The Beach Times
The Legend of Moby Dick's: Wellfleet's Premier Seafood Shack
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Wednesday, July 14, 2021
If you're at all familiar with Herman Melville's classic novel, Moby Dick, you know that parts of the story take place near Cape Cod. In fact, the tale begins with Ishmael traveling from Manhattan to New Bedford before making a stop on Nantucket, and the second mate of the Pequod is a man named Stubb who hails from the Cape.
Cape Cod's history as a shipbuilding and whaling hub also creates a connection with the book because the entire story is about Captain Ahab's obsession with the giant sperm whale he's chasing.
It makes sense, then, that someone on Cape Cod would create a business named after this famous story, and that's precisely what has happened in Wellfleet with Moby Dick's Restaurant.
This clam shack on Route 6 is a local favorite because of the fresh seafood dishes they serve and is a location you'll definitely want to check out if you're visiting the Cape in the summer.
Here's a look at what you can expect once you walk through the doors of Moby Dick's Restaurant in Wellfleet, Massachusetts.
As you approach Moby Dick's, you'll feel like you're walking up to a beach house. There's a nautical theme, both inside and out, and the venue makes you feel like you're right on the ocean.
Heading into the building, you might think you've walked onto a ship. The interior is designed to feel like the inside of a wooden boat, which definitely adds to the ambiance.
You can enjoy your meal outside on their patio, too, which is a nice touch when you don't want to leave the Cape's beautiful summertime weather.
You'll want to take a few minutes to read the entire menu at Moby Dick's because there are many options.
First, there's the soup, including clam chowder, lobster bisque, and seafood gumbo. Appetizers include steamers, mussels, crab cakes, and Moby's Famous deep-fried Spanish onion, as well.
You can also grab Wellfleet oysters, scallops, cod, swordfish, and salmon, to name a few options, and they have a full menu of fried platters from which to choose.
If you're in the mood for lobster, Moby Dick's has full dinners served with corn on the cob. You can add Chatham steamers to the meal and make it a clambake, too, or go for their lobster roll platter.
The seafood sandwiches at Moby Dick's are well-known throughout the Cape, as you can choose from cod, salmon, crab, and clam, all of which are served on a bun or roll with fries.
Those who aren't into seafood don't have to worry because Moby Dick's has a decent selection of burgers, and a chicken breast sandwich, as well.
There are kid's and dessert menus, with Moby's Famous Key Lime Pie being the headliner.
No matter what you're looking to eat this vacation, there's a good chance you'll find it at Wellfleet's Moby Dick's Restaurant.
Bring Your Own Beer
For beverages, you can order ice tea, iced coffee, milk, juice, water, frappes, and freezes from the restaurant. They also have hot coffee and tea.
If you'd like an alcoholic drink with your meal, though, you'll have to head to the store and bring it yourself. Moby Dick's is a BYOB establishment, so you can grab a bottle of wine or a couple of beers and enjoy them with your food for no extra charge. They'll even supply cups, bottle openers, and ice buckets.
Wellfleet Spirits Shoppe is a two-minute drive from the restaurant, so you won't have to travel far to bring your own drinks to Moby Dick's.
The Gift Shop
Moby Dick's is a pretty well-known establishment, so it makes sense that they'd sell some merchandise. What you might not expect, though, is that they have a full souvenir shop next door called Moby's Cargo.
After your meal, you can head over to Moby's Cargo to look at their selection of t-shirts, sweatshirts, travel mugs, coffee cups, hats, and other memorabilia that are equipped with the restaurant's logo.
These items are the perfect way to remember your meal at this famous restaurant and a great thing to bring home at the end of your Cape Cod vacation.
Your Cape Cod Vacation
Moby Dick's has a long history on the Cape, as it first opened its doors in 1983. It's known as a gathering spot for locals, but its doors are always open to Cape Cod visitors looking for one of the area's best dining experiences.
Spending your vacation in Wellfleet allows you to wander its beaches, explore its quaint downtown, and head to the Cape Cod National Seashore. Finding some of the Cape's best seafood along the way at Moby Dick's is sure to make your time here that much more special.
Wellfleet Wellfleet Restaurants
4 Places to Grab Lunch Near Marconi Beach in Wellfleet
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Thursday, April 15, 2021
Spending a day at Marconi Beach in Wellfleet is a must-do while vacationing on Cape Cod because it features some of the most breathtaking views over the Atlantic Ocean you’ll find anywhere on the East Coast.
This beach on the Cape Cod National Seashore is also famous for its golden sand, surfing opportunities, and the abundance of seals that make their homes in the nearby waters.
As is custom on the Cape, if you head to Marconi Beach in the morning, lunchtime will quickly sneak up on you. Most National Seashore beaches, including Marconi, are a little out of the way, so you might consider packing a picnic. However, there are some restaurants a short driving distance away if forget to bring food.
Here’s a look at some local lunchtime favorites near Marconi Beach.
Bob's Sub and Cone Family Restaurant
A Wellfleet staple since 1981, Bob's Sub and Cone is a family-owned business that prides itself on doing the little things the right way. The venue is perhaps best known for its fresh seafood dishes, although its specialty subs, clam fritters, homemade onion rings, and steak bombs also get a fair amount of attention.
You'll find daily specials on the menu and a dessert menu featuring soft-serve and hand-scooped ice cream flavors. They have sundaes, floats, freezes, and milkshakes, as well, and there's even a full bar if you're after some refreshments following your day on the hot beach.
Bob's Sub and Cone Family Restaurant sits on Route 6 in South Wellfleet, about two miles from Marconi Beach's parking lot, so you can drive there in under five minutes or walk in about 40 minutes.
JB's Pizza Bar & Grill
JB's Pizza Bar & Grill has been around since 2013 and has quickly become a local favorite since that time. The restaurant is relatively small inside but has a patio that provides additional dining space.
As you might expect, pizza is the main menu item at JB's as they make some of the best pies in Wellfleet. They have dozens of toppings available, and even offer their famous Cape Codder Pizza, which features lobster, bacon, scallions, and homemade alfredo sauce.
Pizza isn't the only thing on the menu, though, as you can also get burgers, steak, chicken, pasta, sandwiches, and appetizers. There's a full bar at JB's Pizza Bar & Grill, too, so you can grab a drink on the patio as you cool off under one of their umbrellas.
JB's is about a four-minute drive or 35-minute walk from the parking lot at Marconi Beach.
Lobster & Chowder House
Lobster & Chowder House is a relatively new establishment that sits on Route 6, in the same parking lot at JB's Pizza Bar & Grill. This restaurant offers a seafood shack experience, making it an excellent place to stop for a quick bite.
The menu here, as you might expect, is full of seafood items like lobster rolls, shrimp dishes, clam chowder, fish and chips, and fried clams. However, you can still get non-seafood items like chicken, hamburgers, sandwiches, and salads.
The restaurant offers a to-go feature where you can call ahead and grab your meal in a hurry, or you can enjoy your food and a drink on their patio, which has a full bar and a diverse selection of local beers.
There are seafood shacks everywhere on the Cape, but Lobster & Chowder House is the most accessible if you’re spending your time at Marconi Beach.
Bocce Italian Grill
Sure, family restaurants, pizza joints, and seafood shacks are great, but what if you want a nice sit-down meal after spending the morning at Marconi Beach?
Well, Bocce Italian Grill has you covered.
In actuality, this venue is a bit of a mix between formal and casual.
On one hand, the food is what you’d expect at a five-star Italian restaurant, as they specialize in pasta and pizza, and offer lamb, steak, and seafood dishes, as well.
On the other hand, Bocce Italian Grill has a bocce court out back, so you can continue your fun in the sun after your meal. The restaurant also has live music and dinner shows on weekends if you happen to be in the area a bit later.
Bocce Italian Grill is only steps away from Bob's Sub and Cone Family Restaurant, so you can get there from Marconi Beach in under four minutes.
Making the Most of Your Meals
Yes, there’s something to be said for packing a lunch and heading to the beach. After all, your Cape Cod vacation rental will have a kitchen, making it easier to plan ahead.
At the same time, there will be days where some of the Cape’s fantastic dining options will call your name, and you'll be happy to know that these and others are a short drive from Marconi Beach.
Marconi Beach Marconi Beach Restaurant Wellfleet Wellfleet Restaurants
The Story of Hamblen Park in Wellfleet, Massachusetts
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Thursday, March 11, 2021
Downtown Wellfleet is a popular location for Cape Cod visitors that's known for its beautiful beaches, high-end restaurants, historic buildings, and bustling shopping scene.
At the same time, Wellfleet is never far from nature, as the Pilgrim Spring Woodlands, Great Pond, Great Island, the Cape Cod National Seashore are nearby and reachable within minutes.
Another piece of nature near downtown Wellfleet's heart is Hamblen Park, a sometimes forgotten island on Duck Creek that provides a quiet escape for all who visit.
Here's a look at everything you should know about visiting Wellfleet's Hamblen Park on your Cape Cod vacation.
The Park's History
Hamblen Park, also known as Hamblen Island or Cannon Hill, overlooks Duck Creek, which was once Wellfleet's main harbor.
However, this harbor was always a tight fit for sizable vessels, and by the 1860s, large metal ships had become the norm, replacing the clipper ships that could comfortably make their way into downtown Wellfleet. The result was less ship traffic in the town.
In 1870, construction on a railroad dike had begun, and this addition would eventually impede the tidal flow into Duck Creek. Because of this blockage, Duck Creek is no longer a harbor but rather a salt marsh.
Hamblen Island itself was owned by a man named Arthur T. Hopkins, who donated the land to the Town of Wellfleet. This gift was accepted in 1931, and the island has remained a public park ever since.
In fact, this park is recognized as the oldest park in Wellfleet, providing reason enough to visit when spending time in this scenic and historic town.
Given that Hamblen Park is relatively secluded, it makes sense that there would be a fair amount of wildlife to view.
Birds and sea life are the most common things you'll see on and around the island, including heron, geese, and ducks.
You might even see some turtles or horseshoe crab in the water while passing over the bridge.
Hamblen Park isn't a true wildlife refuge, but there's enough animal life to keep you interested as you walk its trails or explore its shoreline.
Uncle Tim's Bridge
Hamblen Park is an island, so, of course, it makes sense that there would be a bridge connecting it to the mainland.
Upon arrival, you'll see that this isn't just any bridge, as Uncle Tim's Bridge is an attraction all its own.
Initially constructed in 1783, Uncle Tim's Bridge acted as a shortcut into town for people living on the south end of Duck Creek.
A local man named Timothy Daniels, who by all accounts was quite the character, lived on Whit's Lane near the north end of the bridge. Always a self-promoter, Daniels called himself Uncle Tim.
Daniels was well-known around Wellfleet, acting as a tour guide, merchant, seaman, and fisherman. He died in 1893, but his name lived on with locals for decades.
In the 1940s, for no known reason, locals started referring to the bridge across Duck Creek as Uncle Tim's Bridge. The name stuck and remains in an official capacity to this day.
As for the bridge, the 1844 structure is no longer intact, as it was rebuilt in 2008. However, the new bridge is a close replica of the original and is now the most photographed location in Wellfleet.
As you enter the park, you'll see a list of rules that are in place to help keep this area beautiful.
For starters, you aren't permitted to start a fire anywhere in the park, and you're responsible for removing any items you carry in.
No motorized vehicles are allowed in the park, and you shouldn't disrupt or remove any plants or animals. You'll also want to stay on the trails to protect the plant life and avoid steep banks overlooking the creek for safety reasons.
Dogs are permitted but must be kept on a leash at all times.
By taking proper care of the island while spending time there, you can help ensure that it remains in excellent shape for generations to come.
Reaching the Park
Getting to Hamblen Park is relatively simple, as it's off East Commercial Street in downtown Wellfleet. It's also just a couple of blocks from Route 6 and steps from Main Street.
There's no on-site parking at this park, but as you approach, you'll see a sign directing you to a dirt lot about 400 feet away. Really, though, you can park anywhere in downtown Wellfleet and walk to Uncle Tim's Bridge in a matter of minutes.
Or, if you book a vacation rental in the Wellfleet area, you can make your way to the bridge and Hamblen Park any time you wish. Doing so will help you escape the busyness of a Cape Cod summer and experience the serenity of this surprisingly secluded island in downtown Wellfleet.
Hamblen Park Wellfleet
Spending a Special Evening at the Wellfleet Drive-In
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, June 15, 2020
After a day spent experiencing the Cape Cod National Seashore, biking on the Cape Cod Rail Trail, or exploring Wellfleet Town Pier, you might want to wind down with a quiet activity in the evening.
Luckily, the Wellfleet Drive-In is an option. This historic movie theater allows you to enjoy a double feature from your vehicle, enabling you to avoid the lines and crowds associated with an indoor cinema.
The Wellfleet Drive-In is located on Route 6 in South Wellfleet, making it easily accessible from most vacation rentals in the area, and a relaxing place to finish a day on the Cape.
Here's some information on this venue and the other activities it has on the premises.
The Drive-In's History
The Wellfleet Drive-In is a historic theater that first opened in 1957, with renovations the following year adding supports to the screen. The original speaker boxes remain in place, or you can listen to the films through your car stereo if you aren't into the vintage experience.
The theater added a mini-golf course in 1961, giving families who arrive early an activity while waiting for the feature to begin. Other additions to the venue include the Flea Market, which opened in 1974, and the indoor theater, which appeared in 1986.
Today, the Wellfleet Drive-In has digital projectors that provide a state-of-the-art viewing experience combined with the nostalgia of watching a movie in your car. This facility is the only drive-in theater on Cape Cod, and one of only 300 left in the United States, so make sure you check it out while on the Cape.
About the Drive-In
The protocol for the drive-in itself is rather simple, as tickets generally go on sale two or three days before the showing. The theater is open every day of the week during the summer, with shows starting once the sun goes down.
You can arrive at the drive-in starting at 7:00 PM, and organizers recommend that you get there as early as possible for the best spots. Two features will play every night, with the second movie usually getting started before 10:00.
When you pay for a ticket, you're paying for both films. You can leave after the first film, however. You'll also have the opportunity to show up for only the second movie, space permitting, but advanced tickets are not available in this scenario.
Keep in mind that the Wellfleet Drive-In generally plays older films, as they reserve new releases for the indoor theater.
The Indoor Cinema
The indoor movie theater is on the same property as the drive-in and plays new releases all year long. This indoor cinema is about the same price as the drive-in, except it isn't a double feature.
You can buy tickets in advance online for any show, which is a good idea during the busy season.
The theater also has a concession and offers a much more personal experience than the major chains that own many of the country's cinemas.
Mini Golf and Ice Cream
As we mentioned, you'll want to show up well before the first movie begins to get yourself a good viewing location.
So how do you spend your time?
The Wellfleet Drive-In has a mini-golf course, so you can play 18 holes while you wait. The course is mostly unchanged from 1961, giving it a vintage feel that your kids won't experience anywhere else.
If you aren't into mini-golf, you can also spend some time at the Dairy Bar. You can grab an ice cream, sundae, root beer float, milkshake, or frozen yogurt to enjoy at the indoor, air-conditioned lounge or outside on the patio.
It's usually painful to pass the time while waiting for a movie to begin, but the Wellfleet Drive-In makes it just as much fun as the film itself.
An On-Site Flea Market
A final addition to the Wellfleet Drive-In is the Wellfleet Flea Market, the largest one on the entire Cape. The Wellfleet Flea Market doesn't operate at the same time as the drive-in but is instead a way to use the space during the day.
You'll pay an admission fee of about $3 per car to enter the Wellfleet Flea Market, and from there, you'll have access to over 150 vendors selling everything from antiques to Cape Cod memorabilia.
If you're looking for a rare item to bring home from your Cape Cod vacation, this market is one place to visit.
There's a snack bar and beer garden at the Wellfleet Flea Market, too, if you aren't into the shopping aspect of things.
A One-of-a-Kind Cape Cod Destination
You won't find many venues like the Wellfleet Drive-In elsewhere in the United States because this type of facility is a dying breed. As a result, it's good to check out this locally owned and operated outdoor movie theater while staying in Wellfleet because you never know when you'll have another opportunity.
The Wellfleet Drive-In provides an excellent mix of 1950s nostalgia and modern convenience, making it a must-visit location while experiencing everything the Cape has to offer.
Drivein Movie Wellfleet Wellflleet Drivein
Wellfleet: The Art Gallery Town
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, July 15, 2019
Although the Provincetown art scene gets most of the attention, Wellfleet has something special for art enthusiasts, as the town is full of art galleries, most of which are within a short walk of each other. Those in the know refer to Wellfleet as “The Art Gallery Town” because of its abundance of studios, so if you want to enjoy outstanding exhibits without the hoopla, this is the place.
These art galleries come in all sizes and show off various forms of art. If you’re an art-lover, consider Wellfleet as the destination for your Cape Cod vacation because you can spend days on end exploring everything that this town of just 3,500 year-round residents has to offer.
Berta Walker Gallery
The Berta Walker Gallery sits on Wellfleet's Main Street and celebrates the history of American art. Many of the artists featured here are from Wellfleet, Truro, and Provincetown, and there's a second gallery location in Provincetown, as well. The studio is open Thursday to Money from 11:00 AM until 4:00 PM between May 23 to June 30 and every day except Tuesday between July 1 and Labor Day.
Blue Heron Gallery
At the Blue Heron Gallery, you can visit any day of the week between the middle of May and Columbus Day to view diverse collections of local sculptures, paintings, and photography. The gallery's Bank Street location has show openings and artist receptions on Saturday nights between 6:00 and 8:00 PM throughout the summer, as well.
Burdick Art Gallery
Dating back over 50 years, the Burdick Art Gallery is an institution in Wellfleet. The venue, which sits on Bank Street, usually features works by members of the Burdick family, in addition to those of other local artists.
Celeste Fine Arts Gallery
You'll find that the Celeste Fine Arts Gallery is a one-woman show, as all of the works featured here are by Celeste Woodes-Koper. Celeste is a self-taught painter from Boston who spent summers on Cape Cod growing up and decided to open an art gallery to showcase her impressionist work about 20 years ago. The gallery is on Commercial Street and only open in the summer.
Cherry Stone Gallery
Over on East Commercial Street, just across from Uncle Tim's Bridge, the Cherry Stone Gallery continues the legacy put forth by founders Lizzie Upham and Sally Nerber by showcasing local artists and bringing high-end shows to Wellfleet. The venue sits in what was once Cora Holbrook's store and is open every day except Sunday between June and September.
At the Cove Galley, new exhibits open every Saturday night all summer long and run throughout the week. There are also jazz performances on select Fridays during the summer that you can check out as you wander the town. The gallery enjoys an ideal location on Commercial Street, and offers custom framing, as well.
Front Porch Gallery
One of the few art galleries that isn’t on Commercial Street or Main Street is the Front Porch Gallery, which enjoys a convenient Baker Street location. This venue is open every day except Sunday throughout the summer and featuring abstract paintings, woodwork, fiber art, pottery, and other works from local artists. The gallery sits in a house built in 1855, so it gives you the chance to experience a bit of history, as well.
The Frying Pan Gallery
Although it's on Commercial Street, The Frying Pan Gallery is right on Wellfleet Town Pier, so it's a little away from many of the other galleries. This venue features fishing-inspired pieces by local artists, including owner Steve Swain, and shares a parking lot with Wellfleet Pearl, a renowned seafood restaurant.
Another art gallery that shares a parking lot with a well-known restaurant is the Harmon Gallery, which is right beside Mac's Shack, perhaps Wellfleet's most famous dining room. The gallery is open throughout June, July, and August, from 11:00 AM until 7:00 PM every day except Sunday when it opens at noon. The Harmon Gallery focuses on contemporary art with an urban flair, bringing in both emerging and established artists from around the Cape and beyond.
Left Bank Gallery
Just a few doors down from the Cove Gallery on Commercial Street is the Left Bank Gallery, a venue specializing in glassware, jewelry, pottery, wood items, wearables, sculptures, home furnishings, and paintings from local artists. The paintings come in rotating collections, while the rest is there throughout much of the season. You can visit the gallery every day of the week between 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM, and there is a second location on Cove Road in Orleans.
Off Main Gallery
The Off Main Gallery got its name because of its location, as it sits in an 1875 barn behind A Nice Cream Stop on Main Street. The gallery is in a pretty busy area, especially in the summer, as Winslow's Tavern is next door and Wellfleet Market Place is down the street, but it is set back from the road, creating a quiet environment. The gallery features rotating exhibits throughout the summer, with opening receptions and artists' talks taking place on the first Saturday of each release. The venue is open from late May through October, with changing days and times each month. Check their website for more information.
Visit Wellfleet for the Art
In June of 1980, the Wellfleet Art Gallery Association was established with the goal of promoting Wellfleet as a destination for fine art lovers. Since that time, the number of art galleries in the town has grown, and today, you can't walk more than a few minutes without coming across another studio in Wellfleet.
Have a look at the opening dates for some exhibits this summer because on some Saturday nights, you’ll be able to walk from gallery to gallery experiencing the best that Cape Cod’s art scene has to offer.
Art Galleries Arts On Cape Cod Berta Walker Gallery Blue Heron Gallery Burdick Art Gallery Celeste Fine Arts Gallery Cherry Stone Galelry Cove Gallery Front Porch Gallery Frying Pan Gallery Harmon Gallery Left Bank Gallery Off Main Gallery Wellfleet
Here Are Some Places to See Animals on Cape Cod
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Wednesday, July 10, 2019
It's somewhat surprising that the animals of Cape Cod don't receive more attention. Sure, you probably hear all about it when a sea mammal makes a rare appearance, but what about the smaller creatures that call Cape Cod home?
Luckily, there are a few places where you can see these animals in a controlled environment during your time here. You can also check out some larger animals at a nearby zoo, or head to a sanctuary to see wildlife in its natural habitat.bIf you're looking to see some animals while on the Cape, you'll have options.
Butterflies of Cape Cod
When you cross the Sagamore Bridge to the off-Cape side of the Cape Cod Canal, you'll see Butterflies of Cape Cod. This venue isn't like a traditional zoo, as it's a greenhouse that is home to countless species of butterflies, all of which are native to the Cape.
Butterflies of Cape Cod is a great place to learn about the insects that live on Cape Cod. Here, you can see different butterflies all summer long, depending on the weather and which species are having a good breeding year. It costs $6 for adults and $4 for kids, so you won't have to break the bank when doing so, either.
Woods Hole Science Aquarium
At the Woods Hole Science Aquarium, you can get up close with 140 different species of marine animals, all of which live in the northeast Atlantic Ocean. The sea life that you'll come across on your visit includes lobster, bass, cod, urchins, angelfish, and toadfish. You can also handle some of the fish in the touch tanks.
At times, the aquarium operates a seal habitat for seals that are unable to live in the wild. You can even learn about whales, sharks, and turtles through the interactive exhibits. The Woods Hole Science Aquarium sits in Falmouth's Woods Hole neighborhood and is free to enter, although donations are encouraged.
Taylor-Bray Farm Preservation Association
The animals at Taylor-Bray Farm are more domesticated than other locations on this list, but that means you can get closer to them at this petting zoo. The farm currently has sheep, cattle, goats, chickens, and donkeys, so it's like a typical farm, except people are encouraged to visit and interact with the livestock. The cows are particularly interesting because they're Scottish Highland Cattle, rather than the bovines that you'd typically see in New England.
There is no admission fee to visit Taylor-Bray Farm, although the owners appreciate donations. Keep in mind that 100% of all donations go towards caring for the animals, so it's an excellent cause. The property sits in Yarmouthport, and the land has been inhabited since 1639, making it one of the Cape's oldest farms.
Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
The Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary offers the chance to view animals in a more natural habitat, making it a rewarding experience if you're able to visit. Here, you can meet some of the animals that call Cape Cod Bay their home, or walk the trails to see other wildlife in its natural habitat. There are four habitats at this sanctuary: salt marsh, brackish water, forest, and freshwater, and as you stroll on the boardwalk, you can see animals in all of these environments. There are guided tours that allow you to get close to crabs, owls, and other wildlife, as well. If you happen to be on the Cape when one of these events is happening, check it out.
Visiting the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary costs $8 for adult and $3 for children. You can spend the entire day exploring, as the trails open at 7:00 AM and don't close until the sun goes down.
Buttonwood Park Zoo
Ok, so we've finally got a real zoo on this list. The catch is that it's not on Cape Cod, but it's only about half an hour from Bourne in the city of New Bedford. If you're serious about visiting some animals, the Buttonwood Park Zoo is well worth the drive because you'll see elephants, cougars, bears, monkeys, hawks, owls, and lizards, just to name a few.
The Buttonwood Park Zoo is seven-acres in size and includes attractions like a train and a cafeteria. Admission is $10 for adults and $6 for kids for non-residents, and parking is free.
A Different Way to Spend a Day on the Cape
While the beaches, bike paths, and restaurants get most of the attention on Cape Cod, there is a very active wildlife scene to explore. Whether you're into seeing local wildlife in its natural habitat or exotic creatures in a zoo, you can find exactly what you're looking for on the Cape and its surrounding area.
It's also nice to know that all of these venues are cost-efficient, giving you a way to spend the day with the family without overspending.
Animals On Cape Cod Taylor Bray Farm Wellfleet Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Woods Hole Woods Hole Aquarium Yarmouth Port
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
Cape Cod's Unique Architecture
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, July 1, 2019
Although you're probably visiting Cape Cod for its unparalleled beaches, outstanding dining scene, and laidback lifestyle, it would be a mistake to miss out on exploring its architecture.
As one of the first North American locations to be inhabited by European settlers, Cape Cod is home to some of the continent’s oldest structures, and there are very few places where you can experience such a wide range of architectural styles in a single day.
Keep some of these old homes and buildings in mind during your Cape Cod vacation because taking a self-guided tour of the Cape’s architecture is an excellent way to spend a day.
The First Houses on Cape Cod
There are six houses built in the 1600s that are still standing on Cape Cod. Perhaps the two most famous, the Hoxie House and the Wing Fort House, are located in Sandwich. The Hoxie House dates back to 1675, when it was built for Reverend John Smith, his wife, and their 13 children. It was later owned by Captain Abraham Hoxie, which is how it got its name. The Fort Wing House was constructed in 1641 and has been owned by the Wing family ever since. Both buildings are now museums that are open to the public.
Remember Monopoly houses? Well, they were based on Cape Cod style houses, which first rose to prominence in the early to mid-1700s. These houses were very modest, often with only one room, and had a central fireplace to keep them warm in the winter. A walk through some of Sandwich’s historic districts will give you first-hand views of some of these houses, many of which are marked with plaques.
Changes to the Cape Cod Economy
As the economy on Cape Cod matured, the architecture changed considerably. Smaller houses were still being built, but the whaling era brought riches to the area, and captains had the means to establish larger structures for their families.
One example is the Georgian-style Winslow Crocker House, a surprisingly elaborate structure built in 1780. There remains some debate as to how Winslow Crocker obtained his wealth, as he was a trader who might have also dabbled in the rum-running industry. While Crocker lived in Barnstable, local philanthropist Mary Thatcher eventually took ownership of the home and had it moved plank by plank to Yarmouth in 1936. It remains there to this day, and you can visit the house on Saturdays and Sundays been June 1 and October 15.
Although it was built quite a bit later, in 1868, a French Second Empire home called the Captain Penniman House is also the result of the whaling industry. Captain Penniman spent years at a time at sea, making his fortune in the process. Upon retirement, he constructed a unique house in Eastham, complete with 13-foot high whale jawbones in the entrance. The house has a tower overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, as Penniman liked to keep an eye out for ships, and was one of the first homes on Cape Cod to have amenities like running hot water, a furnace, and electricity. The house is open for tours on various dates throughout the year.
Vacation Homes on Cape Cod
By the 1880s, Cape Cod was no longer a secret and vacation homes were being constructed by wealthy families from Boston and New York. This commute was possible because of train travel, as visitors could reach the Cape in a matter of hours.
In Falmouth, you'll come across Highfield Hall, which sits atop the town's highest hill on nearly 400 acres of conservation land. The home was constructed in 1878 by James Beebe and used Victorian-style architecture with elements of Queen Anne. Overall, it has 22 rooms, 16 fireplaces, and tons of hand-carved woodwork. The home and its surrounding woods are open to the public every day between April 15 and October 31.
There is an interesting story behind the Crosby Mansion, or Tawasentha, in Brewster, as it was built in 1888 around a small Cape Cod style home where owner Albert Crosby lived as a child. Rather than tearing down the old homestead, he developed a 35 room Queen Anne style mansion around it, with the addition featuring an entrance replicating the one at Buckingham Palace and a parlor designed after the one at the Palace of Versailles. The estate is is now an art gallery open for tours on select days throughout the summer.
Post World War II
After the Second World War, soldiers returning from battle needed places to live, leading to many houses being built on Cape Cod. Since the Cape Cod style homes of the 1600 and 1700s could be constructed quickly, they became the design of choice. The only difference is that this next generation of Cape Cod houses would be built for modern living with multiple bedrooms and, in many cases, at least two floors. Most of the Cape Cod style houses on the Cape come from this time period.
This period was also an experimental phase when a group of architects led by Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer constructed small homes with lots of glass and large decks in wooded areas around the Cape, particularly on the cliffs near Truro and Wellfleet. These Bauhaus-style homes utilized various types of wood, concrete, and recycled materials to create something never before seen in this part of the world.
An example of this experimental architecture is found at the Ruth and Robert Hatch Jr. House in Wellfleet, which was built in 1961 on Bound Brook Island. The house was constructed to fit into the natural environment, rather than take away from it, but differs from others of this era because it doesn't have glass in the windows, just shutters. The home is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
Experience the Architecture
As you can see, you can quickly move through quite a few eras of American architecture within a small area if you take the time to do so on Cape Cod. Whether you’re interested in seeing how the country’s first settlers lived or wish to see the lavish homes built by some of the Gilded Age's wealthiest people, the Cape has it all.
The great news is that many of these buildings have been converted into museums, complete with period décor, allowing you to step back in time during your Cape Cod vacation.
Cape Cod Architecture Captain Penniman House Crosby Mansion Fort Wing House Highfield Hall Hoxie House Sandwich Wellfleet Winslow Crocker House
Find a Deal at Cape Cod’s Flea Markets
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Thursday, June 20, 2019
With popular flea markets like Dick & Ellie’s, the Cape Cod Bazaar, and the Hyannis Flea Market shutting down for good in recent years, finding a Cape Cod flea market is becoming increasingly difficult. Luckily, a couple of larger markets have picked up the slack a little bit and provide excellent bargains all year long, with additional days of operation in the summer.
Most of these flea markets offer free parking, complimentary admission, and a wide selection new and used goods for you to explore, so prepare yourself for a day of shopping at some point on your Cape Cod vacation, and you won’t be disappointed.
Wellfleet Flea Market
Two flea markets claim to be Cape Cod's biggest and best, starting with the Wellfleet Flea Market. This market is held at the Wellfleet Drive-In Theatre on Route 6 and is active all year round, weather permitting, so no matter when you visit the Cape, you can check out the available deals.
From October through May, the market runs on Saturdays and Sundays in the theatre's parking lot. The winter market is weather dependent, so if it's too cold or there's a lot of snow, it will be canceled. The winter flea market is also the smallest, as they cap it at about 30 vendors.
The spring market starts on Memorial Day Weekend and runs throughout June, also on Saturdays and Sundays, but it's a little larger and is inside the drive-in area. You’ll generally see a few more vendors at the spring flea market as the weather becomes more predictable.
The summer market is the largest at this venue, with over 200 vendors attending. You can head to the market on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays throughout July and August. The summer flea market also features a beer garden, mini golf, and an ice cream shop, making it a place where you can hang out for a few hours.
Finally, the fall flea market is held on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays in September. The September markets tend to slow down a bit, and visitors return home after spending the summer on Cape Cod.
All of the markets start at 8:00 AM and run until about 3:00 PM. Keep in mind that most vendors do not accept credit cards, so you'll want to bring cash with you. There is an ATM available in the snack bar during the summer season. You should also be aware that admission is charged by the car, but it'll only be $2 or $3 per vehicle, depending on the day and season.
The Sandwich Bazaar
The other flea market on Cape Cod that lays claim to being the best is The Sandwich Bazaar, sometimes referred to as The Sandwich Flea Market. This market, which has run every year since 2009, has a full-time spot in a large field on Quaker Meeting House Road in Sandwich, right next to Oakcrest Cove Lodge. Parking and admission are free, and since there is so much space, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding somewhere to leave your vehicle.
The Sandwich Bazaar is held every Wednesday between mid-April and the middle of October starting at 6:00 AM and ending at noon and every Sunday from the beginning of June through the middle of September from 7:00 AM until 1:00 PM.
There is also a secondary flea market in Sandwich called The Winter Sandwich Flea Market. It's hosted by the same people who run The Sandwich Bazaar, but it has limited dates between November and April and takes place at the American Legion Hall on Sandwich's Main Street. The markets go from 9:00 AM until 1:00 PM and will have tables set-up both inside and outside.
Brewster-By-the-Bay Flea Market
The Brewster-By-the-Bay Flea Market at Drummer Boy Park doesn't want or need to be the largest on Cape Cod, as it does just fine at its current size. The flea market is organized the Brewster PTO, with proceeds raised through the tables going to support programs and events at Brewster Elementary School.
If you want to check out the Brewster-By-the-Bay Flea Market, head to the park on any Tuesday between June 25 and August 27. The sales start at 8:00 AM and go until about 4:00 PM, and since the flea market is at a public park, you'll find it easy to keep the kids occupied while you shop.
Truro Treasures Festival
If you happen to be in Truro in mid-September, make sure you visit the Truro Treasures Festival Weekend. The festival has taken place every year since 1992 and is a non-profit event aimed at benefiting the community of Truro as a whole. Originally, the Truro Treasures Festival was started to raise money to save the town's Highland Lighthouse.
One of the most anticipated parts of the festival each year is its flea market, which takes place on the Saturday and Sunday of the weekend on Truro Central School's front lawn. The size of the market is dependent on the vendors that sign up each year, but since it takes place once the other flea markets are starting to wind down for the season, it usually gets a pretty good turnout.
Take Something Special Home With You
You never know what you’ll find at a flea market, and the sales on Cape Cod are often extraordinary because there are old homes and estates that often participate. These markets are also a great place to pick up some local arts and crafts to take home as souvenirs.
No matter your reason for visiting a flea market on the Cape, you’ll have some options throughout your vacation.
Brewster Cape Cod Shopping Flea Markets Sandwich Truro Wellfleet
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
Have You Heard These Hidden Wellfleet Facts?
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, January 14, 2019
When vacationing in Wellfleet, Massachusetts you'll surely check out popular attractions like the Cape Cod National Seashore, the Massachusetts Audubon Society Wildlife Sanctuary, and Wellfleet Harbor. You might also eat at some of the great restaurants in the downtown area or do some fishing on one of the town's kettle ponds and experience a quiet refrain from the ocean-side beaches, which you’ll also likely visit.
While the mainstream, touristy characteristics of Wellfleet attract visitors every year, the area has some interesting stories that are worth looking into because they provide off-the-beaten-path locations to explore from your vacation rental. The following facts also present insight into how Wellfleet became what it is today, so read on if you’re interested in learning more about this quirky Cape Cod town.
A Wellfleet Resident Brought Bananas to America
You're probably aware that bananas aren't native to the United States, as they are an imported tropical fruit. Did you know, however, that Captain Lorenzo Dow Baker, the man responsible for mass-scale banana importing in the country, was born and raised in Wellfleet?
In 1870, Baker took his ship to Venezuela, and on his way back to New York City, stopped in Jamaica to pick up a few bunches of bananas. Unfortunately, the produce spoiled by the time he reached the United States. Undeterred, Baker returned to Jamaica the following year and picked some green bananas, which ripened on his way home.
Baker earned a substantial profit from these bananas, as he could purchase a bunch for 25 cents and then sell it for $3, the equivalent of nearly $60 in 2018 prices. He would turn this practice into a very successful business where he'd make his fortune.
Eventually, Baker would form the Boston Fruit Company, an entity that has since become the United Fruit Company, a corporation that imports the Chiquita brand bananas you see in grocery stores today.
Wellfleet Harbor Had a Grand Hotel
Baker’s influence on Wellfleet didn’t stop at bananas, as his sudden wealth and status led to the area becoming a summer hotspot for the rich and famous. In 1886, Baker, now known as The Banana King, opened the Chequesset Inn, a large hotel that sat on the old Mercantile Wharf and extended 400 feet into Wellfleet Harbor. Baker envisioned the resorts he had seen in his travels through Florida and the Caribbean when he built the inn, and made it an all-inclusive property that catered to high society.
The inn, a four-story-tall building with 62 rooms, collapsed into Wellfleet Harbor during an intense winter storm in 1934. There is a plaque near the spot the hotel stood, which is near Mayo Beach off Kendrick Avenue, and you can still see pieces of the pier in the water during low tide.
The Chequesset Inn is chiefly responsible for developing the early tourism industry in Wellfleet, as it gave people a reason to visit. As our next fact suggests, the industry has taken off exponentially since the late 1800s, to the point that Wellfleet is an entirely different place in the summer.
The Population Grows to Over 17,000 in the Summer
Wellfleet is a relatively small town, with an estimated population of about 3,500 people during the offseason. In the summer, however, the community swells to over 17,000 residents, many of whom own or rent Cape Cod vacation homes.
Although this temporary growth is an inconvenience for many locals, as it leads to lines and crowds everywhere, it is responsible for keeping the economy afloat. Cape Cod businesses rely on seasonal residents spending money in the area and, thus, the influx of visitors is essential for the survival of the town in its current form.
Marconi Beach is Named After an Italian Inventor
Marconi Beach is one of the more popular places to spend time in Wellfleet during the summer, but did you know that it got its name from world-famous Italian inventor and engineer Guglielmo Marconi? Marconi is known for his work with long-distance wireless telegraphs and credited with inventing our current system of using radio waves for transatlantic communication.
As the story goes, Marconi chose the area that is now Marconi Beach to set up Marconi Station in 1901, where he planned to make the world's first wireless transatlantic communication. He chose the beach because it is elevated without much vegetation, providing a clear shot across the ocean.
Marconi ultimately ended up sending the first communication to cross the Atlantic from Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. But on January 18, 1903, a message from President Theodore Roosevelt was sent to King Edward VII using his station in Wellfleet in what was the first transatlantic wireless communication to emanate from the United States. Pieces of the first wireless tower are still visible at the beach.
Town Clock Remains on Ship's Time
When you're in Wellfleet's downtown area, you're sure to hear the bells at the First Congregational Church on Main Street ring every half hour. This tradition occurs because the church is home to the only bell clock in the country that remains on ship's time.
On a ship, time is broken down into four-hour shifts that start both in the AM and PM at 12:00, 4:00, and 8:00. There is then one bell-ring for every half hour past the start of a shift. For example, the bell clock will ring once at 12:30, twice at 1:00, and three times at 1:30 for a shift starting at noon.
This quirk means that bell clock at this church in downtown Wellfleet rings all day and all night, but it'll never tell you the correct time unless you know how to decipher ship's time. When you head down to Main Street on your Wellfleet vacation, see if you can figure out what time it is just by listening to the bells.
Explore These Wellfleet Facts
If you spend any amount of time in Wellfleet in the coming months, take the time to explore the stories and locations behind these hidden facts. Some, like Marconi Beach and Town Clock, are easily accessible, while others, such as Captain Lorenzo Dow Baker’s plaque, will take some digging to find. Wellfleet is a special place for those who live and spend their vacations there, and these hidden facts add to the allure of this quintessential Cape Cod town.
Bananas Chequesset Inn Marconi Beach Wellfleet Wellfleet Town Clock
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
Cape Cod National Seashore: More Than Just Beaches
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, February 5, 2018
With nearly 40 miles of shoreline along the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Cod National Seashore is, rightly so, known for its beaches. The area has six main beaches, Coast Guard, Nauset Light, Marconi, Head of the Meadow, Race Point, and Herring Cove, in addition to smaller, lesser known ones, but there is so much more to the area than the waterfront.
In total, the National Seashore is 43,607 acres in size, and there are countless activities to be found in the space that are sure to keep you occupied throughout your vacation.
Want to go hiking? No problem!
Interested in history? We’ve got you covered!
Love seeing animals? You’ll never run out of opportunities!
Yes, by all means, hit the beaches when you visit Cape Cod National Seashore but don't forget to explore the other sites and activities that this beautiful and diverse area has to offer. We’re confident you’ll love what you see.
A Little Bit of History
On an official basis, Cape Cod National Seashore is relatively new, as it was given its national park status in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy and his family spend plenty of time vacationing on Cape Cod, and he wanted to preserve this exceptional region for future generations.
Overall, however, the land has been in use for about 9,000 years, when it was first inhabited by American Indians.
The first Europeans made their way to the region in 1620, spending about a month here before finally settling in what is now Plymouth. The area was attractive to settlers in future years because of its abundance of fresh water, fertile land, and protective landscape.
Cape Cod National Seashore has deep colonial roots that become clearer and clearer the more you spend time here. But first, you’ll want to get to know the natural environment, which is why so many people visit in the first place.
Hiking and Biking Trails
Feel like going for a hike? There are plenty of places to do so. In the South Wellfleet area sits Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Trail, a moderately challenging hiking area that goes through an oak and pine forest before coming out in a swampy area with a boardwalk. The trail is just over a mile in length, so it can be completed quickly.
Pilgrim Spring is another short hiking trail in North Truro. The path is relatively simple, with a moderate grade and plenty of on-site parking, and is only 0.7 miles long. The site leads to the place where the pilgrims first tasted fresh water on Cape Cod, making it a historically significant trail, as well.
For a biking experience, Nauset Marsh Trail provides a comfortable ride with the option to extend the trip to Coast Guard Beach. The actual trail is a 1.3-mile loop and is peaceful, with very few elevation changes, and has some breathtaking views along the way.
While you're out and about, keep an eye out for some of the area's unique wildlife. More than 450 animal species live at Cape Cod National Seashore, including 25 protected species and 32 endangered or rare species.
On the coastline, you could encounter large marine mammals, turtles, gulls, and waterbirds. As you move inland, you are more likely to see the land mammals and reptiles that live in the woodland, swaps, and grasslands. One particular animal to keep an eye out for is the piping plover, a rare bird that nests in the sand. About 5% of the world's population of piping plover live at Cape Cod National Seashore.
The Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is one place worth checking out nearby because it has salt marshes and woodlands that are a hot spot for wildlife sightings.
You might also consider taking a boat trip out into the ocean if you have your heart set on seeing some sea mammals up close. If you're lucky, you might even come across the endangered North Atlantic right whales that feed off Race Point.
Landmarks and Sights
Sitting in Eastham between Coast Guard Beach and the Salt Pond Visitors Center is Doane Rock, a large boulder left behind by the Laurentide Ice Sheet, which covered most of Canada and large chunks of the United States, about 15,000 years ago.
As the story goes, when the glaciers melted, they left behind some geological abnormalities and one of them is this rock. It is named after John Doane, a deacon who was one of the first settlers in the area. He lived on this land in 1644, in a time when very few Europeans were around. The rock’s appearance might not blow you away, but it’s worth having a look at if you have the time because of its history.
After that, swing by The Three Sisters Lighthouses or Nauset Light while in Eastham, The Pilgrim Monument and Race Point Light in Provincetown, and Highlands Light in Truro. There is something that draws people to lighthouses and monuments, and these are some of the most prominent on The Cape.
Museums and Visitor Centers
We mentioned the history of the area before and what better way to learn about the history of Cape Cod National Seashore than by spending time at a museum?
In the north, you have options like Provincetown Museum, which is right at Pilgrim Monument, and Old Harbor Life-Saving Station Museum, on Race Point Beach.
Moving further south, Highland House in Truro and The 1869 Schoolhouse Museum in Eastham are worth a visit, especially if Cape Cod's history excites you the way it does for many other people who spend time here.
The area’s visitor centers are top-notch when learning about what makes the district so distinctive. The Salt Pond Visitor Center is perhaps the top choice, as it is full of interactive displays and shows educational films. There is also an on-site museum and bookshop.
Further north is The Province Lands Visitor Center, a smaller building that also shows educational films in its indoor theater and has a bookstore. The building has an observation deck, as well, which provides panoramic views of the ocean, sand dunes, Pilgrim Monument, and Race Point.
Embrace Life Away From the Beach
Of course, you’re sure to get plenty of beach time in when visiting Cape Cod in the summer. After all, that’s probably the reason why you’re visiting this area in the first place. At the same time, it’s good to know that there are plenty of other activities to keep you occupied when spending time at Cape Cod National Seashore.
If you ever need a day away from the beach to let your sunburn heal or relax away from the heat, the National Seashore has you covered. So, plan your next Cape Cod Vacation around the Cape Cod National Seashore and you will soon notice that Cape Cod National Seashore is unlike the other National Parks you have visited in the past.
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Finding Cape Cod's Secret Beaches
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Wednesday, January 24, 2018
If you’re heading to Cape Cod this summer, you’ll surely check out some beaches at some point. After all, we’ve got some of the best beaches in the entire country, and you’d be selling your vacation short if you don’t stop by a few of them.
The thing is, you’re not the only one with this idea. Crowds can be an issue at the area’s most popular beaches, making these areas less appealing for those who want to relax. When travelling with kids, you might also want a quieter beach, just to make things easier to handle.
Well-known beaches like Nauset, Coast Guard, and West Dennis, while scenic, are very popular during the summer. There’s also parking, which is another issue altogether.
Luckily, there are a few hidden gems throughout the Cape that you can check out if you are interested in the sand, surf, sun and a more peaceful setting. It doesn’t matter what part of Cape Cod your vacation rental is on, there’s a secret beach nearby.
Thumpertown Beach in Eastham
We'll start this list off with an easy one, as Thumpertown Beach isn't exactly hidden, nor is it difficult to find. The beach is, however, far less crowded than many Cape Cod beaches and provides a quiet place to enjoy the sun. The beach is popular with locals who don't want to navigate the crowds of Sunken Meadow Beach and First Encounter Beach, which flank Thumpertown Beach. Best of all, this beach has a small parking lot and stairs running down to the sea, making it accessible for everyone.
You can get to Thumpertown Beach quickly from Route 6 in Eastham. Look for McKoy Road and then take it to Thumpertown Road, where you'll come across the parking lot. The beach is excellent for family vacations because the parking lot is close to the water.
Bound Brook Island Beach in Wellfleet
Making the trek to Bound Brook Island Beach is all about the views. On a clear day, you can stand on one of the 50-foot-high sand dunes overlooking the water and see Provincetown to the north and Plymouth to the west, all the way across Cape Cod Bay.
To get to the beach, you'll have to take Bound Brook Island Road, which is mostly dirt, all the way to a dirt parking lot. The road isn’t well-marked, but you will see a sign directing you to Atwood Higgins House. It might look like you’re heading down a private driveway, but you’re not. Keep going, and you’ll eventually find parking. Once you reach the parking area, it's a bit of a hike down to the water, and you'll have to navigate the dunes along the way. Hey, no one said finding your own personal paradise was going to be easy.
Cow Yard Landing in Chatham
A beach that's not really hidden, but isn't busy either, is found in North Chatham. Cow Yard Landing beach is more for boating than anything else, as you'll see a number of watercrafts in the ocean, making it a great place to stop if you're looking to do some kayaking.
Luckily, the beach is easy to find, as Cow Yard Landing sits in a residential area just off Old Harbor Road and close to Route 28. There's plenty of parking along Cow Yard Lane, as well, so you won’t have to worry about searching for a spot.
Crowes Pasture Beach in Dennis
Discover one of the more secluded beaches on Cape Cod in the Crowes Pasture Conservation area in Dennis. It will necessitate some effort to reach the beach, as you'll walk a mile-long trail through some marshland to get to the sand from the parking area. The good news is this beach is basically untouched by civilization, other than some oyster farms, providing a rustic experience.
To reach the beach, exit Old King's Highway at South Street and follow the signs directing you to the Crowes Pasture Conservation Area. Follow the signs to the parking area and go from there.
Cape Cod Museum Of Natural History in Brewster
Perhaps the simplest seashore on this list to find, due to its location directly behind the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster, this beach is well worth the stroll. The seaside area is massive, with tons of white sand and space to stretch out away from the crowds.
While you can't park right at the museum, unless you're a paying customer, spots are available at Drummer Boy Park. From the park, it's a five-minute walk along Main Street, or Route 6, to the museum and then a short stroll along a marked trail to the water.
Forget About the Crowds
If the crowds are the one thing keeping you away from the beaches of Cape Cod, all it takes is a little effort to find a flawlessly secluded location to enjoy. Peace and quiet are abundant all over The Cape, even in the summer; all you have to do is know where to look.
When you plan your Cape Cod Vacation, whether you're looking for activities for your children or you want to sit on the beach with absolutely nothing to do, there's fun for everyone on Cape Cod's scenic beaches.
*Photo Credit CapeCodOnline.com
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