The Beach Times

Yes, Cape Cod Has Mountain Biking, Too
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Tuesday, January 21, 2020


mountain biking on cape cod

Although the paved bike paths on Cape Cod get much of the attention, there is an active mountain bike scene here, too. In fact, those in-the-know report that the Cape is becoming a mountain bikers' mecca thanks to the hundreds of miles of maintained trails found here.

If you're able to bring your mountain bike to your Cape Cod vacation rental, you'll have access to all of these trails, as many are minutes from the downtown sections of the Cape's largest towns.

Here's what you need to know about the best places to mountain bike on Cape Cod.

The Trail of Tears

The best-known mountain biking area on Cape Cod is the Trail of Tears in West Barnstable. The Trail of Tears sits inside a 1,200-acre conservation area on Race Lane that is popular with hikers, runners, cross-country skiers, and, of course, mountain bikers.

There's about 21 miles of track that run through the region and feature a variety of steep and twisted sections. The trail isn't overly technical, but there are some opportunities to catch some air because of the abundance of short climbs.

To get to the park, exit the Mid-Cape Highway on either Prospect Street or Chase Road and follow the street until you reach Race Lane. The parking area for the West Barnstable Conservation Area has a sign along the main road.

Willow Street Trails

The Willow Street riding area in Hyannis and Yarmouth is actually made up of two separate locations. When you ride both of them, however, it creates 35 miles of track that will keep you occupied for hours.

The first area is 20 miles in size and heads through the Hyannis Ponds Wildlife Management Area. Much of this trail is right along Route 6, but you can escape the highway and head into the woods at various points. Getting to this path is as simple as exiting Route 6 at Exit 7 and parking beside the railroad tracks.

The other area in Yarmouth features 15 miles of track off Higgins Crowell Road. You can follow the trail to Little Sandy Pond, which provides a great place to stop for a quick break on your journey. There's a small parking lot on Higgins Crowell Road that you can use while exploring the area.

The Otis Trails

Use caution when riding the Otis in Bourne and Falmouth because there are some restricted areas along the way. There's a very good reason for this, as the trails pass the Otis Air Force Base, and civilians aren't allowed on that land under any circumstances. If you go too far, you run the risk of having military police escort you off the property.

It can be challenging to know where the trails end and the base begins because there aren't any signs or markings. As a general rule, don't cross any paved roads on your ride, and you should be fine.

Although many riders are scared away by the prospect of having to deal with military police, the Otis provides one of the best rides on the Cape because a lot of it heads through the Frances Crane Wildlife Management Area.

Much of the track here is quite fast, with plenty of ups and downs throughout the ride. Some of the hills are quite long, and you'll find some technical sections here, too.

Parking for the Otis Trails is relatively easy to find, as it sits just east of where Route 28 and Route 151 meet. There's a small pullout on the side of Route 151 that provides direct access to the trails and will act as your starting point. Just be careful to avoid the military base, and you'll have a great time on this journey.

Nickerson State Park

Probably the best-known location on this list is Nickerson State Park in Brewster, which is a popular hiking, fishing, swimming, and boating area. The park has over 1,900 acres of forests, ponds, and trails, giving you plenty of places to explore.

One thing to remember about Nickerson State Park is that the trails around Flax Pond, Cliff Pond, and Little Cliff Pond are for hiking only, so you cannot bring your bike there. You can ride around Higgin's Pond and Ruth Pond, however, and there is a good mix of beginner and intermediate paths, as well.

Parking at Nickerson State Park is relatively easy, as there are lots throughout the space that are open to the public. The mountain bike trails also meet up with the Cape Cod Rail Trail, making it possible to ride in and out of the park if you wish.

The Badlands

There are tons of trails at the Badlands in Yarmouth, and if you want to explore them all, you'll have to return for at least a second day.

Most of the trails are relatively easy, as they wind through a conservation area featuring a cranberry bog and some wetlands. The singletracks here are smooth and easy to navigate, with small hills and some gentle ups and downs that provide a leisurely ride. One of the trails even connects to another path that will take you to Maple Swamp, which is about 30 miles away.

This park does have a devious side, however, as the Badland Trail is something a little different. The Badland Trail isn't a natural mountain biking area, but rather a constructed singletrack that winds around and around through an abandoned sandpit.

Many who have ridden this trail say it is unlike anything they've ever experienced before, so if you dare to attempt it, make sure you're ready for a unique ride.

The Badlands sits just off the Mid-Cape Highway with parking available on West Great Western Road, Union Street, and Weir Road. There aren't any designated parking lots, but rather pullouts along the side of the roads that you'll have to find.

Mountain Biking on Cape Cod

This list is just a small taste of some of the better-known mountain biking spots on the Cape, but there is plenty more to explore.

If you're planning a trip to Cape Cod and are interested in learning more about the mountain biking scene, check out the New England Mountain Bike Association's website. There, you'll find trail maps and more information on the best places to ride during your Cape Cod vacation.



Badlands Biking Hyannis Mountain Biking Nickerson State Park Otis Trails Trail Of Tears West Barnstable Yarmouth

Taking a Tour of the Cape Cod Potato Chips Factory
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, December 16, 2019


Cape Cod  Potato Chips

There's no doubt that your Cape Cod vacation will be full of outstanding activities, but what about slowing things down and taking a quick tour?

The Cape Cod Potato Chips factory in Hyannis provides free, self-guided tours of its operations, allowing you to see how these famous chips are made and to walk away with a free bag to enjoy later.

Tours like this might be a little different from what you expected from your vacation to the Cape, but they're an excellent way to see another side of the area, and to try some local food, as well.

Here's what you need to know about Cape Cod Potato Chips.

The Brand's History

Cape Cod Potato Chips dates back to 1980 when brothers Steve and Jude Bernard found that there was a lack of healthy snack food on the market and decided to begin making kettle-cooked chips. Their original operation was tiny, as they had an 800-square-foot storefront in Hyannis and next to no experience in the industry.

The first year of business was extremely lean, and the brothers had no idea if they'd be able to continue. The following winter, however, a car crashed through their building's front window, and the insurance payment helped keep them afloat until they could find their footing.

The publicity from the car accident helped raise awareness of the brand, and the following summer brought a substantial increase in sales, in addition to some supermarket chains picking up their products.

In 1985, the brothers sold their business to Anheuser-Busch, before Bernard repurchased it in 1996. His second go-round would be a short one, however, as he once again sold the company in 1999, this time to Lance Inc.

Through a series of mergers and acquisitions, Cape Cod Potato Chips is now owned by The Campbell Soup Company, which has led to the brand being available all over North America.

What Cape Cod Potato Chips Has to Offer

We mentioned before that Cape Cod Potato Chips are kettle-cooked, which means that they're made in kettles in small batches using less oil than other methods. This technique creates a healthier snack because the chips aren't dipped in oil and fried like with many other brands.

Starting in 2016, Cape Cod Potato Chips also began the transition to using non-GMO ingredients in their original and reduced-fat original chips.

By using pure, natural ingredients that aren't genetically modified, Cape Cod Potato Chips hopes to create greater transparency in their manufacturing process by letting consumers know exactly what they're eating.

As for the flavors, the company is always coming out with fresh offerings, and when you stop by the factory, you'll have first access to some of their newest products before they hit store shelves.

A Self-Guided Tour

The Cape Cod Potato Chips factory tour is one of the Cape's top attractions, with over 250,000 people visiting every year. The tour allows guests to see how the chips are made, complete with access to the cooking kettles.

You won't need to spend too much time at the factory, as it usually takes about half an hour to walk through the building. The factory was completely renovated in 2019, with the addition of nautical decor, new lighting, and a brand new patio where visitors can enjoy a free taste of Cape Cod's finest chips.

The current factory is located at 100 Breed Hills Road in Hyannis and is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM. The tour is completely free, and there is plenty of on-site parking, so you won't have to worry about finding a place to leave your vehicle.

A Nice Way to Spend Some Time on Cape Cod

You'll find plenty of great ways to spend your time during your Cape Cod vacation, but stopping by the Cape Cod Potato Chips factory is free and allows you to samples some snacks before carrying on to your next destination.

The venue is easy to access, as it's just off the Mid-Cape Highway in Hyannis and a short distance north of the Cape Cod Mall, making it ideal for a quick stopover.

When friends and family find out that you've visited the Cape, one thing they're sure to ask is if you tried any Cape Cod Potato Chips. And thanks to this tour, you can tell them that you went straight to the source, and it was delicious.



Cape Cod Potato Chips Hyannis Kids

A Self-Guided Tour of the Kennedy Legacy Trail
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, October 28, 2019


Kennedys on Cape Cod

The Kennedy family famously spent a lot of time in Hyannis, thanks in large part to their oceanfront property in Hyannis Port. The massive compound acted as a base for the family, resulting in many members spending their summers there. The houses remain in the family to this day and hold a special place in Cape Cod's history.

During your time in Hyannis, you'll be able to take a self-guided walking tour of some of the locations where the Kennedys spent their time while reading about their influence on Hyannis and Cape Cod as a whole. When following the Kennedy Legacy Trail, there are blue dots on the sidewalks throughout town that will lead you through some sites that are associated with the Kennedy family.

The walk is about 1.6 miles and will take you about 90 minutes to complete, but it's well worth the time because of how much you'll learn about this influential American family.

JFK Museum

The tour begins at 397 Main Street, home of the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum. The museum features numerous multimedia displays and a series of exhibits that provide insight into the time that JFK spent on Cape Cod.

If you plan to go inside the museum, the cost is $13 for adults, $7 for children between the ages of six and 17, and free for younger kids. There is a discounted seniors' rate available, as well.

Main Street Hyannis

The second stop on the tour is Hyannis' Main Street, particularly the corner of Main and Pearl. John F. Kennedy ran his presidential campaign out of Hyannis, which turned the small, quiet town into a bustling media center in 1960. Today, there's a plaque outside of Torino restaurant and pictures of the Kennedys in Hyannis along the side of the Sturgis Charter Public School that commemorate this period in history.

Roses for Rose Kennedy

You might notice an abundance of roses throughout downtown Hyannis, and those are because of Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, mother of JFK and the Kennedy family's matriarch. Rose lived in Hyannis year-round for much of her later life, and there is a plaque outside of an art studio on Pearl Street that honors her contributions.

St. Francis Xavier Church

At the end of Pearl Street, you'll take a right on South Street, which brings you to Saint Francis Xavier Parish, known colloquially as The Kennedy Church. When Rose and Joe Kennedy bought their home in Hyannis in the 1920s, they chose to attend this church, and over the years, many important family events took place here. When John F. Kennedy was president, he would sit in the second row with his family, while members of the Secret Service would surround him in rows one and three. This church is also where Arnold Schwarzenegger married Maria Shriver, Rose and Joe Kennedy's granddaughter.

Hyannis Armory

When John F. Kennedy was elected President of the United States, he was at the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis. Once Richard Nixon conceded, JFK drove to the Hyannis Armory, the next stop on this tour, to deliver his acceptance speech. You'll have to double back to reach the armory, as it's about two blocks east of the church, across the street from Barnstable Town Hall.

Aselton Park

You'll find three different parts of the tour at Aselton Park: information on the Cape Cod National Seashore, the Peace Corp Memorial, and the Cape Cod Maritime Museum.

John F. Kennedy had a great deal of love for Cape Cod and wanted to see its beauty retained for generations to come. One of the first things he did after being elected was to establish the Cape Cod National Seashore, which protected more than 43,500 acres of oceanfront land and prevented development on its shores. There is a plaque with information on this National Park at Aselton.

In 1961, Kennedy established the Peace Corps, which aimed at sending volunteers from the United States to help out in less developed nations. The memorial at Aselton Park commemorates the 50th anniversary of this organization.

Ted Kennedy is responsible for securing the funding for the Cape Cod Maritime Museum, which is dedicated to remembering, celebrating, and preserving Cape Cod's maritime heritage. Visiting the museum costs $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors, and $5 for kids five and under. Active military members are free.

Hyannis Harbor

It's a well-known fact that the Kennedys loved sailing, and many of their trips left from Hyannis Harbor. Tours into Nantucket Sound leave from Bismore Park, and will even take you to see the Kennedy Compound from the water if you wish. In fact, Ted Kennedy's sailboat, The Maya, is still moored at the Hyannisport Yacht Club, and some tours will show you exactly where it is located.

JFK Memorial

This self-guided tour wraps up at perhaps its most rewarding site, as the JFK Memorial is at Veterans Memorial Park, which features a scenic beach overlooking the harbor. The memorial itself features a fountain and a stone wall with a plaque and is a great way to finish your walk of Hyannis.

Celebrating the Kennedy Family

The Kennedy Legacy Trail is an outstanding reminder of what the Kennedy family has meant not only to the people of Cape Cod but to the country as a whole through its contributions. If you're looking to get to know some of the Cape's rich history during your vacation, walking this trail is an excellent way to learn about Cape Cod while seeing much of Hyannis.



Hyannis Jfk Jfk Memorial The Kennedys

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

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

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