The Beach Times

One Day in Orleans: Where to Visit
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, August 5, 2019

Orleans Cape Cod


With so much to see and do on Cape Cod, coming up with an itinerary is almost impossible.

In addition, you might not want to spend more than one day exploring each town, since there are so many activities on other parts of the Cape.

So, let's say, for example, you plan to spend one day in Orleans, Massachussets.


Where do you go?

What do you see?

Where do you eat?

You'll have plenty of options, but here are some great recommendations to start your search in this Outer Cape town.


Have Breakfast at Homeport Restaurant

Homeport Restaurant enjoys a central location on Main Street in Orleans and has been a local institution for over 45 years, making it an ideal place to start your day. The restaurant opens at 5:30 every morning, as well, and since you're only spending one day in Orleans, you'll want to get going early.

On the menu, you'll find standard breakfast fare like eggs, bacon, sausage, and toast, in addition to omelets, French toast, benedicts, and pancakes.


Visit the Jonathan Young Windmill

Depending on how early you go for breakfast, there might not be much open. Luckily, you can check out the Jonathan Young Windmill 24 hours a day because it's part of Town Cove Park, although you can only go inside during limited hours between June and September.

The windmill dates back to the early 1700s and is unique because all of its original parts and machinery still work.


Go for a Swim in Meeting House Pond

In East Orleans, but just a few minutes from the windmill, Meeting House Pond is well worth a visit. If you drive down Barely Neck Road to the area between Bayberry Way and Harveys Lane, you'll come to a small clearing with a public dock and boat launch. This area is great for swimming on a hot day.

You can also take boat tours from the north end of the pond if you'd rather spend a few hours seeing the area on the water.


Enjoy Some Lunch at the Nauset Grill

Now that you've worked up an appetite again, it's time to grab some lunch. The Nauset Grill will be easy to find because it's across the street from Homeport Restaurant. Convenient, right?

The restaurant is also a must-visit because it has some of Cape Cod's best lobster rolls, and it wouldn't be a trip to the Cape without trying at least one of these local favorites. Of course, if you're not into seafood, you can also find burgers, salads, chicken dishes, and a wide variety of other options here.


Learn Some History at the French Cable Station Museum

Just around the corner from the Nauset Grill sits the French Cable Station Museum. This venue is historically significant because, in World War I, telegraph cables were run underneath the Atlantic Ocean between the station and France. These cables allowed American generals to communicate with government officials while overseas.

Today, you can tour the station, and see some of the original equipment used during the war. Keep in mind that the museum is only open from 1:00 to 4:00 PM on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays between June and September, so it might not work for every Orleans excursion.


Grab a Beer at the Hog Island Beer Company

You've experienced some history and gone for a swim, so let's enjoy a beer, shall we? The Hog Island Beer Company has local beer, a fantastic patio, and live music, making it a great place to relax for a while before dinner. You can also pick up a growler to-go if you want to enjoy a drink when you're back at your vacation rental.


Head to Mahoney's Atlantic Bar & Grill For Dinner

Driving less than a mile north from the brewery takes you to Mahoney's Atlantic Bar & Grill, where you'll enjoy your dinner. Mahoney's is known for its classic New England fare, and although it's slightly upscale, you won't feel out of place if you aren't dressed to the nines. The focus here is on seafood, but you'll find a little bit of everything if you've had your fill after the lobster rolls at lunch.

One thing to remember is that Mahoney's doesn't offer reservations and they open at 5:00 for dinner. If you're set on eating here and having something else to do after, it's best to be here early, so you're not left waiting.


Cheer on the Orleans Firebirds

Depending on the season and the night of the week, you might have the chance to check out an Orleans Firebirds baseball game. The Cape Cod Baseball League is a local institution, bringing some of the country's some collegiate players to the Cape to hone their skills in the summer.

Firebirds' games are free, and there is on-site parking. Since there aren't any bleachers, however, you'll have to plan ahead and bring some chairs or a blanket with you.


Wander to The Local Scoop for Dessert

You're probably exhausted at this point, but you haven't had dessert yet. Luckily, The Local Scoop is a three-minute drive from the ballpark and offers some of Cape Cod's best frozen treats. Everything here is made on-site, and you can even design a sundae with whatever ingredients you wish.

Some of the best-selling items at the ice cream shop include their homemade frozen yogurt, organic ice cream, dipped cones, and Cape Cod pops. The Local Scoop is open until 10:00 PM every night in the summer, so you should have time to get there after the game.


Making the Most of Your Time in Orleans

You might not have time to do all of these activities in a single day in Orleans unless you really hustle, but with most venues being within a few minutes of each other, it's certainly possible. Of course, you could always spend more than one day in this lively town, or come back next year and do it all again.

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