The Beach Times

Stopping By Butterflies of Cape Cod in Bourne, Massachusetts
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, October 12, 2020

butterfly at butterflies of cape cod

While you might spend much of your time on Cape Cod exploring the beaches, hiking trails, bike paths, and historic town centers, the region has countless other activities, as well.

For example, crossing over the Cape Cod Canal via the Sagamore Bridge to the off-Cape section of Bourne takes you to a scenic area where you'll find plenty of things to do.

One venue that is worth your while to visit during your Cape vacation is Butterflies of Cape Cod, a zoo dedicated entirely to species that inhabit New England.

Having the opportunity to experience many of the region's butterfly species in a single location is an outstanding option for anyone who appreciates their intricate patterns and inherent beauty. Make sure to visit this one of a kind facility while spending time on Cape Cod.

What You'll Find at the Zoo

The great thing about Butterflies of Cape Cod is that you never know what you'll come across during your visit.

That's because the weather, season, and breeding habits will determine what's around on any given day.

In fact, the butterflies that you see can even change day-to-day, so it might even be worth it to visit a couple of times if you're spending more than a week on the Cape.

The zoo is relatively small, as it sits in a greenhouse, so it won't take you long to walk through. However, some exhibits provide additional insight into New England's native butterfly species and show you what to look for when checking out the zoo.

You'll even learn how you can encourage butterflies to visit your yard at home. Even if you don't live in New England, your neck of the woods likely has some beautiful butterflies, and the same strategies will work for you.

Keep in mind that you'll want to head to the zoo on a warm, sunny day because the butterflies will be more active. You can still view them when it's rainy, but you're more likely to see them hiding near some plants than flying through the air.

How to Get There

Getting to Butterflies of Cape Cod is simple, as the facility is just off Route 6 on the mainland side of the Cape Cod Canal.

When arriving from the Cape, you'll cross the Sagamore Bridge and follow the signs directing you west toward Buzzards Bay. That'll allow you to continue on Route 6, which you'll follow until you reach Bournedale Road. The zoo is technically on Herring Pond Road, which intersects with Bournedale Road, but you don't have to turn again to get there.

It's also possible to get to the zoo via the Bourne Bridge, albeit a little more complicated. Once you're over the bridge, you'll take Exit 3, which will loop you over the highway and take you to the Bourne Rotary in Buzzards Bay.

In Buzzards Bay, you'll follow the signs directing you to Route 6 East toward Falmouth and Hyannis. These signs will eventually lead you to Main Street, which is Route 6. Make sure you're heading east on Route 6 and turn left on Herring Pond Road to reach the zoo.

Admission and Parking

As you arrive at the zoo, you'll see a small parking lot out front. This area only has four spaces, but the good news is that Butterflies of Cape Cod rarely gets overcrowded. There's also overflow parking out back if you happen to arrive on an incredibly busy day.

You'll head into the gift shop to pay. The cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children 12 and under, and $5 for seniors 65 and older.

You can also grab butterfly-inspired souvenirs in the gift shop, including earrings, necklaces, scarves, watches, clothing, purses, and games. Purchasing a few items helps the zoo keep its doors open for the next generation of butterfly lovers.

Things to Do Nearby

Since the zoo is relatively small, you might want to find a few other things to do in the surrounding area. Luckily, this little section of Bourne has other activities, too.

For starters, on the other side of Route 6 is the Herring Run Recreation Area. This scenic park offers outstanding views of the Cape Cod Canal and even provides access to the paved path that runs from Cape Cod Bay to Buzzards Bay Park.

You can also go fishing, have a picnic, or check out the park's war memorial.

Across the highway from the Herring Run Recreation Area is Barlow's Clam Shack, a small restaurant serving lobster rolls, fried clams, clam chowder, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, and fish and chips. There's a kid's menu and an on-site ice cream shop, too. Barlow's has picnic tables for outdoor seating and a limited number of indoor tables, giving you options if you're ready for a meal.

Just north of Butterflies of Cape Cod is the Carter Beal Conservation Area. This park is 29.7 acres in size and has a mile and a half of hiking trails. There are also unmarked areas that you can explore, leading you to a hill with scenic views of the Canal, and a service road that takes you to a pond.  

You'll find the remains of a grist mill built in 1695, a fish ladder, a boat launch into Great Herring Pond, and all kinds of wildlife in the conservation area, too. You can put a canoe or kayak in the Herring River, as well.

All of these venues are within minutes of Butterflies of Cape Cod, so you won't have to travel far to make a day of it in this area.

Your Visit to Butterflies of Cape Cod

Whether you're interested in butterflies or just want to do something a little different while on the Cape, Butterflies of Cape Cod worth your time.

And with so many other things to do on this side of the bridge, it's no wonder that many vacationers cross the Cape Cod Canal at least once during their time here.

Bourne Butterflies Zoo

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