If you’re a movie buff, you can probably rattle off a list of films about road trips. Who can forget “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” in which the great John Candy and Steve Martin hilariously deal with a variety of obstacles in reaching their destination?
In “It Happened One Night,” Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable travel via bus and hitchhiking. And, of course, there’s “Vacation,” in which Chevy Chase’s nutty Clark Griswold melts down after one too many ridiculous situations.
Your road trip from Charlton to Cape Cod probably won’t be like any of those movies — if you’re lucky — but it may provide you with memorable adventures, nonetheless.
Cape Cod, an easy drive from Charlton, is the perfect destination for a weekend trip. Here are some of our favorite attractions for taking in some history, shopping and engaging in ocean-related fun.
History on Cape Cod
With its 40 miles of stunning seashore, Cape Cod is typically considered a beach destination. But you’ll find much more to do than soak up the sun and enjoy the surf. If you’re interested in history, you’ll find plenty of attractions to capture your imagination on Cape Cod.
The Pilgrim Monument, for instance, is the country’s tallest structure — at 252 feet — constructed entirely of granite and was modeled from Italy’s Torre del Mangia. President Teddy Roosevelt commissioned the monument to recognize the site where the Mayflower first landed in the New World.
The Sandwich Glass Museum is located at the site of the former Boston & Sandwich Glass Company. Thanks to the work of the Sandwich Historical Society, the facility now houses modern and historical exhibits featuring glass art, along with hourly demonstrations of glassblowing. If you want to learn about the history of creating with glass, this is the place.
The Edward Gorey House includes many of the recognizable works of the artist, who has numerous design credits on PBS and in Broadway shows. Among Gorey’s works are illustrations in “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” by T.S. Eliot. The museum gives fans a look into the artist’s life and personal effects.
At the Cape Playhouse, you’ll sit on an uncomfortable — but original — pew as you enjoy the oldest professional summer theater venue in the country. Alumni of this playhouse include Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis and Henry Fonda. In addition to its regular shows, the playhouse also offers backstage tours.
You’ll find many other historical attractions — including a variety of historic sites — throughout Cape Cod.
Shopping by the Seashore
The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce notes that the region is a veritable shopper’s paradise, with more than 2,400 shopping venues. Shopping is one of the most popular activities on the Cape, and the area is home to a variety of types of retail outlets. Whether you’re looking for books, gifts or antiques, you’ll find them on Cape Cod.
If you love antiquing, be sure to check out the so-called “antique trail” — historic Route 6A, also known as Old King’s Highway. Along this route, you’ll find multiple antiques dealers and galleries.
For bargain-hunters, a variety of outlet stores and shopping centers offer a range of shopping options — and plenty of places to dine when you’re ready to wind down.
Sea Adventures Galore
Of course, the true star of Cape Cod is the 40 miles of immaculate, sandy beachfront. Here, you’ll find ponds, marshes and other natural features supporting diverse wildlife, along with beaches that provide plenty of recreational options.
There’s something for everyone at Cape Cod’s beaches, whether you enjoy hunting and fishing, over-sand driving, touring with a ranger, sunbathing, taking a dip in the ocean, or simply walking along the shore. Cape Cod National Seashore — designated as a national park by John F. Kennedy in 1961 — is open throughout the year. You’ll also find a variety of day cruises and other sailing excursions available.