$ budget choice
$$$ luxury accommodations
$ Nauset Knoll Motor Lodge
This no-frills motel makes the most of its hillside location above Nauset Beach on the Atlantic. Double rooms are priced at $150 a night. 237 Beach Road, East Orleans; 508-255-2364; www.capecodtravel.com/nausetknoll.
$$ The Corsair and Cross Rip
These side-by-side resorts on the beach in Dennisport offer suites with living rooms and kitchenettes -- not to mention ocean views -- from $175 a night in season. Register at The Corsair, 41 Chase Avenue, Dennisport; 800-889-8037; www.corsaircrossrip.com.
$$ Pleasant Bay Village
This family-oriented property features ponds, gardens, and an inviting swimming pool. A deluxe room with two queen beds is priced at about $195 a night in season; efficiencies and suites are also available. 1191 Orleans Road, Chatham; 800-547-1011; www.pleasantbayvillage.com.
$$$ Cape Codder Resort & Spa
It has a huge indoor wave pool-need we say more? The water slides and dancing fountains appeal to kids; parents can enjoy a full array of spa services. Prices for a family-size loft suite start at $339 a night, and family plans are available. 1225 Iyanough Road & Bearse's Way, Hyannis; 888-297-2200; www.capecodderresort.com.
$$$ Chatham Bars Inn
Complimentary programs for children ages 4 and up -- including beach activities, crafts, and treasure hunts -- are offered all summer at this elegant resort above Pleasant Bay. Kids 3 and under and their parents can attend storytimes and sing-alongs together, and babysitting is available. Shore Road, Chatham; 800-527-4884; www.chathambarsinn.com.
$$$ Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club
This Victorian-style former private mansion listed in the National Register of Historic Places promises to win smiles from parents (18-hole golf course, tennis, luxuriously appointed rooms) and children alike. Summer programs for kids ages 4 and up include sand-sculpting, face-painting, and craft-making, as well as an optional insect safari. Guest rooms in peak season start at $265 a night. 2907 Main Street, Brewster; 800-343-6074; www.oceanedge.com.
Lighthouses of Cape Cod
The peninsula of Cape Cod includes more lighthouses than any other area in America. Some have been lost, destroyed, or transferred into private hands, but the following 13-listed geographically from the western edge to the northern tip-can still be viewed as a reminder of the area's maritime history:
Wings Neck Light, Bourne
Nobska Light, Falmouth
Sandy Neck Light, Barnstable
Hyannis Light, Hyannis
Bass River Light, West Dennis (now part of the Lighthouse Inn)
Stage Harbor Light Station, Chatham
Chatham Light, Chatham
Monomoy Point Light, Monomoy Island, off Chatham
Nauset Light, Eastham
Highland Light, North Truro
Long Point Light, Provincetown
Wood End Light Station, Provincetown
Race Point Light, Provincetown