The Beach Times

Riding the Old Colony Rail Trail
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, September 30, 2019

Old Colony Rail Trail

While the Cape Cod Rail Trail gets most of the attention, there is another pathway that provides an excellent ride through some scenic parts of the Cape. The Old Colony Rail Trail runs from Harwich to Chatham, and if you're strategic about planning your route, you can make it all the way to Chatham Harbor on your bike. You'll also find some great places to stop along the way, should you want to have a bite to eat or explore some local Cape Cod shops.

Here is more information on how you can navigate the Old Colony Rail Trail


About the Trail

The Old Colony Rail Trail is completely paved and sits on the route of a former railroad. It's about eight miles long, making it possible to complete the entire thing in a single ride. While much of the trail is self-contained, there are sections where you'll cross or enter a road. Therefore, it's essential to be aware of traffic when you reach those segments. You'll also have to ride along the road for a short distance if you want to reach Chatham Harbor because the trail ends just before the water.


The Route You'll Take

The Old Colony Rail Trail doesn't have an official western trailhead. If you need somewhere to park on the west end of the trail, there are spaces along Depot Street in Harwich, not to be confused with Depot Road in South Harwich, that are for the Cape Cod Rail Trail. You'll then have to ride on the Cape Cod Rail Trail for a short distance before coming to a fork that is marked by a statue. Head right at the statue to start on the Old Colony Rail Trail. If you aren't concerned about completing the entire trail, you can start your ride on Pleasant Lake Avenue in Harwich. There is a parking lot here, along with a rental service, if you didn't bring your bike on your Cape Cod vacation.

Now that you're on the trail, you'll head through some residential neighborhoods in Harwich Center, also passing Brooks Park. The residential areas slowly begin getting less dense, taking you into a forest as you exit Harwich Center on your way to South Harwich. Before you reach South Harwich, you'll notice that the trail changes direction slightly. That's because you're now heading south instead of east. There's another residential neighborhood in South Harwich before you come into South Chatham.

Things get a little more interesting in South Chatham because you'll pass a few restaurants and shops. If you're just looking for a quick snack, Short 'n' Sweet Ice Cream is right on the trail after crossing Meetinghouse Road, and there are a few shops to check out just south of the path. Continuing through South Chatham, you'll go through another forested area before coming out at Chatham Municipal Airport.

The airport is where things get confusing because it appears as though the trail ends. This is not the case, however, as the Old Colony actually continues on the other side.To get there, you'll head south on George Ryder Road for 0.3 miles. The road has a bike lane, making it an easy journey. When you see the crosswalk head left and you're back on the trail.

The next section of the Old Colony Rail Trail loops around the airport before heading north and then east. After the airport, however, you should be aware that you're now on Wilfred Road, which is shared with motor vehicles. The bike path re-forms when Wilfred Road turns into Stepping Stones Road.


The End of the Trail

After the reformation of the separate bike trail, you'll pass Monomoy RMS Baseball Field before heading south. This south-heading section is the final part of the Old Colony Rail Trail, as it comes out right by Branches Grill and Cafe.

You don't have to end your journey here, however, because there are a couple of roads on which you can continue. Start by heading south on Crowell Road until you reach the crosswalk. There, you'll see Tip Cart Drive, which has some signs that mark it as a bike route.

To stay on the official bike route, follow Tip Cart Drive to its end and take a right on Hitching Post Road. This road will then take you to Veterans Field, which is the end of the sanctioned route. You can take a left on Depot Road, a right on Highland Avenue, and another left on Seaview Avenue, however, to reach the ocean. Keep in mind that cars park along Seaview Avenue, however, making it quite narrow for cyclists.

Your other option is to take the first left off of Tip Cart Drive onto Barcliff Avenue. While this road isn't designed with cyclists in mind, it has a shoulder and will take you directly to the Chatham Pier. You'll also pass some of the most impressive houses on Cape Cod along the way.

Once you're on the water, you'll have all kinds of entertainment options to check out before turning around and heading back to your vehicle, especially since you're just a few blocks from downtown Chatham.


A Different Way to Ride

If the Cape Cod Rail Trail seems a bit long or doesn't visit the areas of the Cape that you wish to explore, it's nice to know that you have the Old Colony Rail Trail, as well. As a visitor to Cape Cod, you'll probably want to see as much of the region as possible, and this trail provides an excellent way to experience parts of Harwich and Chatham that you'd otherwise miss.

Bike Paths Chatham Harwich Old Colony Rail Trail

Which Cape Cod Towns Have the Best Nightlife?
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, September 23, 2019

Cape COd Nightlife

Taking a vacation on Cape Cod means plenty of time in the sun, great dining options, and access to some of the country's most scenic oceanside areas.

But what do you do at night?

If you're into hitting the town during your vacation, you'll have plenty of options all over Cape Cod, as the area has plenty of bars that cater to all tastes.

Here are some of the towns that have particular lively nightlife scenes for you to enjoy.


Provincetown Has Everything

The race for the best nightlife on Cape Cod isn't really much of the contest, as Provincetown is the undisputed leader in this regard. Pretty much everything in Ptown is situated on Commercial Street and Bradford Street, and despite the area's reputation, there is something for everyone here.

If you're into having a quiet pint or two, stop by the Nor'East Beer Garden or Provincetown Brewing Company, both of which serve craft beer.

For a wilder time, the Crown & Anchor is an entertainment complex with multiple bars, including a piano bar, pool bar, cabaret, and nightclub. Places like Joon Bar, Aqua Bar, and the Harbor Lounge offer elegant atmospheres and sophisticated cocktail menus. They also provide great views of the water. There are also dive bars like the Old Colony Tap and The Underground, and karaoke at Governor Bradford Restaurant. Provincetown has something for everyone, which is why it's the top nightlife location on Cape Cod.


Live Music in Dennis

Those who aren't staying near Provincetown and still want to get out and enjoy their evenings will have options up and down the Cape. Dennis, for example, has a few great places to visit, starting with Sundancer's, which sits on Main Street in West Dennis. Have a look at the calendar of events at Sundancer's because there is live music every Friday and Saturday night throughout the summer, and sometimes on other nights, too.

Dennis Port is home to The Improper Bostonian, which is another live music venue offering concerts throughout the week. They also feature a popular happy hour in the evenings, and karaoke whenever they don't have a musical act. Also in Dennis Port is the Sand Dollar Bar and Grill, which offers live entertainment seven days per week, and features karaoke for kids between 5 and 8 PM on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Across the street, you'll find the Cleat & Anchor, a tavern with music every night of the week.

If you're looking for live music, Dennis is the place to be on Cape Cod.


Various Bars in Chatham

In Chatham, the Chatham Squire is a local meeting place that you'll want to check out. This venue is a restaurant during the day, but at night it comes alive with music, karaoke, or a DJ until late at night. Chatham Squire feels like a bit of a dive, but it's a lively place to spend a night during your Cape Cod vacation.

Chatham Wine Bar & Restaurant is a quieter place with an elegant dining room and a bistro terrace with fireplaces. The terrace is a relaxing place to hang out after dinner with a glass of fine wine from the bar. Chatham Wine Bar isn't a party venue, but rather a tranquil place to finish your day. The Red Nun offers a pub-style menu and has an outdoor dining area that is a hit with guests. You'll find live music and karaoke here on weekends, and they always have the game on if you're looking for somewhere to watch the Red Sox, Bruins, Patriots, or Celtics.


Hyannis For a Night

The heart of downtown Hyannis on Main Street is one of the busiest areas on Cape Cod, so it should come as no surprise that there is some nightlife there, as well. The British Beer Company, Embargo, and Torino are steps from each other, and all offer nightly entertainment throughout the summer.

At the British Beer Company, you'll find a pub-style menu, along with a diverse beer list and live music. They also have open mic nights, karaoke, musical bingo, and trivia at this trendy venue.

Across the street is Embargo, an elegant restaurant that turns into a nightclub with a DJ and dance floor at night. There are also tapas, martinis, and live jazz at this venue. Torino is a popular place to head for dinner and some drinks in the evening, but the party lasts well into the night thanks to its live entertainment. The outdoor bar is also incredibly popular in the summer because you can enjoy some drinks while remaining part of Main Street's bustling atmosphere.


Lots of Choices on the Cape

Can't make up your mind on where to go tonight? Well, you have time to try a few of Cape Cod's top nightlife destinations during your time here. Have a look at each venue's events calendar to figure out when the best time to visit is, and make your choice based on what you feel like doing.

The great news is that you'll never be short on nightlife options, no matter where you're staying on the Cape

Aqua Bar Bbc British Beer Company Cape Cod Nightlife Chatham Chatham Squire Chatham Wine Bar Cleat Anchor Crown Anchor Dennis Dennisport Embargo Harbor Lounge Hyannis Improper Bostonian Joon Bar Noreast Beer Garden Old Colony Tap Provincetown Provincetown Brewing Company Sand Dollar Bar Sundancers The Red Nun The Underground Torino

Cape Cod's Rapidly Expanding Craft Beer Scene
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, September 16, 2019

cape cod craft beer

Last summer, we explored the Cape's craft breweries, as it was becoming quite evident that the scene was taking off. Over the past year or so, three more brewers have burst onto the scene, making Cape Cod a must-visit destination for beer aficionados. Brand new tasting rooms are open for business in Sagamore, Falmouth, and Provincetown, so if you are spending time in any of these locations, make sure you check them out.

In addition, there is a craft brewery in Plymouth that deserves attention, giving you somewhere to stop if you take a day off the Cape. Checking out the area's craft breweries is just another way to spend a day or two during your Cape Cod vacation.


6A Brewing Company

Seconds after crossing the Sagamore Bridge onto Cape Cod, you'll pass 6A Brewing Company and its new taproom that opened in June 2019. The brewery sits in a building formerly occupied by Flynn's Irish Pub. As the story goes, the brewery's owners started their journey by opening Flynn's in 2011. They soon expanded to three additional locations, each with rotating craft beer taps. In 2017, ownership began brewing beer in a nearby warehouse to sell at local restaurants. By 2019, they had decided to turn one of their pubs into a taproom, giving them the chance to put their creations out there for the public.

The tasting room is small and doesn't serve any food, although food trucks are a possibility in the near future. For now, you can bring your own food to enjoy, as long as you clean up after yourself. The beer here has excellent reviews, with the Soul Radiation IPA, Tiny Gift American Brown Ale, and Open Road German-style Lager being among the most popular. Both draft and cans are available.


Provincetown Brewing Company

The Provincetown Brewing Company is a little different from most breweries because it practices "draftivism". Basically, "draftivism" means that the company donates 15% of all profits to causes and organizations that are important to the Outer Cape community, including those supporting LGBTQ+ rights and environmental conservation. In the fall of 2018, for example, the Provincetown Brewing Company celebrated its unofficial launch during an event at Provincetown Town Hall. During this event, the brewery helped raise $2,500 towards a new LGBTQ Welcome Center in the town.

The brewery's actual tasting room didn't open its doors until August of 2019, but it has quickly become a hit with locals and visitors alike. Unlike many taprooms, this location opens at 9:00 AM every morning for breakfast and also serves lunch and dinner. As for the beers, you'll find both cans and draft on the menu. Some of the more popular options include the Bearded Mistress IPA and the Golden Hook Ale.


Bad Martha Beer

Bad Martha has been a staple on Martha's Vineyard since 2013, so it isn't a brand new brewery, but its Cape Cod location just opened in September of 2019. This taproom in East Falmouth is entirely self-sufficient, meaning its 15-barrel brewing system is large enough to handle its on-site needs, and provide the products distributed throughout the Cape. The beer here can be purchased as a pint or paddle flight, and free samples are available. Who says there's no such thing as free beer? You can also buy four-packs, growlers, and crowlers to take home with you. Bad Martha is trying to establish itself as a place to hang out with friends, and it's doing a pretty good job of achieving this in its early stages. The brewery has outdoor games and live music, in addition to a diverse food menu that includes pizza, charcuterie platters, bar snacks, and cheese plates.

You'll have to visit Bad Martha a few times if you want to try everything, but some of the more popular offerings include the Half Shell Oyster Stout, Crooked Coast Pale Ale, Shark Bite Lager, and Great Harbor Gose. They have up to 16 beers available at any given time, so you'll have some serious decisions to make. Bad Martha's is located on Route 28, just west of Waquoit Bay.


Independent Fermentations Brewing

If you choose to hop off the Cape for a few hours during your vacation, Plymouth is a beautiful place to visit. And while you're there, why not give Independent Fermentations Brewing a try? Known locally as IndieFerm, the brewery uses barley, wheat, and rye that is mostly grown in Massachusetts, although some ingredients come from other parts of the northeast and beyond. On average, about 80% of the ingredients in each brew are local. While you're here, you'll want to try the Farmhouse Red, Boat for Sale Pale Ale, Rye and Sage Saison, or Gratzer, which uses an oak-smoked wheat malt that makes it taste like bacon. Yes, it's weird, but it's also delicious.

IndieFerm Brewery is located on Camelot Drive, just off the Pilgrims Highway and a short distance from The Grove at Plymouth. If you're heading back to your vacation rental after a few hours in Plymouth, make sure you grab a growler or some cans to-go on your way.


So Many Choices

By our count, there are now nine craft breweries on Cape Cod, which is incredible considering that just a few years ago, Cape Cod Beer was the only game in town.

This growth is excellent news for beer lovers who will be taking a vacation to the Cape because you'll find somewhere to have a one-of-a-kind pint in many different neighborhoods.


Keep in mind that if you're looking to explore these breweries and enjoy a few drinks, the Cape Cod Brew Bus can be your designated driver. Each tour is $89, which includes a beer at each location. This service is a great way to see many of these taprooms in a single day.

6a Brewing Company Bad Martha Beer Cape Cod Brew Bus Craft Beer Flynns Irish Pub Independent Fermentations Brewing Provincetown Brewing Company

The Top 5 Ice Cream Shops in Harwich
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, September 9, 2019

Ice Cream in Harwich

Your Cape Cod vacation just isn't complete without enjoying some ice cream after a long day spent soaking up the sun. Luckily, there are plenty of ice cream shops found all over the Cape, and Harwich is no exception. A walk through the heart of Harwich will bring you to a few different locations from which to choose, so whether you'd like to grab a cone while you wander down Main Street or sit in a restaurant for an after-dinner dessert, you've got options.

Here are Harwich's top five ice cream shops.

1) Sundae School

Just northwest of Wychmere Harbor in Harwich Port is Sundae School, a trendy shop serving homemade ice cream in dozens of different flavors. You can enjoy your treat in a waffle cone, dish, or cup, depending on where you want to eat it, or you can go all out with a sundae, banana split, or float.

It's not only Cape Cod that loves Sundae School, as the USA Today's 10Best website named it the fifth-best ice cream shop in the country. The website officially listed the Dennis Port location, but they both have the same products, so we’ll count it here. Either way, that's some pretty hefty praise for a small local ice cream parlor.

Since Sundae School is incredibly popular, it can be a bit of a wait if you arrive during peak hours. It'll all be worth it, however, once you taste the outstanding quality that is available here.


2) Schoolhouse Ice Cream

You'll find Schoolhouse Ice Cream just to the east of Wychmere Harbor, and it has a very similar story to Sundae School. For starters, they make all of their ice cream and frozen yogurt on-site, ensuring that you have access to the freshest treats in the area. You'll also see that they offer dozens of flavors, some of which are highly unique menu items that you don't find anywhere else. Schoolhouse is creative, and that's one of the things that makes this such a great shop.

The store is on Main Street, and keep in mind that they only accept cash and check as forms of payment. You can order a sundae, banana splits, waffle cones, chocolate-dipped cones, and malts here, as well. Have a look at their menu and see what stands out.

3) Dairy Queen

While you might not be into a chain restaurant when searching for the best ice cream shops on Cape Cod, there's something to be said for familiarity and ease of access, and Dairy Queen provides both. You won't find unique flavors or a local atmosphere here, but we all know that DQ has excellent soft-serve cones, sundaes, and frozen treats.

There are two main benefits to choosing the Dairy Queen in Harwich. First, this particular restaurant is in a historic building, so at least the exterior has some individuality. Next, there is a drive-thru, so if you're in a hurry or the kids are acting up, you can swing by for a quick dessert without waiting in line at a local shop.

The Dairy Queen sits in a convenient position on Main Street, just northeast of Allen Harbor.


4) A&W

Yes, it's another chain restaurant, but A&W has seriously stepped up its dessert game in recent years. Growing up, you probably remember A&W having chocolate, vanilla, and, maybe, swirl soft-serve ice cream, but today they have a lot more available.

Currently, A&W has root beer floats, sundaes, polar swirls, freezes, and milkshakes for dessert, so you'll have a lot more selection than ever before. And, just like the Dairy Queen, you won't have to spend 20 minutes in line waiting for your dessert because it's less busy than the local shops.

Keep in mind, however, that this restaurant doesn't have a drive-thru and is only open seasonally. The Harwich A&W is on Main Street, right across the street from the Trampoline Center.

5) The Weatherdeck Restaurant

Finally, we have another local ice cream shop to visit. Well, not exactly. The Weatherdeck Restaurant isn't exactly an ice cream parlor, but it is a popular local eatery that has some delicious desserts. The Weatherdeck is actually known, first and foremost, for its seafood, but locals appreciate that its hamburgers and ice cream are also worth trying.

In fact, you can play a round of mini-golf here during the day, and follow it up with a couple of scoops of hard ice cream, which you can take to-go or sit down to enjoy. Adults love The Weatherdeck, too, because they serve beer and wine, in addition to local favorites like lobster rolls and seafood pails.


You’ll Love That Ice Cream

With so many excellent ice cream parlors on Cape Cod, choosing one or two to visit can be challenging. But, hey, you'll be in Harwich for a week or longer, giving you plenty of time to sample all the local favorites.

Don't miss out on checking out Harwich's ice cream scene because it's sure to be one of the best aspects of your vacation to the Cape.

Aw Dairy Queen Harwich Ice Cream Schoolhouse Ice Cream Sundae School Weatherdeck Restaurant

You Can Now Get a Lobster Chocolate Bar on Cape Cod
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Lobster Chocolate Bar

Even if you've never been to Cape Cod before, you've probably heard about the area's famous lobster rolls. It seems as though every clam shack throughout the Cape has a unique take on this sandwich, with diners and fine dining establishments also getting in on the action.

But have you ever heard of lobster chocolate? Yes, it's a real thing, and it's actually becoming pretty popular on Cape Cod.

Local chocolatier Paul John Kearins, owner of Chocolatasm at 334 Commercial Street in Provincetown, released the special chocolate bar, called the Cape Cod Bar, in May, and it is a hot commodity. In fact, Kearins frequently runs out of stock, so if you're lucky enough to visit Chocolatasm when he has some in stock, it's highly recommended that you give it a try.

Here's what you should know about the Cape Cod Bar.


What are the Actual Ingredients?

Ok, so there's lobster in the description of the bar, but there can't be actual lobster in the bar, can there? Yes, there can, as one of the ingredients is dried Atlantic lobster.

You won't come away thinking that you've just enjoyed an expensive lobster dinner after trying the Cape Cod Bar, but you'll definitely notice the lobster flavor and will be surprised at how well it compliments the other ingredients. As for the other items in the bar, it's made from 50% cocoa butter white chocolate, along with lemon oil, parsley, and Cape Cod sea salt. It’s a strange combination at first thought, but visitors and locals alike have been gobbling this product up since the spring, with no end in sight to its popularity. If you can get past the fact that there’s lobster in the chocolate bar, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by its flavor.


Why Lobster?

You're probably wondering why anyone would think that lobster and chocolate could possibly go together. The idea actually came from a conversation between Kearins and one of the owners of Chequessett Chocolate in Truro. The two chocolatiers were talking at the New England Chocolate Festival in 2018 about the possibility of adding lobster to a chocolate bar. The conversation mostly focused on the concept and whether or not it was feasible to attempt such a feat. From there, Kearins decided to experiment and create a recipe. He was eventually successful and the rest, as they say, is history.


Where Can I Buy It and How Much Does It Cost?

Lobster is notoriously expensive, but what about this chocolate bar? Well, truth be told, at $9 per bar, it isn't cheap. It is in line, however, with the other artisan chocolates at this boutique, so it's not like you're paying a premium because of there's the essence of lobster in the product.

As for picking up a bar yourself, you can head to 339 Commercial Street in Provincetown while you're on Cape Cod or order from Chocolatasm's online store.

Beacon Hill Chocolates and Gourmet Boutique in Boston also carry the bars, stock permitting.


About Chocolatasm

One thing that you should know about Chocolatasm is that they're not afraid to take risks. In addition to their Cape Cod Bar, the boutique also has a bar made from rhubarb and carbonated sugar, one using beetroot, and another with unfermented cocoa beans. You can also get peanut butter bonbons covered with Sriracha honey and the Yuenyeung Bar, which is inspired by a popular drink in Hong Kong. Basically, if an ingredient seems like it could work with chocolate,  Kearins isn’t afraid to play around with it to see if he can create something that people will eat. Organic ingredients are used wherever possible, as well, adding an entirely new dimension to this now-famous retailer.

The next time you're on the Cape, make Chocolatasm one of your must-visit destinations.

Chequessett Chocolate Chocolatasm Lobster Lobster Chocolate Provincetown

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