2017 Life Annual Guide: Mid Cape
Dennis Village, Dennisport, East Dennis, South Dennis, West Dennis
With shoreline along Cape Cod Bay and Nantucket Sound, two lengthy rivers, and the Cape Cod Rail Trail, Dennis offers opportunities aplenty for outdoor recreation. Breathtaking beaches on the bay side include Cold Storage, Corporation, and the spacious Mayflower, which teems with tidal pools at low tide. On the south side of town, West Dennis Beach has lots of space for sunbathing, surfing, and kiteboarding. One can also rent kayaks and stand-up paddleboards for excursions along both Swan River and Bass River, the latter of which serves as the town’s border with Yarmouth.
The rail trail, a paved and mostly flat bike route that travels through several Cape communities, begins in Dennis off Route 134. Next to the trailhead, Dennis Cycle Center is stocked with rentals, trail maps, and gear. Cyclists can take the trail to Harwich, or all the way to Wellfleet—a distance of 24-1/2 miles. For a nearby hike, Fresh Pond Conservation Area has five trails exploring 27 preserved acres.
Dennis is also a community that supports the arts, and one can experience various artistic mediums in town. On one campus on Hope Lane, Cape Cinema offers daily movie screenings, the Cape Cod Museum of Art showcases collections of unique and local artwork, and The Cape Playhouse presents a lineup of entertaining shows every summer. The theater celebrates 90 years in 2017.
Keen observers will note that the term “Scargo,” which has roots in Native American folklore, resonates throughout the town. For a commanding view of Scargo Lake—a sweet spot for swimming and fishing—one can ascend the 30-foot Scargo Tower atop Scargo Hill Road. A former sea captain’s home, Scargo Manor B&B also overlooks the lake, and has kayaks and canoes available for rent. The artisans at Scargo Pottery are always working on new creations at the wheel, and Scargo Café on Route 6A serves its artwork on the plate.
Other distinguished dining options include Clancy’s, for serious sandwiches and a seafood sampler stuffed with shrimp, scallops, crabmeat, and more; and Sesuit Harbor Cafe, for loaded lobster rolls from May to Columbus Day. Lastly, The Ocean House on Depot Street always has memorable cocktails, entrees, and water views on the menu.
Looking for a place to stay?
This guesthouse is rooted in tradition
Relaxing in a hammock in the shade of a 200-year-old mulberry tree is just one of the perks of a stay at the Mulberry Tree Inn. “The inn itself is a charming old Cape Cod treasure,” says Mary Beth Durney, who owns the South Dennis property with her husband, Peter. “It’s very quaint and very private. We’re on the main street, but once you’re inside you wouldn’t even know it.”
Built in 1802 by Captain Eleazer Nickerson, the inn retains some of its original woodwork and windows. Inside these cozy confines are two guest rooms, each featuring early American furnishings and décor. The Captain Nickerson Room has a queen canopied bed, hand-stenciled walls, and a fireplace; Molly’s Hideaway on the second floor has wide pine floors and a striking beamed ceiling.
A stay at The Mulberry Inn also comes with a hearty country breakfast, and Mary Beth is a joyful cook. “I feel like it’s a gift for us to live here,” she says, “and to be able to share the inn with our guests.”
Mulberry Tree Inn
313 Main Street, South Dennis
508-398-3330 • mulberrytreeinn.com
~Marina Davalos, Ashley Owen
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