Cape Cod Route 6a, The Old Kings Highway

“Landscapes, like beauty, may well be colored by the eye of the beholder, but steering along tree-shaded Route 6A on a mild summer day, with blue inlets of Cape Cod Bay on one side and white picket-fenced houses on the other, I’m tempted to conclude this may be the most appealing stretch of America I know.”

–Jonathan Kandell, Smithsonian magazine, April 2005


 Explore Historic and Scenic

Cape Cod Route 6A

“The Old King’s Highway”




Route 6A, which is on the northern, or bay side, of Cape Cod, winds its way through some of the oldest villages in America, including Bourne, Sandwich, Barnstable, Yarmouth, Dennis, Brewster and Orleans. Many of the homes and churches along this tree-shaded road are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Map of Massachusetts Route 6A
Image via Wikipedia

There are also several beaches nearby, including Sandy Neck and Sandwich Town Beach. During the summer, the road can become a bit crowded, but it is much quieter than the bustling Route 28, which cuts through the southern side of the Cape.

If you are interested in seeing what Cape Cod looked like before tourists discovered it, and want to visit some of the best quaint, little shops in New England, Route 6A is the place to be.

Along the Way

The historic character of the Old King’s Highway makes it a unique experience for visitors. Look for these scenic byway attractions among the many you will encounter:

  1. Cape Cod Canal Bicycle Paths – Bourne
  2. Historic Sandwich Village – Sandwich
  3. Heritage Museum and Gardens – Sandwich
  4. Trayser Coast Guard Museum – Barnstable
  5. Winslow Crocker House – Yarmouth
  6. Josiah Dennis Manse & Old West Schoolhouse – Dennis
  7. Nickerson State Park – Brewster
  8. Jonathan Young Windmill – Orleans
  9. Cape Cod Rail Trail (bike trail) – Dennis, Harwich, Brewster & Orleans


Views and Vistas

You will enjoy the Historic District fully if you take the time to divert from Route 6A proper to explore the many vistas and natural attractions, particularly to the north including…

Josiah Dennis House, Dennis, Massachusetts
Josiah Dennis House, Dennis
  1. Sandwich Harbor and the salt marshes – Sandwich
  2. Barnstable Harbor and the view of Sandy Neck – Barnstable
  3. Ancient Cemetery – Yarmouth Port
  4. Scargo Lake & Scargo Tower – Dennis
  5. Sesuit Harbor – East Dennis
  6. Stony Brook & the tidal flats – Brewster
  7. Skaket Beach & Rock Harbor – Orleans