Named for the large quantities of cod caught by its founder ship in 1602, Cape Cod is a 70-mile (113km) peninsula likened to a flexed arm bent at the elbow, extending from the main body of Massachusetts. It is the premiere vacation destination in New England, with charming historic towns and small villages, miles of sandy beaches, and wind-sculpted sand dunes. Millions of visitors from around the world flock to the amazing natural beauty of the Cape, and although known as the playground for the rich and famous and mostly geared for big spenders, there is plenty of sun, sea, and sand for everyone to enjoy.
Provincetown, at the tip of the Cape's 'fist', is the happy centre of New England and long renowned as an artistic colony with more than 20 art galleries. It's also the liveliest resort town on the Cape. Stretching from Provincetown, which was the landing site of the first Pilgrims in the 17th century, down to the pretty town of Chatham are 40 miles (64km) of dunes and desolate beaches protected within the Cape Cod National Seashore. Wellfleet is a quieter, picturesque town untouched by commercial development, and famous for its oysters. The commercial towns along the horizontal stretch of the arm offer shopping, exquisite dining, and beach activities, but there is also whale-watching, walking, and biking.