The Beach Times

Cape Cod in the Off-season – Restaurants, Antiques, Art Galleries, and Museums
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Friday, February 8, 2019

Cape Cod’s population shrinks considerably after Labor Day, as seasonal residents return home until the next summer. With this reduced population, however, comes a significant opportunity for those with the flexibility to travel all year round. In part two, we’ll look at some of the Cape’s 12-month restaurants, the area’s museums and art galleries, and the antique shops that seem to be everywhere.

Take a low season vacation, and you’ll quickly learn that Cape Cod doesn’t stop just because its population decreases after the summer ends.

Water Street Kitchen

Get a Bite to Eat

We’ll start by stating the obvious: many restaurants will be closed when you visit Cape Cod in the off-season. It doesn’t make sense financially for many businesses to operate all year, and it can be difficult to find staff in the winter, too. Having said that, many high-end eateries, particularly those with a substantial local following, remain open in the fall, winter, and spring, so if you take an offseason Cape Cod vacation, make sure you visit a few.

Main Street in Dennis is home to Scargo Cafe, a unique restaurant with colonial decor and a policy where half of all tables are not available for reservation. So, even if you're unable to book a table in advance, you can show up and wait to be seated. The venue is open for lunch and dinner, with seasonal menus and an extensive wine list.

Over in Barnstable Village, The Dolphin has been a landmark for over 70 years. This fine-dining restaurant is where you can head for a nice meal, or just drinks after 9:00 PM. The white picket fence and the building's classic architecture give the eatery a distinctly Cape Cod feel. You can enjoy lunch or dinner here, and reservations are available.

Featuring outstanding views of Provincetown Harbor and located right on Commercial Street, it doesn't get much better than Fanizzi’s Restaurant. This venue serves American and Italian cuisine for lunch and dinner and even has an early bird menu if you want to eat between 4:30 and 6:00 PM. You'll likely want to call for reservations because Fanizzi's is one of Provincetown's most popular dining options.

You're going to want to try the Chapoquoit Grill in West Falmouth because of their great Italian-style dishes, including some unique pizza offerings that you won't find anywhere else. The restaurant first opened in 1993, and since that time, it has become a place where locals meet for dinner or drinks regularly. Take out is available, as well, and you can call after 4:30 PM for the seat for that night.

Other great dining options that are open all year round include Alberto’s in Hyannis, Captain Parker’s Pub in West Yarmouth, Water Street Kitchen in Woods Hole, and Del Mar Bar & Bistro in Chatham, so you’ll never have to worry about being low on dining options when on the Cape during the low season.


Experience the Museums and Art Galleries

The museums of Cape Cod stay open for most of the year, giving you the chance to check them out during the offseason. The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster has both indoor and outdoor areas to explore. Keep in mind that the museum does close to the public between December 31 and the middle of February, but has special events during that time that you can attend.

At the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, you’ll find permanent collections, special exhibitions, educational programs, and engaging events, depending on when you attend. The gallery and museum is located on Commercial Street, making it a great way to start your evening on the town.

The Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis is open throughout the offseason, Thursday through Sunday, and has a variety of concerts and other special events to attend during those months. The gallery offers free admission every Thursday, and there are specialty programs that you can try out for a small fee, as well.

If you're in the Orleans area, Addison Art Gallery has a wide selection of works by international and American artists, including some from right here on the Cape. This gallery is one of the top places on Cape Cod to buy a painting because you'll find an outstanding selection of pieces, some of which are inspired by the local scenery. Special exhibitions and events are also on the docket at Addison Art Gallery throughout the year.


Visit Some Antique Shops

Are you obsessed with antiques? Feed your obsession by visiting Cape Cod during the slower seasons, as you'll find countless places to shop. Route 6A in Dennis is where you'll find the Antique Center of Cape Cod, which is one of the Cape's largest antique showrooms and is full of furniture, art, books, jewelry, silver, glass, collectibles, and pottery. Have a look around, and you're sure to find a great antique to take home with you.

Just to the south in West Harwich, the Harwich Antique Center also has furniture, glass, collectibles, etc., but also items available for as little as $1. There are specials events throughout the week here, too, including swap days and free appraisals. If you have an old coin that you want looked at, bring it on your Cape Cod holiday and have it done in Harwich.

Sandwich has a bunch of antique shops, but the crown jewel is probably the Sandwich Antiques Center on the Old King's Highway. This shop is a destination all itself, with fine art collections, vintage finds, and collectibles of all types found there. The store has been voted "Best of the Cape" for the last four years, making it a must-see if you're in the mood for some antiquing.


A Quieter Time

As you can see, visiting during the offseason doesn't necessarily mean you'll miss out on all of Cape's popular summer attractions. Fall, winter, and spring give you the chance to head to Cape Cod's famous restaurants, museums, and shops without having to battle through masses of tourists who are all trying to see and do the same things as you.

We love Cape Cod in the summer, but there's something especially relaxing about visiting between Labor Day and Memorial Day. The offseason is when towns on the Cape become small again and when you, as a visitor, can get to know the real Cape Cod and see why permanent residents love it all year round.

Antiques Art Galleries Museums Restaurants

Where to Go Antique Shopping on Cape Cod
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, August 20, 2018

While Cape Cod is widely known as a place to spend time in the outdoors, enjoy a good meal, and experience the quintessential New England way of life, there is another side to the Cape that you might not have considered. You likely know that Cape Cod has a great deal of history since it was one of the first places to be settled by Europeans following the arrival of the Pilgrims, and people have lived here ever since. Going hand-in-hand with this long-time inhabitation is a sizeable selection of historic goods, many of which are available for purchase in Cape Cod antique stores.

Walking into any antique shop on Cape Cod could give you access to antique furniture, nautical gear, jewelry, coins, military memorabilia, photos, toys, kitchen items and anything else you might want to find. And since there are so many shops on the Cape, if you don't see what you're looking for at one, just walk a few minutes to the next one. When vacationing on Cape Cod, you should know that the area has the highest concentration of antique shops in the northeastern United States, as nowhere else has more stores per square mile. In fact, the Old King's Highway between Sandwich and Orleans alone is home to over 50 antique shops, with many sitting in historic houses, making your search even more memorable.

For the sake of this article, we'll look at some of the well-known antique shops on each section of Cape Cod, so you'll know where to search on your next vacation. Keep in mind that no matter where your vacation rental is located, you'll only be a few minutes from an antique shop that is sure to have some great pieces of history that are worth exploring.


Upper Cape Antique Shops

As you enter Cape Cod over the Sagamore Bridge, you'll quickly come across Brian Cullity American Antiques and Ship & Shore, which specializes in nautical artifacts. Both venues are near the Cranberry Highway, which will later turn into Route 6A. Just a few blocks east is the Sandwich Auction House, which holds auctions two or three times a month on Wednesdays during the summer. If you're in search of a hidden gem, this auction is the place to go. As you head into the heart of Sandwich, you'll find a cluster of antique shops along the Old King's Highway. These shops include the Sandwich Antiques Center, Cat's Meow Antiques, Coco Plum Garden Antique, Historical Antiques & Coins, and Paul Madden Antiques. The great part about downtown Sandwich is that you can park your car and walk to explore the antique stores in the area.

If you choose to head south after entering Cape Cod, there is another cluster of antique stores in the heart of Falmouth. These shops include Jacqueline's Gifts & Antiques, Atlantic Dry Goods, and Antique Button Jewelry. Once again, you can find a parking spot nearby and walk to all of these shops, since most are right along Main Street.


Antiquing on the Mid Cape

On the Mid Cape, you can take two different antiquing routes, depending on where you're heading and what you're looking to find. Along Route 28, you'll come across Simply Vintage of Cape Cod in Centerville, before continuing into West Yarmouth, which is home to the Antiques Center of Yarmouth, which, with over 100 on-site dealers, is one of the largest antique stores on Cape Cod. Continuing along Route 28, you'll come across West Dennis Antiques, which sits in an 18-century building with period décor, and the Dennisport Main Street Antiques Center.

On Route 6A, an entirely different set of stores are there to be found, including the Antiques Center of Cape Cod, Antiques 608, and Gatherings By the Sea, all of which are located in Dennis. As you continue along the highway, there is East Dennis Antiques and Eldred's Auction, one of the East Coast’s top antique auction houses, along with a series of art galleries, if you want to change things up a little bit.


Lower Cape Antique Shopping

Right beside Dennis along Route 28 is Harwich, home to the Harwich Antique Center and Windsong Antiques. Windsong has an outstanding selection of ceramics and silverware, making it worth a visit if that's the type of thing you are looking to purchase. It is then a short drive to the Chatham area, where you'll come across Maps of Antiquity, home to a collection of antique maps. In Chatham's downtown area, shops like Kahn Fine Antiques, Chatham Village Antiques, and Demos Antiques are right on Main Street and within an easy walking distance of each other.

In downtown Brewster on Route 6A, you have Wisteria Antiques, Antiques By the Bay, and Wayne's Antiques, among others, all of which are within walking distance. The downtown Brewster area is one of the best antiquing locations on Cape Cod because you can park and explore numerous stores quickly. Wisteria Antiques is particularly notable because it feels more like a museum than a store, thanks to its location in a Victorian home with period furnishings and decor.


Buying Antiques on the Outer Cape

The Outer Cape, outside of Provincetown, doesn't have as much in the way of antique shops as the other sections, but you'll still find Diamond Antiques & Fine Art in Orleans, the Gristmill Antiques Gallery and Buddha Bobs in Eastham, and Farmhouse Antiques in Wellfleet.

When you get to Provincetown, you'll encounter another cluster of shops right along Commercial Street, including Time Tunnel Antiques, Scott Dinsmore Antiques, and Yesterday's Treasures, making the town well worth a visit. Everything within Provincetown is a short walk from each other, so you can spend the day walking Commercial Street and visiting the various shops.


Antiques on Cape Cod

Although dozens of shops are mentioned here, we’ve barely scratched the surface of the antique shopping available on the Cape, as there are dozens more to be found. Keep in mind that antique shops tend to set up near each other in the historic parts of each town, so take a wander to see what you can find. You’re sure to come across some very impressive artifacts when exploring the antique shops on Cape Cod. As a result, one piece of advice is to leave some space in your suitcase for packing your finds home with you.

Antique Shopping On Cape Cod Antiques

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