AARP MEMBER DISCOUNTS SEE MORE

Baseball

Hyannis Harbor Hawks. The Hyannis Harbor Hawks of the collegiate Cape Cod Baseball League play home games at McKeon Park from mid-June to mid-August. Interested 5- to 17-year-olds can sign up with the Youth Baseball Academy. McKeon Park, High School Rd., Hyannis, MA, 02601. 508/420–0962. www.harborhawks.org.

Beaches

This wide, sandy beach has an area set aside for windsurfers and a sheltered area that's good for kids. It's a great spot for watching boats go in and out of the harbor. Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards; parking (fee); showers; toilets. Best for: swimming; walking; windsurfing.

Boating

Hy-Line. Hy-Line offers cruises on reproductions of old-time Maine coastal steamers. The one-hour tours of Hyannis Harbor and Lewis Bay include a view of the Kennedy compound and other points of interest. Ocean St. Dock, 138 Ocean St., Hyannis, MA, 02601. 508/790–0696. hy-linecruises.com.

Baseball

Harwich Mariners. The Harwich Mariners, of the collegiate Cape Cod Baseball League, play home games at Whitehouse Field on Oak Street from mid-June through mid-August. Harwich High School, 75 Oak St., Harwich, MA, 02645. 508/432–2000. www.harwichmariners.org.

Baseball

The Cape Cod Baseball League, begun in 1885, is an invitational league of college players that counts Carlton Fisk, Ron Darling, Mo Vaughn, Nomar Garciaparra, and the late Thurman Munson as alumni. Considered the country's best summer league, it's scouted by every major-league team. The 10 teams of the Cape Cod Baseball League play a 44-game season from mid-June to mid-August; games held at all 10 fields are free.

Falmouth Commodores. The Falmouth Commodores of the collegiate Cape Cod Baseball League play their home games at Guv Fuller Field from mid-June to mid-August. Players and coaches lead youth baseball clinics in June and July. 790 Main St., Falmouth Center, Falmouth, MA, 02540. www.falmouthcommodores.com.

Biking

Shining Sea Bikeway. The wonderful Shining Sea Bikeway is an 11-mile paved bike path through four of Falmouth's villages, running from Woods Hole to North Falmouth. It follows the shore of Buzzards Bay, providing water views and dips into oak and pine woods; a detour onto Church Street takes you to Nobska Light. A brochure is available at the trailheads. If you're taking your bike to Martha's Vineyard, park in one of Falmouth's Steamship Authority lots and ride to the ferry. Free shuttles from Falmouth to the Woods Hole ferry dock have bike carriers. Falmouth, MA.

Fishing

Eastman's Sport & Tackle. Freshwater ponds are good for perch, pickerel, trout, and more; get the required license (along with rental gear) at Eastman's Sport & Tackle. It's a good resource if you are looking for local guides. 783 Main St., Falmouth Center, Falmouth, MA, 02540. 508/548–6900. www.eastmanstackle.com.

Beaches

Coast Guard Beach, part of the National Seashore, is a long beach backed by low grass and heathland. A handsome former Coast Guard station is also here, though it's not open to the public. The beach has no parking lot of its own, so park at the Salt Pond Visitor Center or at the lot up Doane Road from the center and take the free shuttle to the beach. At high tide the size of the beach shrinks considerably, so watch your blanket. Amenities: lifeguards; parking (fee); showers; toilets. Best for: sunrise; surfing; swimming; walking.

A great spot for watching sunsets over Cape Cod Bay, First Encounter Beach is rich in history. Near the parking lot, a bronze marker commemorates the first encounter between local Native Americans and passengers from the Mayflower, led by Captain Myles Standish, who explored the entire area for five weeks in 1620 before moving on to Plymouth. The beach is popular with families who favor its warmer, calmer waters and tide pools. Amenities: parking (fee); showers, toilets. Best for: sunset; swimming; walking; windsurfing.

Adjacent to Coast Guard Beach, this long, sandy beach is backed by tall dunes, frilly grasses, and heathland. The trail to the Three Sisters lighthouses takes you through a pitch-pine forest. Parking here fills up very quickly in summer; plan to arrive early or you may have to go elsewhere. Nauset charges $15 per car, but you can buy an annual pass for $45 (valid for all six Cape Cod National Seashore beaches). Amenities: lifeguards; parking (fee); showers; toilets. Best for: sunrise; surfing; swimming; walking.

Beaches

Once a privately owned packet landing, the beautiful crescent of white sand backed by low dunes now serves a decidedly noncorporate purpose as a public beach. Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards; parking (fee); showers; toilets. Best for: sunset; swimming; walking.

This is one of the best beaches on the south shore, with the crowds to prove it. A breakwater was started here in 1837 in an effort to protect the mouth of Bass River, but that was abandoned when a sandbar formed on the shore side. It's a long, wide, and popular sandy beach, stretching for 1½ mile, with marshland and the Bass River across from it. Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards; parking (fee); toilets. Best for: swimming; walking; windsurfing.

Bicycling

You can pick up the Cape's premier bike path, the 25-mile Cape Cod Rail Trail (www.mass.gov/dcr), at several points. In fact, riding the entire trail in one day doesn't do justice to its sights and side trips (though it certainly can be done). Many cyclists, especially those with small kids, prefer the piecemeal method because they can relax and enjoy the sights—and not turn their legs into jelly.

The trail starts at the parking lot off Route 134 south of U.S. 6, near Theophilus Smith Road in South Dennis, and it ends at the post office in South Wellfleet. Access points in Brewster are Long Pond Road, Underpass Road, and Nickerson State Park. There's also a spur off the trail that goes to Chatham.

The ride in Dennis starts as a flat, straight spin through a small pine forest—a good warm-up exercise. Your first road crossing is at busy Great Western Road, one of the town's major thoroughfares, after which you'll pass Sand Pond and Flax Pond in Harwich. The Dennis part of the trail is short, but it's worth starting here for the ample parking at the trail's entrance and for the several bike-rental places that set up shop on Route 134.

A guidebook published by the Dennis Chamber of Commerce includes bike tours and maps. You can rent bikes from a number of places along the Cape Cod Rail Trail.

Barbara's Bike Shop. Barbara's Bike Shop is at the rail trail entrance, the closest of several local shops that rent bikes. Prices start from $24 per day (with hourly rentals available as well). 430 Rte. 134, South Dennis, MA, 02660. 508/760–4723. www.barbsbikeshop.com.

Baseball

Chatham Anglers. The Chatham Anglers baseball games are great free entertainment by college players in the Cape Cod Baseball League. Veterans' Field, Main and Depot sts., near the rotary, Chatham, MA, 02633. 508/996–5004. www.chathamanglers.com.

Beaches

West of Chatham center and on the calmer and warmer waters of Nantucket Sound, Harding's Beach is very popular with families. It can get crowded, so plan to arrive early or late. Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards; parking (fee); showers; toilets. Best for: swimming; walking; windsurfing.

Baseball

Brewster Whitecaps. The Brewster Whitecaps of the collegiate Cape Cod Baseball League play home games at from mid-June to mid-August. Stony Brook Elementary School, 384 Underpass Rd., Brewster, MA. 508/896–8500 Ext. 147. www.brewsterwhitecaps.com.

Water Sports

Jack's Boat Rentals. Choose from among canoes, kayaks, pedal boats, sailboats, and sailboards at the two locations of Jack's Boat Rentals in Nickerson State Park (Flax Pond and Cliff Pond). Sign up for sailing lessons offered at Cliff Pond. Nickerson State Park, Rte. 6A, at Cliff Pond, East Brewster, Brewster, MA, 02631. 508/896–8556. www.jacksboatrental.com.

Baseball

Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox. The Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox of the collegiate Cape Cod Baseball League play home games at Dennis-Yarmouth High School's Red Wilson Field from mid-June to mid-August. Baseball clinics for girls and boys age 5 and up run throughout the season. Dennis-Yarmouth High School, 180 Station Ave., South Yarmouth, MA, 02664. 508/394–9387. www.ydredsox.org.

Beaches

The restaurant and music club on top of the dune are the main attractions at Cahoon Hollow Beach, which tends to draw younger and slightly rowdier crowds. It's a big Sunday-afternoon party place. The Beachcomber restaurant has paid parking, which is reimbursed when you buy something to eat or drink. Erosion has made getting to the beach a steep climb. Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards; parking (fee); toilets. Best for: partiers; surfing; swimming; walking.

Marconi Beach, part of the Cape Cod National Seashore, is accessed via a very long and steep series of stairs lead down to the beach. it's also popular with surfcasters looking for striped bass or bluefish. Erosion from fierce storms has comprised beach access. Amenities : lifeguards; parking (fee); showers; toilets. Best for: sunrise; surfing; swimming; walking.

White Crest Beach is a prime surfer hangout where the dudes often spend more time waiting for waves than actually riding them. If you're up to the challenge, join one of the spontaneous volleyball games. The other challenge will be working your way down (and then up) to the water: Mother Nature and her fury have made this a steep trek. Amenities: lifeguards; parking (fee); toilets. Best for: sunrise; surfing; swimming; walking.

Boating

Jack's Boat Rental. Sailing lessons and guided kayak tours are offered at Jack's, which rents canoes, kayaks, pedal boats, sailboats surfboards, boogie boards, and sailboards. Gull Pond, U.S. 6 and Cahoon Hollow Rd., Greater Wellfleet, Wellfleet, MA, 02667. 508/349–9808 or 508/349–7553. jacksboatrental.com.

Beaches

Coast Guard Beach sits just down the road from Highland Light on the ocean side. Parking is for residents and renters with stickers only, although anyone can walk or bicycle in to enjoy this pristine swath of golden sand that stretches for miles in either direction and sees relatively few crowds—even in the heart of summer. Keep in mind that the parking area is small and tends to fill quickly. Amenities: lifeguards; parking (fee); toilets. Best for: sunrise; surfing; swimming; walking

Tours

Art's Dune Tours. Art's Dune Tours has been taking eager passengers into the dunes of Province Lands since 1946. Bumpy but controlled rides (about one hour) transport you through sometimes surreal sandy vistas peppered with beach grass and along a shoreline patrolled by seagulls and sandpipers. On Sunday there is a special Race Point Lighthouse Tour; or head out at sunset for a stunning ride, available with or without a clambake feast. 4 Standish St., Downtown Center, Provincetown, MA, 02657. 508/487–1950 or 800/894–1951. www.artsdunetours.com. Regular tours start at $27.

Whale-Watching

Dolphin Fleet. Tours are accompanied by scientists from the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, who provide commentary while collecting data on the whales they've been monitoring for years. They know many of them by name and will tell you about their habits and histories. These trips are most often exciting and incredibly thrilling with close-up encounters. Chamber of Commerce Building, MacMillan Wharf, Downtown Center, Provincetown, MA, 02657. 508/240–3636 or 800/826–9300. www.whalewatch.com. $44. Tours mid-Apr.–Oct.

Baseball

Orleans Firebirds. The Orleans Firebirds of the collegiate Cape Cod Baseball League play home games at Eldredge Park from mid-June to mid-August. Eldredge Park, Rte. 28 at Eldredge Pkwy., Orleans, MA, 02653. 508/255–0793. www.orleansfirebirds.com.

Beaches

This town-managed beach—not to be confused with Nauset Light Beach on the National Seashore—is a 10-mile sweep of sandy ocean beach with low dunes and large waves good for bodysurfing or board surfing. Despite its size, the massive parking lot often fills up on sunny days; arrive quite early or in the late afternoon if you want to claim a spot. The beach gets extremely crowded in summer; unless you walk a ways, expect to feel very close to your neighbors on the sand. Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards; parking (fee); showers; toilets. Best for: sunrise; surfing; swimming; walking.

On Cape Cod Bay, Skaket Beach is a sandy stretch with calm, warm water good for children. When the tide is out, you can walk seemingly endlessly on the sandy flats. The parking lot fills up fast on hot July and August days; try to arrive before 11 or after 2. The many tide pools make this a favorite spot for families. Sunsets here draw a good crowd. Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards; parking (fee); showers; toilets. Best for: sunset; swimming; walking.

Boating and Fishing

Arey's Pond Boat Yard. There's a sailing school here offering individual and group lessons. The company also rents sailboats. 45 Arey's La., off Rte. 28, South Orleans, MA, 02653. 508/255–0994. www.areyspondboatyard.com.

Many of Orleans's freshwater ponds offer good fishing for perch, pickerel, trout, and more.

Goose Hummock Shop. Fishing licenses and gear are available at the Goose Hummock Shop, which also rents canoes, paddleboards, and kayaks. Lessons and tours are available. 15 Rte. 6A, Orleans, MA, 02653. 508/255–0455. www.goose.com.

Beaches

Sandy Neck Beach stretches some 6 miles across a peninsula that ends at Sandy Neck Light. The beach is one of the Cape's most beautiful—dunes, sand, and bay spread endlessly east, west, and north. The marsh used to be harvested for salt hay; now it's a haven for birds, which are out and about in the greatest numbers in morning and evening. The lighthouse, standing a few feet from the eroding shoreline at the tip of the neck, has been out of commission since 1952. It was built in 1857 to replace an 1827 light, and it used to run on acetylene gas. As you travel east along Route 6A from Sandwich, Sandy Neck Road is just before the Barnstable line, although the beach itself is in West Barnstable. Amenities : food and drink; lifeguards; parking (fee); showers; toilets. Best for : sunset; swimming; walking.