The Beach Times

A Few Ways to Spend Your Time in Truro, Massachusetts
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, October 14, 2019

Truro MA

If you're spending part of your Cape Cod vacation in Truro, you'll have plenty of great ways to spend your time. Although Truro is small and doesn't have much of a downtown area, there are great activities here that will keep you busy.

Here are five things that you can do in Truro that you'd have a tough time replicating anywhere else on the Cape.


Visit the Museums

It wouldn't be a vacation in Truro without experiencing some local history. Luckily, there are three museums in town that make it easy to learn about the town's origins. Highland Light was Cape Cod's first lighthouse, having been commissioned by George Washington and completed in 1797. The tower has been replaced twice since that time, with the current version being erected in 1857. Visitors can climb to the top of the lighthouse, which provides sweeping views of the Cape Cod National Seashore. The Truro Highland House Museum is on the same site as the lighthouse and sits in a former hotel building. Inside, you'll find plenty of artifacts from early European settlers, as well as the Native Americans who previously inhabited the region.

The Cobb Archive was built in 1912 as Truro's first public library. Today, it is full of historical documents, including maps, books, and pictures, that anyone can go through if they want to visit. This might not be the most exciting way to spend a vacation, but it's certainly educational.


Golf at Highland Links

Did you know that Truro is home to one of the only genuine links courses in the country? While there are links-style courses everywhere, Highland Links is a True Links course, a designation that is incredibly rare outside of the United Kingdom and Ireland.

A True Links course must sit near the coast and include features like dunes, infertile, sandy soil, and native grasses. All of this must be natural, which is perhaps why so few courses receive the designation.

Highland Links is only nine holes, but they are diverse enough that it'll feel like more. You'll also get to experience some of the Cape's best views during your round, as the course sits beside the site of Highland Light. The golf course is historic, as it dates back to 1892, and even the small, Cape Cod-style pro shop feels old. Quite simply, this course provides golf the way it should be played on the Outer Cape.


Hike Bearberry Hill

The Pamet Area Trails are about 0.6 miles in length and found not far from Ballston Beach. On the hike, you'll head through a cranberry bog and see an old boghouse from when the area was home to commercial harvesting. There are markers along the trail, although you won't find any restrooms. The basic hike will only take you about 45 minutes, although there are roads that you use to detour to different parts of the forest.

The highlight of the Pamet is the Bearberry Hill Summit, which overlooks the entire area and features views of the Atlantic Ocean. You'll also be able to see the Pamet River Valley, which was formed by glaciers 12,000 years ago.


Swim at Great Pond

No vacation in Truro is complete without taking a dip, and luckily, there are many different places to explore. If you're looking for a place away from the crowds where you can enjoy the peacefulness of Cape Cod, Great Pond is an excellent choice.

Great Pond sits in South Truro, just off Route 6. It's in a mostly uninhabited area between Truro and Wellfleet, which is perhaps why it doesn't get overly busy. The other reason is that there isn't a whole lot of parking, as you'll only find room for four vehicles to park along Collins Road.

Once you get to the pond, you'll be glad that you made an effort to get there because the water is calm, and you'll have nothing but the sound of nature around you.


Fish in the Surf

Truro is famous for its surf fishing, so if you're visiting Cape Cod and don't have access to a boat, you still have options. The best surf fishing in the region is found beneath the cliffs of beaches like Head of the Meadow and Longnook. Keep in mind that accessing these beaches can be difficult, and you'll want to keep an eye on the tide schedule.

Once you're on the beach, all you do is wade out a few feet and cast into the surf. From there, you can catch sea bass, stripers, and bluefish. Get out first thing in the morning to try your luck because there's something special about fishing on a deserted beach as the sun comes up over Cape Cod.


Make the Most of Your Time in Truro

As you can see, Truro has plenty of outdoor activities, including the East Coast's only True Links golf course, outstanding fishing, secluded swimming holes, and fantastic hiking opportunities. The region also has plenty of history to explore, especially if you're interested in the town's past.

Renting a vacation property in Truro, Massachusetts, provides easy access to all of these places, and plenty of other local favorites, giving you the chance to really get to know this outstanding Cape Cod town.

Head Of The Meadow Highland Golf Links Highland Light Longnook Beach Pamet Area Trails Truro

Taking the Self-Guided Captains' Mile Walking Tour
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, October 7, 2019

Captains Mile

There's a ton of history along the Old King's Highway, which stretches between Sandwich and Orleans and passes some of Cape Cod's oldest sites. Between Barnstable and Brewster, you'll come across over 200 historic sea captains' homes, many of which are being used by modern businesses.

The highest concentration of old homes sits in Yarmouthport in a 1.5-mile stretch between Willow Street and Union Street. Here, you'll find over 50 sea captains' houses, all of which are marked by a black and gold schooner plaque, which is given out by the Historical Society of Old Yarmouth.

Since many of these buildings are in operation, and some are still residences, you'll have to do your viewing from the sidewalk. But a walk through the Captains' Mile is well worth your time during your Cape Cod vacation.


The West End

The West End of the Captains' Mile is a section between Willow Street and Thatcher Street. The first two homes that you'll encounter are located at 92 and 95 Old King's Highway. The home at 92 Old King's Highway belonged to John Eldridge, a captain who delivered mail between England and Cape Cod. He was also in charge of Union transport ships during the Civil War. Eldridge's brother, Asa, was Yarmouth's most famous captain and set a record by sailing from New York City to Liverpool in just 13 days. His home is just down the street at 100 Old King's Highway.

Captain Bangs Hallet built the other home, and Allen H. Knowles later occupied it. Hallet operated trade ships between China and India, eventually retiring on Cape Cod. Knowles transported passengers between England and Australia and was recognized by the British government for saving the crew of another ship.

Moving further down the highway, you'll encounter the homes of George Taylor, Frederick Howes, Thomas Matthews, Otis White, Paddock Thacher, and James Crocker, just to name a few. One of the largest residences in the area belonged to Josiah Gorham, who operated ships from Boston and was described as a man with exceptional tastes.

The final historic home in this area was Captain Edward Gorham's residence. Edward, brother of Josiah, delivered mail between Boston and Cape Cod. His home is on Summer Street, just around the corner from the Old King's Highway.


The East End

On the east side of the Captains' Mile, you'll find a higher concentration of homes, some of which you can actually go inside. In fact, the first two homes you'll encounter, Captain Bangs Hallet House and Edward Gorey House, are museums that give tours.

As the story goes, Captain Bangs Hallet House originally belonged to Allen H. Knowles. The two captains traded when Hallet retired, and this home became known as Captain Hallet House. Today, the museum includes period decor and a maritime exhibit. Edward Gorey was actually an artist, but his home-turned-museum originally belonged to Captain Edmund Hawes. The museum is dedicated to the artist, but it's still worth checking out if you want to enter an old captain's house.

We mentioned Edward and Josiah on the west end of the mile, but there were six brothers, five of whom were ship captains. The remaining three captains, Thacher, Oliver, and Joseph, all had houses on the east end of this section of the highway.

The Taylor and Matthews families are also highly represented in this part of town. For the Taylors, you'll find the houses of Freeman, Thacher, Seth, Nathaniel, Gorham, and Solomon all within this region. The Matthews are represented by George, Oliver, Issac, and Samuel. Other families with multiple members living in this region include the Thachers, Hamblins, Hawes, and Brays.

The last house that you'll encounter is at 500 Old King's Highway and belonged to Samuel Matthews Jr. Matthews would go on to become a Yarmouth Selectman and a representative in the State Legislature.


Check Out Some Living History

Seeing these homes, it's not hard to imagine what life might have been like in the 1800s on Cape Cod, especially for those with a little money. These homes are diverse, as well, since more successful captains might build structures in a grand style, while others have smaller, charming bungalows. You can pick up a free brochure with information on the homes, in addition to a map, at the Historical Society of Old Yarmouth, which is right behind Captain Bangs Hallet House.

Whenever you're passing through Yarmouthport on your Cape Cod vacation, keep an eye out for the gold and black schooner plaques because their presence means that you're looking at history.

Captain Bangs Hallet House Captains Mile Edward Gorey Old Kings Highway Yarmouth Port

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