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Cape Cod is a wild place with a unique ecosystem and fantastic opportunities for outdoor fun. In addition to the quaint souvenir shops and seafood restaurants, don’t miss the chance to camp, book a kayaking tour and visit a nature center.

Hiking
Dozens of great hiking trails are available on the Upper Cape and the best ones include a walk along the beach. Dead Neck Trail sounds ominous but is ideal for anyone who wants to break away from the standard beach walk and incorporate some variety. About two miles long, this trail alternates between sand dune, pine forest, and boardwalk planks.

Here's a tip; don’t take the trail back. Instead, make a loop by strolling down the shoreline. On a clear day, you can see the silhouette of Martha's Vineyard across the water or catch glimpses of wildlife like herons, osprey, and gulls. The sea breeze makes this a cooler hike, ideal for hot summer afternoons.

Nature Centers
Animal lovers should make time to visit the National Marine Life Center, devoted to rehabilitating and releasing sick and injured sea turtles and seals. Visit their Discovery Center with educational displays, specimens, and information about local marine animals. A live camera in the animal hospital even allows you to see baby seals. Support this worthy non-profit organization by visiting the gift shop or symbolically adopting one of the patients.

Water Fun
An ultimate ocean experience includes a boating excursion with Laura Jay Charters. Specializing in half- and full-day outings, kick back and catch striped bass, bluefish, tuna, and more. True adventure can be found with some offshore shark fishing, and whale watching trips serve up some amazing sightseeing opportunities on the water.

RideAway Adventures offers relaxing tours and equipment rentals for kayaking, paddle boarding, and more. Their two locations lead into protected, flat water areas, a great option for beginners and anyone looking for a relaxing paddle without venturing into the open ocean. Their delivery option allows equipment to be brought to you anywhere in Cape Cod. Everything you’ll need is included, too, from helmets to paddles to life vests.

Consider exploring the Cape with an ACA certified guide. Guided tours are extremely popular and designed to help people appreciate nature and Cape Cod’s ecosystem. The Lazy River Nature Tour is great for beginners. Learn the basics then ride in and out with the tide. Night owls love the Full Moon Tour and the Stargazing Tour, available for both paddleboards and kayaks.

One of the best aspects of these tours is the small group size. Limited to six per guide, they encourage you to ask questions without feeling the need to compete for attention. Guides will point out local birds, talk about unique plants and animals, and generally share their knowledge about what makes Cape Cod such an amazing place.

Camping
With over 285 camping spaces in a wooded setting, Shawme-Crowell State Forest is ideal for roughing it any day of the week. From tents to RV parking to even yurts, this pet-friendly campground is extremely accommodating. Enjoy more than 15 miles of hiking trails, on-site grills, picnic areas, basketball courts, and a playground so the whole family can enjoy some outdoor adventure.

Biking
Rent one of Electric Ride’s state-of-the-art motorized bicycles to enjoy a relaxing day exploring the boardwalks and towns. With a battery that will last for at least 40 miles of riding and the ability to reach speeds of 18 mph, electric bikes are as fast, comfortable and easy way to experience the fun of riding a bike at any age.

Prefer more traditional cycling? Once again, RideAway Adventures has rental bikes and unique options for tours. On the Beach and Bonfire Tour, explore the beautiful beaches of Sandy Neck before settling in to roast marshmallows around a bonfire. New for this season, the Cape Cod Explorer Tour combo is more than just a bike ride; it’s a learning experience.

On Tuesday, ride from Popponesset General Store to South Cape Beach for a visit to the Cape Cod Learning Tours’ Exploration Lab on the Salt Marsh. Then on Thursday, bike up from the Cape Cod Canal to Town Neck Beach in Sandwich for a one-hour beach lab. This two-day combo tour is a unique opportunity to check out amazing creatures, collect samples, and investigate them under microscopes.

By Digital Content Coordinator, ALLISON BENNETT

Photo Credit: RideAway Adventures

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