ON THE WATER // chatham
While great white shark sightings off of Chatham are infrequent at best, the sea creatures that might have attracted the sharks have never been easier to spot. Chatham is host to several operations offering seal cruises, including the Monomoy Island Ferry. “We’re as popular as a whale watch, if not more,” says Captain Keith Lincoln, who has been running the operation since 1989. He estimates that up to 7,000 people take the excursion out to Monomoy Island and back each summer, enjoying close encounters with marble-eyed pinnipeds, learning about seal biology and the craft of weir fishing, and taking in picturesque views of the lighthouses along the coastline. Tour groups meet at Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters off of Morris Island Road, cost $35 for adults and $30 for children under 12, and last roughly 90 minutes.
Monomoy Island Ferry, monomoyislandferry.com, 508-237-0420
SILVER SCREEN // wellfleet
In the age of the multiplex and weekend box office statistics, a drive-in theatre is the ultimate anachronism. Just 357 remain in the entire country, according to the United Drive-In Theatre Owners Association—and one has existed right off of Route 6 since 1957. The Wellfleet Drive-In Theatre broadcasts double features on a 100-by-44-foot screen to audiences underneath the stars every night until the weekend after Labor Day. The drive-in also hosts a special event during the Provincetown Film Festival in late June. Admission is cash only and costs $9 for adults up to age 61, $5 for seniors and children under 12, and free for children under four. Check the website on Monday afternoon to find out what’s playing this coming weekend, and make sure to tune your radio to 89.3FM for sound: While some parking spots are equipped with old-style monophonic speakers, don’t expect all to work as well as 50 years ago.
Wellfleet Drive-In Theatre, wellfleetcinemas.com, 508-349-7176
GOOD LIBATIONS // hyannis, nantucket, oak bluffs
Nothing pairs with a barbecue, a visit from old friends, a sunburn, or the other eventualities of summer like a frosty beer. The Cape and Islands are lucky to have three breweries offering homegrown adult beverages—including special releases in the span between Memorial Day and Labor Day—along with brick-and-mortar headquarters that are worth a visit.
- Cape Cod Beer
No doubt you’ve spotted one of its 64-ounce growlers somewhere between Bourne and Provincetown, but the Cape Cod Beer brewery in Hyannis is a destination in itself. Located just off of Route 6, the brewery offers complimentary tours, tastings, and a retail shop stocked with crafts from local artisans. (If you get lost en route to a growler refill, just look on the back of the bottle for directions.) Seasonal releases: Summer Ale, Christmas in July.
Cape Cod Beer, capecodbeer.com, 508-790-4200
- Cisco Brewers
Nantucket’s lone microbrewery shares beautiful open-air grounds with Triple Eight Distillery and Nantucket Vineyards, and is a stone’s throw from sandwiches and snacks at Bartlett’s Farm. Tours of the facilities are $20 and include tastings and samples. Parking is scarce; travelers should plan to ride a bike or take the Nantucket Regional Transit Authority bus to Somerset Lane/Hummock Pond Road and make the short walk to the brewery. Seasonal release: Summer of Lager.
Cisco Brewers, ciscobrewers.com, 508-325-5929
- Offshore Ale Company
As a year-round brewpub, Offshore Ale Company offers both a generous selection of beers brewed on Martha’s Vineyard along with a full lunch and dinner menu. This summer, Offshore Ale plans to offer tours of its facilities Friday through Sunday by appointment. Seasonal releases (draught only): Amity Island Ale, Summer Hefeweizen.
Offshore Ale Company, offshoreale.com, 508-693-2626
GREAT BEYOND // provincetown
Dunes stretching as far the eye can see, wispy beach grass blowing in the breeze, the sun making a grand exit into the sea—this is Provincetown as it was meant to be seen. Sixty-seven years ago, Art Costa founded Art’s Dune Tours and ran his first trip into the Province Lands in a 1936 Ford Woody. Today, Rob Costa carries on his father’s legacy by sharing the sights, sounds, history, and enchantment of the Provincetown dunes with thousands of patrons from the comfort of his small fleet of Chevy Suburbans. One-hour driving tours take passengers through the Cape Cod National Seashore; past the dune shacks where Eugene O’Neill, Jack Kerouac, and e.e. cummings found inspiration; and to the shoreline where patrons can take in the natural, vast beauty. One-hour driving tours are $27 for adults. Two-hour sunset tours, which culminate with an old-fashioned New England clambake, are $43 or $90 with the meal included.
Art’s Dune Tours, artsdunetours.com, 508-487-1950
ALL CLASS // martha’s vineyard
Tucked away from the Vineyard’s busy summer streets, the Featherstone Center for the Arts in Oak Bluffs is a creative oasis. Once a horse farm, the center held its first exhibits in horse stalls in 1995 and has since expanded to host art camps, workshops, and classes taught by master craftsmen. The 2013 schedule of summer classes includes everything from watercolor painting (Mondays, $50 per class) to journal keeping (Sundays, $35 per seminar), ceramic arts for children (Fridays, $30 per class) to a photo book-making seminar ($200 for the three-day workshop during select weeks of June through September). “Whatever your favorite art activity is, we have got it going on at Featherstone this summer,” says Vice President Pamela Flam. Featherstone welcomes painters John Holladay and Liz Taft, book artist Melissa Jay Craig, and paper artist Sandy Bernat, among others for the 2013 season.
Featherstone Center for the Arts, featherstoneart.org, 508-693-1850