Cape Cod Canal

Cape Cod

Cape Cod isn't connected by land to the mainland, but it's not exactly an island, or at least wasn't until the Cape Cod Canal was dug in 1914. The 7-mile-long canal saves ships from having to sail an extra 135 miles around the treacherous tip of the Cape. The canal is also a great recreational resource.

It's bordered on both sides by bike paths that attract not only cyclists but also in-line skaters, power walkers and kids with fishing poles. On a sunny day it looks like a scene from a Norman Rockwell painting.

For the lowdown on the canal, stop by the Cape Cod Canal Visitor Center, near the Sandwich Marina.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Cape Cod attractions

1. Cape Cod Canal Visitor Center


For the scoop on the how, what and why of Cape Cod Canal, stop by the visitor center, near the Sandwich Marina, where interactive exhibits capture the…

2. Sandwich Glass Museum

1.01 MILES

Sandwich glass, now prized by collectors, had its heyday in the 19th century, and this heritage is artfully displayed in this excellent, sprawling museum…

3. Dexter Grist Mill

1.07 MILES

The restored mill on the edge of Shawme Pond dates to 1654 and has centuries-old gears that still grind cornmeal (available to buy). Bring your camera –…

4. Hoxie House

1.29 MILES

Get a feel for what life was like for early settlers by touring Hoxie House, the oldest house on Cape Cod (c 1640). The saltbox-style house has been…

5. Sandwich Boardwalk


A local favorite that's missed by most visitors, this wooden-plank boardwalk extends a scenic 1350ft across an expansive marsh to Town Neck Beach. The…

6. Heritage Museums & Gardens

1.59 MILES

Fun for kids and adults alike, the 100-acre Heritage Museums & Gardens sports a superb vintage automobile collection in a Shaker-style round barn, an…

8. Aptucxet Trading Post Museum

5.34 MILES

Explore a slice of the Cape's past at this small, but very informative, museum at the site of a historic trading post.