Massachusetts' Cape Cod boasts more than 500 miles of shoreline and more than a dozen inviting towns to explore, and you can take a ferry for a day trip or longer stay...

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Massachusetts’ Cape Cod boasts more than 500 miles of shoreline and more than a dozen inviting towns to explore, and you can take a ferry for a day trip or longer stay on scenic Martha’s Vineyard or historic Nantucket Island.

Click on “Specials” at the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce — www.capecodchamber.org — to see who’s offering deals on places to stay. Then click on “Things to Do” and browse through the cape’s shopping, galleries, live entertainment, beaches and biking. For fun at sea, you need to click on both “Charter Fishing and “On the Water,” plus the “Whale Watching” links. And take a look at the calendar and see if you can be there for the Cape Cod Maritime Days in May.

If you want to be on the water under your own power, or just enjoy the wilder side of the land, Explore Cape Cod — www.explorecapecod.com/ — has links to outfits that will help you explore the area by kayak, or take you on nature tours.

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Seven miles south of the cape, the island of Martha’s Vineyard — www.mvy.com — has the Federated Church, built in 1828, and homes that are half a century older, along with beaches (not all of them are public) and quaint villages. Look for “Island Info” at the bottom of the page to reach an interactive map with information on the island’s towns. The “Island Info” page also has references to things to see and do, including bike and horse riding, nature walks and spas. They provide a directory of places to stay, but be sure to make plans well in advance; it’s a small island and very popular.

Get an advance peek by going to Martha’s Vineyard Online — www.mvol.com/ — and looking for their photo gallery and virtual tours.

Both Martha’s Vineyard Web sites have links to the ferry services that will take you to the island.

You can take one of those ferries to Nantucket — www.nantucketchamber.org — the slightly smaller island sitting east of the vineyard. The one-time whaling port is a National Historic District, so there are well-preserved buildings to see along with protected beaches and moors to explore. Look for “Recreation” for links to companies offering whale watching tours, fishing gear, and kite boarding and other water sports. Take your kids along for the island’s 32nd annual Sandcastle and Sculpture Day in August.

Back on the cape, the Cape Cod & Islands Visitor Information Network — www.capecodvisit.com/cape.htm — can link you to the informative Web sites for the cape’s towns and villages, from Barnstable to Yarmouth.

And on your way off Cape Cod, take time to visit Plymouth County — www.seeplymouth.com/whattodo.asp — home of the recreated Plimoth Plantation — www.plimoth.org — and plenty of other historic and scenic spots.