The Beach Times
One Day in Orleans: Where to Visit
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, August 5, 2019
With so much to see and do on Cape Cod, coming up with an itinerary is almost impossible.
In addition, you might not want to spend more than one day exploring each town, since there are so many activities on other parts of the Cape.
So, let's say, for example, you plan to spend one day in Orleans, Massachussets.
Where do you go?
What do you see?
Where do you eat?
You'll have plenty of options, but here are some great recommendations to start your search in this Outer Cape town.
Have Breakfast at Homeport Restaurant
Homeport Restaurant enjoys a central location on Main Street in Orleans and has been a local institution for over 45 years, making it an ideal place to start your day. The restaurant opens at 5:30 every morning, as well, and since you're only spending one day in Orleans, you'll want to get going early.
On the menu, you'll find standard breakfast fare like eggs, bacon, sausage, and toast, in addition to omelets, French toast, benedicts, and pancakes.
Visit the Jonathan Young Windmill
Depending on how early you go for breakfast, there might not be much open. Luckily, you can check out the Jonathan Young Windmill 24 hours a day because it's part of Town Cove Park, although you can only go inside during limited hours between June and September.
The windmill dates back to the early 1700s and is unique because all of its original parts and machinery still work.
Go for a Swim in Meeting House Pond
In East Orleans, but just a few minutes from the windmill, Meeting House Pond is well worth a visit. If you drive down Barely Neck Road to the area between Bayberry Way and Harveys Lane, you'll come to a small clearing with a public dock and boat launch. This area is great for swimming on a hot day.
You can also take boat tours from the north end of the pond if you'd rather spend a few hours seeing the area on the water.
Enjoy Some Lunch at the Nauset Grill
Now that you've worked up an appetite again, it's time to grab some lunch. The Nauset Grill will be easy to find because it's across the street from Homeport Restaurant. Convenient, right?
The restaurant is also a must-visit because it has some of Cape Cod's best lobster rolls, and it wouldn't be a trip to the Cape without trying at least one of these local favorites. Of course, if you're not into seafood, you can also find burgers, salads, chicken dishes, and a wide variety of other options here.
Learn Some History at the French Cable Station Museum
Just around the corner from the Nauset Grill sits the French Cable Station Museum. This venue is historically significant because, in World War I, telegraph cables were run underneath the Atlantic Ocean between the station and France. These cables allowed American generals to communicate with government officials while overseas.
Today, you can tour the station, and see some of the original equipment used during the war. Keep in mind that the museum is only open from 1:00 to 4:00 PM on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays between June and September, so it might not work for every Orleans excursion.
Grab a Beer at the Hog Island Beer Company
You've experienced some history and gone for a swim, so let's enjoy a beer, shall we? The Hog Island Beer Company has local beer, a fantastic patio, and live music, making it a great place to relax for a while before dinner. You can also pick up a growler to-go if you want to enjoy a drink when you're back at your vacation rental.
Head to Mahoney's Atlantic Bar & Grill For Dinner
Driving less than a mile north from the brewery takes you to Mahoney's Atlantic Bar & Grill, where you'll enjoy your dinner. Mahoney's is known for its classic New England fare, and although it's slightly upscale, you won't feel out of place if you aren't dressed to the nines. The focus here is on seafood, but you'll find a little bit of everything if you've had your fill after the lobster rolls at lunch.
One thing to remember is that Mahoney's doesn't offer reservations and they open at 5:00 for dinner. If you're set on eating here and having something else to do after, it's best to be here early, so you're not left waiting.
Cheer on the Orleans Firebirds
Depending on the season and the night of the week, you might have the chance to check out an Orleans Firebirds baseball game. The Cape Cod Baseball League is a local institution, bringing some of the country's some collegiate players to the Cape to hone their skills in the summer.
Firebirds' games are free, and there is on-site parking. Since there aren't any bleachers, however, you'll have to plan ahead and bring some chairs or a blanket with you.
Wander to The Local Scoop for Dessert
You're probably exhausted at this point, but you haven't had dessert yet. Luckily, The Local Scoop is a three-minute drive from the ballpark and offers some of Cape Cod's best frozen treats. Everything here is made on-site, and you can even design a sundae with whatever ingredients you wish.
Some of the best-selling items at the ice cream shop include their homemade frozen yogurt, organic ice cream, dipped cones, and Cape Cod pops. The Local Scoop is open until 10:00 PM every night in the summer, so you should have time to get there after the game.
Making the Most of Your Time in Orleans
You might not have time to do all of these activities in a single day in Orleans unless you really hustle, but with most venues being within a few minutes of each other, it's certainly possible. Of course, you could always spend more than one day in this lively town, or come back next year and do it all again.
Day Trip Orleans
Cape Cod’s 2019 Free Summer Music Schedule
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, June 17, 2019
One of the best things about Cape Cod in the summer is that you can always find a great, free activity. Whether you spend your days lounging on the beach, hiking the trails, or riding your bike on a pathway, you don’t have to spend a dime to have a great time on the Cape.
That sentiment carries over into the evenings, as well, due to the abundance of free concerts offered all summer long. Nearly every town on Cape Cod has some sort of summer concert series, so no matter where your vacation rental is located, you’re never far from some free, outstanding music.
Every Sunday between June 30 and September 1, you’ll find a free show in Provincetown at Herring Cove Beach. The shows take place at 5:30 PM in June and September, 6:30 in July, and 6:00 in August. There are concerts at the same location on Wednesday nights, too.
If you’re staying in Brewster, Drummer Boy Park will feature a show by The Brewster Band at 6:00 PM every Sunday between June 30 and September 1. There is a bandstand at the park that the band has used since it was erected in 1994, and these concerts have become a well-known part of summers in the town.
Concerts on Mondays
The Dennis Village Green Gazebo is the place to be on Mondays from early July until the middle of August because of the concert series performed there. The shows get underway at 7:00 each week and take place under the park’s iconic bandstand.
Over in Eastham, Windmill Green will host shows every Monday in July and August. These shows also start at 7:00 and you can expect a different style of music pretty much every week.
In Harwich, you can stop by Brooks Park every Monday in July at 6:00 for a show. Brooks Park hosts Tuesday shows, as well, except for these run throughout July and August and begin at 7:00 PM.
One of the more scenic concert locations on this list is at Orleans’ Nauset Beach. The shows here run from July 1 through August 26 and get underway at 6:30. Although not part of the official concert series, Nauset Beach also has Thursday shows at 6:00 throughout July.
In South Yarmouth, check out the weekly concerts at Parkers River Beach. These shows run every Monday in July and get started at 6:00 PM.
You absolutely have to take in a concert at the Salt Pond Visitors Center on the Cape Cod National Seashore at some point during your vacation. These shows are held throughout July and August at 7:00 on Tuesdays and Thursdays and usually attract a large crowd. You might even be lucky enough to witness a performance by the Outer Cape Chorale.
Every Tuesday in July features music at Mashpee Community Park. These shows start at 6:00 and are part of The Arts Foundation of Cape Cod Summer Concert Series.
Wellfleet has a summer concert series with shows taking place on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. These shows run at either Mayo Beach or Jan Rutz Harbor Bandstand at Wellfleet Town Pier, depending on the act, and get started anywhere between 6:00 and 7:00 PM. Check Wellfleet's town website closer to your date of arrival for more information.
Events on Wednesdays
Barnstable Village Courthouse Stage has two shows per month throughout July and August starting at 6:00. The concerts are hosted at a stage behind the city’s courthouse.
In Chatham, you can check out some bands at Kate Gould Park between early July 3 and 24 during the 2019 TD Bank Summer Concert Series. Every show kicks off at 6:00 and ends at 7:30. Kate Gould Park also hosts weekly concerts by the Chatham Band starting in late June and running through August. These shows get underway at 8:00 PM and last about an hour and a half.
If you're in the Hyannis area, head to Hyannis Village Green on any Wednesday in July or August at 7:00 PM or Aselton Park on South Street on Fridays at 6:00. Keep in mind that Hyannis has an incredible live music scene in the summer, so you should be able to find a show nearly any night of the week.
Rock Harbor Beach in Orleans is a great venue to check out between late June and early September thanks to its shows by local band Pans in Paradise. The band will keep playing until sunset every Wednesday night throughout the summer.
Live Music on Thursdays
Thursdays are a big day for free music on Cape Cod, starting with the 6:30 shows at the Buzzards Bay Recreation Area, which is along Main Street on the mainland side, all July and August. These shows have the Cape Cod Canal as a backdrop, making this a spectacular place to listen to some music.
The Dennisport Outdoor Summer Concert Series takes place at Dennisport Village Green on Hall Street, which is just off Route 28. These shows run every Thursday in July at 6:00, and are held at the park's gazebo.
Throughout July and August, the Music and Arts Pavilion at Marina Park in Falmouth will host Thursday night concerts at 7:30. These performances transpire right next to Falmouth Harbor, making it a beautiful way to spend an evening.
There is a green space just outside of the Osterville Village Library that is home to a free concert series from the middle of July until the middle of August. The shows run every Thursday at 6:00 and are about an hour long.
In Sandwich, there are concerts every Thursday between June 28 and August 23 in 2019 at the Len Savery Bandstand at 7:00. This venue is located right behind what was once Wing Elementary School.
The Truro Public Library in North Truro has shows on Thursdays throughout July and August. These concerts start at either 6:00 or 6:30, depending on the act.
Friday’s Summer Concerts
Peg Noonan Park, which is right next to the public library in Falmouth, hosts Friday night concerts throughout July. The shows kick off at 6:00 and provide a nice segue into the weekend during your vacations.
There are also shows on the first Friday of every month between June and October at Mashpee Commons Central Square. The shows start at 6:00 PM between June and August and 4:00 in September and October.
What to Bring
When attending one of these shows, be sure to bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on, some insect repellent, and a light jacket for when the sun goes down for the night. You might also consider packing a picnic or picking up some dinner on your way to the performance if you’re in the mood for some entertainment while you eat.
These free shows provide added value for your Cape Cod vacation since you don’t have to spend any money to get out there and experience some of the top musicians that the Cape has to offer.
Brewster Buzzards Bay Cape Cod National Seashore Chatham Concerts Dennis Falmouth Hyanns Nauset Beach Orleans Outdoor Music Provincetown Summer Concerts Summer Festivals
Beaches That Allow Offroading on Cape Cod
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, June 10, 2019
The beaches of Cape Cod provide a paradise for all who visit them, but did you know that you can drive your vehicle in search of secluded spots with no one else nearby? Many residents of the Cape take advantage of this feature every year because they can escape the crowds and relax in peace on quite pieces of sand.
As a visitor to Cape Cod, you might find it more challenging to go ahead with this venture, but if you drive to the area and have a four-wheel drive vehicle, nothing is stopping you from offroading on some of the Cape’s exceptional beaches.
Here is a list of some of Cape Cod's top ORV beaches, along with the rules and regulations that you must follow.
Rules and Equipment
To access any of Cape Cod's beaches in your vehicle, you must, first of all, have a four-wheel drive truck or SUV. Attempting to drive on the sand without this equipment is a recipe for failure and will lead to you getting stuck. In fact, officials won't even let you attempt it.
Before being permitted on these beaches, your car or truck will have to pass an inspection. If you've passed an inspection in the last year, you might be spared this time around, but park employees are allowed to have a look at your vehicle at any point to make sure it meets the requirements. You're also required to have the following six items in your vehicle at all times: a tire gauge, a spare tire, a shovel, tow straps, a jack, and a support board. All of these articles will assist you if you get stuck in the sand.
Each beach has its own rules that you’ll have to follow. We’ll outline many of these rules and regulations later in the article.
Staying safe is crucial whenever you're close to the ocean, so make sure you follow the advice and instructions of local town administrators. You'll also want to keep an eye on the tide chart yourself, just in case you miss a warning that is put out by the town.
When driving, try to stay out of the ruts. While you'll probably want to follow the tracks of other vehicles in soft sand, as they will provide more traction, you'll want to avoid deeper ruts because they can cause your car or truck to bottom out and get stuck.
The reason for bringing a tire gauge is to monitor your tire pressure. You should lower the pressure in all of your tires to between 11 and 15 psi because this provides better traction in soft sand.
Nauset Beach in Orleans
Nauset Beach in Orleans frequently closes because of the threatened and endangered birds that reside on its shores, but if you happen to be around when it's open, there's nothing like it. You'll need to have your vehicle inspected before you can purchase a beach access sticker, which is $66 for residents and $196 for out of towners, with discounted rates available for the winter.
You can spend the night on the beach if you have a self-contained vehicle, defined here as a camper, motorhome, or trailer with a water source and toilet. The permit for taking these vehicles onto the beach costs $266 per year. Fires on the beach are prohibited.
The Cape Cod National Seashore
Depending on the time of year, much of the Cape Cod National Seashore allows ORV access, but you'll have to be prepared for closures here, as well. Vehicles are permitted everywhere from Race Point Light to Long Nook Beach, which is just south of Coast Guard Beach.
During the spring, however, there are restrictions on many places along the beach because of piping plover nesting, and you'll also see beaches closed when there are unsafe conditions or work being done to prepare the beaches for the summer. On Coast Guard Beach, you can only access the sand in your vehicle between 6:00 PM and 7:00 AM for night fishing purposes, as it's too busy during the day.
To get a permit to enter the Cape Cod National Seashore in your vehicle, you'll have to pass a vehicle inspection, have all the required safety equipment, view the orientation program, and purchase a pass. This pass will cost you $50 for seven days or $150 for the entire year. Keep in mind that rental vehicles are not permitted and you must be the registered owner of the truck to obtain a pass. If you wish to spend the night on one of the beaches, you’ll need a self-contained vehicle pass, which is $225 per year or $75 per week. Camping is only permitted on Race Point Beach, and trailers are prohibited.
Sandy Neck Beach in West Barnstable
In Barnstable, certain portions of Sandy Neck Beach are accessible via offroad vehicle. The beach is very long, and much of the vehicle-friendly area is at the far east end of the park. To reach these areas, turn right onto the trail that is just north of the Sandy Neck Gate House. This trail will take you to the dunes, which you can drive on until you reach your desired location. You can drive all the way out near Beach Point, which is a secluded area where you can find a piece of sand all to yourself.
To obtain a beach pass, you'll have to provide your driver's license, proof of address, and vehicle registration at the Sandy Neck Gate House. Barnstable residents can buy a pass for $30 for the winter or $90 for the year, while non-resident passes are $60 for the winter and $180 for the year. You are permitted to spend the night on the beach if you have a self-contained vehicle, although it will cost you an extra $5-10 per night. You can also use a tent in the designated camping area. Campfires are allowed with a permit.
Chapin Memorial and Crowes Pasture in Dennis
In Dennis, you’ll have access to two ORV-friendly locations in a relatively small area at Chapin Memorial and Crowes Pasture beaches. Chapin Memorial Beach provides easy access to the sand through its main parking area. Once you head through the parking lot, turn left and head south along the beach until you find a spot to yourself.
At the far east end of town is Crowes Pasture Conservation Area, which is home to a long stretch of beach that is ORV-friendly. Getting to this beach is a little more complicated, however, as you'll have to turn onto South Street from the Old King's Highway. Follow South Street in a northeast direction until you get to the sand. From there, turn right, and you can follow the sand out to Quivett Neck. There are plenty of secluded spots on this beach, especially since it's not as popular with tourist beachgoers as many others in the area.
The Town of Dennis doesn't offer daily or weekly passes, so you'll have to purchase an annual ORV sticker if you want to take your vehicle onto one of its beaches. The sticker costs $150 for locals and $300 for everyone else. Your vehicle might have to pass an inspection before being allowed on the sand, and only the registered owner can drive it. No rental cars are allowed, and these beaches do not allow overnight stays of any kind.
Watch for Closures
Keep an eye out for beach closures that could impact your ability to drive on a particular beach. In the spring, for example, many beaches close sections to protect the piping plover, a threatened shorebird that nests in the Cape’s sands, most notably on the Cape Cod National Seashore.
Poor weather or damaged beaches could also lead to closures, particularly for offroad vehicles. Have a look at your desired beach’s website and social media pages to make sure it’s open before venturing onto the sand.
As long as you take the necessary precautions, you should have an excellent time exploring Cape Cod’s beaches in your vehicle.
Barnstable Cape Cod Beaches Cape Cod National Seashore Chapin Beach Coast Guard Beach Crowes Pasture Dennis Long Nook Beach Nauset Beach Offroading Orleans Provincetown Race Point Sandy Neck
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.
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
Historic Places to Stop on the Old King’s Highway
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, June 25, 2018
A must-do while on Cape Cod is to drive down Route 6A, much of which is known as the Old King's Highway, as it is full of historic attractions that will give you greater insight into life on the Cape as a whole. Along the highway, you'll come across architecture that reflects the changes the area has undergone, as there are buildings from the 1600s all the way through the 1900s.
This portion of Route 6A starts in Sandwich and runs all the way to Orleans. As you drive the highway, you'll be following the same route used by Native Americans before settlers even arrived in the United States, as it was first a trail connecting local villages and camps. The path was also used by the first European settlers, as they came to Cape Cod from Plymouth, before settling in the region and creating the still-standing society we enjoy to this day.
Of course, a lot has changed over the years, but you'll have views of the same beaches and green spaces that pilgrims saw over 375 years ago, and can even enter some of the homes built by some of Cape Cod’s first inhabitants. The Old King’s Highway is a look at living American history that you’ll struggle to find anywhere else in the country.
Get Started in Sandwich
Soon after crossing the Sagamore Bridge onto Cape Cod, you’ll reach Sandwich. Here, you’ll want to make sure you get onto Route 6A, rather than Route 6, as 6A will take you through many of the Cape’s historic districts.
Sandwich is not only the oldest town on Cape Cod, having been incorporated in 1639, but is also one of the oldest centers in the entire country. To start your tour of Sandwich, you'll head south just off the Old King's Highway into the town's historic center. Here, you'll come across the Sandwich Glass Museum, known for its rare glass creations dating back to the 1880s.
The historic district also has Dexter Grist Mill, which was built in 1637 and in commercial operation until 1881. It remains one of the country's oldest water mill sites, and you can purchase cornmeal ground right there at the mill.
Just south of the mill is Hoxie House, one of the oldest houses on the Cape, having been raised in 1675. There are tours through the house’s interior, which still features period decor. If you head a little further south off 6A, you'll come to the Heritage Museums and Gardens, a structure that is home to pretty much everything you'd expect to find in an American museum, including classic cars.
As you move along the Old King's Highway, you'll quickly reach East Sandwich, an area home to the Wing Fort House, the oldest continuously-owned-by-the-same-family home in New England, having been built in 1641. You can do a tour of the house during the high season for a small fee. This area is also where the Nye Family of America Homestead stands. This homestead was constructed in 1678 and is now a museum, with each room being representative on a different era of the home's existence, right down to the period decor.
Continue Through Barnstable
The Old King's Highway Historic District in Barnstable runs the entire length of the city from east to west on Main Street. In that space, there are nearly 500 buildings, some of which were built as far back as the 1630s, with the newer buildings being constructed in the mid 1800s. The area as a whole was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.
Of particular interest in Allyn House, which dates back to the late 1600s, and Barnstable House, a structure that might be haunted. The district is also home to the Old Jail, built in 1690 and the country's oldest wooden jail. The jail now houses a museum, along with the Old Customshouse.
A Stop in Yarmouth Port
The great thing about Yarmouth Port is you won't have to venture off Route 6A to visit most of the town's historic sites. This part of Cape Cod was popular with sea captains, as many built large homes there and, as luck would have it, a number of these structures remain to this day.
Captain Bangs Hallet House is Cape Cod's only fully-furnished former captain's house that is open to daily visitors. The residence provides insight into how a sea captain would have lived in the 1800s, right down to furniture and decor.
Just across fro Hallet House is Winslow Crocker House, which was moved to Yarmouth from West Barnstable in 1936. The house was originally built sometime around 1780 and was a very high-end home for its time period. The building belonged to a merchant and trader, who might have been a rum runner, and today is a museum with public tours available daily.
Edward Gorey House offers a different kind of Cape Cod history because it is an art gallery and museum dedicated to the life and works of Edward Gorey. Gorey purchased the home, which was 200 years old at the time, in 1979 and it became a museum after his death in 2000.
Yarmouth New Church dates back to 1870 and is one of Cape Cod's choicest examples of Gothic architecture. The building is detailed and very similar in quality to what you'd expect to find in an old European neighborhood. It is no longer an active church but does host events throughout the year.
Some History in Dennis
After crossing through Yarmouth, Route 6A heads north into the heart of Dennis, where you'll find Josiah Dennis House and the West Schoolhouse occupying the same grounds. Josiah Dennis House dates back to 1736 when it was home to a local reverend. In fact, the town of Dennis is named after this man, who was a minister for 38 years in the area. Today, the home is a museum, as is the West Schoolhouse, which was moved to the land in 1973. The school was constructed between 1770 and 1775 and is the last remaining schoolhouse from that era.
The Scargo Tower isn't as old as many structures along the Old King's Highway, having been built in 1901 as a lookout, but it is free to visit and at 30 feet tall, provides panoramic views of the entire area. In fact, on a sunny day, you can see all the way to Provincetown in the north and the Sagamore Bridge to the west.
Drive Through Brewster
In Brewster, Route 6A runs along Main Street and is surrounded by historic sites. As you approach the town's center, you'll see Drummer Boy Park, which is home to a windmill from the 1700s, along with a blacksmith shop. Just down the road from the park is the Cape Cod Museum Of Natural History, an entity that takes a more ecological approach to the area's history.
Moving into central Brewster, you'll find Captain Elijah Cobb House. This building is the permanent home of the Brewster History Society and hosts a variety of museum artifacts while offering tours. The home was built in about 1799.
The Crosby Mansion, just north of Route 6A near Nickerson State Park, is a massive 35-room house built in 1888 by Albert Crosby, a wealthy alcohol distiller. The home, which was built around the homestead in which Crosby was raised, would become an art gallery after his death in 1906. Today, the mansion is a museum but is only accessible to the public a few times per year.
The End in Orleans
Finally, the Old King's Highway runs through the heart of Orleans. Here, the official name of the road changes to the Cranberry Highway, but it's still part of historic Route 6A. Just off the highway is the French Cable Station Museum, providing an in-depth look at the undersea telegraphic cables used by the United States and France during World War One.
Just north of the museum is the Jonathan Young Windmill, which is unique because all of its original parts and mechanisms remain intact, despite the fact it was moved to Hyannis in 1897 and then back to Orleans in 1983. The windmill was constructed sometime around 1720 and now sits in a small park just off Route 6A.
Make a Day of Route 6A
After heading through Orleans, the Old King's Highway joins with Route 6, or the Mid-Cape Highway, where it runs through Eastham, Wellfleet, and Truro. Route 6A reappears in North Truro and heads through the heart of Provincetown, before coming to an end at Herring Cove Beach.
There are other historic sites to explore along Route 6, but that’s a journey for another day because if you stop at even a fraction of the museums and homes along the Old King’s Highway, you’ll quickly find it’s time to return to your vacation rental for some much-deserved relaxation.
Barnstable Brewster Dennis Old Kings Highway Orleans Route 6a Sandwich Yarmouth Yarmouth Port
Live on the Outer Cape: Music, Drama, and Comedy
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, May 14, 2018
When staying on Cape Cod for any length of time, consider taking in some of the local performing arts scenes, as there is something to check out on pretty much any night of the week during the summer. Depending on your mood, you might want to see a live performance of a Shakespearean drama, laugh with a stand-up comedian at an intimate local venue, or dine with live music in the background before getting up and cutting a rug after your meal.
All of these opportunities and more are available on the Outer Cape on any given day, providing you with loads of different ways to spend your evenings. Have a look at the events calendar at the following venues or check out some of the highlighted festivals to ensure you don’t miss a top-notch performance during your Cape Cod vacation.
Performances and Events in Provincetown
Since Provincetown is one of the Cape's cultural hubs, it makes sense that the town has plenty of live venues from which to choose. The Provincetown Theater is known as the Birthplace of Modern American Theater, as it dates back to 1915 when a group of New Yorkers vacationing in the area started performing and eventually built a makeshift theater. Their performances drew attention from all over the East Coast, helping to grow the industry as a whole. Today, the Provincetown Theater hosts Broadway comedies, dramas, and musicals, in addition to performing arts festivals throughout the year. If you're on the Outer Cape in the summer, there's a good chance this venue will have something going on.
Not to be outdone, the Peregrine Theatre Ensemble also brings Broadway plays and musicals to Provincetown, producing them at Fishermen Hall. In 2018, the group will perform “Hair, the Musical” between July and September.
Of course, there’s also the Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, an annual event taking place each September. In 2017, the festival combined plays by Williams and William Shakespeare, while the theme in 2018 will be "Wishful Thinking". The performances take place at a variety of venues throughout town, even non-traditional venues, as 2017 saw "Hamlet" performed in a tank of water on the beach and "Pericles" performed on a boat.
Smaller music venues are found up and down Provincetown’s Commercial Street. Bubala’s By The Bay, for example, is where the town's West End begins and hosts live music every night during the summer. There is no cover or minimum charge, so you can get out and enjoy everything from jazz to country music without worrying about the cost. Governor Bradford Restaurant & Club is an all ages venue that features a different act every Saturday night. The music gets started at 8 PM and runs until about 11. Tin Pan Alley is a piano bar with live performances every night of the week.
The Provincetown Jazz Festival has been around since 2005 and brings musicians from all over the world to the area at a variety of different venues. If you're in the area in mid-August, it is well worth checking out at least a few performances.
The Crown & Anchor is well known throughout the Cape because of its cabaret shows, but this significant venue is also the home of comedy in Provincetown. Some performances will be local comedians, such as Julie Wheeler and James Judd, who have weekly performances from Memorial Day until Labor Day. Other times, the venue brings in better-known acts, like Bruce Vilanch and Leslie Jordan in 2018, for a couple of sets.
Events in Truro This Summer
Just a short drive down Route 6 from Provincetown is Truro, where there are even more live performances to attend. In North Truro, the Payomet Performing Arts Center hosts music, comedy, and theater starting in the spring, with some pretty big acts coming to town in the summer.
You’ll also find music at Truro Vineyards every Sunday throughout the summer. Admission to the show is free, and there's a food truck on-site, so you can have a meal, enjoy some local wine, and listen to a live performance. The vineyard also hosts Grape Stomp & Music Fest and the Vinegrass Music Festival in late September. Both of these festivals bring wine, cocktails, food, and music together and are a great way to end your summer on Cape Cod.
Music and Theater in Wellfleet
Continuing down Route 6 from Truro brings you to Wellfleet and, more specifically, the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater. This venue presents a series of thought-provoking dramas all summer long, with each presentation running for a few weeks at a time. There's a summer concert series at the venue, too, so you can get your fill of live music on Monday nights.
The Harbor Stage Company is in the heart of Wellfleet's downtown area. The venue is small and intimate, offering the chance to get up close and personal with classic dramas and comedies that you've probably heard of before, but maybe haven't seen performed live. In 2018, "The Weir", "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?", and "The Deer and the Antelope" are on the docket between the middle of June and early September.
For live music, The Beachcomber is the place to be in Wellfleet. Throughout July and August, this restaurant on Cahoon Hollow Beach brings in musical acts every day of the week. You'll have to buy tickets in advance for most shows and keep in mind that the music usually starts at 9 PM, so you'll have time to either have dinner in the restaurant or eat elsewhere before things get going.
Orleans Live Performances
Finally, as you come down Route 6 and exit onto 6A, you'll reach the center of Orleans, where even more live performances can be found. The Academy Playhouse is right on Main Street and has a mixture renowned shows throughout the year. There are children's performances in the afternoons, including the Little Mermaid in 2018, and both theater, including Shakespeare, and music at night.
The Elements Theatre Company is on the grounds of the Church of the Transfiguration on Rock Harbor, giving it one of the more scenic locations for performances on the Cape. This venue mostly hosts dramatic productions, although there are retreats and workshops during the summer for those interested in acting themselves.
The Barley Neck Inn dates back to 1848 when Isaac and Mary Doane purchased the land where the property now sits. Part of the original building now makes up this venue, which hosts live music every Friday and Saturday night. It's not glamorous, but catching a performance at The Barley Neck is a quintessential thing to do while on Cape Cod.
Finding Your Performances
As you can see, no matter what type of entertainment you’re into, you’re sure to find it on the Outer Cape during the summer. Once you book your vacation rental on Cape Cod, start looking at the local venues holding events because you’re sure to find a new and exciting way to spend your nights, no matter what you are looking to experience.
Cape Cod Festivals Jazz Orleans Outer Cape Provincetown Theater Truro Wellfleet
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