The Beach Times

The Top 5 Coffee Shops in Barnstable
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, November 25, 2019


Coffee Shops in Barnstable

As the sun comes up on each morning of your Cape Cod vacation, finding that perfect cup of coffee is essential.

Sure, you could brew a cup yourself in your vacation rental, but maybe you want to get out to explore the Cape and try some local coffee shops.

But with so many choices, where do you go?

In Barnstable, locals definitely have their favorites, so here are the top five coffee shops in Cape Cod’s only city.

1) Nirvana Coffee Company

Located on Main Street in the heart of Barnstable Village, Nirvana Coffee Company is a must-visit during your Cape Cod vacation.

For starters, the coffee shop sits in a converted, historic house, which is reason enough to want to go inside for a cup.

In addition, Nirvana Coffee Company has some of the Cape's best brews, along with breakfast sandwiches, a lunch menu, and iced drinks to enjoy on warmer days.

In short, Nirvana offers everything you could ever want from a coffee shop, and the friendly atmosphere and historic venue just add to its charming vibe.

2) Marylou's Coffee

Located right along Iyannough Road in Hyannis, Marylou's Coffee is almost impossible to miss because of its bright pink decor. As you drive past, you're sure to see the pink sign, and once you head inside, you'll see that their commitment to pink continues there, as well.

Marylou's Coffee is a chain with locations all over Massachusetts, including a second Cape Cod store in Sandwich. It has become a local favorite in Hyannis, however, because it serves perhaps the best coffee in town, in addition to iced drinks, smoothies, teas, and seasonal favorites.

Of course, if you're looking for a quick meal in the morning, you'll find pastries, bagels, breakfast sandwiches, and donuts at Marylou's Coffee, too. You can also take a bag of coffee back to your vacation rental, so you don't have to head out the next morning to find the perfect cup of coffee.

3) Pain D'Avignon Restaurant Boulangerie

Pain D'Avignon is a little different from the other venues on this list because it's both a bakery and a restaurant. If you show up in the morning between 7:00 and 11:00 AM, Pain D'Avignon has a coffee shop vibe to it, with a variety of French-style breakfasts available, in addition to fresh pastries and coffee.

On Sundays, the restaurant serves brunch between 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM, as well.

Then, in the evenings, Pain D'Avignon becomes a French bistro offering some of the Cape's best cuisine.

When stopping by for a coffee in the morning, you'll quickly see why Pain D'Avignon is so popular, and its location near the Cape Cod Mall makes it easily accessible throughout your time in Barnstable.

4) The Daily Paper

There are two The Daily Paper location in Hyannis: one on Main Street near the harbor and another on West Main Street beside the Barnstable Performing Arts Center.

Both locations are open from 6:00 AM until 2:00 PM Monday through Saturday, with reduced hours on Sundays, and both are known for their classic coffee shop atmosphere.

The coffee at The Daily Paper is from Beanstock Coffee Roasters of Wellfleet, so you know you're getting something local every time you visit. They also try to source as much of their food locally as possible.

Speaking of the food, The Daily Paper has an extensive breakfast menu featuring just about anything you could ever want in the morning, and they have a lunch menu, too.

If you're in the Hyannis area, it's worth stopping by this local favorite for a quick cup of coffee or an entire meal.

5) Starbucks

Yes, this is just another franchise in the international Starbucks chain, but people in Barnstable love it for one simple reason: they know what to expect.

If you're a fan of Starbucks, there won't be any surprises here, as you can order the same menu items that you enjoy at home, so you're not taking a risk with your morning coffee.

The main Starbucks in Barnstable sits on Iyannough Road, just outside the Cape Cod Mall, but there is another store inside the mall, as well.

There's no reason why your Cape Cod vacation should prevent you from getting your Starbucks fix, and, luckily, Barnstable has you covered.

Coffee and More

As you can tell, Barnstable has a variety of coffee shops, with each having a different atmosphere and a unique way of doing things. 

If you’re into enjoying a local cup of coffee with a diner-style meal, you’re in luck.

Likewise, if you’d rather have the same coffee that you order at home, Cape Cod has options for you, as well.

The good news is that you can try a different coffee shop every day in Barnstable because there are so many from which to choose.



Barnstable Coffee Coffee Shops Marylous Nirvana Pain Davignon Starbucks The Daily Paper

What is Chatham's South Beach Shrine?
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, November 18, 2019


Chatham Beach Shrine

One of the best things about spending time in Chatham during your Cape Cod vacation is that you'll find a variety of secluded beaches to explore just minutes from downtown.

If you have a boat, you can head over to the Monomoy Islands or North Beach Island, both of which are off the mainland, but if walking is your only option, there's always South Beach.

Heading south from the Chatham Lighthouse, you'll quickly exit the bustle of Lighthouse Beach and enter an undeveloped region with a few trails and some dunes. While you're likely to come across at least a few other people during your travels, you'll have the chance to experience some wide-open spaces and great views of the ocean on South Beach.

Depending on how far you walk, you might also run into the South Beach Shrine, also referred to as the Lighthouse Beach Shack or Occupy Chatham South Beach. Truthfully, this mysterious structure, that's only about a third of a mile from the Lighthouse Beach parking lot, doesn't have an official name. Nevertheless, it has captured the imagination of Chatham locals and visitors alike.

Here's what we know about this structure that popped up in January of 2015 and has quickly become a part of Cape Cod lore.

How it Got There

The exact origins of this shack are unknown, although it's believed that it started as a two-seat outhouse that was built on North Beach Island and later swept into the ocean during a storm. The shed then floated to South Beach, where a group of friends found it while walking their dogs.

This group then propped the outhouse up against some other debris they had found, took a few pictures, and went on their way. They later returned with some tools to make the structure a little stronger and added some more pieces.

In the coming months, more people came across the structure, adding additional pieces and expanding it.

Since that time, the structure has grown to the point where it is visible on Google Earth and has become a local beach landmark. Multiple engagements have occurred at the shrine, too, as it's becoming better known with each passing year, and is something that many visitors to the Cape want to include in their selfies.

There's a little bit more to the structure than some random pieces of debris, however, as it has some meaning to the people who maintain it.

The Meaning Behind the Shrine

What started as a spur of the moment decision to prop up an old outhouse for a photo-op has turned into a small protest for the people of Chatham.

The underlying reason is the debate between the town of Chatham and officials from the Cape Cod National Seashore over who has control of South Beach.

There has been some bickering over the beach in recent years, and the founders now call the project "Occupy Chatham South Beach" to highlight the debate.

At the same time, the shack isn't political in nature and isn't meant to stir controversy; it's just a fun place to visit when exploring the beaches of Cape Cod.

Can You Visit?

When you first see the shack on South Beach, it doesn't look overly welcoming. If you didn't know better, you might think that someone lives there and that you shouldn't approach it.

You might also be a bit worried about the signs reading "Go Away" and "Private" but, rest assured, you aren't doing anything wrong by visiting because the founders have maintained it for that very reason.

When you're on the Cape and looking to wander the beaches of Chatham, make sure to visit the South Beach Shrine at some point to check it out for yourself.

Before heading out, grab something to leave behind to make your own mark on this piece of Cape Cod lore. Better yet, leave something from your hometown so that future visitors know that someone from another part of the country visited, too.

You might also take the time to sign the guestbook. You'll have to find it first, however, as it's often buried in the sand somewhere around the structure to make it more difficult.

Yes, you can visit the shack on South Beach, and make sure that you take some pictures and share your stories on the Occupy Chatham South Beach Facebook page. After all, other people want to know about your experiences and see how you enjoyed this piece of Chatham charm.



Chatham South Beach South Beach Shrine

A Guide to Shellfishing on Cape Cod
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Wednesday, November 13, 2019


Shellfishing in Cape Cod

During your Cape Cod vacation, you might be tempted to try some shellfishing. After all, being able to take the freshest clams, scallops, oysters, and quahogs available anywhere back to your vacation rental for dinner is too good of an opportunity to pass up.

Before heading out to dig, however, you'll need the right permits and tools, as well as awareness of the licensing requirements in every town. It's also essential to figure out where exactly you can dig so that you don't end up on private property.

Here's how shellfishing works on Cape Cod and what you can expect when you get out there.

The Necessary Equipment

Before heading out to do some shellfishing, you'll want the right equipment. Luckily, you'll only need a clam rake, bucket, clam gauge, and shellfishing permit to get started.

You can pick all of this gear up once you get to the Cape, as there are bait shops everywhere, including Chatham, Hyannis, and Falmouth.

While you're grabbing your gear, you might also consider buying some rain boots or hip waders, just to make your experience more comfortable. If you're fine digging and stepping in the mud without them, however, nothing is stopping you.

Getting a Permit

Every town has different permits, so you'll want to figure out where you'll be spending your time first.

In Wellfleet, non-residents can grab a seasonal permit for $85 and an annual pass for $210, while in Truro, non-resident passes are $25 for a week and $100 per year. Brewster will sell non-residents a one-week pass for $20 and an annual permit for $125, and Yarmouth offers annual licenses for $80.

Every town on the Cape has unique licensing requirements, so make sure you don't accidentally cross into another town while fishing.

All licenses are only available at the Town Hall or Town Clerks Office in the town in which they are issued. You can also pick up a list of each town's rules and regulations while you're there, so you don't end up breaking the law.

Generally, permits are good for seven days, although some towns allow you to buy seasonal and yearly passes. It all comes down to how much time you're going to spend on the Cape and how often you'll be clamming during your time here.

When to Head Out

The best time to go clamming starts an hour before low tide. You can look at the tide chart online to see when the best fishing time in your area begins. Look for areas in the water with mounds of sand that have a hole on the top. These mounds are where you'll find clams. You might have to dig about a foot down, but you'll definitely find something if you put the effort in.

Once you find your first clam, you'll likely find a bunch more in the same area. Generally, you'll be able to grab about 15 clams per hour, so it'll take you a couple of hours of digging to come up with enough for dinner.

Remember to use your clam gauge to measure the size of the clams you're keeping, as you're required to put any small clams back.

Feel free to ask locals where the best clamming is located, but don't be surprised if you're not given a straight answer.

Where You Can Dig

Speaking of where the best clamming is found, you'll want to learn where you're even allowed to dig.

In Wellfleet, for example, you can only go shellfishing on Chipman's Cove, Indian Neck, Duck Creek, and the Herring River.

There are seasonal restrictions, as well, as Indian Neck is only open on Sundays and Wednesdays in the summer, but every day during the offseason. Likewise, Chipman's Cove is only accessible between late October and April 30, while Duck Creek is available between December and late April.

Check the website of the community you plan to shellfish in to figure out what types of restrictions you'll be dealing with during your time on the Cape.

Try Some Shellfishing on Cape Cod

While it's perfectly fine to stop by a local fish market to grab some shellfish to enjoy at your vacation rental, there's something special about getting out to Cape Cod's beaches to gather clams and oysters for yourself.

Making an effort to dig some shellfish on the Cape provides you with the freshest seafood available anywhere, and provides you with the satisfaction of knowing that you caught the meal yourself.

As long as you're prepared to get the right permits and follow Cape Cod's shellfishing laws, gathering dinner on the beach can provide you with hours of entertainment.



Activities Cape Cod Cape Cod Fishing Things To Do On Cape Cod

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