So you've booked a week of summer vacation on Cape Cod with your BFFs but the only Cape you know is the one you saw as a child with your family.
Now that you're grown-up it's time to try something new, or to bring a new attitude to the familiar. With some great photos by Instagrammers, here is my List of Best Cape Cod Activities for 20-somethings.
Shining Sea Bike Trail, Falmouth, MA
Like the Cape Cod Rail Trail Bike Path further out on the Cape, the Shining Sea Trail covers a railroad line long abandoned. The New York, New Haven and Hartford Rail Line once delivered passengers from New York to Wood's Hole. Today, the 10.7 mile paved bike path takes you past a cranberry bog, shoreline vistas of beautiful Buzzard's Bay, marshes, an ocean beach with crazy head winds, and two villages where you can stop and get something to eat or buy a T-shirt.
There are several trail access points and bike rental shops along the path extending from North Falmouth to the Steamship Port Authority parking lot at Woods Hole. In fact, if you don't stop at the end of the Shining Sea Trail, you'll end up boarding the belly of a ferry that will take you to Martha's Vineyard-- a fun option for a day trip.
Pack a lunch or get off the trail and enjoy sidewalk dining in Falmouth, all without the inconvenience of finding a place for the car. Easy on, easy off. Don't forget to bring your camera.
The Beachcomber, Wellfleet, MA
The Beachcomber restaurant and nightclub on Cahoon's Hollow Beach in Wellfleet has been hosting dudes for longer than people have been called dudes.
Nestled in the dunes on the eastern shore of the Cape, The Beachcomber has food for both landlubbers and seafood lovers. Buffalo Wings, nachos and quesadillas may make you forget you're on the Cape so go for the Nauset Steamers, Eastham mussels or fish tacos for some coastal flavor. Cahoon's Hollow is a top destination for surfers. Bring binoculars and watch the fun.
Night time is club time at the Beachcomber and there's a busy season of performers. Check out the calendar. Important: Know your limit or your designated driver. Wellfleet Police are waiting for you on all points leaving The Beachcomber.
Whale Watch, Provincetown, MA
Cape Cod is as attractive to whales as it is to people, with hundreds of endangered right whales observed by scientists frollicking in Cape Cod Bay this winter alone.
Some whale watch companies guarantee a whale sighting on your paid trip, and why wouldn't they? In addition to the Rights, there are Finbacks, Minkes and Pilot whales hanging around. The boat captains know many of the whales by name to make the experience particularly personal. This is not the thing to do if you partied a little too hard the night before. Do your fellow passengers a favor and skip it if there's a chance of a bad ending. If you're OK with motion, bring some bonine and check it out. Most of the world never gets to see a whale. You can be one of the lucky ones.
The watches depart from MacMillan Pier in the heart of Provincetown. Shop around to get the boat and price you want.
Edward Gorey Museum
Edward St. John Gorey (1925-2000) was an American illustrator whose pen and ink drawings appeared in books and newspapers, and whose fanciful themes inspired sets and costumes on Broadway and beyond.
Gorey loved Cape Cod and in 1979 he purchased a former sea captain's home at 8 Strawberry Lane on the village green in historic Yarmouthport. That home was turned into a museum when Gorey died in 2000. The artist's original sketches and collections are housed in the museum which offers a unique opportunity into the mind and studio of this whimsical genius with a hint of the dark side.
This year the museum focuses on the 28 Books of Edward Gorey's Fantods Press with an exhibit entitled "F is for Fantods".
Believe it or not, drive-in movie theaters were commonplace when your parents grew up in the 1960s. Cape Cod's only drive-in is 57 years old this year and still going strong with the introduction of dolby sound.
The playground and snack bar are a trip back in time and they're popular with families waiting for darkness to descend so you can actually see the screen. Tickets are per person, not per car and if you arrive in a large vehicle like an SUV, pickup or mini-van, you'll be directed toward the back of the lot.
Bring bug spray because if it's a hot night you'll need to open your car windows and it can be brutal. You're not allowed to run the engine to have AC.
Skydiving in Chatham
Test your nerves with the ultimate thrill, skydiving over Cape Cod. Skydive Cape Cod in Chatham has been launching people from planes since 2007, much to the frustration of the neighbors who hear every word people yell on the way down. Every. Word.
Planes take off from the quaint Chatham Municipal Airport on George Ryder Road. You freefall, tandem with an instructor for 45 seconds, before the parachute is deployed and you drift for five to seven minutes more enjoying the awesome view. They'll sell you photos of yourself in mid-air too so you can bring proof to the office when you go back.
Provincetown After Dark
The U.S. Census Bureau calls Provincetown "The Gayest City in America", a mantle it wears proudly. By day it shares bustling Commercial Street with families with young children, European visitors, artists, fisherman and straights. At night, Provincetown has the most diverse nightlife outside of Hyannis.
There are terrific restaurants with sophistication that surprises you once you get past the shabby building in need of paint. Live theatre, cabaret, and tea dances round out the edgy options. Choose from leather-and-chains meetups underground to parties on the sand by the harbor. Provincetown is like no other place on earth. It's that wonderful.
Get there as the sun is going down and hit the beach for "golden hour" portraits and selfies. It's the most flattering light for the face and makes even a cellphone camera look professional.
Kayak Rentals on Swan Pond and River
Cape Cod has a ton of fresh-water and the lakes, ponds and rivers are perfect for boating. In Dennisport you can rent a one or two person kayak and paddle south on the Swan River to the ocean before turning around and heading north to Swan Pond.
Cape Cod Waterways is open from 8 am till 7:30 pm. The owner tells me an hour and a half is the perfect length of time to do the entire stretch. .
One word of caution; do not be tempted to kayak in the open ocean no matter how strong and skilled you are. Two college students thought they could stay close to shore in Harwich Port one afternoon a few years ago. A three-day search discovered one body floating three miles offshore. The second student was never found. The ocean is no place for a kayak. Stick to the ponds.
There are two wineries on Cape Cod that offer tours and tastings: Truro Vineyards on the outer Cape, and Cape Cod Winery in Falmouth. There is a third winery with tastings by appointment only, but First Crush in Harwich is for serious wine lovers and not for people looking for something different to do in an afternoon.
Cape Cod Winery is currently undergoing renovations at their new tasting venue on 4 Ox Bow Rd. in Falmouth Check their website for updates on the progress. They hope to reopen this summer.
Truro Vineyards is open 7 days a week at their beautiful site just east of Rt. 6. The 1830s farmhouse is pure New England-- no chance you landed in Napa or the Finger Lakes here. The owners have spent a small fortune on improving the facility and thus, the wines. It's definitely worth a stop and a tasting.
Deep Sea Fishing
Seafood is Cape Cod's most famous fare because it's all swimming just offshore. It doesn't get any fresher than this. Why not go out and meet it?
There are fishing charter companies from Buzzards Bay to Provincetown and all points in between -- too many to link to here.
How to choose? Price and quality of vessel of course, and ask if they guarantee you'll catch something. Many companies do. Rock Harbor in Orleans is mapped for you, but honestly, you can grab a charter from nearly every town on the Cape.
Shark, bluefin tuna, bluefish and the trophy striped bass are just some of the fishies awaiting you.
You'll probably pay for this stuff with a credit card. I found a site with good tips for young people when paying with plastic. It's creditcardinsider.com. I received no compensation for this article. I just thought these would be fun to do.