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Village LIFE: The Allure of Orleans

Main Street continues on its journey to the other sea as it enters the village of East Orleans. A smaller yet equally rich collection of shops and dining options exists in this outpost on the way to Nauset Beach. Adorn, a charming shop imagined by a young, talented jewelry designer, Molly Avellar, invites visitors in to peruse the work of over 80 different artisans, most local and of the ones not, most are free-trade. Everything from art to ceramics, to keepsakes and jewelry, including Avellar’s beach-inspired unique pieces, is sure to tug at your heart and soul, begging to become a permanent part of your Cape tapestry.

Blue Claw Boat Tours leaves out of East Orleans as they take adventurers out for seal tours and public and private cruises along the coastline and to the intrepid Monomoy Island that sits between Orleans and Chatham.

After a day on the water, stop for a meal at the Barley Neck Inn, situated in the fork of Barley Neck Road and Beach Road. This posh bistro is housed in an 1848 sea captain’s home and serves up award-winning cuisine, a full bar and a raucous schedule of live entertainment.

The Land Ho!

Finally at the end of the road, after passing many a real estate sign for Beach Road Properties—a real estate firm who despite the Cape’s limited inventory has a lot to offer—the journey ends where the land does as well, Nauset Beach. Recent storms have taken their toll on this iconic spot known worldwide for it crashing surf, and never-ending stretches of miles of wide beach. This is where old Cape Cod and today’s Cape meet. The old Philbrick’s snack bar succumbed to a storm in 2018 and now food trucks with innovative culinary interpretations try to take up the slack. The wide, flat beach, absent of the dunes found farther up the coast, has been augmented with a manmade protective berm that is intended to protect this precious resource for the future. You may not be able see the waves, and imagine the distant shore of far away countries, as you enter the parking lot, but the beautiful Nauset Beach sand is still the same, the beachgoers have rarely changed at all, and the sun still dances with a million diamonds on the endless sets of perfectly formed waves. Not a bad dead end for a special Main Street.

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