The Perfect Day in Mashpee
Long before vacationers came stampeding over the bridges, the Wampanoags called Mashpee home. This community—with more wooded and undeveloped space than any other on Cape Cod—still has a significant Native American presence.
Tucked away in the woods along South Sandwich Road in Mashpee is the Lowell Holly Reservation. Four miles of trails meander through woodlands straddling Mashpee Pond and Wakeby Pond. Visitors can take an eye-opening dip in either pond or drop in kayaks for an early morning paddle. For an energizing breakfast, make your way over to Persy’s Place (508-477-6633) along Route 28. Boasting “New England’s Largest Breakfast & Lunch Menu,” this hearty fare will set you up for any Cape Cod day.
Just off Route 28 you will discover Mashpee’s South Cape Beach (508-457-0495). With clear views of Martha’s Vineyard and miles of beach and trails to walk, it’s easy to lose track of time. Kettle ponds, woodlands, dunes, and a salt marsh make up a vibrant ecosystem. Take a break from the sun at Popponesset Marketplace (508-477-8300), just minutes away in the village of New Seabury, where seashell walkways and window boxes provide a quintessential backdrop for seafood, pizza, and ice cream goodness. Next, stop into the Rebecca O’Donnell Art Gallery (508-477-8057) for seaside works to treasure.
Mashpee Commons (508-477-5400) has long been the town’s upscale commercial center. Fine local shops and sophisticated national retailers provide superlative shopping, the movie theatre is perfect on rainy days, and exciting events draw huge crowds year after year. Fabulous restaurants like Bleu (508-539-7907), Trevi (508-477-0055), Siena (508-477-5929), and Bobby Byrne’s (508-477-0600) bring flavors from all around the world together in this truly one-stop town center.
Annual 2013 Event
October 12, 2013
More info: www.mashpeechamber.com
The Perfect Day in Falmouth
With the most coastline of any Cape community, Falmouth’s villages are perfect places to savor ocean-side attractions, kick back on beautiful beaches, or enjoy distinctive shops, fine art, and superb dining. World-class ocean research happens here, too!
The village of Woods Hole is known for its offbeat style, which is showcased perfectly at Pie in the Sky (508-540-5475). Fair trade and organic coffee and handmade pastries can be enjoyed indoors or out at street-side tables. Or you can take your coffee to go and enjoy a quiet morning at Spohr Gardens (508-548-0623). The once-private property features several acres of magnificent gardens. Come spring, thousands of daffodils burst forth, delighting photographers, naturalists, and tourists.
From Woods Hole, take in the sights heading north along the Shining Sea Bikeway. Whether walking, jogging, biking, or rollerblading, you’ll be treated to unparalleled views of marshlands, ponds, farms, and rivers. Pull off along Quaker Road and grab a bite at Old Silver Beach’s Burger Shack. The usual beachside fare of burgers, fries, and slush is available here, and sweeping views put this seaside shack above the rest.
If your legs aren’t too tired from the bikeway, walk around the Village Green in downtown Falmouth. Friday night concerts and “Movies Under the Stars” make for summer family fun, and the quaint shops along Main Street have everything from fine clothing to tasty candy. When dinner rolls around, Liam Maguire’s Irish Pub (508-548-0285) serves some of the best pub fare outside of Dublin, including traditional Irish dishes and classic Cape Cod fare. Good times are had by all once the Guinness starts flowing and the band begins to play its lively pub tunes.
Annual 2013 Event
Falmouth Road Race
August 11, 2013
More info: www.falmouthroadrace.com
The Perfect Day in Sandwich
Holding the mantle of Cape Cod’s oldest town, Sandwich is packed with history. The picturesque town village is full of antique charm. Historic homes stand as testaments to the town’s storied past. Unique cultural attractions in Sandwich include several fine museums.
Enjoy a sweet taste of colonial Cape Cod at the Dunbar Tea Room (508-833-2485) in quaint Sandwich village. Early risers can enjoy teas from around the world and sample classic teatime treats like scones and crumpets. Up a winding country road past tranquil Shawme Pond is Heritage Museums and Gardens (508-888-3300), offering natural and cultural treasures. Walk through 100 acres of superb gardens where something is always in bloom, or explore three museums featuring unusual exhibits.
Cruise up Route 6A to Momo’s Food Emporium (508-888-3633) for the perfect picnic lunch. Choose from an extensive list of salads, award-winning sandwiches, and tasty desserts. Next, take a stroll through historic Sandwich Village, which offers plenty of destinations for charm, including the fascinating Sandwich Glass Museum (508-888-0251) and a number of unique shops like The Spotted Cod (508-888-8263).
Underneath the last rays of sunlight, take a walk across the Sandwich Boardwalk off Jarves Street. This trek over a salt marsh, a winding creek, and dunes ends at Town Neck beach with rewarding views of Cape Cod Bay. When Hurricane Bob destroyed the original boardwalk in 1991, locals donated planks inscribed with their names or quips, making for interesting reading along the way. After night falls, stop into the Dan’l Webster Inn (508-888-3622), an eatery with a 300-year-old legacy, for dinner and a nightcap.
Annual 2013 Event
Heritage Museums & Gardens Annual Auto Show
July 6, 2013
More info: www.heritagemuseumsandgardens.org
The Perfect Day in Bourne
Recognized as the gateway to Cape Cod, Bourne offers the first glimpse of this sandy paradise. Nine quiet villages make up the town, and each has something special to offer, setting the stage for a memorable Cape Cod experience.
The glistening water of the Cape Cod Canal is always a welcoming site to travelers. On both sides of the famous canal, which will be feted with a 100th birthday celebration in 2014, Bourne features attractions loved by both visitors and year-rounders. If you are looking for a great breakfast spot before going over the bridge, stop at Sweet Caroline’s Café (508-759-8100) in Buzzards Bay, where you’ll find crab cake frittatas and the Fat Sal, a waffle sandwich with mascarpone and blueberry jelly. Buzzards Bay is also well known for eclectic antique and thrift shops, and it is also the sight of a famous annual scallop festival.
Cross over the bridge and you’ll find Bourne’s spacious Monument Beach, which has lots of popular amenities including a bathhouse, a volleyball net, a wooden raft, and a snack bar. If burgers and fries aren’t going to be enough, the Lobster Trap (508-759-7600) offers a menu brimming with fresh seafood just down the street. Patrons can enjoy views of Buzzards Bay on The Back Deck over plates of steamed lobster and pints of cold beer.
Natural beauty can be savored in Bourne at the Red Brook Conservation Area. Trails wind through scrub oak and pitch pine woodlands, freshwater wetlands, and a working cranberry bog, before leading out to Red Brook Harbor, a popular gathering place for viewing beautiful sunsets. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, the nearby Chart Room (508-563-5350) in the Bourne village of Cataumet is a perfect place to wrap up a Cape Cod day. Complete with an outdoor bar, a classic coastal menu, and lively entertainment, this gem keeps people coming back year after year.
Annual 2013 Event
Bourne Scallop Festival
September 20–22, 2013
More info: www.bournescallopfest.com
The HBRACC honors excellence in Cape Cod's building and remodeling industries.
What began in 1950 as the Cape Cod Builders Association, then just a small band of builders on Cape Cod, has blossomed into one of the most instrumental organizations for the growth and preservation of the entire community and is now known as HBRACC (Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Cape Cod). The creation of the very successful 2012 HBRACC BRICC (Building and Remodeling Industry on Cape Cod) Awards, attended by more than 150 people on September 20th at Mashpee’s Willowbend Country Club, is just the latest HBRACC accomplishment. Read more…
- Posted in Architecture
Far from the frontlines of the War of 1812, the Cape and Islands still endured conflict along their shores.
Less than 30 years after gaining independence from the British Empire, the still fledgling United States found itself in conflict with its former rulers once again. The British interfered with trade, sovereignty, and the territorial expansion of the United States, pushing President James Madison to bring a list of grievances to Congress on June 1, 1812. Within two weeks, the United States was at war. Read more…
- Posted in History
The rich history of candlemaking is a seasonal attraction in the Nantucket Historical Association‘s Hadwen & Barney Oil & Candle Factory.
The immaculate brick and hardwood interior of the Nantucket Historical Association’s Hadwen & Barney Oil & Candle Factory is a beautifully preserved reminder of the island’s vital role in America’s candlemaking history. Standing under a mammoth lever press that dominates the room, it’s easy to imagine the odor of whale oil and the greasy, smoky faces of the workers who once transformed raw oil into a product that helped build an island. Read more…
- Posted in Arts & Culture
For Chief Flying Eagle, sustainability is as old as the dunes.
As he walks the rows of his bountiful garden outside his humble Mashpee home with shears and deadheaded blossoms in hand, Earl Mills, Chief Flying Eagle of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, is a man attuned with nature. A candid delight washes over Mills’s face as he points out the ivory-white hydrangeas and bouquet-ready zinnias that stand proudly among Black-Eyed Susans and delicate Yarrows, drawing in butterflies and bees. The fluttering, buzzing, rustling, and chirping of the fauna drawn in by the garden provide a pleasant accompaniment to the incessant drone of June bugs high above. Read more…
- Posted in People
Before network television began to capitalize on the men who risk their lives at sea, there was a fleet of brave souls patrolling the coasts of the United States aboard lightships, tasked with the duty of keeping incoming vessels safe in treacherous waters. With an abundance of loneliness, isolation, and danger, life aboard these ships meant little glory and immense sacrifice. Read more…
A Guide to Children’s Activities This Summer on the Cape & Islands
For many children, once that final bell rings and closes out another school year, it’s time to power down the brain and focus on soaking up every drop of fun before the morning alarm goes off in September. Fortunately, many organizations on Cape Cod have found ways to bridge the gap between learning and fun. The following institutions have curricula that combine all things that make those golden weeks between June and September so wonderful—digging in the dirt, playing outdoors, exploring the beach—with a few character-building lessons thrown in for good measure.