Experience our Culture Itinerary

Orleans is one of the most culturally minded destinations on the Cape and has been named an official Cultural District by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Although the official boundaries of the Orleans Cultural District orleansculturaldistrict.org are roughly the area in and around the convergence of Route 6A, Main Street and Route 28, the whole town embraces the arts. And so will you, on the following cultural tour.

Day One – Gallery Row

Abundant galleries display the work of local artists who draw their inspiration from the picture-perfect scenery of Cape Cod. Wear comfortable shoes because most of them are within walking distance of one another in the Cultural District – Coastal Craft Gallery, Eastwind Gallery and Gallery 31 Fine Art, all in Main Street Square; nearby, Artist Cottages at Orleans Market Square, where you can watch the artists at work; and Memento and Gallery at Tree’s Place a short stroll away.

Day Two – Getting Crafty

Arts and crafts combine at scores of shops in Orleans whose inventory includes work by Cape artists and home décor crafts to enhance the home. Blake & Co., Left Bank Gallery, Oceana, Sparrow Store and Yak Arts are known for their local crafts and are within walking distance of one another, with Weekend a quick drive away. Click here for more.

Check the schedule of exhibitions by the Village Crafters of Cape Cod, featuring high-quality arts and crafts exhibited at various locations around the Cape.

Inside Oceana

Day Three – Day at the Museum/Night at the Theater

Whether it’s local history or natural history, our museums are a learning experience. The landscapes and ecosystems of the Cape come into focus at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, while the Orleans Historical Society’s Meetinghouse Museum reaches into the Cape’s distant past.

Find out how Orleans defended itself against a WWI German submarine at the French Cable Station Museum, and how a small Coast Guard lifeboat rescued 32 crewmen from a flailing tanker during a storm in 1952 at the “floating museum” CG-36500.

End the day on a cultural note with a performance at the Academy Playhouse, Elements Theatre, or the Cape Rep Theatre.

“Grease” at the Academy Playhouse

Day Four – The Rest is History

Your journey through history continues at heritage sites throughout Orleans, including the Jonathan Young Windmill, constructed around 1720 and set on the shores of Town Cove.

Jonathan Young Windmill