Best Museums near West Dennis, MA

Cape Cod may be best known for its postcard-caliber beaches, but our corner of the “Outer Lands” also claims a high-quality share of homegrown museums you’ll have ready access to as a guest here at the Lighthouse Inn.

Here are a few standout Cape Cod museums close to our oceanfront perch here in West Dennis!

The Whydah Pirate Museum (674 MA-28, West Yarmouth, MA)

On April 26th, 1717, the pirate ship called the Whydah Gally foundered off the coast of Cape Cod in a heavy-duty nor’easter. More than 200 years later, in 1984, Barry Clifford located the Whydah wreck: an astonishing discovery of an authentic pirate vessel, a former slave ship named after the West African Kingdom of Whydah and captured in the Caribbean by “Black Sam” Bellamy. Captain Bellamy and his diverse crew headed up the Atlantic coast in the Whydah, which met its doom only a couple of months later.

The Whydah Pirate Museum displays the remarkable artifacts recovered from this momentous wreck, from clothing and weaponry to an impressive clutch of treasure. It’s quite the unique collection, and a fascinating portal into a lesser-known aspect of our local waters’ history.

The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History (869 Main Street, Brewster, MA)

Explore the geological, ecological, and archaeological heritage of Cape Cod at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, which besides maintaining its small but wonderfully curated museum also runs a nature-education center and manages some important conservation lands in the area. Museum exhibits include overviews of Cape Cod’s glacier-sculpted formation, introductions to traditional Wampanoag culture, mounted specimens of native birds, the Naturescape Gallery of art, and the Butterfly House. You can also take to hiking trails on the museum grounds showing off native ecosystems such as saltmarsh and pitch-pine forest.

The John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum (397 Main St., Hyannis, MA)

At the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum, you can learn more about the 35th president’s deep connection to Cape Cod and about his enduring legacy as a statesman and cultural figure. The museum’s current/upcoming exhibits include Robert F. Kennedy: Ripple of HopeCreating Camelot: The Kennedy Photography of Jacques Lowe; and Cape Cod Remembers JFK Jr., which opens this June.

Enjoy Beachfront Accommodations on Cape Cod at the Lighthouse Inn While Exploring Regional Human & Natural History

From presidential keepsakes to the artifacts of a shipwrecked pirate, pay a visit to Cape Cod’s diverse museums on your summertime visit with us here at the Lighthouse Inn: a charming hotel boasting no small share of our own history!

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