Cautious Optimism: Why Cape Cod is Perfect for Your 2021 Vacation

cape cod inns and hotels

In June of 2020, when Governor Baker allowed hotels and restaurants to reopen, hoteliers and restaurateurs were unsure how “the season” would play out. Because Cape Cod is located so close to many major metropolitan areas, and because we are known for outdoor activities, we were fortunate to have a robust summer season here.

So here we are, nearly a year later, and COVID-19 is still very much a part of our lives. But with increased availability of vaccines, and decreasing positivity rates, most people are finally feeling a much-needed sense of cautious optimism, including Governor Baker.

As of March 1st, restaurants were allowed increased capacity and to have live music. Common areas in lodging establishments were permitted to reopen, and the rules regarding gathering size were greatly relaxed.

cape cod summer vacation 2021

The outdoor dining area at Ember, a short walk from the inn. Photo via USA Restaurants.

If you skipped your summer getaway last year, you and your family are probably really looking forward to vacationing this year.

Here’s why we think the Cape is the perfect place for your 2021 vacation:

The Great Outdoors is Everywhere

Harwich Conservation Trust trail

Harwich Conservation Trust trail

Cape Cod has always been all about savoring time outdoors. In fact, it was the beaches that drew urban travelers in the late 1800s and established the Cape as a summer haven. But the opportunities for outdoor excursions aren’t limited to sitting on the beach all day (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). The Cape Cod Rail Trail provides more than 25 miles of paved, off-the-beaten-path biking and hiking. The Harwich Conversation Trust maintains hundreds of acres of way-off-the-path hiking trails. And with its beaches, hiking trails and bikeways, Cape Cod National Seashore offers more than 44,000 acres of summertime fun. Add in boating excursions, such as whale and seal watches, and you can play outside every day and never run out of things to do.

cape cod summer hotels

There’s no shortage of outdoor fun on the Cape

We Were Able to “Pivot” More than Cities

State and local governments have worked hard in Massachusetts to allow a certain level of creativity for businesses to address the reality of operating in this odd “new normal.” Encouraging restaurants to utilize outdoor areas for dining was just one way in which things changed. But in urban areas, there were limitations to the concept. On the Cape, our rural atmosphere made pivoting to outdoor dining more realistic. Some towns even went as far as changing traffic patterns to allow restaurants to spread out onto the sidewalk. For hotels and inns on the Cape, especially those like Seadar Inn which aren’t located on main thoroughfares, large lawns became de facto gathering spots all summer long. And although regulations regarding capacity have changed, we expect this season to unfold in much the same way, and we’ve kind of got it down at this point.

As of this writing, face-covering and social-distancing regulations remain in place, and things aren’t back to normal. But it’s better, and everything is – knock wood really hard – moving in the right direction. We’ll see you soon!