The Beach Times

The Extension of the Cape Cod Rail Trail
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, May 27, 2019


rail trail

There's no better way to explore the Cape than by taking a bike along the Cape Cod Rail Trail. The trail follows the route of the Old Colony Railroad and is paved all the way through, making it a smooth ride that even novice riders can enjoy. The trail also has wide lanes, plenty of places to stop for food and drinks, and is incredibly well maintained.

In November 2018, local officials put the finishing touches on a new section of trail, expanding the CCRT to from its original western trailhead in Dennis to a new area in Yarmouth. This expansion should make the path more accessible for those staying in Yarmouth and improve access to parking, as well.

There are bike shops in multiple locations along the Cape Cod Rail Trail, giving you the chance to get out there and explore from your Cape Cod vacation rental.

 

New Section of Trail

Adding a new section of trail was actually a massive undertaking because the updated route crosses Route 134, near the Dennis Trailhead, and the Bass River. The solution was to create two bridges, one over the highway and another over the river, to ensure that riders could cross these obstacles without having to deal with vehicle traffic.

The bridge over the Bass River is incredibly scenic and adds an entirely new element to the trail. Keep in mind that this new section is close to Route 6, however, so it isn’t as quiet as other parts.

Along with the new trail, there is now a large parking lot on Main Street in South Dennis, just west of the parking area on Route 134.

 

Connecting with Other Trails

Perhaps the main benefit of the expanded trail is that it meets with an existing section of path in Yarmouth. While the latest extension of the Cape Cod Rail Trail ends at North Main Street in Yarmouth, it reaches an additional segment of pathway that has a bridge running over Station Avenue and goes all the way to Peter Homer Park. There is a large parking area on Station Avenue, just before the bridge, and further spaces available at the park, so riders will have plenty of options when driving to the trailhead.

From the park, you can also get on a paved, but narrower and less maintained, trail that goes past Bayberry Hills Golf Course and ends at Higgins Crowell Road in West Yarmouth. In fact, thanks to these trails, you can almost get to Hyannis Harbor and the Barnstable Municipal Airport from Wellfleet without having to ride on any roads. Improvements to the section of trail between Peter Homer Park and Higgins Crowell Road, including integrating it into the CCRT, are expected in the coming years.

 

Possible Extensions in the Future

There is already talk of expanding the Cape Cod Rail Trail to a parking lot just south of Cahoon Hollow Road in Wellfleet, about two miles from the current northeastern trailhead near Lecount Hollow Road in South Wellfleet. The expansion would see the trail run right alongside Route 6 and approach downtown Wellfleet. Opponents of the development believe running the trail along the highway brings unnecessary danger, however, and would prefer to wait until they can agree on a safer expansion route.

The goal is to have the trail eventually reach Truro, where it will meet with existing trails heading into Provincetown, but many locals want to see the expansion head along the Cape Cod National Seashore, rather than following Route 6 the entire way. This leg hasn’t even entered the planning stage, so it remains at least a few years away.

Another expansion into Barnstable is a little further along, with officials saying the new route is about 25% designed and due for completion by 2022. This route will see another bridge built over Willow Street, with the entire track finishing up at Independence Park in Hyannis.

From there, eventually, the Cape Cod Rail Trail will run from Sandwich to Truro, with connecting trails heading into Provincetown, giving locals and visitors the chance to ride the entire Cape. There is no set timeline on the completion of the whole project.

 

Spend Your Vacation Exploring the Trail

Even if you’re unable to bring your bike to Cape Cod, it’s easy to rent one, as there are shops near most of the main trail entry points. Don’t miss out on one of the Cape’s top activities, especially now that the Cape Cod Rail Trail is more accessible than ever.

No matter where on the Cape you book a vacation rental, you’re never too far from the Cape Cod Rail Trail and all of its amazing scenery, views, and history.



Bike Paths Biking Cape Cod Rail Trail Rail

Yoga Classes on Cape Cod’s Beaches
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, May 20, 2019


 

When vacationing on Cape Cod, you’ll want to spend as much time outside as possible. Of course, you’ll also require some time to relax and center yourself, especially if crowded beaches and busy parking lots add stress to your life.

Luckily, many Cape Cod beaches offer yoga classes throughout the week, and most take place in the morning or evening when the beaches aren’t busy at all. These classes, which are drop-in friendly, allow you to appreciate the area’s serenity while helping you to start or finish your day in peace.

We’ll look at a few of the beaches offering regular classes here, but remember that casual classes take place up and down the Cape all summer long. If you’re into practicing yoga on your Cape Cod vacation, you’ll have numerous options from which to choose.

 

About Beach Yoga

Just as is sounds, beach yoga involves heading to one of Cape Cod's beautiful beaches and participating in a session. Trained professionals lead these classes, and they allow you to get outside and enjoy the area's exceptional summer weather while achieving complete relaxation. The sunshine, crashing waves, and gentle breeze add something to the experience that can’t be replicated indoors.

Most classes don't require pre-registration, so all you have to do is show up with your beach towel or yoga mat and sunglasses. Sunscreen and water bottles are also recommended. Keep in mind that classes are generally canceled on rainy days, but will go ahead if it is foggy or cloudy. Instructors will usually post updates via social media if there is a cancellation.

 

Beaches Offering Drop-In Classes

When you’re just visiting the Cape, you probably won’t want to invest in a yoga studio membership or go through the hassle of having to register. It’s also unlikely that you’ll want to schedule too much for yourself, just in case another activity comes along. The good news is that most beach yoga classes allow you to show up without registering, so if you’ve got nothing going on and want to participate at the last minute, you’ll have the chance.

There’s a yoga class at Chatham Lighthouse Beach every day between the middle of June and the middle of September. The sessions get started at 7:30 AM and run until 8:45. Chatham Lighthouse Beach sits at the far south end of Main Street, not far from the downtown area, and parking is free before 9:00 AM. There is a $10 drop-in fee, and you don’t have to pre-register.

On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays all summer long, Poppy Spit Beach in Mashpee hosts yoga sessions at 8:00 AM. Each class lasts an hour, and it's $15 for a drop-in. You can also purchase a Mashpee Yoga Pass for $75, which is good for five classes at five different locations. One thing to remember is that Poppy Spit Beach sits in a residential neighborhood at the end of Wading Place Road in Popponesset and, therefore, doesn't have a public parking lot. As a result, you'll have to ride your bike or walk from your vacation rental or drive to Popponesset Marketplace and walk from there to attend.

For some yoga in the heart of Wellfleet, Mayo Beach has you covered. The classes here start at 8:30 AM on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the summer, with each session costing $15. Mayo Beach is easily accessible, thanks to its large parking area, and provides outstanding views of Wellfleet Harbor.

The Craigville Beach Association has yoga classes on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 8:00-9:00 AM in a quiet area between Craigville Beach and Covell's Beach. The association also hosts occasional lessons on Thursday nights, so check the Centerville Yoga & Wellness Center website for more information. Plenty of parking is available at both beaches, which are just a short walk from the venue, and drop-ins are $10.

If you’d sooner end your day with some yoga than start it that way, stop by West Dennis Beach on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 6:30-7:30 PM. These classes, which are organized by A Bit of Bliss Yoga, begin in April and run until Labor Day weekend, giving you more than enough opportunity to get out there and enjoy. West Dennis Beach is very long, so try to park near the west end because that's where the group meets. The drop-in fee is $10.

 

Other Yoga Options

Many towns on Cape Cod sponsor beach yoga programs throughout the summer, giving you even more opportunity to experience one of the most scenic exercise programs you’ll find anywhere.

Some of these programs are free, so all you have to do is show up with your beach towel to participate, while others cost $5-$15. Have a look at the websites of some of the towns near your vacation rental to get a better idea of what is available closer to your arrival date.

One thing for sure is that the yoga on Cape Cod’s beaches provides an unforgettable experience and you’re sure to cherish your time participating in some of the country’s most beautiful locations.



Beach Yoga Yoga

The Top 5 Sandwich Shops in Harwich
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, May 13, 2019


 

When it’s lunchtime in Harwich, you’ll have some choices. The Main Street area is full of restaurants within walking distance of Bank Street Beach, and you’ll also find dining options in West Harwich, East Harwich, and Harwich Center. So no matter where you’re hanging out, there’s somewhere nearby to eat.

But what are you in the mood for today?

Numerous pubs, pizzerias, seafood restaurants, and fast food joints operate in Harwich, but for lunch, you might consider checking out the town’s sandwich scene. The good news is that Harwich has a variety of places to get a great sandwich, some of which might surprise you.

Here is a list of the top five places to get a sandwich in Harwich, Massachusetts.

 

1) East Harwich Market Deli

The East Harwich Market is basically a convenience store, so it’s a little surprising to learn that it is home to a deli that makes some of the best sandwiches in Harwich. Located in Harwich East Plaza on Orleans-Harwich Road, the deli not only provides a wide selection of cured meats and cheeses to take home, but you can also order sandwiches and subs that are ready in minutes. The market is perfect if you're in a hurry, but want a top-notch meal on the go. It’s also a convenient option if you’re heading to the beach and want to pick something up on the way.

 

2) Corner Store

Its address says Chatham, but Corner Store is steps from East Harwich, a short drive from Harwich Center, and a long ways from Chatham's town center, so we'll include it on the list. When you approach Corner Store, you'll immediately notice that its exterior looks like an old country store, but once you head inside, you'll see a diverse sandwich menu that keeps locals coming back for more. The restaurant serves all sandwiches and paninis with premium meats and cheeses, and if you're in a rush, you can phone or fax your order in ahead of time to have it waiting for you.

 

3) Mason Jar

The Mason Jar Delicatessen claims to have the best sandwiches on Cape Cod, and once you give it a try, there's a good chance you'll agree. This eatery also has an outstanding atmosphere, as it sits in an old, character-filled house and even has a small dining area in the front yard where you can watch the people go by on Harwich Port's Main Street. The prices here are another reason to stop by; where else can you get lunch for under $10? If you're spending the day at Bank Street Beach, the Mason Jar is only about a ten-minute walk from its shores.

 

4) George's Pizza House

George's wins awards for its pizza every year, including being named the best pizza restaurant in Harwich every year since 2003 and the best overall pizza joint on Cape Cod by the Cape Cod Times in 2014. An often overlooked aspect of George's Pizza House, however, is that its sub sandwiches are some of the best available anywhere on the Cape. The only drawback is that the sub menu has so much going on that it’s almost impossible to decide on what you want. The restaurant’s location on Main Street means that it’s within walking distance of the beach and is a convenient place to pop in if you’re meandering through the area’s shops.

 

5) Scribano's Italian Market and Deli

A trip up Route 28 guides you to Scribano's Italian Market and Deli, a family-run venue known for its specialty sandwiches, subs, and homemade sides. Here, you can take your lunch to go, enjoy it in the dining room, or, if the weather cooperates, have a bite out on the patio. And, oh yeah, the sandwiches are enormous, so bring your appetite. Cannolis, authentic gelato, and Italian ice are also available if you’re in the mood for dessert after your meal. Scribano's closes for the winter, but generally re-opens for the year in April and is about a 15-minute walk, or three-minute drive, from Earle Road Beach.

 

Great Lunches in Harwich

When staying at a vacation rental on Cape Cod, you’re never far from high-end restaurants, cozy clam shacks, or lunch counters with famous sandwiches. Part of the charm is that you can avoid chain restaurants and enjoy the food at locally-owned and operated businesses up and down the Cape.

In Harwich, you’ll find tasty sandwich creations at all of these venues, so make sure you stop by a couple of them to see what they have to offer.



Cape Cod Sandwich Shops Harwich Lunch Sandwiches

Cape Cod’s 2019 Farmers’ Markets
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Friday, May 10, 2019


When visiting Cape Cod, one of your only jobs, before you relax, will be stocking your vacation rental with the necessary food for the week. There are many grocery stores here, but why not hit up one of the local farmers’ markets to grab some fruits, vegetables, cheese, meats, and other products from right here on the Cape?

As you’ll soon learn, there is a farmers’ market every day of the week, and in nearly every town on Cape Cod, so you’re never far from someone selling fresh, organic produce.

Here is information on some of the larger farmers’ markets taking place on the Cape in 2019.

 

Brewster Historical Society Farmers’ Market

The first market of the week takes place on Sundays at Windmill Village, which is beside Drummer Boy Park in Brewster. The Brewster Historical Society Farmers’ Market runs between 9:30 AM and 12:30 PM and features fresh produce, eggs, baked goods, grass-fed beef, flowers, and herbal and natural beauty products, in addition to arts, crafts, and live music. A collection of picnic tables, children's activities, and free parking make the market a great place to spend the morning. It all gets started on June 23, with the final market occurring on September 8.

 

Mashpee Commons Farmers’ Market

Organic Market is a permanent grocery store in Mashpee Commons shopping mall. On Sundays, between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM from June through October, its parking lot transforms into the Mashpee Commons Farmers’ Market, which attracts vendors from all over Cape Cod. In addition to local produce, there's always prepared meals and live music, plus a selection of artisans, giving the market a festive atmosphere.

 

Truro Educational Farmers’ Market

Mondays, rain or shine between June 3 and August 26, 2019, you can visit the Truro Educational Farmers’ Market from 8:00 AM until noon. The location is handy, as it sits in Veterans Memorial Park, right next to the Post Office and along the Pamet River, and this market puts a particular focus on educating the public on the importance of sustainable food, thanks to the Sustainable CAPE initiative.

 

Chatham Farmers’ Market

Local Color Art Gallery hosts the Chatham Farmers’ Market on Tuesdays between 3:00 and 6:30 PM. Opening day in 2019 is May 14, and the market will run into early October. In addition to local organic produce, you'll find soap, crafts, juice, coffee, meat, baked goods, and flowers at the market, giving you the opportunity to pick up whatever you need for your vacation rental.

 

Sandwich Farmers’ Market

Tuesdays between 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM is the time to head to The Village Green on Historic Route 6A for the Sandwich Farmers’ Market. The market generally runs between the middle of June and early October and gives you an excellent chance to support some Cape Cod farmers in a great location.

 

Wellfleet Farmers’ Market

If you're in the Wellfleet area on a Wednesday between 8:00 AM and noon, stop by The Grove at the Wellfleet Congressional Church for its weekly farmers’ market. The 2019 Wellfleet Farmers’ Market starts on May 15 and runs until October 9 and features a wide selection of local produce, cheese, meat, honey, spice rubs, jams, and eggs. You’ll also find fresh coffee, baked goods, and live music every week. In addition to the Wednesday market, there is a corn roast and party on July 28, a dinner on October 9, and the annual harvest market on November 24.

 

Bass River Farmers’ Market

The Bass River Farmers’ Market runs on both Thursday and Saturday starting on June 13 and ending on September 7 in 2019. This market operates between 9:00 AM and 1:30 PM on those days in a park on Old Main Street, just across from The Cultural Center of Cape Cod and the South Yarmouth Library. There is a small parking lot at the venue, and the market will take place rain or shine, so if you're in South Yarmouth during your vacation, take the opportunity to visit.

 

Falmouth Farmers’ Market

Over in Falmouth, there's a market every Thursday between noon and 6:00 PM, starting on May 23. The great thing about the Falmouth Farmers’ Market is its incredible Marine Park location, as it overlooks Falmouth Harbor so you can spend some time watching the boats go by after picking up some local produce and goods. There is a large parking lot here, as well.

 

Harwich Farmers’ Market

Stop by the Brooks Academy Museum Grounds in Harwich Center any Thursday between mid-June and mid-October for the Harwich Farmers’ Market. This rain or shine event runs from 3:00 to 6:00 PM and features all the locally-grown produce, meats, flowers, herbs, baked goods, and cheeses that you'd expect, in a convenient to access location.

 

Farmers’ Market Meets Happy Hour

For something a little different, check out Farmers’ Market Meets Happy Hour at Cape Cod Beer in Hyannis. Here, you can pick up some local produce and play a game of cornhole, all while enjoying a pint from the beer trailer. The action takes place every Friday between 3:00 and 6:00 PM starting on May 25 and ending September 14. Nothing says “I’m on vacation” like having a delicious beer while buying your produce for the week, and that’s precisely what you can do at Cape Cod Beer.

 

Osterville Farmers’ Market

Also on Fridays is the Osterville Farmers’ Market, which runs from 9:00 AM until 1:00 PM at the Osterville Historical Museum on West Bay Road. In 2019, the season will be from June 21 through September 13, with each market bringing a selection of fruit, vegetables, meats, cheeses, soaps, herbs, butter, sweets, eggs, and much more. Plus, there is free parking, so if you're not doing anything on a Friday morning, stop by to see what they have to offer.

 

Orleans Farmers’ Market

The Orleans Farmers’ Market operates year round, so no matter when you visit the Cape, be sure to give it a try. The winter market takes place on Saturdays in Nauset Middle School’s cafeteria from the beginning of December through the end of April between 9:00 AM and noon. Then, between early May and the end of November, the market heads outdoors to a field on Old Colony Way, right beside Orleans Marketplace. The outdoor market is also on Saturdays but start an hour earlier at 8:00 AM. Both markets emphasize local produce, and you'll frequently find guest performers at the open-air version.

 

Provincetown Farmers’ Market

One of the smaller markets on Cape Cod takes place in Provincetown, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for with its scenic location. The Provincetown Farmers’ Market is held every Saturday between early May and the middle of September at the corner of Ryder Street and Commercial Street, just outside of Provincetown Town Hall, and is mere steps from both the Pilgrim Monument and Harbor Beach. As a result, it's an outstanding place to stop on your vacation or when touring Commercial Street and its seemingly endless supply of high-end restaurants. The market goes from 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM and includes well-known vendors like Pain D’Avignon, Lara Cuisine, and Allen Farms.

 

Markets Everywhere

As you can see, there are pop-up markets all over Cape Cod, making it easy to keep your vacation rental stocked with all the freshest produce throughout your time here.

Head over to the farmers’ market nearest you so that you can spend your time on the Cape not only living like a local but eating like one, too.



Bass River Brewster Cape Cod Beer Chatham Falmouth Farmers Market Harwich Hyannis Mashpee Commons Orleans Osterville Provincetown Sandwich Truro Wellfleet

Rare Birds You Can Find on the Outer Cape
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, May 6, 2019


osprey

Part of any Cape Cod vacation involves getting into nature and exploring the local environment. And with this exploration, you are likely to come into contact with wild animals, particularly birds.

The Cape is the temporary home to migrating birds and the permanent home of others, and depending on the month in which you visit, you might have the opportunity to see all of them.

If you’re staying on the Outer Cape, keep an eye out for the following rare, or once rare, bird species that live in the area, particularly near the beaches of the Cape Cod National Seashore.

 

Wild Turkeys

When Europeans started settling on Cape Cod in the 1620s and 30s, there was a significant wild turkey population. That's the reason why we have turkey at Thanksgiving, as it was an easily accessible source of food for the region's early inhabitants. By 1851, however, the last known native bird had been killed, and the wild turkey remained extinct on the Cape until 1995 when 28 turkeys from upstate New York were released in Wellfleet.

It didn't take very long for the wild turkey population on Cape Cod to rebound, as they are once again common. Estimates suggest there are 25,000 of these birds in Massachusetts, so it's likely that the Cape has thousands of birds living in its forests near the Cape Cod National Seashore. You might even see some wild turkeys in residential neighborhoods during your vacation. While you can’t call wild turkeys rare anymore, they were once extinct on Cape Cod, so they remain noteworthy creatures.

 

Piping Plover

Cape Cod residents have a love-hate relationship with the piping plover. On the one hand, it’s a rare bird, as this is a near-threatened species with an estimated 680 breeding pairs arriving in Massachusetts every spring, and fewer than 40 pairs coming to the beaches of the Cape Cod National Seashore. On the other hand, their arrival means significant restrictions on beach access for locals and visitors. The restrictions are in place to protect these frail birds since they tend to camouflage into the sand and are sometimes crushed.

If there is a piping plover nest on a particular beach, officials often construct a temporary fence around it, and erect signs telling you to keep your distance. These nests are incredibly delicate and losing even a single mating pair would damage their numbers of the Cape. Those who are into spotting rare birds should keep an eye out for piping plover pairs and their young in the summer, as Cape Cod is one of the only places on the Atlantic coast where you'll find them.

 

Osprey

Another rare bird that you'll find on the Outer Cape is the osprey. In the 1970s, the Cape's osprey population was decimated because of the use of DDT as a pesticide, as the chemical led to thinner eggshells and, eventually, the bird's young being unable to hatch. In fact, there were only a couple of nesting pairs left on Cape Cod at one point. DDT was banned in 1972, and the species has rebounded to the point where you're likely to see these birds if you're on Cape Cod between March and September.

On the Outer Cape, there is a nest on top of a utility pole at Wellfleet Pier. You can also keep up on the osprey population throughout the Cape by visiting the Cape Cod Osprey Watch website. There is an interactive map there that will point you in the right direction if you want to witness one of these large birds in its natural habitat.

 

Common Tern

The common tern is another bird that builds nests in the sand of the Cape Cod National Seashore in the spring. This species is listed as threatened in Massachusetts and estimates suggest that as many as 60% of the birds that migrate north for the summer live on the beaches of the Outer Cape.

The good news is that the common tern isn’t as delicate as the piping plover, so you don’t have to worry as much about accidentally stepping on them. It's still a good idea to keep your distance if you see a nest along any of the Seashore's beaches, however, as there are restrictions in place at certain times in their nesting areas.

 

King Eider

The king eider is a type of sea duck that appears in places like Race Point, and often heads deeper into Cape Cod Bay, with recent sightings occurring in Bourne, Sandwich, and Hyannis. Male king eiders are incredibly striking animals known for their black bodies, multi-colored heads, and bright bills, while the females are brown with a black or gray bill.

For the most part, these ducks live in arctic and subarctic climates, frequenting the waters off Alaska, Greenland, Russia, and northern Canada, although they head down the coast of Canada and the United States in the winter. It is the winter months when they are sometimes spotted off the coast of Cape Cod, so keep your eyes open for these beautiful birds.

 

There are More

This list is just a small sampling of some birds that you won’t have the chance to see in most parts of the country. The beaches, forests, herring runs, and marshland make Cape Cod a very appealing migrating bird habitat, and officials protect many natural areas to keep it that way.

Watch for these rare bird species on your next Cape Cod vacation because you never know if you’ll have another opportunity to witness them in their natural habitats.



Birding Birds On Cape Cod

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