Cake icon

We’re celebrating 10 years of Wanderu by giving away $10,000 in free travel!  See details ››

How to Get from Boston to Cape Cod by Bus, Train, Ferry, Car or Plane

People enjoying the sandy beaches of Cape Cod

Table of Contents

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click a link and complete a purchase, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

🎶 “If you like making love at midnight in the dunes of the Cape…” …we got you covered!

Here at Wanderu, your go-to travel booking site, we’re well-versed in the hottest travel trends and top destinations – like captivating Cape Cod. 

We’ve meticulously compiled all the juicy deets you need to plan your epic journey from Boston to the Cape. With a decade of expertise in whisking people away on budget-friendly adventures across the U.S. and Europe, we’ve crafted the ultimate guide to ensure your vacation is smooth and hassle-free. 

Ready to get started? Read on to learn about some of the most popular ways to travel from Beantown to the Cape by bus, train, ferry, car or plane!

Where is Cape Cod?

Cape Cod is nestled along the eastern coast of Massachusetts, southeast of Boston. This enchanting peninsula stretches into the Atlantic Ocean, offering a picturesque landscape of sandy beaches, quaint towns, and charming harbors. Its idyllic shores, rich history, and vibrant culture make it a perfect escape – whether as a day trip or as a longer getaway.

How far is Boston from Cape Cod?

The distance between Boston and the Cape is only about 70 miles, close enough that Bostonians and its visitors can enjoy an easy weekend getaway, or even venture to Hyannis, Provincetown or Falmouth for a day trip.

Is there transportation to Cape Cod?

Yes, there are various transportation options available to reach Cape Cod from Boston.

Thanks to the various bus, train, ferry and flight options available, getting from Boston to Cape Cod is more convenient than ever.  We’ve got the lowdown to help you navigate all options ahead of time, so you can plan the most budget-friendly, hassle-free trip possible! Read on to find the best way to get to Cape Cod.

Bus from Boston to Cape Cod

Travel time: 90 minutes

Cost: from $17+

Peter Pan is one of the ways you can get from Boston to Cape Cod by bus

One of the easiest ways to get to Cape Cod from Boston is by bus. New England bus carrier Peter Pan Bus Lines offers direct routes to several locations across Cape Cod for as low as $17.

You can easily find and compare all available options on Wanderu and book the one that best fits your schedule (and budget).

Here are all the routes you can choose from:

If you’re looking to explore Cape Cod and the Islands beyond Hyannis and Barnstable (Hellooooo, Martha’s!), then you need to take the bus to Falmouth and make sure you book the trip that drops you off at Steamship Authority Pier. That way, you will arrive directly at the foot of the ferry for a quick float to Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket.

If you can plan around rush hour, the ride itself is even faster than the train – you can get from Boston’s South Station to Barnstable in as quickly as 1 hour and 15 minutes. In the summer, however, it’s a good idea to plan for some extra traffic.

Even better, these routes are available year-round and every day of the week, giving the bus a potential leg-up on the CapeFlyer (see below).

Train from Boston to Cape Cod

Travel time: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Cost: from $15+

The MBTA CapeFlyer, the main way to get from Boston to Cape Cod by train

Unfortunately, there is no Amtrak train from Boston to Cape Cod.

However, from around Memorial Day through Labor Day, the MBTA (Massachusetts’ public transportation system) offers a train line called the CapeFlyer that provides service to Wareham Village, Buzzard’s Bay and Hyannis. It also has coordinated schedules with a local ferry service, ensuring hassle-free travel to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

The CapeFlyer is quite convenient because it means you don’t have to suffer through busy weekend traffic out of Boston. Depending on your stop, this service costs between $35 to $40 round trip, with children under 11 riding for free. The ride takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes in total, and you can book tickets either at South Station or on the MBTA app.

Be on the lookout for summer specials on tickets, which can drop as low as $15 for same-day travel.

One important caution: The CapeFlyer is a summer weekend service, meaning that it only operates on weekends (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day.

Ferry from Boston to Cape Cod

Travel time: 2 hours

Cost: from $47.50

Boston ferry to Cape Cod

If water transportation is more your speed, there’s a boat for that. 

Boston Harbor Cruises offers a very convenient ferry from Boston to Cape Cod that departs from Boston Harbor and docks at Provincetown for as low as $57.00 one way. Most trips take about 90 minutes, but ferry rides to Cape Cod can take up to two hours.

Not only is this ride nonstop and traffic-free, but you’re treated to a terrific view of Cape Cod Bay (as well as the Boston skyline) as you sail over into P-town.

One thing to note – this ferry cannot transport vehicles, so if you want to bring your car, this isn’t the option for you.

Flying from Boston to Cape Cod

Travel time: 30 minutes

Cost: from $100

For those truly in a hurry, and willing to spend a little more money, there are flights available out of Boston Logan International Airport to Barnstable Municipal (HYA) on Cape Cod and the Islands.

The most popular airline is Cape Air, which offers flights from Boston to Hyannis, Provincetown, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. You can score a flight any time of year, but keep in mind that the weather in the harbor tends to worsen in cooler months. If you book a winter flight, be ready for potential delays!

While flights vary in price based on time of year and day of week, you can expect to pay between $100 and $200 per ticket, and the flight itself lasts less than an hour.

Driving from Boston to Cape Cod

Travel time: 1-2 hours

Cost: varies; consider gas price, tolls, and paid parking on the cape

We’ve already discussed the different forms of transportation you can take to the Cape. In each of those instances, someone else does the navigating and you can just sit back and relax. But if you’re feeling compelled to drive your own vehicle to Cape Cod, here’s how you can get there.

First off, if you don’t have a vehicle of your own, you can very easily rent a car right here on Wanderu. We have hundreds of rental car options with free cancellations on most bookings. Don’t forget to get a travel car seat for little ones, too.

Driving Directions to Cape Cod

The fastest way is to take I-93 South from Boston, then merge onto MA-3 South and US-6 East to MA-132 S/Lyannough Road in Barnstable. Without traffic, the drive is about 70 miles and takes around 1 hour and 20 minutes.

That said, heavy traffic toward the Cape can be expected, especially in the summer, or if you’re traveling on, say, a Friday afternoon.

An alternative driving route takes you south on I-95 to I-495 South, before merging onto MA-132 South/Lyannough Road in Barnstable as you would on the other route. This drive is about 82.5 miles in distance, and would take around 1 hour and 30 minutes without traffic.

While general parking is free or metered throughout many of the towns and villages on Cape Cod, beach parking may require a fee. Check the Visit New England website to learn more about which beaches require a parking fee and how much you can expect to pay.

Make the most of your drive with a self-guided driving tour of Boston and Cape Cod:

Getting Around the Cape

Once you’re on Cape Cod itself, getting around is a breeze thanks to the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority.

From anywhere on the Cape, if you spot a CCRTA bus, you can flag it down without even needing to be at a stop (the one exception being along the busy Route 6). After being picked up, simply inform the bus driver of your destination and they will take you where you need to go.

Fares vary depending on your trip, but generally you can expect to pay $4 or less per person. Insider tip: if you’re planning on jumping around a lot, a day pass may be a good idea.

Is it worth going to Cape Cod for a day?

Yes! Depending on your method of transportation, the longest it should take you to get to Cape Cod from Boston is two and a half hours. (Barring any truly horrible traffic jams that may have you in a standstill.) That means a day-trip from Boston to the Cape is very feasible, and there are plenty of things to do on the Cape in a day.

If you set out in the morning, you can expect to get 8 to 10 hours of daylight on the Cape while still making it home before midnight.

To avoid doing any of the logistics yourself, you can also book an organized day trip with round-trip transport included. This tour to Martha’s Vineyard picks you up in Boston and includes transportation to Cape and your ferry ticket from the mainland to Martha’s Vineyard. Free cancellation makes this day trip a no-brainer.

Things to Do on Cape Cod

View of Princetown on Cape Cod

With nearly 560 miles of coastline – that’s 115 individual beaches covered in pristine, ivory sand – Cape Cod is a vital vacation destination for those in New England and beyond.

Before planning your trip, you should be aware that the beaches facing Cape Cod Bay have calmer waters, and tend to be warmer overall (Buzzards Bay being the warmest). Those on the east side of the Cape, facing the Atlantic Ocean, have a stronger surf and tend to be on the chilly side. And with miles of Cape Cod National Sea Shore to explore, prepare to stretch your legs on a long walk, or even take a guided dune tour.

Cape Cod is a whale-watching Shangri-La: If you venture out on a whale watching tour, species you may encounter include orcas, finbacks, humpbacks, right whales and more. Such an adventure makes an excursion from Boston to Cape Cod well worth your time. The best spot to go whale watching is at Race Point in Provincetown.

If you’re more of a cyclist, tread the famous 22-mile long Cape Cod Rail Trail, a bike trail that offers beautiful views of New England fall foliage along the way. (Bonus: You get to work off that lobster roll.)

If you head out to the Islands, Martha’s Vineyard is famous for its picturesque beaches and incredible New England restaurant scene, while Nantucket offers unique shopping, craft beer, and many other fun things to do.

Besides simply enjoying the nature of the area, the Cape is rich with history. Learn all about its nautical past at the Cape Cod Maritime Museum, or get your Kennedy fix at the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum. Other fun museum options include the Whydah Pirate Museum in Plymouth, as well as the Woods Hole Science Aquarium where you can wave at seals and stroke the crustaceans in the touch tanks– a fan favorite for kiddos. And you’ll find plenty of things to do on Cape Cod with kids, so bring the whole family!

Where to Stay on Cape Cod

With all that time in the sun and on the sand, you’ll need a comfy place to unwind at the end of the day. These are some of our top picks for accommodations on Cape Cod:

For more information on getting to Cape Cod, check out our article on traveling from Providence, New York or Boston to Cape Cod, from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard, or our ultimate guide to budget travel for even more savings.

Looking to embark on an epic adventure by bus or train? Look no further than Wanderu! With Wanderu’s comprehensive and user-friendly platform, it’s never been so easy to plan your trip – and save some cash. Say goodbye to travel headaches and hello to seamless exploration with Wanderu by your side!

Like what you read?
Spread the word:

About the author
Jill Schwartz

Jill Schwartz

Jillian has lived in Massachusetts her whole life, but that doesn’t stop her from traveling to other parts of the world. While her most exciting memories have been in France and Belize, her favorite place to go is anywhere with a beach!

Wander with us!

No monkey business, just cheap deals on bus & train travel, straight to your email inbox

Come wander with us!

Follow us for travel hacks, inspo, and deals right in your feed: