Pilgrim Monument#7 in Best Things To Do in Cape Cod
Towering over the quaint Provincetown skyline, the Pilgrim Monument – modeled after the Torre del Mangia in Siena, Italy – is a must-see for history-loving travelers. The 252-foot-high tower is the tallest all-granite structure in the United States. Commissioned in 1907 by President Theodore Roosevelt, this monument commemorates the site of the Mayflower Pilgrim's first landing in the New World. It takes about 10 minutes to climb up the tower, but most visitors say the trek is worth it; describing the vantage point from the top of the Pilgrim Monument as one of the best on the Cape. Many agree the museum is quite informative, too.
The Provincetown Museum, which features permanent exhibits highlighting the arrival of the Mayflower pilgrims, the town's maritime history, the early days of modern American theater in Provincetown and the building of the monument. There is also a recreation of a 19th-century sea captain's parlor at home and his quarters at sea, a diorama of the Mayflower Compact being signed aboard the Mayflower in Provincetown Harbor and more.
Located on the waterfront in Provincetown, the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum's hours vary seasonally. Generally, it's open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission to both is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $4 for children ages 4 to 12. For more details on parking and special events, consult the website.
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#1 Cape Cod Rail Trail
Popular with bikers, rollerbladers and horseback riders, this 22-mile paved trail is a breezy ride through the Lower Cape's diverse ecosystems. Previously known as the Old Colony Railroad corridor, the Cape Cod Rail Trail is considered one of the best bike trails in New England.
Many outdoor enthusiasts highlight the trail as one of the best ways to experience the natural attractions across the Cape. They also praise how well-marked and clean the trail is, and report that it's mostly flat and easy to navigate. Some of the Cape's best beaches and ponds are scattered throughout the area, especially in Orleans and Wellfleet. Unique snack shacks and lunch spots are perfect pit stops when your stomach starts to grumble. And don't forget to explore the area's smaller villages for a taste of the Old Cape.
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