You can’t spend all-day, every day on a beach on Cape. When spending a week’s long vacation on Cape Cod (the average length trip) you’ll surely have a couple of “free” days where the family wants to explore the local area. There’s plenty of art, culture, and must-see museums on both the Upper Cape and Lower Cap.
We’ve compiled a list of our absolute favorites. We based our list on exhibits, pricing, visitor reviews, and more. We highly encourage you to stop in to any of these award-winning museums on your next trip. Congrats to all our winners!
10 Best Museums on Cape Cod
Cahoon Museum of American Art (Cotuit)
The Cahoon is a lively, fun, and inspiring place to engage with contemporary art, enjoy family-friendly events, attend open houses, educational programs, and tours and visit a fantastic museum shop – all housed in an 18th century New England home with a modern gallery addition. It is your one-stop place for Cape Cod art and culture.
Cape Cod Museum of Natural History (Brewster)
Falmouth Museums on the Green (Falmouth)
The Falmouth Museums on the Green contain a treasure trove of stories and artifacts that tell the story of the town of Falmouth, Massachusetts. The museums overlook the Village Green where members of the Colonial militia practiced in the 1700s and sea captains built their homes. Two 18th-century houses display period furniture, fine art, textiles and rotating exhibits that provide a glimpse into the town’s rich historic past
Heritage Museum and Gardens (Sandwich)
Highfield Hall and Gardens (Falmouth)
Highfield Hall & Gardens is not your typical historic estate. While there’s plenty of history within these glorious old walls, Highfield is a vibrant cultural center surrounded by restored gardens, peaceful walking trails and conservation land.
John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum (Hyannis)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Museum (Mashpee)
Through the door of the Museum the history and culture of the Wampanoag from the Stone Age to the present is carefully detailed through a range of exhibits. First established under the guidance of the Mashpee Historical Commission, the Museum is the only one in existence devoted exclusively to Wampanoag history.
Housed in a fine example of an old half Cape Cod house, the Museum contains displays of ancient artifacts and other Native American heirlooms that form a chronological commentary on life among the Wampanoag for thousands of years. Displays include a variety of tools, baskets, hunting and fishing implements, weapons and domestic utensils. The focal point in the exhibits is a large diorama depicting a typical scene from an early Wampanoag settlement.
Pilgrim Monument Provincetown Museum (Provincetown)
The Cape Cod Museum of Art (Dennis)
Founded by artists in 1981, CCMoA is the home of Cape Cod Art. The Museum preserves the work of the Cape’s finest artists and celebrates the distinctive artistic identity of the Cape, the Islands and the region. It is a major hub of the cultural life of the region. Through its outstanding art collection and diverse programming, CCMoA educates, inspires and excites the imagination while caring for and connecting the Cape’s many communities.
The Museum is situated in a beautiful setting surrounded by a Sculpture Garden at the Cape Cod Center for the Arts. CCMoA has seven galleries, a museum shop and a film screening room. The Cape Cod Museum of Art’s mission as the preeminent art organization on Cape Cod is to educate, inspire and excite the imagination of all by using their outstanding collection and diverse programming.
The Sandwich Glass Museum (Sandwich)
The Sandwich Glass Museum has “Relit the Fires in Sandwich” with a glass furnace for hourly glass making presentations and new exhibits to better tell the story of the glass industry in Sandwich. While we will not be able to completely recreate that booming, smoking glass factory, our visitors are able to feel the heat from the glory hole on their faces. They can watch the glassblower turn and twist the hot glass into wonderful forms, and visions of those former days will not be so difficult to understand or imagine.