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How to Avoid Cape Cod Bridge Traffic

Ah, the beauty of Cape Cod’s miles of shoreline, the calming hues of a Cape Cod sunset, and the unmistakable scent of … Mini vans? When you’re heading to Cape Cod on 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 might find yourself sitting in bridge traffic … sometimes for hours! Don’t worry, we’ve been there and there’s a way to avoid bridge traffic (and it’s not the mythical Cape Cod canal tunnel).

The first thing to keep in mind about Cape Cod is that there are only two bridges and hundreds of thousands of cars using the Bourne and Sagamore bridges. That means that at certain times of the day, those peak commute hours we mention between Memorial Day and Labor Day, traffic is practically unavoidable. The good news is that the Sagamore Bridge Rotary is no more, and a much more efficient flyover has been built on Route 3 in Bourne. The bad news? You can still sit in traffic.

Now, how can you avoid the Cape Cod bridge traffic 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 at night. When we say early, we mean before 7 am. Those times don’t work for your schedule? Try to travel Monday through Thursday, as long as Monday is not a holiday. These days tend to have much, much less traffic.

There are also some shortcuts to avoid some of the bridge traffic. If you are heading towards the Sagamore Bridge, get off at Exit 2 and head south on Route 3A. Following the signs, you will reach Route 3 again, just before the bridge, cutting off much of the traffic. The same can be done at the Bourne Bridge by getting off at Exit 2, then following Route 6 – Route 28 to the Bourne Rotary Bridge / Interchange.

Looking for another way to avoid bridge traffic? The only other options are to fly into Barnstable Airport, or if you’re heading to Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket, take a ferry from New Bedford west of Cape Cod.

On your return trip, keep in mind that everyone is heading to the bridges around the hotel’s departure time on Sunday, between 9 a.m. M. And until 7 p.m. M. (Sometimes much later). Your best option in those circumstances might just be to spend the extra day relaxing on the beach.

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