Travel

5 things to do when visiting Wellfleet

From eating to hiking to relaxing near the harbor, Wellfleet has it all.

Wellfleet Harbor. Daniel Krook / flickr

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Jennifer Congel has a message for Cape Cod drivers: Make it a point to stop in Wellfleet.

“People are just driving down Route 6 and passing Wellfleet on their way to P-Town and not realizing how beautiful Wellfleet is and all the great stuff there is to do here,” said Congel, town resident since 2000 and town clerk since 2020.

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She said her Cape town is well worth exploring.

“There’s definitely a little bit more of a rustic and bohemian side in Wellfleet,” Congel said. “We’re not Chatham. We’re not Nantucket. But we’ve got an artsy, bohemian vibe going on that’s really great.”

Ahead, Congel offers her picks for what to see and do when visiting Wellfleet.

Spend time at Wellfleet Harbor

Congel called Wellfleet Harbor “one of the most beautiful little harbors in the world.”

Some who drive through Wellfleet might miss how spectacular the harbor is, she said.

“Once you get off the highway and you come into town, it really starts to dawn on you, I think, when you make that turn and you see how sweet Main Street is and Commercial Street going down to the harbor,” Congel said.

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Hungry travelers can dine at Mac’s on the Pier, described on its website as an “honest-to-goodness clam shack right on Wellfleet Harbor.”

“You can pick up food and sit at one of the picnic tables by the harbor and sit there with the harbor view,” Congel said.

Moby Dick’s Restaurant in Wellfleet. – Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

Grab a meal at Moby Dick’s Restaurant

Congel’s go-to place for family meals is Moby Dick’s Restaurant, which has been feeding folks since 1983.

“We bring all our family members that come to see us there,” she said.

The restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating and invites customers to bring their own beer and wine.

“They’ll put all your wine in an ice bucket with a wine opener and bring it to your table, so they’ll totally take care of you,” she said.

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The menu offers lobster, grilled fish, fried clams, burkers, steak tips, chicken, and Wellfleet oysters, of course.

“The owners, Todd and Mignon, are very fastidious on how fresh their seafood is,” she said.

The fish fry in particular is a favorite in her house.

“My husband always gets a fish fry and my husband is very particular about fish fry,” she said.

Catch a sunset at Duck Harbor beach

Congel spends a lot of time at Duck Harbor Beach.

“It’s a really special place,” she said. “I don’t know if people coming here, that are just coming here for a week, if that’s necessarily going to be on their radar because there’s so many more more famous beaches like Cahoon Hallow and the Beachcomber [restaurant] to go to. But it’s just such a beautiful spot.”

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Congel loves to collect rocks and tiny shells on the beach. And there’s something else that draws her there.

“A lot of people go to Duck Harbor for the sunsets,” she said.

A beach sticker is required to park at Duck Harbor, she said, but guests can also park at the National Seashore’s Great Island Trail and bike over, she said.

Beach stickers are required at certain beaches and ponds in Wellfleet between the third Saturday in June and Labor Day weekend.

Sunset at Duck Harbor Beach. kke227 / flicker

Hike the Great Island Trail

The Cape Cod National Seashore’s Great Island Trail is Congel’s favorite place to meet friends.

Hikers can choose between short and longer hikes, she said, and those feeling adventurous can hike the 8.8-mile round trip out to Jeremy Point, a stretch of sand only available when the tide is out. It’s important to coordinate your trip with the tide.

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“Jeremy Point goes underwater at high tide to a certain degree,” she said

When timed just right, it’s breathtaking, Congel said.

“It’s really gorgeous,” she said. “It’s just such a spectacular sight out there.”


What readers say about Wellfleet:

“Hate to give up my spot but Great Island Trail is a must experience,” wrote @kmoriahb.

For things to do:

Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Trail @mayamtz11, @dreann10
Cahoon Hollow Beach — @Chloeg104, @alvcourt, @o.kelly
Frying Pan Gallery — @alvcourt, @travelikealocalma, @surfergirlack
Great Island Trail — @Hayleysanders_, @Andymiami_and_beyond, @kmarachi510, @kmoriahb, @suzyq0027
Great Pond — @Jakearmstrong_5
Gull Pond @mayamtz11
IMPROVincetown — @htarnowe
Kettle ponds — @etoile_ciel, @chloes3ra
LeCount Hollow Beach — @kmarachi510
Left Bank Gallery — @travelikealocalma
Lieutenant Island hike — @adunne313
Marconi Beach — @its_mish, @adunne313, @Larabear89, @Jakearmstrong_5, @steve_parziale, @mayamtz11, @kmoriahb, @tonycankles
Narrow Land Pottery — flaherty_paula
Sand dunes — @lmlegay
The Wellfleet Beachcomber Store — @suzyq0027
Uncle Tim’s Bridge @kmarachi510, @photographybykarenjoy, @travelikealocalma
Wellfleet Bay — @surfergirlack
Wellfleet Drive-In Theatre — @_caitlin11, @laurajoyal, @Double_g7745, @Ianoned513, @Gstone208, @Nolan_denaro, @Peggamac805, @cliffama, @Evan_dasilva_, @Reegs.0296, @Bobbua, @o.kelly, @spud.196
Wellfleet Harbor — @o.kelly
Wellfleet Marine Retail Store — @donnaspony
Wellfleet OysterFest @bethanyrochefort, @dreann10
Wellfleet Flea Market — @jenn.a.wall, @Gstone208, @Karenfaheyriccardi, @glinny616

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For food and drink:

Blue Willow Bakery @_sar_alexandra
Bomb Shelter Pub — @briannamcarstens, @melluvspats
Bookstore & Restaurant — @Hayleysanders_, @lauriesimonian, @tjkubaska, @darcymagliozzi
Mac’s on the Pier @kmarachi510, @nauticallynorthern
Mac’s Shack — @dornaca, @Tricia_flaherty, @jenn.a.wall, @Colletejoylove, @elizmcdonough, @msbean8616, @mrshairbear, @mayamtz11, @dreann10, @carerita, @_sar_alexandra, @ejgearysphr
Moby Dick’s Restaurant — @melluvspats, @spud.196, @tonycankles
PB Bouglangerie Bistro — @Hankeen, @_luppino_
Pearl — @alvcourt, @highfives4life, @_sar_alexandra, @tonycankles, @suzyq0027
P.J.’s — @Jakearmstrong_5, @Cyn.palmer, @mwlphelps, @hallieco
The Beachcomber — recommended by dozens of readers
The Block & Tackle — @kmoriahb
The Flying Fish — @Emmalikly
The Wicked Oyster — @thatgirlkillah, @kmarachi510
Winslow’s Tavern — @christabel02460

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Reader @tonycankles wrote the following: “Oof too much to name… The Pearl is just the perfect restaurant, Marconi is one of the best beaches hands down, Moby Dicks is a must & of course the Comah. Wellfleet or bust!”

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