For many Bostonians, the idea of going to the Cape brings to mind bumper-to-bumper traffic and hours spent on Route 3, instead of relaxing beach days and lobster rolls. Avoid the traffic, the stress, and the time that will waste away by opting instead for a day trip to Cape Cod- it’s much easier than you’d think.
Start the day at 9 a.m. at the Ferry Dock on Long Wharf in the North End. Boston Harbor Cruise’s ferries leave from Boston both in the morning and at 2 p.m. for Provincetown, a culturally diverse town on the very tip of Cape Cod. Additional ferries run on holidays and summer weekends. Round trip tickets are $85 ($62 for children ages 3-11) on the company’s fast ferry. Before you balk at the price tag, keep in mind the amount of money you could be spending on gas, and the Ferry only takes 90 minutes from Boston to the furthest point on the Cape- impossible by motor vehicle.
Board the Salacia, which according to the Boston Harbor Cruises travels at speeds up to 40 knots (45mph). “She’s also the largest vessel in her category,” says the site, “which in combination with a computerized ride stabilization system provides an incredibly smooth, comfortable journey to the Cape.” Enjoy refreshments and snacks aboard, and choose either a comfortable seat inside or an adventurous perch on one of the decks.
When you arrive in Provincetown, make your way over to one of the town’s many bike rental shops, like Gale Force Bikes or Ptown Bikes. Most of these places run around $20 for a four to nine hour rental per person, with lower rates for shorter rentals and for children.
Once you have wheels, it’s time to seize the Cape Cod day! Grab lunch at one of the town’s wonderful restaurants- many equipped with bike racks. Then, head off to the beaches. The paved and marked bicycle trails in the Cape Cod National Seashore run directly from Provincetown through the dunes and past the beaches at the tip of Cape Cod. Though the terrain isn’t flat, it is certainly not challenging for most riders. Talk to the bike rental specialist if you are concerned about the physical abilities of your party.
Finally, you’re able to do what the folks stuck on the freeway are dreaming of doing only hours after leaving Boston for Cape Cod- relax on the beach, take a swim in the ocean, and enjoy the natural beauty of the Cape. If you choose to make your trip during the day, the last return ferry to Boston leaves from MacMillan Wharf in Provincetown at 4 p.m. On summer weekends, the latest ferry is 8:30 p.m, leaving time to grab dinner and observe some of the colorful nightlife this Cape Cod gem has to offer. At the end of the day, climb back aboard the high-speed ferry and return relaxed, sunned, and stress-free to Boston before bedtime!