The Beach Times
Exploring the Cape's Secret Swimming Holes
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, July 1, 2019
Nothing feels better on a hot day than a quick dip, and Cape Cod is full of incredible places to go swimming. At the same time, many local swimming areas are overcrowded in the summer, making them chaotic and less relaxing.
Luckily, the Cape’s kettle ponds provide a break from the oceanfront madness, and while many attract modest crowds throughout the summer, some of the more remote pools sit nearly empty.
Here are some secret swimming holes on Cape Cod that you’ll need a map to find and some good hiking shoes to reach, but are well worth that effort that you’ll put into getting there.
Micah Pond in Osterville
Those who know about Micah Pond are quite lucky because it sits in a convenient location, less than five minutes from downtown Osterville, and is just north of Joshua Pond, which is far more popular thanks to its parking lot and beach. While the crowds flock to Joshua Pond in the summer, the few who are aware of Micah Pond have much of it to themselves, including its rope swing.
Getting to Micah Pond is relatively straightforward from downtown Osterville, as you can follow Main Street until you reach Pond Street before heading northeast. You'll have to learn where to stop, however, as the pond's entrance isn't marked and all you'll have to go on is a small gate. You can park by the gate before following the trail on the other side of it to the water.
Hawksnest Pond in Harwich
You're going to have some trouble locating Hawksnest Pond because there are no signs, paved roads, or residential developments here. The one saving grace is that you can see the pond from Spruce Road in Harwich, which is just off the Mid-Cape Highway and a little bit south of Long Pond.
As you drive down Spruce Road, you'll come to an unmarked dirt road that leads to the water. Once you get to the pond, you'll be glad that you took the time because very few people know about this location and it's excellent for a secluded swim with no one else in the area.
Dyer Pond in Wellfleet
Dyer Pond in Wellfleet enjoys both convenience and seclusion because it is about a 15-minute walk from the parking lot at Great Pond, so you don't have to worry about finding somewhere to leave your vehicle, as long as you arrive before the area fills for the day. To reach the parking lot, all you do is exit Route 6 at Cahoon Hollow Road and follow it until you arrive at Great Pond. From there, you can walk on an old forestry road directly to Dyer Pond.
There isn't much of a beach at Dyer Pond, but you will find clear, calm water and an environment that's so secluded that it's impossible to believe that you're only about five minutes from the highway. The pond is also surrounded by a dense pine forest, adding to its secretive location and relaxing atmosphere. Perhaps the best aspect of this location is that you must have a resident sticker to park, so it would be too much of a hassle for tourists to bother trying to get there.
Duck Pond in Wellfleet
Dyer Pond isn’t the only secluded body of water near Great Pond, as Duck Pond, which is just to its south, is also a great place to check out for a swim this summer. There is only a single residence on the Pond, and it has a small beach, crystal clear water, and abundant tree cover. It’s incredibly quiet and secluded here, although it has become slightly more popular with locals in recent years.
Getting to Duck Pond is a little tricky because you'll have to park your vehicle and then walk along an unpaved, unmarked old country road. Many people find a parking spot on the Old King’s Highway before following some utility poles through a clearing. A little way into the clearing, you’ll come across a path that leads to the pond. It takes a bit of effort to reach Duck Pond, but that's just how those who know about this hidden gem like it.
Goose Pond in Chatham
Although Goose Pond has the most inhabited shoreline on this list, as there are more than a few homes on its banks, it’s also the easiest to reach, and it has a particularly pleasant swimming area at its northwest end. This area, which is called Fisherman's Landing, is suitable for kids because of its shallow water and nearby parking lot.
Reaching Goose Pond involves getting onto Old Queen Anne Road, which intersects with Main Street in Harwich and Route 28 in downtown Chatham. From there, you'll follow Old Queen Anne Road, passing Schoolhouse Pond, until you reach a dirt road that leads to the parking lot. In the future, there could be more Goose Pond access coming for the public, as the town is in negotiations to purchase 4.17 acres of land from the Atwood family for conservation purposes.
Get Out for Some Secluded Swimming
Dense forest surrounds all of these swimming holes, giving you the impression of being completely alone. It’s easy to imagine yourself as one of Cape Cod’s early settlers as you glide throughout the water without traffic or noise pollution coming from anywhere.
Places like these swimming holes go to show you that Cape Cod can be whatever you want it to be, as long as you’re willing to go and find it.
Cape Cod Ponds Chatham Duck Pond Goose Pond Harwich Hawksnest Pond Micah Pond Osterville Swimming 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
CHATHAM: A postcard-perfect village
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Thursday, April 25, 2019
At a glance
Tucked in Cape Cod’s elbow is the quintessential fishing village of Chatham where, early morning, boats head out to deep waters for the day’s catch.
This perfectly picturesque town, situated at the southern most tip of Cape Cod’s National Seashore, is known for its many beautiful beaches and historic lighthouses, such as the 19th-century Chatham Lighthouse, which now serves as an active U.S. Coast Guard station. Abutting the station is the untarnished, 40-acre Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge – part of the 7,500 acres comprising the Monomoy Islands – where one can stroll along the shoreline, spy migratory birds and watch seals at play.
Out and about
Boaters will find several yacht and boat clubs throughout town, such as Chatham Yacht Club and the Monomoy Yacht Club. Chatham also has a municipal airport for small aircraft.
Chatham is endowed with some of the best golf courses in Massachusetts, and Eastward Ho Country Club, with its stunning, multidirectional water views, has been ranked the best in the state. The plush Wequassett Resort and Golf Club has, among other amenities, pools and four Har-Tru tennis courts. The exquisitely appointed Chatham Bars Inn, an oceanfront resort with sweeping views of the Atlantic, is nearby the 9-hole golf course at Chatham Seaside Links.
The lively and walkable town center is dotted with eclectic shops, galleries, restaurants and inns. Historic Chatham Orpheum Theater has a café, and movie-goers can bring their vittles into the theater. Recreational and cultural enrichment programs abound at the stately Eldredge Public Library, replete with nooks and crannies in which to hide away with a book. At Chatham’s Creative Arts Center, budding (and established) artists will find year-round classes and workshops by nationally recognized artists.
You don’t need to look any further than Chatham’s Veterans Field for America’ s favorite pastime. The Chatham Anglers, a collegiate summer baseball team, plays in the Cape Cod Baseball League’s East Division. The Anglers, together with other teams in the Cape league, has sent dozens of college athletes to the pros. The games run from mid-June though mid-August.
Chatham’s year-round population is roughly 6,500. Its Monomoy Regional School District participates in school choice across all grades, which permits students to attend charter or technical schools in nearby Harwich. Given Chatham’s many amenities, it seems tailor-made for families.
Squanto, the Native American known for being a guide and interpreter for the Pilgrims, died and was buried in Chatham, although his precise resting place in the village continues to be a matter of debate.
Chatham Chatham Anglers Monomoy Veterans Field
The Top 5 Places for a Sub or Sandwich in Chatham
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Friday, December 21, 2018
Grabbing a quick sandwich is an easy way to go when looking for lunch on Cape Cod because you can take your meal pretty much anywhere and enjoy it in peace, perhaps with a view of the ocean. If you love subs and sandwiches, you’re in luck if you’re on a Chatham vacation because the town has an abundance of great options.
Have a look at this list of cafes and restaurants in Chatham because each has a wide selection of some of the Cape’s best sandwiches, and some of them even bake the bread in-house, allowing you to experience something that is unique to Cape Cod.
1) Chatham Village Cafe and Bakery
Top spot on this list belongs to the Chatham Village Cafe and Bakery on Crowell Road, a popular eatery with an outdoor seating area and extended hours in July and August. While the bakery is known for its desserts, breakfast and lunch sandwiches on in-house-baked bread are also a hit with locals and visitors alike. The lunch menu features a variety of turkey-based sandwiches, including the Pilgrim, which comes topped with cranberry sauce and stuffing, and a creation with roast beef, Swiss cheese, coleslaw, and Russian dressing called The Special. Roast beef and vegetarian sandwiches are also available, or you can build your own sandwich if there's something particular you'd like to try.
2) Chatham Perk
Over on Orleans Road in North Chatham is Chatham Perk, a coffee bar with an extensive menu filled with pastries, salads, soups, and, of course, sandwiches. Every sandwich on the list is named after a local landmark, which means you'll find originals like Stillwater Pond, Ryders Cove, Pleasant Bay, and Lighthouse Beach, an Italian sub with salami, ham, Gouda, bacon, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion, and hot peppers, available to order. The cafe also has a variety of grilled paninis from which to choose, should you want something different than a traditional sandwich or sub.
3) New England Pizza
Right on Main Street near downtown Chatham is New England Pizza, a restaurant that is known for its pizza, calzones, and pasta, but is also home to perhaps Chatham’s largest selection of subs. Every sub on the menu comes in six-inch or 12-inch varieties and includes your choice of toppings, including lettuce, tomato, onion, peppers, and pickles. Sandwiches at the restaurant include grilled chicken, salami, veggie, Canadian, Italian, steak and cheese, roast beef, pastrami, tuna, cheeseburger, and BLT. If there's a type of sub sandwich that you can think, there's a good chance they have it at New England Pizza. The restaurant is a great place to go for a beer, as well, so head on down and enjoy a pint with your sub.
4) Chatham Village Market
You might not think of a grocery store as being one of the best places to grab a sandwich, but if you’re in Chatham, Massachusetts, you’d be wrong. Chatham Village Market has a wide selection of prepared meals, including some of the best sandwiches and subs you’ll ever have the opportunity to taste. Every lunch is handmade right in the on-site deli, so anything that you pick-up will be fresh and ready to eat right when you arrive. You won't even have to order your meal here, as you can simply grab it and pay as you're leaving.
5) Public Cafe
Located in the heart of Chatham, Public Cafe is a relatively new eatery that has quickly earned a solid reputation in the area because of the authentically prepared Nepalese cuisine they offer, in addition to their traditional lunch menu with soups, salads, and sandwiches. The Cubano, avocado and cheese, and turkey pesto sandwiches are particularly popular, and you can get them as a grilled panini, as well. Make sure you try the organic coffee or one of their house-made iced drinks with your meal.
Plenty of Places to Grab a Great Lunch
It has never been easier to find a great lunch in Chatham, as there are outstanding sandwich and sub shops throughout the town. As a bonus, all of these venues are open throughout the winter, except for New England Pizza, which closes from December 31 until early March, so you can find a quick meal when visiting in the off-season. Cape Cod is recognized for its seafood, but that reputation is quickly expanding to include nearly any type of cuisine you could imagine. You won't regret taking the time to grab a sandwich at one of these great venues in Chatham.
Chatham Chatham Dining Subs Sandwiches Where To Eat In Chatham
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
Where the Locals Eat in Chatham
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, April 23, 2018
Whenever you spend time on Cape Cod, taking advantage of the plethora of high-end dining options is a must, as the Cape’s “foodie” scene has come a long way in recent years.
Traditionally, Cape Cod has been known for its waterfront clam shacks and seafood joints, and while these classics are still alive and well, there is a more sophisticated side to dining in Chatham, and beyond, that unquestionably must be experienced.
If you want to avoid the typical tourist-centric restaurants on Cape Cod and experience life as a local, check out these restaurants in Chatham at some point during your vacation. You won’t regret your decision to eat like a Cape Cod resident at a local hot spot.
Breakfast and Lunch
Set right along Chatham’s Main Street, Captain’s Table tends to blend in with its surroundings. This is because pretty much everything along Main Street looks like a cottage and this outstanding restaurant is no different.
In fact, Captain’s Table shares a cottage-style venue with a couple of other businesses and isn’t very large at all, but the quality of the food more than makes up for its small size. It also has a sizable patio that many locals believe provides the best outdoor dining experience on the Cape.
The restaurant is family-run and has been around for over 50 years, so it’s easy to see why it has become a staple for those who live here.
Breakfast is incredibly popular at Captain’s Table, as the menu consists of multiple egg and omelet dishes, combined with bacon, sausage, and other breakfast favorites. You can also order pancakes and French toast, or choose a breakfast burrito.
On Sundays, make sure you get there early to enjoy the restaurant’s brunch menu, which includes various Bloody Mary creations, each constructed with the house-made mix.
The fun at Captain’s Table doesn’t stop after breakfast and brunch, as the restaurant is also a go-to lunch spot for many locals. Seafood, soups, sandwiches, paninis, salads, and burgers are available at lunchtime, and there is a kid's menu should you want to bring the little ones. Cape Cod Beer is on tap, as well, because, hey, you’re on vacation.
Dinner in Chatham
Once you’ve had your breakfast and lunch, it’s time to start thinking about what to do for dinner. Again, you’ll have plenty of options, but if you want to know what a local would do, the answer probably involves a trip to Chatham Raw Bar or Pate’s Restaurant.
While Raw Bar technically sits along Main Street, it’s set back away from the road, and if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you might miss it. Perhaps this is why the restaurant is a local favorite, although it could also be the collection of hand-selected, locally-produced oysters and shellfish on its menu. You'll also find tuna, lobster, scallops, prawns, mussels, and chowder at the establishment, so be sure to check it out if you're looking for a seafood dinner.
Pate's Restaurant has been around since 1957 and is somewhat of a landmark in the area. This is the place to go if you're in search of a meal that is cooked to perfection using only the finest ingredients available. The prime rib at Pate's is famous, and they make a pretty good steak, too. The baked potatoes, lobster, and grilled seafood are also recommended, and you can expect to find an impressive wine list.
Try Some Pizza
While New York and Chicago get all of the attention for their pizza, it might surprise to you learn that there are some who think the pizza on Cape Cod is actually better. The scene might not be as large or competitive as in those major centers, but the quality is unmistakably top notch.
A few doors down from Pate's is one of the best in Chatham: New England Pizza. This is more than a pizza restaurant, as soups, salads, subs, pasta, and burgers are on the menu, but its Greek-style pizza is the reason why locals return time after time. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and has take-out and kid's menus, as well.
Almost directly across Main Street from Captain’s Table is Carmine’s, a pizza restaurant and cafe that always draws a local crowd. This pizzeria offers pizza by the slice and a selection of specialty pies that aren't to be missed. If you're tired of the same old varieties found at every pizza chain in the country, give Carmine's a try for some uniquely different combinations. Calzones, subs, smoothies, and salads are always on the menu, too.
Donuts, Pastries, and Desserts
Fancy a snack, dessert, light breakfast, or lunch? Chatham Village Cafe & Bakery has you covered with its freshly-baked breads, bagels, pastries, pies, and cakes. They bake every day at this small bakery, so you can be confident that you’re receiving some of the freshest baked goods on Cape Cod.
The breakfast and lunch menus feature a selection of sandwiches, and you can pick-up a pie or some pastries to enjoy at your Cape Cod vacation rental after dinner. Grab a loaf of fresh bread and some donuts while you're at it to set yourself up for days to come.
Something For Everyone
When spending time in Chatham, it’s nice to know how easy it is to find a good meal. As you walk down the town’s Main Street, dining opportunities will pop out at you, but by going where the locals return time after time, you can assure yourself of receiving a good meal at a fair price in a venue that shows you the real Cape Cod.
There is so much selection when walking through Chatham that you’re sure to find something appealing, no matter what you are in the mood to try.
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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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