Cape Cod Travel

5 things to do when visiting Bourne

From camping to biking to baseball.

A woman walked a trail along the Cape Cod Canal overlooking the Bourne Bridge in Buzzards Bay in 2019. Nathan Klima for The Boston Globe

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Bourne is known as the gateway to Cape Cod.

The town is comprised of 10 villages and communities: Bourne Village, Bournedale, Buzzards Bay, Cataumet, Gray Gables, Monument Beach, Joint Base Cape Cod, Pocasset, Sagamore, and Sagamore Beach.

“We have many different villages in the town of Bourne that are very quaint, and they’re very different in their own way,” said Peter Meier, chairman of the board of selectmen and a lifelong resident of Bourne.

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There’s always something to do in Bourne, Meier said.

“We’re a very down-to-earth community,” he said. “We’re very open-minded and very welcoming.”

Here are Meier’s picks for what to do and see in Bourne.

Explore the Cape Cod Canal

Meier called the scenic Cape Cod Canal, a 17.4-mile waterway operated and maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the town’s biggest attraction.

“You see people sitting on the grass, having lunch,” he said. “You see people fishing off the rocks, you see people rollerblading, riding bikes, walking with strollers.”

The Cape Cod Canal Bikeway offers about 7 miles of paved pathways on both sides of the canal. It passes through many different recreation areas, and there are park benches for relaxing. Visitors enjoy scenic views of the Sagamore and Bourne bridges and the Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge and watch ships and other boats traveling between Buzzards Bay and Cape Cod Bay. Here’s a map.

In September, Cape Cod Canal Day offers a free day full of family fun in Buzzards Bay Park.

Go camping

Bourne Scenic Park near the canal offers more than 400 campsites. It’s owned and operated by the Bourne Recreation Authority on land leased from
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Campers can rent rustic cabins, lodges, or stay in tents on the property. Guests can fish, hike, bike, and rollerblade along the banks of the canal or enjoy the campground’s recreation hall, pools, and more.

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“On Saturday nights you’ll hear live music in the park, and there’s an ice cream shop in the park,” he said.

Meier enjoys visiting friends who camp there.

“At night when the sun starts to go down, you start to smell the campfires, and people make s’mores,” he said.

Chart Room in Cataumet. – The Chart Room

Eat fresh seafood

Cape Cod is known for its fresh seafood, and Bourne is no exception.

Some eateries serving up delicacies from the sea include The Lobster Trap, Barlow’s Clam Shack, and The Seafood Shanty, according to Meier. Chart Room is also a popular spot, he said.

“It’s on the water, and people come from all over the country just for their lobster rolls,” Meier said.

Folks can eat outside at tables overlooking the water, Meier said.

Don’t like seafood? There’s plenty of other options in town, such as Thai, Chinese, Italian, and more, he said.

Catch a baseball game

Between June and August, visitors can head to Doran Field to catch a Bourne Braves baseball game, part of the Cape Cod Baseball League.

The games are free, but donations are appreciated.

“For a $3 to $5 donation, bring a folding chair and you can see baseball the way it was meant to be seen,” Meier said.

Bleachers and picnic tables are also available.

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“They’ve got baseball players making hot dogs, hamburgers, grilled chicken,” he said. “Other players are going around selling 50/50 raffles. And these are famous players that you’ll see in your community working in your local stores because that’s one of their missions. When they’re not playing, they’re working for a local business.”

The players stay with host families in Bourne.

Meier is on the board of directors for the Bourne Braves.

Reader recommendations for Bourne:

Food and beverage:

Chart Room@_alex.powers
Mezza Luna Restaurant@kelli_orava
Mic’s Main Scoop @carashipman95
Stir Crazy@julieannaaa_
The Courtyard Restaurant and Pub@_alex.powers
The Lobster Trap@_alex.powers, @alliepasquale, @allisonbrennann, @jjmros
Trading Post Lounge@_alex.powers
Way Ho Restaurant @steve_parziale
Whistle Stop Ice Cream@alliepasquale

Activities:

Bourne Braves Baseball@chloeg104, @photography_by_parker
Bourne Bridge@originaldeebz, @jenporack
Cape Cod Canal @guilherme_bragag, @mairead_1991, @kelli_orava
Kayaking — @jaynesmith126, @gingersnapped1360, @sheggsz, @melissaguisti, @allisonbrennann, @reidmajka
Mashnee Island @_alex.powers, @allisonbrennann
Massachusetts National Cemetery@johnscott_hwy101, @originaldeebz, @marshall_lafrance8
Pan-Mass Challenge@dwinthrop
Parker’s Boat Yard @laurenpelt

Cape Cod Guides:

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