By Darius Aniunas
July 21, 2023
CAPE COD, MA – After a blissful week enjoying Cape Cod’s beaches, seafood and charm, no one wants to spend hours stuck in Cape Cod traffic driving home. But the Cape’s narrow roads inevitably jam up on peak departure days. The secret is getting a jump on the traffic by making an early break back to the mainland.
For those vacationing further out on the Outer Cape in towns like Orleans, Eastham, Truro, Wellfleet and Provincetown, I suggest that you pack up the car and start your road trip no later than 5 or 6am. This helps bypass the main rush of vehicles later in the morning. Traffic leaving the Cape via the Sagamore and Bourne Bridges peaks between 8am and noon. So an early start helps reach the bridges before the roads logjam.
Make the most of those early morning hours by stopping for coffee and breakfast at a local restaurant before crossing back over the Cape Cod Canal. The roads closer to the bridges tend to be less crowded early on as well. For a more leisurely pace, vehicles can also take scenic Route 6A as a peaceful alternative to the traffic-clogged Route 6.
No matter what time you depart, build in plenty of extra time to account for traffic delays. If possible, avoid peak departure days like Saturday, Sunday and holidays when volumes are highest. Leaving mid-week or on Friday can make for a smoother exit. And if you do get caught in traffic, just go with the flow until the congestion eases up. After a great Cape Cod vacation, what’s a few hours on a scenic road surrounded by ocean views?
With smart planning and early preparation, locals and visitors alike can make a stress-free departure from the Cape after a wonderful summer getaway. By rising early and skipping the peak traffic times, you’ll keep those Cape Cod memories glowing all the way home.
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