Cape Cod is a popular summer destination for people of all ages. Young couples, families and senior citizens alike can enjoy the beautiful New England weather on sandy beaches and in quaint villages. Residents of southwest Massachusetts retirement communities may be interested in taking a day trip to the Cape for a bit of summer fun. There are several free or inexpensive activities available that will appeal to older tourists.
- Lighthouse tours: New England is certainly renowned for its collection of lighthouses along the east coast, and Cape Cod has many great examples. There are 14 lighthouses on the Cape, many of which are open to the public for visits and tours. Free tours are available at the Chatham Lighthouse, Race Point Light in Provincetown and Nobska Light in Woods Hole.
- Lavender farm: Head to Harwich to see 12 acres of lavender plants alongside Island Pond. According to Boston.com, the farm harvests over 14,000 plants, making it one of the most expansive lavender farms on the east coast. The best time to visit the Cape Cod Lavender Farm is June through July when the flowers are fully bloomed.
- Cape Cod Chips factory tour: Yes, those extra-crispy chips are actually made on Cape Cod. Tours are offered at the factory in Hyannis from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Self-guided tours are free! Check out the farmers' fields where the potatoes are grown and learn the process that leads to the product you can find in supermarkets.
- Whale and seal watching: Provincetown is a destination spot for whale watching, particularly Race Point. There are also chartered tours if that's your preference.
- Outdoor art gallery: Because of the exquisite scenery on the Cape, it's a popular destination for artists. The Eastham Painters Guild has an outdoor gallery under white tents on the Eastham Historical Society's Schoolhouse Museum's yard. Take a gander at paintings from a variety of artists, many of them local to the Massachusetts shoreline. Admission is also free to the Visitor's Center Museum as well as the 1869 school room in the Schoolhouse Museum.
- Pairpoint glass blowing: This glasswork company has been in operation since 1837, making it the oldest existing glasswork business, according to Boston.com. You can watch artisans heat glass to mold into lamps and vases at the shop in Sandwich. Observation hours are between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. There is a gift shop if you're interested in buying a unique piece of glassware, and the shop is kid-friendly so the grandkids are welcome.