Cape Cod is one of the most beautiful destinations in the Northeast. Swept by cool waters and warm sea breezes, the Cape is blessed by miles of unspoiled coastline, pristine beaches and breathtaking vistas.
Generations of families return year after year to enjoy summers of sun and surf, sailing, watersports, fishing, whale watching and clambakes. Others come for golf courses, fine dining, and relaxation.
A long weekend on the Cape is a great introduction to this wonderful peninsula.
WHAT TO SEE
Visit the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum, a repository of photographs, videos, documents, and artifacts about our 35th president. A short film highlights JFK’s happy days in Hyannis Port in his youth and during his tenure at the White House. www.jfkhyannismuseum.org.
Cape Cod National Seashore
Cape Cod National Seashore is a 44,000 acre reserve with a 40 mile coastline that stretches from Chatham to Provincetown. It ofers hiking and biking trails, campsites, beaches, water activities, and scenic vistas.
Start at the Salt Pond Visitor Center for an introduction to the Cape’s geology and ever-shifting shoreline. Continue to the Marconi Station Site, the spot where the first two-way, transatlantic wireless transmission took place in 1903. The original buildings and structures have long succumbed to merciless winter storms, but a couple of plaques commemorate the monumental achievement that ushered the wireless era to the world. www.nps.gov/caco
Chatham is a quintessential New England small town, one of the oldest on the Cape. Stroll along charming Main Street and discover its unique art galleries, artisan shops, upscale fashion boutiques, eclectic gift stores, and cafes. Check out the virtual tour guide at www.etourchatham.org.
Provincetown is located on the tip of the Cape Cod peninsula, the spot where in 1620 the Pilgrims first landed in the New World. Today it attracts a large summer population that comes to experience the town’s unique character and free spirit.
Stroll along the picturesque Commerce Street and browse the hundreds of art galleries, home decor and fashion stores, gift shops, lively bars and restaurants.
Enjoy one of the area’s top attractions, a narrated tour with Art’s Dune Tours (in operation since 1946). The tour takes visitors by minivan along the sandy beach and through the Cape’s National Seashore preserve. The area was once home to Life Saving Stations designed to assist survivors of shipwrecks. Some of the stations’ old wooden shacks later became the homes of prominent writers and artists. The spectacular landscape is dotted with fragrant wild roses, cranberry bushes and other desert flora. Art’s Dune Tours also offers sunset and dinner tours. www.artsdunetours.com.
Where to stay
The Cape features accommodations in all price ranges, from modest inns to luxury resorts. We stayed at the Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club, a sprawling property consisting of two separate parts: the AAA Four Diamond Mansion area on the waterfront, and the Three Diamond Villages next to the golf course.
Guests who stay at the Mansion have access to the hotel’s private beach, a pristine stretch of white sand and blue waters nestled next to a picturesque bluff.
Guestrooms are spacious and modern, decorated in subdued colors and nautical motifs. Coffee-table books and old manual typewriters give the rooms a homey atmosphere. Amenities include fine embodied linens and Tommy Bahama toiletries.
Ocean Edge also features several Presidential Bay Collection Villas, the epitome of luxury living.
The resort offers a manicured, Nicklaus Design golf course, miles of bicycle paths, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts, and fitness rooms. www.oceanedge.com.
Where to Eat
According to the Cape’s Chamber of Commerce, the area boasts some 1,200 restaurants from roadside shacks to fine resort dining.
Experience authentic seafood in a casual atmosphere at the Lobster Claw in Orleans, voted as “the best family restaurant” by area residents. Don’t miss their famous clambake, a heaping plate of lobster, steamers, fries, and corn on the cob. www.lobsterclaw.com.
For a delicious French baguette sandwich or a French meal, visit the Pain D’Avignon, a Parisian style café-boulangerie in Hyannis. www.paindavignon.com.
In Provincetown, have lunch at The New Crown & Anchor, a popular restaurant offering generous portions of seafood dishes and creative entrees. The restaurant also features live entertainment and headliner shows. www.onlyatthecrown.com.
Enjoy an evening of outdoor fine dining at Ocean Terrace restaurant, at the Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club. Try their crab cake, grilled swordfish, and bouillabaisse.
Also treat yourself to a gourmet meal at the elegant Twenty-Eight Atlantic restaurant at the Wequassett Resort and Golf Club. The spacious and lavishly appointed restaurant overlooks picturesque Pleasant Bay, and offers contemporary and creative dishes.
While on the Cape you may also like to visit the island of Nantucket. Located only 30 miles away, Nantucket is easily accessible via ferry or a short flight with Cape Air.
Start your visit with the Whaling Museum and watch their documentary movie about the island’s seafaring past.
Take a walk along the cobblestoned Main Street and browse the quaint shops and galleries. Stop by the waterfront and sip a drink at one of the lively bars overlooking the marina. Dine at the elegant Brant Point Grill restaurant in the White Elephant hotel.
For accommodations stay at the upscale White Elephant downtown or at the Wawinet on the coast.
Getting to The Cape
Getting to the Cape just got easier with the introduction of JetBlue’s daily flights from JFK to Hyannis. The 100 seat Embraer E190 jet will whisk you to the Cape in just 66 minutes (Through Sept 9). Allocate some time to enjoy JetBlue’s terminal 5 at JFK, a spacious modern space with numerous shops, a great selection of fine restaurants, and the newly opened Be Relaxed Spa. www.jetblue.com.
Philosopher and writer Henry David Thoreau once said that in Cape Cod “A man may stand there and put all America behind him.”
It is an ideal destination to unwind and relax. ∆