Featured Stories & Articles from Cape Cod Travel Magazine: A Day on the Old King's Highway
17 stops create the perfect day on Route 6A
Cape Cod's Route 6A, which runs parallel to the coastline from Bourne to Provincetown, was originally a Wampanoag trail. In the 1700s, it became an extension of Plymouth Colony's King's Highway and later, the Boston-to-Provincetown stagecoach route.
Today, the Old King's Highway is the most historic and scenic route to P-town, passing nature preserves of breathtaking beauty and the longest contiguous historic district in America.
We've described some of the attractions along the route, so you can plan an enjoyable outing.
1. Marshland Restaurant: Every day, this diner-style eatery serves a different French toast - made with blueberry bread, stuffed with eggs, sausage and cheese, topped with warm fresh fruit and raspberry butter, and more. Open year round. 109 Rte. 6A, Sandwich; 508-888-9824.
2. The Glass Studio: Watch glassblower Michael Magyar turn molten glass into works of art in his studio in the Town of Sandwich, a center for glassmaking since the 19th century. Studio hours Thursday to Sunday. 470 Rte. 6A, E. Sandwich; 508-888-6681.
3. Green Briar Nature Center & Jam Kitchen: Make fresh fruit jam in Ida Putnam's 1903 kitchen in a family workshop, April through December, by reservation. Gift shop open year round. 6 Discovery Hill Rd., off Rte. 6A, E. Sandwich; 508-888-6870.
4. Sandy Neck Recreation Area: This six-mile barrier beach is part of a 93-acre nature preserve with tent sites and trails along Cape Cod Bay. Open year round. 425 Sandy Neck Rd., West Barnstable; 508-362-8300.
5. Tumbleweed Quilts: The assortment of quilt books, patterns, supplies, fabric and handmade products may inspire you. Open year round. 1919 Rte. 6A, West. Barnstable; 508-362-8700.
6. Harvest of Barnstable: Over 100 types of seashells and dozens of shell-embellished wreaths made by Cape Cod designers. Open year round. 89 Willow St. (off Rte. 6A), Yarmouth Port; 508-362-4595.
7. Optimist Café: Have lunch or high tea at the home of Capt. Frederick Howes, inventor of the Howe's Sail. The 1849 Gothic Revival house is now a family-friendly restaurant with words of optimism and local art on its bright yellow walls. Open year round. 134 Rte. 6A, Yarmouth Port; 508-362-1024.
8. Edward Gorey House: See exhibits on the life and works of the late Edward Gorey, an artist best known for his macabre animated credits for the PBS mystery series. Open mid-April through December. 8 Strawberry Ln. (off Rte. 6A), Yarmouth Port; 508-362-3909.
9. Cape Cod Museum of Art: Discover the wealth of artistic talent on Cape Cod, from Hans Hofmann to Robert Douglas Hunter. Thursday tours and talks. Open year round. At the Cape Cod Center for the Arts, 60 Hope Ln. (off Rte. 6A), Dennis; 508-385-4477.
10. Cape Playhouse: Children's theater in the morning; main stage productions in the afternoon and evening at America's oldest professional summer theater. Season starts in June and ends mid-September. At the Cape Cod Center for the Arts, 820 Rte. 6A, Dennis; 1-877-385-3911 or 508-385-3911.
11. Cape Cod Natural History Museum: See indoor exhibits on local flora and fauna and get your feet wet on a naturalist-led summer trek, called Mudflat Mania, through the Brewster mudflats. Open year round. 869 Rte. 6A, Brewster; 508-896-3867.
12. Spyglass Antiques: Before MapQuest and Google Earth, sea captains relied on the types of telescopes, barometers, maps and other navigational aids for sale in this specialty shop. Open year round. 2257 Rte. 6A Brewster; 508-896-4423.
13. Hot Chocolate Sparrow: Try a Steamed Turtle or Frozen Hot Chocolate in this espresso bar, which also serves imported coffees, rich desserts and hand-dipped chocolates. Open year round. 5 Old Colony Way (off Rte. 6A), Orleans; 508-240-2230.
14. Salt Pond Visitor Center: Watch 12-minute films on Cape culture and natural history and enjoy views of Nauset Marsh and the Atlantic from Cape Cod National Seashore walking and biking trails. Open year round. Route 6, Eastham; 508-255-3421.
15. Atlantic Spice Company: Stock up on wholesale-priced seasonings, dehydrated vegetables, nuts, seeds and botanical and essential oils at this ‘scent-sational’ warehouse and retail store. Open year round. 2 Rte. 6A (jct. Rte 6/6A), N. Truro; 1-800-316-7965.
16. Truro Vineyards: The Roberts family offers wine tastings ($7) and free tours of their winery and five-acre vinifera vineyard daily from Memorial Day through Columbus Day weekend. 11 Rte. 6A, N. Truro; 508-487-6200.
17. Mews Restaurant & Café: Choose a table with views of the bay and order cod baked with an almond crust, topped with Clementine citrus beurre blanc. Open year round for lunch and dinner. 429 Commercial St., Provincetown; 508-487-1500.
Back to Cape Cod Travel Guide Stories