Vacation isn't cheap — particularly if you're traveling to Cape Cod, a popular East Coast vacation spot that also happens to be one of the most expensive US summer destinations.
But when you're a regular, you eventually find the freebies, bargains, and things worth spending money on.
My family has been going to Cape Cod since 1952, when my great-great-grandmother Lyla Flagler retired in Falmouth. She was the town's oldest citizen when she died at 101, and it was her hope that my family would continue coming out to the Cape.
We've been doing just that, spending summertime in Cotuit, Massachusetts, since before I can remember.
I rounded up 13 affordable places on the Cape that I think are must-see's. While this is far from a comprehensive list, it's a good starting point based on the 23 summers I've spent there.
Spend a summer evening eating Crackerjacks and hot dogs at the ballpark. Cape Cod has a highly competitive collegiate summer league, and games are played nearly every night from June to August. We root for the Cotuit Kettleers, but there are nine other teams scattered across the Cape. The best part about summer baseball on the Cape: Admission is free!
Stop by the legendary Four Seas Ice Cream in Centerville for a pint of ice cream (by far the best deal at only $5!) and side of the rich hot fudge. It's a cash-only joint, but there's an ATM in the parking lot. If that doesn't satisfy your sweet tooth, head over to the 1856 Country Store, a penny candy spot right around the corner.
Check out the full list of Four Seas flavors (I recommend peppermint stick).
Take a day trip to Provincetown, a town at the very tip of Cape Cod. The water is gorgeous, the narrow, cobble-stoned streets are lively, and restaurant options are endless. If you're up for an adventure, you can always catch a whale watching boat and spend a few hours scouring the sea for marine life.
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