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The Best Cape Cod Museums

In Massachusetts, we are proud of our heritage. One of the best ways our guests can learn about the maritime spirit is by exploring the numerous museums along the Cape. Learn the stories of the Pilgrims, early settlers, and even pirates. This is how Cape Cod became what it is today!

Whydah Pirate Museum

Address: 674 MA-28, West Yarmouth, MA
Hours: 11AM - 4PM (closed Tuesdays)

Ready to discover the treasures of the seven seas, matey? The Whydah Pirate Museum will take you back to a time where pirates weren't a Halloween costume, but instead a thief of the sea.

Not only will you be able to gear up on the pirate merch, but you'll also get to see real pirate artifacts including gold coins, pistols, and other archaeological finds buried in Davy Jones' Locker.

Chatham Marconi Maritime Center

Address: 847 Orleans Rd, Chatham, MA


Wed - Sat: 10AM - 4:30PM
Closed Monday through Thursday

Guglielmo Marconi was was always interested in science and electricity, and at the young age of 20 began experimenting with radio waves. He eventually created and demonstrated the first radio transatlantic transmission here on the Cape. You can see this radio tower here.
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Historic Homes

One of the most interesting ways to experience how the people of the past lived is by visiting their personal quarters. You can visit some of these historic homes on your vacation for a small price.

Highland House

Address: 6 Highland Light Rd, Truro, MA
Hours: 9AM - 7PM

This old-fashioned home is incredibly popular for tourists. You can learn about the people of Truro and the Outer Cape. The Highland House Museum focuses primarily on Cape Cod history.

Swift-Daley House

Address: 2375 State Hwy, Eastham, MA
Hours: Call into the Eastham Historical Society at 508-255-0788 for tour times.

This historic home is a 20-minute drive from Handkerchief Shoals Inn. The decor doesn't encapsulate one time period, but instead shows off the Colonial and Victorian styles of architecture and furniture design (as well as everything in between).

Captain Penniman House

Address: 70 Fort Hill Rd, Eastham, MA

Originally built in the 1860s, the Captain Penniman House offers a glimpse into the lives of this historically-prominent family. Discover their struggles, hobbies, and lifestyle in this colorful, quaint home. Tours are only offered through the summer.

Cape Cod Maritime Museum

Address: 135 South St, Hyannis, MA


Wed - Sat: 10AM - 4PM
Closed Sunday - Tuesday

Get an in-depth look at all of Cape Cod's most important cities and towns throughout history. Learn about the island's culture, the Cape's marine biology, and learn about people who have lived on the seaside their whole lives.

This museum not only highlights the historical side of the Cape, but also the artistic side. The fine art gallery onsite has gorgeous paintings and drone shots of our beautiful local scenery from photographers like George Vosgerichian and Barry Beder.

Coast Guard Heritage Museum

Address: 3353 Main St, Barnstable, MA


Tues - Sat: 10AM - 3PM
Closed Sunday and Monday

The Coast Guard is an important branch of the United States. At this museum, you'll sneak a peek at the history of this important body from a Cape Cod perspective. You'll see artifacts and models that show off the most important stories the Coast Guard on the Cape has to share.

Old Harbor Life-Saving Station

Address: Race Point Beach
Hours: Call in for a tour at 508-255-3421.

It takes a lot of grit, courage, and the right tools to save peoples' lives from the ocean waves. At the tip of Cape Cod National Seashore lies a museum that is dedicated to teaching the history of the Life Saving stations. Not only will you have a chance to tour the museum, you can lounge on the beach afterward as well.

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1869 Schoolhouse Museum

Address: 25 School House Rd, Eastham, MA
Hours: Call in for a tour at 508-255-0788.

Want to see what the average day of school looked like for a child in the 1800s? Come to the Schoolhouse to find out. The school is pretty close to Swift-Daley House, so if you're making a trip out there, this schoolhouse can be a great stop as well.
Cape Cod is a wonderful place with a fascinating culture and history. These maritime exhibits show the respect people have for the water, and how they braved it to make a better life for themselves in America. If you're looking for more things to do, then come stay at Handkerchief Shoals and explore the best sights on the Cape!