Driving Scenic Route 6: Cape Cod

by on November 23, 2011

Cape Cod Route 6Scenic Views and Destinations on Route 6, Cape Cod

Route 6 is the main highway of Cape Cod, connecting almost every town on the Cape to each other, from Bourne to Provincetown. For a major highway, Route 6 can be very scenic at points throughout the drive. This page will point out some of the most scenic spots along Cape Cod Route 6, and some other nearby Cape Cod destinations that you should check out.

What You’ll See While Driving Route 6

Route 6 isn’t the most scenic route on Cape Cod, but it does get more scenic as you head further east. Between Bourne and Dennis, Cape Cod is a four lane divided highway. When traveling on Route 6, you can hit traffic at just about any point, but it tends to build up near Hyannis, near the slim down to one lane (in each direction), at the Orleans Rotary, and at points on the Outer Cape like Wellfleet. You may want to consider Route 6A to bypass the traffic (it’s a much more enjoyable ride, too).

Bridges on Route 6

There are three bridges that cross the Cape Cod Canal. Route 6 crosses over the canal via the Sagamore Bridge, while Route 25 (which becomes Route 28) passes over the Bourne Bridge. The third bridge is the Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge, which is located southwest of the Bourne Bridge. If you have the time on your drive, stop along Route 6 between the Bourne and Sagamore Bridge. There’s a scenic park with easy parking that offers views of the canal, along with bike paths running up and down the canal on both sides. Here you can find some of the best fishing, biking, and jogging paths on the Cape.

Orleans, Eastham and Wellfleet

Further up Route 6, you’ll find the Orleans Rotary. Off of the rotary is Route 28, which leads to Chatham, Orleans, Harwich, and other towns of Cape Cod. The highway shifts to head north at the rotary, though the highway signs still say “east” as you head north up the Cape. As you pass through the towns of Eastham and Wellfleet, the scenery gets gradually more scenic along the highway. At Wellfleet, be sure to look to your left (when heading north) for the unbelievable view of the winding river marshes of Blackfish Creek that head out to Wellfleet Bay.

Route 6 – Suicide Alley

At Dennis, Route 6 becomes the dreaded two lane, undivided highway known as Suicide Alley. Here, it’s the law to have your lights on during the day because of coastal fog, and to let oncoming traffic know where you are at all times. The exits off of this portion of Route 6 lead to small Cape Cod backroads and towns like Dennis, Bass River, Yarmouth, and Harwich. It’s a good idea to slow it down on this section of road and be watchful of the traffic around you. Traffic also does tend to backup in this section.

Scenic Views in Truro and Provincetown

After Wellfleet, you’ll pass through Truro. Highland Light can be found to the east. Near the Provincetown town line, you’ll see massive sand dunes along each side of the road.On the east side, you can stop at some of the pullovers there, like at Pilgrim Lake and High Head Road in Truro.

The Most Scenic Spots on Route 6

Route 6 does have very scenic views, especially on the Outer Cape and near the Cape Cod Canal. After you head out of Bourne, Route 6 does become very plain until you reach Bass River on the Yarmouth – Dennis town line. After this point, the road again becomes plain repetitive until you reach the Orleans Rotary. After the rotary, the Outer Cape becomes very scenic. To the east, you can view the peninsulas and sand bars of the Cape Cod National Seashore. Further north, there are roads off of Route 6 that lead to some dramatic scenery along the coastline. However, if you’re just staying on Route 6, the view of Wellfleet Bay on Route 6, looking west, is oustanding. From there, the views of the sand dunes round out the trip in Provincetown. Explore the few backroads that Provincetown has to offer to get an up-close look at these giant dunes. Route 6 terminates in Provincetown near Race Point.

Planning a Trip to Cape Cod?

Be sure to also read about some of the top Cape Cod Bed and Breakfasts reviewed on this page of our blog.


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