The Beach Times
Where Locals Go: Restaurants in Falmouth
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Tuesday, May 29, 2018
Just because you're on vacation in Falmouth doesn't mean you have to spend all your time doing touristy things. Part of the charm of Cape Cod is that the area has permanent residents who do everything in their power to avoid the summer rush in popular tourist areas and have their own hotspots to visit to pass the time.
When you're in Falmouth and want to engage yourself with the locals, the following locations are probably your best bets. You won't encounter the following pubs and restaurants bustling with Bostonians or New Yorkers, as they are frequented by those who live here.
So, after spending your afternoon basking in the sun at Old Silver or Falmouth Heights beaches or riding the Shining Sea Bikeway, make your way from your vacation rental to some of these local haunts that offer some of the best food the Upper Cape has to offer.
Jacks Restaurant & Bar
You'd be excused for not coming across Jacks Restaurant & Bar on your own, as it sits on Gifford Street in a heavily wooded area without much around, although it is just north of The Coonamessett, a popular wedding venue. Jacks is owned by local resident John Sorgi, who has been in the restaurant business for more than 45 years, with much of that time spent working in Falmouth.
A night at Jacks is meant to be an experience, rather than a meal, as they often have live music well into the evening. The menu is mainly a mix of pub favorites like burgers, sandwiches, and pizza, although local seafood dishes and pasta are also available. And of course, there's an outstanding selection of beer and wine.
Water Street Kitchen
Just north of Woods Hole Terminal is Water Street Kitchen, a dinner restaurant offering fresh food made from scratch. As you might expect from its name, the restaurant is located on Water Street itself and, as luck would have it, there is also a waterfront dining room.
The menu changes seasonally at Water Street Kitchen, which makes sense because the chef uses as many local ingredients as possible. All seafood sold at the restaurant is sustainably fished or farmed, so the eatery has a social and environmental conscience, as well. A reservation is often necessary during the high season, although you could always simply show up to the pub side of the building and hope for the best.
Captain Kidd Restaurant & Bar
Just up the street from the Water Street Kitchen is Captain Kidd, a bar, and restaurant offering all of your favorite seafood dishes. The eatery has a raw bar, house-made soups, sandwiches, burgers, and classic Cape Cod seafood offerings, so you're sure to find something you like.
Captain Kidd is open for lunch and dinner, and its waterfront location provides a unique ambiance, especially if you're there after the sun goes down at night.
The Chapoquoit Grill, affectionately known locally as Chappy, has been a staple in West Falmouth since 1993. In fact, many of the staff have been working there since the restaurant opened and numerous customers have been eating there since that time, as well. Chappy isn't far from Chapoquoit Beach and, therefore, is a great place to stop for dinner on your way back to your vacation rental after a day in the sun.
The great thing about Chappy is the simplicity in its menu. You won't find pretentious offerings that you've never heard of before, as pizza and pasta are the main choices. Everything on the food list is wonderfully done, so you can expect a great meal every time you stop by the Chapoquoit Grill.
If you're in the mood for some seafood, The Quarterdeck is the place to go. The restaurant, which was first called The Little New Yorker, has been around forever and has a great history. In 1967, the building changed hands to new owners, who gave it its current name. Much of the interior was taken from MacDougall’s Boatyard, which sat in Falmouth Harbor, and there are pieces of wood inside the restaurant that date back to the 1600s.
With so much history, it would be understandable if the restaurant relied on its aura to get people through the door, but this isn't the case. The Quarterdeck specializes in locally-caught seafood dishes for lunch and dinner, although you'll also find burgers, steaks, and sandwiches on the menu, all prepared beautifully. Live music is often found on weekends, too, so you can make a night out of it.
Doggz & Hoggz
Main Street in Falmouth is full of dining options, but unless you're specifically looking for it, you might drive right past Doggz & Hoggz. That, however, would be a mistake, as the restaurant does pretty much anything you could ever do with a hot dog and also has a selection of barbecue favorites.
One of the best things about Doggz and Hoggz is that they make their barbecue sauce and chili in-house, so you know you're getting something that you won't find anywhere else. There is a special kid's meal available, and the restaurant is open for lunch, making it a reliable place to stop between summer events. You can also call ahead for take-out or delivery.
La Cucina Sul Mare
Another Main Street stop is La Cucina Sul Mare, an Italian restaurant serving lunch and dinner. This is a family-run establishment that has been in business since 2002 when its owners, Mark and Cynthia Cilfone, finally realized their dream of having their own restaurant.
Today, La Cucina Sul Mare has a wide variety of pasta dishes and other Italian favorites on its extensive menu, and when you walk through the doors, it just feels like home. There’s live music every Sunday, should you want to make a night of it.
Those who fancy a night out on Main Street in Falmouth should look no further than Liam Maguire's, an Irish pub and restaurant offering both contemporary cuisine and a selection of traditional Irish classics. Of course, you'll also find an extensive draft beer list and an outstanding wine menu, so it's a great place to have a drink while listening to some Irish music.
According to the Boston Globe, this is one of the top ten Irish pubs in New England, and there is an event pretty much every night of the week, keeping you occupied throughout your stay.
Plenty of Choice in Falmouth
As you can see, whether you’re looking for a quick meal at a local restaurant or a full night out with entertainment and drinks, there is something for everyone in Falmouth. While many of these locations are off the beaten path, others are in plain sight, but for one reason or another, don’t attract the tourist crowds.
The lack of tourists is a good thing for you, however, because you can experience Cape Cod like a local this summer without dealing with insane lines or endless waits for a meal. No matter where you’re staying on the Cape, Falmouth and its extensive list of local favorites are easily accessible if you want to try something different.
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Activities for Kids of All Ages on Cape Cod!
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, January 22, 2018
When you think of Cape Cod, you might envision lounging on a sunny beach, eating at elegant restaurants, and enjoying a quiet drink on a secluded patio somewhere near the ocean. In short, your initial thought might not include your children.
The good news, should you want to bring your kids, is that Cape Cod is perhaps one of the most family-friendly destinations on the East Coast. In fact, it doesn’t matter if it is sunny or rainy, summer or winter, or anywhere in between, Cape Cod has your kids covered throughout your vacation.
Tons of Outdoor Activities
If you’re coming to Cape Cod during the summer months, expect to spend most of your time outdoors. People head to the Cape to enjoy the natural environment, and it’s no different when travelling with children, as various kid-centric activities exist throughout the area.
Kid’s Fishing is a company that operates fishing boats just for children. The company provides all the necessary equipment, and since the vessel heads out into protected waters, you don’t have to worry about your little ones on the sea. The 90-minute excursion leaves from Main Street in Hyannis and is sure to be a highlight of the summer for your kids.
West Yarmouth is home to the Cape Cod Inflatable Park, a large amusement center with water slides, bouncy castles, and obstacle courses. There is a challenge zone for older children, a toddler zone for the young ones, and even a mini golf course and arcade. The park is the type of place where you can spend an entire day, and your kids will enjoy every second. They’ll get a day full of exercise, as well.
When in Sandwich, check out The Adventure Park at Heritage Museums & Gardens. Here, the kids can walk between the trees on specially constructed bridges and complete over 65 different challenges in the adventure park before finishing up with some zip lining from platform to platform.
One of the top destinations for kids on Cape Cod is Skull Island Adventure Golf & Sports World in Yarmouth. This amusement complex is known for its pirate mini golf course, but it also has go-karts. Other go-kart facilities on Cape Cod include Bud's Go-Karts in Harwich and Cartwheels in South Dennis.
Fancy a swashbuckling adventure with your kin? Welcome aboard Cape Cod Pirate Adventures, matey! This pirate ship takes kids on a treasure hunt into Hyannis Harbor and includes face-painting, the hoisting of a pirate flag, and a number of other activities to keep them entertained the entire time. Landlubber parents are also welcome.
Some Indoor Activities, Too
Nothing ruins family vacations faster than poor weather, and although the weather usually works out on the Cape, there's a chance you'll run into a rainy day or two in the summer. As a result, preparation is vital. Luckily, there's more to Cape Cod than the outdoors, as you're sure to find something for your kids to do inside on those days.
Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis has an indoor water park that is the only one of its type in the area. The park is over 30,000 square feet in size, so it's sure to keep your kids occupied, and has two high-speed water slides that are about 160 feet long. There are a river ride and wave pool, as well, along with a kiddie area. Keep in mind that this park has a retractable roof, which will open up if weather permits.
You might not think of a library as a happening place to hang out in the summer, but if you can't be outside, Provincetown Public Library is worth checking out. The building was constructed in 1874, offers over 40,000 books, and organizes events for kids throughout the year. It’s cheap, convenient, and, best of all, educational for your children.
Coming in the Winter?
Just because you're coming to Cape Cod in the winter doesn't mean you should leave the kids at home. After all, as we’ve covered before, the area is a proverbial winter wonderland and has some of the top Christmas events anywhere in New England.
The fun doesn't stop after Christmas, however, as Cape Cod regards its winter activities seriously. Try taking the family ice skating at one of the many rinks on The Cape. You'll find Tony Kent Arena in South Dennis, Charles Moore Arena in Orleans, and Gallo Arena in Buzzards Bay, so no matter which part of The Cape your vacation rental sits, there’s ice skating nearby.
Don't worry if the weather gets too cold or snowy to head outside, as indoor activities are abundant. Ryan Amusements, which has locations in Buzzards Bay, Falmouth, and South Yarmouth, just to name a few, features bowling and arcade games, making it a great place to escape the cold.
The Cape Cod Children's Museum in Mashpee is another option to consider because of its interactive exhibits and special events for kids.
Your Kids Will Love It
The entire Cape Cod area is set up for families to enjoy and, as you can see, there is no shortage of activities for children young and old. Whether your kids want to learn about the area's natural history or spend an afternoon going on a whale watch excursion, Cape Cod has something for everyone.
Combine the unique activities mentioned here with traditional Cape Cod pastimes like hiking, bike riding, and swimming and you’ll quickly see why the area has been popular with families for decades. Start planning your Cape Cod Vacation now!
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3 Ways to Enjoy Oyster Season on Cape Cod
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Cape Cod has always been oyster country, as even before the arrival of the pilgrims in 1620, French explorer Samuel de Champlain noted the abundance of the shellfish in areas like Wellfleet Harbor. And while the oysters of Cape Cod are known internationally, it is becoming more challenging to get your hands on them unless you come to The Cape.
The quality of Cape Cod oysters has spawned an entirely different type of visitor to the area, as people will rent a vacation home just for the opportunity to try some of the heavenly, fresh oysters found here.
Typically, Cape Cod oyster season runs from October until sometime in February or March, depending on when the supply starts to get low. Since oysters are one of the region's most valuable natural resources, officials regularly monitor the stock and adjust the season accordingly.
Keep in mind that oysters are commonly part of Thanksgiving and Christmas meals on Cape Cod, so if you want to do the holidays the Cape Cod way, make sure you track some down.
Once you arrive, you’ll find some different ways to get yourself some oysters, depending on how adventurous you are and how badly you want the freshest shellfish available on The Cape.
Do Some Oyster Picking
Feel like spending your vacation digging in the sand? For a small fee, non-residents can pick up a shellfishing permit to do their own oyster picking on many of Cape Cod’s beaches.
Before you head out on your recreational shellfishing excursion, make sure that you are aware of any town-specific rules that are present. These laws govern how many oysters you can harvest per day, the minimum size of the oysters you can pick, the times that you can be out in the water, and even the water temperature that you can be out in.
The rules are in place to prevent the supply of oysters from eroding too quickly and keep you safe, so either give the local town hall a call or ask about the rules when picking up your permit.
From there, you'll want to grab the right equipment. While you might luck out and find some oysters right along the beach, most are out in the water. You don't need anything fancy like a lobster trap, as just a few pieces of equipment will make you more comfortable as you venture into the ocean during Cape Cod oyster season.
Start by picking up a pair of chest waders, as you won't want to venture into the frigid Cape Cod waters without the necessary protection and these waders allow you to go into deeper water. A wetsuit jacket and a pair of waterproof gloves are advisable, especially when visiting in the winter. A floating bucket is also a good idea because it allows you store your catch without returning to shore.
There isn't a specific technique involved with harvesting oysters; all you have to do is search the shallow waters along the beach. Oysters don't bury themselves and are relatively easy to spot, so you shouldn't have much trouble as long as you end up in the right location.
Finding the perfect spot can be a challenge, as very few locals are willing to give theirs up. Look for other people searching for oysters because as long as they’re in a public area, you’re free to harvest there, too.
Find an Oyster Farm
The oysters of Wellfleet are known the world over, and there's no better place to get them than through the Puffer family at Wellfleet Oyster and Clam. Farmers catch wild oyster seed and then raise the oysters the same way that they would be in the wild. The result is some of the world's best oysters. You can order some by calling the company directly.
East Dennis Oyster Farm has a store in East Dennis where you can buy oysters by the box. You can also call ahead to place an order and schedule a pickup, which makes sense if you are staying in town or a neighboring community like Barnstable.
Chatham Shellfish Company has been in business since 1976 and sells its oysters throughout stores in the area. It is possible to order oysters directly through the company’s website, and they will be delivered right to the door of your vacation rental in a matter of days.
Visit an Oyster Bar
Of course, no visit to Cape Cod is complete without stopping by an oyster bar. In Wellfleet, Mac's Shack is the place to go. This restaurant doesn't allow reservations, so make sure that you get there early for access to incredibly fresh Wellfleet oysters, in addition to an extensive wine list. Keep in mind that this location doesn’t open until the very end of oyster season.
It doesn't get much better than Oyster Company Raw Bar & Grill in Dennis Port, which has been around for a long time and remains a favorite for locals. The restaurant harvests its own oysters, and clams and other shellfish are available there, too.
Sitting right on Main Street in Hyannis, The Naked Oyster Bistro & Raw Bar harvests oysters from its own farm, ensuring that you have access to the freshest shellfish available in any restaurant.
The World’s Best Oysters
As you can see, you won’t have any trouble finding somewhere to try some of the world’s best oysters on Cape Cod. What you might struggle with is figuring out which variety you like the best, as the oysters from each location differ slightly in their flavor.
Take some time exploring the local oyster scene to see if you can tell the difference between the varieties or, better yet, get out there and harvest your own this winter.
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Why You Should Visit Cape Cod in the Fall
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, November 13, 2017
I'm going to let you in on a little secret.
Are you ready?
It might be a shocker, but Cape Cod is a great place to travel to in the fall.
While the Cape is largely known as a summer destination, and, let’s face it, summertime is beautiful in the area, the autumn is Cape Cod’s exciting little secret.
It’s true because the fall provides a slower pace of life and the ultimate in relaxation, making it the perfect destination for those who like to decompress at the end of the summer or get away in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
With an average high of 51 degrees in November, it's warm enough that you can spend time outside without freezing while enjoying the sights and sounds of Cape Cod in the fall.
Book your fall vacation on Cape Cod and don’t miss the following great activities for a family or a couple.
Take Scenic Strolls on the Beach
Even though the sunbathing season is over for the year, the beaches on the Cape remain open. This is good news for anyone looking for solitude and relaxation, as you can walk for miles on Nauset Beach in Orleans, Ballston Beach in Truro, or Seagull Beach on the Yarmouth seaside without bumping into anyone.
Those who visit Cape Cod during the autumn love being able to explore nature alone for the day, without having to fight the crowds for a parking for space, while witnessing the fall foliage in the background.
Having a peaceful day exploring the beaches and sand dunes is part of New England coastal living that you must experience to truly appreciate.
Avoid the Lines at Restaurants
If you've ever tried to get a table at a Cape Cod restaurant in summer, you know how frustrating it can be.
Don't have a reservation? Don't even bother trying to get into one of the area's hotspots unless you fancy a 10 PM dinner.
In the fall, however, you will have more choice because the tourists have gone home for the year. This is the best time of year to try a number of different restaurants without having to reserve a table days or even weeks in advance.
For a spontaneous foodie vacation, The Cape in the fall is one of your better bets. Del Mar Bistro in Chatham, Jimmy's HideAway in Provincetown, and Captain Linnell House in Orleans are three eateries that aren’t to be missed.
Experience the Fall Events and Festivals
A surprising number of events and festivals are part of a Cape Cod fall:
In mid September, the Cranberry Festival brings two days of food, drinks, and entertainment to Harwich. In mid-October, the Wellfleet Oysterfest brings a similar dynamic to the Outer Cape. Music, local beer, artisan arts and crafts, and an oyster shuck-off highlight the event.
Fall for the Arts Festival is a month-long, Cape-wide festival that highlights the area’s performing arts. The festival typically takes place in October and November and includes concerts, plays, and other forms of live entertainment. Heritage walks and guided art tours are also part of the event.
Ride the Train to Christmas Town
As we get further into the autumn and the Christmas season kicks off, The Train to Christmas Town is a top attraction on Cape Cod. This train ride, which departs from Buzzards Bay, takes guests to Christmas Town and is outfitted with storybook characters in full costume, elves, and, of course, hot cocoa.
At the end of the tour, Santa Claus himself makes a personal appearance.
The train runs from late November through Christmas and is sure to create a memorable experience and keep the Christmas magic alive for any children that take a ride.
Something for Everyone
Whether you’re looking for a family vacation full of seaside festivals or a romantic getaway with live music and dinner for two, Cape Cod has fall activities for everyone. And because more accommodation options are available during the slower months, it is easier to create your ideal trip to the Cape once the crowds leave after the summer.
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