More than half of Truro lies within the Cape Cod National Seashore, so days often focus on the beach. A Perfect Day in Truro starts at Corn Hill Beach which got its name because Pilgrims found (and liberated) a cache of corn stored here before they sailed on to Plymouth. The rolling hummocks of the town-owned beach might look familiar because Edward Hopper summered above the dunes of this bayside beach and often painted the neighborhood. On the wilder Atlantic side, Head of the Meadow Beach has great surfing where big rollers break on offshore sandbars.
Cape Cod’s first lighthouse was Highland Light (27 Highland Light Rd., North Truro, 508-487-1121), built in 1797 atop cliffs that tower more than 100 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. The current tower was built in 1857 and was moved 450 feet back from the cliff in 1996. Sixty-nine steps wind to the top, where the view stretches 20 miles on a clear day. Nearby, the Highland House Museum (6 Highland Light Rd., North Truro, 508-487-3397) preserves a 1907 resort hotel as a historical museum. Don’t miss the shipwreck artifacts.
Also next to the lighthouse, Highland Links Cape Cod (10 Highland Light Rd., North Truro, 508-487-9201) dates from the late 19th century, making it one of Cape Cod’s first golf courses. It’s a Scottish-style links, right down to the windswept rough and the ocean views. After a round, you can visit nearby Truro Vineyards (11 Shore Rd., North Truro, 508-487-6200) for a wine tasting.
North Truro also has two of the town’s more unusual shops. Chequessett Chocolate (8 Highland Rd., North Truro, 774-538-6249) starts with cacao beans and hand-crafts its chocolate from scratch. If a bar seems too staid, try a mustache-shaped chocolate on a stick—the mustache pop. Cooks always flock to Atlantic Spice Company (2 Shore Rd., North Truro, 508-487-6100), which sells more than 250 herbs and spices from bulk bins. For more local flavor, order the panko-crusted sole or butter-poached lobster at Blackfish (17 Truro Center Rd., Truro, 508-349-3399).