Monday, March 26, 2012

Museums (and Food) Along Cape Cod's Route 6A

It would be very difficult to travel along Cape Cod's Route 6A without being tempted to visit one of the many fascinating museums, followed of course by taking time out to refresh yourself at one of the many great eateries! Travelling from west to east, here is just a small sample of one museum and one restaurant from each town along the Old King's Highway between Sandwich and Brewster, a distance of about 35 miles.

Sandwich

Heritage Museums & Gardens - Three museums in one place featuring American Art, a Shaker-style round barn with over 30 antique American cars and a gorgeous hand-carved carousel. Also enjoy a hundred acres of trees, shrubs and beautiful gardens with walking trails.

The British Beer Company - Fantastic bar food and meals (and beers of course) akin to those from the old country in a welcoming and fun atmosphere.


Barnstable

The Coast Guard Heritage Museum - Learn about the history of the Life Saving Service on Cape Cod, and get an insight into the history of the US Coast Guard. Also in the grounds you can visit the Oldest Wooden Jail in the country.

The Dolphin Restaurant - This restaurant has been offering comfortable ambience and individually cooked meals for locals and visitors to Cape Cod for three generations.

Yarmouth Port

Edward Gorey House - The house, which was lived in by Edward Gorey himself until his death in 2000, gives visitors a history and understanding of this unique artist who is known for his quirky illustrations and writings as well as his passion for animal welfare.

The Old Yarmouth Inn - This restaurant, built in 1696, is the oldest inn on Cape Cod, and offers a very wide range of tasty fresh food served in great surroundings, along with a wine list to tempt every palate - you may even get lucky and see one of the resident ghosts!

Dennis Village

Cape Cod Museum of Art - The Museum of Art collects, studies and exhibits works by outstanding artists associated with Cape Cod and the Islands and its programs seek to preserve the artistic heritage of the region.

Fin Restaurant - A recent addition to Dennis village and what a wonderful one too. Beautifully presented creative dishes, with emphasis on local sustainable produce, served in an intimate atmosphere - too good to miss!

Brewster

Cape Cod Museum of Natural History - Learn about and enjoy natural Cape Cod: the region's environment and its unique ecosystems with exhibits, information and lovely trails overlooking Cape Cod Bay.

Chillingsworth Restaurant - Here you can choose between a bistro for more casual eating or the more formal dining room. Either way, you'll enjoy fresh and original creations in a lovely setting.

So, did anyone ever take so long to travel 35 miles? Obviously you will need to stay over a few days, and your best choice is one of the Cape Cod Bed and Breakfasts of the Classic Inns of Historic Cape Cod Bay, all of which are located on or very close to the route we have just explored, and will be the perfect base for these and many more Cape Cod adventures.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Fishing the Cape With Classic Inns of Cape Cod

Fishing has been an essential part of the Cape Cod world for hundreds of years. Hello – its Cape COD! Recreational fishing here is among the best anywhere. And there are many close by opportunities for guests of the Classic Inns of Historic Cape Cod Bay to enjoy a day on the water!

Salt water fishing is king on Cape Cod. There are sport fishing charters, party boats and some spots where you can just cast your line from shore. You don’t need a license for saltwater fishing in Massachusetts.
In Sandwich you can fish  from the shore near the Sandwich Marina, along the Cape Cod Canal and surf cast from the beaches. Surf fishing is available off most of the beaches north of Route 6A, but check with each town and each beach for their rules.

In Barnstable Harbor you can find sport fishing on the Lucky Lady II (508 – 362-1249). Striped bass and bluefish are exciting to catch and delicious to grill! Fishing from the shore is excellent in and around the harbor and off Sandy Neck Beach (you’ll need a boat ride to get out to Sandy Neck).

In Hyannis Harbor there are party boats run by HyLine Cruises (800 492-8202) Get ready to fish for scup, tautog, fluke, sea bass and bluefish.

Sesuit Harbor in Dennis boasts a fleet of sport fishing boats. See www.northsidecharterfleet.com for a list of the boats, their skippers and phone numbers. There are some “gentle” and shorter duration fishing excursions from that harbor too.

Rock Harbor in Orleans has sport fishing boats that are centrally located to where the stripers and bluefish tend to be found in Cape Cod Bay. One of the best boats is the Rockin Robin ( 774 722-0974).

Fresh water fishing is another great way to spend time by the water. 100 lakes and ponds on Cape Cod are stocked with trout. And there’s lots of bass. You do need a freshwater permit in Massachusetts.  Permits and gear can be obtained at shops like Goose Hummock in Orleans (508 255-0455) where they even do guided wading trips.  Powder Horn Outfitters in Hyannis (508 775-8975) is where you can get permits, gear and bait. Great spots for fresh water fishing include the ponds in Brewster’s Nickerson State Park and my secret spots – Hamblin Pond and Shubael Pond both just off Route 149 in Centerville in the Town of Barnstable.

Shellfishing is another excellent way to spend time on the water. Will write about that next time!

Catch em up!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Romantic Winter Getaway on Cape Cod – Fire and Ice Getaway Package

The winter months on Cape Cod... as we call them - the Serenity season. No better time than to whisk away on an overnight to a quaint Classic Inns of Historic Cape Cod Bay bed and breakfast for some respite and solitude; as well as firing up that romantic spirit! The Classic inns of Cape Cod are offering a favorite romantic package, the Fire and Ice Getaway Package.
The Fire and Ice Romance Package includes:

* Two nights in a fireplace room.
* A bottle of icy champagne and tempting treats in the room on arrival.
* One-hour special “fire and ice” spa treatment
* A romantic 3-course gourmet dinner one night
* Leisurely breakfast each morning

After waking to a fabulous breakfast at your inn, start the day with a beach walk and choose among a number of beach sites which may include:     Sandy Neck Nature Trail, in Barnstable; Fort Hill Trail  in Eastham; Crowes Pasture in Dennis; walking the beach in the winter, gazing at the crisp turbulent water, the seagulls while listening to the crushing waves and the silence of the beauty. 

After a brisk walk, stop at Nirvana in Barnstable or at the Chocolate Sparrow in Orleans (depending upon your location), for a cappuccino and conversation. Then make your way out to Chatham with the cooler you packed with that favorite beverage; mine Bollinger Champagne and some fabulous imported cheese, (we purchased ours from the Brown Jug in Sandwich) and crackers to snack on in front the Chatham Lighthouse, from which you may take another short stroll out to the barrier beach.

Make your way back to your Cape Cod bed and breakfast to enjoy your spa treatment before heading out to dinner at one of the Inn’s recommended fine restaurants that is included in your Cape Cod Winter romance package!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cape Cod Autumn - Foliage, History and Shopping Abound!

Fall is in the air and it’s a beautiful time on Cape Cod. The days are mostly bright and sunny with the nights crisp and cool. The foliage along the north side of the Cape is starting to pop. The Cape usually has great color until well into middle November. So, if you think you have missed an opportunity to experience a New England autumn, come to the north side of Cape Cod and you can still savor every minute.


As we move into November, it is inevitable that we start thinking about the holiday season. November is very special in New England. For those of you who love the idea of an authentic New England Thanksgiving, you can immerse yourself in the heart of the Pilgrim experience. While most folks believe that the Pilgrims landed in 1620 on Plymouth Rock, many are surprised to learn that the Pilgrims actually first landed in Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod. They landed here and intended to stay to begin their colony. The Mayflower Compact was developed and signed here on Cape Cod during the five weeks that the Pilgrims stayed.



After realizing that the soil conditions were not very conducive to farming, they eventually got back in the Mayflower and set sail again, only to land in Plymouth, known then as Plimoth. Today there is a museum to chronicle their lives on Cape Cod and there is a monument to that first settlement, both in Provincetown. For more details, check out www.pilgrim-monument.org. The town of Plymouth, right over the bridge, has fabulous museums and exhibits of the entire settlement with Pilgrims, Indians, and the Mayflower. What a fabulous, unique way to celebrate Thanksgiving by spending it in the area where it all began. You can find more details at The Plimoth Plantation website.


The best part is that all of the Classic Inns of Historic Cape Cod Bay lie right in the middle of these two areas. So you can stay here and are in a perfect position to pinwheel in potentially any direction to Plimoth, Provincetown or both! See our Historic Cape Cod Inns website for great choices in accommodations.


No contemplation of the holidays is complete without some thoughts of shopping. Whether this is met with dread or excitement, there is no better place to start than the wonderful and unique shops along Route 6A. If this is the year you vow to support local artisans and/or family businesses rather than face malls and/or large box stores, there are endless options for you along the entire Old Kings Highway corridor. For a unique experience, on November 21 the Sandwich Glass Museum begins is second year of a Glassblowers Christmas with fabulous glass ornaments created by regional artists, available to view or buy. Another highlight this year at the Museum is a special exhibit of crèches, or nativity scenes, selected from one of the largest collections in the world, representing many cultures.


What a great way to kick off your holiday season. More information on all of these activities can be found at the website of the Sandwich Glass Museum.

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Perfect Time to Walk the Beach on Cape Cod

The Fall is a particularly beautiful season on the Cape.  The number of tourists has dwindled, the shops, restaurants and roads are less crowded, and the temperatures are just divine.  It may not be swimming weather, but it’s a fabulous time to enjoy the beautiful Cape Cod beaches without the hassles of the busy summer.  In short, it’s a perfect time to take a walk on the beach. 

Brewster
Why not visit several beaches while you’re at it and see which ones you prefer?  You can begin by booking a room at any one of the Classic Inns of Historic Cape Cod Bay, each a unique experience in and of itself.  Your innkeepers will, no doubt, have their own favorite beaches to suggest, but rest assured that there will by many others from which to choose.

Sandwich Boardwalk
Begin your tour of Cape Cod beaches with a stroll across the Boardwalk in Sandwich to Town Neck Beach.  Spend a few minutes gazing across the bay to the shoreline of Sagamore and Plymouth before continuing along historic Route 6A to Sandy Neck Beach, shared by the towns of Sandwich and Barnstable. If you prefer, you may drive further down the Cape and stop at Grey’s Beach in Yarmouthport.


Sandy Neck Beach
 Next you’ll want to stop in Dennis where you’ll find Chapin’s Beach.  Stop at Chapin’s Restaurant and sample some fresh, local seafood while you’re in the neighborhood.  Stroll the beach to your heart’s content before continuing your explorations in the next town along Route 6A, Brewster.  Stretch your legs once again either Breakwater Beach or Ellis Landing while you enjoy the late afternoon sunshine and watch the gulls, terns and sandpipers at play.
Chapin's Beach
Still haven’t found the one beach you’d like to call your own?  Then plan another visit to the Classic Inns of Historic Cape Cod Bay and explore the dozens of other beaches on the Cape.  Any season is beautiful here, but the Fall is always especially nice for walking on the beach.

Monday, September 19, 2011

From Art and Oysters to Lederhosen and “Shangri-La”... Cape Cod Has it All in Early Fall

Summer of 2011 on Cape Cod is coming to an end. The crowds have thinned, the parking lots are showing more asphalt and the lines of people waiting to get into their favorite restaurant are gone. But now there is so much MORE of so many other things. MORE opportunity to have a section of the beach all to yourself. MORE jaw-dropping moments for “leaf-peepers” as they drive historic Old Kings Highway. MORE festivals!!! Here are just a few of the many upcoming late September and Early October events...


September 23, 24 & 25 is the “Secrets & Miracles” Standard Flower Show at Heritage Museum and Gardens.  Exhibits are inspired by the miracles of nature and secrets of the physical world. 36 floral designs include Op Art, Horizontal Creative, Framed Spatial, Victorian Floral Mass, Popular Table Designs, and Small Designs. Artistic crafts, made from plant material, are masks, botanical jewelry, and decorated boxes with secret tokens. Horticulture highlights include colorful dahlias, perennials, vegetables, plant collections, and horticultural educational exhibits. A don’t-miss exhibition will be “Shangri- La”, a miniature garden created with real plant material and a waterfall in a 3’ x 2’ x 2’ box!!

The 42nd Annual Bourne Scallop Festival will be held at Buzzards Bay Park, Main Street, along Cape Cod Canal in Bourne on September 23, 24 & 25. Over 125 Booths of juried American made arts, crafts and specialty foods. Award winning scallops, seafood and chicken dinners plus midway rides and games and terrific headline entertainment complete this picture perfect New England event. The Bourne Scallop Festival is never far from any of the Classic Inns of Historic Cape Cod Bay, and the Cape Cod Scenic Railroad, which picks up in nearby, centrally located Hyannis, can get you to the festival--so you don't have to drive!

In celebration of the Cape Cod Museum of Art’s 30th Anniversary, the museum will host a new event, Cape Art Blooms, on September 30 - October 2. This event, organized by the Friends of the Cape Cod Museum of Art and the CCMA Docents, was inspired by the famous Art in Bloom event held annually at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Cape Art Blooms brings together floral designers from regional garden clubs Cape-wide and Plymouth to create vibrant floral displays interpreting the museum’s permanent collection and works of art from temporary exhibitions. Additional floral creations by professional designers will be on display throughout the museum.

The 4th Annual Fall for the Arts Festival is a month long, Cape-wide festival that highlights Cape Cod as an arts and live music destination. Free art festivals and free concerts are in abundance during October. In conjunction with Fall for the Arts, The SheArt Network presents an Art and Fine Craft Sale on September 30 and October 1. The sale will be held at The Brewster Ladies' Library. Come and support local women artisans and crafters while finding unique and affordable gifts and treasures! Items for sale include paintings, unique jewelry, pottery, photography, textile designs, knitwear, prints, home decor, paper creations, and more. This is just once example of the dozens and dozens of craft fairs, both small and grand, during the Fall for the Arts Festival.

Cape Cod Beer is working together with the Chatham VFW Men's Auxiliary and the Kiwanis Club of Central Cape Cod to bring you Cape Cod Oktoberfest, a day of fun with music by the Cape Cod Bavarian Band, German Food and Cape Cod Beer on the field at the Chatham VFW. Saturday October 1st Knockwurst, Bratwurst, Beerbrats, 8" long hotdogs , hamburgers, sauerkraut, red cabbage and German Potato Salad. All meats from Grote & Weigel (one of the oldest meat companies in the US). Harvest Ale, Dunkel Weizen, Cape Cod Red, Cape Cod IPA, and Beach Blonde Ale will be on tap—as will some fun games and competitions!


Celebrate the dawn of October and the start of the fall holiday season at the annual Barnstable County Harvest Festival on October 1 and 2 at the Barnstable County fairgrounds. The weekend festival will include roving entertainment, barn animals, children's games, a farmer's market, exhibits and much more!
The Wellfleet OysterFest takes place October 15 & 16. Shucking contest, food vendors, educational booths, poetry readings, live music and lots and lights of fresh clams, seafood, fried, gooey stuff and...oh yeah...OYSTERS! Wellfleet is a quick and easy drive from any of the Classic Inns of Historic Cape Cod Bay. Meander Old King's Highway, or simply shoot up route 6, but know that after shucking arm to arm with 20,000 or so of your closest bivalve-loving friends, your inn of choice will be a restful and quiet finish to a frenzied and fun afternoon.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Riding the Rail - the Cape Cod Rail Trail

As I was watching the bike riders, for the Pan Mass Challenge, on Sunday, it occurred to me that it must be a beautiful ride along 6A. This started me thinking of other scenic areas and trails to ride bicycles. The Cape Cod Rail Trail and the Cape Cod Canal Bikeway are very popular and scenic bike trails.

The Cape Cod Rail Trail is a 22 mile trail that travels through the towns of Dennis, Harwich, Brewster, Eastham and Wellfleet. The trail travels the same path, as the Old Colony Railroad tracks of 1848 connecting Boston to Sandwich and by 1873 the track extensions connected all the way to Provincetown. This allowed visitors’ to travel throughout Cape Cod and it also provided a means for food and other necessary items to be transported. The importance of the railroad continued up until 1935, when bridges were built allowing cars to travel over the Cape Cod Canal, reducing the need for the railroad. As you ride along the Rail Trail some of these train tracks are still visible.



One of the attractions to the Cape Cod Rail Trail is its’ paved surface, few hills and well marked automobile crossings making it one of the most popular bike trails. There are many opportunities to leave the trail to enjoy the beach, get something to eat at the Andale Café in Harwich or just sit and relax. If you don’t have a bicycle, don’t let that stop you. Barbara’s bike rental is located at the start of the rail trail.





The other bike trail I mentioned is the Cape Cod Canal Bikeway, which is approximately 7 to 8 miles long and follows the canal through sections of Bourne and Sagamore. The trail also features a wide road with slight inclines. As with the Rail Trail, there are places to stop to relax or just to enjoy the scenery.



The Historic Inns of Cape Cod Bay invites you to stay with us and choose one of the scenic trails. You won’t be disappointed.