If you’re looking for places to take kids in Wellfleet, you’re in luck. In fact, Cape Cod is overall a very accessible place for children. It’s a very popular summer vacation destination, where families rent vacation houses in week-long increments and play at the beach together.
Beaches and Ponds
You should definitely spend a day at one of Wellfleet’s ocean beaches. The water will be cold, but kids will have fun braving it. Bringing a boogey board is a definitely good idea, but not absolutely necessary. Sand castle anyone? Don’t forget the beach chairs, towels, and sunscreen. (Check out all the Wellfleet beaches.) Wellfleet’s ponds don’t have waves but are better places to go for a traditional swim. Long Pond has a raft that kids can swim out to, climb onto, and jump off of. In recent years the raft has drifted a little. Gull Pond is large and has docks and a roped-in area.
Trails and Sports
There are a bunch of walking trails and bike trails in this part of Cape Cod. One of the best places for children is Great Island. On Great Island you’ll find interesting surroundings, including tiny Fiddler crabs that scamper in and out of holes in the sand.
Also situated at the pier is a small building that sells food and ice cream, including banana splits and brownie sundaes. You can walk along the beach to get there. Kids love to walk when it’s to get ice cream!
The town puts on square dancing at Wellfleet Harbor one night a week in the summer. (In 2009 it was Wednesdays during July and August from 7 – 9:30pm.) The square dancing takes place in the Mayo Beach parking lot, right next to the Wellfleet Pier.
The mini golf in Wellfleet is right off Route 6 (map). There are 18 holes.
Right next to the mini golf course is a parking lot for the flea market and drive-in movie theater. The drive-in plays back-to-back feature films at night. It’s usually a thrill for kids. The first film of the night is always geared toward a younger audience. Read more about the Wellfleet drive-in.
1. It’s the Outer Cape. There are 15 towns on Cape Cod. Driving over the Sagamore bridge, the Cape is a 75- mile long sand bar extending east and then north into the ocean. It gets narrower as you approach the tip. The last 4 towns, where it’s the narrowest – Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, and Provincetown – are known collectively as the ‘Outer Cape.’ If you’re on the Outer Cape, you’re standing on a continually shifting strip of sand that separates Cape Cod Bay from the Atlantic Ocean.
2. Cape Cod National Seashore. 40 miles of beach. 40,000 acres of land. Most of it in Wellfleet, Truro, and Provincetown. About half of all of Wellfleet is part of the Cape Cod National Seashore. It’s a beautiful piece of protected land.
3. The Ponds. Wellfleet has a collection of rather unique ‘kettle’ ponds. These are small round ponds with pristine water. None allow motorboats, so they are quiet and great for swimming. They’re also good for beginning kayakers. Gull Pond has boat rentals; the others do not. Our family favorites are Long Pond and Duck Pond. It’s a 10 minute walk down a dirt path to get to secluded Duck Pond.
4. The Ocean Beaches. Marconi, White Crest, LeCount Hollow, Cahoon Hollow, and Newcomb Hollow. All exquisite. Go to Marconi and you can walk the adjacent Atlantic Cedar Swamp Trail. Also check out Marconi Station where Gugliermo Marconi sent a wireless message to the King of England in 1903. (“Can you hear me now?”) White Crest is the designated surfing beach.
5. The Bay Beaches. Slightly warmer water than the ocean beaches, less wind, and calmer waves make Wellfleet’s bay beaches a toddler’s paradise. Remember that it’s very tidal and every day there are 2 High Tides and 2 Low Tides. You’ll benefit from a tide chart. Around high tide is great for swimming. Explore and collect seashells at low tide. Wellfleet’s bay beaches are MADE for kayaking. If you don’t own one, rent at Jack’s Boat Rental. My favorite bay beach is Mayo, because right next to Mayo Beach are 3 restaurants, an ice cream/burger/fried clam counter, fishing excursions, and Mac’s, a fresh seafood market. Indian Neck is nice too for the sunsets and to walk out on the jetty.
6. Art Galleries. There are SO many art galleries in Wellfleet that it’s sometimes called the ‘Art gallery town.’ Most of the galleries are located on Main Street and E. Commercial Street.
7. The Town Center. Next door Truro doesn’t really have a town center and neither does Eastham. Wellfleet’s town center still has the feel of an old fishing village. It has some small shops and restaurants but hasn’t been commercialized the way, say, Chatham has.
8. World famous oysters. You didn’t know that Wellfleet oysters are world famous? Eat them fresh from Mac’s, dine at the Wicked Oyster restaurant, or eat on the front porch of the Bookstore and watch how they’re shucked. You’ll be steps away from where the oysters were raised and harvested.
9. The Wellfleet Drive-in. A drive-in movie theatre may not be the best place for serious movie-watching, but if you or your family members have never experienced a drive-in, it’s a unique experience.
10. The W.H.A.T. Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre. Last year a 2nd theatre was completed, which I haven’t been to. The original WHAT is at the Pier. I’ve been to several shows there over the years. It’s such a small theatre that all the seats are close to the stage. It can be intense.
There are activities for all ages in Wellfleet. One of the great things about this small Cape Cod town is that it has a little of everything. Although Wellfleet is small (and many parts of it are quiet), there are plenty of fun things to do.
If you like to swim or just relax by the water, there are many places for you to choose from in Wellfleet. The Atlantic Ocean can be accessed by multiple beaches on the coast of Wellfleet. Marconi Beach has dunes and a nice view. Surfers often choose White Crest Beach because the waves are a little fiercer than some of the other beaches. For a calmer experience, try the bay. Mayo Beach is a popular bay beach. Because Wellfleet is near the tip of the Cape, you can boogey-board at the ocean and take a dip in the bay without ever leaving Wellfleet! For fresh water swimming, Wellfleet has an assortment of ponds, such as Gull Pond.
If want to navigate the sea by boat, there are a variety options. You can rent a boat at Jack’s and hit the water. Kayaking and sailing are both great activities for good weather.
Wellfleet has a bunch of walking trails to connect you with nature. You can also walk along one of Wellfleet’s many ponds or ocean beaches. If it’s windy, fly a kite!
The Cape Cod Rail Trail runs through Wellfleet. It’s an excellent path to bike on. Another good one is the Head of the Meadow bike trail.
You can buy art at one of Wellfleet’s many art galleries. For those in your group with a sweet tooth, there’s fudge and candy in the center of town. Wellfleet has its very own flea market that operates three days a week in the summer. Although it’s not the best place to find tons of new and mainstream goods, it is a good place for unusual items, such as old advertisements and memorabilia. For a more traditional shopping experience, you can drive one town over to Provincetown.
Positioned right beside the ocean, Wellfleet is a fantastic place for fresh seafood. Mac’s Shack is near the town center and the Sweet Seasons Restaurant is at the Inn at Duck Creeke. Winslow’s Tavern is nice and somewhat upscale. PJ’s, which is more of a family restaurant, is right on Route 6.