Drawing in visitors with its sensational beaches, amazing views and quaint shops and museums, many visitors to Orleans find themselves coming for vacation and staying for a lifetime. This gem of a town on the upper arm of Cape Cod also boasts art galleries, a live theatre, freshwater lakes and historic cottages.
Stretching along more than 50 miles of coastline, Orleans benefits from the Atlantic Ocean and Cape Cod Bay. For a fantastic surf, visitors turned residents are lured to Nauset Beach, with ten-miles of Atlantic coastline perfect for building sandcastles, catching a sunset or casting a line.
Meanwhile, Outer Beach is superb for camping and off-road access and Skaket Beach is an ideal family beach, with calm, shallow water during low tide. For a relaxing canoe trip or fishing, Crystal Lake provides a favorable location, while Pilgrim Lake includes swimming docks and a small beach. Not to be overlooked, the warm and calm water of South Orleans Beach is popular for sailboarding and swimming.
As for other activities off the beach, Orleans acts as the midpoint of Cape Cod Rail Trail, with easy access to jogging, hiking and skate paths. For a sense of history, the Orleans Historical Society Museum showcases local artwork, ship logs, artifacts and more, telling the story of Orleans and its citizens. Other unique sites to visit include the Jonathan Young Windmill and the informative French Cable Station Museum, with its collection of undersea telegraphic cables, maps, instruments and memorabilia.
Meanwhile, the Artists Cottages at Orleans Square offer a unique location to pick up local artwork in the downtown area, with occasional food trucks and live music. For live theatre, be sure to check out the Academy of Performing Arts, a small community theatre that operates year-round.
If fresh seafood is more your desire, you’ll find that too, plus a variety of gift and specialty shops in the area. From plentiful beaches to museums, dining, artwork and a peaceful location, Orleans definitely draws in visitors, with some choosing to experience the location for a lifetime.