One weekend in Wellfleet– a Cape Cod photo essay, July 2017 Cape Cod LIFE | capecodlife.com

To the west of Route 6, Wellfleet’s downtown is an attractive center that is great for walking, shopping and dining. Stop in Abiyoyo for a Wellfleet t-shirt, Emack & Bolio’s for ice cream and Wellfleet Marketplace for coffee, groceries and a large selection of books about the town. Built in a former church, Preservation Hall is a bustling community center that hosts film screenings and other cultural events, while a plaque in front of town hall commemorates the Mayflower’s visit in 1620.

The downtown is also blessed with several great art galleries. At 25 Commercial Street, Left Bank Gallery is an attractive space that’s loaded with creations displayed in several viewing rooms and nooks. The work of artists Steven Kennedy and Ed Chesnovitch stood out, as did a cast-bronze cycling sculpture by Peter Dransfield. Outside, colorful bird sculptures kept watch over Duck Creek.

In Glenn’s Gallery at 220 Main Street, we met artist Maria-Eugenia Lopata, who was hard at work at the easel. Originally from Brazil, Lopata enjoys painting seascapes and other coastal scenes, and common subjects include Wellfleet’s Great Island, Long Pond and Newcomb Hollow Beach. “I like the nature here, the light,” she says. One day, while painting at Duck Harbor, Lopata was so immersed in her work that only after some time did she realize she was a foot deep in water. The tide had come in.

Speaking of Newcomb Hollow . . . a few blocks away, we met Judith Newcomb Stiles, who owns Newcomb Hollow Shop at 275 Main Street. The shop sells the work of many artisans, including clothing, jewelry, lamps and men’s hats. “We bring things to Cape Cod that you can’t get here,” says Stiles. “I love meeting people—the people who visit and the people who live here.” Prior to opening on the Outer Cape, Stiles had a shop in Greenwich Village, New York for 25 years. She does a lot of business online, but alas, she doesn’t get to meet those customers in person; to make a connection, she sometimes emails her online customers just to see if they liked what they got.

A short walk from downtown, Uncle Tim’s Bridge is a great spot for photo ops. The bridge spans Duck Creek and is named for Timothy Daniels, who in the 19th century had a shop just across the bridge on Hamblen Island. During our visit, the sky was a striking baby blue, and cyclists traveled back and forth over the bridge while kayakers passed beneath it below.

While in town, folks we met recommended several restaurants including The Beachcomber, Mac’s, PJ’s Family Restaurant, The Wicked Oyster and Winslow’s Tavern. For lunch, we went to Winslow’s. The restaurant has an outdoor patio that affords charming views of Main Street, and diners can enjoy dishes like lobster salad with sweet corn relish, shishito peppers and other tantalizing ingredients. Summer in a Glass, a popular Winslow’s cocktail, consists of house-made basil lemonade, vodka, triple sec and soda. “As far as I’m concerned, Wellfleet is the best town on the Cape,” says chef Phillip Hunt, who owns the tavern with his wife, Tracey Barry-Hunt. “It’s a special place. It draws a very special crowd. People who get it, get it, and people who don’t, don’t.” Over the years, Hunt says he’s met many tourists in town who’ve arrived from France, Germany, Japan and other far flung locations.