The Beach Times

Exploring the Cape's Secret Swimming Holes
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, July 1, 2019


Nothing feels better on a hot day than a quick dip, and Cape Cod is full of incredible places to go swimming. At the same time, many local swimming areas are overcrowded in the summer, making them chaotic and less relaxing.

Luckily, the Cape’s kettle ponds provide a break from the oceanfront madness, and while many attract modest crowds throughout the summer, some of the more remote pools sit nearly empty.

Here are some secret swimming holes on Cape Cod that you’ll need a map to find and some good hiking shoes to reach, but are well worth that effort that you’ll put into getting there.

 

Micah Pond in Osterville

Those who know about Micah Pond are quite lucky because it sits in a convenient location, less than five minutes from downtown Osterville, and is just north of Joshua Pond, which is far more popular thanks to its parking lot and beach. While the crowds flock to Joshua Pond in the summer, the few who are aware of Micah Pond have much of it to themselves, including its rope swing.

Getting to Micah Pond is relatively straightforward from downtown Osterville, as you can follow Main Street until you reach Pond Street before heading northeast. You'll have to learn where to stop, however, as the pond's entrance isn't marked and all you'll have to go on is a small gate. You can park by the gate before following the trail on the other side of it to the water.

 

Hawksnest Pond in Harwich

You're going to have some trouble locating Hawksnest Pond because there are no signs, paved roads, or residential developments here. The one saving grace is that you can see the pond from Spruce Road in Harwich, which is just off the Mid-Cape Highway and a little bit south of Long Pond.

As you drive down Spruce Road, you'll come to an unmarked dirt road that leads to the water. Once you get to the pond, you'll be glad that you took the time because very few people know about this location and it's excellent for a secluded swim with no one else in the area.

 

Dyer Pond in Wellfleet

Dyer Pond in Wellfleet enjoys both convenience and seclusion because it is about a 15-minute walk from the parking lot at Great Pond, so you don't have to worry about finding somewhere to leave your vehicle, as long as you arrive before the area fills for the day. To reach the parking lot, all you do is exit Route 6 at Cahoon Hollow Road and follow it until you arrive at Great Pond. From there, you can walk on an old forestry road directly to Dyer Pond.

There isn't much of a beach at Dyer Pond, but you will find clear, calm water and an environment that's so secluded that it's impossible to believe that you're only about five minutes from the highway. The pond is also surrounded by a dense pine forest, adding to its secretive location and relaxing atmosphere. Perhaps the best aspect of this location is that you must have a resident sticker to park, so it would be too much of a hassle for tourists to bother trying to get there.

 

Duck Pond in Wellfleet

Dyer Pond isn’t the only secluded body of water near Great Pond, as Duck Pond, which is just to its south, is also a great place to check out for a swim this summer. There is only a single residence on the Pond, and it has a small beach, crystal clear water, and abundant tree cover. It’s incredibly quiet and secluded here, although it has become slightly more popular with locals in recent years.

Getting to Duck Pond is a little tricky because you'll have to park your vehicle and then walk along an unpaved, unmarked old country road. Many people find a parking spot on the Old King’s Highway before following some utility poles through a clearing. A little way into the clearing, you’ll come across a path that leads to the pond. It takes a bit of effort to reach Duck Pond, but that's just how those who know about this hidden gem like it.

 

Goose Pond in Chatham

Although Goose Pond has the most inhabited shoreline on this list, as there are more than a few homes on its banks, it’s also the easiest to reach, and it has a particularly pleasant swimming area at its northwest end. This area, which is called Fisherman's Landing, is suitable for kids because of its shallow water and nearby parking lot.

Reaching Goose Pond involves getting onto Old Queen Anne Road, which intersects with Main Street in Harwich and Route 28 in downtown Chatham. From there, you'll follow Old Queen Anne Road, passing Schoolhouse Pond, until you reach a dirt road that leads to the parking lot. In the future, there could be more Goose Pond access coming for the public, as the town is in negotiations to purchase 4.17 acres of land from the Atwood family for conservation purposes.

 

Get Out for Some Secluded Swimming

Dense forest surrounds all of these swimming holes, giving you the impression of being completely alone. It’s easy to imagine yourself as one of Cape Cod’s early settlers as you glide throughout the water without traffic or noise pollution coming from anywhere.

Places like these swimming holes go to show you that Cape Cod can be whatever you want it to be, as long as you’re willing to go and find it.



Cape Cod Ponds Chatham Duck Pond Goose Pond Harwich Hawksnest Pond Micah Pond Osterville Swimming Wellfleet

The Top 5 Sandwich Shops in Harwich
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, May 13, 2019


 

When it’s lunchtime in Harwich, you’ll have some choices. The Main Street area is full of restaurants within walking distance of Bank Street Beach, and you’ll also find dining options in West Harwich, East Harwich, and Harwich Center. So no matter where you’re hanging out, there’s somewhere nearby to eat.

But what are you in the mood for today?

Numerous pubs, pizzerias, seafood restaurants, and fast food joints operate in Harwich, but for lunch, you might consider checking out the town’s sandwich scene. The good news is that Harwich has a variety of places to get a great sandwich, some of which might surprise you.

Here is a list of the top five places to get a sandwich in Harwich, Massachusetts.

 

1) East Harwich Market Deli

The East Harwich Market is basically a convenience store, so it’s a little surprising to learn that it is home to a deli that makes some of the best sandwiches in Harwich. Located in Harwich East Plaza on Orleans-Harwich Road, the deli not only provides a wide selection of cured meats and cheeses to take home, but you can also order sandwiches and subs that are ready in minutes. The market is perfect if you're in a hurry, but want a top-notch meal on the go. It’s also a convenient option if you’re heading to the beach and want to pick something up on the way.

 

2) Corner Store

Its address says Chatham, but Corner Store is steps from East Harwich, a short drive from Harwich Center, and a long ways from Chatham's town center, so we'll include it on the list. When you approach Corner Store, you'll immediately notice that its exterior looks like an old country store, but once you head inside, you'll see a diverse sandwich menu that keeps locals coming back for more. The restaurant serves all sandwiches and paninis with premium meats and cheeses, and if you're in a rush, you can phone or fax your order in ahead of time to have it waiting for you.

 

3) Mason Jar

The Mason Jar Delicatessen claims to have the best sandwiches on Cape Cod, and once you give it a try, there's a good chance you'll agree. This eatery also has an outstanding atmosphere, as it sits in an old, character-filled house and even has a small dining area in the front yard where you can watch the people go by on Harwich Port's Main Street. The prices here are another reason to stop by; where else can you get lunch for under $10? If you're spending the day at Bank Street Beach, the Mason Jar is only about a ten-minute walk from its shores.

 

4) George's Pizza House

George's wins awards for its pizza every year, including being named the best pizza restaurant in Harwich every year since 2003 and the best overall pizza joint on Cape Cod by the Cape Cod Times in 2014. An often overlooked aspect of George's Pizza House, however, is that its sub sandwiches are some of the best available anywhere on the Cape. The only drawback is that the sub menu has so much going on that it’s almost impossible to decide on what you want. The restaurant’s location on Main Street means that it’s within walking distance of the beach and is a convenient place to pop in if you’re meandering through the area’s shops.

 

5) Scribano's Italian Market and Deli

A trip up Route 28 guides you to Scribano's Italian Market and Deli, a family-run venue known for its specialty sandwiches, subs, and homemade sides. Here, you can take your lunch to go, enjoy it in the dining room, or, if the weather cooperates, have a bite out on the patio. And, oh yeah, the sandwiches are enormous, so bring your appetite. Cannolis, authentic gelato, and Italian ice are also available if you’re in the mood for dessert after your meal. Scribano's closes for the winter, but generally re-opens for the year in April and is about a 15-minute walk, or three-minute drive, from Earle Road Beach.

 

Great Lunches in Harwich

When staying at a vacation rental on Cape Cod, you’re never far from high-end restaurants, cozy clam shacks, or lunch counters with famous sandwiches. Part of the charm is that you can avoid chain restaurants and enjoy the food at locally-owned and operated businesses up and down the Cape.

In Harwich, you’ll find tasty sandwich creations at all of these venues, so make sure you stop by a couple of them to see what they have to offer.



Cape Cod Sandwich Shops Harwich Lunch Sandwiches

Cape Cod’s 2019 Farmers’ Markets
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Friday, May 10, 2019


When visiting Cape Cod, one of your only jobs, before you relax, will be stocking your vacation rental with the necessary food for the week. There are many grocery stores here, but why not hit up one of the local farmers’ markets to grab some fruits, vegetables, cheese, meats, and other products from right here on the Cape?

As you’ll soon learn, there is a farmers’ market every day of the week, and in nearly every town on Cape Cod, so you’re never far from someone selling fresh, organic produce.

Here is information on some of the larger farmers’ markets taking place on the Cape in 2019.

 

Brewster Historical Society Farmers’ Market

The first market of the week takes place on Sundays at Windmill Village, which is beside Drummer Boy Park in Brewster. The Brewster Historical Society Farmers’ Market runs between 9:30 AM and 12:30 PM and features fresh produce, eggs, baked goods, grass-fed beef, flowers, and herbal and natural beauty products, in addition to arts, crafts, and live music. A collection of picnic tables, children's activities, and free parking make the market a great place to spend the morning. It all gets started on June 23, with the final market occurring on September 8.

 

Mashpee Commons Farmers’ Market

Organic Market is a permanent grocery store in Mashpee Commons shopping mall. On Sundays, between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM from June through October, its parking lot transforms into the Mashpee Commons Farmers’ Market, which attracts vendors from all over Cape Cod. In addition to local produce, there's always prepared meals and live music, plus a selection of artisans, giving the market a festive atmosphere.

 

Truro Educational Farmers’ Market

Mondays, rain or shine between June 3 and August 26, 2019, you can visit the Truro Educational Farmers’ Market from 8:00 AM until noon. The location is handy, as it sits in Veterans Memorial Park, right next to the Post Office and along the Pamet River, and this market puts a particular focus on educating the public on the importance of sustainable food, thanks to the Sustainable CAPE initiative.

 

Chatham Farmers’ Market

Local Color Art Gallery hosts the Chatham Farmers’ Market on Tuesdays between 3:00 and 6:30 PM. Opening day in 2019 is May 14, and the market will run into early October. In addition to local organic produce, you'll find soap, crafts, juice, coffee, meat, baked goods, and flowers at the market, giving you the opportunity to pick up whatever you need for your vacation rental.

 

Sandwich Farmers’ Market

Tuesdays between 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM is the time to head to The Village Green on Historic Route 6A for the Sandwich Farmers’ Market. The market generally runs between the middle of June and early October and gives you an excellent chance to support some Cape Cod farmers in a great location.

 

Wellfleet Farmers’ Market

If you're in the Wellfleet area on a Wednesday between 8:00 AM and noon, stop by The Grove at the Wellfleet Congressional Church for its weekly farmers’ market. The 2019 Wellfleet Farmers’ Market starts on May 15 and runs until October 9 and features a wide selection of local produce, cheese, meat, honey, spice rubs, jams, and eggs. You’ll also find fresh coffee, baked goods, and live music every week. In addition to the Wednesday market, there is a corn roast and party on July 28, a dinner on October 9, and the annual harvest market on November 24.

 

Bass River Farmers’ Market

The Bass River Farmers’ Market runs on both Thursday and Saturday starting on June 13 and ending on September 7 in 2019. This market operates between 9:00 AM and 1:30 PM on those days in a park on Old Main Street, just across from The Cultural Center of Cape Cod and the South Yarmouth Library. There is a small parking lot at the venue, and the market will take place rain or shine, so if you're in South Yarmouth during your vacation, take the opportunity to visit.

 

Falmouth Farmers’ Market

Over in Falmouth, there's a market every Thursday between noon and 6:00 PM, starting on May 23. The great thing about the Falmouth Farmers’ Market is its incredible Marine Park location, as it overlooks Falmouth Harbor so you can spend some time watching the boats go by after picking up some local produce and goods. There is a large parking lot here, as well.

 

Harwich Farmers’ Market

Stop by the Brooks Academy Museum Grounds in Harwich Center any Thursday between mid-June and mid-October for the Harwich Farmers’ Market. This rain or shine event runs from 3:00 to 6:00 PM and features all the locally-grown produce, meats, flowers, herbs, baked goods, and cheeses that you'd expect, in a convenient to access location.

 

Farmers’ Market Meets Happy Hour

For something a little different, check out Farmers’ Market Meets Happy Hour at Cape Cod Beer in Hyannis. Here, you can pick up some local produce and play a game of cornhole, all while enjoying a pint from the beer trailer. The action takes place every Friday between 3:00 and 6:00 PM starting on May 25 and ending September 14. Nothing says “I’m on vacation” like having a delicious beer while buying your produce for the week, and that’s precisely what you can do at Cape Cod Beer.

 

Osterville Farmers’ Market

Also on Fridays is the Osterville Farmers’ Market, which runs from 9:00 AM until 1:00 PM at the Osterville Historical Museum on West Bay Road. In 2019, the season will be from June 21 through September 13, with each market bringing a selection of fruit, vegetables, meats, cheeses, soaps, herbs, butter, sweets, eggs, and much more. Plus, there is free parking, so if you're not doing anything on a Friday morning, stop by to see what they have to offer.

 

Orleans Farmers’ Market

The Orleans Farmers’ Market operates year round, so no matter when you visit the Cape, be sure to give it a try. The winter market takes place on Saturdays in Nauset Middle School’s cafeteria from the beginning of December through the end of April between 9:00 AM and noon. Then, between early May and the end of November, the market heads outdoors to a field on Old Colony Way, right beside Orleans Marketplace. The outdoor market is also on Saturdays but start an hour earlier at 8:00 AM. Both markets emphasize local produce, and you'll frequently find guest performers at the open-air version.

 

Provincetown Farmers’ Market

One of the smaller markets on Cape Cod takes place in Provincetown, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for with its scenic location. The Provincetown Farmers’ Market is held every Saturday between early May and the middle of September at the corner of Ryder Street and Commercial Street, just outside of Provincetown Town Hall, and is mere steps from both the Pilgrim Monument and Harbor Beach. As a result, it's an outstanding place to stop on your vacation or when touring Commercial Street and its seemingly endless supply of high-end restaurants. The market goes from 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM and includes well-known vendors like Pain D’Avignon, Lara Cuisine, and Allen Farms.

 

Markets Everywhere

As you can see, there are pop-up markets all over Cape Cod, making it easy to keep your vacation rental stocked with all the freshest produce throughout your time here.

Head over to the farmers’ market nearest you so that you can spend your time on the Cape not only living like a local but eating like one, too.



Bass River Brewster Cape Cod Beer Chatham Falmouth Farmers Market Harwich Hyannis Mashpee Commons Orleans Osterville Provincetown Sandwich Truro Wellfleet

The Top Family-Friendly Beaches on the Lower Cape
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, August 27, 2018


Breakwater Beach, Brewster Cape Cod

Vacationing on Cape Cod is all about enjoying some time in the sun, so when staying at a Lower Cape vacation rental with your kids, you’ll want to research safe and comfortable beaches for children. The majority of the Cape is family-friendly, but certain beaches attract a more teen-centric crowd and festive atmosphere, which you might want to avoid with younger children.

On the Lower Cape, in the towns of Chatham, Harwich, and Brewster, you’ll find many renowned beaches to take the kids where you won’t have to worry about parties or loud music becoming an issue.

Perhaps the best thing about Cape Cod is that there is something for everyone. Check out some of the following beaches if you’re spending some time here with the kids to ensure that you make the most of your vacation on the Cape this summer.

 

Hardings Beach in Chatham

The West Chatham area is home to Hardings Beach, a large oceanfront area that faces Nantucket Sound. The beach is popular with families because the water is warm and calm, making it comfortable for younger travelers. Lifeguards are on duty during the day and there is usually a food truck on-site in the summer. The beach also has a change room with showers.

When traveling with a boat or kayak, you are free to launch it anywhere outside of the swimming areas, making this the perfect place to start a day on the water. There is also a beach volleyball court, a bocce area, and whiffle ball, in addition to hiking trails nearby. Basically, it doesn’t matter how old your kids are, they’ll find something fun to do at Hardings Beach.

The beach has two on-site parking lots, and it will cost you $20 per day to park as a nonresident, or you can invest in a week’s pass for $75 or a season's pass for $175. There is a beach booth present where you can purchase parking.

 

Ridgevale Beach in Chatham

Just west of Hardings Beach is Ridgevale, and much like its nearby cousin, this beach features warm, calm water and has lifeguards on duty. Kids spend much of their time playing in the tidal pools here since the water in them gets quite warm, especially in periods of hot weather.

There is a large parking lot at Ridgevale Beach, in addition to a snack bar. The over-water pedestrian bridge between the beach and parking lot is a major attraction here, as it provides wonderful views of the water on a clear day. You can rent a sailboat at Ridgevale, should you feel like taking the kids out on the water for a few hours.

Parking costs the same as Hardings Beach and keep in mind that your weekly or seasonal parking pass bought at Ridgevale Beach or Hardings Beach is valid at any beach in Chatham.

 

Red River Beach in Harwich

Just off Uncle Venies Road in Harwich is Red River Beach, the town's largest oceanfront area and an outstanding place for families to spend a day. You’re probably sensing a pattern here, but the beach is also along Nantucket Sound, which means warm, calm water that is great for kids. The beach has lifeguards on duty and bathrooms, providing parents with added peace of mind. Once there, you’ll find that the beach has small waves and infinite shells to collect, so your kids will have plenty to do throughout their time here.

Parents will be happy with the short distance between the parking lot and the sand. When traveling with a ton of gear for your children, it's never fun to return to the car multiple times, especially if the parking area is far away. That's not a problem at Red River Beach because you can find a spot in the sand steps from where you end up parking.

One thing to remember is that Harwich has a much different parking situation than Chatham, as daily parking is only available for nonresidents at four beaches in the entire town. Otherwise, nonresidents must purchase a one-week, two-week, or full season pass. Luckily, Red River Beach is one of the four beaches offering daily parking, which you can buy once you get there.

 

Pleasant Road Beach in West Harwich

If your kids don't need a bunch of space, or if you're looking for somewhere a little less crowded on Nantucket Sound, Pleasant Road Beach is the way to go. This beach, which sits in West Harwich, has everything you'll need, including a bathroom with an outdoor shower and a decent-sized parking lot. The size and amenities at this location make it ideal for families with very young children.

Pleasant Road Beach is always spotless, a straightforward task because of its small size, and it slopes toward the water gradually, so you won't have to worry about steep drop-offs. There's also a lifeguard on duty during the day, and the parking lot is very close to the water.

Remember how we mentioned that only four beaches in Harwich offer daily parking passes for nonresidents? Well, Pleasant Road Beach is one of them, meaning you won't have to buy an entire week's pass when only visiting once.

 

Breakwater Beach in Brewster

We’ve focused entirely on beaches along Nantucket Sound with this list, so for something different, let’s look at Breakwater Beach in Brewster.

This public stretch of sand on Cape Cod Bay also features calm, warm water, along with tidal flats and pools, making it ideal for small children. When the tide is out, you can seemingly walk forever, and the kids will enjoy finding the shells left behind by various marine life. There isn't a lifeguard at the beach, however, and parents will want to keep a close eye on their little ones when near the water during high tide.

Breakwater Beach is quite large, so if it appears overcrowded at first, keep walking, and you'll find somewhere a little quieter. The parking lot is just off the sand and parents will find it easy to get to the water with little ones in tow.

Speaking of parking, you can purchase a day pass for $20 or invest in a weekly pass for $60 as a nonresident in Brewster. There’s also a nonresident season’s pass for $120, if you’ll be taking an extended vacation or visiting multiple times this summer. Since there is no attendant on duty at Breakwater Beach, you’ll have to buy a parking sticker before arriving.

 

Bringing Your Kids to the Lower Cape

As you can see, you won’t have to venture far from your Lower Cape vacation rental when looking for a family-friendly beach. This list is merely scratching the surface of things you can do with the kids since there are other similar beaches on other parts of the Cape.

Cape Cod prides itself on being a place where travelers of any age can have a good time, and the selection of beaches up and down its shores are no exception. Take the time to research a few beaches prior to your arrival, as we all know how important certain amenities are when traveling with kids, and you can be certain that your vacation on the Cape is something you’ll always remember.



Breakwater Beach Brewster Brewster Brewster Beaches Chatham Chatham Beaches Hardings Beach Chatham Harwich Harwich Beaches Pleasant Road Beach Harwich Red River Beach Harwich Ridgevale Beach Chatham

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