The Beach Times

Things to Do on Cape Cod's Largest Freshwater Pond
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Friday, March 5, 2021

Sitting between the towns of Brewster and Harwich, Long Pond is the largest freshwater pond on Cape Cod. At over 700 acres, the pond provides more than enough space for locals and visitors to get out on the water without visiting the ocean.

The great thing about Long Pond is that it stretches through multiple residential neighborhoods. As a result, it's possible to find vacation rentals nearby if you want to spend a week or longer in the area.

As you might expect on such a large water body, Long Pond offers plenty of activities, particularly in the summer months.

Here's a look at some of the best ways to spend some time at Long Pond in Harwich and Brewster, Massachusetts.

The Beaches

Perhaps the best reason to head to Long Pond is for the beaches, as there are three sandy areas with various amenities.

  • Long Pond Beach – On the south end of the pond in Harwich is Long Pond Beach, a decent-sized sandy area with a large parking lot, lifeguards on duty, and a boat ramp. This beach doesn't get overly busy and is a pleasant place to cool off on a warm summer's day.
  • Lond Pond Brewster Beach – The north side of the pond, off Crowell's Bog Road, is Long Pond Brewster Beach. This venue is smaller than the one in Harwich but has a floating dock that swimmers can use, in addition to a large paved parking lot and a roped-off swimming area. There's a boat ramp beside the beach, too.
  • Cahoon Road Beach - The smallest of the pond's three public beaches is Cahoon Road Beach. This facility has lifeguards on duty and a small boat launch, in addition to a roped-off swimming area. If your vacation rental is near the east side of Long Pond, Cahoon Road Beach is worth a visit.

All of these beaches offer excellent places to spend a day during your Cape Cod vacation. However, lounging in the sand and going for a swim are only some of the activities you'll find there.

Nearby Kayak Rentals

The ponds around Cape Cod offer some outstanding opportunities for kayakers and stand-up paddleboarders, and Long Pond is no different.

If you've brought your kayak or SUP to the Cape, you're ahead of the game and can drive to one of the boat ramps to enjoy a paddle. You aren't out of luck if you haven't brought a boat with you, though, because you can always rent one.

Adventure Chatham, for example, carries a wide selection of paddleboards and kayaks for rent. You can pick your boat up from their shop on Queen Anne Road, and they'll supply you with the racks you need to carry it on your vehicle. They'll also deliver to Long Pond's boat ramps as long as you can move the vessel from the parking lot to the water.

You can also rent a single or tandem kayak or a SUP from Rail Trail Bike Shop in Brewster. This facility will also deliver the boat for a $20 fee, or you can pick it up and take it wherever you wish.

Knowing that you can enjoy a day on Long Pond without bringing your boat to the Cape is sure to make your vacation that much more enjoyable.

Fish Species

Once you get out on the water, it's always nice to do some fishing. You never know; you might catch your next meal while enjoying the water.

Long Pond is a noteworthy fishing hole for locals, especially in the spring before it becomes a popular spot for swimmers and recreational boaters. The last survey conducted on the pond in 1992 found 12 different fish species, including alewife, American eel, yellow perch, white perch, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, brown bullhead, white sucker, and banded killifish.

The pond has some of the Cape's best smallmouth bass fishing, as it isn't uncommon to find fish in the three to five-pound range. There are some large perch in the pond, too, which also make for a tasty dinner.

A Great Day on the Cape

Vacationing on Cape Cod likely means spending a lot of time outdoors with your family, and locations like Long Pond in Brewster and Harwich make it easier to achieve that goal.

This large pond has recreational opportunities for all age groups and, despite its significant size, might be one of the Cape's best-kept secrets.

Keep in mind that you'll need a Brewster or Harwich non-resident beach sticker if you're driving to Long Pond. These stickers are available per day, week, or season, depending on how long you're spending on the Cape.

Making the most of your time on Cape Cod should involve spending at least a couple of days like a local, which could include some time enjoying Long Pond.

Brewster Beaches Harwich Long Pond

The Top Five Places to Get a Lobster Roll in Harwich, Massachusetts
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, October 19, 2020

harwich lobster roll

If you're going out for lunch while vacationing on the Cape, there's a good chance you'll end up somewhere with a lobster roll on the menu. After all, very few dishes encompass all that is Cape Cod like lobster mixed with mayonnaise on a bun.

Those with a vacation rental in Harwich are in luck when searching for lobster rolls because numerous restaurants in town serve their own take on this regional delicacy.

Here's a look at the top five places to pick up a lobster roll in Harwich, Massachusetts.

1) George's Place Fish Market

Although George's Place Fish Market isn't necessarily a restaurant, you can grab some pre-made menu items like clam chowder, lobster bisque, fried clams, and, of course, lobster rolls.

George's lobster roll comes with a generous serving of locally-caught lobster meat and mayo served on a croissant. You can also make it a meal by adding potato chips, coleslaw, and a drink.

You can even pick up some fresh lobster, shrimp, scallops, swordfish, and many other seafood items to take back to your vacation rental with you. All of this comes together to make George's Place a must-stop location on Harwich's Main Street.

2) Brax Landing Restaurant

Right on the water in Harwich Port is Brax Landing, a popular local eatery with a diverse menu featuring soups, salads, appetizers, sandwiches, burgers, chicken, steak, and seafood. There's a kid's menu, too, should you show up with the whole family.

The lobster roll at Brax Landing features a large helping of lobster meat mixed with mayo and celery on a sizable bun. It also comes with your choice of fries or potato chips, although you can substitute sweet potato fries or onion rings for an additional fee.

As a bonus, you can enjoy your lobster roll on the restaurant's patio, which overlooks the water and creates a quintessential Cape Cod dining environment.

3) Hot Stove Saloon

From the outside, the Hot Stove Saloon doesn't look like a place to grab a lobster roll. After all, it's a baseball-themed pub that, from outward appearances, doesn't seem like it would have a diverse menu.

However, writing the Hot Stove Saloon off would be a mistake, as this bar offers burgers, sandwiches, pizza, ribs, seafood plates, wings, soup, and salads from its Main Street location in Harwich Port.

The eatery's lobster roll is one of the more popular items on the menu. The reason? It comes with over a half-pound of lobster claw and knuckle meat that's served with shredded lettuce on a croissant. The sandwich is delicious and reason enough to visit this small Harwich pub.

4) Jake Rooney's Family Restaurant

Another lobster roll spot in Harwich Port is Jake Rooney's, a family restaurant with a welcoming atmosphere and a cozy fireplace known as a live music venue. The restaurant sits on Brooks Road, just off Main Street, so it's easily accessible from most Harwich neighborhoods.

The menu at Jake Rooney's has a little bit of everything, as you can get steak, chicken, ribs, seafood, soups, salads, tacos, pizza, and sandwiches. You'll find prime rib specials every weekend and weekly dinner specials, as well. 

As for the lobster roll, it arrives with a massive helping of claw and knuckle meat on a toasted bun with a bed of shredded lettuce. It comes with rice, coleslaw, or fries, and you can substitute onions rings or sweet potato fries at an additional cost.
5) The Weatherdeck

Finally, there's a great lobster roll at The Weatherdeck, a family restaurant that's a full-on destination to visit during the summer. That's because, in addition to its great menu featuring burgers, chicken, soups, salads, seafood, and kid's meals, the restaurant has a mini-golf course and an ice cream shop.

If you're visiting the Cape with kids, stopping for a meal at The Weatherdeck can provide you with hours of entertainment, and as a bonus, you'll get to try their famous lobster roll for lunch or dinner.

The lobster roll here comes on a bun with lettuce. Keep in mind that the sandwich costs a bit less than other places on this list, but it doesn't come with any sides. However, you can add fries, onions rings, coleslaw, clam chowder, jalapeno poppers, crab cakes, or chicken wings to your order for a small fee.

Some of the Best Lobster Rolls on Cape Cod

Harwich is a great place to make your home base on your Cape Cod vacation because you'll have access to beaches, biking and hiking trails, marinas, and family-friendly activities. Other parts of the Cape are also easily accessible from Harwich because Route 28 runs through the heart of town and the Mid-Cape Highway is simple to reach from North Harwich.

The dining scene in Harwich is also notable because there is a high saturation of wonderful restaurants within minutes of each other, including some great places to sample Cape Cod's famous lobster rolls.

You really can't go wrong selecting a vacation rental in Harwich because there's something for everyone in this town with about 12,000 residents on the Lower Cape.

Harwich Lobster Lobster Rolls

The Top 5 Coffee Shops in Harwich, Massachusetts
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, March 30, 2020

photo of cup of coffee

Mornings might be a little bit slower on your Cape Cod vacation, as you won't have to rush out the door to get the kids to school or your self to work.

Instead, you can take it easy, enjoying the early hours of the day, and figuring out how you want to spend the rest of it.

At some point, you'll want to grab a cup of coffee, and while you could make a cup in the kitchen of your vacation rental, it's always nice to stop by a local shop where residents and visitors congregate.

You'll have multiple options from which to choose in Harwich, MA, so here are the town's top five places to grab a cup of coffee.

Perks Coffee Shop & Beer Garden

You'll quickly notice that Perks seems like two businesses in one, as they have a morning atmosphere and something completely different going on at night.

Assuming that you stop by in the morning for a cup of coffee, you'll find beans roasted by Wicked Joe in Brunswick, Maine, and learn that all of their coffee is organic and fair trade.

Perks Coffee Shop is also known for its espressos, iced coffees, and smoothies, so you'll have a lot of variety once you walk through the doors. You can grab a quick breakfast here, too, as they carry sandwiches and full meals at reasonable prices.

And if you want to come by Perks at night, they also have a beer garden, live music, and a raw bar.

Lighthouse Cafe

Over in Northwest Harwich, the Lighthouse Cafe is more of a diner than a coffee shop, but if you're looking for a full, hearty breakfast with your drink, this is the place to go.

The Lighthouse Cape is a throwback to the small, local hidden gems that you likely used to hear about but could never find. Here, you'll find an excellent breakfast meal, and they have a bakery, too, if you want to bring some fresh items back to your vacation rental.

Dunkin' Donuts

You might try to avoid chains while on your Cape Cod vacation, but you can't argue with the convenience and reliability of Dunkin'. As a result, if you're looking for a quick cup of coffee in the morning, you can stop by one of the three stores in Harwich and be back at your vacation rental in a matter of minutes.

Dunkin' is an institution in New England, so it makes sense that you'd come across a few on this part of the Cape. As for the locations, there's one on Main Street in Harwich Port, one on Pleasant Lake Avenue in Harwich Center, and a third on Brewster-Chatham Road in East Harwich. You can also get Dunkin' coffee at the Shell gas station on Brewster-Chatham Road.

Capeside Kitchen

Back on Main Street in Harwich Port is another local institution: the Capeside Kitchen. This local eatery is a popular brunch spot on weekends that also features full breakfast and lunch menus, in addition to some of the Cape's best coffee.

Many visitors to the Capeside Kitchen partake in their mimosa and bloody Marys, so you'll have all kinds of choice when heading here in the morning.

Much like the Lighthouse Cafe, this isn't a place where you'll stop in for a quick cup of coffee, but rather a location to spend a big chunk of your morning, so plan accordingly if you're stopping by.


Yes, Starbucks is another chain on this list, but sometimes familiarity is a good thing while on vacation. Unlike other parts of the country, you won't find Starbucks on every corner of Cape Cod.

There are a few, however, including the one inside the Stop & Shop at Harwich Commons in East Harwich.

The good news is that this particular Starbucks retains its small-town feel, likely due to its position inside a grocery store in a quieter part of the Cape. It's also important to note that this cafe doesn't open until the rest of the store does at 7:30 AM, so it's not the best choice for early risers.

Make the Most of Your Cape Cod Mornings

No matter how you want to spend your mornings on your Cape Cod vacation, you'll have options in Harwich, Massachusetts. Once you book a vacation rental in this quintessential Cape Cod town, have a look at the coffee and breakfast options available to you, and you won't be disappointed.

There's always something happening on the Cape, and even if you like getting up early on your vacation, you'll likely find a place with like-minded people open for business.

Capeside Kitchen Coffee Coffee Shops Harwich Lighthouse Cafe Perks Coffee

Jackknife Cove: A Hidden Gem on the Lower Cape
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, February 10, 2020

Jackknife Cove

While the beaches on Cape Cod Bay and Nantucket Sound, along with the Cape Cod National Seashore, get much of the attention on the Lower Cape, there are quieter places to spend your day that are just as enjoyable.

Jackknife Cove, for example, sits where Harwich and North Chatham meet, right on Pleasant Bay, and provides a serene, relaxing environment for locals and visitors alike.

If you want to spend a day with space to do your own thing, and without having to fight for a parking spot, Jackknife Cove is an excellent option on the Lower Cape.

How to Get There

Despite being a bit hidden, getting to Jackknife Cove is surprisingly easy.

The beach sits on Route 28, which you can take directly from downtown Chatham or Orleans. You can also take Route 39, exiting on Bay Road, from Harwich, or the Mid-Cape Highway from Brewster, taking Exit 11 and then turning onto Pleasant Bay Road.

Once you arrive at Jackknife Cove, a bonus is that you don't require a beach sticker because parking is free.

There's a small pull-out along Route 28 where you can leave your car, and it's only a short walk from there to the sand and water of Pleasant Bay. There's also a parking lot at Jackknife Beach, which you can reach by following a small road that is just south of the pull-out.

Getting to the parking lot involves driving down a hill, but it's smooth enough that even a small car can make it without any trouble.

About the Beach

There are a few things you should know about Jackknife Cove Beach before you head to its shores.

For starters, the beach is excellent for kids because it's sheltered from the ocean and has incredibly warm water. The cove is also very shallow, so your children can play without worry.

Keep in mind, however, that the beach doesn't have restrooms or lifeguards, so you're on your own as far as those amenities go. The sand isn't the nicest, either, as the beach doesn't receive the same level of care as others in the area.

You should also keep in mind that while parking is free, it isn't as extensive as other nearby beaches. In theory, you should be fine for parking, but you might want to get there early in the summer, just in case.

Once you have a parking spot, you can spread out and find a spot all to yourself because the beach is vast.

If you're unable to get to the beach early, consider coming after dinner to walk the beach as the sun sets for the day. Locals love this place in the evening because it's incredibly scenic and calm.

Kayaking, Sailing, and Windsurfing

As you arrive at Jackknife Cove, you'll see numerous boats secured in the water off its shores. That's because the cove is a popular place to anchor for the day, and there are even some mooring buoys available.

You can launch a small boat at Jackknife Cove, but remember that you'll have to carry it to the water from the parking lot. You'll see a variety of sailboats, canoes, and kayaks on the beach as you arrive, so get your boat in the water and enjoy the calm atmosphere.

Some rental companies will deliver a kayak to you on Jackknife Cove, which is perfect if you're unable to bring a boat with you to Cape Cod.

Bringing a Dog

A final noteworthy aspect of Jackknife Beach is that it's the only beach in Chatham that allows dogs during the summer. Dogs are limited to before 9:00 AM, and after 6:00 PM, so you'll have to consider the rules when taking your pet for a walk.

If you've brought your furry friend on your Cape Cod vacation, it's nice to know that you can let it run free on the beach during certain times of the day.

A Peaceful Day on the Lower Cape

The Lower Cape is an outstanding place to spend your vacation because it's full of magnificent scenery, fascinating historic sites, and some of the country's best beaches.

With so much to offer, it's no wonder that the area is so popular with visitors, particularly during the summer months.

Luckily, there are places like Jackknife Cove, where you can get away from the crowds while still enjoying the pleasant natural environment of the Lower Cape.

Beaches Chatham Dog Friendly Cape Cod Harwich Jackknife Cove Lower Cape

Riding the Old Colony Rail Trail
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, September 30, 2019

Old Colony Rail Trail

While the Cape Cod Rail Trail gets most of the attention, there is another pathway that provides an excellent ride through some scenic parts of the Cape. The Old Colony Rail Trail runs from Harwich to Chatham, and if you're strategic about planning your route, you can make it all the way to Chatham Harbor on your bike. You'll also find some great places to stop along the way, should you want to have a bite to eat or explore some local Cape Cod shops.

Here is more information on how you can navigate the Old Colony Rail Trail


About the Trail

The Old Colony Rail Trail is completely paved and sits on the route of a former railroad. It's about eight miles long, making it possible to complete the entire thing in a single ride. While much of the trail is self-contained, there are sections where you'll cross or enter a road. Therefore, it's essential to be aware of traffic when you reach those segments. You'll also have to ride along the road for a short distance if you want to reach Chatham Harbor because the trail ends just before the water.


The Route You'll Take

The Old Colony Rail Trail doesn't have an official western trailhead. If you need somewhere to park on the west end of the trail, there are spaces along Depot Street in Harwich, not to be confused with Depot Road in South Harwich, that are for the Cape Cod Rail Trail. You'll then have to ride on the Cape Cod Rail Trail for a short distance before coming to a fork that is marked by a statue. Head right at the statue to start on the Old Colony Rail Trail. If you aren't concerned about completing the entire trail, you can start your ride on Pleasant Lake Avenue in Harwich. There is a parking lot here, along with a rental service, if you didn't bring your bike on your Cape Cod vacation.

Now that you're on the trail, you'll head through some residential neighborhoods in Harwich Center, also passing Brooks Park. The residential areas slowly begin getting less dense, taking you into a forest as you exit Harwich Center on your way to South Harwich. Before you reach South Harwich, you'll notice that the trail changes direction slightly. That's because you're now heading south instead of east. There's another residential neighborhood in South Harwich before you come into South Chatham.

Things get a little more interesting in South Chatham because you'll pass a few restaurants and shops. If you're just looking for a quick snack, Short 'n' Sweet Ice Cream is right on the trail after crossing Meetinghouse Road, and there are a few shops to check out just south of the path. Continuing through South Chatham, you'll go through another forested area before coming out at Chatham Municipal Airport.

The airport is where things get confusing because it appears as though the trail ends. This is not the case, however, as the Old Colony actually continues on the other side.To get there, you'll head south on George Ryder Road for 0.3 miles. The road has a bike lane, making it an easy journey. When you see the crosswalk head left and you're back on the trail.

The next section of the Old Colony Rail Trail loops around the airport before heading north and then east. After the airport, however, you should be aware that you're now on Wilfred Road, which is shared with motor vehicles. The bike path re-forms when Wilfred Road turns into Stepping Stones Road.


The End of the Trail

After the reformation of the separate bike trail, you'll pass Monomoy RMS Baseball Field before heading south. This south-heading section is the final part of the Old Colony Rail Trail, as it comes out right by Branches Grill and Cafe.

You don't have to end your journey here, however, because there are a couple of roads on which you can continue. Start by heading south on Crowell Road until you reach the crosswalk. There, you'll see Tip Cart Drive, which has some signs that mark it as a bike route.

To stay on the official bike route, follow Tip Cart Drive to its end and take a right on Hitching Post Road. This road will then take you to Veterans Field, which is the end of the sanctioned route. You can take a left on Depot Road, a right on Highland Avenue, and another left on Seaview Avenue, however, to reach the ocean. Keep in mind that cars park along Seaview Avenue, however, making it quite narrow for cyclists.

Your other option is to take the first left off of Tip Cart Drive onto Barcliff Avenue. While this road isn't designed with cyclists in mind, it has a shoulder and will take you directly to the Chatham Pier. You'll also pass some of the most impressive houses on Cape Cod along the way.

Once you're on the water, you'll have all kinds of entertainment options to check out before turning around and heading back to your vehicle, especially since you're just a few blocks from downtown Chatham.


A Different Way to Ride

If the Cape Cod Rail Trail seems a bit long or doesn't visit the areas of the Cape that you wish to explore, it's nice to know that you have the Old Colony Rail Trail, as well. As a visitor to Cape Cod, you'll probably want to see as much of the region as possible, and this trail provides an excellent way to experience parts of Harwich and Chatham that you'd otherwise miss.

Bike Paths Chatham Harwich Old Colony Rail Trail

The Top 5 Ice Cream Shops in Harwich
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, September 9, 2019

Ice Cream in Harwich

Your Cape Cod vacation just isn't complete without enjoying some ice cream after a long day spent soaking up the sun. Luckily, there are plenty of ice cream shops found all over the Cape, and Harwich is no exception. A walk through the heart of Harwich will bring you to a few different locations from which to choose, so whether you'd like to grab a cone while you wander down Main Street or sit in a restaurant for an after-dinner dessert, you've got options.

Here are Harwich's top five ice cream shops.

1) Sundae School

Just northwest of Wychmere Harbor in Harwich Port is Sundae School, a trendy shop serving homemade ice cream in dozens of different flavors. You can enjoy your treat in a waffle cone, dish, or cup, depending on where you want to eat it, or you can go all out with a sundae, banana split, or float.

It's not only Cape Cod that loves Sundae School, as the USA Today's 10Best website named it the fifth-best ice cream shop in the country. The website officially listed the Dennis Port location, but they both have the same products, so we’ll count it here. Either way, that's some pretty hefty praise for a small local ice cream parlor.

Since Sundae School is incredibly popular, it can be a bit of a wait if you arrive during peak hours. It'll all be worth it, however, once you taste the outstanding quality that is available here.


2) Schoolhouse Ice Cream

You'll find Schoolhouse Ice Cream just to the east of Wychmere Harbor, and it has a very similar story to Sundae School. For starters, they make all of their ice cream and frozen yogurt on-site, ensuring that you have access to the freshest treats in the area. You'll also see that they offer dozens of flavors, some of which are highly unique menu items that you don't find anywhere else. Schoolhouse is creative, and that's one of the things that makes this such a great shop.

The store is on Main Street, and keep in mind that they only accept cash and check as forms of payment. You can order a sundae, banana splits, waffle cones, chocolate-dipped cones, and malts here, as well. Have a look at their menu and see what stands out.

3) Dairy Queen

While you might not be into a chain restaurant when searching for the best ice cream shops on Cape Cod, there's something to be said for familiarity and ease of access, and Dairy Queen provides both. You won't find unique flavors or a local atmosphere here, but we all know that DQ has excellent soft-serve cones, sundaes, and frozen treats.

There are two main benefits to choosing the Dairy Queen in Harwich. First, this particular restaurant is in a historic building, so at least the exterior has some individuality. Next, there is a drive-thru, so if you're in a hurry or the kids are acting up, you can swing by for a quick dessert without waiting in line at a local shop.

The Dairy Queen sits in a convenient position on Main Street, just northeast of Allen Harbor.


4) A&W

Yes, it's another chain restaurant, but A&W has seriously stepped up its dessert game in recent years. Growing up, you probably remember A&W having chocolate, vanilla, and, maybe, swirl soft-serve ice cream, but today they have a lot more available.

Currently, A&W has root beer floats, sundaes, polar swirls, freezes, and milkshakes for dessert, so you'll have a lot more selection than ever before. And, just like the Dairy Queen, you won't have to spend 20 minutes in line waiting for your dessert because it's less busy than the local shops.

Keep in mind, however, that this restaurant doesn't have a drive-thru and is only open seasonally. The Harwich A&W is on Main Street, right across the street from the Trampoline Center.

5) The Weatherdeck Restaurant

Finally, we have another local ice cream shop to visit. Well, not exactly. The Weatherdeck Restaurant isn't exactly an ice cream parlor, but it is a popular local eatery that has some delicious desserts. The Weatherdeck is actually known, first and foremost, for its seafood, but locals appreciate that its hamburgers and ice cream are also worth trying.

In fact, you can play a round of mini-golf here during the day, and follow it up with a couple of scoops of hard ice cream, which you can take to-go or sit down to enjoy. Adults love The Weatherdeck, too, because they serve beer and wine, in addition to local favorites like lobster rolls and seafood pails.


You’ll Love That Ice Cream

With so many excellent ice cream parlors on Cape Cod, choosing one or two to visit can be challenging. But, hey, you'll be in Harwich for a week or longer, giving you plenty of time to sample all the local favorites.

Don't miss out on checking out Harwich's ice cream scene because it's sure to be one of the best aspects of your vacation to the Cape.

Aw Dairy Queen Harwich Ice Cream Schoolhouse Ice Cream Sundae School Weatherdeck Restaurant

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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