Explore Cape Cod's Magnificent Main Streets

Commercial Street is Provincetown's "main street"--busy, bustling and always a blast. Photo by Maggie Kulbokas.

There are many amazing facets of Cape Cod to explore when vacationing here, but some of the most enjoyable are the Main Streets of the various towns. From fabulous restaurants to art galleries to lively bars to locally-owned and operated shops, the Main Streets of Cape Cod have something to offer everyone.

  1. Commercial Street, Provincetown: Definitely the most colorful Main Street on Cape Cod, Commercial Street is known for many things. Lined with art galleries, restaurants, shops, and eclectic bars and performance venues, Commercial Street can be fun for families or adults-only. MacMillan Wharf is right off of Commercial Street and is a great place to watch the boats and eat lunch or take off for a whale watch.

    Some of the enjoyable shops include Shop Therapy, the Purple Feather (a chocolate shop), the Nut House, and Forbidden Fruit, among many others.
    The restaurants are numerous and depend on your tastes, but many have indoor and outdoor dining options, which is especially nice in the summer. The Mews has great food and an extensive vodka selection, which makes for some interesting drinks ! The Art House has an enjoyable menu and plays host to many shows throughout the summer (getting tickets in advance is HIGHLY recommended). The Nor’East Beer Garden is the perfect place to unwind after a day walking around town.

    For shows, there are places like the Post Office Café and Cabaret, Cabaret at the Crown and Anchor, and the Art House (previously mentioned).

    Of course, Provincetown has no lack of bars and nightlife, with places such as the Crown and Anchor, the Pied Bar, and the A-House all offering great places to listen to music, dance, and meet up with old friends and make new ones!

    Commercial Street is also the epicenter of many great festivals that happen in Provincetown throughout the summer including the Portuguese Festival and Carnival.

  2. Main Street, Hyannis: Another vibrant Main Street on Cape Cod is the one in Hyannis. With Hyannis Harbor a short walk away, the JFK Museum right on Main Street itself, terrific, well-repudiated restaurants lining either side of the road, and some of the best stores on the Cape, it is no wonder that so many people flock to Main Street in Hyannis!

    In the summer, there are live concerts in Aselton Park, easily accessible by foot from Main Street. The Melody Tent is also nearby, so people going to concerts quite often like to catch a bite to eat or explore the shops beforehand.

    Be sure to check out some of the fabulous dining, including Alberto’s Ristorante, the Naked Oyster, and the Brazilian Grill to name a few of the spectacular restaurants. Stop and get ice cream at Katie’s, or grab a quick bite to eat and a drink at the Common Ground Café.
    There are also great bars and a vivacious nightlife scene. Check out Embargo or the Seaside Pub on Main to name a few spots.

  3. Main Street, Falmouth: Another lively Main Street, this is a great place to walk down if you happen to be on the Upper Cape. For visitors who want some fresh food, there is a farmers market right on Main Street in Falmouth every Thursday from noon to 6pm.
    Some of the wonderful restaurants that can be found on Main Street in
    Falmouth include Anejo (a terrific place to take in some Mexican cuisine and tequila!), La Cucina sul Mare, and the Stone L’Oven Pizza Company.

    There is bowling right off of Main Street in 23 Town Hall Square at Ryan Family Amusements.

    For a tasty, cool treat, get some ice cream from Ben and Bill’s. Although Ben and Bill’s also has candy, Ghelfi’s (which has two locations – one on Main Street Falmouth and the other in Mashpee), is a family-run business which has been making handmade chocolates for 25 years and is sure to please everyone in the family. Ghelfi’s also has ice cream.

    If you are looking to boogie down, then head over to Liam Maguire’s for live music and libations.

    And of course, don’t forget to check out the great shops that line Main Street in Falmouth. There are definitely shops that will please everyone on this marvelous Main Street!

  4. Main Street, Orleans: Perhaps the epicenter of the Lower Cape, Orleans has a great Main Street that is easy to walk, and there are also plenty of great shops nearby Main Street.

    If you are looking for dining, check out Mahoney’s Atlantic Bar and Grill. The Land Ho is also off of Main Street and they not only have decent pub fare, but a thriving night scene as well. The Lost Dog Pub is a short walk from Main Street and they are also a great spot to check out for nightlife.

    For the best ice cream in Orleans, take a short walk from Main Street to the Ice Cream Café.

    If you are more interested in shopping, check out the Main Street Wine and Gourmet, Ragg Time Ltd, or the Earthhouse (located near Main Street), to name a few of the great shops in Orleans.

    There are also amazing art galleries, including Gallery 31.

  5. Main Street, Chatham: Of course, no list of Main Streets on Cape Cod would be complete without Main Street in Chatham! This is perhaps one of the most bustling Main Streets in the summer time and it is easy to see why. With plenty of shopping, dining options, and other attractions, it is no wonder that Main Street in Chatham is so popular.

    The Candy Manor is a popular stop, as is the Chatham Squire. With so many businesses, be sure to take a full day to properly explore this Main Street and find the one you like best!

Of course, each town has its own unique stores and restaurants, as well as their own “Main Streets”. Dennisport has quite a bit to offer and is worth the trip. Wellfleet is another Main Street that is certainly worth the trip. Other towns may be a bit more spread out, but there are gems in all of them, so set aside time to explore while on the Cape!

About the Author

Contributing Writer

Mati Brown holds a Journalism degree from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. She has written for several publications, including the Berlin Reporter, EDGE publications, and the Falmouth and Mashpee Bulletins. A current resident of Brewster, she is glad to be writing about the area she grew up in.