Cape Cod is where New Englanders go for the summer,
miles and miles of sandy beaches and good weather provide
for lazy days, seafood dinner and an all around chill out
As with just about everywhere in New England, it's soaked
in history as it's the site where the first pilgrims
boats landed. The pious pilgrims would be rolling over in
their graves if they knew that their first landing site in
Provincetown is now a gay mecca. If they thought 400 years
ago that they were fleeing one queen and founding a home for
many others, they probably would have taken the Mayflower
and sailed in the opposite direction.
In the 19th century, Cape Cod was known for it "toilsome"
sandy roads and windmills, which later gave way to a more
commercial beach life.
What is there to see and do?
The saltwater and fresh water beaches aroung the Cape are
fantastic for an array of adventures - swimming, sunbathing
and sports. It's also great for long walks.
As an old Patti Page song goes,
"If you're fond of sand dunes and salty air,
Quaint little villages here and there
You're sure to fall in love with Old Cape Cod. "
Recently re-invented by dance act Groove Armada, the
appeal of 'Old Cape Cod' is timeless and attracts visitors
of all ages.
It's a year round resort, as the walk's and winter wilderness
offer stunning view for artists even off season. Artists have
been drawn to the cape for 100 years and it offer many summer
schools in Truro and Provincetown, which was
once the home of many great artists like Rothko and
Pollock. Nature writers, playwrights, actors and even
president JFK have all been drawn here with its wealth of
migratory birds and sealife.
Although Provincetown is full of touristy shops it does have
a vibrant arts scene, thanks to the hoards of artists and
writers who've been coming here since the 1920's and right
outside of town is the start of Cape Cod's 60 miles of beach.
Where to stay
A great place to stay to seek total isolation is in a light
house. You have to be picked up in town and dropped off,
but the experience is a real piece of Americana. Prices range
between $125 and 150 a night so it is pricey but a unique
On parts of the coast, if you have a 4-wheel drive vehicle
and a permit you are allowed to drive up and down the beach,
but you don't get to see the best part, which is the dunes.
If you go with a guide, you can see it all and you get a locals
perspective. The dunes were once all woodland, until the early
Portuguese used the wood for houses and fuel. Eventually the
top-soil blew away revealing the sandy dune-scape which President
Kennedy declared a National Seashore in 1961. The National
Seashore continues for 42 square miles, all covered with beautiful
dunes. There are bicycle and nature trails, salt marshes and
forests and most of it is virtually deserted.
The islands off Cape Cod are very popular summer retreats,
the most famous of which has to be Martha's Vineyard.
You can go by ferry which is only a short hop and there are
lots of departures. It costs a hefty $100 to bring your car
across, so your best bit is to go for the day with a more
modest $11 passenger ticket. Martha's Vineyard is pretty much
a millionaires playground where you can see plenty of palacial
summer houses. It's charm also attracted Hollywood, and it
was the setting for the movie Jaws. Although throughout
the summer it's packed with tourists, off season it's a wonderfully
quiet and secluded place to visit.
You'll need to hop on a ferry to get to check out the sights
of Martha's Vineyard.
Ferry to Martha's Vineyard
Ocean Street Dock
Hyannis, MA 02601
Tel: 001 508 778 2600
For both passengers and vehicles:
The Steamship Authority
Tel: 001 508 477 8600
Biking around Martha's Vineyard
One of the best ways to explore Martha's Vineyard is by bike,
you can cruise around the streets and easily get to the beach
with so little hassle.
Martha's Bike Rentals
Lagoon Pond Rd
Tel: 001 508 693 6593
Cape Cod Dune Tours
To have a real experience of Cape Cod, you have to jump in
a jeep and explore the dunes of the National Seashore.
Art's Dune Tours
Contact: Rob Costa
Tel: 001 508 487 1950 Fax: 001 800 894 1951