The Beach Times

Tree House Brewing: Cape Cod's Newest Taproom
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, June 28, 2021

photo of treehouse beer

The beer scene on Cape Cod seems like it's constantly evolving. Only a few years ago, you'd be hard-pressed to find more than a couple of breweries, but today, you can find a local craft beer in nearly every community.

The newest of the bunch is opening its doors in summer 2021, and it should provide a unique experience for Cape Cod's visitors.

Tree House Brewing, which already has a location in Charlton, Massachusetts, is expanding to include a second taproom in Sandwich. This brewery aims to provide perhaps the country's most scenic place to enjoy a beer and will become a focal point for those spending time near the Cape Cod Canal.

Here's a look at what you can expect at Tree House Brewing in Sandwich, Massachusetts.

The Location

In 2020, the founders of Tree House Brewing Company purchased two properties overlooking Cape Cod Bay: one at 98 Town Neck Road and another at 3 Freeman Avenue. These properties are side-by-side at First Beach, which is close to Town Neck Beach and the entrance to the Cape Cod Canal from Cape Cod Bay.

In short, this is one of the most scenic spots on the Cape, and Tree House Brewing is turning it into a taproom that could accommodate as many as 500 people inside and outside the three-story, 7,760-square-foot building.

This project could transform the area into a true destination and a spot that visitors to the Cape will surely want to check out during their vacations.

How it Might Look

Many questions surround this new taproom, and we don't yet know how it will look. However, numerous restaurants have operated out of the building at 98 Town Neck Road, so it will be the location of the taproom.

The neighboring property at 3 Freeman Avenue is just an empty lot. Still, rumors are swirling that it could become a food truck parking area, giving visitors and locals the chance to sample cuisine from some of the Cape's most notable vendors.

It's also likely that Tree House Brewing will attempt to use the views and beach to its advantage as much as possible, potentially turning this resident neighborhood into a far more popular location.

The Process

It's worth noting that to start, Tree House Brewing will have minimal capacity. As a result, they'll be operating by pre-order-only. In fact, they'll only have beers to-go for the first month or so.

The gist is that you'll have to order your beer ahead of time because they don't have enough storage space to keep up with an on-demand ordering system.

So, you'll head to their website, order the beer you'll want to sample during your visit, and then show up during your allotted time. While this method isn't perfect because it doesn't allow for spontaneous visits, it's necessary for the time being because the current venue doesn't have enough cooler space to keep mass amounts of beer cold.

COVID restrictions could also keep capacity down once the taproom officially opens, so having a pre-ordering process can eliminate lines outside the building and alleviate parking concerns.

Possible Expansion

Despite the small size of the brewery's current coolers, there could be expansion plans coming in the future. The owners also purchased 5 Freeman Avenue, a residence they could use to grow the business.

However, the official story right now is that the owners will be living in the home as they get the Sandwich location ready to open in the summer.

The company is also looking at off-site parking options and a shuttle service once they have the entire taproom up and running to its full capacity.

In the end, Tree House Brewing will probably need space for additional coolers or a place to brew more beer on-site if they wish to meet their goals. They have big plans for the future, but we'll have to wait to see what they entail.

What They'll Offer

If you're thinking of visiting Tree House Brewing, you'll probably want to know a bit about the beers. 

The good news is that they have a significant following in Charlton and other parts of Massachusetts because of their quality. They specialize in stouts, IPAs, and double IPAs, but also have ales, lagers, pilsners, and hefeweizens.

The plan is to sell coffee and breakfast at the brewery in the mornings, too, helping the owners get the most from the property all day long.

Another Brewery on Cape Cod

Many questions surrounding Tree House Brewing remain, but visitors to the Cape should keep an eye on the situation because it'll add yet another hotspot to visit when spending time in Sandwich.

The brewery's owners seem to have a vision regarding an oceanfront brewery on Cape Cod that they're trying to implement, and once they get it up and running, it should be a sight to behold.

The Cape is full of wonderful activities, and Tree House Brewing will add yet another unique location to check out from your vacation rental.

Beer Cape Cod Breweries Cape Cod Canal Sandwich

Tours You Can Take From Provincetown on Your Cape Cod Vacation
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, June 21, 2021

You'll rarely run out of things to see and do when spending your vacation in Provincetown. After all, this is perhaps Cape Cod's liveliest community, and its days and nights are full of activities for all ages.

While you could spend your entire vacation entertaining yourself without much trouble, embarking on a tour at some point during your stay is also a consideration. These tours can take you over land or into the ocean, depending on your preferences, and will give you access to an experienced guide along the way.

How you choose to spend your vacation is up to you, but Provincetown is home to some unique features that make it a great place to explore.

Here's a look at some of the most popular tour operators in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Whale Watching Tours

Some of the most sought-after tours departing from Provincetown are the whale watching vessels. These fleets leave Provincetown Harbor from the MacMillian Pier and generally head north to the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. From there, viewing humpbacks, right whales, fin whales, minke whales, dolphins, and porpoises is remarkably common.

The largest of these tour operators is Dolphin Fleet Whale Watch, a company with four large boats and up to 12 departure times per day. This operator offers a whale sighting guarantee and has a very high success rate, as well.

Dolphin Fleet Whale Watch has an onboard concession, and the tours take three or four hours to complete, giving you plenty of time to get a sighting in. An experienced naturalist will guide you through the outing and point things out along the way.

SeaSalt Charters is a smaller tour operator offering whale watching voyages from Provincetown. They have private and shared tour options available and also provide fishing charters. You can combine your private whale watching excursion with a deep-sea fishing trip, too.

Keep in mind that SeaSalt Charters only has a single boat, so you'll need to book well in advance if you have your heart set on using them.

Fishing Tours

Another option for doing some deep-sea fishing from Provincetown is Chas'n Tails Fishing Charters, which operates from a 28-foot custom ROS Downeast with an enclosed cabin and plenty of space for your entire group.

The crew will supply your bait and tackle, so you don't have to bring anything with you to the Cape, and they'll even clean and fillet your catch at the end of the day. That way, you can return directly to your vacation rental and cook up the freshest fish imaginable. 

If you take their tuna-catching trip, there's a good chance you'll see some whales on your excursion, too, because the vessel heads to the Stellwagen Bank. Chas'n Tails Fishing Charters also does sunset cruises into Provincetown Harbor, allowing you to end your day in style.

Tour the Dunes

Art's Dune Tours has been in operation for about 75 years and has provided countless Provincetown visitors with memorable experiences in that time.

The company offers daily tours of the Cape Cod National Seashore's protected dunes. These trips are their most popular option. The journey only takes about an hour, so you can quickly experience this one-of-a-kind landscape before carrying on with your day.

Other tours available through Art's Dune Tours include their sunset tours to Race Point Beach, including dinner and a bonfire, and their dune and water tours, which combine the traditional dune tour with kayaking, sailing, or speed boating.

No matter which excursion you select through Art's Dune Tours, you can trust that your day will be a memorable one.

Sailboat Tour

Dog Gone Sailing Charters operates a sailboat out of Provincetown Harbor that will take you on a few different cruise types, depending on your preferences.

Available options include a one-and-a-half-hour trip around the bay, a sunset cruise, a half-day excursion into Herring Cove, or a full-day trip that will take you to the Stellwagen Bank or Wellfleet.

If you love sailing, this tour operator might be an option for you.

Making the Most of Your Trip to Provincetown

There's an abundance of activity in Provincetown, and you might find yourself too busy to take one of these tours. However, they're well worth making time for because you'll get to see some things that most other Cape Cod visitors fail to experience. 

Few locations allow you to get up close to humpbacks and right whales with regular frequency or enjoy a bonfire on the dunes overlooking the ocean. Provincetown's tour operators provide both of those adventures and many more.

Provincetown is unique not only because of its vibrant Commercial Street but also the natural features surrounding it. Booking a vacation rental in this magical part of the world offers you the unprecedented opportunity to get to know this one-of-a-kind community.

Fishing Charters Provincetown Sailing Whale Watch

Heading to Downtown Onset Village on Your Cape Cod Vacation
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Naturally, if you're lucky enough to book a Cape Cod vacation rental, you'll want to spend most of your time at attractions near the property. After all, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better vacation destination than the Cape.

Your vacation is also the time for a bit of exploration, though, and there are a few off-Cape spots that are worth checking out.

Downtown Onset is only five miles from the Bourne Bridge, making it an easily accessible off-Cape destination to visit for the day. Once in Onset, you'll have access to various activities that will provide a bit of a change-up from the rest of your vacation.

Here's a look at what you expect after crossing the Cape Cod Canal and heading into Onset, a small community in the town of Wareham, Massachusetts.

Two Great Beaches

Onset has some of the East Coast's most scenic beaches. Although these oceanfront areas are relatively small, especially when compared to Sandy Neck and the Cape Cod National Seashore, they feature beautiful white sand and shallow, calm water that make them a hit with local families.

Onset Beach is the community's main oceanfront area, sitting near the Onset Town Pier. There's a bit of parking in the area, although your best bet is to head a couple of blocks north on Union Avenue because it has a larger lot.

There's a green space with picnic areas right at the beach and an additional grassy area with a bandshell across the street. The bandshell hosts the Onset Summer Concerts series, giving you a reason to stick around into the evening if you visit the area.

Shell Point Beach is the other waterfront area in Onset. It's more rustic, as it doesn't have the same amenities, but you'll find a small parking lot and plenty of sand to explore upon arrival. The views at Shell Point Beach are incredible, and it's far quieter than the main beach, even in the summer.

If you're making the trek to downtown Onset in the summertime, there's a good chance you're doing it to access these two beaches.

Kayak Rentals

Another activity you might consider when spending time in Onset is kayaking. There's a rental shop called the Nemasket Kayak Center across the street from Onset Beach, making it easy to get on the water.

There's a lot going on at the Nemasket Kayak Center, as they rent kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and canoes. You can also sign up for a guided tour into Onset Bay or Buttermilk Bay, both of which offer outstanding wildlife-viewing opportunities.

Speaking of tours, the Cape Cod Canal's only sightseeing tour departs from the Onset Town Pier through Hy-Line Cruises. There are a few different options, including 90-minute, two-hour, and three-hour sailings, cocktail cruises, and live music nights, so you can choose the tour that best suits you.

Depending on the cruise you select, you could see landmarks like Gray Gables, the Aptucxet Trading Post, and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy along the way.

Plenty of Restaurants

Of course, you'll need to eat while spending your day on Onset, and, fortunately, the downtown area is loaded with dining options.

One of the most scenic venues is Stash's Onset Beach, which sits right on the water. There's also Marc Anthony's La Pizzeria, Quahog Republic: Waterfront Eatery, and the Pier View Restaurant across the street. Keep in mind that Pier View is a breakfast or brunch restaurant, while Marc Anthony's is open late.

Cape Cod Lobster Rolls and the Stonebridge Bar and Grill are two other restaurants within walking distance of Onset Beach, while you can grab an ice cream or other treat at Nana's Ice Cream Parlor and Candy Shop or Guido's Ice Cream and More.

This tiny area is sure to keep you well-fed, as you won't have to worry about where your next meal will come from after leaving the Cape.

The Off-Cape Experience

No one would blame you for spending your whole vacation on the Cape. The area is gorgeous and loaded with activities that are sure to keep you busy for your entire visit.

If you want to explore a little further, though, Onset has many of the same features as Cape Cod, like scenic beaches and excellent dining. It also has excursions into the Cape Cod Canal that you won't find anywhere else, in addition to an active kayaking scene.

There are countless things to do in this part of the world, and the small community of Onset is yet another piece of the puzzle that is worth your time during your Cape Cod vacation.

Onset South Coast

The Top 5 Bakeries in Yarmouth, Massachusetts
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Tuesday, June 8, 2021

There's something special about picking up some fresh bread, tarts, pies, and other baked goods while on vacation. This statement is particularly true when staying in a vacation rental because you can store these items in your kitchen before enjoying them for the next day's breakfast or dessert.

Yarmouth is home to numerous high-end bakeries, each of which offers something a little different. You'll find these venues all over town, so you shouldn't have to travel far to grab something tasty.

Here's a look at the top five bakeries you might want to visit while on vacation in Yarmouth, MA.

1) Scapicchio's Bakery

Route 28 in South Yarmouth is home to a few bakeries, starting with Scapicchio's. At Scapicchio's Bakery, you'll find a wide selection of Italian and American pies, cookies, cakes, and pastries, in addition to some of the best Italian-style bread available anywhere on Cape Cod. You can grab pizza by the slice or pie, as well, if you're looking for something a little more substantial.

The bakery is owned and operated by Matthew Scapicchio, who got his start in Italian-style baking at the age of 16 before finally opening a bakery of his own. Matthew's wife, son, and daughter all work at Scapicchio's, so this is a genuine local, family-run business.

You won't want to miss Scapicchio's Bakery because many Yarmouth locals believe it's the best in town.

2) Englewood Baking Company

Traveling down Route 28 into West Yarmouth takes you to the Englewood Baking Company, another local favorite offering outstanding options for Cape Cod visitors. The Englewood Baking Company is a relatively new business, having first opened its doors in 2019, and they only offer take-out service at the moment. Still, they're quickly establishing themselves in the community.

Most people who check out Englewood appreciate the small-batch baking and the attention to detail they provide. They also like that everything is made on-site and from scratch.

As for the menu, you'll find a good selection of breakfast sandwiches, muffins, biscuits, croissants, and quiches in the morning, if you want to stop by for breakfast. They have French bread, garlic focaccia, Scali loaf, and oatmeal bread, as well. Keep in mind that you'll have to order some items the night before due to the bakery's small size.

3) Happy Fish Bakery

Main Street in Yarmouth Port is home to Happy Fish Bakery, which sits in a historic home in one of the oldest parts of town. The atmosphere in this area is reason enough to visit, as you can explore the neighborhood and get up close to buildings that are over 300 years old.

If you're staying in Yarmouth Port, this is the place to go for bread, as they have focaccia, Miche, Cape levain, and sesame baton, to name a few. They also have an excellent pastry menu featuring croissants, sticky buns, babka, and brioche. You can grab a coffee, latte, espresso, or cappuccino at Happy Fish Bakery, and they even serve iced coffee drinks.

Happy Fish Bakery has recently entered the world of cheese, too, as they've brought in some excellent options from all over Europe and the United States that you've likely never sampled before.

4) Great Island Bakery

The Bass River area of South Yarmouth is home to Great Island Bakery, another small facility with an outdoor dining area and a breakfast menu. If you come in the morning, you can grab a breakfast sandwich or quiche, and they also have muffins, cinnamon rolls, danishes, turnovers, croissants, and sticky buns.

The bread menu at Great Island Bakery is equally impressive, featuring options like Italian, multi-grain, Irish soda, cranberry, oatmeal, and honey wheat. They make carrot, coffee, and lemon cake, too.

Great Island Bakery stays open for lunch, serving clam chowder, chili, clam pie, shepherd's pie, chicken pie, and mac-n-cheese in the afternoon. They also have cookies, cheesecake, brownies, donuts, cobbler, and cupcakes for dessert.

You can stop by Great Island Bakery at pretty much any time, and you won't be disappointed.

5) The Bashful Tarte

There's an industrial area in Yarmouth Port just south of the Mid-Cape Highway that is home to some contractors and specialty stores. You'll also find the Yarmouth Shopping Mall, Sea Dog Brew Pub, and The Bashful Tarte in the area.

Despite its somewhat obscure location for visitors to the Cape, The Bashful Tarte is well worth your time because of its pies, cakes, and other treats. They put a lot of effort into their pie creations, including fruit and cream options, making them a great choice if you're planning a special dessert.

There's also an on-site cafe at The Bashful Tarte where you can grab baked goods, muffins, scones, or a breakfast sandwich in the morning before continuing with your day.

If your sweet tooth is calling your name on your Cape Cod vacation, The Bashful Tarte should be your first stop.

Delicious Options in Yarmouth

All of these bakeries on Cape Cod are worth your time because each provides something a little different. Some make excellent bread, while others are known for their prepared breakfast or desserts, providing you with plenty of reasons to check them out.

One thing for sure is that you'll be well-fed on your Cape Cod vacation because there are bakeries and other dining options everywhere you look.

Bakeries Yarmouth

Spending Your Vacation in South Yarmouth
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Tuesday, June 1, 2021

There's always something going on in South Yarmouth, making the community one of the top places on Cape Cod to spend a vacation.

Here, you'll find everything for which the Cape is famous, including scenic beaches, outstanding restaurants, and lively outdoor attractions, ensuring you never run out of things to do in the area.

In fact, if you're able to book a vacation rental in South Yarmouth, you'd probably be happy spending your entire week in the community, although that would mean missing out on some fun in the Cape's other towns and villages.

Here's a look at some ways to spend your time on your South Yarmouth vacation.

Hit the Beaches

Before all else, South Yarmouth is known for its scenic beaches. The oceanfront areas feature white sand and beautiful views over Nantucket Sound, while there are other beaches on the Bass River, too. The waters are calm in all the oceanfront sections.

The largest of the bunch is Smuggler's Beach, which sits at the mouth of the Bass River and overlooks Nantucket Sound. This area features a fishing pier that hangs over the river and a boat launch that makes it easy to put your vessel in the water. There's also a large parking lot, some beach volleyball courts, a concession stand, washrooms, picnic tables, and lifeguards on duty.

Parker's River Beach is another popular oceanfront section with lifeguards, a playground, washrooms, and a pavilion with a concession. You'll also find a concrete walk along the seawall and a sizable parking lot at this beach.

Seaview Beach is a little more rustic but has a small parking lot and some picnic tables. There are portable washrooms on-site in the summer; however, it's important to keep in mind that there aren't any lifeguards on duty.

Other smaller beaches in South Yarmouth include Wilbur Park and Windmill Beach, on the Bass River, and Sea View Beach and Seagull Beach, on Nantucket Sound.

There's also South Middle Beach on Nantucket Sound, but it's only open to Yarmouth residents.

Enjoy a Meal

You'll probably be hungry after your day at the beach. Fortunately, South Yarmouth is loaded with outstanding dining options to keep you happy.

Perhaps the best-known restaurant in town is Skipper Chowder House, an oceanfront seafood shack across the street from Parker's River Beach. This restaurant has all of your seafood favorites, including award-winning clam chowder, lobster rolls, seafood platters, and clambakes, in addition to burgers, chicken, and other options. There's a scenic patio overlooking the water and an on-site ice cream shop, too.

Seafood Sam's South Yarmouth has a convenient location on Route 28 and has all kinds of seafood options like crab, oyster, scallop, clam, and lobster rolls. They also have hot dogs, hamburgers, fried chicken, broiled seafood, and fried platters. There's a kid's menu at Seafood Sam's, as well.

There's a great patio at Captain Parker's Pub on Route 28, in addition to a raw bar and all kinds of Cape Cod seafood classics. Their clam chowder is famous all over the Cape, and they make a special stuffed quahog that you'll definitely want to try. Their lobster roll and fisherman's platter are worth your time, too.

For breakfast, The Pancake Man on Route 28 could become your go-to restaurant all vacation long. That's because you'll find all of your early-morning favorites at this diner-style venue, including bacon, eggs, French toast, waffles, and, of course, pancakes. They're open for lunch, as well, so you can stop in for a burger, sandwich, or salad in the afternoon.

Check Out Some Attractions

Although the beaches and restaurants will take up much of your time, there's a lot more to South Yarmouth.

First, the Yarmouth Drive-In reopened in 2020 after a long hiatus, showing classic movies throughout the summer. The venue also expanded into live music and comedy shows that patrons could enjoy from their vehicles in a COVID-safe manner.

The Yarmouth Tennis Club has drop-in openings for visitors to the Cape. You should book your court a few days in advance to ensure you get a spot, and keep in mind that you can sign up for a weekly membership if you plan to play a few times during your vacation.

Kids and adults alike love the Whydah Pirate Museum because it features the artifacts found on a sunken pirate ship from the 1700s. In fact, this is the most extensive collection of pirate artifacts collected from a single wreck anywhere in the world, which is reason enough to give them a visit.

Just up the street from the museum is Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf, a mini-golf facility that is a great way to fill an evening with your kids. This pirate-themed venue has two 18-hole courses, so you can spend multiple days there without getting bored.

Getting to Know South Yarmouth

As you spend time in South Yarmouth, you'll get to know the community and its attractions much better. Depending on the location of your vacation rental, you might be able to walk to some of these venues, which is great because parking can be a challenge.

No matter which facilities you visit while on the Cape, you're sure to have a great time in one of the East Coast's most visitor-friendly locations.

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