Scenic Route 6A hugs the inner coast of Cape Cod, winding its way through picturesque villages and breathtaking saltmarshes. Known as the Old King's Highway, this centuries-old route began as a Native American trail. During the subsequent centuries, it served as a key trade route for colonial settlers and as a fashionable spot for the stately homes of wealthy merchants and sea captains.
Today, Route 6A is one of the top scenic byways in the country, thanks largely to successful preservation efforts. Visitors can spend a couple of hours or a couple of days explore the dozens of sights, shops, and attractions that line this historic road. Family-friendly fun abounds as well--check out the picks below for a memorable family day trip.
Green Briar Nature Center - East Sandwich
Generations of children have been captivated by the stories of Peter Rabbit and the other beloved animal characters created by Cape Cod native Thornton W. Burgess. At Green Briar Nature Center, families can step into this charming storybook world and meet some of the animals that inspired these classic stories.
The Center features exhibits detailing Burgess' life and works and is also home to small resident animals and a working honey bee hive. Kids can meet the animals, explore the "Smiling Pool" pond and the nature trails in the Old Briar Patch, located next to the Center, and participate in one of the many programs offered throughout the summer.
Sandwich Mini Golf - Sandwich
Mini golf has been a Cape Cod summer tradition for decades, and any family trip along Route 6A should include a round or two. Sandwich Mini Golf offers a good chance to play at a low price. Forgoing flashy decorations and elaborate theming in favor of beautifully-maintained grounds that take advantage of the natural landscape, Sandwich Mini Golf is something of a throwback to old-fashioned Cape Cod mini golf. The course is built over the tiny Cranberry River and features bridges over the stream, windmills, and simple decoration, perfect for a quick stop on a longer road trip.
Taylor Bray Farm - Yarmouth Port
At Taylor Bray Farm, families can get outside and enjoy the beautiful Cape Cod wildlife. Kids will love exploring this historic farm where they can meet the eclectic family of animals that call the farm home, including highland cattle, miniature donkeys, goats, chickens, and sheep.
Families can enjoy a tour of the restored farmhouse, where costumed docents bring the eighteenth century to life for visitors of all ages, and can also learn about the fascinating archaeological digs ongoing at the site, which is one of the oldest preserved agricultural sites on the north side of the Cape. The grounds provide plenty of walking trails to explore and open space to enjoy a picnic lunch.
Cape Cod Museum of Natural History - Brewster
For curious kids and budding scientists, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History offers a wide range of interactive exhibits and educational programs. Far from the standard natural history museum, the CCMNH sparks kids' imaginations with an expansive program special events and programs. Visit the only aquarium on Cape Cod, attend a documentary screening or a nature movie, participate in a birding workshop or a scavenger hunt, or explore the butterfly house.
The CCMNH is set on more than 400 acres of conservation land in Stony Brook Valley and Brewster and also offers fun and educational outdoor programs. Much of the museum's programming takes place outdoors and introduces kids to the wonders of the natural world on the Cape.
Cape Escape Adventure Golf - Orleans
Near the eastern end of Route 6A, families can finish off the road trip with another round of mini golf. Cape Escape Adventure Golf offers an authentic Cape Cod mini golf experience. The course is nautically-themed and is decorated with authentic Cape Cod fishing boats, beautiful waterfalls, and a live koi pond. Make sure to visit the course's creamery for ice cream.