Summer tourists frequently rush past the first part of Cape Cod  on their way to the outer beaches. Because of that, the Upper Cape is sleepier and more residential than the rest of the peninsula. It’s worth visiting, however, for two very different towns—historic Sandwich  and the bustling research center of Woods Hole .
The Mid-Cape is traversed by three parallel highways. On the bayside, Route 6A is known as the Old King’s Highway, and it retains the colonial feel of some of the oldest towns in the state, crawling with quiet bed-and-breakfasts and antiques stores.
Along Nantucket Sound, meanwhile, Route 28 is the bustling beachfront terrain of mini-golf courses and sticky fried seafood, anchored by the relative metropolis of Hyannis . In between the two routes, US Route 6 is the featureless but efficient express route to the Lower Cape .
Cape Air (800/352-0714, www.flycapeair.com ) runs daily flights from Boston , Providence , and the Islands (Nantucket  and Martha’s Vineyard ) to Barnstable Municipal Airport (480 Barnstable Rd., Hyannis, 508/775-2020, www.town.barnstable.ma.us ). Buses by Plymouth & Brockton Bus Lines (508/746-0378, www.p-b.com ) run from Boston and Plymouth  to the Hyannis Transportation Center (215 Iyannough Rd., Hyannis, 508/775-8504).