Days Cottages, those barebones structures placed in a row along Route 6A, are relics of Depression-era Cape Cod. For devoted visitors, they are also an important setting for a summer in Truro.

The distinctive, gabled bungalows first appear as you reach the crest of the hill on Route 6 in Truro. In the distance, silhouetted against the sea, stand 23 identical sea green-and-white cottages.

Poems have been written about them. Artists are stirred by them. Photographs of them adorn walls around the world. “My son saw a photo of one of the cottages when he was in Greece on the island of Mykonos,” says Marie Jones of Enfield, Connecticut, who has journeyed to Truro’s Beach Point every summer since she was a baby, some 74 years ago.

Days and Nights

Days’ Cottages turn 80 this summer. They have survived coastal storms and historical Nor’easters, including the Blizzard of ‘78 that washed away the seawall but left the cottages undamaged. Their appeal is ageless and their customers are seemingly forever faithful, many returning every summer, renting the same cottage, and settling in next to the same tourists. Through the decades, strangers have become friends, sometimes almost family. “It’s been passed down from generation to generation,” says Joe Days, who now operates the business started by his grandfather. “We put them in the same cottage every year, and they’re next to the same people. So it’s like an annual reunion.”

Jones says, “My son was in the wedding of someone he met there.”

What is it about this modest resort—with no televisions, room service, tennis courts, fitness rooms or ocean-side cabana bars—that attracts a loyal clientele summer after summer?

According to Days, who took over when his father, Bernard, passed away in 1990, it’s just that absence of frills that draws them back. “People like the simplicity of it,” he says. “It’s not real fancy, although we do have cable for people who want to bring their own TV. But most people don’t care that there isn’t a TV. They come as families to get away. This is their week to be with the kids, to play games, to lie on the beach and to do the simpler things.”

Days and Nights