The Beach Times
All Aboard the Cape Cod Central Railroad
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, July 29, 2019
The Cape Cod Central Railroad runs on a 27-mile section of track that once belonged to the New Haven Railroad. This heritage railroad now operates from May through October, offering narrated sightseeing excursions, in addition to lunch and dinner trains.
Most trains depart from Hyannis Station, passing through West Barnstable and Sandwich before heading down the Cape Cod Canal and, sometimes, crossing into Buzzards Bay. They offer outstanding views of some of the area’s top attractions, while the narrators tell a bit about the history of these locations.
When visiting the Cape, taking a trip on the Cape Cod Central Railroad is a great way to see the towns and countryside without having to drive or navigate the roads yourself. Give it a try if you’re looking for a unique way to spend the day on your Cape Cod vacation.
The Cape Cod Central Railroad has several routes departing from Hyannis, Barnstable, and Buzzards Bay. The length and cost of the trip depend on the excursion selected, along with the class and what you purchase onboard.
The Canal Excursion Train starts in Buzzards Bay and crosses the Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge before running along the canal into Sandwich. From there, it visits the Great Salt Marsh in West Barnstable before heading back to Buzzards Bay. The trip takes about two hours and costs between $19.99 and $49.99, depending on the class you select. Lunch is available, as well.
Leaving from the Barnstable and Hyannis stations, the Coastal Excursion takes you past cranberry bogs, dunes, salt marshes, the Cape Cod Canal, and woodlands, giving you a real glimpse into everything that makes up the Upper and Mid Cape. On your journey, you'll learn about the history of the area, see Cape Cod's oldest village, and hear about local wildlife. Lunch is available for purchase, and the cost and length are the same as the Canal Excursion.
For something a little different, the Pairpoint Glass Tour is a three-hour ride that starts in Hyannis and runs through West Barnstable and Sandwich to Sagamore, home of Pairpoint Glass, one of the country's oldest glass factories. Once there, you'll have the opportunity to get off the train for a tour and to witness some live glass blowing. This excursion costs between $24.99 and $54.99, and lunch is available for an additional fee.
There is nighttime service at the Cape Cod Central Railroad, too, as you can embark on a dinner excursion where you'll enjoy an outstanding meal while taking in the sights.
You can savor a five-course meal on the Cape Cod Dinner Train, which runs from Hyannis through Barnstable and Sandwich, and into Buzzards Bay. From there, the train reverses direction and returns to Hyannis. The ride takes three hours, and the menu changes every season. The cost is between $89.99 and $149.99, depending on your seating option.
Other dinner trains are available throughout the summer, but they don't have the same regular schedule as the Cape Cod Dinner Train. For example, there are gourmet wine and craft beer events where you will receive a meal and some drinks on your trip. Have a look at the Cape Cod Central Railroad website for more information on this season's events.
Meal trains aren't isolated to dinner, as there is a luncheon train departing from Hyannis twice per month in the late spring and summer, and even more throughout the first two weeks of October. This excursion offers a three-course menu with a choice of entrée and costs between $44.99 and $79.99.
If you're on the Cape for a major holiday, you'll have the chance to embark on the Sunday Brunch Train from Hyannis. This train has departures on Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Independence Day Weekend, Labor Day, and Columbus Day, with the meal costing between $44.99 and $79.99.
Classes of Service
You’ve probably noticed that there is a price range for all of these excursions, so what does that mean? Well, the seating option that you select determines the amount that you'll pay.
The least expensive option is Standard Class, which puts you on a double-decker rail car with seats in rows like you'd find on an Amtrak. The seats are comfortable, but you won't have as much space as you'd have when using the other options.
First Class puts you at a table with four seats. You'll have more space to yourself with this option, but keep in mind that your group might end up split, depending on how many passengers need a seat.
Diamond Class is also broken down into tables of four, except it has panoramic windows that provide outstanding views of everything that you pass. If you want to experience everything that Cape Cod has to offer along this railroad, this is the way to do it.
Other Things You Should Know
There are some things you should be aware of before purchasing your tickets on the Cape Cod Central Railroad.
For starters, the Cape Cod Dinner Train has a dress code requiring men to wear a collared shirt and dress pants, with a jacket and tie recommended but not mandatory. Ladies should wear a dress, skirt, or dress pants. Items like flip flops, jeans, shorts, tank tops, and t-shirts are prohibited, and you won't be allowed on the train if you don't dress appropriately. Also, the Cape Cod Dinner Train cannot accommodate anyone under the age of 12. Children are permitted on other trains, however.
Keep in mind that these are heritage trains, so they don't have the same amount of space that you'd expect in modern vehicles. As a result, their ability to accommodate wheelchairs is limited. If you have any accessibility questions, you're encouraged to contact the Cape Cod Central Railroad directly.
The Cape Cod Central Railroad is a must-do activity during your vacation to the Cape. Book your seat today and don't miss out on this season's exciting schedule.
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Should You Bring Your Ice Skates on Your Cape Cod Vacation?
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Saturday, December 8, 2018
Well, you don’t have to bring your skates, even if you want to do some skating, because most ice rinks offer rentals. If you have room in your suitcase, however, pack your skates and save yourself some money, as you’ll have plenty of chances to visit the skating rinks on Cape Cod.
Public skating events provide affordable fun for the entire family, and some arenas even let you rent to whole building for a short period, should you have a large group or want the privacy of skating by yourself.
While ice skating isn't unique to Cape Cod, it is a quintessential winter activity on the east coast and is well worth trying if you're only here for a short time.
Gallo Ice Arena
Those staying in Bourne might want to go for a skate at the John Gallo Ice Arena. This rink hosts skating lessons, hockey classes, and sessions by the Bourne Skating Club starting in the fall, and also has public skating ice times available. Generally, skating is open from noon until 1:30 PM Monday to Friday, although there are exceptions if an event or lesson is occurring at that time. Sunday skates are also possible when the rink is free.
The cost for a skate is $4 for adults and $3 for students. You can rent skates for $3, as well. Keep in mind that there isn't an ATM on-site and it's a cash-only building, so make sure you hit a bank machine prior to arrival to avoid having to make another trip.
Tony Kent Arena
Tony Kent Arena in South Dennis is home to various Cape Cod hockey teams and hosts clinics, lessons, and programs throughout the year. It also has public skating on most Sundays, Mondays, and Wednesdays, along with pick-up ice hockey on Saturday nights.
Skating at the rink costs $6 for adults, $5 for children 11 and under, and $2 for seniors over the age of 55. If you don't end up bringing your skates on vacation, you can also rent them here for $4. If the ice isn't being used on a particular day, you can rent a private ice time for your group with rates starting at $180 for 50 minutes.
Charles Moore Arena
The Charles Moore Arena in Orleans has figure skating lessons, hockey camps, learn-to-skate programs, and now, in 2018, a curling league. Of course, this arena also offers public skating throughout the winter, with ice times available on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 11:00 AM until 1:00 PM and Sundays from 1:30 – 3:30 PM. The cost is $5 for adults and $4 for kids under 12, with skate rentals being $2.
Falmouth Ice Arena
The Falmouth Ice Arena is home to Falmouth High School's hockey teams, Falmouth Youth Hockey, and the Falmouth Figure Skating Club. There are two rinks here, an NHL rink and a mini rink, so there is plenty of ice to go around. The mini surface has multiple public skating times on Tuesdays and Thursdays and additional openings on some Wednesdays. The larger rink has ice times on most Friday nights, with some Wednesday sessions, as well.
Hyannis Youth & Community Center
The newest and most impressive facility on this list is the Hyannis Youth & Community Center, a multi-use complex owned and operated by the Town of Barnstable. The building features two skating rinks, a gymnasium, meeting rooms, a skate park, an indoor walking track, and a game room, so there's plenty to do there throughout the year.
Public skating is available pretty much every day at the facility, with weekday public skating taking place between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM, Sunday skates running from 2:10 – 4:00 PM, and Saturday skates going from 4:00 – 5:20 PM. There are also stroller skates, family skates, and stick practices on various days throughout the week.
The cost of a public skate at the Hyannis Youth & Community Center is $7 for adults, $5 for kids 17 and under, and $2 for seniors aged 62 and up. Skate rentals are available for $5, and skate sharpening costs $6 per pair.
Outdoor Skating Rinks
Although the ponds on Cape Cod occasionally freeze over during the winter, local officials do not recommend skating on them. The main reason is that most of these bodies are kettle ponds that have currents and are fed by streams, making it difficult for them to freeze evenly. If you find yourself on a thin section of ice, you could easily fall through and end up in serious trouble, so it's a good idea to stick to safer sheets of ice.
Some towns set up free public outdoor rinks in the winter, with Brewster and West Yarmouth being recent examples. It remains to be seen if we'll have any outdoor skating in 2018, as it's always weather-dependent. Check the website of the town you’re staying in closer to your arrival date for more information on outdoor skating availability.
Some Real Winter Fun
If you’re coming to the Cape in the winter, experiencing some winter activities is a must, and ice skating is a pleasant way to start. If you’ve never skated before, a public skating time at a local rink is a great way to ease yourself into it, but remember to bring a helmet with you for safety’s sake.
You should also be aware that public skating schedules are dynamic, as special events, private rentals, and hockey tournaments can disrupt their timing. As a result, always check the calendar on the rink’s website before heading there.
Cape Cod has so much going on in the winter that you’ll never be short on things to see and do. Book your vacation rental today and don’t miss out on experiencing winter like it’s meant to be.
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There Are Festivals for Every Season on Cape Cod
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Friday, March 2, 2018
It doesn’t seem to matter when you visit the Cape, you’re sure to find a festival or event to attend. The locals on Cape Cod are festive people, and this beautiful part of the world provides plenty to celebrate, no matter if it's March, April, October, or November.
Take the time to research the various events around the Cape in every season before booking your vacation rentals because you’re sure to find something to help you make the most of your time here. In addition, we’ll spotlight some of the Cape’s best festivals in upcoming articles.
Things to Do in the Spring
All of May is dedicated to Cape Cod Maritime Days which, as you might have guessed, explores Cape Cod's rich maritime heritage. The festival has been named one of the top 100 events in all of North America because of how much there is to see and do throughout the month. Maps taking you to historic places on all four sections of The Cape are provided, so you can make your way around and experience the area's history on the water for yourself.
May is also home to Brewster in Bloom, a three-day festival that coincides with flowers in the region coming into bloom. The festival features a parade, a 5K run, a craft show, a concert, and an antique excursion, so there's plenty to see. There's a charity yard sale, as well, which gives you the opportunity to buy some items, with proceeds going to a good cause.
Near the middle of June, and just before the start of summer, comes the Provincetown Film Festival. The event started in 1999 as a way to attract visitors to The Cape at the end of the shoulder season but has since grown into one of the country's top film festivals. Documentaries, short films, and narrative films from all over the world are on the docket at the festival and panel discussions are also held.
The Best Cape Cod Summer Festivals
Just as the film festival ends, Provincetown is also home to its Portuguese Festival, a weekend-long event highlighting the area's rich Portuguese heritage. The highlight of the festival is the parade, but there's also dining, dancing, and plenty of activities for the kids.
Not to focus on Provincetown too much, but the town hosts Carnival in August, as well. Carnival is a free festival in the high season that commonly attracts about 90,000 people to the area. The event is meant to be a celebration of diversity, with the parade being its greatest attraction.
Although it might not get the mainstream attention that many other festivals receive, the Cape Cod Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival is the highlight of the summer for many locals and visitors alike. This event, which takes place at the Barnstable County Fairgrounds in East Falmouth, brings in many of the area's most popular food trucks and dozens of craft breweries from around the country to create a day-long event in the middle of August.
Fall Festivals on the Cape
While it technically takes place at the end of the summer, just days before the official start of fall, for all intents and purposes the Harwich Arts and Music Cranberry Festival is a fall event. The Harwich Community Center Field hosts this annual music festival that kicks off the fall season on Cape Cod and features food, beer, and wine vendors, in addition to a craft fair.
The Yarmouth Seaside Festival is a highlight of the early autumn, mostly thanks to its parade and fireworks display. The festival also has concerts, a craft show, bonfires on the beach, and a variety of different races, so there is enough going on to keep you occupied all weekend. You’ll find midway rides, as well, should you be looking for a bit of adventure.
Beer isn’t just a summer drink on the Cape, as the Cape Cod Brew Fest comes to Falmouth every October. You can celebrate the arrival of autumn by sampling some of the over 75 breweries and 250 beer types on hand. Just do us a favor and don't attempt to try them all on one day because we want to see you enjoy the rest of your fall vacation on Cape Cod.
Festivals of the Winter
The Holidays by the Sea Weekend in Falmouth is usually held the second weekend in December and starts with Christmas caroling at the historic Nobska Lighthouse, followed by a winter run and the lighting of the local Christmas tree. One of the highlights of the festival is when Santa Claus arrives via boat in Falmouth Harbor, which then leads to the annual parade down Main Street.
As we move past Christmas and into New Years, First Night Chatham approaches. This family-friendly event doesn't allow alcohol, but don't let that kill your buzz, as the festival has plenty to do and see. First Night takes place all over Chatham and features over 70 different performers each year. Oyster Pond is home to a fireworks display over the water at midnight, ending a full day of activities for all who attend.
Don’t let the winter blues get you down because Cape and Islands Orchid Show is here to provide you with a much-needed touch of summer in late January. This show and festival brings Orchid vendors from all over North America to the region, so if you are on The Cape for a week or two, pick up some flowers to add some beauty to your vacation home rental.
Visit Whenever You Wish
There is a misconception out there that Cape Cod is only a summer destination, but that unquestionably isn’t the case. While the beaches, views, and weather in the summer are exceptional, there is a ton going on in the area throughout the year.
If you’ve been planning to visit Cape Cod but don’t know when to take the leap, just have a look at the various events held in every season, and it will make your decision much clearer.
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There’s More Here Than Just Cape Cod
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Thursday, February 15, 2018
While Cape Cod is eastern Massachusetts' top attraction, and with good reason, areas off The Cape that are worth checking out if you're in the region. Much like on Cape Cod, there is always something happening or somewhere to visit during the summer, so if you want to change things up a little bit, cross the Bourne Bridge and do some exploring. You could even choose to rent a vacation property off Cape, in Onset, Marion, or Mattapoisett and commute whenever you want to visit the beaches, trails, and atmosphere that Cape Cod has to offer.
Events and Activities in Onset Village
When the weather in Onset Village warms up, it can only mean one thing: the Summer of Love Concert Series. The series runs Wednesday nights between the end of June and the end of August, bringing regional and national acts through the area. Every concert takes place at the Onset Band Shell and shows are free and family friendly, ensuring that concert-goers of all ages have a good time.
If you’d like a little more adventure, consider taking one of the canal cruises through the area. These cruises leave from Onset Town Pier near Onset Beach and run through the waterway under both Sagamore Bridge and Bourne Bridge, all the way to Cape Cod Bay. You'll see Scusset Beach Fish Pier, the Vertical Lift Railroad Bridge, and the Sandwich Boat Basin along the way.
Since 1992, the Onset Blues Festival has been a fixture in the area. The festival, which runs in early August, attracts some significant players in the blues music scene. It also has food and drink vendors, in addition to shopping opportunities. A good time is had by all at this festival, so make sure you get your tickets early if you plan to attend.
Slow Things Down in Marion
Just south of Marion’s town centre is Silvershell Beach. This beach isn’t very big, and there is a private resort nearby, but it provides outstanding views of Sippican Harbor. If the beaches of Cape Cod are too busy for your liking, give Marion a try for a quieter experience.
When shopping for souvenirs, Dean Ross Home is worth a stop. The house is home to all kinds of unique gift ideas, with many of the items available sharing a nautical theme. A number of other stores and shops are in the area around Dean Ross Home, so this area provides a pleasant, small-town retail experience.
Spend Some Time in Mattapoisett
No matter where you're staying in the area, Old Rochester Farmers Market in Mattapoisett is something you must experience. Between early December and the end of April, the winter market runs twice a month on Saturdays. The summer market runs every Tuesday from early June until late October. Both markets feature local produce, crafts, meats, and live entertainment and take place at Old Rochester Regional Junior High School.
Shellfishing is a favorite pastime in Mattapoisett and is worth trying if you’re in the area. Before heading out, make sure you know which areas are restricted and have the proper permits in place. Keep in mind that you’ll have to jump through some hoops and apply in-person if you’re not a local resident. Taking the time to get your permit will give you the chance to grab some of the world’s best seafood, however, so it’s well worth the effort.
The middle of July brings Harbor Days to Mattapoisett, courtesy of the Mattapoisett Lions Club. The two-day festival is held at Shipyard Park and features an artisan market, food vendors, live entertainment and a raffle draw. This is a fun, family-friendly event that provides a full weekend of entertainment. If you're lucky, you might catch a fish fry or lobster-eating opportunity while you're there.
Just Beyond Cape Cod
Your Cape Cod holiday doesn’t have to be spent entirely on the Cape because the surrounding towns provide a similar, yet somewhat different, experience.
Each of these towns in under 20 minutes from Bourne, so you won't spend the entire day driving from place to place. After all, you're here to relax on Cape Cod and any time spent travelling and not soaking up the sun, enjoying the food, and partaking in the festive atmosphere of this fantastic area is a waste.
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Cape Cod National Seashore: More Than Just Beaches
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, February 5, 2018
With nearly 40 miles of shoreline along the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Cod National Seashore is, rightly so, known for its beaches. The area has six main beaches, Coast Guard, Nauset Light, Marconi, Head of the Meadow, Race Point, and Herring Cove, in addition to smaller, lesser known ones, but there is so much more to the area than the waterfront.
In total, the National Seashore is 43,607 acres in size, and there are countless activities to be found in the space that are sure to keep you occupied throughout your vacation.
Want to go hiking? No problem!
Interested in history? We’ve got you covered!
Love seeing animals? You’ll never run out of opportunities!
Yes, by all means, hit the beaches when you visit Cape Cod National Seashore but don't forget to explore the other sites and activities that this beautiful and diverse area has to offer. We’re confident you’ll love what you see.
A Little Bit of History
On an official basis, Cape Cod National Seashore is relatively new, as it was given its national park status in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy and his family spend plenty of time vacationing on Cape Cod, and he wanted to preserve this exceptional region for future generations.
Overall, however, the land has been in use for about 9,000 years, when it was first inhabited by American Indians.
The first Europeans made their way to the region in 1620, spending about a month here before finally settling in what is now Plymouth. The area was attractive to settlers in future years because of its abundance of fresh water, fertile land, and protective landscape.
Cape Cod National Seashore has deep colonial roots that become clearer and clearer the more you spend time here. But first, you’ll want to get to know the natural environment, which is why so many people visit in the first place.
Hiking and Biking Trails
Feel like going for a hike? There are plenty of places to do so. In the South Wellfleet area sits Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Trail, a moderately challenging hiking area that goes through an oak and pine forest before coming out in a swampy area with a boardwalk. The trail is just over a mile in length, so it can be completed quickly.
Pilgrim Spring is another short hiking trail in North Truro. The path is relatively simple, with a moderate grade and plenty of on-site parking, and is only 0.7 miles long. The site leads to the place where the pilgrims first tasted fresh water on Cape Cod, making it a historically significant trail, as well.
For a biking experience, Nauset Marsh Trail provides a comfortable ride with the option to extend the trip to Coast Guard Beach. The actual trail is a 1.3-mile loop and is peaceful, with very few elevation changes, and has some breathtaking views along the way.
While you're out and about, keep an eye out for some of the area's unique wildlife. More than 450 animal species live at Cape Cod National Seashore, including 25 protected species and 32 endangered or rare species.
On the coastline, you could encounter large marine mammals, turtles, gulls, and waterbirds. As you move inland, you are more likely to see the land mammals and reptiles that live in the woodland, swaps, and grasslands. One particular animal to keep an eye out for is the piping plover, a rare bird that nests in the sand. About 5% of the world's population of piping plover live at Cape Cod National Seashore.
The Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is one place worth checking out nearby because it has salt marshes and woodlands that are a hot spot for wildlife sightings.
You might also consider taking a boat trip out into the ocean if you have your heart set on seeing some sea mammals up close. If you're lucky, you might even come across the endangered North Atlantic right whales that feed off Race Point.
Landmarks and Sights
Sitting in Eastham between Coast Guard Beach and the Salt Pond Visitors Center is Doane Rock, a large boulder left behind by the Laurentide Ice Sheet, which covered most of Canada and large chunks of the United States, about 15,000 years ago.
As the story goes, when the glaciers melted, they left behind some geological abnormalities and one of them is this rock. It is named after John Doane, a deacon who was one of the first settlers in the area. He lived on this land in 1644, in a time when very few Europeans were around. The rock’s appearance might not blow you away, but it’s worth having a look at if you have the time because of its history.
After that, swing by The Three Sisters Lighthouses or Nauset Light while in Eastham, The Pilgrim Monument and Race Point Light in Provincetown, and Highlands Light in Truro. There is something that draws people to lighthouses and monuments, and these are some of the most prominent on The Cape.
Museums and Visitor Centers
We mentioned the history of the area before and what better way to learn about the history of Cape Cod National Seashore than by spending time at a museum?
In the north, you have options like Provincetown Museum, which is right at Pilgrim Monument, and Old Harbor Life-Saving Station Museum, on Race Point Beach.
Moving further south, Highland House in Truro and The 1869 Schoolhouse Museum in Eastham are worth a visit, especially if Cape Cod's history excites you the way it does for many other people who spend time here.
The area’s visitor centers are top-notch when learning about what makes the district so distinctive. The Salt Pond Visitor Center is perhaps the top choice, as it is full of interactive displays and shows educational films. There is also an on-site museum and bookshop.
Further north is The Province Lands Visitor Center, a smaller building that also shows educational films in its indoor theater and has a bookstore. The building has an observation deck, as well, which provides panoramic views of the ocean, sand dunes, Pilgrim Monument, and Race Point.
Embrace Life Away From the Beach
Of course, you’re sure to get plenty of beach time in when visiting Cape Cod in the summer. After all, that’s probably the reason why you’re visiting this area in the first place. At the same time, it’s good to know that there are plenty of other activities to keep you occupied when spending time at Cape Cod National Seashore.
If you ever need a day away from the beach to let your sunburn heal or relax away from the heat, the National Seashore has you covered. So, plan your next Cape Cod Vacation around the Cape Cod National Seashore and you will soon notice that Cape Cod National Seashore is unlike the other National Parks you have visited in the past.
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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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Activities for Kids of All Ages on Cape Cod!
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, January 22, 2018
When you think of Cape Cod, you might envision lounging on a sunny beach, eating at elegant restaurants, and enjoying a quiet drink on a secluded patio somewhere near the ocean. In short, your initial thought might not include your children.
The good news, should you want to bring your kids, is that Cape Cod is perhaps one of the most family-friendly destinations on the East Coast. In fact, it doesn’t matter if it is sunny or rainy, summer or winter, or anywhere in between, Cape Cod has your kids covered throughout your vacation.
Tons of Outdoor Activities
If you’re coming to Cape Cod during the summer months, expect to spend most of your time outdoors. People head to the Cape to enjoy the natural environment, and it’s no different when travelling with children, as various kid-centric activities exist throughout the area.
Kid’s Fishing is a company that operates fishing boats just for children. The company provides all the necessary equipment, and since the vessel heads out into protected waters, you don’t have to worry about your little ones on the sea. The 90-minute excursion leaves from Main Street in Hyannis and is sure to be a highlight of the summer for your kids.
West Yarmouth is home to the Cape Cod Inflatable Park, a large amusement center with water slides, bouncy castles, and obstacle courses. There is a challenge zone for older children, a toddler zone for the young ones, and even a mini golf course and arcade. The park is the type of place where you can spend an entire day, and your kids will enjoy every second. They’ll get a day full of exercise, as well.
When in Sandwich, check out The Adventure Park at Heritage Museums & Gardens. Here, the kids can walk between the trees on specially constructed bridges and complete over 65 different challenges in the adventure park before finishing up with some zip lining from platform to platform.
One of the top destinations for kids on Cape Cod is Skull Island Adventure Golf & Sports World in Yarmouth. This amusement complex is known for its pirate mini golf course, but it also has go-karts. Other go-kart facilities on Cape Cod include Bud's Go-Karts in Harwich and Cartwheels in South Dennis.
Fancy a swashbuckling adventure with your kin? Welcome aboard Cape Cod Pirate Adventures, matey! This pirate ship takes kids on a treasure hunt into Hyannis Harbor and includes face-painting, the hoisting of a pirate flag, and a number of other activities to keep them entertained the entire time. Landlubber parents are also welcome.
Some Indoor Activities, Too
Nothing ruins family vacations faster than poor weather, and although the weather usually works out on the Cape, there's a chance you'll run into a rainy day or two in the summer. As a result, preparation is vital. Luckily, there's more to Cape Cod than the outdoors, as you're sure to find something for your kids to do inside on those days.
Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis has an indoor water park that is the only one of its type in the area. The park is over 30,000 square feet in size, so it's sure to keep your kids occupied, and has two high-speed water slides that are about 160 feet long. There are a river ride and wave pool, as well, along with a kiddie area. Keep in mind that this park has a retractable roof, which will open up if weather permits.
You might not think of a library as a happening place to hang out in the summer, but if you can't be outside, Provincetown Public Library is worth checking out. The building was constructed in 1874, offers over 40,000 books, and organizes events for kids throughout the year. It’s cheap, convenient, and, best of all, educational for your children.
Coming in the Winter?
Just because you're coming to Cape Cod in the winter doesn't mean you should leave the kids at home. After all, as we’ve covered before, the area is a proverbial winter wonderland and has some of the top Christmas events anywhere in New England.
The fun doesn't stop after Christmas, however, as Cape Cod regards its winter activities seriously. Try taking the family ice skating at one of the many rinks on The Cape. You'll find Tony Kent Arena in South Dennis, Charles Moore Arena in Orleans, and Gallo Arena in Buzzards Bay, so no matter which part of The Cape your vacation rental sits, there’s ice skating nearby.
Don't worry if the weather gets too cold or snowy to head outside, as indoor activities are abundant. Ryan Amusements, which has locations in Buzzards Bay, Falmouth, and South Yarmouth, just to name a few, features bowling and arcade games, making it a great place to escape the cold.
The Cape Cod Children's Museum in Mashpee is another option to consider because of its interactive exhibits and special events for kids.
Your Kids Will Love It
The entire Cape Cod area is set up for families to enjoy and, as you can see, there is no shortage of activities for children young and old. Whether your kids want to learn about the area's natural history or spend an afternoon going on a whale watch excursion, Cape Cod has something for everyone.
Combine the unique activities mentioned here with traditional Cape Cod pastimes like hiking, bike riding, and swimming and you’ll quickly see why the area has been popular with families for decades. Start planning your Cape Cod Vacation now!
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Getting to Know Cape Cod’s Performing Arts Scene
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, January 15, 2018
One of the great things about Cape Cod is that there is so much to do outdoors. While you're here, you'll probably spend hours lounging on the beach, hiking the dunes, or biking the scenic trails.
At the same time, you might want to mix things up a little when spending time on the Cape this summer and, luckily, the area’s performing arts scene has you covered.
Cape Cod is home to prominent theater companies and lively concert series that add diversity to a summer holiday in the area. Experience the cultural, art-eccentric events that set the community apart from others regions of the East Coast to make the most of your time here.
Cape Cod Summer Theater
If you love the theater, Cape Cod is the place to be this summer. Everything from Broadway musicals to small local productions are present at the many performing arts venues scattered up and down the coast, leaving you with all kinds of variety when choosing an event to attend.
Located on Main Street in Orleans, The Academy Playhouse is perhaps the preeminent performing arts center on Cape Cod. The theater puts on nine different productions annually, and although it runs all year round, summer is when things pick up. The venue often hosts Broadway musicals, although comedies and dramas are also quite common.
It doesn't get much better on Cape Cod than the Cape Playhouse in Dennis Village. Since its opening in 1927, this venue has hosted performances by legends like Humphrey Bogart, Henry Fonda, Bette Davis, and Ginger Rogers, giving it the moniker, Where Broadway Goes to Summer. The Playhouse manages to pack its entire season into the summer months, with performances taking place almost every day.
The Cotuit Center for the Arts features two different venues, the main stage, which is outdoors, and the Black Box Theater. The theater company presents various performances throughout the summer, including Broadway productions with nationally recognized performers in an intimate setting. The shows put on by the Cotuit Center for the Arts positively contribute to the distinct feeling around Cape Cod in the summer.
Summer Concert Series on Cape Cod
Of course, if you’d prefer to check out some musical performances, rather than a play, Cape Cod has the perfect event for you through its various concert series and music festivals. As with many events on The Cape, you’ll find yourself outdoors for much of the experience, providing something far different from your basic concert.
Summer in Hyannis means the Cape Cod Melody Tent is sure to make an appearance. The Melody Tent is a circus tent that hosts some of the top musical acts to visit The Cape in any given year. The venue provides a uniquely intimate atmosphere, as the stage is directly in the middle of the tent and surrounded by seating. As a result, the view is outstanding from any seat. This one of only two continuously-operated music tents in the entire country, so make sure you check it out.
Even though the Provincetown Jazz Festival doesn't have the same history as many of the other performing arts events on Cape Cod, as it only came into existence in 2005, the gathering is a favorite among locals and visitors alike because of its diverse nature. Performances are held all over the area, with many of them taking place right along the ocean. The festival is relaxing, the events are affordable, and there's even a free shuttle into the area for those not staying in Provincetown.
The Cape’s Operas and Symphonies
If you’re looking to experience a little culture and some acts that you won’t see anywhere else in the country this summer, keep watch for the events presented by the orchestra and opera companies on Cape Cod.
The Cape Symphony Orchestra has been around since 1962 and is among the most extensive groups of its kind in all of Massachusetts. The orchestra plays at Barnstable Performing Arts Center in Hyannis, although outdoor events are common during the summer. For example, the group has performed a free show at the amphitheater at Salt Pond Visitor Center for the past couple of summers, providing a unique environment in which to experience their renditions of pop hits and classical favorites.
Classical music is also abundant at Cotuit Library through the Royston Nash Music Appreciation Series, a group of events that attracts well-known musicians to this small venue during the summer.
The Highfield Theatre in Falmouth is home to College Light Opera Company, which has been in business since 1969. The company has 32 singers and an 18-piece orchestra, providing the full opera experience for attendees. In fact, the theater company scours the nation every year to find the best up and coming performers to join, so you can be positive that you'll see outstanding performances by some of the country's best talent every time you visit.
Start Planning Your Cape Cod Vacation Today
It’s never too early to start organizing your Cape Cod summer vacation because, in all honesty, the area fills up quickly. There’s a reason why vacations rentals are booked months in advance, so if you want to get up close and personal with Cape Cod’s complex and surprisingly intimate performing arts scene, the time to book is now.
There's more to Cape Cod's performing arts scene than has been detailed here, as the Cape Cod Theatre Company, the Barnstable Comedy Club, the Cape Sands Ballroom are other popular places to enjoy weekly performances and special events on Cape Cod.
Do your research before you arrive to ensure that you come at the right time during the community's busy summer months.
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Thinking Ahead to Summer on Cape Cod
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Wednesday, January 3, 2018
With cold temperatures causing problems throughout much of the northern United States, planning your summer vacation might not be a priority. After all, even though we know the cold isn't permanent and sunny days will come again, it's tough to get in the mood to book a beachfront vacation home if you've just finished shoveling six inches of snow.
The truth is that there's no better time to book your vacation than right now because you'll find more rentals available and you can get an early start on planning your activities. In addition, organizing a vacation immediately gives you something to look forward to as you suffer through a few more months of winter.
To help get you in the mood, we're going to use this space to remind you of just how exquisite Cape Cod is in the summer. Here are a few of the things that you can look forward to on the Cape in 2018.
Hit the Beaches
No matter where you choose to stay on the Cape this summer, you are sure to find a beach nearby. Some beaches are busier and livelier than others, but you are sure to find the exact seafront experience you are looking for if you plan early.
As part of the Cape Cod National Seashore, Race Point Beach features a scenic shore, bike trails, and sand dunes. Swimming and surfing are both possible at the beach, although there is a bit of a dropoff, so it might not be ideal for those with small children. This particular beach gets sun all day long in the summer, making it a sunbather's dream.
Mayflower Beach in Dennis is one of the calmer beaches on The Cape and is popular with families because of its shallow water. The beach also has a boardwalk, making it easy to get to the water from its expansive parking lot. If you have children and are staying in Dennis, this is your best bet.
Sitting in the Orleans area, Nauset Beach is a 10-mile-long stretch of sand featuring calm water that is great for swimming. Surfing and off-roading are possible at the beach, as well, making it a choice for those who wish to relax and those who want adventure alike.
Visit Museums and Monuments
Of course, it's not all fun in the sun when visiting Cape Cod, as your vacation can be educational, as well. Since this part of the country is where the pilgrims first settled, you won't find more history anywhere else.
Located in Sandwich, Heritage Museums & Gardens is a former plantation that is now a scenic garden that is open to the public. The museum has a collection of classic cars, an art collection, and working historic carnival rides.
Built sometime between 1907 and 1910, Pilgrim Monument is part of the Provincetown Museum and was created to commemorate the landing of the pilgrims in 1620. The monument remains the tallest granite structure in the entire country.
Like pirates? Whydah Pirate Museum in West Yarmouth is one of The Cape's newest museums and contains real treasure from an 18th-century shipwreck. The museum is loaded with history and is well worth checking out during the summer.
Experience the Annual Events
Cape Cod is known for its annual events and festivals, giving locals and visitors alike something special to do during the summer. If any of these events excite you, book your vacation rental now, so you don't miss out.
Concerts, animals, food, and carnival rides, the Barnstable County Fair truly has it all. The fair takes place in late July every year and provides fun for the entire family.
In mid August, the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra comes to town for the annual Pops by the Sea concert at Hyannis Green Village. You'll want to buy your tickets to this event well in advance, particularly if you plan on attending the pre-concert luncheon.
Provincetown becomes a party town every August during Carnival Week. This annual festival attracts 90,000 people to the area for its parade, cruises, and dance parties. Costumes, floats, and food vendors make the events taking place over the course of the week well worth a visit.
Do Some Hiking, Fishing, and Boating
Of course, getting out there and keeping active in the outdoors is all part of a Cape Cod summer. Going for a bike ride on the Shining Sea Bikeway, hopping aboard the Island Queen Ferry, which travels between Falmouth and Martha's Vineyard, or renting a boat in Wellfleet Harbor are well worth doing during the summer.
No matter which part of Cape Cod you end up staying on, you'll have easy access to some of the best hiking, fishing, and boating opportunities in the entire country.
Look Forward to Warmer Weather
Every day that goes by means we are closer to summer on Cape Cod. While you still have a few months to go, the countdown is on, and before you know it, you'll be relaxing on the beach, enjoying fresh seafood, and taking in everything that summer on the Cape has to offer.
Start planning your Cape Cod summer vacation early in 2018, and you can avoid missing out on the perfect vacation rental on the ideal part of The Cape. By putting your vacation together now, you can make the most of your time on Cape Cod this summer. Visit Kinlin Grover Cape Cod Vacation Rentals and book now. You'll be glad you did!
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3 Ways to Enjoy Oyster Season on Cape Cod
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Cape Cod has always been oyster country, as even before the arrival of the pilgrims in 1620, French explorer Samuel de Champlain noted the abundance of the shellfish in areas like Wellfleet Harbor. And while the oysters of Cape Cod are known internationally, it is becoming more challenging to get your hands on them unless you come to The Cape.
The quality of Cape Cod oysters has spawned an entirely different type of visitor to the area, as people will rent a vacation home just for the opportunity to try some of the heavenly, fresh oysters found here.
Typically, Cape Cod oyster season runs from October until sometime in February or March, depending on when the supply starts to get low. Since oysters are one of the region's most valuable natural resources, officials regularly monitor the stock and adjust the season accordingly.
Keep in mind that oysters are commonly part of Thanksgiving and Christmas meals on Cape Cod, so if you want to do the holidays the Cape Cod way, make sure you track some down.
Once you arrive, you’ll find some different ways to get yourself some oysters, depending on how adventurous you are and how badly you want the freshest shellfish available on The Cape.
Do Some Oyster Picking
Feel like spending your vacation digging in the sand? For a small fee, non-residents can pick up a shellfishing permit to do their own oyster picking on many of Cape Cod’s beaches.
Before you head out on your recreational shellfishing excursion, make sure that you are aware of any town-specific rules that are present. These laws govern how many oysters you can harvest per day, the minimum size of the oysters you can pick, the times that you can be out in the water, and even the water temperature that you can be out in.
The rules are in place to prevent the supply of oysters from eroding too quickly and keep you safe, so either give the local town hall a call or ask about the rules when picking up your permit.
From there, you'll want to grab the right equipment. While you might luck out and find some oysters right along the beach, most are out in the water. You don't need anything fancy like a lobster trap, as just a few pieces of equipment will make you more comfortable as you venture into the ocean during Cape Cod oyster season.
Start by picking up a pair of chest waders, as you won't want to venture into the frigid Cape Cod waters without the necessary protection and these waders allow you to go into deeper water. A wetsuit jacket and a pair of waterproof gloves are advisable, especially when visiting in the winter. A floating bucket is also a good idea because it allows you store your catch without returning to shore.
There isn't a specific technique involved with harvesting oysters; all you have to do is search the shallow waters along the beach. Oysters don't bury themselves and are relatively easy to spot, so you shouldn't have much trouble as long as you end up in the right location.
Finding the perfect spot can be a challenge, as very few locals are willing to give theirs up. Look for other people searching for oysters because as long as they’re in a public area, you’re free to harvest there, too.
Find an Oyster Farm
The oysters of Wellfleet are known the world over, and there's no better place to get them than through the Puffer family at Wellfleet Oyster and Clam. Farmers catch wild oyster seed and then raise the oysters the same way that they would be in the wild. The result is some of the world's best oysters. You can order some by calling the company directly.
East Dennis Oyster Farm has a store in East Dennis where you can buy oysters by the box. You can also call ahead to place an order and schedule a pickup, which makes sense if you are staying in town or a neighboring community like Barnstable.
Chatham Shellfish Company has been in business since 1976 and sells its oysters throughout stores in the area. It is possible to order oysters directly through the company’s website, and they will be delivered right to the door of your vacation rental in a matter of days.
Visit an Oyster Bar
Of course, no visit to Cape Cod is complete without stopping by an oyster bar. In Wellfleet, Mac's Shack is the place to go. This restaurant doesn't allow reservations, so make sure that you get there early for access to incredibly fresh Wellfleet oysters, in addition to an extensive wine list. Keep in mind that this location doesn’t open until the very end of oyster season.
It doesn't get much better than Oyster Company Raw Bar & Grill in Dennis Port, which has been around for a long time and remains a favorite for locals. The restaurant harvests its own oysters, and clams and other shellfish are available there, too.
Sitting right on Main Street in Hyannis, The Naked Oyster Bistro & Raw Bar harvests oysters from its own farm, ensuring that you have access to the freshest shellfish available in any restaurant.
The World’s Best Oysters
As you can see, you won’t have any trouble finding somewhere to try some of the world’s best oysters on Cape Cod. What you might struggle with is figuring out which variety you like the best, as the oysters from each location differ slightly in their flavor.
Take some time exploring the local oyster scene to see if you can tell the difference between the varieties or, better yet, get out there and harvest your own this winter.
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The Cape Cod Christmas Shopping Experience
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Thursday, December 14, 2017
As you've probably noticed if you've been following this blog, things are done a little bit differently on Cape Cod, and holiday shopping is no different. The Cape isn’t Boston, New York, or any of the other major centers on the East Coast and, therefore, you won’t find the same shopping experience.
While there is a Walmart in Falmouth and a Kmart and Sears at Cape Cod Mall in Hyannis, big-box retailers are less prevalent in this part of the country.
Instead, local boutiques are where Cape Cod residents do their shopping. The popularity of these local businesses means that the holidays are a busy time for retailers, and also provide a unique shopping experience for all who visit the area during this extraordinary time of year.
From antique shops on Main Street to Christmas strolls with horse-drawn carriage rides and Santa Claus appearances, shopping on The Cape at Christmas time is something that the whole family can enjoy.
Find Gifts at the Boutiques
For the small-town shopping experience, look no further than The Plum Porch in Marstons Mills. This small gift shop has been in business since 2000 but has recently been taken on by new ownership. The store sells sophisticated, yet simple, gifts and provides an intimate shopping environment.
Located in Sandwich’s Merchants Square, Wish Gift Company is another local gift shop that is full of Christmas present ideas. If you’re struggling to come up with the perfect gift for that special someone, chances are you’ll find something unique at this little store.
Dig For One-of-a-Kind Antiques
Harwich Port is home to a great deal of history, and Windsong Antiques is proudly part of this past. Not only is this a store where you can buy antique goods to bring home, but it also sits inside a carriage barn on the same grounds as an 18th-century sea captain's house.
The MEWS at Brewster Antiques sells a variety of functional antique products, including furniture, tools, stoneware, and pattern glass, making it a favorite among locals and visitors alike. The selection at The MEWS is astounding, so it comes by its popularity honestly.
Check Out Some Art
Fancy some local art? Well, look for further than Local Color Art Gallery in Chatham. The main draw associated with this gallery is the selection of pieces by local artists. If you're from elsewhere in the country, there's no better way to expose yourself to the bustling art scene on Cape Cod than at this location.
Local art can also be found at Books by the Sea. As the name suggests, this Centerville store sells books, both fiction and non-fiction, that are either written by local authors or about the region. The shop doubles as an art gallery, however, which also takes on a local flair.
Invest in Locally-made Gifts
Everything found in Cape Coddle, which is an Orleans retailer, is made in the United States and the vast majority of the toys, ornaments, decor, and jewelry found there are created by Cape Cod locals. This retailer is a one-of-a-kind venue where you aren't just buying a gift for a loved one, you’re giving a piece of Americana.
Every Christmas season, between mid-November and the third week of December, the Falmouth Art Center hosts the Holiday Market & Gift Gallery. The market showcases hand-crafted gifts, including pottery and knit items, that are made in the area by local artisans.
Plan Around the Sales and Special Events
Various communities on Cape Cod organize holiday strolls to kick-off the Christmas shopping season. An example of this is the Wellfleet Holiday Stroll, an event that highlights local businesses and provides music and entertainment for all who attend. You might even catch a brass band performance, depending on the year.
A similar event is the Yarmouth Port Christmas Stroll, which features trolley rides, food, crafts, and a Christmas tree lighting. Local businesses have giveaways and attractions throughout the night, as well. Watch for sales and special discounts at the winter strolls. Afterward, head over to Barnstable Village to warm up with a cup of organic coffee and a delicious sandwich at Nirvana Coffee Company. You won’t regret your decision.
More Than Just a Christmas Shop
Christmas shopping can be stressful, but the events and shops on Cape Cod prove that this doesn’t always have to be the case. The stores here are smaller and less hectic, providing locals with a more peaceful experience around the holidays
When visiting The Cape over the holidays, save some of your Christmas shopping energy for these wonderful small businesses. You won’t regret choosing to make the most of your Cape Cod Christmas.
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Cape Cod Christmas Events and Happenings
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Thursday, December 7, 2017
Parades, lights, fairs, and concerts, Christmas is an extraordinary time on Cape Cod. Winter brings shorter days and quieter streets, making it is far easier to have a look at some local vacation rentals and take life at your own pace.
It is also possible to enjoy the serenity of the empty beaches and the beauty of the sunrises and sunsets over the ocean, giving Christmas a far different feel from the rest of the country.
After all, where else can you watch Santa arrive by boat or take a walk over snow-covered sand dunes?
Have a look at the Christmas events on Cape Cod and start planning your holiday season visit today.
Gardens Aglow and Holly Days in Sandwich
Starting near the end of November and running through much of December is Gardens Aglow, an event that turns Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich into the perfect Christmas destination.
During this time, the outdoor garden area at the museum is decorated with 12 miles of lights, creating a fun atmosphere for the entire family.
Joining the lights are musical performances, model train displays, Santa Claus appearances, and baby animals, creating a Winter Wonderland. The museum is perhaps the most festive location that you’ll come across on Cape Cod, although it does have some steep competition.
Gardens Aglow is part of the Sandwich Holly Days celebration, which also includes holiday home tours, community caroling opportunities, the lighting of the Christmas tree, and even a breakfast with Santa Claus.
There’s no shortage of holiday events in Cape Cod’s oldest town during the holidays.
Concerts, Sales, and Chatham's Seaside
Sandwich might get a lot of attention around Christmas because of the plethora of events that take place, but Chatham is doing its part to keep the holiday spirit alive.
It all starts in Chatham with the Christmas By The Sea Stroll, an event featuring a tree-lighting ceremony, carriage rides, Santa Claus, and Christmas caroling. You can also tour the area's inns and museums, which are decorated just for the holidays.
On the same weekend as the Christmas By The Sea Stroll, Chatham has its Cookie Express sale. This bake sale is an annual event that attracts people from all over The Cape because of the volume and quality of the holiday goodies.
Christmas music is a large part of getting into the spirit and Chatham has you covered there, as well. The Chatham Community Christmas Concert is hosted by the First Congregational Church and features a full choir and orchestra. It's a must-see if you are spending the holidays on Cape Cod.
Dennis' Village Stroll and Holiday Decor
Not to be outdone, the Dennis Village Christmas Stroll contributes further opportunities to immerse yourself in the Cape Cod Christmas season.
This festival, which takes place in mid-December, has a Christmas tree lighting, hayrides, rides on the trolley, and even a petting zoo.
Of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus are on-site, and there is a face painting station for the kids. Adults will take joy in the silent auction and food samples, as well. There is live music throughout the day at the Village Green Bandstand.
Keep in mind that similar festivals take place in towns like Orleans, Hyannis, Falmouth, Brewster, Harwich, Provincetown, and Yarmouth Port, so even if you’re not in Dennis, Chatham, or Sandwich, you can experience the magic of a Cape Cod Christmas. Hyannis is also home to the Cape Cod Enchanted Village at Cape Codder Resort, featuring carolers, Santa, and bonfires.
Part of the Dennis Village Christmas Stroll is a night at the Manse, which is a colonial house done up in Christmas decorations every year. All you have to do is get on the trolley at the Stroll, and you'll end up at the Manse and the magic that this trip entails.
Holiday Hike in Falmouth
Falmouth's Ashumet Holly Wildlife Sanctuary features a large holly plantation, making it the perfect place to check out during the holidays. In fact, the farm is one of the largest in all of New England, and it takes advantage of this stature by holding an event every Christmas season.
The sanctuary has over 65 different types of holly, and for a small fee, visitors can fill a bag with these specimens and take them home for holiday decorating.
The Holiday Hike is one reason why Falmouth becomes a Christmas town every winter.
The Christmas Parade
While there are other Christmas parades on Cape Cod, such as the one in Falmouth, no town does it better than Mashpee. This town's annual Christmas parade follows a unique theme each year and is an all-day event, plan on spending some serious time there.
From award-winning bands to parade floats decorated in Christmas lights, the Mashpee Chamber Christmas Parade has something for everyone.
Hot chocolate stands sit throughout the parade route, encouraging parade-goers to have a look around and see what they can find.
Experience Christmas on Cape Cod
There’s something old-world about Christmas on Cape Cod that you’ll have to experience to appreciate. As Christmas becomes more commercialized every year, it’s refreshing to have a place where events, festivals, and togetherness remain in high regard and where communities go out of their way to organize such an atmosphere.
No matter where on The Cape you choose to spend your holidays, you’re sure to find unique seaside Christmas features that are becoming lost elsewhere in the country.
Cape Cod Christmas
Cape Cod Bike Paths
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, December 4, 2017
This is the first in a series of articles about cycling on Cape Cod. Expect in depth articles on individual bike paths in the upcoming months. Bike trails and paths are everywhere on Cape Cod, and this isn't by accident. The presence and design of the trails are purposefully done, as those who planned the bikeways studied similar coastal areas, such as those found in California, and tried to emulate their scenery and accessibility.
The natural beauty of the area means that visitors want to spend their time outdoors and there’s no more convenient or exciting way to experience the environment than by choosing a route and following it for a few miles.
Cycling is popular from early spring through the autumn. Basically, if you don’t see snow on the ground, you are sure to come across locals and tourists alike using the bike paths. While cycling has always had a place on Cape Cod, it really took off following the 1978 purchase of part of the old Pennsylvania Central Railroad grade by the Department of Environmental Management. This purchase provided the land necessary for the Rail Trail, which has become very popular and has helped to create the cycling culture that is present today.
In fact, the popularity of biking has risen to the point where if you visit The Cape and don't get some cycling in, expect some serious questioning from friends and family as to why when you get home.
So get out there and enjoy nature on your next visit to Cape Cod!
Activities Along the Trails
Heading out for a cycle on Cape Cod doesn’t stop at choosing a destination and then starting your journey, as each trail has its own story and a unique set of activities along the way.
Many trails have picnic spots, complete with tables and shade, providing you with everything that you need for a quick meal. These points, which often sit in a state park, are fabulous because you can pack a lunch, eat along the trail, and then return to your vacation rental for dinner.
Some paths, such as those along the National Seashore or in Nickerson State Park, have swimming opportunities, as well. Be sure to pack your swimsuit because you can work up a sweat along the trail and then cool off in the water.
The great thing about accessing a beach via a bike path is that they tend to be away from the roadways and, therefore, are secluded and less crowded. Locals will tell you that the best place to relax on the beach and enjoy the dunes is along an oceanfront trail.
Cycling or Mountain Biking
Don’t know which type of bike to bring to Cape Cod? Well, in short, it depends on the type of bike trail you wish to take. There are numerous paved paths in the area, which you can easily navigate with a road bike. These pathways are well-maintained and smooth, so you won’t have any trouble travelling from place to place.
If you plan on trying some of the unpaved trails in the region, however, a mountain bike is a must. These trails offer a more technical and challenging ride, but the payoff is always worth it.
View, View, and More Views
And when speaking of the payoff, of course, we mean the views. Each bikeway has a different landscape and, therefore, a unique scene to offer those who complete it. One trail might present a panoramic look at a lake, while another might get you up close and personal with a cranberry bog.
There are woodlands, parks, canals, flowers, wildlife, and anything else that you could hope to see on Cape Cod along these trails.
You can also get close to history while taking a bike trip, as bridges, homesteads, and museums seem to pop out of nowhere, allowing to experience one-of-a-kind attractions while out for your cycle.
Rules and Regulations
Before embarking on a cycling journey on The Cape, make sure that you are aware of the rules.
Most of the rules are common sense, as all riders under the age of 16 must wear a helmet, but it is advisable that all bikers have one.
Riders should stay in single file and announce themselves when passing others. It is critical that you don’t ride too fast, either.
Finally, riders should keep to the marked trails because it is illegal to ride your bike off the paths.
Following the rules and guidelines ensures that you'll have fun, and stay safe at the same time.
Go For a Ride
That’s it! You’re now ready to take on the breathtaking and accessible bike trails that line all areas of Cape Cod. It doesn't matter if you're staying in Woods Hole or South Dennis, there is a scenic trail at your disposal.
Just don’t forget to bring or rent a bike on your next visit.
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Cape Cod and Cranberries
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Saturday, November 25, 2017
For many, Cape Cod conjures up images of sand, sun, and relaxation, thanks to its location on the ocean and abundance of beaches. And, let’s face it, that’s a fair assessment, as Cape Cod is one of the nation’s more popular and scenic oceanfront areas, particularly during the summer months.
There’s more to Cape Cod than beaches and relaxation, however. While summer tourism is perhaps the most prominent industry on The Cape, it's not the only one, nor is it the oldest.
The cranberry bogs are as old as Cape Cod itself and remain a significant attraction and export. Cranberry farming is linked to the tourism industry through the various festivals and tours found in the region, as well.
The next time you visit Chatham, Harwich Port, or anywhere else on The Cape, make sure that you stop by a cranberry bog to learn about this superfood and its history in the area, while sampling some locally harvested cranberries.
You won't regret it.
History of Cranberries on Cape Cod
Cape Cod is one of the first places settled by European pilgrims arriving in what is now North America, and cranberries are a native crop in the region, so it makes sense that there is a lot of history regarding this fruit.
Referred to as sasumuneash by Native Americans, the berry was first used for its medicinal qualities. In 1816, Henry Hall was the first to cultivate the fruit when he built fences around fields of wild cranberries to protect them from wildlife. The plants thrived under these conditions, and by 1820, Hall was able to ship 30 barrels of the product to New York to sell on the local market.
From there, cultivated cranberry bogs began popping up all over the place, stimulating the local economy when the ship-building industry, an important job-providing industry on Cape Cod in the 1800s, slowed down.
By the 1850s, cultivated cranberry bogs were everywhere on Cape Cod, with the product being shipped all over the eastern United States.
Cape Cod Cranberry Events and Festivals
Festivals and other events go hand-in-hand with the cranberry harvesting season, as locals and visitors alike get together to celebrate another successful season of cranberry production. Organized festivals provide something to do on Cape Cod in the autumn, too.
The Harwich Cranberry Festival is a music festival and craft fair that coincides with the annual cranberry harvest. Admission to the festival is free, and it lasts for two days in September. Wine, beer, and food are sold at the event, as well.
The annual Cranberry Harvest Celebration takes place on Columbus Day weekend and has become a tradition to the people of Cape Cod. The festival is educational, as visitors can watch the harvesting of the berries, and numerous displays are set up to explain the significance of cranberry crops. Cooking demonstrations, helicopter rides, craft fairs, and a farmers' market are among the activities found over the course of the weekend.
There is also a music festival, pony rides, a train, and wagon rides, so the entire family will find something to enjoy. You can even wade into a cranberry bog, should you be into that sort of thing.
Cranberry Bogs and Tours
When the cranberry harvest begins around Labor Day every year, the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers’ Association puts out a list of cranberry bogs that you can visit. Tours are available at many of these bogs, providing insight into the Cape Cod’s vibrant cranberry producing history.
Annie's Crannies, which sits in Dennis, the home of the cultivated cranberry, is a working cranberry farm with an on-site gift shop selling fresh fruit. The farm uses antique screening equipment to check the quality of the berries picked, and even sells honey and beeswax candles.
Local farmers Leo & Andrea Cakounes have a bog in Harwich that is known as the largest organic cranberry farm on Cape Cod. Daily tours run in the spring, summer, and fall and provide insight into the work it takes and the equipment used to create a fully-functional cranberry farm.
A great place to learn about the history of cranberry production on the Cape is Brooks Academy Museum. The museum has artifacts, exhibits, and interactive displays, making it a highly-accessible location for guests of all ages. In October, the institution puts on cranberry bog tours, as well.
Cranberry Vacation on Cape Cod
If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about the history of cranberries on Cape Cod and Massachusetts in general, fall is the time to visit area because you'll find many different events to experience.
By taking a tour or hitting up a festival, you can discover more about this native plant species and impress your friends when you know the difference between Early Blacks and Howes varieties of cranberries.
Cape Cod is waiting for you
Cape Cod Fall Festivals Vacation
Why You Should Visit Cape Cod in the Fall
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, November 13, 2017
I'm going to let you in on a little secret.
Are you ready?
It might be a shocker, but Cape Cod is a great place to travel to in the fall.
While the Cape is largely known as a summer destination, and, let’s face it, summertime is beautiful in the area, the autumn is Cape Cod’s exciting little secret.
It’s true because the fall provides a slower pace of life and the ultimate in relaxation, making it the perfect destination for those who like to decompress at the end of the summer or get away in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
With an average high of 51 degrees in November, it's warm enough that you can spend time outside without freezing while enjoying the sights and sounds of Cape Cod in the fall.
Book your fall vacation on Cape Cod and don’t miss the following great activities for a family or a couple.
Take Scenic Strolls on the Beach
Even though the sunbathing season is over for the year, the beaches on the Cape remain open. This is good news for anyone looking for solitude and relaxation, as you can walk for miles on Nauset Beach in Orleans, Ballston Beach in Truro, or Seagull Beach on the Yarmouth seaside without bumping into anyone.
Those who visit Cape Cod during the autumn love being able to explore nature alone for the day, without having to fight the crowds for a parking for space, while witnessing the fall foliage in the background.
Having a peaceful day exploring the beaches and sand dunes is part of New England coastal living that you must experience to truly appreciate.
Avoid the Lines at Restaurants
If you've ever tried to get a table at a Cape Cod restaurant in summer, you know how frustrating it can be.
Don't have a reservation? Don't even bother trying to get into one of the area's hotspots unless you fancy a 10 PM dinner.
In the fall, however, you will have more choice because the tourists have gone home for the year. This is the best time of year to try a number of different restaurants without having to reserve a table days or even weeks in advance.
For a spontaneous foodie vacation, The Cape in the fall is one of your better bets. Del Mar Bistro in Chatham, Jimmy's HideAway in Provincetown, and Captain Linnell House in Orleans are three eateries that aren’t to be missed.
Experience the Fall Events and Festivals
A surprising number of events and festivals are part of a Cape Cod fall:
In mid September, the Cranberry Festival brings two days of food, drinks, and entertainment to Harwich. In mid-October, the Wellfleet Oysterfest brings a similar dynamic to the Outer Cape. Music, local beer, artisan arts and crafts, and an oyster shuck-off highlight the event.
Fall for the Arts Festival is a month-long, Cape-wide festival that highlights the area’s performing arts. The festival typically takes place in October and November and includes concerts, plays, and other forms of live entertainment. Heritage walks and guided art tours are also part of the event.
Ride the Train to Christmas Town
As we get further into the autumn and the Christmas season kicks off, The Train to Christmas Town is a top attraction on Cape Cod. This train ride, which departs from Buzzards Bay, takes guests to Christmas Town and is outfitted with storybook characters in full costume, elves, and, of course, hot cocoa.
At the end of the tour, Santa Claus himself makes a personal appearance.
The train runs from late November through Christmas and is sure to create a memorable experience and keep the Christmas magic alive for any children that take a ride.
Something for Everyone
Whether you’re looking for a family vacation full of seaside festivals or a romantic getaway with live music and dinner for two, Cape Cod has fall activities for everyone. And because more accommodation options are available during the slower months, it is easier to create your ideal trip to the Cape once the crowds leave after the summer.
Cape Cod Christmas Fall Restaurants
Welcome to the Kinlin Grover Vacation Rentals Blog
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Friday, November 3, 2017
Thank you for stopping by Kinlin Grover Vacation Rentals' brand new blog. In this space, you can expect to find coverage of any and all topics related to Cape Cod. These posts will provide insight into the area and to let you know how The Cape offers more than meets the eye.
We hope to enlighten and entertain you while providing valuable content about the various communities that make up Cape Cod. We’ll also let you know why you shouldn't miss these places when you’re in the area.
We’re not going to bore you with topics that have been re-hashed over and over again, but will rather provide you with information that you can use in your everyday life.
And, of course, we encourage you to check out some of the over 750 vacation homes that we have for rent on Cape Cod. Keep in mind that Cape Cod is about 70 miles long, so there are plenty of locations from which to choose, each coming with its own unique touches and attractions.
About Cape Cod
If you’ve never been to Cape Cod, it’s good to start by learning a little bit about the region. So in about 100 words:
The Cape has a colorful history dating back to 1620 when the Pilgrims entered Cape Harbor (now Provincetown Harbor) for the first time. In 1639, the first towns on Cape Cod were incorporated, and from there the region has developed into one of the country’s more popular tourist destinations.
Today, Cape Cod is an area featuring the widest sea-level canal in the world, an abundance of cranberry bogs, a myriad of scrub oak and pine forests, and the best seafood in the United States.
It is a region with beautiful, sandy beaches, whale-watching opportunities, and a culture that is as unique as the dunes on the Cape Cod National Seashore.
So there is Cape Cod in a nutshell. But what else goes on here? There must be something in particular that brings visitors back year after year.
The short answer is that it’s not one sole aspect of Cape Cod that brings people back, it’s the package as a whole.
There’s too much to touch upon in a single blog post, which is why we’re going to cover a variety of topics over the coming weeks and months to give visitors a better idea of what this wondrous peninsula has in store for them.
We’ll definitely explore the four sections that make up Cape Cod because each section has its own unique features. The sections have different geography, different people, different events and, despite their similarities, are all-around different places.
From the history of Bourne, Sandwich and the rest of the Upper Cape to the beaches in Barnstable and Yarmouth of Mid Cape. From the incredible parks in Brewster and Harwich in the Lower Cape to the fishing in Truro and Provincetown in the Outer Cape, we’ll cover it all.
What to Expect
For the most part, the posts on this blog will be applicable to you if:
• You're looking to vacation on Cape Cod for the first time
• You want to get more out of your next holiday on Cape Cod
• You hope to learn about Cape Cod before deciding to vacation here
Make sure that you check back regularly if you fall into any of those categories.
Topics that we’re sure to touch upon here include:
• Activities and features that are unique to Cape Cod
• Hiking, cycling and adventure opportunities
• The best places to find chowder, lobster rolls, and oysters
• Where to go boating, sailing, fishing, and swimming
• Why Cape Cod Christmas and New Years are special
So check back often and tell your friends because we’re going to dig deep into all things Cape Cod on the Kinlin Grover Vacation Rentals blog.
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