. On the southern end of the protected strip sits Coast Guard Beach. With its rolling dunes and ever-shifting conditions—roaring one day, serene the next—it's a breathtaking place to stroll, lounge, picnic, or surf. Doane Road, Eastham, MA 2642, .
Rene Oranburg's firm will stage any kind of get-together you want, arranging for caterers, decorations, and entertainment. Reasonable fees, too. 110 Independence Dr., Chestnut Hill, MA 617-469-9736.
Sure, seafood is easy to come by on the Cape. But you're reading this magazine, so you’re looking for the best. Pack your cooler and sunscreen and snag a picnic table at Sesuit Harbor Café: Yes, you’ll wait in a line out the door, sit outside rain or shine, and BYOB, but once those heaping trays of lobster rolls, fried scallops and clams, and Cape Cod Bay oysters are in front of you, you’ll understand. sesuit-harbor-cafe.com/.
Caters to corporate high rollers as well as rock stars. 484 Prospect St., Revere, MA .
Witty, entertaining, consistent—a breath of fresh air in that paper.
We particularly liked his Cabbage Patch doll promotion. That was the one, you may recall, that had no dolls. Just cabbages. With adoption papers.