On a cold Saturday morning, 18 Cape women come together in a cozy shop on Route 6A in Dennis, linked together by a common passion. Shedding jackets, they sit around a large table, and dive happily into a hobby that one calls, “the best therapy ever.” These women—ranging in age from mid-30s to late-80s—are die-hard knitters in the Ladybug Knitting Shop’s very popular knitting classes.
All year-round, the Ladybug’s classes provide camaraderie, comfort, and more than 40 years of knitting know-how in the capable hands of knitting teacher, Nancy Downey of Dennis. “No sign-up is necessary,” says Barbara Prue, the friendly owner of the shop since 1982. “People can just stop by.” For just $4 a class, knitters like Carol Crosby of Yarmouthport (who has knitted since she was 10) turn out beautiful sweaters, tiny baby booties, fashionable scarves for teenagers—even hand-knit dolls.
“I’ve been coming here for eight years,” says Ann Petrou. “As soon as we bought our house, I found the Ladybug.”–Susan Dewey
Knitting classes are held Tuesdays and Fridays from 1-3 p.m. and Saturdays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. For information, go to www.ladybugknitting.com
- Lowell Holly Reservation Mashpee and Sandwich
An arborist’s delight, four miles of tree-lined carriage roads and walking trails traverse this peninsula that juts into Mashpee and Wakeby ponds. Some 250 stands of American holly trees, representing 50 varieties, flourish among the beech and rare northern red oak and sweet birch trees. Former Harvard President Abbott Lawrence Lowell donated the property in 1943 to The Trustees of Reservations as a horticultural preserve. Trail parking is on South Sandwich Road in Sandwich.
- Indian Lands Conservations Area Dennis
Early settlers considered Bass River a possible site for a canal connecting Nantucket Sound to Cape Cod Bay, and some say the Vikings moored here en route to new lands. Contemplate the waterway’s intriguing past on a walk along 1.3 miles of serene trails, with views of Bass River bordered by the rich golden hues of salt marsh. Birdwatchers will enjoy spotting wintering heron, ducks and egrets. The trail starts behind the parking lot at Dennis Town Hall, 485 Main Street, South Dennis.
- John Wing Trail, Cape Cod Museum of Natural History Brewster
The 1.3-mile trail features a microcosm of the Cape’s landscape, with salt marsh, wooded uplands and barrier beach. Cross the marsh boardwalk onto the island (be sure to check the tide—it floods when high) where native people once harvested shellfish and 19th-century settlers operated saltworks. A replica Sachem solar calendar near the main trail recalls early life on the island. Rolling dunes beyond the woods bring you to crystal-blue Cape Cod Bay and its expansive tidal flats. The museum is located at 869 Main Street/Route 6A, Brewster.
- Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge Chatham
Migrating songbirds and shorebirds including terns and plovers abound here, along the tip of the Lower Cape. The site has been designated a World Bird Conservation Area by the American Bird Conservancy, so it’s no surprise the 1.1-mile trail is a favorite among birdwatchers. A boardwalk on top of the bluff offers vistas of Monomoy’s South Beach, a barrier island. Follow the trail down steps to the beach, which disappears at high tide, and walk along dunes and marsh where myriad wildlife can be spotted. Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge is located on Morris Island at Wikis Way.
- Cannon Hill (Hamblen’s Island) Wellfleet
Crossing the footbridge known as “Uncle Tim’s Bridge” over Duck Creek brings you to a small island where you can gaze across on a darkening afternoon to the sparkling lights of this historic harbor town. Gabled roofs of 19th-century buildings, now filled with galleries and cafes, rise along the compact hillside. An easy, looping trail on the island passes through oak, pine and bearberry forest. Watch for countless fiddler crabs scrabbling in the tidal flats along the shore. A small parking area for Uncle Tim’s Bridge is on East Commercial Street. –Susan Spencer
- Posted in Nature
Ringing in the holidays with a festive Cape Cod mini-vacation has a bonus: you can find great accommodations without breaking the bank. Here are a few standout deals from some of our region’s finest establishments. Whether you’re looking for a gourmet Thanksgiving dinner without setting foot in the kitchen or a Christmas shopping respite, the perfect destination to spend this season is within reach.
DAN’L WEBSTER INN & SPA Sandwich
From Dec. 2-4, ride the Cape Cod Central Railroad’s North Pole Express (see page 37) and return to a cozy night at the inn. Package includes a 15 percent room discount, a breakfast voucher, two tickets to the North Pole Express, a welcome gift, and $100 in coupons. Package starts at $243. The Yuletide Gardens Aglow package, which is available Nov. 26-Dec. 17, includes one night’s accommodations, breakfast, and tickets to Heritage Museum and Garden’s “Gardens Aglow” display of colorful holiday lights. Prices start at $222. Dan’l Webster Inn & Spa – 149 Main St., Sandwich. 800-444-3566, www.danlwebsterinn.com.
CAPE CODDER RESORT & SPA Hyannis
Feel the glow of the holidays with 100,000-plus lights, Santa’s workshop, and costumed carolers at the Cape Cod Enchanted Village in the Cape Codder’s courtyard. Enchanted Village packages start from $119 ($169 Friday or Saturday) and include one night in a deluxe room and $100 in dining, lodging, and shopping certificates. Visitors can also take a magical ride on the North Pole Express departing from Sandwich, with train tickets and discounts for lodging, meals, and spa services, starting at $233. Cape Codder Resort & Spa – 1225 Iyannough Rd., Hyannis. 888-297-2200, www.capecodderresort.com.
THE COONAMESSETT INN Falmouth
Relax in the inn’s cheery décor featuring an exquisite poinsettia tree, gingerbread houses, and an assortment of holiday greens, with a dining and lodging package. The $130 package includes one night’s accommodation, breakfast, and dinner for two in the dining room warmed by the crackling fire. Seasonal menu specials include New England traditions like pot roast, plus such year-round favorites as fresh seafood and steaks. The Coonamessett Inn – 311 Gifford St., Falmouth. 508-548-2300, www.coonamessettinn.com.
THE ORLEANS INN Orleans
Savor the season in a gracious sea captain’s home overlooking Nauset Harbor. The Thanksgiving Weekend Away package, available Nov. 24-26, starts with a bottle of Truro Vineyards wine in your waterfront guest suite, two nights’ stay, Thanksgiving dinner for two, and breakfast each morning. The Seaside Winter Holiday Es-CAPE, available Nov. 26-Dec. 31, includes two nights’ stay in a waterfront guest suite, $100 dining credit to the Orleans Inn Waterfront Restaurant (weekends), and breakfast. Each package is $650. The Orleans Waterfront Inn – 3 Old County Rd., Orleans. 800-863-3039, www.orleansinn.com.
THE CENTERBOARD INN Nantucket
Escape to the island for a three-night Thanksgiving getaway at a charming bed and breakfast. The package, which is offered Nov. 23-27, includes welcome wine and cheese, breakfast and afternoon tea, and Thanksgiving dinner at award-winning Oran Mor Bistro and Bar (alcohol not included). From $585 for two in a queen-bedded room with private bathroom. Centerboard Inn – 8 Chester Street, Nantucket. 877-228-2811, www.centerboardinn.com. –Susan Spencer
- Posted in Accomodations
It happens all the time. The question is usually raised by a snowbird who’s never sat through a December nor’easter. They furrow their brow, and maybe they conjure a vision of a “closed” sign hanging from the Sagamore Bridge starting in November. What is Cape Cod like in the winter? they ask.
The truth is, it’s pretty wonderful. There’s a bare shoreline full of migrating birds and wordless beauty waiting to be explored. There are great accommodations at a fraction of the high-season cost. There are the crowds who witness winter’s perennial rite of passage, the lighting of the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown the day before Thanksgiving. There are droves of starry-eyed families climbing aboard the Cape Cod Central Railroad bound for the North Pole. There are a million reasons to bundle up and brave the elements, and there are a million reasons to cozy up inside.
When you spend every summer sharing the sunshine with the rest of the world, winter is a welcome vacation. Here’s a look at some of the things that make this season so special—and a few suggestions to make the most of this restful time.
Check out more articles to savor the quiet season:
- Holiday Getaways
- Five Favorite Shoreline Walks
- Riding the Holiday Rails
- Let there be Light
- Stiches in Time
- Warm Winter Reads
Most women of the Victorian era rarely traveled or knew the hardships of life at sea. Yet at age 22, just three years after her marriage, Hannah Rebecca Burgess had crossed the equator 11 times, helped her husband transport cargo from ports all over the world, and had learned to navigate clipper ships. Looking back, what is perhaps most remarkable about Hannah Rebecca Burgess is how she made the story of her life a lasting part of Sandwich history. Read more…
Summer Sun Shingles
From the publishers of Architecture of the Cape Cod Summer comes another sampling of beautiful Cape homes designed by 2010 National Custom Home Builder of the Year winner, Polhemus Savery DaSilva Architects Builders of Chatham and Osterville. Shingled Houses in the Summer Sun ($19.95) highlights the work of Polhemus Savery DaSilva with a sampling of exquisite entry porches, family rooms, kitchens, and more. Featuring over 400 breathtaking images captured by leading photographers, this is an excellent guide to decorating and designing your very own dream home in the Cape’s famous summer sun. For more information, visit www.psdab.com/media.
Snapshots of New England
When it comes to icons, New England offers a wide variety of sights and sounds that provide a comforting sense of place. Bruce Irving, former producer of This Old House, taps into New England’s wealth of beauty in his book New England Icons ($19.95). With pitch-perfect images by photographer Greg Premru paired with a collection of short essays, this book acts as an excellent guide to exploring all that New England celebrates. From stonewalls, village greens, and lobster boats to ski runs and Cape Cod homes, Irving covers the heritage of New England. Go to www.countrymanpress.com for more information
Barn Again ($34.99) by Ashley Rooney offers a creative perspective on ways to update and reinvent old barns into beautiful living and working spaces. With over 240 gorgeous color photos, homeowners, architects, and designers alike will delight in the many different ideas and designs on how to transform these unique and fl exible spaces into comfortable and warm places. For more information, visit www.schifferbooks.com.
By the Bay
The wonders of exploration along the water come to life in Every Day by the Bay. Whether it’s high tide or low, warm weather or cold, the families in author Gail Gompper’s colorful children’s book have fun. This board book is an engaging read that encourages little ones to get out and explore all that a day at the beach has to offer. Gail Gompper bases her book on her own childhood experiences visiting Cape Cod and its bay beaches. For more information, visit www.puddlejumppress.com.
Made With Love
Created by two sisters from Scituate, One 4 Three Designs is a unique jewelry line with an inspiring tale. Each intricate necklace design is influenced by the sea, featuring shells, anchors, lighthouse, and more. The sisters created the jewelry line after hearing of the story of 1-4-3, a flashing light sequence used at a Scituate lighthouse that has come to mean “I love you” or “I miss you” to those out at sea. Visit www.one4threedesigns.com for more information.
Donna Thomas, a Sandwich resident, captures breathtaking local scenes in greeting cards sold in her family’s business, Snow Goose Gift and Christmas Shops. This beautiful image of the famous Sandwich Boardwalk is just one of about 40 to 50 designs depicting Sandwich and other Cape towns sold at the store. Each 4’’ by 6’’ image is mounted on a delicately designed card with a blank inside. Snow Goose Gift and Christmas Shops, on Tupper Road in Sandwich, has been a family business for more than 28 years. For more information, call 508-888-8441.
Corazon del Mar is a creative fiesta jazzing up Nantucket’s dining scene, especially in the off-season. This Latin kitchen and Tequileria specializes in entrees with flair in a hot spot offering relaxed dining ambiance and a fun atmosphere. We started off with zippy Margaritas followed by warm tortilla chips served with excellent guacamole ($11)—recommended by our helpful waitress. In the salsa-colored Tequileria bar and cafe, we enjoyed chef-recommended Warm Stuffed Medjool Dates ($7.50) and our favorite appetizer of the night, fresh Nantucket Fluke Teradito marinated in lemon and Yuzu juice–so so good. Next we chowed down on a Lobster & Shrimp Ceviche Tostada ($18) stuffed with local lobster and Key West shrimp. The Ceviche is a specialty here, spiced up with Corazon’s special green chili crack sauce. Next we enjoyed Grilled Baby Octopus Stew ($15), tender octopus bits in delicate ham broth with fresh chick peas and marinated tomatoes, perfectly complemented by our entree of three Tecate-Battered Baja Codfish Tacos ($23) with Jicama cabbage and a chipolte cole slaw of pickled carrots, Chipolta mayo, and avocado salsa with beans and red rice—tender fish, perfectly spiced sauce and slaw—just superb. On a cool island night, Corazon del Mar was a soul-warming culinary delight.—Susan Dewey
27 South Water Street, Nantucket, 508 228-0815,
Stroll up to the take-out window at Porky’s Barbeque and Grill at Sandy Neck Beach and you’ll find a menu of hamburgers, hotdogs, ice cream, and other comfort food for beach bums. But more importantly, you’ll find some of the meanest barbeque pulled pork and beef brisket on the Cape. The family-run restaurant uses their secret barbeque seasoning recipe, developed over 18 years, to marinate the succulent, smoky, slow-cooked pork and beef, giving it an irresistible taste—at first subtle sweetness, then a bite of spiciness, then finishing off sweet again. And this is all before dousing it with Porky’s three special sauces—the sweet, the tangy, or the spicy chipotle. Try the BBQ beef brisket sandwich, a mound of black angus beef chopped into tender cuts and mounded on a roll ($7) with a side of homemade baked beans or Cole slaw ($1.75 each). Just place your order, carry your food-filled tray over to a picnic table, and enjoy the perfect no-frills beachside feast. At their main restaurant location in Hyannis, Porky’s has an extensive selection of hearty, southern-style favorites like mac n’ cheese and shepherds pie that are sure to curb a craving The meat is smoking and the sauces are simmering—it’s time to take a taste of some sweet and spicy Southern barbeque while looking out to the Cape beach!—Jill Jansson
Sandy Neck Road, East Sandwich, (508) 375-9200. Open 8 a.m.-9 p.m. daily during the summer.
12 Thornton Drive, Hyannis, (508) 775-4227. Serving breakfast and lunch Monday-Saturday and dinner Thursday-Saturday, 5 p.m.-9 p.m.
- Posted in Food