Beautiful, classy, historic and relaxing: these are some of the terms that come to mind when pondering the town of Orleans.
Whether you’re taking in the sunset at Rock Harbor, wading along the tidal flats off Skaket Beach, or simply enjoying the soft sand and pounding surf along Nauset Beach, Orleans’ natural attractions amaze.
Regarding manmade marvels, The Orleans Waterfront Inn is a captivating hotel located in a very special place—overlooking scenic Town Cove. Another stately structure, the Captain Linnell House on Skaket Beach Road, is a popular wedding venue, and in the restaurant diners can enjoy oysters, salmon, duck and lamb.
Other dining options to savor in town include The Lobster Claw and Land Ho!, or Nauset Farms on Main Street which offers sandwiches and homemade chips. Bonus: try the Nauset Bomb, a giant muffin covered in cinnamon and sugar! Another sweet spot is the Hot Chocolate Sparrow, which features a robust menu of coffees, baked goods and of course, their famous hot chocolate!
One quirky town staple is the Bird Watcher’s General Store on Route 6A; inside, visitors will find birdfeeders and guides as well as avian-themed crafts and jewelry. The Orleans Farmers’ Market also draws a crowd on Saturday mornings beginning in May; check them out at 21 Old Colony Way!
For the uninitiated, Orleans’ history is loaded with riveting events including attacks on the town by two foreign powers, one during the War of 1812 (at Rock Harbor) and the other in World War I (at Nauset Beach). Learn about these and other stories at the Orleans Historical Society Meeting House Museum, the French Cable Station Museum and at the magnificent Church of the Transfiguration.
Orleans is also a haven for artists, and the renowned Addison Art Gallery features the work of more than 20 talented locals. In 2016 the gallery is displaying the work of artists inspired by the late Edward Hopper and several events are scheduled. Finally, complete a perfect summer day with a visit to Eldredge Park, home of the Cape League’s Orleans Firebirds. If baseball is an art form, this field—and the entire game day experience—is a masterpiece.