We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.


Level Contributor
88 posts
Save Topic

Hi - I've been told that getting to the Cape in the Summer can be very difficult due to the traffic. What is the best day and time to leave?

We'd be heading up from NJ in mid August. Not sure where we will be staying yet but we are leaning towards Chatham, Harwich or Orleans.


Level Contributor
7,022 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Traffic

Friday evening, Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon are the worst times to go. Sunday afternoon is worse for leaving the Cape, but there is still quite a bit of traffic on Sunday in either direction.

Level Contributor
2,701 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Traffic

I've had the best luck with Cape traffic either leaving very early on Saturday morning (7 am at the latest) or going early evening on a Sunday.

Weekdays (excluding Fridays) aren't too bad as long as you won't be getting into or out of Boston before 11 am and after 3 pm.

Boston, MA
Destination Expert
for Boston
Level Contributor
22,152 posts
66 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Traffic

Last year they got rid of the Rotary on the mainland side of the Canal. My personal experience with 4 different trips between May 15th and Sept 1 last year, was that the change made it easier to get over the Canal TO the Cape than in the past, but it didn't make much difference in leaving the Cape.

Fridays evenings getting TO the Cape and Sunday evenings leaving the Cape are the worst. Second worst (both directions) is Saturday mornng/afternoon cuz most weekly rentals go Saturday to Saturday.

Destination Expert
for Christiansted
Level Contributor
2,526 posts
137 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Traffic

I totally agree with ilostmypword on the benefits and pitfalls of the new rotary. Maybe they'll be making some changes for the summer season but the departure on Sunday or holiday weekends is worse than it was.

If you have the flexibility, iluvmydog, to arrive and depart at times that avoid the weekend challenges, I would encourage you to do so. The other thing you should be factoring in is the traffic you will encounter in Connecticut on 95....don't forgetthat you will be part of their beach traffic as well and our NJ relatives have had some horrific times making it through CT on their way to the Cape.

Hyannis, MA
Level Contributor
165 posts
1 review
Save Reply
5. Re: Traffic

Well I tend to agree with the other posters here...but let me throw my two cents in regarding the traffic. Unless something extraordinary happens....the difference between coming on the Cape at its WORST and just breezing over the bridge is usually no more than 40 minutes...tops. So load up your IPOD, crank up the volume, and don't let it stress you.

Level Contributor
1,025 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Traffic

For what it is worth, I have sat in the Sunday morn-afternoon traffic for 2 to 3 hours. The earlier you can leave in the morning, the better. Or better yet, plan your trip for arriving and leaving on different days.

7. Re: Traffic

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 22 September 2009, 15:20