Ah, the beauty of Cape Cod with miles of coastline, the soothing nuances of Cape Sunset and the unmistakable aroma of … mini vans ?? When heading to the Cape Cod for your vacation, the last thing you want to do is sit in traffic on the way to Bourne or Sagamore Bridge. In the summer, between Memorial Day and Labor Day (some might say Columbus Day), you just might find yourself sitting in bridge traffic … sometimes for hours! Don't worry, we were there, and there is a way to avoid bridge traffic (and this is not the mythical tunnel on the sofa couch).
The first thing you need to know about Cape Cod is that there are only two bridges and hundreds of thousands of cars using the Bourne and Sagamore bridges. This means that at certain times of the day, at those peak travel times that we mentioned between Memorial Day and Labor Day, traffic is virtually inevitable. The good news is that the rotors on Sagamore Bridge are gone and a much more efficient flyover on Route 3 in Bourne has been made. The bad news? You can still sit on the move.
Now, how can you avoid the traffic on the Cape Cod Bridge all together? The secret answer (please keep this a secret!) Is to travel early or travel late. When we say late, we mean after 10 pm. When we say early, we mean 7 am. Do these times not work for your schedule? Try traveling between Monday and Thursday, provided that Monday is not a holiday. These days usually have much, much less traffic.
There are also some shortcuts to avoid some of the bridge traffic. If you are heading to Sagamore Bridge, exit Exit 2 and head south on Route 3A. After the sign, you will reach road 3 just before the bridge, interrupting much of the traffic. The same can be done on the Bourne Bridge by getting off at Exit 2, then follow Route 6 – Route 28 to the rotating / swapping Bourne Bridge.
Looking for another way to avoid bridge traffic? The only other options are to fly to Barnstable Airport, or if you are heading to the Martha Winery or Nantucket again, take the New Bedford ferry west of Cape Cod.
When traveling back, keep in mind that everyone is heading to the bridges near the hotel's check-in time on Sunday, between 9am and 7pm (sometimes much later). Your best bet in these circumstances may be to simply spend the extra day relaxing on the beach.