The Beach Times
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.
Cape Cod Christmas Kinlin Grover Vacation Rentals
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
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
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