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A Wellfleet Retreat

First, they had to find just the right location—one that would offer them an up-close-and-personal relationship with the coast’s ecosystem. When Ann found a nearly one-acre lot on the Fresh Creek Marsh in Wellfleet, her instincts told her it would be the ideal spot for summering on the Cape. “When I looked out and saw the marsh and then, peeking between some trees, could see the bay, I knew this was the right property,” she says. Set back from the road and secluded from neighboring homes, the lot offers the Cape Cod charm they were searching for in their summer escape. The topography of the land accommodates a two-story house whose main level allows all of the natural beauty of the marsh and its estuaries to spill into the home. 

Douglas says the property had been sitting vacant for a long time, as potential buyers were turned off by the various regulatory boards and approvals needed to be secured as well as restrictions that were in place, including one that allowed for the house to be built in just a small corner. But Douglas and his wife embraced those limitations. “We really didn’t want to disrupt that much of the natural habitat,” he says. “If we have to remove a tree, we plant another elsewhere.”

But the property offers so much more than just views. Douglas and Ann also enjoy the sounds and sights of the fauna that call the marsh home, including the otters, blue heron, owls, and even fox and coyotes. “When we sit out on the deck and listen to the wind between the trees and the birds, it’s just so Zen-like,” says Ann. As the tide rolls in and fills the marsh, it proves to be the ideal recreational spot for the family, inviting them to drop their kayaks into the water and head out for adventure. Even the family dog gets in on the fun, as he waits for some of the stripers that swim through at the beginning of high tide, to do a little fishing.

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