Cape Cod Bay: Driving the Old King’s Highway, Historic Route 6A

The Old King’s Highway, otherwise known as scenic Route 6A, winds 34 miles though the villages of Bourne, Sandwich, West Barnstable, Barnstable, Yarmouthport, Dennis, Brewster, and Orleans, roughly paralleling the coastline of Cape Cod Bay. At the heart of the Old King’s Highway Regional Historic District, America’s largest designated historic corridor, Route 6A is recognized as one of the ten most scenic byways in America. Along the way, the road passes a number of historic Cape Cod inns and famous watering holes.

Strong preservation efforts have resulted in the protection of open lands and historic structures throughout the corridor. Conservation lands in many towns along the way offer nature trails, and a few villages have developed walking tours. In addition, you’ll find a number of wonderful museums, including the Natural History Museum, the Cape Cod Museum of Art, the Edward Gorey Museum, the Sandwich Glass Museum, and Heritage Museum and Gardens, with an antique car museum housed in an historic round barn plus a restored, and fully-functioning, carousel.

Driving the Old King’s Highway you’ll be transported through centuries of Cape Cod history, passing scenic harbors, great salt marshes, unique galleries, and the distinctive

architecture of treasured old sea captain’s homes. Lining the route are numerous antique stores, unique shops featuring handcrafted items, whimsical little places to purchase Christmas collectibles, along with an herbal apothecary and a hand-weaving shop. And here-and-there you’ll find quirky general store or two, an even quirkier bookshop, and plenty of great spots to quench your thirst or sate your appetite.

No matter what the season, driving scenic Route 6A is a must-do for first time visitors to Cape Cod.

Other Sights Along 6A:
Bourne
Aptuxcet Trading Post
Cape Cod Canal Bicycle Trail
Briggs-McDermott House

Barnstable
Olde Colonial Courthouse
Barnstable Comedy Club
Trayser Memorial Museum
Barnstable Superior Courthouse
Cape Cod Art Association

Brewster
Harris Black House and Windmill
Cape Museum of Natural History
Stony Brook Grist Mill
Brewster Historical Society Museum
Nickerson State Park
Cape Cod Repertory Theater

Dennis
Josiah Dennis Manse & Old West Schoolhouse
Cape Museum of Fine Arts
Cape Cinema
Cape Playhouse
Scargo Hill Tower

Orleans
Cape Cod Rail Trail Bicycle Trail
French Cable Station Museum
Jonathan Young Windmill

Sandwich
Shawme Crowell State Forest
Sandwich Glass Museum
Dexter’s Grist Mill
Thornton Burgess Museum
Hoxie House
Heritage Plantation
Wing Fort House
Green Briar Nature Center
Nye Homestead

Yarmouth
Bangs Hallet House
Yarmouth Nature Trail
Winslow Crocker House

This post was brought to you by the High Pointe Inn.

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