The Beach Times

A Self-Guided Tour of the Kennedy Legacy Trail
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, October 28, 2019

Kennedys on Cape Cod

The Kennedy family famously spent a lot of time in Hyannis, thanks in large part to their oceanfront property in Hyannis Port. The massive compound acted as a base for the family, resulting in many members spending their summers there. The houses remain in the family to this day and hold a special place in Cape Cod's history.

During your time in Hyannis, you'll be able to take a self-guided walking tour of some of the locations where the Kennedys spent their time while reading about their influence on Hyannis and Cape Cod as a whole. When following the Kennedy Legacy Trail, there are blue dots on the sidewalks throughout town that will lead you through some sites that are associated with the Kennedy family.

The walk is about 1.6 miles and will take you about 90 minutes to complete, but it's well worth the time because of how much you'll learn about this influential American family.

JFK Museum

The tour begins at 397 Main Street, home of the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum. The museum features numerous multimedia displays and a series of exhibits that provide insight into the time that JFK spent on Cape Cod.

If you plan to go inside the museum, the cost is $13 for adults, $7 for children between the ages of six and 17, and free for younger kids. There is a discounted seniors' rate available, as well.

Main Street Hyannis

The second stop on the tour is Hyannis' Main Street, particularly the corner of Main and Pearl. John F. Kennedy ran his presidential campaign out of Hyannis, which turned the small, quiet town into a bustling media center in 1960. Today, there's a plaque outside of Torino restaurant and pictures of the Kennedys in Hyannis along the side of the Sturgis Charter Public School that commemorate this period in history.

Roses for Rose Kennedy

You might notice an abundance of roses throughout downtown Hyannis, and those are because of Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, mother of JFK and the Kennedy family's matriarch. Rose lived in Hyannis year-round for much of her later life, and there is a plaque outside of an art studio on Pearl Street that honors her contributions.

St. Francis Xavier Church

At the end of Pearl Street, you'll take a right on South Street, which brings you to Saint Francis Xavier Parish, known colloquially as The Kennedy Church. When Rose and Joe Kennedy bought their home in Hyannis in the 1920s, they chose to attend this church, and over the years, many important family events took place here. When John F. Kennedy was president, he would sit in the second row with his family, while members of the Secret Service would surround him in rows one and three. This church is also where Arnold Schwarzenegger married Maria Shriver, Rose and Joe Kennedy's granddaughter.

Hyannis Armory

When John F. Kennedy was elected President of the United States, he was at the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis. Once Richard Nixon conceded, JFK drove to the Hyannis Armory, the next stop on this tour, to deliver his acceptance speech. You'll have to double back to reach the armory, as it's about two blocks east of the church, across the street from Barnstable Town Hall.

Aselton Park

You'll find three different parts of the tour at Aselton Park: information on the Cape Cod National Seashore, the Peace Corp Memorial, and the Cape Cod Maritime Museum.

John F. Kennedy had a great deal of love for Cape Cod and wanted to see its beauty retained for generations to come. One of the first things he did after being elected was to establish the Cape Cod National Seashore, which protected more than 43,500 acres of oceanfront land and prevented development on its shores. There is a plaque with information on this National Park at Aselton.

In 1961, Kennedy established the Peace Corps, which aimed at sending volunteers from the United States to help out in less developed nations. The memorial at Aselton Park commemorates the 50th anniversary of this organization.

Ted Kennedy is responsible for securing the funding for the Cape Cod Maritime Museum, which is dedicated to remembering, celebrating, and preserving Cape Cod's maritime heritage. Visiting the museum costs $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors, and $5 for kids five and under. Active military members are free.

Hyannis Harbor

It's a well-known fact that the Kennedys loved sailing, and many of their trips left from Hyannis Harbor. Tours into Nantucket Sound leave from Bismore Park, and will even take you to see the Kennedy Compound from the water if you wish. In fact, Ted Kennedy's sailboat, The Maya, is still moored at the Hyannisport Yacht Club, and some tours will show you exactly where it is located.

JFK Memorial

This self-guided tour wraps up at perhaps its most rewarding site, as the JFK Memorial is at Veterans Memorial Park, which features a scenic beach overlooking the harbor. The memorial itself features a fountain and a stone wall with a plaque and is a great way to finish your walk of Hyannis.

Celebrating the Kennedy Family

The Kennedy Legacy Trail is an outstanding reminder of what the Kennedy family has meant not only to the people of Cape Cod but to the country as a whole through its contributions. If you're looking to get to know some of the Cape's rich history during your vacation, walking this trail is an excellent way to learn about Cape Cod while seeing much of Hyannis.

Hyannis Jfk Jfk Memorial The Kennedys

The Top 5 Seafood Restaurants in Yarmouth
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, October 21, 2019

yarmouth seafood

Your Cape Cod vacation isn't complete without a visit to at least one of the region's outstanding seafood restaurants. These venues serve a variety of seafood options, as you'll find lobster dinners, lobster rolls, oysters, fried fish, and other favorites on every menu. You really can't go wrong with any of the seafood restaurants in Yarmouth, although each has its specialties and a unique dining atmosphere to consider.

You'll come across many busy seafood restaurants as you explore Yarmouth, so here are some of the highest-rates among locals and visitors alike.


1. Captain Parker's

Sitting on Route 28 in West Yarmouth is Captain Parker's Pub, a local favorite with house-made clam chowder and a popular bar area. The restaurant is located in a busy area near Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf and the Whydah Pirate Museum and is also relatively close to Thatcher Park Beach.

This family-friendly venue has been in business for over 30 years and is open throughout the year. In addition to the award-winning chowder, Captain Parker's offers fried, grilled, and broiled seafood plates, burgers, steaks, chicken pasta, and vegetarian options.


2. Seafood Sam's

South Yarmouth is home to Seafood Sam's, which has been around since 1984 and features an extensive menu that has something for every member of your family. While the seafood, including broiled plates, fried dinners, lobster rolls, and chowder, is the big draw, the restaurant also offers chicken, hamburgers, and sandwiches.

Seafood Sam's sits in a busy area along Route 28 and is about a block from Windmill Beach on the Bass River. There are also some great dessert places nearby if you'd like to walk through town in search of an after-meal favorite or buy some ice cream to enjoy back at your vacation rental.


3. Tugboats

The best thing about Tugboats is that it sits right on Hyannis Harbor, providing outstanding access to this bustling area. And yes, even though Tugboats is on Hyannis Harbor, it is technically located in West Yarmouth, so it belongs on this list.

Locals describe Tugboats as a casual seafood restaurant, and once you wander inside, you'll see that it fits the bill. The menu has a little bit of everything, including baked and fried seafood platters, fish and chips, roasted chicken, steak, and pasta, but many people come for the lobster. At Tugboats, the lobster has its own menu, including the Lobster Overdose, which includes lobster bisque and a lobster roll. You can also get steamed lobster tail at market price.


4. Jerry's Seafood

You'll find Jerry's Seafood just a few doors down from Captain Parker's, giving you a couple of different options in that area. This venue has an old-school clam shack feel, as you'll head to the counter and order from the menu board. On this menu, you'll see a variety of fried seafood dishes, along with sandwiches, fries, pizza, and, of course, Jerry's Seafood's world-famous lobster roll. They serve Greek cuisine, too.

In addition to the traditional menu, Jerry's Seafood offers ice cream in a cone, cup, or as part of a root beer float. Even if you've already had dinner, you can stop by Jerry's for dessert and to check out the menu for another day.


5. Skipper Restaurant & Chowder House

Skipper Restaurant and Chowder House offers beachfront dining at its finest. Located on South Shore Drive, across the street from Parker River Beach in South Yarmouth, Skipper has an old-fashioned feel, making you feel right at home from the second you walk through the doors.

The menu at Skipper Restaurant and Chowder House is about what you'd expect, as there are seafood platters, lobster rolls, fish and chips, and fresh fish dinners from which to choose. You'll also find a raw bar, some plates of pasta, chicken, prime rib, and salads available, and there's an award-winning chowder, too. After dinner, feel free to enjoy dessert from the on-site ice cream shack or a drink from the bar, which is located in the dining room.


A Great Meal in Yarmouth

Most of these restaurants in Yarmouth are near the downtown area, making it possible to stop in for a meal before continuing on to explore the rest of the town. Once you're in this area, you'll love how much there is to do at night, and you're never far from the water, either.

During your Cape Cod vacation, trying some of the seafood should be a priority, and the town of Yarmouth has some of the Cape's best options.

Captain Parkers Pub Jerrys Seafood Seafood Seafood Restaurant Seafood Sams Skipper Restaurant Tugboats Yarmouth

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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