The Beach Times
Live on the Outer Cape: Music, Drama, and Comedy
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, May 14, 2018
When staying on Cape Cod for any length of time, consider taking in some of the local performing arts scenes, as there is something to check out on pretty much any night of the week during the summer. Depending on your mood, you might want to see a live performance of a Shakespearean drama, laugh with a stand-up comedian at an intimate local venue, or dine with live music in the background before getting up and cutting a rug after your meal.
All of these opportunities and more are available on the Outer Cape on any given day, providing you with loads of different ways to spend your evenings. Have a look at the events calendar at the following venues or check out some of the highlighted festivals to ensure you don’t miss a top-notch performance during your Cape Cod vacation.
Performances and Events in Provincetown
Since Provincetown is one of the Cape's cultural hubs, it makes sense that the town has plenty of live venues from which to choose. The Provincetown Theater is known as the Birthplace of Modern American Theater, as it dates back to 1915 when a group of New Yorkers vacationing in the area started performing and eventually built a makeshift theater. Their performances drew attention from all over the East Coast, helping to grow the industry as a whole. Today, the Provincetown Theater hosts Broadway comedies, dramas, and musicals, in addition to performing arts festivals throughout the year. If you're on the Outer Cape in the summer, there's a good chance this venue will have something going on.
Not to be outdone, the Peregrine Theatre Ensemble also brings Broadway plays and musicals to Provincetown, producing them at Fishermen Hall. In 2018, the group will perform “Hair, the Musical” between July and September.
Of course, there’s also the Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, an annual event taking place each September. In 2017, the festival combined plays by Williams and William Shakespeare, while the theme in 2018 will be "Wishful Thinking". The performances take place at a variety of venues throughout town, even non-traditional venues, as 2017 saw "Hamlet" performed in a tank of water on the beach and "Pericles" performed on a boat.
Smaller music venues are found up and down Provincetown’s Commercial Street. Bubala’s By The Bay, for example, is where the town's West End begins and hosts live music every night during the summer. There is no cover or minimum charge, so you can get out and enjoy everything from jazz to country music without worrying about the cost. Governor Bradford Restaurant & Club is an all ages venue that features a different act every Saturday night. The music gets started at 8 PM and runs until about 11. Tin Pan Alley is a piano bar with live performances every night of the week.
The Provincetown Jazz Festival has been around since 2005 and brings musicians from all over the world to the area at a variety of different venues. If you're in the area in mid-August, it is well worth checking out at least a few performances.
The Crown & Anchor is well known throughout the Cape because of its cabaret shows, but this significant venue is also the home of comedy in Provincetown. Some performances will be local comedians, such as Julie Wheeler and James Judd, who have weekly performances from Memorial Day until Labor Day. Other times, the venue brings in better-known acts, like Bruce Vilanch and Leslie Jordan in 2018, for a couple of sets.
Events in Truro This Summer
Just a short drive down Route 6 from Provincetown is Truro, where there are even more live performances to attend. In North Truro, the Payomet Performing Arts Center hosts music, comedy, and theater starting in the spring, with some pretty big acts coming to town in the summer.
You’ll also find music at Truro Vineyards every Sunday throughout the summer. Admission to the show is free, and there's a food truck on-site, so you can have a meal, enjoy some local wine, and listen to a live performance. The vineyard also hosts Grape Stomp & Music Fest and the Vinegrass Music Festival in late September. Both of these festivals bring wine, cocktails, food, and music together and are a great way to end your summer on Cape Cod.
Music and Theater in Wellfleet
Continuing down Route 6 from Truro brings you to Wellfleet and, more specifically, the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater. This venue presents a series of thought-provoking dramas all summer long, with each presentation running for a few weeks at a time. There's a summer concert series at the venue, too, so you can get your fill of live music on Monday nights.
The Harbor Stage Company is in the heart of Wellfleet's downtown area. The venue is small and intimate, offering the chance to get up close and personal with classic dramas and comedies that you've probably heard of before, but maybe haven't seen performed live. In 2018, "The Weir", "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?", and "The Deer and the Antelope" are on the docket between the middle of June and early September.
For live music, The Beachcomber is the place to be in Wellfleet. Throughout July and August, this restaurant on Cahoon Hollow Beach brings in musical acts every day of the week. You'll have to buy tickets in advance for most shows and keep in mind that the music usually starts at 9 PM, so you'll have time to either have dinner in the restaurant or eat elsewhere before things get going.
Orleans Live Performances
Finally, as you come down Route 6 and exit onto 6A, you'll reach the center of Orleans, where even more live performances can be found. The Academy Playhouse is right on Main Street and has a mixture renowned shows throughout the year. There are children's performances in the afternoons, including the Little Mermaid in 2018, and both theater, including Shakespeare, and music at night.
The Elements Theatre Company is on the grounds of the Church of the Transfiguration on Rock Harbor, giving it one of the more scenic locations for performances on the Cape. This venue mostly hosts dramatic productions, although there are retreats and workshops during the summer for those interested in acting themselves.
The Barley Neck Inn dates back to 1848 when Isaac and Mary Doane purchased the land where the property now sits. Part of the original building now makes up this venue, which hosts live music every Friday and Saturday night. It's not glamorous, but catching a performance at The Barley Neck is a quintessential thing to do while on Cape Cod.
Finding Your Performances
As you can see, no matter what type of entertainment you’re into, you’re sure to find it on the Outer Cape during the summer. Once you book your vacation rental on Cape Cod, start looking at the local venues holding events because you’re sure to find a new and exciting way to spend your nights, no matter what you are looking to experience.
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Cape Cod National Seashore: More Than Just Beaches
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, February 5, 2018
With nearly 40 miles of shoreline along the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Cod National Seashore is, rightly so, known for its beaches. The area has six main beaches, Coast Guard, Nauset Light, Marconi, Head of the Meadow, Race Point, and Herring Cove, in addition to smaller, lesser known ones, but there is so much more to the area than the waterfront.
In total, the National Seashore is 43,607 acres in size, and there are countless activities to be found in the space that are sure to keep you occupied throughout your vacation.
Want to go hiking? No problem!
Interested in history? We’ve got you covered!
Love seeing animals? You’ll never run out of opportunities!
Yes, by all means, hit the beaches when you visit Cape Cod National Seashore but don't forget to explore the other sites and activities that this beautiful and diverse area has to offer. We’re confident you’ll love what you see.
A Little Bit of History
On an official basis, Cape Cod National Seashore is relatively new, as it was given its national park status in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy and his family spend plenty of time vacationing on Cape Cod, and he wanted to preserve this exceptional region for future generations.
Overall, however, the land has been in use for about 9,000 years, when it was first inhabited by American Indians.
The first Europeans made their way to the region in 1620, spending about a month here before finally settling in what is now Plymouth. The area was attractive to settlers in future years because of its abundance of fresh water, fertile land, and protective landscape.
Cape Cod National Seashore has deep colonial roots that become clearer and clearer the more you spend time here. But first, you’ll want to get to know the natural environment, which is why so many people visit in the first place.
Hiking and Biking Trails
Feel like going for a hike? There are plenty of places to do so. In the South Wellfleet area sits Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Trail, a moderately challenging hiking area that goes through an oak and pine forest before coming out in a swampy area with a boardwalk. The trail is just over a mile in length, so it can be completed quickly.
Pilgrim Spring is another short hiking trail in North Truro. The path is relatively simple, with a moderate grade and plenty of on-site parking, and is only 0.7 miles long. The site leads to the place where the pilgrims first tasted fresh water on Cape Cod, making it a historically significant trail, as well.
For a biking experience, Nauset Marsh Trail provides a comfortable ride with the option to extend the trip to Coast Guard Beach. The actual trail is a 1.3-mile loop and is peaceful, with very few elevation changes, and has some breathtaking views along the way.
While you're out and about, keep an eye out for some of the area's unique wildlife. More than 450 animal species live at Cape Cod National Seashore, including 25 protected species and 32 endangered or rare species.
On the coastline, you could encounter large marine mammals, turtles, gulls, and waterbirds. As you move inland, you are more likely to see the land mammals and reptiles that live in the woodland, swaps, and grasslands. One particular animal to keep an eye out for is the piping plover, a rare bird that nests in the sand. About 5% of the world's population of piping plover live at Cape Cod National Seashore.
The Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is one place worth checking out nearby because it has salt marshes and woodlands that are a hot spot for wildlife sightings.
You might also consider taking a boat trip out into the ocean if you have your heart set on seeing some sea mammals up close. If you're lucky, you might even come across the endangered North Atlantic right whales that feed off Race Point.
Landmarks and Sights
Sitting in Eastham between Coast Guard Beach and the Salt Pond Visitors Center is Doane Rock, a large boulder left behind by the Laurentide Ice Sheet, which covered most of Canada and large chunks of the United States, about 15,000 years ago.
As the story goes, when the glaciers melted, they left behind some geological abnormalities and one of them is this rock. It is named after John Doane, a deacon who was one of the first settlers in the area. He lived on this land in 1644, in a time when very few Europeans were around. The rock’s appearance might not blow you away, but it’s worth having a look at if you have the time because of its history.
After that, swing by The Three Sisters Lighthouses or Nauset Light while in Eastham, The Pilgrim Monument and Race Point Light in Provincetown, and Highlands Light in Truro. There is something that draws people to lighthouses and monuments, and these are some of the most prominent on The Cape.
Museums and Visitor Centers
We mentioned the history of the area before and what better way to learn about the history of Cape Cod National Seashore than by spending time at a museum?
In the north, you have options like Provincetown Museum, which is right at Pilgrim Monument, and Old Harbor Life-Saving Station Museum, on Race Point Beach.
Moving further south, Highland House in Truro and The 1869 Schoolhouse Museum in Eastham are worth a visit, especially if Cape Cod's history excites you the way it does for many other people who spend time here.
The area’s visitor centers are top-notch when learning about what makes the district so distinctive. The Salt Pond Visitor Center is perhaps the top choice, as it is full of interactive displays and shows educational films. There is also an on-site museum and bookshop.
Further north is The Province Lands Visitor Center, a smaller building that also shows educational films in its indoor theater and has a bookstore. The building has an observation deck, as well, which provides panoramic views of the ocean, sand dunes, Pilgrim Monument, and Race Point.
Embrace Life Away From the Beach
Of course, you’re sure to get plenty of beach time in when visiting Cape Cod in the summer. After all, that’s probably the reason why you’re visiting this area in the first place. At the same time, it’s good to know that there are plenty of other activities to keep you occupied when spending time at Cape Cod National Seashore.
If you ever need a day away from the beach to let your sunburn heal or relax away from the heat, the National Seashore has you covered. So, plan your next Cape Cod Vacation around the Cape Cod National Seashore and you will soon notice that Cape Cod National Seashore is unlike the other National Parks you have visited in the past.
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Finding Cape Cod's Secret Beaches
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Wednesday, January 24, 2018
If you’re heading to Cape Cod this summer, you’ll surely check out some beaches at some point. After all, we’ve got some of the best beaches in the entire country, and you’d be selling your vacation short if you don’t stop by a few of them.
The thing is, you’re not the only one with this idea. Crowds can be an issue at the area’s most popular beaches, making these areas less appealing for those who want to relax. When travelling with kids, you might also want a quieter beach, just to make things easier to handle.
Well-known beaches like Nauset, Coast Guard, and West Dennis, while scenic, are very popular during the summer. There’s also parking, which is another issue altogether.
Luckily, there are a few hidden gems throughout the Cape that you can check out if you are interested in the sand, surf, sun and a more peaceful setting. It doesn’t matter what part of Cape Cod your vacation rental is on, there’s a secret beach nearby.
Thumpertown Beach in Eastham
We'll start this list off with an easy one, as Thumpertown Beach isn't exactly hidden, nor is it difficult to find. The beach is, however, far less crowded than many Cape Cod beaches and provides a quiet place to enjoy the sun. The beach is popular with locals who don't want to navigate the crowds of Sunken Meadow Beach and First Encounter Beach, which flank Thumpertown Beach. Best of all, this beach has a small parking lot and stairs running down to the sea, making it accessible for everyone.
You can get to Thumpertown Beach quickly from Route 6 in Eastham. Look for McKoy Road and then take it to Thumpertown Road, where you'll come across the parking lot. The beach is excellent for family vacations because the parking lot is close to the water.
Bound Brook Island Beach in Wellfleet
Making the trek to Bound Brook Island Beach is all about the views. On a clear day, you can stand on one of the 50-foot-high sand dunes overlooking the water and see Provincetown to the north and Plymouth to the west, all the way across Cape Cod Bay.
To get to the beach, you'll have to take Bound Brook Island Road, which is mostly dirt, all the way to a dirt parking lot. The road isn’t well-marked, but you will see a sign directing you to Atwood Higgins House. It might look like you’re heading down a private driveway, but you’re not. Keep going, and you’ll eventually find parking. Once you reach the parking area, it's a bit of a hike down to the water, and you'll have to navigate the dunes along the way. Hey, no one said finding your own personal paradise was going to be easy.
Cow Yard Landing in Chatham
A beach that's not really hidden, but isn't busy either, is found in North Chatham. Cow Yard Landing beach is more for boating than anything else, as you'll see a number of watercrafts in the ocean, making it a great place to stop if you're looking to do some kayaking.
Luckily, the beach is easy to find, as Cow Yard Landing sits in a residential area just off Old Harbor Road and close to Route 28. There's plenty of parking along Cow Yard Lane, as well, so you won’t have to worry about searching for a spot.
Crowes Pasture Beach in Dennis
Discover one of the more secluded beaches on Cape Cod in the Crowes Pasture Conservation area in Dennis. It will necessitate some effort to reach the beach, as you'll walk a mile-long trail through some marshland to get to the sand from the parking area. The good news is this beach is basically untouched by civilization, other than some oyster farms, providing a rustic experience.
To reach the beach, exit Old King's Highway at South Street and follow the signs directing you to the Crowes Pasture Conservation Area. Follow the signs to the parking area and go from there.
Cape Cod Museum Of Natural History in Brewster
Perhaps the simplest seashore on this list to find, due to its location directly behind the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster, this beach is well worth the stroll. The seaside area is massive, with tons of white sand and space to stretch out away from the crowds.
While you can't park right at the museum, unless you're a paying customer, spots are available at Drummer Boy Park. From the park, it's a five-minute walk along Main Street, or Route 6, to the museum and then a short stroll along a marked trail to the water.
Forget About the Crowds
If the crowds are the one thing keeping you away from the beaches of Cape Cod, all it takes is a little effort to find a flawlessly secluded location to enjoy. Peace and quiet are abundant all over The Cape, even in the summer; all you have to do is know where to look.
When you plan your Cape Cod Vacation, whether you're looking for activities for your children or you want to sit on the beach with absolutely nothing to do, there's fun for everyone on Cape Cod's scenic beaches.
*Photo Credit CapeCodOnline.com
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