Hyannis / Barnstable Cape Cod Mini Travel Diary

Few Moda calypso maxi dress
My fave J.Crew sandals 5.5, Few Moda dress xs (nursing & bump friendly; see all their dresses!)

After being homebound in the city for over a year, we were itching for a change of scenery and a little bit of the outdoors, but I also wasn’t quite ready yet for the chaos of flying with two little ones! Cape Cod is less than a 2 hour drive from us, so we packed the car to the brim and headed out for a few days by the beach.

I naively thought if we timed it right both kids could nap the whole way, but the “are we there yet??s” started 5 minutes in and soon escalated into a medley of wails the entire drive. It was well worth it in the end, though! This was our first time staying in Hyannis, and we loved how family-friendly and peaceful it was before the busy summer season starts. I wanted to share a few spots we enjoyed in the area for anyone else planning a visit!

artipoppe baby carrier
Kindred Bravely dress Small c/o (JEAN20 for 20% off; nursing & maternity friendly), J.Crew sandals 5.5 (on sale), Brixton hat S, $15 sunglasses, Artipoppe carrier c/o

This is the same ribbed dress I showed in sage green in this blog post! I received it as a gift and actually had no idea it was sold as a maternity dress. There’s nothing that makes it specifically maternity (material is super soft, stretchy and on the thinner side), so I’d definitely recommend it for regular wear too. I wear it with shaper shorts and am able to nurse in it pretty easily by pulling the top part down with any of my Neiwai bras.

Since black midi dresses are a year round staple, here’s another very affordable option I found starting in size XS.

Staying in Barnstable / Hyannis

This was our first time staying in this part of the cape, and we’d definitely go back! We were about a mile from downtown Hyannis, right by the ocean, and found everything we needed to be very convenient. Our home rental at the end of Sea Street was part of a development of condos that might be available for rent on various sites. From our rental, Keyes Beach (a small, but nice and quiet beach) was just steps away, Kalmus Beach was very close by, and Main Street (the part of downtown Hyannis with all the restaurants, shops, and bars) was a 5 minute drive. Hyannis Port was also a short drive away for day trips to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket!

Finding last minute home rentals

Since a bunch of you asked, we booked this Airbnb unit only a week before traveling, and must’ve caught it after a last minute cancellation. Unfortunately most of the well-rated rentals, at least on Cape Cod, have been booked up for months now. But if your schedule is flexible, I just kept searching and refreshing for any rentals available the following week on short notice. Some vacation rental sites also let you check a box specifically to search for last minute cancellations on rentals within the next few weeks.

mommy and me beach outfits
Janie and Jack swim suits

Play & ice cream at Centerville Playground

Traveling pre kids, we’d pore over Yelp for exciting bars and restaurants to try. Post kids, it’s all about the playground reviews ; ) One of the mornings, we drove 10 minutes to Centerville to check out this rustic playground with plenty of slides, an expansive wooden play structure, and a big enclosed area to run around in. After Nori got her wiggles out and Rio had plenty of swing time, we walked across the street to a charming country store with penny candy inside, a library, and Four Seas Ice Cream where we got some dairy free treats!

On our drive to Centerville, we passed by Craigville Beach which is a lot bigger than the one next to our condo and looked very nice, though I can see it getting busy in the summer. There is also a Star Market grocery store that’s pretty well stocked for the Cape, convenient for grabbing groceries to cook at our Airbnb.

family friendly beaches Cape Cod
Under $20 Carters RASH GUARD Swimsuit in sz 3m – 5T (also in BOYS SETs ), Crocs shoes (also at Nordstrom)


Seeing this girl skip happily out our rental door to the beach each morning made my mama heart happy! We also enjoyed identifying tons of shellfish (crabs, mussels, snails, clams) which Nori wanted to bring home for dinner. After the kids were passed out, Nick and I relished a few moments of peace drinking on the porch at sunset.

Picnic and swings at Veterans Memorial Park

This is a small, rockier strip of sand on one side of the parking lot, and lots of picnic tables, metal grills (where you bring your own charcoal), and a small play area on the other side. The play area was mostly rope climbing structures and swings facing the bay, but Nori had fun nonetheless while the rest of us took our time enjoying dinner al fresco!

Cape Code family travel guide
Foldable travel seat (one of our must-have gadgets that we’ve used since Nori was a baby!)

Delish Peruvian-Italian food at Tumi Ceviche

The prix fixe here is one of the best values you’ll find, but more importantly the food was delicious. For about $30 you get a drink (wine or beer), one of their 8 choices of ceviche, an appetizer, entree, AND dessert. Everything was a generous portion, and we’re still dreaming of their lamb osso bucco! Nori was feeling adventurous and gobbled up octopus ceviche alongside their complimentary homemade sourdough bread. And if you happen to swing by on a Wednesday afternoon, they have dollar oysters!

Tumi Hyannis review
best restaurants Hyannis Cape Cod
Melt in your mouth osso bucco + a generous seafood paella from their prix fixe

Drinks and Mexican plates at Anejo

The ambiance of this restaurant’s back patio was lovely – almost tropical and not what you’d expect on the Cape. If kid-free, definitely come here for cocktails, tacos or an enchilada platter! Sit in the back patio (not the front, where we almost ended up unknowingly) under the gorgeous, huge beech tree with lanterns strung up across it. The complimentary chips and salsa had a nice kick, and Nick got the taco variety platter with fish tacos. While not “traditional” it was very tasty (high praise from a native San Diegan whose had his share of tacos).

Next door was a more casual Mexican spot (El Mariachi Loco) with very yummy looking plates, that we would’ve loved to try if we had more time!

Katie’s ice cream

So many good, creative flavors with some dairy free options! Thursdays are $3 for a kid size. We shared their Cape Cod Mud (chocolate, fudge, almonds, chocolate sandwich cookies all in coffee ice cream) and Salted Caramel Oreo (yum!).

For other kid-friendly dining options right on Main Street, we saw a hot dog spot right next to Katie’s and a grilled cheese spot both with outdoor seating.


dairy free ice cream Hyannis
Janie and Jack top 3T (my review) // delighting in her pina colada sorbet from Four Seas Ice Cream

For Daily Posts

Leave a Comment


  1. Regina wrote:

    I really loved the picture of you in the cherry Few Moda dress, and decided to buy it myself. I was disappointed at the quality of the dress when I finally got it. It’s really thin and a bit stiff. For $100 (dress + membership), I decided the value wasn’t there for me. I didn’t realize the membership was not refundable so that was bad on me for not reading the fine print. Anyway….just my personal feelings on the brand.

    Posted 7.27.21 Reply
  2. Mireia wrote:

    Looks like a lovely trip!

    Mireia from TGL

    Posted 6.28.21 Reply
  3. Emily Tan wrote:

    This is such a lovely post Jean and while I don’t live in the US I truly appreciate all your travelling with baby-tips. I’m struggling to have a holiday with my toddler that I enjoy – it always feels like even more work. Being a mum just like at home but with more challenges and a lot less rest. I come out of it feeling more stressed and exhausted than before I went for the weekend away. Can you share what you do/ensure to make sure you have a good holiday too?

    Posted 6.28.21 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Thank you Emily! I totally feel you, and that’s something I’m working on too. I definitely do not find vacations relaxing yet with two kids under 3, but I think “letting go” to the extent that you can helps a lot (i.e. don’t worry too much about nap and sleep schedules, let kids eat pouches and prepackaged snacks on the go). And knowing that it’ll get better when they’re a little older!

      Posted 6.30.21 Reply
  4. bethany wrote:

    Have you purchased much from Few Moda? How have you liked their clothes?

    Posted 6.27.21 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      I’ve bought a couple of dresses and have been happy with them! Very easy to throw on for summer and the fit is good.

      Posted 6.30.21 Reply
  5. Susan wrote:

    From here, grew up in Barnstable village right near this marsh down a bumpy road off Mary Dunn called Indian Road(I know, but that is the name). There was a grave marker from an old graveyard there when I was a child, off that road when less houses were on it.
    It used to be the most beautiful place, it still is but there is way more crime and drugs around than ever before so not a completely safe place anymore. Still need to watch out, more so your property than person fortunately but still need to watch out keep safe.
    The marsh I first mentioned is also part beach and my personal favorite because of the mixed environment, the moon snails that come out when getting dark, and the lack of people. The only people who went there were those who lived there and spent most of my childhood and teenagehood there among other treasure spots to hike off of 6A.
    It was a beautiful place to grow up.

    Posted 6.27.21 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Sounds like you have some beautiful memories of growing up there!

      Posted 6.30.21 Reply
  6. Kanishka wrote:

    Thanks for always providing such detailed information! We’re traveling for the first time with our 7 month old next week. Do you have any tips on how you handle feeding solids when you’re traveling? Any must have items or gadgets to bring along?

    Posted 6.26.21 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      We bring a portable chair (pictured above), baby spoons and little containers, baby food scissors, and we do a lot of pouches and puffs when on the road! We also grab bananas and avocados since those are so easy and self contained. If your baby doesn’t have food allergies I think you can find a lot at restaurants like scrambled eggs, pasta, toast etc that baby can eat! Good luck with your travels!!

      Posted 6.30.21 Reply
  7. Annaliese wrote:

    The restaurants that you ate at sound incredible! I went to Cape Cod a few times growing up (I’m from Maine) but would love to go back as an adult!

    xoxo A

    Posted 6.26.21 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      It’s such a fun spot to visit!

      Posted 6.30.21 Reply
  8. Amanda K wrote:

    Thank you Jean for your Cape Cod recommendations. I have been wanting to take a small trip there recently and this gave me some great ideas. Both of your children are absolutely beautiful. Motherhood seems so natural to you. Keep up the posting and positivity! You always inspire women to become better versions of themselves :)!

    Posted 6.26.21 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Thank you so much for you sweet note, Amanda! I’m so appreciative of your encouragement and readership xx

      Posted 6.30.21 Reply
  9. Christine wrote:

    I’m in the market for new carriers for babies. My baby boy has quite the weight to him on my petite frame. How is the carrier that you are using in the picture above?

    Posted 6.25.21 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      I love it, it’s been a nice one to graduate to from our Babybjorn mini. It’s very supportive for baby’s hips and for me, but I think with bigger babies on petite moms you’ll start feeling it after carrying for a long time with any carrier.

      Posted 6.30.21 Reply
  10. Rosanne wrote:

    So lovey that you were able to stay for a few days and it looks like you had nice weather, too! Cape Cod is one of my happy places and we love to take the kids on the Cape Cos Rail Trail with the bikes and also on the Canal. Thanks for sharing!

    Posted 6.25.21 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      We had a wonderful trip and I’ll have to jot down your recommendation for any future visits!

      Posted 6.30.21 Reply

Get the newsletter!

What updates would you like?