Route 6A, Massachusetts

(Scenic Drives of America Feature)

A trip through the quiet side of Cape Cod.

rock harbor Cape Cod is not all hustle and bustle; indeed, there is a much more quiet, peaceful side to this beautiful peninsula. Route 6A, which is on the northern, or bay side, of Cape Cod, winds its way through some of the oldest villages in America, including Sandwich, Barnstable, Yarmouth, Dennis, and Brewster. Many of the homes along this tree-shaded road are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

sandwich Route 6A never strays far from the water, as there are several top beaches nearby, including Sandy Neck and Sandwich Town Beach. During the summer, the road can become a bit crowded, but it is much quieter than the bustling Route 28, which cuts through the southern side of the Cape. If you are interested in seeing what Cape Cod looked like before tourists discovered it, Route 6A is the place to go.

Map of Route 6A in Massachusetts: Click here to find the location of a particularly scenic stretch of Route 6A.


  • Cape Cod Rail Trail, Dennis–This bike trail cuts through the center of Cape Cod, starting in Dennis, and extending more than 20 miles to Welfleet. Ponds, woods, and Cape Cod Bay can be seen along this scenic bike path.
  • Daniel Webster Inn, Sandwich–Classy and elegant, the Daniel Webster Inn, which is more than 300 years old, is a perfect choice for people looking for upscale lodging or dining on the quiet side of the Cape.
  • Hallet’s Store and Soda Fountain, Yarmouth Port–A former drug store that now is a popular spot for ice cream, Hallet’s Store is a throwback to days gone by (and yes, the soda fountain is still here).
  • Nickerson State Park, Brewster–A huge, hilly, deeply wooded wilderness area on Cape Cod? It is true; Nickerson State Park may not have dunes or beaches, but it is a great place to get away from it all, especially if you like camping.
  • Sandy Neck Beach, Barnstable–It is fair to say that Sandy Neck Beach, which is on the bay side of Cape Cod, is one of the most beautiful beaches in New England. This 6-mile-long beach is perfect for long walks.