As the town nearest to the "mainland", Bourne MA has the honor of welcoming thousands of visitors each year to Cape Cod.
Crossing the Bourne Bridge Onto Cape Cod
The town of Bourne spans both sides of the Cape Cod Canal.
On the north side of the Canal are the more commercialized villages of Buzzards Bay and Bournedale, along with the lovely seaside village of Sagamore Beach.
On the south side, the vibe is decidedly more rural in the villages of Gray Gables, Monument Beach, Pocasset and Cataumet.
The Canal is that long waterway you see running diagonally across the map, below. I've set the map so you can zoom in [+] and out [-] to view the whole length of the "Big Ditch" and the villages on either side.
Bourne has shoreline not only along the Canal, but also on Cape Cod Bay to the east and Buzzards Bay to the west.
Bourne is about 235 miles from New York City, and only 60 miles from Boston MA and Providence RI.
These are some of our favorite things to see and do in Bourne ...
The Cape Cod Canal, the town's "centerpiece", is also the hub of activity in Bourne, all year round.
It's the perfect place for walking, biking, and in-line skating. The Canal offers great boating and fishing, too. Plus, birdwatching, picnicing, and breathtaking photo opps.
For less active folks, bring your folding chairs and spend an hour or two watching tankers, tugs, cruise ships and pleasure yachts motoring by.
There are access spots and viewing areas along the entire 7+ mile length of the waterway. And rest facilities, too. (Although the restrooms are only open seasonally. During the off season, you're on your own when Mom Nature calls ;-) More about Canal activities ...
Aptucxet Trading Post (24 Aptucxet Road in Bourne) is the site of the first-known business dealings between the native Wampanoags and the Dutch settlers, dating back to the 1600s.
Tours of the Trading Post (a replica of the original), its nature gardens and saltworks, are guided by knowledgable docents who engage children and adults alike in the history of the town and its first European settlers.
Adjacent to the Trading Post is Gray Gables, the private railroad station of U.S. President Grover Cleveland, who had his "summer White House" in Bourne in the late 1800s.
The station houses a nice array of photos and memorabilia of President Cleveland, and the tour guides do an excellent job of bringing the President's days on Cape Cod to life.
Spanning the entire width of the Cape Cod Canal, the Railroad Bridge is the second-longest vertical lift bridge in the world. This engineering marvel is quite a sight to see, and it's especially fun to be there when the bridge lowers for a train to cross.
From late May to early September, you can watch the bridge in operation whenever the CapeFlyer is approaching. A handy parking/viewing spot is at Buzzard's Bay Park on Main Street.
In Bourne, as every other town on Cape Cod, some of the most interesting sites are the ones you stumble on while you're walking, biking, or driving around town.
For me, finding this tribute to the patron saint of fishermen was one of those "Wow!" moments.
See if you can find it, too, as you explore the town's little nooks and crannies :-)
Hotels? Ummmmmm. None that I'd feel comfortable recommending.
That said, there is a cozy, very reasonably priced, B&B in Bourne that routinely gets great reviews from their guests, and that I'll give a "thumbs up": Holly House By The Canal.
With verandas overlooking the water, tasty homebaked treats for breakfast, and friendly inkeepers, you'll feel right at home at Holly House.
Disclosure: If you use my links or this search box to reserve your lodging in Bourne, I'll receive a small commission - at no extra cost to you. Thank you!
Enjoy your visit to Bourne MA!
Important: Lodging owners/management may change their rates, discounts, special offers, promotions, services, amenities, dates of operation, availability, etc. at any time, without prior notice, and without my knowledge. Be sure to confirm all details directly with the lodging provider before you make any travel plans!