It’s that time of year again when folks all over New England are flocking to Cape Cod and the Islands. With the Cape Cod Canal more than 100 years, you would assume that they would have devised a better solution for getting to the Cape by now. Unfortunately the Cape Cod bridges, the Bourne Bridge, and the Sagamore Bridge act as more of a bottleneck than bridges during the summer months.
Here are a few quick tips I’ve learned while traveling down to the Cape:
LEAVE EARLY: If you can swing it, get out of the office before 2 pm on a Friday afternoon in the middle of summer, hop into your car and head “down the Cape.” If the clock strikes even remotely close to 4 pm you can kiss getting to the cape before midnight goodbye. I might be exaggerating a little bit, but if you’re headed down to Cape Cod for a fun-filled weekend, your mood will be ruined before you even cross the bridge of the Cape Cod Canal if you leave anywhere between 3 pm and 8 pm.
TAKE THE TRAIN: No need to worry about traffic with the Cape Flyer. This train heads out of South Station directly to Hyannis on Friday evenings throughout the summer for under $40 round trip and kids under 12 ride for free. The train leaves the station at 5:50 pm and you are in Hyannis at 8:15 pm. Of course, you will be car-less when you get there, but at least you won’t have to sit in the traffic!
TAKE A BOAT: Boston Harbor Cruises offer a scenic boat tour from Boston to Provincetown and it is definitely worth checking out, especially if you haven’t been to P-town before. If you’re looking for a more direct route, you’ll want to look into the water taxi. This is the Uber of Boston boat cruises. You can request a pick-up anytime during business hours and round trip for an adult is only $20. Cape Cod Bay is pretty calm so don’t worry about seasickness, but you may see the occasional shark, so it’s not for everyone!
LEAVE LATE: Leaving late is by far the best alternative to leaving early, because you’ll have your car, all your stuff and you’ll still get to spend Saturday on the beach. If you must stay in the office until 4 or 5 pm on a Friday afternoon, you might as well not drive to the cape until 9 pm. Chances are that if you start making your way down to the cape anytime between 3 pm – 8 pm you’ll be in traffic for at least 4 hours coming from the Boston or Metro West area. So, pack up the kids with their blankets, PJ’s and books and head down after 8 pm for a much smoother 2 hour ride.
DRIVE CAREFULLY: If you decide to drive down, beware of the wacko’s on the road, day or night. Massachusetts drivers are known for their –ahem- unique driving style so beware. Also, Cape Cod police target tourists for speeding so be sure to drive the allotted 55 MPH once you cross the bridge. —– IF you cross the bridge.