The Beach Times
The Art Galleries of Brewster, Massachusetts
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, March 2, 2020
*Editors Note May 2020- Please check individual websites for re-opening times and visitor requirements for social distancing.
When you think of art on Cape Cod, Provincetown is probably the first town that springs to mind. After all, Provincetown started as an artists' colony, and that tradition remains strong to this day.
At the same time, there is a strong artistic presence throughout the Cape, and nowhere exemplifies that spirit better than Brewster.
Whether you're walking through Brewster's historic downtown area, or enjoying a quiet afternoon in an off-the-beaten-path recreational area, there's likely an art gallery nearby.
Many of these galleries are owned and operated by local painters, providing you with an excellent opportunity to take a piece of Cape Cod home with you.
Here is some information on where you can find Brewster's art galleries and what you'll find once you walk through their doors.
The Underground Art Gallery
Hidden in a wooded area on Satucket Road, just north of Upper Millpond, is The Underground Art Gallery, which features original paintings and prints by Karen North Wells.
Wells' paintings are lovely souvenirs to take home from your Cape Cod vacation because many of them depict the region's stunning landscapes. For example, some of her subjects include Corporation Beach in Dennis, Paine's Creek in Brewster, and Rock Harbor in Orleans. She has also painted historic buildings in Chatham and Brewster, giving you the chance to hang memories of the Cape's towns on your walls.
The Underground Art Gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday from noon until 5:00 PM during the summer, Thursday through Saturday from 1:00 to 4:00 PM in the fall, and Saturdays between 1:00 and 4:00 PM throughout the winter.
On Main Street in Brewster, just north of Smith Pond, you'll find Maddocks Gallery, a venue dedicated to the works of James W. Maddocks.
This building is more than a gallery, as it's also Maddocks' home and studio, and the venue is significant because it's a carriage house dating back to the 1860s. As a result, entering the gallery is like stepping back in time, and the residence is well worth a visit, even if you aren't planning to purchase any artwork.
At the same time, once you have a look at Maddocks' works, many of which are affordable prints, buying a couple is sure to interest you. Many of Maddocks' paintings depict Cape Cod's history, although he creates some of the contemporary landscape, as well.
Maddocks Gallery is open most days from 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM between May and October. Maddocks tends to travel between November and April, so you'll have to call ahead if you're visiting the Cape in the winter.
There are two Struna Galleries on Cape Cod: one in Brewster and one in Chatham.
The Brewster gallery sits in a historic home on Main Street near Nickerson State Park and is dedicated to the works of Timothy Jon Struna, a painter and teacher with a career going back to the 1960s. The Chatham gallery, on the other hand, is run by Timothy's daughter, Heather.
Timothy covers a lot of different materials in his artwork, although some of his most famous are his acrylic and watercolor paintings of the Cape Cod landscape. Prints and reproductions are available of select paintings, so have a look at their website to see what's available.
Unfortunately, Struna Galleries' Brewster location doesn't have regular operating hours, so you'll have to call ahead to make an appointment or hope that it happens to be open when you arrive. The Chatham store operates from 12:30 until 4:30 on Saturday and Sunday, but you can book an appointment to look around there, too.
Main Street Galleries
There are three additional art galleries in the heart of Brewster's Main Street, all of which are worth exploring. As a bonus, you can park once and walk to all of these locations within a few minutes.
Tanzer Weaving Studio and Gallery sits in a small, historic building across the street from the popular Snowy Owl Coffee Roasters. The gallery features a variety of handwoven pieces of art for sale, allowing you to take something a little different home from your Cape Cod vacation. The studio is open Tuesday through Saturday between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM and offers weaving classes, as well.
About a five-minute walk from Tanzer is Aries East Gallery, featuring the paintings of Geoffrey Smith. Smith focuses on landscapes and seascapes, both local and around the globe, in addition to marine life, ships, horseracing, golf, and fishing. Aries East Gallery is open on most days of the week between 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM.
Stringe Gallery Art & Antiques is only three minutes from Aries East and sits just outside the Mansions at Ocean Edge. The watercolor creations of Tim Stringe are the attraction here, as this award-winning local artist sells his paintings of the Cape Cod landscape. The gallery is open all year round from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM, except for Tuesdays when it is closed.
Getting to Know Brewster's Art Scene
Brewster's art scene is a little underrated, but it shouldn't be due to the abundance of galleries found within a small section of Cape Cod. Whether your vacation rental is in Brewster, or you plan to spend a day or two exploring the town's beaches and historic sites, visiting a few of these galleries will give you a new appreciation for this local artistic talent.
Buying a local piece of art is a great way to bring a Cape Cod memory home with you at the end of your vacation, and these galleries in Brewster provide great options from some of the Cape's best artists.
Art Galleries Brewster Maddocks Gallery Main Street Galleries Struna Gallery Underground Art Gallery
Find a Deal at Cape Cod’s Flea Markets
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Thursday, June 20, 2019
With popular flea markets like Dick & Ellie’s, the Cape Cod Bazaar, and the Hyannis Flea Market shutting down for good in recent years, finding a Cape Cod flea market is becoming increasingly difficult. Luckily, a couple of larger markets have picked up the slack a little bit and provide excellent bargains all year long, with additional days of operation in the summer.
Most of these flea markets offer free parking, complimentary admission, and a wide selection new and used goods for you to explore, so prepare yourself for a day of shopping at some point on your Cape Cod vacation, and you won’t be disappointed.
Wellfleet Flea Market
Two flea markets claim to be Cape Cod's biggest and best, starting with the Wellfleet Flea Market. This market is held at the Wellfleet Drive-In Theatre on Route 6 and is active all year round, weather permitting, so no matter when you visit the Cape, you can check out the available deals.
From October through May, the market runs on Saturdays and Sundays in the theatre's parking lot. The winter market is weather dependent, so if it's too cold or there's a lot of snow, it will be canceled. The winter flea market is also the smallest, as they cap it at about 30 vendors.
The spring market starts on Memorial Day Weekend and runs throughout June, also on Saturdays and Sundays, but it's a little larger and is inside the drive-in area. You’ll generally see a few more vendors at the spring flea market as the weather becomes more predictable.
The summer market is the largest at this venue, with over 200 vendors attending. You can head to the market on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays throughout July and August. The summer flea market also features a beer garden, mini golf, and an ice cream shop, making it a place where you can hang out for a few hours.
Finally, the fall flea market is held on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays in September. The September markets tend to slow down a bit, and visitors return home after spending the summer on Cape Cod.
All of the markets start at 8:00 AM and run until about 3:00 PM. Keep in mind that most vendors do not accept credit cards, so you'll want to bring cash with you. There is an ATM available in the snack bar during the summer season. You should also be aware that admission is charged by the car, but it'll only be $2 or $3 per vehicle, depending on the day and season.
The Sandwich Bazaar
The other flea market on Cape Cod that lays claim to being the best is The Sandwich Bazaar, sometimes referred to as The Sandwich Flea Market. This market, which has run every year since 2009, has a full-time spot in a large field on Quaker Meeting House Road in Sandwich, right next to Oakcrest Cove Lodge. Parking and admission are free, and since there is so much space, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding somewhere to leave your vehicle.
The Sandwich Bazaar is held every Wednesday between mid-April and the middle of October starting at 6:00 AM and ending at noon and every Sunday from the beginning of June through the middle of September from 7:00 AM until 1:00 PM.
There is also a secondary flea market in Sandwich called The Winter Sandwich Flea Market. It's hosted by the same people who run The Sandwich Bazaar, but it has limited dates between November and April and takes place at the American Legion Hall on Sandwich's Main Street. The markets go from 9:00 AM until 1:00 PM and will have tables set-up both inside and outside.
Brewster-By-the-Bay Flea Market
The Brewster-By-the-Bay Flea Market at Drummer Boy Park doesn't want or need to be the largest on Cape Cod, as it does just fine at its current size. The flea market is organized the Brewster PTO, with proceeds raised through the tables going to support programs and events at Brewster Elementary School.
If you want to check out the Brewster-By-the-Bay Flea Market, head to the park on any Tuesday between June 25 and August 27. The sales start at 8:00 AM and go until about 4:00 PM, and since the flea market is at a public park, you'll find it easy to keep the kids occupied while you shop.
Truro Treasures Festival
If you happen to be in Truro in mid-September, make sure you visit the Truro Treasures Festival Weekend. The festival has taken place every year since 1992 and is a non-profit event aimed at benefiting the community of Truro as a whole. Originally, the Truro Treasures Festival was started to raise money to save the town's Highland Lighthouse.
One of the most anticipated parts of the festival each year is its flea market, which takes place on the Saturday and Sunday of the weekend on Truro Central School's front lawn. The size of the market is dependent on the vendors that sign up each year, but since it takes place once the other flea markets are starting to wind down for the season, it usually gets a pretty good turnout.
Take Something Special Home With You
You never know what you’ll find at a flea market, and the sales on Cape Cod are often extraordinary because there are old homes and estates that often participate. These markets are also a great place to pick up some local arts and crafts to take home as souvenirs.
No matter your reason for visiting a flea market on the Cape, you’ll have some options throughout your vacation.
Brewster Cape Cod Shopping Flea Markets Sandwich Truro Wellfleet
Cape Cod’s 2019 Free Summer Music Schedule
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, June 17, 2019
One of the best things about Cape Cod in the summer is that you can always find a great, free activity. Whether you spend your days lounging on the beach, hiking the trails, or riding your bike on a pathway, you don’t have to spend a dime to have a great time on the Cape.
That sentiment carries over into the evenings, as well, due to the abundance of free concerts offered all summer long. Nearly every town on Cape Cod has some sort of summer concert series, so no matter where your vacation rental is located, you’re never far from some free, outstanding music.
Every Sunday between June 30 and September 1, you’ll find a free show in Provincetown at Herring Cove Beach. The shows take place at 5:30 PM in June and September, 6:30 in July, and 6:00 in August. There are concerts at the same location on Wednesday nights, too.
If you’re staying in Brewster, Drummer Boy Park will feature a show by The Brewster Band at 6:00 PM every Sunday between June 30 and September 1. There is a bandstand at the park that the band has used since it was erected in 1994, and these concerts have become a well-known part of summers in the town.
Concerts on Mondays
The Dennis Village Green Gazebo is the place to be on Mondays from early July until the middle of August because of the concert series performed there. The shows get underway at 7:00 each week and take place under the park’s iconic bandstand.
Over in Eastham, Windmill Green will host shows every Monday in July and August. These shows also start at 7:00 and you can expect a different style of music pretty much every week.
In Harwich, you can stop by Brooks Park every Monday in July at 6:00 for a show. Brooks Park hosts Tuesday shows, as well, except for these run throughout July and August and begin at 7:00 PM.
One of the more scenic concert locations on this list is at Orleans’ Nauset Beach. The shows here run from July 1 through August 26 and get underway at 6:30. Although not part of the official concert series, Nauset Beach also has Thursday shows at 6:00 throughout July.
In South Yarmouth, check out the weekly concerts at Parkers River Beach. These shows run every Monday in July and get started at 6:00 PM.
You absolutely have to take in a concert at the Salt Pond Visitors Center on the Cape Cod National Seashore at some point during your vacation. These shows are held throughout July and August at 7:00 on Tuesdays and Thursdays and usually attract a large crowd. You might even be lucky enough to witness a performance by the Outer Cape Chorale.
Every Tuesday in July features music at Mashpee Community Park. These shows start at 6:00 and are part of The Arts Foundation of Cape Cod Summer Concert Series.
Wellfleet has a summer concert series with shows taking place on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. These shows run at either Mayo Beach or Jan Rutz Harbor Bandstand at Wellfleet Town Pier, depending on the act, and get started anywhere between 6:00 and 7:00 PM. Check Wellfleet's town website closer to your date of arrival for more information.
Events on Wednesdays
Barnstable Village Courthouse Stage has two shows per month throughout July and August starting at 6:00. The concerts are hosted at a stage behind the city’s courthouse.
In Chatham, you can check out some bands at Kate Gould Park between early July 3 and 24 during the 2019 TD Bank Summer Concert Series. Every show kicks off at 6:00 and ends at 7:30. Kate Gould Park also hosts weekly concerts by the Chatham Band starting in late June and running through August. These shows get underway at 8:00 PM and last about an hour and a half.
If you're in the Hyannis area, head to Hyannis Village Green on any Wednesday in July or August at 7:00 PM or Aselton Park on South Street on Fridays at 6:00. Keep in mind that Hyannis has an incredible live music scene in the summer, so you should be able to find a show nearly any night of the week.
Rock Harbor Beach in Orleans is a great venue to check out between late June and early September thanks to its shows by local band Pans in Paradise. The band will keep playing until sunset every Wednesday night throughout the summer.
Live Music on Thursdays
Thursdays are a big day for free music on Cape Cod, starting with the 6:30 shows at the Buzzards Bay Recreation Area, which is along Main Street on the mainland side, all July and August. These shows have the Cape Cod Canal as a backdrop, making this a spectacular place to listen to some music.
The Dennisport Outdoor Summer Concert Series takes place at Dennisport Village Green on Hall Street, which is just off Route 28. These shows run every Thursday in July at 6:00, and are held at the park's gazebo.
Throughout July and August, the Music and Arts Pavilion at Marina Park in Falmouth will host Thursday night concerts at 7:30. These performances transpire right next to Falmouth Harbor, making it a beautiful way to spend an evening.
There is a green space just outside of the Osterville Village Library that is home to a free concert series from the middle of July until the middle of August. The shows run every Thursday at 6:00 and are about an hour long.
In Sandwich, there are concerts every Thursday between June 28 and August 23 in 2019 at the Len Savery Bandstand at 7:00. This venue is located right behind what was once Wing Elementary School.
The Truro Public Library in North Truro has shows on Thursdays throughout July and August. These concerts start at either 6:00 or 6:30, depending on the act.
Friday’s Summer Concerts
Peg Noonan Park, which is right next to the public library in Falmouth, hosts Friday night concerts throughout July. The shows kick off at 6:00 and provide a nice segue into the weekend during your vacations.
There are also shows on the first Friday of every month between June and October at Mashpee Commons Central Square. The shows start at 6:00 PM between June and August and 4:00 in September and October.
What to Bring
When attending one of these shows, be sure to bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on, some insect repellent, and a light jacket for when the sun goes down for the night. You might also consider packing a picnic or picking up some dinner on your way to the performance if you’re in the mood for some entertainment while you eat.
These free shows provide added value for your Cape Cod vacation since you don’t have to spend any money to get out there and experience some of the top musicians that the Cape has to offer.
Brewster Buzzards Bay Cape Cod National Seashore Chatham Concerts Dennis Falmouth Hyanns Nauset Beach Orleans Outdoor Music Provincetown Summer Concerts Summer Festivals
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.
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
Five Fun Things to do with Kids in Brewster
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, March 11, 2019
When traveling with kids, your first inclination is to look for ideas on keeping them occupied and stimulated, both mentally and physically. Luckily, Cape Cod is an all-ages destination with plenty of ways to ensure your children are busy, no matter the season or weather.
The town of Brewster, in particular, is loaded with activities for young kids, teens, and adults alike through its parks, beaches, museums, and entertainment venues. The result is that you'll never run out of things to do.
It doesn’t matter if you’re only on the Cape for a week or plan to spend the better part of your summer here, you can take advantage of everything on this list of the top five activities for children in Brewster.
1. Harbor Lights Mini-Golf
Located on Underpass Road, just off Route 6A, Harbor Lights Mini Golf provides an excellent outing for visitors with kids. The venue is open from 10 AM until 10 PM during the summer, so you can head over whenever you have some time to kill, even for dessert, since 11 different flavors of Gifford’s Ice Cream are available.
The course opens on weekends starting in the middle of April and then operates daily from mid-June through Labor Day weekend. A round of golf costs $8 for adults and $7 for kids 12 and under, making Harbor Lights Mini Golf an affordable way to spend a few hours.
As a bonus, Harbor Lights added new greens in 2018, ensuring everything is in great shape for your next round.
2. Cape Cod Museum of Natural History
Just because it's the summer holidays doesn't mean your kids should neglect their education, and the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History makes it easy to learn something new while on the Cape. Here, there are exhibits on archaeology, biomimicry, honey bees, birds, butterflies, salt marshes, the Wampanoag people, and Cape Cod's landscape, so your children will return home knowing much more about this unique part of the country than when they arrived. Admission is $15 for ages 13-64, $10 for seniors, $6 for ages three to 12, and free for those two and under.
Or, if you've booked your Cape Cod summer vacation rental well ahead of time (and you should), you can enroll your kids in one of the museum's KidSummer Day Programs. Each session is five days long and between three and six hours each day, depending on the age of the child.
The classes run between late June and the middle of August, teaching students about the relationships found throughout the natural environment, including their personal roles in the eco-system. Since 400 acres of woods, marshes, beaches, brooks, and dunes surround the museum, your kids will have the chance to get up close and personal with these concepts and relationships.
3. Herring Run at the Stony Brook Grist Mill
When visiting the Cape in April or May, you might have the chance to check out one of the world-famous herring runs. The gist is that once temperatures reach the low 50s, herring swim up local streams and rivers, back to the same freshwater bodies where they were born, to spawn the next generation of fish. The exact dates of the migration are never known, since the herring run is weather dependent, but if you're lucky enough to be on Cape Cod when it's taking place, the herring run is something you must experience.
In Brewster, the best place to check out the herring run is the Stony Brook Grist Mill and Museum, which is in the west part of town on Stony Brook Road. The old mill is still in service and is home to an alewife migration every year. The venue features fish ladders and plenty of places to catch the action. Your kids will also marvel at the thousands of seagulls that flock to the area in search of an easy meal.
4. Nickerson State Park
With 19 acres of wilderness, eight freshwater ponds, an eight-mile bike trail, beaches, swimming, basketball courts, a playground, and horseback riding, Nickerson State Park has enough activities that you could spend an entire week there without running out of things to do. The park is just outside of downtown Brewster and even provides easy access to the Cape Cod Rail Trail, should you want to bike, jog, or walk a little further.
While at the park, your kids can swim at Flax Pond and Big Cliff Pond, as they both have small beaches. Sometimes, Jack's Boat Rental has stand-up paddleboards, canoes, and kayaks for rent at Flax Pond, while you can arrange other boat rentals at Big Cliff Pond. If you don't see any rentals available, Jack's storefront is only about 20 minutes away in Wellfleet and will deliver on rentals of three or more days. Parking at Nickerson State Park is $8 for Massachusetts residents and $15 for non-residents per day.
5. Brewster Sand Flats and Bay Beaches
Of course, you could always spend your days with your kids lounging on Brewster's beautiful oceanfront beaches. Brewster has some of the country's most impressive tidal sand flats, and when the tide is out, you can walk a long way out to explore. Your kids will also enjoy the warm, calm water because it makes for a relaxing beach experience.
Breakwater Beach and Crosby Landing Beach are perhaps the best locations to visit with children because the sand is close to the parking lot and there's enough room to find a space of your own. The sand flats also create warm pools of water everywhere. Paines Creek is excellent for younger kids who want to build sandcastles or play with their buckets, while Robbins Hill is a little rockier and, therefore, more so for families with teenagers.
Brewster town beaches require stickers for parking, and they cost $20 per day, $60 for a week, and $150 for the entire season for non-residents. Also, remember that none of the town's beaches on Cape Cod Bay have lifeguards.
Keeping Your Kids Busy
Brewster is a paradise when traveling with children because the beaches and water are so family-friendly, and there are other ventures away from the ocean, as well.
Nowhere else on the Cape has such a diverse selection of activities for your young ones, so be sure to make Brewster one of your stops on your next Cape Cod vacation.
Breakwater Beach Brewster Brewster Brewster Beaches Kids Mini Golf Nickerson State Park
The Top Family-Friendly Beaches on the Lower Cape
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, August 27, 2018
Vacationing on Cape Cod is all about enjoying some time in the sun, so when staying at a Lower Cape vacation rental with your kids, you’ll want to research safe and comfortable beaches for children. The majority of the Cape is family-friendly, but certain beaches attract a more teen-centric crowd and festive atmosphere, which you might want to avoid with younger children.
On the Lower Cape, in the towns of Chatham, Harwich, and Brewster, you’ll find many renowned beaches to take the kids where you won’t have to worry about parties or loud music becoming an issue.
Perhaps the best thing about Cape Cod is that there is something for everyone. Check out some of the following beaches if you’re spending some time here with the kids to ensure that you make the most of your vacation on the Cape this summer.
Hardings Beach in Chatham
The West Chatham area is home to Hardings Beach, a large oceanfront area that faces Nantucket Sound. The beach is popular with families because the water is warm and calm, making it comfortable for younger travelers. Lifeguards are on duty during the day and there is usually a food truck on-site in the summer. The beach also has a change room with showers.
When traveling with a boat or kayak, you are free to launch it anywhere outside of the swimming areas, making this the perfect place to start a day on the water. There is also a beach volleyball court, a bocce area, and whiffle ball, in addition to hiking trails nearby. Basically, it doesn’t matter how old your kids are, they’ll find something fun to do at Hardings Beach.
The beach has two on-site parking lots, and it will cost you $20 per day to park as a nonresident, or you can invest in a week’s pass for $75 or a season's pass for $175. There is a beach booth present where you can purchase parking.
Ridgevale Beach in Chatham
Just west of Hardings Beach is Ridgevale, and much like its nearby cousin, this beach features warm, calm water and has lifeguards on duty. Kids spend much of their time playing in the tidal pools here since the water in them gets quite warm, especially in periods of hot weather.
There is a large parking lot at Ridgevale Beach, in addition to a snack bar. The over-water pedestrian bridge between the beach and parking lot is a major attraction here, as it provides wonderful views of the water on a clear day. You can rent a sailboat at Ridgevale, should you feel like taking the kids out on the water for a few hours.
Parking costs the same as Hardings Beach and keep in mind that your weekly or seasonal parking pass bought at Ridgevale Beach or Hardings Beach is valid at any beach in Chatham.
Red River Beach in Harwich
Just off Uncle Venies Road in Harwich is Red River Beach, the town's largest oceanfront area and an outstanding place for families to spend a day. You’re probably sensing a pattern here, but the beach is also along Nantucket Sound, which means warm, calm water that is great for kids. The beach has lifeguards on duty and bathrooms, providing parents with added peace of mind. Once there, you’ll find that the beach has small waves and infinite shells to collect, so your kids will have plenty to do throughout their time here.
Parents will be happy with the short distance between the parking lot and the sand. When traveling with a ton of gear for your children, it's never fun to return to the car multiple times, especially if the parking area is far away. That's not a problem at Red River Beach because you can find a spot in the sand steps from where you end up parking.
One thing to remember is that Harwich has a much different parking situation than Chatham, as daily parking is only available for nonresidents at four beaches in the entire town. Otherwise, nonresidents must purchase a one-week, two-week, or full season pass. Luckily, Red River Beach is one of the four beaches offering daily parking, which you can buy once you get there.
Pleasant Road Beach in West Harwich
If your kids don't need a bunch of space, or if you're looking for somewhere a little less crowded on Nantucket Sound, Pleasant Road Beach is the way to go. This beach, which sits in West Harwich, has everything you'll need, including a bathroom with an outdoor shower and a decent-sized parking lot. The size and amenities at this location make it ideal for families with very young children.
Pleasant Road Beach is always spotless, a straightforward task because of its small size, and it slopes toward the water gradually, so you won't have to worry about steep drop-offs. There's also a lifeguard on duty during the day, and the parking lot is very close to the water.
Remember how we mentioned that only four beaches in Harwich offer daily parking passes for nonresidents? Well, Pleasant Road Beach is one of them, meaning you won't have to buy an entire week's pass when only visiting once.
Breakwater Beach in Brewster
We’ve focused entirely on beaches along Nantucket Sound with this list, so for something different, let’s look at Breakwater Beach in Brewster.
This public stretch of sand on Cape Cod Bay also features calm, warm water, along with tidal flats and pools, making it ideal for small children. When the tide is out, you can seemingly walk forever, and the kids will enjoy finding the shells left behind by various marine life. There isn't a lifeguard at the beach, however, and parents will want to keep a close eye on their little ones when near the water during high tide.
Breakwater Beach is quite large, so if it appears overcrowded at first, keep walking, and you'll find somewhere a little quieter. The parking lot is just off the sand and parents will find it easy to get to the water with little ones in tow.
Speaking of parking, you can purchase a day pass for $20 or invest in a weekly pass for $60 as a nonresident in Brewster. There’s also a nonresident season’s pass for $120, if you’ll be taking an extended vacation or visiting multiple times this summer. Since there is no attendant on duty at Breakwater Beach, you’ll have to buy a parking sticker before arriving.
Bringing Your Kids to the Lower Cape
As you can see, you won’t have to venture far from your Lower Cape vacation rental when looking for a family-friendly beach. This list is merely scratching the surface of things you can do with the kids since there are other similar beaches on other parts of the Cape.
Cape Cod prides itself on being a place where travelers of any age can have a good time, and the selection of beaches up and down its shores are no exception. Take the time to research a few beaches prior to your arrival, as we all know how important certain amenities are when traveling with kids, and you can be certain that your vacation on the Cape is something you’ll always remember.
Breakwater Beach Brewster Brewster Brewster Beaches Chatham Chatham Beaches Hardings Beach Chatham Harwich Harwich Beaches Pleasant Road Beach Harwich Red River Beach Harwich Ridgevale Beach Chatham
The Brewster Brew Run
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, July 16, 2018
On Saturday, August 11, 2018, the 40th annual Brewster Brew Run will take place. This charity event is 5.2 miles long and carries a $20 entry fee with proceeds going to Brewster Rescue and Safety. Generally speaking, the run brings in $20,000 annually for a worthy cause, while also allowing you to get out there and enjoy yourself.
If you’re visiting Cape Cod this summer, sign yourself up for the Brewster Brew Run because not only does it give you something to strive for on your vacation, but you’ll also meet some locals and have a great time at the party after.
That is because the run is called the Brew Run for a reason. At the end of the race, you’re given a free beer to enjoy while you reminisce about your run and begin looking forward to next year’s edition. And, of course, you’re free to buy a few more beers after your free one because you’ll have earned it after your run on Cape Cod.
About the Run
This year's race will start at 4 PM and is 5.2 miles in length. There are five water stations along the way, and parking is available at both Townhall and Eddy Elementary School. The parking lots are about half a mile east of the Woodshed Bar, but there is a free shuttle available to take you to and from the starting line.
Digital timers are used at all checkpoints and the finish line, and all timing is done professionally. This timing is notable for serious runners who are looking to beat a personal best. There are restrooms along the course, and strollers are not permitted.
Keep in mind that the race is known as much for the prizes given out afterwards as the run itself. Since this is a charity event for the Brewster Rescue Squad, numerous local businesses donate awards to be handed to racers, so make sure you stick around after completing the run to see if you've won something.
The race starts and finishes in the same area: by the Woodshed Bar on Route 6A. After beginning the race on Route 6A, runners will turn onto Lower Road, where they will pass the Cobb House Museum and the Brewster Cemetery. Lower Road is also where you'll find checkpoint number one.
Following a lengthy stretch on Lower Road, the course takes a turn south on Paine's Creek Road, home of checkpoint number two, before heading east on Stony Brook Road. This stretch of the route passes Smith Pond before making another turn onto Tubman Road. Tubman Road is where you'll come across checkpoint numbers three and four, the latter of which is where the road meets Long Pond Road, which is close to the parking lot for the Cape Cod Rail Trail.
Finally, the route heads on Long Pond Road until it meets Harwich Road, which you'll follow to the finish line on Route 6A. As was mentioned previously, the race as a whole is 5.2 miles long, with the fastest runners completing the course in under 28 minutes while running at a pace of 5:15 per mile. The majority of runners can finish the road race in under an hour, so you'll likely have a cold beer in your hand by 5 PM if you choose to participate this year.
Benefits to Brewster Rescue and Safety
Proceeds raised through entry fees and other donations go to Brewster Rescue and Safety. The money is then used to train firefighters, paramedics, and other life-saving individuals. New equipment is also purchased with the proceeds raised by this and other events, ensuring members of Brewster Fire and Rescue are prepared to handle any issues that come their way. In fact, a brand new, state-of-the-art fire station officially opened on June 23, 2018, and the department received a new ambulance in July 2018, as well.
Brewster didn't have a fire department until 1926, and its first fire station wasn't built until 1941. Before the construction of the fire hall, the town's fire truck was stored in firefighter Edward Dillingham's garage. As you can see, the department has come a long way over the years, and much of this development is due to the efforts put in by local citizens raising money for this excellent cause.
Your Cape Cod Vacation
You’ll find plenty of ways to spend your time outdoors during your Cape Cod vacation, with the Brewster Brew Run bring one of the more rewarding activities available. While it is recommended that you’re an active person in good running condition if you choose to participate in the race, you don’t have to be an experienced half marathon runner or have any marathon training whatsoever to give it a try.
If you plan to be on Cape Cod during the second weekend in August, head over to Brewster to give the annual Brew Run a try or, at the very least, stop by for a beer after the race and show your support for a great cause.
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Historic Places to Stop on the Old King’s Highway
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, June 25, 2018
A must-do while on Cape Cod is to drive down Route 6A, much of which is known as the Old King's Highway, as it is full of historic attractions that will give you greater insight into life on the Cape as a whole. Along the highway, you'll come across architecture that reflects the changes the area has undergone, as there are buildings from the 1600s all the way through the 1900s.
This portion of Route 6A starts in Sandwich and runs all the way to Orleans. As you drive the highway, you'll be following the same route used by Native Americans before settlers even arrived in the United States, as it was first a trail connecting local villages and camps. The path was also used by the first European settlers, as they came to Cape Cod from Plymouth, before settling in the region and creating the still-standing society we enjoy to this day.
Of course, a lot has changed over the years, but you'll have views of the same beaches and green spaces that pilgrims saw over 375 years ago, and can even enter some of the homes built by some of Cape Cod’s first inhabitants. The Old King’s Highway is a look at living American history that you’ll struggle to find anywhere else in the country.
Get Started in Sandwich
Soon after crossing the Sagamore Bridge onto Cape Cod, you’ll reach Sandwich. Here, you’ll want to make sure you get onto Route 6A, rather than Route 6, as 6A will take you through many of the Cape’s historic districts.
Sandwich is not only the oldest town on Cape Cod, having been incorporated in 1639, but is also one of the oldest centers in the entire country. To start your tour of Sandwich, you'll head south just off the Old King's Highway into the town's historic center. Here, you'll come across the Sandwich Glass Museum, known for its rare glass creations dating back to the 1880s.
The historic district also has Dexter Grist Mill, which was built in 1637 and in commercial operation until 1881. It remains one of the country's oldest water mill sites, and you can purchase cornmeal ground right there at the mill.
Just south of the mill is Hoxie House, one of the oldest houses on the Cape, having been raised in 1675. There are tours through the house’s interior, which still features period decor. If you head a little further south off 6A, you'll come to the Heritage Museums and Gardens, a structure that is home to pretty much everything you'd expect to find in an American museum, including classic cars.
As you move along the Old King's Highway, you'll quickly reach East Sandwich, an area home to the Wing Fort House, the oldest continuously-owned-by-the-same-family home in New England, having been built in 1641. You can do a tour of the house during the high season for a small fee. This area is also where the Nye Family of America Homestead stands. This homestead was constructed in 1678 and is now a museum, with each room being representative on a different era of the home's existence, right down to the period decor.
Continue Through Barnstable
The Old King's Highway Historic District in Barnstable runs the entire length of the city from east to west on Main Street. In that space, there are nearly 500 buildings, some of which were built as far back as the 1630s, with the newer buildings being constructed in the mid 1800s. The area as a whole was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.
Of particular interest in Allyn House, which dates back to the late 1600s, and Barnstable House, a structure that might be haunted. The district is also home to the Old Jail, built in 1690 and the country's oldest wooden jail. The jail now houses a museum, along with the Old Customshouse.
A Stop in Yarmouth Port
The great thing about Yarmouth Port is you won't have to venture off Route 6A to visit most of the town's historic sites. This part of Cape Cod was popular with sea captains, as many built large homes there and, as luck would have it, a number of these structures remain to this day.
Captain Bangs Hallet House is Cape Cod's only fully-furnished former captain's house that is open to daily visitors. The residence provides insight into how a sea captain would have lived in the 1800s, right down to furniture and decor.
Just across fro Hallet House is Winslow Crocker House, which was moved to Yarmouth from West Barnstable in 1936. The house was originally built sometime around 1780 and was a very high-end home for its time period. The building belonged to a merchant and trader, who might have been a rum runner, and today is a museum with public tours available daily.
Edward Gorey House offers a different kind of Cape Cod history because it is an art gallery and museum dedicated to the life and works of Edward Gorey. Gorey purchased the home, which was 200 years old at the time, in 1979 and it became a museum after his death in 2000.
Yarmouth New Church dates back to 1870 and is one of Cape Cod's choicest examples of Gothic architecture. The building is detailed and very similar in quality to what you'd expect to find in an old European neighborhood. It is no longer an active church but does host events throughout the year.
Some History in Dennis
After crossing through Yarmouth, Route 6A heads north into the heart of Dennis, where you'll find Josiah Dennis House and the West Schoolhouse occupying the same grounds. Josiah Dennis House dates back to 1736 when it was home to a local reverend. In fact, the town of Dennis is named after this man, who was a minister for 38 years in the area. Today, the home is a museum, as is the West Schoolhouse, which was moved to the land in 1973. The school was constructed between 1770 and 1775 and is the last remaining schoolhouse from that era.
The Scargo Tower isn't as old as many structures along the Old King's Highway, having been built in 1901 as a lookout, but it is free to visit and at 30 feet tall, provides panoramic views of the entire area. In fact, on a sunny day, you can see all the way to Provincetown in the north and the Sagamore Bridge to the west.
Drive Through Brewster
In Brewster, Route 6A runs along Main Street and is surrounded by historic sites. As you approach the town's center, you'll see Drummer Boy Park, which is home to a windmill from the 1700s, along with a blacksmith shop. Just down the road from the park is the Cape Cod Museum Of Natural History, an entity that takes a more ecological approach to the area's history.
Moving into central Brewster, you'll find Captain Elijah Cobb House. This building is the permanent home of the Brewster History Society and hosts a variety of museum artifacts while offering tours. The home was built in about 1799.
The Crosby Mansion, just north of Route 6A near Nickerson State Park, is a massive 35-room house built in 1888 by Albert Crosby, a wealthy alcohol distiller. The home, which was built around the homestead in which Crosby was raised, would become an art gallery after his death in 1906. Today, the mansion is a museum but is only accessible to the public a few times per year.
The End in Orleans
Finally, the Old King's Highway runs through the heart of Orleans. Here, the official name of the road changes to the Cranberry Highway, but it's still part of historic Route 6A. Just off the highway is the French Cable Station Museum, providing an in-depth look at the undersea telegraphic cables used by the United States and France during World War One.
Just north of the museum is the Jonathan Young Windmill, which is unique because all of its original parts and mechanisms remain intact, despite the fact it was moved to Hyannis in 1897 and then back to Orleans in 1983. The windmill was constructed sometime around 1720 and now sits in a small park just off Route 6A.
Make a Day of Route 6A
After heading through Orleans, the Old King's Highway joins with Route 6, or the Mid-Cape Highway, where it runs through Eastham, Wellfleet, and Truro. Route 6A reappears in North Truro and heads through the heart of Provincetown, before coming to an end at Herring Cove Beach.
There are other historic sites to explore along Route 6, but that’s a journey for another day because if you stop at even a fraction of the museums and homes along the Old King’s Highway, you’ll quickly find it’s time to return to your vacation rental for some much-deserved relaxation.
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Finding Cape Cod's Secret Beaches
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Wednesday, January 24, 2018
If you’re heading to Cape Cod this summer, you’ll surely check out some beaches at some point. After all, we’ve got some of the best beaches in the entire country, and you’d be selling your vacation short if you don’t stop by a few of them.
The thing is, you’re not the only one with this idea. Crowds can be an issue at the area’s most popular beaches, making these areas less appealing for those who want to relax. When travelling with kids, you might also want a quieter beach, just to make things easier to handle.
Well-known beaches like Nauset, Coast Guard, and West Dennis, while scenic, are very popular during the summer. There’s also parking, which is another issue altogether.
Luckily, there are a few hidden gems throughout the Cape that you can check out if you are interested in the sand, surf, sun and a more peaceful setting. It doesn’t matter what part of Cape Cod your vacation rental is on, there’s a secret beach nearby.
Thumpertown Beach in Eastham
We'll start this list off with an easy one, as Thumpertown Beach isn't exactly hidden, nor is it difficult to find. The beach is, however, far less crowded than many Cape Cod beaches and provides a quiet place to enjoy the sun. The beach is popular with locals who don't want to navigate the crowds of Sunken Meadow Beach and First Encounter Beach, which flank Thumpertown Beach. Best of all, this beach has a small parking lot and stairs running down to the sea, making it accessible for everyone.
You can get to Thumpertown Beach quickly from Route 6 in Eastham. Look for McKoy Road and then take it to Thumpertown Road, where you'll come across the parking lot. The beach is excellent for family vacations because the parking lot is close to the water.
Bound Brook Island Beach in Wellfleet
Making the trek to Bound Brook Island Beach is all about the views. On a clear day, you can stand on one of the 50-foot-high sand dunes overlooking the water and see Provincetown to the north and Plymouth to the west, all the way across Cape Cod Bay.
To get to the beach, you'll have to take Bound Brook Island Road, which is mostly dirt, all the way to a dirt parking lot. The road isn’t well-marked, but you will see a sign directing you to Atwood Higgins House. It might look like you’re heading down a private driveway, but you’re not. Keep going, and you’ll eventually find parking. Once you reach the parking area, it's a bit of a hike down to the water, and you'll have to navigate the dunes along the way. Hey, no one said finding your own personal paradise was going to be easy.
Cow Yard Landing in Chatham
A beach that's not really hidden, but isn't busy either, is found in North Chatham. Cow Yard Landing beach is more for boating than anything else, as you'll see a number of watercrafts in the ocean, making it a great place to stop if you're looking to do some kayaking.
Luckily, the beach is easy to find, as Cow Yard Landing sits in a residential area just off Old Harbor Road and close to Route 28. There's plenty of parking along Cow Yard Lane, as well, so you won’t have to worry about searching for a spot.
Crowes Pasture Beach in Dennis
Discover one of the more secluded beaches on Cape Cod in the Crowes Pasture Conservation area in Dennis. It will necessitate some effort to reach the beach, as you'll walk a mile-long trail through some marshland to get to the sand from the parking area. The good news is this beach is basically untouched by civilization, other than some oyster farms, providing a rustic experience.
To reach the beach, exit Old King's Highway at South Street and follow the signs directing you to the Crowes Pasture Conservation Area. Follow the signs to the parking area and go from there.
Cape Cod Museum Of Natural History in Brewster
Perhaps the simplest seashore on this list to find, due to its location directly behind the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster, this beach is well worth the stroll. The seaside area is massive, with tons of white sand and space to stretch out away from the crowds.
While you can't park right at the museum, unless you're a paying customer, spots are available at Drummer Boy Park. From the park, it's a five-minute walk along Main Street, or Route 6, to the museum and then a short stroll along a marked trail to the water.
Forget About the Crowds
If the crowds are the one thing keeping you away from the beaches of Cape Cod, all it takes is a little effort to find a flawlessly secluded location to enjoy. Peace and quiet are abundant all over The Cape, even in the summer; all you have to do is know where to look.
When you plan your Cape Cod Vacation, whether you're looking for activities for your children or you want to sit on the beach with absolutely nothing to do, there's fun for everyone on Cape Cod's scenic beaches.
*Photo Credit CapeCodOnline.com
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