Gunkholing: Best of Both Worlds

Cape Cod Life  /  August 2020 /

Writer: Brian Shortsleeve

Gunkholing: Best of Both Worlds


Cape Cod Life  /  August 2020 /

Writer: Brian Shortsleeve

Above, the 2020 issue of Cape Cod LIFE June, known to readers as the Best Of issue.


During these “please stay at home” months, online visitation and readership has increased almost everywhere. Knowing this was happening, Cape Cod Life placed significant emphasis on our annual “Best of Cape Cod and the Islands” readers’ choice awards.

For decades, this feature has been very popular.  However, this year we went all out, with the very professional help of our web design contractors at 3Thought in Plymouth, MA. Go to capecodlife.com/best-of-cape-cod-2020 and find 864 interactive gold and silver winner profiles, advanced search functions and a sleek new appearance, plus more!

The 864 clickable winner profiles are designed to facilitate the website visitor’s use of this report. There are five major sections: Dining, Food & Drink, Lodging, Shopping and Things to Do. These five sections are broken down into 72 specific categories, for example, Waterview Restaurants, plus Men’s or Women’s Clothing, Walking or Bike Paths, etc. Winners can be pulled up by town, plus cross-referenced with a category, such as “Falmouth, Best Beaches.”

With over 74,000 votes cast in 2020, our web pages saw over 10,000 sessions within the first five days of our announcing the winners. This year, compared to the first week of announcing the winners last year (2019) at capecodlife.com:

Web traffic is up 214%

Users are up 202%

Page views are up 240%

Average session duration is up 48%

Pages per session is up 9%

Needless to say, we are delighted with these pages (the most popular on our site) and hope you find this special feature very helpful in planning your time on Cape Cod & the Islands.


Since I founded Cape Cod Life 41 years ago, it has always been very helpful to hear from our readers. It is heartening to hear how much people enjoy Cape Cod Life and the number of months and years they retain and refer back to their issues.  It makes all the hard work feel very worthwhile.

By way of example, here is one letter I just received in June.

Dear Brian Shortsleeve,

I read the first words of the insert to the latest Cape Cod Life & Home and my heart stopped (so to speak). I thought you were going to say that henceforth everything would be online! I am so glad you didn’t say that! For me taking the magazine outside to read or to sit in a relaxing chair in the living room is like being on vacation! I’m at a computer a lot for task oriented activities. Having the physical magazine seems more in keeping with a sense of relaxation, reflection (especially the photos) and enjoyment. I look forward to your article that is a follow up to the teaser, “We had a party in his honor.”  How  about an issue on groups, institutions (on the Cape) that provide knowledge about water, land, environment, such as Woods Hole Research Institute, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Cape Cod Museum of Natural History (won several awards for “Best Of Cape Cod 2019”) for starters? Your publication is excellent!  Thanks! Angelyn Dries

Dear Angelyn,

Thank you for your kind letter.  You made my day. I have shared
 your editorial suggestions with our editor, Julie Wagner.

Sincerely, Brian

Thank you to all our online followers and readers.

My Best,

Brian Shortsleeve, Publisher

Gunkholing is the art of getting a boat into any small shallow cove, forbidden to boats of deeper draft and out again, without running aground much over a dozen times. – J. Benjamin

Read the June 2020 edition of Gunkholing HERE.

Brian Shortsleeve

Brian Shortsleeve is the owner, publisher, and founder of Cape Cod Life Publications. His personal column, “Gunkholing,” has appeared in all issues of Cape Cod LIFE since the very first issue in 1979.