- Where to Go
- The Best of Vermont
- Rumblings of Revolution
- New, New England Dining
- Boston’s Artistic Expression
- Vermont Leaf Peeping
- Into the Wild
- Vermont Skiing at Its Best
- Visit Vermont’s Maple Sugar Shacks
- Connecticut for Kids
- Vermont’s Covered Bridges
- A Shore Thing
- Vermont with Kids
- Portland Maine Art Galleries
- Small-Town Flavor
- Connecticut’s Wine Trails
- New Hampshire’s Farmers Markets
- A Weekend of Vermont Art
- Family Matters
- Maine Wilderness Camps
- Vermont Cheddar Houses
- Connecticut Spas
The warmest beaches on Cape Cod are on Buzzard’s Bay. The popular Old Silver Beach (Quaker Rd., N. Falmouth) features soft sand, gentle surf, and a snack shack and other amenities, while Chapoquoit Island is rockier and more secluded.
Tidepooling is popular on Brewster Flats, so-called because the beach along Cape Cod Bay stretches out for a mile at low tide. Eight beaches line 6A in Brewster.
On Nantucket Sound, the under-21 set flocks to Craigville Beach (Craigville Rd., Barnstable) for cruising and ice cream, while Red River Beach (Uncle Venies Rd., Harwich) is a quiet stretch ready-made for sunbathing.
Most Cape Cod beaches have parking lots that charge a daily fee (usually between $5 and $15) from Memorial Day until Labor Day. Many have public bathrooms and concession stands as well; when the latter is not available, local grocery stores often cater to beachgoers’ picnic needs.
The beaches on Cape Cod’s north and west shores face Cape Cod Bay, and have mile-wide tides and the least surf. Thus, they’re often the best for toddlers and babies. The southside beaches face Nantucket Sound, and tend to have small waves, so they’re also relatively safe for toddlers. More wave action — and undertow — happens on the east-facing beaches of the Atlantic Ocean.
The only bike path on Cape Cod that runs along the seashore, the aptly named Shining Sea Bikeway is a four-mile paved ride along former Native American paths. The highly scenic route takes in scrub forest, hidden bays, and swampland along the Falmouth coastline, from Woods Hole to Pin Oak Way. Bikes can be rented at Woods Hole Cycle (6 Luscombe Ave., 508/540-7718).
The longer and more varied Cape Cod Rail Trail starts in South Dennis, off of Route 134, and runs almost 30 miles through wooded conservation land along a former railroad right-of-way to the salt marshes of Orleans. Bikes are available at Barbara’s Bike Shop (430 Rte. 134, S. Dennis, 508/760-4723, www.barbsbikeshop.com), at the trailhead.
Boating and Fishing
The best way to see the Kennedy Compound without risking arrest is to take a tour of Hyannis harbor with Hy-Line Cruises (220 Ocean St., Hyannis, 800/492-8082, www.hy-linecruises.com), which runs one-hour jaunts as well as jazz and blues cruises.
Harwichport is home to many deep-sea fishing boats, including the gargantuan Yankee (508/432-2520) and the more intimate Tuna Eclipse (508/737-0923, www.tunaeclipse.com). Romantic sails along the Falmouth coast and Vineyard Sound are offered on The Liberté (508/548-2626, www.theliberte.com) a 74-foot three-masted schooner.
Pirate Adventures (Ocean St. Dock, Hyannis, 508/430-4693, www.pirateadventures.com) promises more spirited expeditions, complete with face paint, buried treasure, and sea shanties.
Situated among forested kettle hole ponds, Nickerson State Park (Rte. 6A, Brewster, 508/896-3491) has some 400 campsites, as well as eight miles of trails for hiking and mountain biking.
© Michael Blanding and Alexandra Hall from Moon New England, 2nd Edition