The Bourne-Cape Cod Canal region is the first place you come to upon crossing the Sagamore or Bourne bridges onto Cape Cod.
Despite summertime traffic tie-ups approaching the bridges, there’s something magical about the first glimpse of them, a sure sign that you’re entering a place separate from where you’ve been. All travelers, except those arriving by plane or boat, must pass through Bourne, over the bridges and the Cape Cod Canal.
The town straddles the canal, nips at the heels of Sandwich on the Cape Cod Bay side, and follows the coastline south toward Falmouth along Route 28. (All the land to the immediate east of Route 28 belongs to the Massachusetts Military Reservation.)
Indeed, there is some justification for not spending a month long holiday here. Bourne is predominantly inhabited by year rounders, enjoying a quiet, rural, unhurried existence and tending their gardens and lives. But perhaps of the entire Cape, Bourne remains the most unexplored area.
The back roads off County and Shore roads are lovely for bicycling, as are the peninsulas reached by Scraggy Neck Road and Wings Neck Road. Fishing, walking, and bicycling are prime activities along the Cape Cod Canal — as is cruising. In fact, there are over 1,695 acres of protected land along the canal for your enjoyment.
If you’ve fallen in love with the Cape and want to take a deeper dive with exploring, my Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard & Nantucket: An Explorer’s Guide has been the region’s travel bible since it was first published in 1995.
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