2017 Life Annual Guide: Outer Cape
Eastham, North Eastham
Known as the gateway to the Cape Cod National Seashore, Eastham is home to breathtaking scenery, a bevy of beaches, and beaucoup opportunities for outdoor recreation. The town also has an exciting history—and some historically good restaurants.
Located at the entrance to the seashore, The Salt Pond Visitor Center provides information on the whole of the seashore—a U.S. National Park—as well as exhibits describing the area’s natural history and wildlife. Outside, visitors can explore the property on various trails, including the quarter-mile Buttonbush Trail, a multi-sensory route featuring special signage and guide ropes for the blind.
Continuing eastward, Coast Guard Beach and Nauset Beach offer miles of sand and majestic views of ocean, marsh, and dune. Just north, one comes to Nauset Light Beach, named for the locale’s historic lighthouse. Along with its predecessors, including the famed “Three Sisters,” Nauset Light has been guiding ships at sea since the early 1800s. By day, one can often spy seals off shore, and countless bird species enjoying their habitat.
Across town—on the inner side of Cape Cod’s “forearm”—First Encounter Beach looks over Cape Cod Bay, and offers calm waters and tidal pools. The site is where in the fall of 1620 the newly arrived Pilgrims first met, and skirmished with, Native Americans. Nearby, the 25-acre Nickerson Property has walking trails along Bridge Pond and Great Pond; it’s a good spot to observe the annual herring run. Kayaking and canoeing are popular activities in Eastham’s various water bodies, as is walking and cycling along the Cape Cod Rail Trail, which runs north to south through town.
And now . . . to eat! The Fairway Restaurant & Pizzeria in North Eastham serves homemade biscuits, granola, and more for breakfast, and seafood and pizza for dinner. Also on Route 6, Karoo Restaurant brings the flavors of South Africa to the Outer Cape with its samosas and a traditional bobotie, a curried meatloaf. Of course, a visit to Eastham would be incomplete without enjoying some fried clams—or a round of mini golf—at Arnold’s Lobster and Clam Bar.
Looking for a place to stay?
The Whalewalk—it’s been a cozy B&B since 1953
Spread across three acres, the Whalewalk Inn & Spa in Eastham consists of six buildings including a saltbox cottage, a carriage house, and a restored barn. Elaine Conlin, who owns the inn with her husband, Kevin, says each of the property’s 16 guestrooms—including the premier 1,700 square-foot suite—is individually decorated; some rooms are equipped with whirlpool tubs and king beds, and some have cozy fireplaces. Guests can treat themselves in the on-site spa and wellness center, which offers massage as well as a gym, sauna, and resistance swimming pool.
Originally a whaling captain’s home, the property was a farm in the early 1900s, but has been hosting guests as a B&B since 1953. After their children had all settled in the Boston area, the Conlins, who were living in Arizona, purchased the inn and moved to the Cape in 2001.
Hydrangeas, rhododendrons, and roses add color to the manicured grounds, and in the summer breakfast is served on the patio. Elaine whips up a different entrée each day, including her signature Whalewalk sandwich, a tasty combination of egg, prosciutto, and mozzarella.
The Whalewalk Inn & Spa
220 Bridge Road, Eastham
508-255-0617 • whalewalkinn.com