Cape Cod Lighthouse

Cape Cod & the Islands ~ a Cultural Walking tour from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket


Cape Cod, jutting far into the Atlantic, offers quintessential New England fishing villages; historical associations with whaling, clipper ships, Marconi and the Kennedys; and excellent walking on heathlands, saltmarsh and deserted beaches backed by sand dunes.

We begin our trip in Boston, discovering the history of the American Revolution and visiting the USS Constitution (‘Old Ironsides’) and the superb collections of the Museum of Fine Art. Heading onto the Cape, we stay in traditional inns which were once ship’s captains’ houses, take boat trips to see whales and seals, birdwatch on daily walks and savour lobster rolls and baked clams.

Travelling by ferry to the world-famous islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, we stay for 5 nights for an in-depth appreciation of their special charms – classic wood-shingled cottages, cobbled lanes leading to boat-filled harbours, and fascinating small museums and early churches. We walk on Chappaquiddick Island and on sandy trails to remote lighthouses, watch the sunset over Nantucket Sound with a glass of bubbles to hand and, as a special highlight, take a sailing trip on a traditional gaff-rigged sloop.

HIGHLIGHTS of the tour include:

 

  •         Daily walks on the beaches, heathlands and pitch pine forests of the Cape and islands, plus whale and seal watching boat trips
  • Exploring New England fishing villages with their grand sea captains' houses, picturesque lighthouses, and museums dedicated to whaling, Marconi and the Kennedys
  • Discovering the history of the American Revolution on a guided walk along Boston’s ‘Freedom Trail’
  • Seafood - lobster, clam chowders, baked oysters, scallops and fish straight off the boat - and classic American steaks too!
  • A sailing trip in Nantucket Sound on a classic wooden, gaff-rigged, sloop

 

Guests' comments on this trip:

Two interesting days visiting the MFA and enjoying the historical sights of Boston, rounded off each evening by very good food. Very exciting boat trip whale watching off Providence on Cape Cod. Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard are very individual islands worth exploring to see the unusual architecture and cobbled streets. Very good shopping opportunities on the islands. Some beautiful walks along beaches, through sand dunes and salt marshes providing opportunities to see some migrating birds and interesting plants. Altogether a very interesting mix of activities. The area around Chatham was lovely, picturesque harbour area and a seal watching trip provided good variety.

DAY 1 
D included
  
After meeting in the afternoon at Boston’s Logan airport, we have a short drive into the city to our very comfortable hotel, an elegant brownstone in the fashionable Back Bay district. A Cape Codder (cranberry juice and vodka) breaks the ice before dinner in an upscale brasserie decorated with classic yacht models.

DAY 2 
B, L, D included
 
Setting off on foot, we begin our explorations with a guided tour along the Freedom Trail, seeing sites such as Boston Common (America’s oldest park), the Old State House (where the Declaration of Independence was read), and the USS Constitution, the world’s oldest commissioned warship. A harbour ferry takes us near the site of the Boston Tea Party before we return to our hotel for some free time before dinner.

DAY 3
B, L, D included
The Museum of Fine Art exhibits an exceptional art collection which we visit before an early lunch. Heading onto Cape Cod (2.5 hours’ drive), our first stop is for a walk through pitch pines and beach wild grapes onto a saltmarsh and dunes beside the shore, looking out for chickadees, blue jays and shorebirds. We settle into our well-appointed rooms in a former ship’s captain’s house and stroll to dinner in a tavern next door – our opportunity to try local oysters baked in cream or the day’s fish catch.

DAY 4
B, L, D included
From nearby Provincetown (where the Pilgrims first landed in 1620), a fast and stable boat takes us out to the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, one of the world’s best places to watch whales. Naturalists on board interpret sightings of humpback, minke and rare right whales. In the afternoon, we take an invigorating Atlantic beach walk and later explore the art galleries and craft shops in picturesque Wellfleet village.

DAY 5 
B, L, D included
We drive to Hyannis on the southern shore to visit the John F. Kennedy Museum, filled with evocative photographs and mementoes of the Presidential family, and an interesting museum covering the history of the Wampanoag tribe and the Portuguese immigrants who arrived on whaling boats from the Azores and Cape Verde islands. A 2.5-hour ferry ride delivers us to Nantucket (‘far away island’ in Wampanoag) where an orientation walk through the cobbled lanes of Nantucket Town (a National Historic Landmark) brings us to our stylish inn, dating from the 1800s.

DAY 6
B, L, D included
This morning we visit the Whaling Museum, documenting Nantucket’s time as whaling capital of the world, then follow a walking tour of the Historic district, visiting the Hadwen House (a Greek Revival mansion built in 1845), the island’s oldest house with its kitchen garden dating from 1686. After lunch, we explore the interior of the island on a walk across conservation land protecting sandplains, where red-tailed hawks hunt, pastures are filled with goldenrod and asters, and we see a photogenic old barn above the Atlantic.

DAY 7
B, L, D included
We visit an unusual museum displaying the baskets traditionally made by Nantucket lightship keepers, then travel the short 7 miles to the island’s east coast. A walk through the picture-perfect village of ‘Sconset is a photographer’s delight and we then continue along the clifftop path to Sankaty lighthouse learning about the glacial origins of the island. This afternoon we sail on the Friendship Sloop ‘Endeavour’, gaining a real insight into Nantucket’s maritime tradition as we sail past Brant Point and out into the Sound.

DAY 8
B, L, D included
This morning we take the ferry back to Hyannis and visit the Maritime Museum with its fine collection of traditional wooden catboats and maritime art, then continue to the Cahoon collection of American Folk Art. We enjoy an inland, woodland walk before settling into our comfortable hotel, and dinner tonight is in an exceptional restaurant in Falmouth village.

DAY 9
B, L, D included
An early ferry delivers us to Martha’s Vineyard for a walk around the Audubon Society’s Wildlife Sanctuary at Felix Neck (very good for birds, salt tolerant plants and migrating Monarch butterflies). An intriguing visit to the Island Alpaca Farm – it’s difficult to resist the appeal of these gentle, curious animals! – is followed by a botanist-guided walking tour of the Polly Hill Arboretum. An old red barn contains a first-rate art gallery, which we visit before heading to the far west of the island for a stroll around the little fishing village of Menemsha (unchanged since Jaws was filmed here 40 years ago).

DAY 10
B, L, D included
We walk from our hotel through lanes lined with delightful ‘gingerbread houses’ before driving south to Edgartown. Taking a 3-minute ferry to Chappaquiddick island, we first stroll through the Mytoi Japanese garden, then view the infamous bridge before walking a circular route through coastal heathlands to Wasque Point. Returning to Edgartown, a gracious patrician town with more than 300 grand sea captains’ mansions, we have a guided tour of the Old Whaling Church, the Dr. Daniel Fisher House, the fine museum and the historic lighthouse.

DAY 11
B, L, D included
A 45-minute crossing on an old-fashioned ferry brings us to Woods Hole, home of the internationally renowned Oceanographic Institution. A marine scientist gives us an insider’s tour before we travel east along the old King’s Highway to the charming town of Chatham on Cape Cod’s ‘elbow’. We walk along Hardings Beach to the old lighthouse, before settling into our antique-filled historic hotel, set in attractive gardens and with a heated outdoor pool.

DAY 12
B, L, D included
On a guided boat trip this morning, we observe large numbers of seals and learn about the recent influx of great white sharks that prey upon them, then visit the Marconi Station where the news of the Titanic’s sinking broke and which played a vital secret role in intercepting Enigma coded messages in WWII. A casual picnic at the Fish Pier, watching the fishing fleet unload, is followed by an afternoon walk in the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, a wild and beautiful shoreline that is a major part of the Atlantic Flyway.

DAY 13
B, L, D included
We spend the morning walking the trails and boardwalks of the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, looking out for migrant waders, blue herons, fiddler crabs on the mudflats and kingfishers on Goose Pond. We have a guided tour of the Truro Vineyards and sample their wines with a delicious food truck lunch, then round it all off with an organic chocolate tour! This evening, we walk the beach from Stage Harbour at sunset and enjoy a farewell lobster dinner.

DAY 14
B, L included
 
After a final morning walk to visit the Atwood House Museum and indulge in free time exploring Chatham’s galleries and upscale shops, we transfer by road to Boston’s Logan airport for evening flights home (or trip extensions in New England or New York).

£6,090 per person sharing
£1,000 deposit per person
£1,360 
double for single room supplement

Double rooms for single use are available on this trip. Please note that this supplement is imposed by the hotels and not by Kudu Travel. If you are willing to share but no other suitable guest books on the trip, we regret that the supplement will be payable.

 
Price includes
  • All accommodation for Days 1 through 14, on a twin shared basis
  • All meals (with beer and juices at lunches and wine at dinners) as listed in the daily notation

  • Ferry passage from Hyannis to Nantucket return, Woods Hole to Martha’s Vineyard return and Martha’s Vineyard to Chappaquiddick and return
  • Harbour tour by ferry in Boston

  • Seal and whale watching trips as described

  • Sailing trip on board the classic wooden sloop ‘Endeavour’

  • All land transportation in a private vehicle, as described, except during free periods

  • All entrance, sightseeing and guiding fees, except during free periods

  • Gratuities for hotel and restaurant staff, local guides and drivers (appreciation for the tour leader is discretionary)

 
Price does not include
  • International transportation to and from Boston

  • Trip cancellation, medical or other insurance

  • Immunisations, prescriptions or other medical requirements

  • Passport, visa and health documentation

  • Personal expenses (laundry, alcohol other than wine/beer with group lunches and dinners, free time activities, etc.)

  • Meals noted as excepted in the daily notation

  • Transport and transfer of excess baggage


VALUE FOR MONEY - SO MUCH IS INCLUDED
On Kudu trips, you will only need money for postcards, presents to take home, the odd G & T or an irresistible ice cream. Festival and opera tickets, museum and gallery entrances, National Park fees, all meals (with a very few exceptions specified in individual itineraries), wine with lunch and dinner, access to specialist books carried by the guides, gratuities for porters and hotel and restaurant staff, boat rides, train trips, internal flights, wine tastings, 4WDs with drivers, the services of skilled local guides and trackers etc are ALL INCLUDED in the cost of your holiday. 

We are confident that, like previous very satisfied guests, you will discover that our tours give you excellent value for money.

  • 2 nights in Boston, in an elegant brownstone in the fashionable Back Bay district

  • 2 nights in Wellfleet, in a former ship’s captain’s house

  • 3 nights on Nantucket, in a stylish inn dating from the 1800s

  • 1 night in Falmouth, in a comfortable hotel with a lakeside garden

  • 2 nights on Martha’s Vineyard, in a charming small hotel

  • 3 nights in Chatham, in an antique-filled historic hotel set in attractive gardens

Visa and Health Requirements

Visitors from EU countries currently require a valid passport and a prior authorisation to enter the United States, either through a visa or the Visa Waiver Programme. Please see https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en.html  for the latest information. If you are a national of any other country, please check visa regulations with your nearest Embassy of the USA.

At present, there are no specific and compulsory health requirements for entry to the USA. You may also wish to check the advice given to travellers by the Department of Health and the FCO

Insurance
It is essential, and a condition of booking, that you protect yourself with a suitable travel insurance policy as soon as you book a trip. Follow this link for a quote for a policy available to UK residents.

If you are already insured or a non-UK resident, please inform us of your policy at the time of booking.

Size of party 
This trip will run with a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 14 guests.


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