The Beach Times

The Top Family-Friendly Beaches on the Lower Cape
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, August 27, 2018

Breakwater Beach, Brewster Cape Cod

Vacationing on Cape Cod is all about enjoying some time in the sun, so when staying at a Lower Cape vacation rental with your kids, you’ll want to research safe and comfortable beaches for children. The majority of the Cape is family-friendly, but certain beaches attract a more teen-centric crowd and festive atmosphere, which you might want to avoid with younger children.

On the Lower Cape, in the towns of Chatham, Harwich, and Brewster, you’ll find many renowned beaches to take the kids where you won’t have to worry about parties or loud music becoming an issue.

Perhaps the best thing about Cape Cod is that there is something for everyone. Check out some of the following beaches if you’re spending some time here with the kids to ensure that you make the most of your vacation on the Cape this summer.


Hardings Beach in Chatham

The West Chatham area is home to Hardings Beach, a large oceanfront area that faces Nantucket Sound. The beach is popular with families because the water is warm and calm, making it comfortable for younger travelers. Lifeguards are on duty during the day and there is usually a food truck on-site in the summer. The beach also has a change room with showers.

When traveling with a boat or kayak, you are free to launch it anywhere outside of the swimming areas, making this the perfect place to start a day on the water. There is also a beach volleyball court, a bocce area, and whiffle ball, in addition to hiking trails nearby. Basically, it doesn’t matter how old your kids are, they’ll find something fun to do at Hardings Beach.

The beach has two on-site parking lots, and it will cost you $20 per day to park as a nonresident, or you can invest in a week’s pass for $75 or a season's pass for $175. There is a beach booth present where you can purchase parking.


Ridgevale Beach in Chatham

Just west of Hardings Beach is Ridgevale, and much like its nearby cousin, this beach features warm, calm water and has lifeguards on duty. Kids spend much of their time playing in the tidal pools here since the water in them gets quite warm, especially in periods of hot weather.

There is a large parking lot at Ridgevale Beach, in addition to a snack bar. The over-water pedestrian bridge between the beach and parking lot is a major attraction here, as it provides wonderful views of the water on a clear day. You can rent a sailboat at Ridgevale, should you feel like taking the kids out on the water for a few hours.

Parking costs the same as Hardings Beach and keep in mind that your weekly or seasonal parking pass bought at Ridgevale Beach or Hardings Beach is valid at any beach in Chatham.


Red River Beach in Harwich

Just off Uncle Venies Road in Harwich is Red River Beach, the town's largest oceanfront area and an outstanding place for families to spend a day. You’re probably sensing a pattern here, but the beach is also along Nantucket Sound, which means warm, calm water that is great for kids. The beach has lifeguards on duty and bathrooms, providing parents with added peace of mind. Once there, you’ll find that the beach has small waves and infinite shells to collect, so your kids will have plenty to do throughout their time here.

Parents will be happy with the short distance between the parking lot and the sand. When traveling with a ton of gear for your children, it's never fun to return to the car multiple times, especially if the parking area is far away. That's not a problem at Red River Beach because you can find a spot in the sand steps from where you end up parking.

One thing to remember is that Harwich has a much different parking situation than Chatham, as daily parking is only available for nonresidents at four beaches in the entire town. Otherwise, nonresidents must purchase a one-week, two-week, or full season pass. Luckily, Red River Beach is one of the four beaches offering daily parking, which you can buy once you get there.


Pleasant Road Beach in West Harwich

If your kids don't need a bunch of space, or if you're looking for somewhere a little less crowded on Nantucket Sound, Pleasant Road Beach is the way to go. This beach, which sits in West Harwich, has everything you'll need, including a bathroom with an outdoor shower and a decent-sized parking lot. The size and amenities at this location make it ideal for families with very young children.

Pleasant Road Beach is always spotless, a straightforward task because of its small size, and it slopes toward the water gradually, so you won't have to worry about steep drop-offs. There's also a lifeguard on duty during the day, and the parking lot is very close to the water.

Remember how we mentioned that only four beaches in Harwich offer daily parking passes for nonresidents? Well, Pleasant Road Beach is one of them, meaning you won't have to buy an entire week's pass when only visiting once.


Breakwater Beach in Brewster

We’ve focused entirely on beaches along Nantucket Sound with this list, so for something different, let’s look at Breakwater Beach in Brewster.

This public stretch of sand on Cape Cod Bay also features calm, warm water, along with tidal flats and pools, making it ideal for small children. When the tide is out, you can seemingly walk forever, and the kids will enjoy finding the shells left behind by various marine life. There isn't a lifeguard at the beach, however, and parents will want to keep a close eye on their little ones when near the water during high tide.

Breakwater Beach is quite large, so if it appears overcrowded at first, keep walking, and you'll find somewhere a little quieter. The parking lot is just off the sand and parents will find it easy to get to the water with little ones in tow.

Speaking of parking, you can purchase a day pass for $20 or invest in a weekly pass for $60 as a nonresident in Brewster. There’s also a nonresident season’s pass for $120, if you’ll be taking an extended vacation or visiting multiple times this summer. Since there is no attendant on duty at Breakwater Beach, you’ll have to buy a parking sticker before arriving.


Bringing Your Kids to the Lower Cape

As you can see, you won’t have to venture far from your Lower Cape vacation rental when looking for a family-friendly beach. This list is merely scratching the surface of things you can do with the kids since there are other similar beaches on other parts of the Cape.

Cape Cod prides itself on being a place where travelers of any age can have a good time, and the selection of beaches up and down its shores are no exception. Take the time to research a few beaches prior to your arrival, as we all know how important certain amenities are when traveling with kids, and you can be certain that your vacation on the Cape is something you’ll always remember.

Breakwater Beach Brewster Brewster Brewster Beaches Chatham Chatham Beaches Hardings Beach Chatham Harwich Harwich Beaches Pleasant Road Beach Harwich Red River Beach Harwich Ridgevale Beach Chatham

Where to Go Antique Shopping on Cape Cod
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, August 20, 2018

While Cape Cod is widely known as a place to spend time in the outdoors, enjoy a good meal, and experience the quintessential New England way of life, there is another side to the Cape that you might not have considered. You likely know that Cape Cod has a great deal of history since it was one of the first places to be settled by Europeans following the arrival of the Pilgrims, and people have lived here ever since. Going hand-in-hand with this long-time inhabitation is a sizeable selection of historic goods, many of which are available for purchase in Cape Cod antique stores.

Walking into any antique shop on Cape Cod could give you access to antique furniture, nautical gear, jewelry, coins, military memorabilia, photos, toys, kitchen items and anything else you might want to find. And since there are so many shops on the Cape, if you don't see what you're looking for at one, just walk a few minutes to the next one. When vacationing on Cape Cod, you should know that the area has the highest concentration of antique shops in the northeastern United States, as nowhere else has more stores per square mile. In fact, the Old King's Highway between Sandwich and Orleans alone is home to over 50 antique shops, with many sitting in historic houses, making your search even more memorable.

For the sake of this article, we'll look at some of the well-known antique shops on each section of Cape Cod, so you'll know where to search on your next vacation. Keep in mind that no matter where your vacation rental is located, you'll only be a few minutes from an antique shop that is sure to have some great pieces of history that are worth exploring.


Upper Cape Antique Shops

As you enter Cape Cod over the Sagamore Bridge, you'll quickly come across Brian Cullity American Antiques and Ship & Shore, which specializes in nautical artifacts. Both venues are near the Cranberry Highway, which will later turn into Route 6A. Just a few blocks east is the Sandwich Auction House, which holds auctions two or three times a month on Wednesdays during the summer. If you're in search of a hidden gem, this auction is the place to go. As you head into the heart of Sandwich, you'll find a cluster of antique shops along the Old King's Highway. These shops include the Sandwich Antiques Center, Cat's Meow Antiques, Coco Plum Garden Antique, Historical Antiques & Coins, and Paul Madden Antiques. The great part about downtown Sandwich is that you can park your car and walk to explore the antique stores in the area.

If you choose to head south after entering Cape Cod, there is another cluster of antique stores in the heart of Falmouth. These shops include Jacqueline's Gifts & Antiques, Atlantic Dry Goods, and Antique Button Jewelry. Once again, you can find a parking spot nearby and walk to all of these shops, since most are right along Main Street.


Antiquing on the Mid Cape

On the Mid Cape, you can take two different antiquing routes, depending on where you're heading and what you're looking to find. Along Route 28, you'll come across Simply Vintage of Cape Cod in Centerville, before continuing into West Yarmouth, which is home to the Antiques Center of Yarmouth, which, with over 100 on-site dealers, is one of the largest antique stores on Cape Cod. Continuing along Route 28, you'll come across West Dennis Antiques, which sits in an 18-century building with period décor, and the Dennisport Main Street Antiques Center.

On Route 6A, an entirely different set of stores are there to be found, including the Antiques Center of Cape Cod, Antiques 608, and Gatherings By the Sea, all of which are located in Dennis. As you continue along the highway, there is East Dennis Antiques and Eldred's Auction, one of the East Coast’s top antique auction houses, along with a series of art galleries, if you want to change things up a little bit.


Lower Cape Antique Shopping

Right beside Dennis along Route 28 is Harwich, home to the Harwich Antique Center and Windsong Antiques. Windsong has an outstanding selection of ceramics and silverware, making it worth a visit if that's the type of thing you are looking to purchase. It is then a short drive to the Chatham area, where you'll come across Maps of Antiquity, home to a collection of antique maps. In Chatham's downtown area, shops like Kahn Fine Antiques, Chatham Village Antiques, and Demos Antiques are right on Main Street and within an easy walking distance of each other.

In downtown Brewster on Route 6A, you have Wisteria Antiques, Antiques By the Bay, and Wayne's Antiques, among others, all of which are within walking distance. The downtown Brewster area is one of the best antiquing locations on Cape Cod because you can park and explore numerous stores quickly. Wisteria Antiques is particularly notable because it feels more like a museum than a store, thanks to its location in a Victorian home with period furnishings and decor.


Buying Antiques on the Outer Cape

The Outer Cape, outside of Provincetown, doesn't have as much in the way of antique shops as the other sections, but you'll still find Diamond Antiques & Fine Art in Orleans, the Gristmill Antiques Gallery and Buddha Bobs in Eastham, and Farmhouse Antiques in Wellfleet.

When you get to Provincetown, you'll encounter another cluster of shops right along Commercial Street, including Time Tunnel Antiques, Scott Dinsmore Antiques, and Yesterday's Treasures, making the town well worth a visit. Everything within Provincetown is a short walk from each other, so you can spend the day walking Commercial Street and visiting the various shops.


Antiques on Cape Cod

Although dozens of shops are mentioned here, we’ve barely scratched the surface of the antique shopping available on the Cape, as there are dozens more to be found. Keep in mind that antique shops tend to set up near each other in the historic parts of each town, so take a wander to see what you can find. You’re sure to come across some very impressive artifacts when exploring the antique shops on Cape Cod. As a result, one piece of advice is to leave some space in your suitcase for packing your finds home with you.

Antique Shopping On Cape Cod Antiques

Exploring Cape Cod's Breweries This Summer
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, August 6, 2018

Naukabout Brewery

As with most of the country, Cape Cod’s craft beer industry has seen rapid growth and is becoming a notable entity. If you’re a beer lover, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to try some new adult beverages during your holiday because there are independent breweries up and down the Cape, most of which have a tasting room. Remember, however, that most tasting rooms don’t offer food and aren’t full bars, so children and pets are often welcome. In addition, these tasting rooms keep limited hours and are only permitted to serve you a certain amount of beer, depending on the license they hold. Summer is the perfect time to head out and try some local flavor on for size, so make sure you get out there and experience the Cape Cod Craft Beverage Trail from your vacation rentals. It doesn't matter if you're in Harwich Port, Chatham, Provincetown, or Bourne, craft beers are never far away thanks to the following Cape Cod breweries.


Devil's Purse Brewing Company

You'll find Devil's Purse Brewing Company on Great Western Road in South Dennis. The area surrounding the brewery is mostly industrial, although there is a residential neighborhood nearby, as well. This brewery is also close to the trailhead of the Cape Cod Rail Trail, so if you're completing your ride in South Dennis, you can stop in for a pint at the end. A variety of different beer types are available at Devil's Purse, as they aim to be accessible to general beer drinkers and craft beer lovers alike. Most beers are American in style, but also influenced by their Europeans cousins. The tasting room is open from noon until 6 PM between Monday and Saturday, and no food is available. You can, however, bring your own food to enjoy with your beer.


Hog Island Beer Company

Although Hog Island is one of the newer breweries on Cape Cod, it has quickly developed a solid reputation, and its products are available not only all over the Cape but throughout Massachusetts. The tasting room is centrally located in downtown Orleans, making it easily accessible for those staying in the area. The tasting room is open from 11:30 AM until 11 PM seven days a week, so you'll have plenty of time to get down there to sample the exceptional beers they have available. Live entertainment and other events are on-site almost every night of the week, especially in July and August, allowing you to make a full evening out of your time at Hog Island.


Naukabout Beer Company

Although it sits just off Main Street in Mashpee, Naukabout Brewery and Taproom is a hidden gem that can be difficult to find. That is because it is on Lake Avenue near Attaquin Park, an area with dense tree cover and not much traffic unless, of course, you're visiting the beach. After spending a day at the beach on Mashpee Pond, it makes complete sense to hit up this beer company for a pint or two. Once you get to this Cape Cod brewery, however, you'll quickly see why it is worth seeking it out, as they specialize in hop-forward beers that craft beer drinks love. The offerings at the brewery are always changing, however, as they're continually experimenting and trying to make their beer even better. While there is no food available inside the tasting room, food trucks are present almost every day in the summer, and there is often live entertainment, as well.


Barnstable Brewing

Barnstable Brewing just opened in September 2017, and ran into some early troubles, mostly because they had a one-barrel pilot system, which limited the amount of beer they could make at one time. As a result, they would run out of beer always every week, making it difficult to build a loyal fan base. Now, however, the company has a 30-barrel steam brewhouse, so they are firing on all cylinders and shouldn't run into that problem ever again. The taphouse, which sits on West Main Street in Hyannis, is open from noon until 6 PM every day during the summer, although it occasionally has extended hours during special events or when introducing new beers to the market. There is also a patio, making it a relaxing place to enjoy a beer in the sun.


Cape Cod Beer

Cape Cod Beer has been around since 2004 and grown every year of its existence. The brewery is located on Phinneys Lane in Hyannis and is open from 10 AM until 6 PM during the week, and 11 to 4 on Saturdays. The location is child and pet-friendly, so you don't have to ditch the family to head in for a sample. The main draw at Cape Cod Beer is its outdoor beer garden. This beer garden features games and has patio furniture, and creates an all-around festive atmosphere, especially during the summer. The beer garden moves indoors in the winter, so if you choose to vacation on Cape Cod during the off-season, you don't have to miss out. The beer company also participates in countless events away from its storefront and has an on-site farmer's market on Fridays. If you visit a local music festival, beer garden, or concert, there's a good chance the event will serve Cape Cod Beer. Since its presence is everywhere, you'd have to go out of your way to not taste a Cape Cod Beer offering at least once this holiday.


Sea Dog Brew Pub

Sea Dog is the lone brewpub on this list, and it is undoubtedly worth checking out. Not only does this location brew its own beers, but Sea Dog also serves beer crafted by other local breweries, so if you don’t have time to travel the Cape visiting various taprooms, one trip to the brewpub might suffice. Of course, since this brewery doubles as a pub, you can also order a meal, which is something that you’ll find appealing if you plan to stay for more than a pint or two. Sea Dog is located in South Yarmouth just off Route 6, making it easily accessible, especially if your vacation rental is somewhere on the Mid-Cape.


Planning Ahead

Of course, any time you'll be consuming alcohol, it's necessary to plan your transportation. Make sure you have a safe ride back to your Cape Cod vacation rental. Cape Cod has numerous taxi companies, as well as Uber and Lyft, so you shouldn't have any trouble finding transportation. There's also the public bus system, which is efficient if you aren't traveling too far.

Visiting these breweries and sampling some local beers is a great way to spend a couple of days during your vacation. Get out there and see what you can find!

Barnstable Brewing Beer Cape Cod Beer Cape Cod Breweries Devils Purse Hog Island Naukabout Sea Dog Brew Pub

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