The Beach Times
A Look at Some of Dennis Port's Best Patios
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Thursday, May 20, 2021
Visiting Cape Cod in the summer often means spending large chunks of your time outdoors. There's a good reason for staying outside, as the region usually has lovely weather in the warmest months of the year with more than enough beaches, bike paths, and hiking trails to keep you occupied.
There's more good news, too, as the Cape has an active patio scene in the summer with all types of restaurants getting in on the action.
In Dennis Port, there are outdoor dining areas everywhere, thanks mainly to the community's location overlooking Nantucket Sound.
Here's a look at some of the community's most popular patios that you might want to check out during your Cape Cod vacation.
The Ocean House Beach Bar
One of the more scenic patios anywhere on Cape Cod is the Ocean House Beach Bar. This venue sits directly on Nantucket Sound, offering unobstructed views over the ocean that few other bars or restaurants can match. The bar area has televisions, too, if you want to catch the game in style.
After arriving at the Beach Bar, you'll find an extensive drink menu featuring craft cocktails, local beer, and a decent selection of wine. You can order food from the Ocean House Restaurant, too, if you're in the mood for a meal.
The Sailing Cow
Also overlooking Nantucket Sound is The Sailing Cow, a Southern-style restaurant sitting across from Glendon Road Beach. This restaurant is a great place to head for lunch if you're spending your day by the sand, and it has daily specials on things like chicken wings, oysters, margaritas, and draft beer.
The patio at The Sailing Cow isn't the area's most prominent, but its views of the water make it well worth a visit. It's also worth noting that the venue has live music on weekends, so you can spend your afternoon on the patio before venturing inside to catch a band in the evening.
Following Glendon Road north from The Sailing Cow takes you to The DogHouse, a unique takeout counter specializing in hot dogs. You'll find pretty much any type of hot dog you can imagine at The DogHouse, and they have varieties that you've probably never heard of before, as well.
In addition to hot dogs, you can grab hamburgers, lobster rolls, tacos, salads, fries, and chicken at this roadside vendor, and its patio is full of picnic tables that create a unique atmosphere as you enjoy your food. They have local beer and iced coffee, too, so you can grab a drink while you soak up some sun.
Cleat and Anchor
The Cleat and Anchor is a tavern and restaurant on Lower County Road with a lively patio that turns into a beer garden experience on summer nights. Locals and visitors alike gather in the outdoor area for bar games, drinks, and a festive atmosphere.
As for the menu, you'll find an extensive tap list that focuses on craft beer at the Cleat and Anchor, in addition to wine, cider, and cocktails. The dinner menu has a bit of everything, including house-smoked BBQ dishes, sandwiches, pasta, steak, chicken, seafood, soups, salads, and burgers.
If you're looking for a weekend brunch, you can stop by the venue between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM on Saturday or Sunday for quiche, crepes, eggs benny, chicken and waffles, and breakfast burritos.
It's never a bad time on the patio at the Cleat and Anchor, which is perhaps why its outdoor area is so popular.
The patio at Clancy's Restaurant is far more serene than at the Cleat and Anchor, but it's incredibly scenic and a calming location to stop for a meal or a couple of drinks. That's because the venue's outdoor area overlooks the Swan Pond River, making it a beautiful place to spend an afternoon.
The menu at Clancy's is massive, offering a selection of American-style classics like burgers, sandwiches, and chicken wings. There's also some Cape-style cuisine, such as fried clams, baked scallops, a raw bar, and fish and chips, and you can even grab a lobster roll, lobster salad, or lobster dinner at the restaurant.
You can choose between a beer, some wine, or a craft cocktail, including some frozen options, at Clancy's, too, which is a nice touch if you're looking for a patio in the sun to enjoy a drink or two.
Checking Out Some of Cape Cod's Patios
Dennis Port is a popular destination with the Cape's guests because there's so much activity in the area. The patio scene is a significant part of this activity because it provides the opportunity to stay outdoors while enjoying some food and drinks at a high-end restaurant.
There's likely a patio that's easily accessible from your Cape Cod vacation rental, so search around and find the ideal one to visit.
Dennis Dennisport Dining Outdoor Dining
Places to Buy Fresh Produce in Dennis, MA
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Wednesday, January 20, 2021
One of the best things about booking a vacation rental on Cape Cod is that it allows you to cook. Sure, you'll likely want to check out the local dining scene, but there's something therapeutic about heading to a market and picking up whatever you need for dinner that night.
In Dennis, buying produce could involve stopping by a local farm, as there are a few of them in town that are open to the public.
These farms carry whatever is in season at that particular time, ensuring you're buying the freshest fruit and vegetables available anywhere.
Here's a look at some of the farms you'll find on your vacation in Dennis, Massachusetts.
Hokum Rock Blueberry Farm
Whether you're looking for breakfast or dessert, Hokum Rock Blueberry Farm should be on your list of farms to check out. Here, you can pick blueberries from the on-site fields or buy a pint or two of pre-picked berries from their roadside stand.
The farm enjoys a convenient location on East-West Dennis Road in East Dennis, not far from Dennis Pines Golf Course. Keep in mind that berry season only runs between early July and mid-August, and the farm occasionally closes early for the season if it runs out of blueberries.
Still, for fresh blueberries on the Mid-Cape, it's tough to beat Hokum Rock Blueberry Farm.
Not Enough Acres Farm
East Dennis is also home to Not Enough Acres Farm, an organic produce market sitting just north of Main Street on Sesuit Neck Road.
As its name suggests, this is a small farm with just six acres of land. Nevertheless, owners Jeff and Beth Deck make the most of the space, selling popular produce items like broccoli, carrots, corn, green beans, kale, mushrooms, onions, garlic, peas, salad greens, spinach, tomatoes, and squash.
You'll also find herbs like basil, parsley, and thyme, in addition to honey, goat cheese, and eggs.
The great thing about Not Enough Acres Farm is that they're open from sunrise until sunset throughout the summer. As a result, you'll always have access to fresh seasonal vegetables to bring to your vacation rental.
Cape Abilities Farm
Cape Abilities Farm is just outside of downtown Dennis Village on Main Street, a few blocks from Dennis Public Market. This organic farm features a large market with cheese, dairy products, grocery items, meats, and frozen foods. There's also an on-site bakery.
As for the produce, you'll find all kinds of fruit and vegetables at Cape Abilities Farm, including apples, blueberries, strawberries, lettuce, cucumber, mushrooms, onions, peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes.
Keep in mind that not everything at Cape Abilities is grown on-site, as they source many items from around the Cape, elsewhere in the country, and even internationally. However, most things at this market are organic and high in quality, and they do grow some produce in their on-site greenhouses, too.
If you only want to make one stop as you put your next Cape Cod meal together, chances are you'll find everything you need at Cape Abilities Farm.
If you love cranberries, Annie's Crannies is a must-visit location as you explore the Cape.
This shop is dedicated entirely to cranberries, and it even sits right on a cranberry bog that you can tour if you stop by at the right time.
Once you head inside, you can purchase cranberry jams, candles, soaps, and preserves. There are also fresh cranberries for sale in the fall, and honey from the farm's very own hives, as well.
Visiting Annie's Crannies is more of an experience than the other farms on this list. If you're on the Cape between early October and the middle of November, make sure you stop at their Scarsdale Road location.
Cooking at Your Vacation Rental
Although Dennis only has a population of about 14,000 people, its five villages are pretty spread out. The result is plenty of space for golf courses, forests, and, of course, farms, all of which you can use while vacationing in the area.
Having a vacation rental with a kitchen offers a massive advantage as you explore the Cape. Not only can you save some money by not eating out for every meal, but you can explore some of these local farms and try produce that you otherwise couldn't sample.
Cape Cod is full of beautiful attractions, but the organic farms in its communities are some of the hidden gems that most visitors will never get to experience.
Dennis Farmers Market
Where to Go for a Jog on Your Cape Cod Vacation
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Tuesday, December 15, 2020
Just because you're on vacation doesn't mean you have to take a break from fitness. Luckily, Cape Cod has some of the country's most scenic places to jog, giving you all kinds of options when heading out for a run.
Some of the more popular places to jog include the Cape Cod Rail Trail, the Shining Sea Bikeway, and the Cape Cod Canal. While there's nothing wrong with these scenic, paved paths, there are countless other locations that allow you to explore areas you otherwise wouldn't see.
Here are some highly recommended places to go for a jog on the Cape.
Two Runs Near the Dennis Waterfront
Dennis has a couple of great places to run, starting with Old Wharf Road in Dennis Port. You can start your trek at the municipal parking lot on Chase Avenue before heading to Old Wharf Road and following it to Haigis Beach. The entire run is along the ocean, and there's a nice shoulder the whole way to keep you safe. The jog is about five miles round-trip, and there's a beach at each end where you can cool off.
It's also worth checking out Davis Beach Road in West Dennis. You can begin your journey on Old Country Road, taking Lighthouse Road through a salt marsh before reaching West Dennis Beach. Davis Beach Road extends along West Dennis Beach and continues to the Bass River's mouth, providing a scenic lookout and some trails to explore. This run is also about five miles long.
Five Miles in Hyannis
Downtown Hyannis is a must-see for any visitor to Cape Cod, if for no other reason than its history with the Kennedy family. There's a tremendous five-mile jogging loop through the heart of this vibrant area that takes you past the JFK Hyannis Museum, Veterans Park, and a couple of great beaches.
You can start your run on Main Street, taking the Walkway to the Sea through Hyannis Village Green and getting onto Ocean Street. Once on Ocean Street, you'll follow it past Veterans Park to its endpoint at Kalmus Beach. You can then turn around and retrace your steps before turning onto Harbor Bluff Road, just north of Veterans Park.
You'll then follow a track with stretches on Old Fish Hill Road, Bay Shore Road, Daisy Bluff Road, and Channel Point Road, bringing you to the Hyannis Inner Harbor.
You can then dash around the Harbor before returning to Main Street at the end of your run.
This jog is excellent because it takes you through the bustling village center, some residential neighborhoods, and some beaches, giving you a nice cross-section of life in Hyannis.
Falmouth is a great place to jog because it's home to the Shining Sea Bikeway. However, if you want to explore a different location, Falmouth has you covered.
One great jogging track starts at Nobska Beach in Woods Hole and ends up at Surf Drive Beach near downtown Falmouth. It's three miles each way, but it's well worth the journey because of the beautiful terrain you'll cover.
Starting from Nobska Beach, you'll run on Church Street and Nobska Road along the ocean. From there, you can enter the Shining Sea Bikeway for a short distance before coming to Surf Drive near Falmouth Beach. The jog along Surf Drive is incredibly scenic because it's entirely along the water.
Another great run in Falmouth is on Grand Avenue and Menauhant Avenue along Nantucket Sound. You can begin this run at Falmouth Heights Beach and complete it at Menauhant Town Beach, passing marinas, ponds, and residential neighborhoods along the way. This route is nearly seven miles round-trip, so it'll take you some time to finish.
You'll surely want to visit Chatham during your time on the Cape, and going for a run through town allows you to cover a lot of ground.
Starting on Main Street, you can head north on Shore Road, taking you past the Chatham Fish Pier, with its North Beach Island views. From there, you'll turn south on Old Harbor Road, which goes back through the heart of town, before taking Bridge Street and Morris Island Road out to a residential area where you'll experience views of Monomoy Island.
This run is great because it'll take you through historic neighborhoods and plenty of scenic waterfront locations, helping you to see much of Chatham in a single day.
Province Land Dunes
The Province Land Dunes make up one of the more unique landscapes on the Cape. There's a multi-use trail through the heart of the area that runs through dunes and forests and past cranberry bogs before finishing up at Race Point Beach on the Cape Cod National Seashore.
You can pick the pathway up at various points, but if you choose to jog the entire course, it's 5.5 miles long. The spectacular view of the ocean at the end of the run is reason enough to give this section of paved pathway a try on your Cape Cod vacation.
Plenty of Places to Run
This list is just a starting point for the beautiful places to jog on Cape Cod. Your options are endless, as many visitors choose to run on the beaches or through the trail systems surrounding the region's kettle ponds, as well.
No matter what type of running you're into, the Cape has a location for you. Pack your running shoes, shorts, and mp3 player because you're sure to cover some new ground on your next vacation.
Cape Cod National Seashore Dennis Dennisport Falmouth Hyannis Running
The Top 5 Bakeries in Dennis, Massachusetts
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, September 28, 2020
Whether you’re searching for fresh pastries for breakfast or a loaf of bread to take back to your vacation rental, you’ll find numerous bakeries throughout Cape Cod.
In Dennis alone, there are bakeries in every part of town; it doesn't matter if you’re staying in Dennis Village, Dennis Port, or East Dennis, there’s always a place for baked goods nearby.
The best thing about these venues is that they’re local, so you won’t find the same offerings anywhere else in the country.
Here’s a look at the top five bakeries to visit on your vacation to Dennis, MA.
1) Woolfie’s Bakery
Woolfie’s Bakery is a fixture in Dennis Port, having first opened its doors over 50 years ago. The venue remains true to its roots and is known for its support of the Dennis and Harwich Police Departments, Dennis Fire, and the Cape and Island K9 Relief Fund.
As for the food, Woolfie’s offers fresh pastries and muffins all morning long and also serves bagels, sandwiches, and coffee. They’re open from 7:00 AM until noon every day of the week between Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day Weekend before closing for the season.
Reaching Woolfie’s Bakery is incredibly simple, as the restaurant sits on Lower County Road in the heart of Dennis Port. Remember, however, that the building looks like a house. Hence, it’s easy to miss, and the parking is minimal. You can park down the street at the Southside Cantina if you don’t find parking outside.
2) Underground Bakery
In the heart of Dennis Village, right beside The Mercantile, is Underground Bakery, a venue that gets its name from its placement in the basement of Cape Cod Picture Framing. However, don’t let the below-ground location fool you, as Underground Bakery has some of the best baked goods anywhere on the Cape.
Everything available at Underground Bakery is baked on-site, including the fresh bread, muffins, and cupcakes that you can take back to your vacation rental with you. In addition, the bakery has a selection of wraps and sandwiches for breakfast and lunch, including some vegan options.
If you’re into a slightly large meal, you can grab a soup, salad, or bowl of ramen, and don’t forget about the organic, fair-trade coffee from Indigo Coffees that they serve.
Overall, Underground Bakery is accessible, convenient, and delicious, making it a must-visit during your vacation on the Cape.
3) Buckies Biscotti & Bakery Cafe
Back to Dennis Port we go for Buckies Biscotti & Bakery Cafe, which enjoys a central location on Main Street. Buckies has a lot to offer on its bakery menu, including pastries, cookies, cakes, dessert trays, pies, and, of course, biscotti. The biscotti is famous on Cape Cod and comes in various flavors, so you can choose a few that you want to try.
Beyond the bakery, Buckies has a breakfast menu featuring bagels, English muffins, granola, wraps, and sandwiches. You can have lunch there, too, as they serve paninis, sandwiches, and salads.
Buckies is open from 7:00 AM until 3:00 PM Thursday through Monday and 7:00 AM until noon on Tuesday and Wednesday, giving you plenty of opportunities to check them out.
4) The Otherside Pizza and Pastries
Over in East Dennis, Bridge Street is home to a couple of restaurants with the same owners. The Marshside serves seafood dishes and offers water views, while The Otherside is a bakery and pizzeria.
The bakery at The Otherside has a little bit of everything, as they make muffins, pastries, cupcakes, and quiche from scratch. You can also grab a sandwich for lunch if you’re a little more hungry. The bonus when visiting The Otherside is that you can grab a pizza and a beer, as well, which is something that other bakeries on this list can’t match.
5) Village Coffee Shop
Another conveniently positioned bakery in Dennis Village is the Village Coffee Shop, which sits right beside Dennis Public Market on Main Street. This shop is tiny, but it’s also incredibly popular. In fact, there’s often a line in the morning full of people looking to get their hands on some freshly-baked donuts.
In addition to the donuts, which you must try, the shop offers breakfast sandwiches, bagels, muffins, pastries, and coffee, giving you all kinds of options in the morning. The Village Coffee Shop is open daily between 6:30 AM and noon, and it closes during the week in the offseason. You’ll want to stop by this small bakery if you’re a donut lover.
Making the Most of Your Time in Dennis
Booking a vacation rental in Dennis puts you in the heart of much of what the Cape has to offer, as you’ll have access to beaches, restaurants, bike trails, and hiking areas. You’ll also be close to numerous high-end bakeries, no matter which part of town you’re spending your time.
Give a couple of these bakeries a try during your vacation because you won’t find flavors like these anywhere else on the East Coast.
Things to Do Near Route 134 in South Dennis
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, September 7, 2020
Dennis is full of great activities, and where you spend your time likely depends on your vacation rental's location.
In Dennis Port and West Dennis, you'll have direct access to Nantucket Sound and incredible beaches like Sea Street, Glendon Road, Haigis, and West Dennis.
Those staying in Dennis Village and East Dennis, on the other hand, will find Cold Storage Beach, Corporation Beach, Chapin Memorial Beach, and Mayflower Beach, all on Cape Cod Bay, easily accessible.
When traveling between Cape Cod Bay and Nantucket Sound on Route 134, you'll pass through South Dennis, the town's lone village without ocean access. After crossing over the Mid-Cape Highway, you'll enter a commercial and industrial zone that might not look like much, but is actually full of great activities for the entire family.
You might miss out on these activities if you don't know what you're looking for, so be sure to research these great attractions before your arrival.
Cape Cod Rail Trail
The entrance to the Cape Cod Rail Trail in South Dennis is a little hidden, but, rest assured, there is a parking lot just north of the Bank of America building on Route 134. You'll pass under the bridge in this area, which signals the lot's location.
Once you get on the Rail Trail, you can head as far north as Wellfleet or ride west to Yarmouth. There are plenty of places to stop along the trail, as it winds through seven Cape Cod towns while passing ponds, forests, and restaurants along the way.
Tony Kent Arena
Turning off Route 134 onto Theophilus F. Smith Road and then South Gages Way will take you to Tony Kent Arena. This skating rink is well into South Dennis's industrial zone but worth visiting if you want to hit the ice on your vacation.
The arena is open throughout the summer, so have a look at their schedule to see when they have drop-in ice available for visitors.
You might also visit the arena because of its notoriety. That's because Tony Kent Area is where Nancy Kerrigan trained for the 1994 Olympics following the physical attack on her arranged by rival Tonya Harding. In fact, the attack almost took place at a training session at Tony Kent Arena, but Kerrigan had already left by the time the assailant arrived at the rink. The assault ended up happening at a later event in Detroit.
For a short time, the media circus surrounding this area made it the most famous in the country, and you'll have the chance to step on the ice while on the Cape.
Cartwheels Family Fun Center
Across the street from the rink, you'll come across Cartwheels Family Fun Center. This venue might be a bit hidden by its obscure location, but it provides hours of family fun thanks to its go-karts, batting cages, arcade, speed pitch game, and trampoline basketball court. The center also has an ice cream shop.
There are numerous pricing options for your visit, as you can pay per game, buy bulk tickets, or purchase a bracelet that gives you access to a little bit of everything.
Cartwheels Family Fun Center is generally only open on weekends between mid-April and Labor Day Weekend. Still, if you're in the South Dennis area, this family-owned operation is worth checking out.
Devil's Purse Brewing Company
Devil's Purse Brewing is around the corner from Cartwheels Family Fun Center and an excellent place to stop if you're looking to grab a few beers to bring back to your vacation rental. This local brewery first opened its doors in 2013 and is a Cape Cod favorite because of its simple, yet delicious, beer offerings.
The brewery is best known for its Handline Kölsch, a German-style beer that you can pick-up in a four-pack or 12-pack. You'll also find rotating taps featuring various IPAs, ales, and stouts, all of which are usually available in four-packs.
Devil's Purse is a beer-only venue, so you can't get any food, but you can hang out in the taproom to enjoy a tasting flight if you aren't sure which option to buy. Keep in mind that there isn't any indoor seating, although the brewery does have a few picnic tables you can use if the weather cooperates.
Patriot Square Plaza
Perhaps the most visible attraction in South Dennis's industrial zone is Patriot Square Plaza, a major shopping center on Route 134. This mall is popular with locals because it offers one-stop shopping with a grocery store, clothing stores, an insurance office, and a drug store. At the same time, visitors will appreciate its restaurants and liquor store.
Patriot Square Plaza is also home to Entertainment Cinemas, so if you want to catch a movie in the evening after a day spent enjoying South Dennis's other attractions, this shopping center has you covered.
Enjoying What South Dennis Has to Offer
With so much going on near Dennis's waterfront areas, visitors often overlook South Dennis. However, that shouldn't be the case because its central position means you're only minutes from Cape Cod Bay and Nantucket Sound while having easy access to the Mid-Cape Highway and Route 28.
South Dennis also has a myriad of activities to call its own, so if you have a vacation rental in this village, you'll never be short on things to do with the entire family.
Dennis South Dennis
A Guide to the Conservation Areas of Dennis, Massachusetts
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, April 6, 2020
Dennis, MA, and the rest of Cape Cod are famous for their beaches, history, restaurants, and all-around coastal lifestyle, but there's another side of the area that you might have missed.
At first glance, you'll notice that Dennis seems pretty thoroughly developed, with each of its villages having downtown areas and residential neighborhoods, but did you know that large sections of town are protected?
Throughout Dennis, you'll discover a variety of conservation areas with forested hiking trails to explore. These areas are protected from development, ensuring that the Cape's ecosystem remains intact for generations to come.
If you want to see what Cape Cod was like before European settlement, take a wander through a conservation area or two during your vacation. Hiking doesn't get much better than this.
On the shores of the Bass River, just south of the Mid-Cape Highway and Kelley's Bay, is the Indian Lands Conservation Area. The Cape Cod Rail Trail runs through this area, and there is a parking lot for it, too, making it an excellent place to begin a bike ride.
In addition to the Rail Trail, conservation area visitors will find hiking trails and some places to stop for a picnic. The park permits dogs, and it's possible to carry a kayak or canoe from the parking lot to explore the river. If you don't have a boat, you can fish from the shore, as well.
Fresh Pond Conservation Land is in West Dennis, just off East-West Dennis Road. The pond is a short distance from the village's downtown area, making is easily accessible for anyone with a vacation rental there, and features decent-sized parking lot.
Locals know that Fresh Pond is, first and foremost, a dog park, with two fenced areas in addition to a trail network that wraps around the water. From the trails, you can access some beaches, giving your pet a chance to cool off, or let your dogs run the trails.
You can also hike, fish, kayak, or picnic at Fresh Pond, but be aware that there will likely be numerous dogs around when you visit.
Cape Cod has multiple bodies of water called Flax Pond. This particular version is surrounded by trails and features some of the Cape's best bass fishing. Flax Pond in Dennis sits just north of Follins Pond near the town's border with Yarmouth and is deserving of a visit during your time here.
Parking for Flax Pond is on Setucket Road, as there is a dirt lot with a direct trail to the water. The path is well-manicured, making it possible to carry a kayak to the pond for some fishing, and you'll see numerous swimming areas as you hike, as well.
Dogs are permitted at Flax Pond, as is hunting. As a result, you'll want to keep an eye out for signs during the hunting season.
The lone conservation area on this list with direct ocean access is Crowes Pasture, which sits on the banks of Quivett Creek and runs all the way to Cape Cod Bay. This area has multiple parking areas, allowing visitors to explore the various trails or find a secluded section of beach.
Getting to Crowes Pasture is relatively easy, as you can take South Street, which is just north of the Old King's Highway in East Dennis. Keep in mind that while there are numerous parking lots, most are very small and tend to fill quickly, particularly in the summer.
You are permitted to bring your dog to the beach, but remember that these sandy areas are a piping plover habitat. There will be signs when piping plover are nesting, at which time you'll have to keep your pets away.
If you've invested in an off-road vehicle permit through the town of Dennis, you can take your vehicle onto the beach, too. This pass makes it easier to put a kayak in the water and do some fishing, or simply spend the day relaxing in the sun. Keep an eye on the town of Dennis' website because off-road access periodically closes to protect the piping plover habitat.
If you head to the Blueberry Patch Conservation Area, you'll immediately notice that it's different from the rest because it's made of three separate areas: Cross Patch, Romig, and Simpkins Neck.
The parking area is on New Boston Road, a short distance west of the Hall Street turnoff. From there, you can hike the 1.5 miles of trails or venture off for a closer look at the salt marshes that surround Chase Garden Creek.
As the name suggests, there is a blueberry patch here, as well, but it's reserved for Dennis residents only. If you don't have proof of residency, you run the risk of getting a ticket for picking berries.
Swan Pond Overlook
Swam Pond is the most civilized conservation area on this list, as you can park on Center Street in Dennis Port before hiking the trails. These trails are butterfly-shaped and cross each other frequently, so you can walk as little as a mile or far longer if you wish.
There's also a large picnic area at Swan Pond, making it the perfect place to head for a late-morning hike followed by a scenic meal overlooking the water.
Explore Dennis' Protected Areas
Check out some of these conservation areas during your Cape Cod vacation to experience this region's natural environment and to see what the Cape was like before development.
Dennis' conservation lands provide you with an excellent place to escape the crowds and cool off at a pond or in the shade of the forest.
Have a look at the conservation areas near your vacation rental because you never know, you might find your new favorite spot on Cape Cod.
Conservation Area Dennis
Spending a Night Out at the Harvest Gallery Wine Bar in Dennis
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, January 6, 2020
Although it is home to some great restaurants, a couple of performing arts venues, and a movie theater, Dennis, Massachusetts, isn't exactly known for its nightlife.
One exception is the Harvest Gallery Wine Bar, a unique venue featuring a diverse menu, outstanding drink options, live entertainment, and an on-site art gallery.
The Harvest Gallery Wine Bar isn't a place to party, but it provides a cultural atmosphere where you can enjoy some drinks, have a bite to eat, and listen to live music well into the evening.
If you're looking for a relaxing place to hang out late-night on your Cape Cod vacation, the Harvest Gallery Wine Bar is worth considering.
Drinks From the Bar
This venue has "wine bar" right in its name, so it makes sense that it would focus on providing high-end wine to its guests.
The Harvest Gallery Wine Bar has a wide selection of white and red wines from California, Oregon, Italy, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand, and France, so no matter what you're into, they're likely to have it. They carry rose and prosecco, too, should you want something a little sweeter.
Wine is available by the glass or the bottle, with select options coming in half-bottles, too.
As for cocktails, the bar has a signature menu, including some original concoctions that you won't find anywhere else. Cape House 2.0 and the Harvest Spritz are particularly compelling options that are worth a try.
There's a beer menu at the Harvest Gallery Wine Bar, as well, which features drafts from local breweries like Devil's Purse, Cape Cod Beer, and Barnstable Brewing, in addition to regional producers like Mayflower Brewing in Plymouth and Narragansett Brewing Company in Rhode Island. You'll also see options from other breweries around the country in cans and bottles.
No matter your preference, you'll find a great drink at the Harvest Gallery Wine Bar.
A Look at the Menu
There's a little bit of everything on the food menu at the Harvest Gallery, including local favorites like clam chowder, oysters, and sea scallops.
If you visit as a group, there are nachos, lettuce wraps, and a charcuterie board to share, or you can choose from a selection of salads and pizzas.
The main menu features sandwiches and paninis, and there is even a kids' menu featuring smaller sandwiches and pasta.
For dessert, you can choose between house-made creme brulee, carrot cake, and chocolate cake, or kick it up a notch with a blueberry crisp martini.
The menu might not be as extensive as other places on the Cape, but there's something for everyone at the Harvest Gallery Wine Bar.
There's Always Live Entertainment
The main draw at the Harvest Gallery Wine Bar is the live music. Every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night, the venue has at least one band, with some nights having two performers taking the stage.
Generally, the music gets started at 7:00 PM on Thursdays and 8:00 on Fridays and Saturdays, although things get going as early as 5:00 PM when there are multiple bands.
The restaurant opens on select Sundays, too, and there is also live music on those nights.
The Harvest Gallery Wine Bar doesn't accept reservations, so you'll have to arrive early to ensure that you find a seat. Keep in mind that the doors open at 4:00 PM and the schedule comes out well in advance, giving you plenty of time to plan ahead.
A Contemporary Art Gallery
While you're sampling the wine at the bar, why not check out the art gallery, too? This studio features contemporary works by over 30 local Cape Cod artists and is always changing depending on what the artists provide.
Most of the works displayed inside the restaurant are for sale so that you can bring a one-of-a-kind piece home with you from your Cape Cod vacation.
Visit the Harvest Gallery Wine Bar's website for a full list of their current artists, as well as what everything costs to purchase.
Your Night on the Town
The Harvest Gallery Wine Bar enjoys a convenient location in Dennis Village, right on the Old King's Highway and within walking distance of the Cape Playhouse. This location makes it easily accessible from vacation rentals throughout the Mid-Cape, so you can make the venue a part of your holiday plans.
When visiting Cape Cod, you'll have plenty of entertainment options, but a visit to the Harvest Gallery Wine Bar is sure to become a highlight.
Cape Playhouse Dennis Dennis Village Harvest Gallery Wine Bar
Which Cape Cod Towns Have the Best Nightlife?
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, September 23, 2019
Taking a vacation on Cape Cod means plenty of time in the sun, great dining options, and access to some of the country's most scenic oceanside areas.
But what do you do at night?
If you're into hitting the town during your vacation, you'll have plenty of options all over Cape Cod, as the area has plenty of bars that cater to all tastes.
Here are some of the towns that have particular lively nightlife scenes for you to enjoy.
Provincetown Has Everything
The race for the best nightlife on Cape Cod isn't really much of the contest, as Provincetown is the undisputed leader in this regard. Pretty much everything in Ptown is situated on Commercial Street and Bradford Street, and despite the area's reputation, there is something for everyone here.
For a wilder time, the Crown & Anchor is an entertainment complex with multiple bars, including a piano bar, pool bar, cabaret, and nightclub. Places like Joon Bar, Aqua Bar, and the Harbor Lounge offer elegant atmospheres and sophisticated cocktail menus. They also provide great views of the water. There are also dive bars like the Old Colony Tap and The Underground, and karaoke at Governor Bradford Restaurant. Provincetown has something for everyone, which is why it's the top nightlife location on Cape Cod.
Live Music in Dennis
Those who aren't staying near Provincetown and still want to get out and enjoy their evenings will have options up and down the Cape. Dennis, for example, has a few great places to visit, starting with Sundancer's, which sits on Main Street in West Dennis. Have a look at the calendar of events at Sundancer's because there is live music every Friday and Saturday night throughout the summer, and sometimes on other nights, too.
Dennis Port is home to The Improper Bostonian, which is another live music venue offering concerts throughout the week. They also feature a popular happy hour in the evenings, and karaoke whenever they don't have a musical act. Also in Dennis Port is the Sand Dollar Bar and Grill, which offers live entertainment seven days per week, and features karaoke for kids between 5 and 8 PM on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Across the street, you'll find the Cleat & Anchor, a tavern with music every night of the week.
If you're looking for live music, Dennis is the place to be on Cape Cod.
Various Bars in Chatham
In Chatham, the Chatham Squire is a local meeting place that you'll want to check out. This venue is a restaurant during the day, but at night it comes alive with music, karaoke, or a DJ until late at night. Chatham Squire feels like a bit of a dive, but it's a lively place to spend a night during your Cape Cod vacation.
Chatham Wine Bar & Restaurant is a quieter place with an elegant dining room and a bistro terrace with fireplaces. The terrace is a relaxing place to hang out after dinner with a glass of fine wine from the bar. Chatham Wine Bar isn't a party venue, but rather a tranquil place to finish your day. The Red Nun offers a pub-style menu and has an outdoor dining area that is a hit with guests. You'll find live music and karaoke here on weekends, and they always have the game on if you're looking for somewhere to watch the Red Sox, Bruins, Patriots, or Celtics.
Hyannis For a Night
The heart of downtown Hyannis on Main Street is one of the busiest areas on Cape Cod, so it should come as no surprise that there is some nightlife there, as well. The British Beer Company, Embargo, and Torino are steps from each other, and all offer nightly entertainment throughout the summer.
At the British Beer Company, you'll find a pub-style menu, along with a diverse beer list and live music. They also have open mic nights, karaoke, musical bingo, and trivia at this trendy venue.
Across the street is Embargo, an elegant restaurant that turns into a nightclub with a DJ and dance floor at night. There are also tapas, martinis, and live jazz at this venue. Torino is a popular place to head for dinner and some drinks in the evening, but the party lasts well into the night thanks to its live entertainment. The outdoor bar is also incredibly popular in the summer because you can enjoy some drinks while remaining part of Main Street's bustling atmosphere.
Lots of Choices on the Cape
Can't make up your mind on where to go tonight? Well, you have time to try a few of Cape Cod's top nightlife destinations during your time here. Have a look at each venue's events calendar to figure out when the best time to visit is, and make your choice based on what you feel like doing.
The great news is that you'll never be short on nightlife options, no matter where you're staying on the Cape
Aqua Bar Bbc British Beer Company Cape Cod Nightlife Chatham Chatham Squire Chatham Wine Bar Cleat Anchor Crown Anchor Dennis Dennisport Embargo Harbor Lounge Hyannis Improper Bostonian Joon Bar Noreast Beer Garden Old Colony Tap Provincetown Provincetown Brewing Company Sand Dollar Bar Sundancers The Red Nun The Underground Torino
The Top 5 Local Markets in Dennis
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, July 8, 2019
Cape Cod is full of local, mom, and pop markets that provide the region with character and stimulate the economy. While other parts of the country have been taken over by big box stores, the Cape has stayed true to its roots, and these small shops provide a great source of income for those who live here.
In Dennis, you'll find various types of local markets, each of which has unique offerings that you can use on your vacation. If you're in the Dennis area, visit a few of these shops and see what they have to offer.
1) Sapori d'Italia
Taking a trip into Dennis Village brings you to Sapori d'Italia, an Italian market featuring high-end cheese, pasta, oil, bread, and meat, in addition to artisanal items. Heading to this local market gives you access to everything you'll need for a great Italian dinner, and you can even pick out a bottle of wine that you'd struggle to find anywhere else on the Cape.
Perhaps the best thing about this market, which sits on Main Street, around the corner from the Cape Playhouse, Cape Cinema, and Cape Cod Museum of Art, is that the staff import most items from Tuscany. There are two owners at Sapori d'Italia, Lynne and her daughter Hilary. Hilary lives in Tuscany and hand-selects most of the items for sale at the market. Her passion for Italian cuisine and culture give this venue an authentic feel that will keep you coming back every time you visit Cape Cod.
2) Dennis Public Market
Known locally as DPM, the Dennis Public Market dates back to 1907 and guarantees that every product it sells is fresh, and never frozen. The market was also the first shop in Massachusetts to be named a Market of Distinction by Boars Head Provisions, making it one of only 33 in the entire country. Whether you're looking for fruit, vegetables, meat, or dairy, DPM has you covered.
Over the years, DPM, which sits on Main Street in Dennis Village, has gone through 15 renovations and numerous owners, but its commitment to serving the best possible local goods has remained the same. The market is currently owned by the Crosby family, as it has been since 1990, and the store is now employing its third generation of Crosby family members.
3) Swan River Fish Market
Swan River Fish Market sits in the banks of Swan Pond River in Dennisport, a short distance from where it empties into Nantucket Sound. There are actually two buildings on this site, a restaurant, and a market. The market has been around since 1954, and proudly supplies fish, clams, lobsters, and other seafood caught in local waters. Everything here is incredibly fresh, which is one reason why it is so popular with residents.
The Burns family owns both the restaurant and the market and strives to keep the quality the same as it has been for nearly 70 years. The market is also open seven days per week, so you know you can head down Lower Country Road whenever you wish to pick up some of the freshest seafood available anywhere on Cape Cod.
4) Dennisport Lobster Company
If you find the Dennisport Lobster Company challenging to find, look for the giant Benny's sign on Main Street because the fish market is just a couple of doors down from it. This seafood market is known for its wide selection of fresh products, including live crab and lobster. You'll also find shrimp, cod, tuna, swordfish, bass, scallops, oysters, clams, and mussels here, all of which are caught in the surrounding area.
Mark Leach, a local fisherman with three lobster boats, owns Dennisport Lobster Company. He opened the market to help sell the lobsters he was trapping, but it has taken off and now offers seafood from other local anglers. Sustainable fishing practices are critical to Dennisport Lobster Company, as most of the fish they sell are caught using hook and line techniques.
5) The Merc
The Mercantile, affectionately referred to as The Merc by locals, is a sandwich shop, deli, and bakery located on the same block as Sapori d'Italia. The Merc opens early for breakfast and stays open for lunch. The market also has a selection of take-out dinners in stock, so if you don't feel like cooking, stop by before they close to pick something up.
This market operated as a community store between 1978 and 2000 when Jim and Katie Hempel bought the business and expanded it into a cafe. Eventually, the Hempel's daughter, Meagan, took over the family business, and she continues to run it to this day with her husband, Mark.
Keep it Local
Stop by some of these outstanding local markets in Dennis on your Cape Cod vacation to not only experience shops that you won’t find anywhere else in the country, but to also support the Cape’s small businesses.
Cape Cod residents own all five of these markets, helping them to provide a level of service that you are sure to appreciate.
Dennis Dennis Port Lobster Company Dennis Public Market Sapori Ditalia Swan River Market The Merc
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
Beaches That Allow Offroading on Cape Cod
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, June 10, 2019
The beaches of Cape Cod provide a paradise for all who visit them, but did you know that you can drive your vehicle in search of secluded spots with no one else nearby? Many residents of the Cape take advantage of this feature every year because they can escape the crowds and relax in peace on quite pieces of sand.
As a visitor to Cape Cod, you might find it more challenging to go ahead with this venture, but if you drive to the area and have a four-wheel drive vehicle, nothing is stopping you from offroading on some of the Cape’s exceptional beaches.
Here is a list of some of Cape Cod's top ORV beaches, along with the rules and regulations that you must follow.
Rules and Equipment
To access any of Cape Cod's beaches in your vehicle, you must, first of all, have a four-wheel drive truck or SUV. Attempting to drive on the sand without this equipment is a recipe for failure and will lead to you getting stuck. In fact, officials won't even let you attempt it.
Before being permitted on these beaches, your car or truck will have to pass an inspection. If you've passed an inspection in the last year, you might be spared this time around, but park employees are allowed to have a look at your vehicle at any point to make sure it meets the requirements. You're also required to have the following six items in your vehicle at all times: a tire gauge, a spare tire, a shovel, tow straps, a jack, and a support board. All of these articles will assist you if you get stuck in the sand.
Each beach has its own rules that you’ll have to follow. We’ll outline many of these rules and regulations later in the article.
Staying safe is crucial whenever you're close to the ocean, so make sure you follow the advice and instructions of local town administrators. You'll also want to keep an eye on the tide chart yourself, just in case you miss a warning that is put out by the town.
When driving, try to stay out of the ruts. While you'll probably want to follow the tracks of other vehicles in soft sand, as they will provide more traction, you'll want to avoid deeper ruts because they can cause your car or truck to bottom out and get stuck.
The reason for bringing a tire gauge is to monitor your tire pressure. You should lower the pressure in all of your tires to between 11 and 15 psi because this provides better traction in soft sand.
Nauset Beach in Orleans
Nauset Beach in Orleans frequently closes because of the threatened and endangered birds that reside on its shores, but if you happen to be around when it's open, there's nothing like it. You'll need to have your vehicle inspected before you can purchase a beach access sticker, which is $66 for residents and $196 for out of towners, with discounted rates available for the winter.
You can spend the night on the beach if you have a self-contained vehicle, defined here as a camper, motorhome, or trailer with a water source and toilet. The permit for taking these vehicles onto the beach costs $266 per year. Fires on the beach are prohibited.
The Cape Cod National Seashore
Depending on the time of year, much of the Cape Cod National Seashore allows ORV access, but you'll have to be prepared for closures here, as well. Vehicles are permitted everywhere from Race Point Light to Long Nook Beach, which is just south of Coast Guard Beach.
During the spring, however, there are restrictions on many places along the beach because of piping plover nesting, and you'll also see beaches closed when there are unsafe conditions or work being done to prepare the beaches for the summer. On Coast Guard Beach, you can only access the sand in your vehicle between 6:00 PM and 7:00 AM for night fishing purposes, as it's too busy during the day.
To get a permit to enter the Cape Cod National Seashore in your vehicle, you'll have to pass a vehicle inspection, have all the required safety equipment, view the orientation program, and purchase a pass. This pass will cost you $50 for seven days or $150 for the entire year. Keep in mind that rental vehicles are not permitted and you must be the registered owner of the truck to obtain a pass. If you wish to spend the night on one of the beaches, you’ll need a self-contained vehicle pass, which is $225 per year or $75 per week. Camping is only permitted on Race Point Beach, and trailers are prohibited.
Sandy Neck Beach in West Barnstable
In Barnstable, certain portions of Sandy Neck Beach are accessible via offroad vehicle. The beach is very long, and much of the vehicle-friendly area is at the far east end of the park. To reach these areas, turn right onto the trail that is just north of the Sandy Neck Gate House. This trail will take you to the dunes, which you can drive on until you reach your desired location. You can drive all the way out near Beach Point, which is a secluded area where you can find a piece of sand all to yourself.
To obtain a beach pass, you'll have to provide your driver's license, proof of address, and vehicle registration at the Sandy Neck Gate House. Barnstable residents can buy a pass for $30 for the winter or $90 for the year, while non-resident passes are $60 for the winter and $180 for the year. You are permitted to spend the night on the beach if you have a self-contained vehicle, although it will cost you an extra $5-10 per night. You can also use a tent in the designated camping area. Campfires are allowed with a permit.
Chapin Memorial and Crowes Pasture in Dennis
In Dennis, you’ll have access to two ORV-friendly locations in a relatively small area at Chapin Memorial and Crowes Pasture beaches. Chapin Memorial Beach provides easy access to the sand through its main parking area. Once you head through the parking lot, turn left and head south along the beach until you find a spot to yourself.
At the far east end of town is Crowes Pasture Conservation Area, which is home to a long stretch of beach that is ORV-friendly. Getting to this beach is a little more complicated, however, as you'll have to turn onto South Street from the Old King's Highway. Follow South Street in a northeast direction until you get to the sand. From there, turn right, and you can follow the sand out to Quivett Neck. There are plenty of secluded spots on this beach, especially since it's not as popular with tourist beachgoers as many others in the area.
The Town of Dennis doesn't offer daily or weekly passes, so you'll have to purchase an annual ORV sticker if you want to take your vehicle onto one of its beaches. The sticker costs $150 for locals and $300 for everyone else. Your vehicle might have to pass an inspection before being allowed on the sand, and only the registered owner can drive it. No rental cars are allowed, and these beaches do not allow overnight stays of any kind.
Watch for Closures
Keep an eye out for beach closures that could impact your ability to drive on a particular beach. In the spring, for example, many beaches close sections to protect the piping plover, a threatened shorebird that nests in the Cape’s sands, most notably on the Cape Cod National Seashore.
Poor weather or damaged beaches could also lead to closures, particularly for offroad vehicles. Have a look at your desired beach’s website and social media pages to make sure it’s open before venturing onto the sand.
As long as you take the necessary precautions, you should have an excellent time exploring Cape Cod’s beaches in your vehicle.
Barnstable Cape Cod Beaches Cape Cod National Seashore Chapin Beach Coast Guard Beach Crowes Pasture Dennis Long Nook Beach Nauset Beach Offroading Orleans Provincetown Race Point Sandy Neck
Historic Places to Stop on the Old King’s Highway
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, June 25, 2018
A must-do while on Cape Cod is to drive down Route 6A, much of which is known as the Old King's Highway, as it is full of historic attractions that will give you greater insight into life on the Cape as a whole. Along the highway, you'll come across architecture that reflects the changes the area has undergone, as there are buildings from the 1600s all the way through the 1900s.
This portion of Route 6A starts in Sandwich and runs all the way to Orleans. As you drive the highway, you'll be following the same route used by Native Americans before settlers even arrived in the United States, as it was first a trail connecting local villages and camps. The path was also used by the first European settlers, as they came to Cape Cod from Plymouth, before settling in the region and creating the still-standing society we enjoy to this day.
Of course, a lot has changed over the years, but you'll have views of the same beaches and green spaces that pilgrims saw over 375 years ago, and can even enter some of the homes built by some of Cape Cod’s first inhabitants. The Old King’s Highway is a look at living American history that you’ll struggle to find anywhere else in the country.
Get Started in Sandwich
Soon after crossing the Sagamore Bridge onto Cape Cod, you’ll reach Sandwich. Here, you’ll want to make sure you get onto Route 6A, rather than Route 6, as 6A will take you through many of the Cape’s historic districts.
Sandwich is not only the oldest town on Cape Cod, having been incorporated in 1639, but is also one of the oldest centers in the entire country. To start your tour of Sandwich, you'll head south just off the Old King's Highway into the town's historic center. Here, you'll come across the Sandwich Glass Museum, known for its rare glass creations dating back to the 1880s.
The historic district also has Dexter Grist Mill, which was built in 1637 and in commercial operation until 1881. It remains one of the country's oldest water mill sites, and you can purchase cornmeal ground right there at the mill.
Just south of the mill is Hoxie House, one of the oldest houses on the Cape, having been raised in 1675. There are tours through the house’s interior, which still features period decor. If you head a little further south off 6A, you'll come to the Heritage Museums and Gardens, a structure that is home to pretty much everything you'd expect to find in an American museum, including classic cars.
As you move along the Old King's Highway, you'll quickly reach East Sandwich, an area home to the Wing Fort House, the oldest continuously-owned-by-the-same-family home in New England, having been built in 1641. You can do a tour of the house during the high season for a small fee. This area is also where the Nye Family of America Homestead stands. This homestead was constructed in 1678 and is now a museum, with each room being representative on a different era of the home's existence, right down to the period decor.
Continue Through Barnstable
The Old King's Highway Historic District in Barnstable runs the entire length of the city from east to west on Main Street. In that space, there are nearly 500 buildings, some of which were built as far back as the 1630s, with the newer buildings being constructed in the mid 1800s. The area as a whole was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.
Of particular interest in Allyn House, which dates back to the late 1600s, and Barnstable House, a structure that might be haunted. The district is also home to the Old Jail, built in 1690 and the country's oldest wooden jail. The jail now houses a museum, along with the Old Customshouse.
A Stop in Yarmouth Port
The great thing about Yarmouth Port is you won't have to venture off Route 6A to visit most of the town's historic sites. This part of Cape Cod was popular with sea captains, as many built large homes there and, as luck would have it, a number of these structures remain to this day.
Captain Bangs Hallet House is Cape Cod's only fully-furnished former captain's house that is open to daily visitors. The residence provides insight into how a sea captain would have lived in the 1800s, right down to furniture and decor.
Just across fro Hallet House is Winslow Crocker House, which was moved to Yarmouth from West Barnstable in 1936. The house was originally built sometime around 1780 and was a very high-end home for its time period. The building belonged to a merchant and trader, who might have been a rum runner, and today is a museum with public tours available daily.
Edward Gorey House offers a different kind of Cape Cod history because it is an art gallery and museum dedicated to the life and works of Edward Gorey. Gorey purchased the home, which was 200 years old at the time, in 1979 and it became a museum after his death in 2000.
Yarmouth New Church dates back to 1870 and is one of Cape Cod's choicest examples of Gothic architecture. The building is detailed and very similar in quality to what you'd expect to find in an old European neighborhood. It is no longer an active church but does host events throughout the year.
Some History in Dennis
After crossing through Yarmouth, Route 6A heads north into the heart of Dennis, where you'll find Josiah Dennis House and the West Schoolhouse occupying the same grounds. Josiah Dennis House dates back to 1736 when it was home to a local reverend. In fact, the town of Dennis is named after this man, who was a minister for 38 years in the area. Today, the home is a museum, as is the West Schoolhouse, which was moved to the land in 1973. The school was constructed between 1770 and 1775 and is the last remaining schoolhouse from that era.
The Scargo Tower isn't as old as many structures along the Old King's Highway, having been built in 1901 as a lookout, but it is free to visit and at 30 feet tall, provides panoramic views of the entire area. In fact, on a sunny day, you can see all the way to Provincetown in the north and the Sagamore Bridge to the west.
Drive Through Brewster
In Brewster, Route 6A runs along Main Street and is surrounded by historic sites. As you approach the town's center, you'll see Drummer Boy Park, which is home to a windmill from the 1700s, along with a blacksmith shop. Just down the road from the park is the Cape Cod Museum Of Natural History, an entity that takes a more ecological approach to the area's history.
Moving into central Brewster, you'll find Captain Elijah Cobb House. This building is the permanent home of the Brewster History Society and hosts a variety of museum artifacts while offering tours. The home was built in about 1799.
The Crosby Mansion, just north of Route 6A near Nickerson State Park, is a massive 35-room house built in 1888 by Albert Crosby, a wealthy alcohol distiller. The home, which was built around the homestead in which Crosby was raised, would become an art gallery after his death in 1906. Today, the mansion is a museum but is only accessible to the public a few times per year.
The End in Orleans
Finally, the Old King's Highway runs through the heart of Orleans. Here, the official name of the road changes to the Cranberry Highway, but it's still part of historic Route 6A. Just off the highway is the French Cable Station Museum, providing an in-depth look at the undersea telegraphic cables used by the United States and France during World War One.
Just north of the museum is the Jonathan Young Windmill, which is unique because all of its original parts and mechanisms remain intact, despite the fact it was moved to Hyannis in 1897 and then back to Orleans in 1983. The windmill was constructed sometime around 1720 and now sits in a small park just off Route 6A.
Make a Day of Route 6A
After heading through Orleans, the Old King's Highway joins with Route 6, or the Mid-Cape Highway, where it runs through Eastham, Wellfleet, and Truro. Route 6A reappears in North Truro and heads through the heart of Provincetown, before coming to an end at Herring Cove Beach.
There are other historic sites to explore along Route 6, but that’s a journey for another day because if you stop at even a fraction of the museums and homes along the Old King’s Highway, you’ll quickly find it’s time to return to your vacation rental for some much-deserved relaxation.
Barnstable Brewster Dennis Old Kings Highway Orleans Route 6a Sandwich Yarmouth Yarmouth Port
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