The Beach Times

The Sandy Pond Recreation Park in Yarmouth, MA
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, April 13, 2020

Your Cape Cod vacation will likely be full of fun in the sun and time spent enjoying many of the activities for which this beautiful part of the world is famous.

In Yarmouth, Massachusetts, that means spending your days lounging on the beaches, shopping in the boutiques, and feasting at the restaurants. It could also lead you to historic buildings, nature parks, and marinas.

An off-the-beaten-path location that you might consider exploring is the Sandy Pond Recreation Park on Buck Island Road. The park is a few blocks north of Route 28, and close to the Barnstable Municipal Airport and Hyannis Harbor, as well, but provides a quiet escape from the bustle of those crowded facilities.

When looking for a peaceful way to spend a day in Yarmouth, Sandy Pond should be on your list of places to explore.

Recreational Facilities

Perhaps the main reason to visit Sandy Pond is its recreational area, which is full of excellent facilities for the entire family.

For starters, there are two playgrounds, so you can let the kids play while you relax and enjoy the scenery. You'll also have access to tennis and basketball courts, should you want to play a game with family and friends, or simply shoot some hoops on your own.

There's a softball diamond at the park that local groups often use, and if there's a game going on, the hills on either side of the field provide an excellent vantage point to watch.

There are on-site washrooms, which are a necessity if you plan to spend the day at the park, and there is a picnic area with tables there, too. The picnic area even has built-in grills, making it easy to cook lunch or dinner, rather than having to rely on sandwiches or other cold items.

Parking is always a concern on Cape Cod, but Sandy Pond has three parking areas to make it easier. While there's no guarantee that you'll find a spot, the park has a lot of parking for its size. There's also a bike path that runs directly to the park so that you can ride from your vacation rental.

Those who end up with a vacation rental in the vicinity of Sandy Pond will surely want to spend at least one day exploring its facilities.

Activities at the Pond

As you leave the recreation area near the parking lot, you'll walk down a small path before coming to Sandy Pond. The pond is a beautiful place to cool off in the summer because it has plenty of shade and a small swimming area.

If you've brought your kids to the Cape, Sandy Pond is a good choice because the water is shallow, and you won't have to worry about the crowds of the oceanfront beaches. The water is also far calmer and doesn't have those frightening ocean currents.

In addition to swimming, you can wade into the water and fish at Sandy Pond, or walk on one of the trails until you find a private spot to put your line in the water. The relaxation of fishing in one of the Cape's small ponds on a calm summer's day is unmatched.

Speaking of the trails, there's a nature walk around the pond, as well, so you can get some exercise in and explore some secluded spots through the trees. The trail isn't well-manicured, but it's short enough that you shouldn't run into too many problems.

You wouldn't expect to find such a secluded spot this close to some of Cape Cod's busiest locations, but that's exactly what the trails at Sandy Pond provide.

The Yarmouth Dog Park

The newest facility at the park is a 26,000 square-foot dog-friendly area to the west of the main parking lot. The Yarmouth Dog Park opened in 2015 and is broken into three areas: one for large dogs, one for small dogs, and one for shy or young dogs.

The park has lots of space for your pet to run and also features picnic tables, water fountains, and cooling pools, so your dog doesn't get too hot.

Dogs are also permitted on the trails around Sandy Pond, provided you keep them on a leash the entire time.

If you've brought your dog on your Cape Cod vacation, you'll surely want to check out the Yarmouth Dog Park during your travels.

Part of Your Cape Cod Vacation

As you spend your holiday on Cape Cod, you'll find new and exciting things to explore each and every day. In Yarmouth alone, there are numerous beaches, high-end restaurants, one-of-a-kind boutiques, and historic venues, just to name a few of the top attractions.

There are also plenty of parks and facilities that are popular with locals but don't get the tourist traffic that better-known locations attract. These sites, such as Sandy Pond, give you a little insight into the real Cape Cod and are worth stopping by during your time here.

Sandy Pond Yarmouth

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

mountain biking on cape cod

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

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

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

The Trail of Tears

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

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

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

Willow Street Trails

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

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

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

The Otis Trails

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

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

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

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

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

Nickerson State Park

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

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

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

The Badlands

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

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

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

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

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

Mountain Biking on Cape Cod

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

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

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

The Top 5 Seafood Restaurants in Yarmouth
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, October 21, 2019

yarmouth seafood

Your Cape Cod vacation isn't complete without a visit to at least one of the region's outstanding seafood restaurants. These venues serve a variety of seafood options, as you'll find lobster dinners, lobster rolls, oysters, fried fish, and other favorites on every menu. You really can't go wrong with any of the seafood restaurants in Yarmouth, although each has its specialties and a unique dining atmosphere to consider.

You'll come across many busy seafood restaurants as you explore Yarmouth, so here are some of the highest-rates among locals and visitors alike.


1. Captain Parker's

Sitting on Route 28 in West Yarmouth is Captain Parker's Pub, a local favorite with house-made clam chowder and a popular bar area. The restaurant is located in a busy area near Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf and the Whydah Pirate Museum and is also relatively close to Thatcher Park Beach.

This family-friendly venue has been in business for over 30 years and is open throughout the year. In addition to the award-winning chowder, Captain Parker's offers fried, grilled, and broiled seafood plates, burgers, steaks, chicken pasta, and vegetarian options.


2. Seafood Sam's

South Yarmouth is home to Seafood Sam's, which has been around since 1984 and features an extensive menu that has something for every member of your family. While the seafood, including broiled plates, fried dinners, lobster rolls, and chowder, is the big draw, the restaurant also offers chicken, hamburgers, and sandwiches.

Seafood Sam's sits in a busy area along Route 28 and is about a block from Windmill Beach on the Bass River. There are also some great dessert places nearby if you'd like to walk through town in search of an after-meal favorite or buy some ice cream to enjoy back at your vacation rental.


3. Tugboats

The best thing about Tugboats is that it sits right on Hyannis Harbor, providing outstanding access to this bustling area. And yes, even though Tugboats is on Hyannis Harbor, it is technically located in West Yarmouth, so it belongs on this list.

Locals describe Tugboats as a casual seafood restaurant, and once you wander inside, you'll see that it fits the bill. The menu has a little bit of everything, including baked and fried seafood platters, fish and chips, roasted chicken, steak, and pasta, but many people come for the lobster. At Tugboats, the lobster has its own menu, including the Lobster Overdose, which includes lobster bisque and a lobster roll. You can also get steamed lobster tail at market price.


4. Jerry's Seafood

You'll find Jerry's Seafood just a few doors down from Captain Parker's, giving you a couple of different options in that area. This venue has an old-school clam shack feel, as you'll head to the counter and order from the menu board. On this menu, you'll see a variety of fried seafood dishes, along with sandwiches, fries, pizza, and, of course, Jerry's Seafood's world-famous lobster roll. They serve Greek cuisine, too.

In addition to the traditional menu, Jerry's Seafood offers ice cream in a cone, cup, or as part of a root beer float. Even if you've already had dinner, you can stop by Jerry's for dessert and to check out the menu for another day.


5. Skipper Restaurant & Chowder House

Skipper Restaurant and Chowder House offers beachfront dining at its finest. Located on South Shore Drive, across the street from Parker River Beach in South Yarmouth, Skipper has an old-fashioned feel, making you feel right at home from the second you walk through the doors.

The menu at Skipper Restaurant and Chowder House is about what you'd expect, as there are seafood platters, lobster rolls, fish and chips, and fresh fish dinners from which to choose. You'll also find a raw bar, some plates of pasta, chicken, prime rib, and salads available, and there's an award-winning chowder, too. After dinner, feel free to enjoy dessert from the on-site ice cream shack or a drink from the bar, which is located in the dining room.


A Great Meal in Yarmouth

Most of these restaurants in Yarmouth are near the downtown area, making it possible to stop in for a meal before continuing on to explore the rest of the town. Once you're in this area, you'll love how much there is to do at night, and you're never far from the water, either.

During your Cape Cod vacation, trying some of the seafood should be a priority, and the town of Yarmouth has some of the Cape's best options.

Captain Parkers Pub Jerrys Seafood Seafood Seafood Restaurant Seafood Sams Skipper Restaurant Tugboats Yarmouth

The Top 5 Coffee Shops in Yarmouth
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Tuesday, July 30, 2019

top coffee shops in yarmouth

Vacationing in Yarmouth, Massachussets will provide you with plenty of activities throughout your stay, and you’ll quickly find yourself submerged in local life and all that it has to offer. The next step, of course, is to find out where locals are stopping for a cup of coffee and a quick breakfast, as these shops usually provide not only the best food and java but also the best value on Cape Cod. Here is a list of Yarmouth’s top five coffee shops, with each of them providing a unique quality that could make it easy for you to find your favorite Cape Cod hangout for this year’s trip.


1) The Optimist Cafe

At The Optimist Cafe, you'll not only discover perhaps Yarmouth's best coffee shop but will also have the chance to experience some Cape Cod history. You see, the cafe sits along The Old King's Highway in Yarmouth Port, in a historic Gothic Revival home built by Captain Frederick Howes in 1849. The building is on the National Historic Register, and still contains many original elements, including its spiral staircase, French doors, pine flooring, and massive window. If for no other reason, the antiquity makes this shop worth a visit.

As for the business itself, this is the only restaurant on the Mid-Cape to offer all-day breakfast year round. The breakfast menu is extensive, featuring everything you'd expect at a diner, including homemade waffles, pancakes, and crepes. There are also bakery items available if you're in the mood for something a little simpler. The Optimist Cafe is only open until 3:00 PM, but there is a lunch menu, or you can come for afternoon tea.


2) Bagels & Beyond

We'd forgive you if you drove right past Bagels & Beyond on Main Street in West Yarmouth without even noticing it. The cafe sits in an open area just west of the Antiques Center of Yarmouth and tends to blend in with its surroundings, and the coffee shop's small sign doesn't help matters. Once you're inside, however, you'll be happy that you took the time to find it.

Bagels & Beyond proudly serves New England Coffee, which you can order by the cup or the box if you need a few cups of joe to bring back to your vacation rental. The staff also makes bagels, pastries, and muffins from scratch each morning, and the cream cheese is made in-house, too. If you're in the mood for a more substantial meal, the breakfast sandwiches and burritos are sure to fill the gap.


3) Caffè Gelato Bertini

You'll find something a little different at Caffè Gelato Bertini, as this is an Italian-style shop with 24 flavors of gelato, six types of sorbetto, and a variety of coffee drinks. The business recently moved from Pearl Street in Hyannis to South Street in South Yarmouth, and now shares a building with Great Island Bakery, another outstanding local business.

The staff at Caffè Gelato Bertini make everything the Italian way. The owners have brought ingredients, recipes, and equipment from across the ocean to provide an authentic European experience on Cape Cod. Although they aren't open early in the morning, which might be a disappointment for some coffee lovers, you'll want to give one of their brews a try, particularly the espresso. Keep in mind that Caffè Gelato Bertini is only open from May through October.


4) Scapicchio's Bakery

While we’re discussing European-inspired coffee shops on Cape Cod, let’s look at Scapicchio's Bakery, an authentic Italian-style cafe offering house-made bread and pasties, and some of the Cape’s best coffee. The bakery opens at 7:00 AM every morning, except for Mondays when it's closed, making it an ideal place for the early riser to head for a quick breakfast and a cup of java.

Scapicchio's Bakery hasn’t been open for very long, but it has already built a tremendous following among locals and visitors alike, indicating that this family-run business will be around for years to come. The building is also incredibly easy to find, since it sits on Route 28 in South Yarmouth, right across the street from Skull Island at Bass River Sports World. It's a busy area, and you'll see that the bakery fills up early in the morning, but everything about this place makes it worth the wait.


5) Dunkin' Donuts

Yes, it’s a chain that doesn’t provide the same Cape Cod experience as other venues on this list. But, there are three Dunkin’ Donuts in South Yarmouth and two more in West Yarmouth, so pretty much everyone in town has visited a time or two, and people seem to love their coffee.

The attraction of Dunkin' Donuts is the convenience, as they have three shops on Route 28, another on East Main Street, just off Route 28, and one on Station Avenue near Yarmouth Shopping Center. All of these stores feature on-the-go mobile ordering so that you can have your coffee waiting for you upon arrival, and most have a drive-thru, as well. When you’re in a hurry, Dunkin’ Donuts in your best bet.


Try One or Try Them All

Since all of these coffee shops are relatively close to one another, you’d easily have time to sample each of them on your Cape Cod vacation.

Whether you’re looking for a quick cup of coffee, some baked goods, a full meal, or some ice cream, these cafes have you covered during your time in Yarmouth.

Coffee Coffee Shops Old Kings Highway Yarmouth

Check Out the Yarmouth Seaside Festival
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, October 1, 2018

Yarmouth Seaside Festival


Although the Cape is mainly a summer destination, plenty of reasons to visit in other seasons exist. As we move into fall, for example, autumn festivals are taking place up and down Cape Cod, and most are excellent events for the entire family.

One of these festivals is the Yarmouth Seaside Festival, a tradition on Columbus Day weekend every year. This year’s event will go ahead between October 6 and 8, with most events taking place at Joshua Sears Memorial Field in South Yarmouth. Some functions be held at the beaches and other venues around town, however. This year's festival will be its 40th edition and will include activities like a craft fair, a parade, rides, food, races, and fireworks.

If you're thinking about visiting Cape Cod this fall, the Yarmouth Seaside Festival is just one of the prominent events taking place as the leaves start to change. And since the festival is free, unless of course to buy crafts or food, you won’t have to worry about breaking the bank.


Arts and Crafts Fair

The arts and crafts fair at the event attracts more than 125 vendors from all over New England to Yarmouth, selling everything from ceramics to jewelry to collections of local art. This fair is a great place to look for Christmas presents or souvenirs, as you're sure to find items that aren't available anywhere else.

The craft fair runs on the Saturday and Sunday of the festival from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM, so you'll have plenty of opportunities to get out there and see what you can find. It takes place at Joshua Sears Memorial Field, and there is plenty of parking nearby.


Rides, Games, Music, and Food

You’ll find a wide range of other events at the same location as the arts and crafts fair. It all starts on Saturday morning with pumpkin decorating, followed by a science show, animal encounter, trampoline show, and pie-eating contest. On Sunday, the science show, trampoline demonstration, and animal encounter are back, and there is a demonstration by the police department’s K-9 unit, as well.

There are concerts, food vendors, rides, and games throughout the entire weekend, so make sure you stop by at some point. The kid's tent show is a particularly popular event, with concerts taking place in two locations on a rotating schedule.


The Races

If you haven't witnessed any of the races that are part of the Yarmouth Seaside Festival, you're truly missing out because they add a unique flavor to the weekend as a whole. Perhaps the most popular is the Bed Race. In this event, four team members push a custom-made bed through a course with a fifth team member riding it. There are awards for winning the race, in addition to the most outrageous bed and worst-designed bed. The bed race takes place at Bridgewater State University at 11:00 AM on Saturday, October 6. Even if you don't have time to put a bed or a team together, it's fun to head down there to experience it for yourself.

On Sunday, October 7, there will be a 3-mile road race through the streets of South Yarmouth. This race begins and ends at Bridgewater State University, with everything getting started at 9:00 AM. You can register the day of the run if you get down there by about 8:00, allowing you to participate if you're in the mood for a jog. Finally, on Monday, October 8, there's a canoe and kayak race from Bass River Beach to Wilbur Park. The race goes upriver, with a party taking place at the Sea Dog Brew Pub once the last racer has crossed the finish line.


Fireworks and Bonfires

On the Saturday night, you can head to Bass River Beach for a bonfire, starting at 6:00 PM. The fire is a family-friendly event and a great place to just hang out and enjoy the company of some locals.

There are fireworks on the Sunday at Seagull Beach in West Yarmouth. They get started at about 8:00 PM and this year's presentation is in memory of Bob Stanton, a long-time member of the event's organizing committee. Make sure you bring your beach chairs.


The Parade

One of the event's annual highlights is the parade, which runs down Route 28 from the old drive-in across from Captain Parker's Pub in West Yarmouth to the Massachusetts State Police building in South Yarmouth. The entire route is 1.8 miles in length, so there are plenty of places for you to find a spot to watch.

The parade has plenty of things for the entire family to enjoy, including old cars, floats, military vehicles, and marching bands. Because the upcoming festival is the 40th anniversary, you can expect it to be extra special this time around.


Start the Fall Right

As long as you’re on Cape Cod in the fall, you might as well get out there and enjoy everything this area has to offer. Just because the crowds have left after the summer doesn’t mean there isn’t something to do each and every day and you might even enjoy it more because you won’t have to wait in lines or struggle to find parking.

The Cape is positively becoming a destination for all seasons and the fact that Yarmouth puts on the Seaside Festival every year provides just one more reason to spend your fall holiday in a Cape Cod vacation rental.

Columbus Weekend Fall Festivals Yarmouth Yarmouth Seaside Festival

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.



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