This July, we have had two groups of 6 guests almost back-to-back. A lot of laundry and cooking and cleaning, but also a lot of fun. So here are some of the things we did during the weeks we had a houseful of guests:
|Cape Cod National Seashore - Cahoon Hollow Beach|
The Cape Cod National Seashore is simply breathtaking. However, in the summertime, parking anywhere near the beaches becomes an extreme sport. We get an early start and head to Wellfleet (home of the drive-in movie theater that is also an antique/flea market several days a week). At Cahoon Hollow Beach, we park in the Beachcomber Restaurant's parking lot, which is open to the public but does fill up quickly. You have to pay a small fee, but in return you get a coupon for the restaurant in the same amount, which is helpful around lunchtime. Getting down to the beach requires a zigzag path down the steep dunes. You can often see seals swimming not too far off shore; however, the great white sharks have arrived as well, now that the seal population is protected and flourishing. Even though the sharks aren't looking for humans, mistakes can (and have) been made, so we don't swim out too far. There are also tons of kettle ponds around, along with shops to rent kayaks and canoes to enjoy freshwater fun. GULL HARBOR, the title of my second novel, is a fictional town loosely based on Wellfleet. You can see some of the pictures I used for the setting inspiration here.
On Wednesday nights, Coonamessett Farm in East Falmouth offers Jamaica Night - a Jamaican buffet with tons of authentic food, plus fantastic steel drum music by Vernon (Vern-mon). It's BYOB or wine, so you can come in with a cooler, set up at a table, and enjoy the food and music. For the kids, there are play areas, tons of animals to see, little tractors to ride, and of course, dancing...the adults all join in, as well. There's a little ice cream shop, a gift and produce store, plus ornamental plants for sale. We always enjoy ourselves here, and it was perfect for my little nieces and nephew.
Christmas Tree Shops is my sister's must-visit store on the Cape. If you've never seen one of these, it's worth stopping in. No, it's not all about Christmas. It has the oddest and largest assortment of items, from hair accessories to beach towels to furniture, for extremely low prices. We end up with a ton of stuff, some of which we had no idea we needed. But we never break the bank!
|Commercial Street, Ptown|
|A little hotel overlooking |
We almost always do the Shining Sea Bike Trail (Bikeway), starting in Falmouth at the Corner Cycle bike rental shop (should our guests need bikes) and then biking past ponds, beaches, marshland, and in and out of the woods all the way to Wood's Hole, which is the a gorgeous little village at the extreme southwest corner of the Cape. We eat lunch, visit the Woods Hole Aquarium, get ice cream and coffee, and bike back to Falmouth.
In Mashpee, there's a state beach anyone can visit (South Cape Beach), and nearby, within the New Seabury community, there are wonderful beachfront spots where we like to get a bite and have a drink. The Popponesset Inn is open to the public and overlooks the ocean--there's great food served both in the more formal dining area or in the more casual tavern/bar section. A short walk down the crushed shell paths leads you to The Lure, a new raw bar right on the beach. There are tables and big Adirondack chairs, a light menu featuring seafood (try the famous lobster roll!), and a full bar. Many nights also include a local band providing musical entertainment.
A few of our favorite restaurants are in Hyannis: Tugboats, right on the harbor, and the Beech Tree Cantina, located on Main Street. Tons of shopping and fun activities along Main Street Hyannis as well! We also love Anejo in Falmouth; Main Street Falmouth is another collection of cute shops and old houses.
If you ever visit the Cape, consider trying some of these wonderful attractions! And if a trip to Cape Cod isn't in your immediate future, you can still experience some of the local spots in GULL HARBOR, my ghost story/romance set on the Cape. Happy Summer!