The Beach Times

Which Cape Cod Towns Have the Best Nightlife?
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, September 23, 2019


Cape COd Nightlife

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.

If you're into having a quiet pint or two, stop by the Nor'East Beer Garden or Provincetown Brewing Company, both of which serve craft beer.

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.

 

Sunday Concerts

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.

 

Tuesday’s Shows

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.

 

Safety Information

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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