The Perfect Day in Provincetown
On the very tip of Cape Cod, artists of all kinds, fishermen, refugees from the city, and a large alternative lifestyle community come together in Provincetown to create a marvelous, multi-cultural coastal community that is open to all.
Waterfront dining is always a good way to start the day. Bayside Betsy’s (508-487-6566) has all the usual breakfast finds, including eggs, pancakes, cereal, granola, even stuffed potato skins or steak and eggs. The first—and indeed only––building comprising the Provincetown skyline is the Pilgrim Monument (508-487-1310), and the 252-foot climb is well worth the view. The accompanying museum commemorates the people and events that have turned P’town into a world-famous destination.
Bubala’s By the Bay (508-487-0773) has a cheerful look and feel all its own. There are plenty of seafood options on the menu along with items like Jamaican jerk chicken sandwiches and barbecued spareribs. Stop in at any of the town’s great art galleries, or visit the Provincetown Art Association and Museum (508-487-1750). Take in the dramatic whitecaps at Race Point Beach, or enjoy more natural wonders by visiting the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies (508-487-3622) or going on a whale watch with the Dolphin Fleet (508-240-3636).
Head out for the night in a fun P’town pedicab. For great eats, the Lobster Pot (508-487-0842) is a town landmark known for its seafood. The exterior is lit up with a landmark neon sign, a subject of many Cape paintings. For theatre, live music, restaurants, shops, and some of the best people watching around, Commercial Street has it all. Many hot spots on this lively main drag through town stay open past midnight during the summer, a rare pleasure on Cape Cod.
Annual 2013 Event
Lighting of the Monument
November 26, 2013
More info: www.ptownchamber.com
The Perfect Day in Truro
Truro undergoes one of the biggest summer swells on Cape Cod. This tranquil seaside town of 2,000 during the off-season expands tenfold to accommodate happy visitors looking for rest and relaxation along quiet wooded lanes and on the sands of stunning beaches.
Breathe in fresh ocean air on the outdoor patio at the Top Mast Café (508-487-2099) over a hearty, home-cooked breakfast. Located just steps from the sea, the café dishes out super breakfasts. Further down Route 6A, Pond Village Beach is a sleepy little beach perfect for soaking up some morning sun without the hustle and bustle of large crowds. Anglers can often be seen surfcasting, hoping for their next big catch.
Wine aficionados and amateurs alike are in for a pleasant afternoon at Truro Vineyards (508-487-6200). Tastings are held every half hour in the outdoor pavilion where visitors can sample several different wines. Two complimentary tours of the vineyard are held daily from Memorial Day to Columbus Day weekend. Keep the Mediterranean flare going at Montano’s (508-487-2026), where you can find delicious Italian cuisine—the pasta and home-baked bread here are scrumptious. For a fine picnic spot, head to the Pamet River.
High atop the Truro dunes sits the Highland Museum and Lighthouse (508-487-3397). The perch at the top rewards climbers with views of both the Atlantic Ocean and Cape Cod Bay, while the museum tells the story of the town’s earliest residents. For great seafood, stop in to Moby Dick’s (508-349-9795). Truly delicious pizza can be hard to come by outside of major cities, but the brick oven pizzas at Sweet Escapes & Savory Pizza Grill (508-487-2225) never disappoint. Leave room for the homemade ice cream.
Annual 2013 Event
September 1, 2013
More info: www.truroagfair.com
The Perfect Day in Wellfleet
Art and nature go hand in hand in Wellfleet. Main Street and Commercial Street are dotted with fine art galleries, often containing works inspired by the town’s National Seashore and Wellfleet Bay Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary attractions.
Route 6A is the main vein running through Wellfleet. Once you spot Van Rensselaer’s (508-349-2127), look no further for a great meal. The breakfast menu includes eggs any way you can imagine, waffles, pancakes, French toast, sandwiches, and more. For a preview of Wellfeet’s abundant natural glories, stop into the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary (508-349-2615), one of the liveliest places on Cape Cod to see the local fauna. Listen to songbirds along the five miles of trails and check out the nature center’s two 700-gallon aquariums for a closer look at the sanctuary’s marine life.
The rolling seas, sweeping dunes, and soft sands of Newcomb Hollow Beach compose the quintessential Cape Cod landscape. Catch up on summer reading, watch for bobbing seals, walk miles of pristine coastline, or relax and do nothing at all – whatever you choose, you’ll be satisfied with a day spent here. If you need a break from the sun and surf, walk up the dune to the famous Beachcomber (508-349-6055). Many of the seafood options make a short trip from surrounding waters before appearing on your plate, and the grill options are plentiful.
Dine in a historic captain’s home at Winslow’s Tavern (508-349-6450). Spacious patio seating and elegant indoor dining rooms are the perfect venues for enjoying classic seafood fare prepared with unique twists. The broad wine list is enough to make any sommelier jealous. Take the time to enjoy a disappearing American pastime at the retro Wellfleet Drive-In Theatre (508-349-7176). Double features are shown all summer long and make for an unforgettable family evening.
Annual 2013 Event
October 19–20, 2013
More info: www.wellfleetoysterfest.org
The Perfect Day in Eastham
Eastham is the first Cape Cod National Seashore stop. It was here, beside Coast Guard Beach, where Henry Beston wrote the American classic, The Outermost House. The quiet, breathtaking landscape of Eastham has inspired artists and nature-lovers for generations.
Laura and Tony’s Kitchen (508-240-6096) was once described by famed foodie Rachel Ray as one of Cape Cod’s best-kept secrets. The food here is homemade, fresh, and creative—the cinnamon rolls are a breakfast favorite, and a Bloody Mary or a Mimosa is just $3. After starting off your day with such sinfully good treats (and a few extra calories), head for 22 miles of open roads along the Cape Cod Rail Trail. The paved roads are perfect for cyclists, and the wide shoulder along the side makes for great walking or horseback riding.
Now a Cape-wide franchise, the original Box Lunch (508-255-0799) on Briar Lane has been serving up tasty rolled-up sandwiches since 1977. With a menu whose size rivals that of any full-on restaurant, the roll-ups can satisfy diners of all palates. As the name implies, the food here is perfect for take out (the lobster roll is a good choice) and can be enjoyed at a picnic along the spectacular Cape Cod National Seashore (508-771-2144). Start off your visit with a trip to the Salt Pond Visitor Center to learn about the fascinating history and panoramic scope of this precious natural resource.
With a raw bar, Richardson’s ice cream, and a mini-golf course on top of a sprawling seafood shack menu, award-winning Arnold’s Lobster & Clam Bar (508-255-2575) offers everything you need for a true Cape Cod meal. Once the crowds have moved on for the evening, Coast Guard Beach is the perfect place to gather around a bonfire with friends and family. Just make sure to get a permit from the National Park Service first!
Annual 2013 Event
Hands on the Arts Festival
June 15–16, 2013
More info: www.handsonthearts.com
The Perfect Day in Orleans
History is still very much alive in Orleans, the only town in the continental United States to come under fire during both the War of 1812 and World War I. Orleans is also home to appealing and unusual shops, first-class art galleries, and popular restaurants.
Approval from locals is often the sign of a good place to eat. And from traditional New England breakfasts to special dishes like the Apple Crisp French Toast, the Homeport (508-255-4069) has been getting thumbs up from Orleans residents since day one. Once the bottomless coffee has you wide awake, take a hike in the Kent’s Point Conservation Area. The mile-long loop weaves through woodlands with numerous species of local birds and offers beautiful views of the surrounding harbors.
Join the staff at Goose Hummock (508-255-0455) on Route 6A, for a kayak tour of the Nauset Marsh. Next, head over to Land Ho! (508-255-5165)—their burgers and seafood dishes are to die for. You can find anything from a beach chair to that perfect furnishing for your seaside cottage at Snow’s Home and Garden (508-255-0158), a marvelous department-style store with modern-day pizzazz and old-fashioned service. Nauset Lantern (800-899-2660) is a must-stop for Cape-crafted lighting, and some of the best artwork around can be found at the Addison Art Gallery (508-255-6200).
Sir Cricket’s (508-255-4453) showcases a favorite Cape Cod dish—fish and chips. With limited seating, most patrons opt for take-out here. Boxed and ready to go, find a quiet perch along Rock Harbor. Fishing charters unloading their catch make for a scenic sight. If you’re looking for a romantic dinner with top-shelf cuisine, the Captain Linnell House (508-255-3400) offers elegantly served fare from Wellfleet oysters on the half shell and escargots, to delicious salmon, lamb, roast duckling, and pork entrées.
Annual 2013 Event
Orleans Historical Society Antiques Show & Sale
June 8, 2013
More info: www.orleanshistoricalsociety.org
The Perfect Day in Chatham
Chatham is well known for natural wonders like the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge. Attracting devoted visitors and year-rounders to its four villages, Chatham also has splendid shopping, authentic coastal cuisine choices, and elegant art galleries.
Celestino’s (508-945-9700) in Chatham serves up fine European-style breakfast cuisine. Belgian waffles, crepes, and omelettes are all made with fresh ingredients. Chatham’s natural attractions are many, but Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge (508-945-0594) is a spectacular Cape Cod gem that feels a world away. The only way to get to this special place offering up-close views of birds and seals in a gorgeous ocean setting is via boat or ferry. Guided tours are available, but you are free to explore the island on their own as long as you respect its “Leave No Trace” policy.
Drive past mansions along Shore Drive to the Chatham Fish Pier Market (508-945-3474) for fresh seafood straight off the boat. Chatham’s charming village is full of fine shops, including art galleries galore like Eastwind Silver Company (508-945-2470), Struna Galleries (508-945-5713), Odell Studios and Gallery (508-945-3239), or the Gallery Antonia (508-469-4020). Create your own touch of Cape Cod with a hand-carved house name or number sign from Chatham Sign Shop (508-945-1909).
For fine dinnertime cuisine, visit Pate’s (508-945-9777), which serves up delicious, uncomplicated dishes. Hand-cut steaks, fresh seafood, and a lighter lounge menu are accompanied by an impressive selection of wines. Chatham’s Main Street is a wonderful spot for an evening stroll. Finish the evening at the Chatham Squire (508-945-0945), which serves up great seafood—including some of the best lobster bisque on the Cape—and remains the spot for lively nightlife with colorful local flavor all summer long.
Annual 2013 Event
Chatham First Night
December 31, 2013
More info: www.firstnightchatham.com
The Perfect Day in Harwich
The five towns of Harwich are full of colorful cranberry bogs, pristine beaches, one-of-a-kind attractions like a famous lavender farm, fine restaurants offering a terrific buffet of culinary options, and great boating and fishing opportunities.
For breakfast all day long, go to the Family Diner (774-408-7580), a fun new spot with 1950s flair right on Route 28 in the former Friendly’s restaurant. For the kite of your dreams, stop into Dr. Gravity’s Kite Store (508-430-0437) and fly it on Red River Beach. You can’t leave Harwich without a visit to Cape Cod Lavender Farm (508-432-8397). Walk the rows of lavender and woodland trails or browse the gift shop and take the sweet scent of Cape Cod home with you.
Watch boats bob in charming Saquatucket Harbor out on the back deck at Brax Landing (508-432-5515). Whether it’s just a drink and appetizers before heading off or the massive one-and-a-half pound steamed lobster, you’re bound to enjoy a meal with a serene view. White sands await down the road at Bank Street Beach. The warm waters of the Nantucket Sound average above 70 degrees in the summer, making the beach a swimmer’s haven. Nearby, the blues and stripers off the Wychmere Harbor jetty make for great fishing.
Eating out every meal of a vacation can get expensive, but at Land Ho! (508-430-0404) you don’t have to break the bank for great food. Just like its original location in Orleans, friendly staff serve an array of seafood and grill options, soups, sandwiches, and daily blackboard specials. The stuffed clams are big and legendary! And the fun and excitement of Fenway Park can be found right on Cape Cod at a Cape Cod Baseball League (508-432-6909) game in Harwich Center. The Harwich Mariners are one of 10 teams in the league and took home the championship in 2011.
Annual 2013 Event
Toast of Harwich
May 10, 2013
More info: www.harwichcc.com
The Perfect Day in Brewster
Brewster features a full palette of Cape landscapes, including spectacular Nickerson State Park and the luminous tidal flats and coastal inlet beaches that attract artists, beach lovers, fishermen, and outdoor enthusiasts of all ages.
At the Brewster Coffee Shop (508-896-8224), enjoy a delicious breakfast at a relaxed diner-style counter, or savor the morning sun at outdoor picnic tables. Eat hearty, because at nearby Nickerson State Park (508-896-3491), there are more than 2,000 acres to explore. The walking, biking, and jogging trails and picturesque kettle ponds, picnic spots, and sandy beaches can keep visitors busy for an entire morning.
Before you hit the trail or head for the beach, stop by JT’s Seafood (508-896-3355) for lunch. While it may look like an unpretentious seaside eatery, one bite of the golden fried clams or the fresh lobster salad here will tell you this is a hot dining spot. After refueling, take advantage of Brewster’s bonanza of beaches. Paine’s Creek Beach stands out for magnificent sunsets. When the tide goes out, the tidal flats reveal a fascinating hidden world inhabited by small sea creatures much loved by children or explorers of any age.
For an evening of fine dining with a touch of old Cape Cod, head to The Bramble Inn (508-896-7644). The cuisine here has won many awards since opening 30 years ago, and with a seasonally changing menu, there is always something new to try. Finish the night with some fun across town at the Cape Rep Theatre (508-896-1888). The venue has several stages, including an open-air theatre for shows under the stars and an intimate 140-seat indoor theater.
Annual 2013 Event
Brewster in Bloom
April 26–28, 2013
More info: www.brewster-capecod.com
The Perfect Day in Dennis
Spanning Cape Cod from the Atlantic Ocean to Cape Cod Bay, the five villages of Dennis offer seaside attractions from A to Z. From some of the Cape’s best cultural attractions to beautiful beaches and fine dining, Dennis is worth a full day of exploration.
Eat like a local at the Red Cottage Restaurant (508-394-2923), where breakfast reaches a new level. House specialties like the Three Apple Omelet, French Toast Foster, and the Cape Cod Cranberry Pancakes are what put this place a cut above the rest. Across town, the Scargo Tower offers arguably the best view of Cape Cod. At 30-feet tall, the tower sits atop Scargo Hill overlooking pretty Scargo Lake. On a clear day, viewers can see as far as the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown.
Get off the beaten path by renting a kayak at Bass River Cruises & Kayaks (508-398-0060/508-362-5555). Drop in at Bass River and enjoy the calm waters and hidden inlets, or take a 90-minute guided cruises. Make your way to Route 6A and The Underground Bakery (508-385-4700) for hearty tacos, plump paninis, and tasty biscotti. Finish off your afternoon at the Cape Cod Museum of Art (508-385-4477), offering fine art from regional artists and sculptors.
For an evening to remember, stop by the Red Pheasant Inn (508-385-2133) for a first-rate meal you won’t forget. The extensive wine list and five-star menu will please any palette, and the venue—a 200-year-old Cape—sets a romantic mood. Less than a mile down the road, the Cape Playhouse (877-385-3911) puts on Broadway-caliber performances, and with an ever-changing schedule, there are reasons to keep coming back.
Annual 2013 Event
Cape Cod Saint Patrick’s Day Parade
March 9, 2013
More Info: www.capecodstpatsparade.com
The Perfect Day in Yarmouth
Route 6A and Route 28 run through Yarmouth, Yarmouthport. South Yarmouth, West Yarmouth, and Bass River, offering very different, yet equally appealing, classic Cape communities.
Taking an early morning walk along the Botanical Trails at the Historical Society of Yarmouth (508-362-3021), once the sight of a private golf course. Today, these trails offer several miles of pristine woodland hiking. Follow your walk with breakfast at the elegant-yet-eclectic Optimist Café (508-362-1024) on Route 6A, housed in a stately home built in 1849 by Captain Frederick Howes.
For classic Cape Cod treats, Hallet’s Store (508-362-3362) right across the street offers old fashioned sodas and soul-satisfying ice cream—but for lunch Hallet’s famous clam chowder should be your first choice. A short drive away in Yarmouthport is secluded Gray’s Beach, a great place for a picnic. Take a walk through the conservation area or head to the Bass Hole Boardwalk where you can gaze out over Cape Cod Bay. On Route 6A in Yarmouthport are several fine shops and places to dine including the Borsari Tea Room (508-385-3434) for fresh salads and creative sandwiches like The Ploughman’s Lunch as well as tea choices from around the world.
Keeping the whole family happy on vacation isn’t always easy, but at Captain Parker’s Pub (508-771-4266), it’s hard to go wrong. Fresh seafood, prime cuts of meat, and multi-award-winning New England clam chowder are some of the menu highlights. Less than a mile down on Route 28, Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf (508-394-6200) provides two 18-hole courses outfitted with waterfalls, caves, cannons, and all the fixtures for a pirate adventure.
Annual 2013 Event
Yarmouth Art Guild Outdoor Shows
July 7, 14, 21, 28
More info: www.yarmouthartguild.com