Yarmouth is not the best Cape has to offer

Fall visit to Yarmouth, MA, located in the mid-Cape on Nantucket Sound. It's enjoyable, but not the best location on the Cape.


Cove at Yarmouth

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by nonniepazonnie on April 2, 2004

Best Things Nearby:
The ocean is the main attraction here. Plus, its central Cape Cod location allows for easy half-day and full-day trips to anywhere on the Cape or the islands. I particularly enjoy Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. The island ferry is only about 4 miles away from this resort in Hyannis.

Best Things About the Resort:
The amenities are much more extensive than I expected for an ocean/beach resort, where space is always at a premium. The Cove has a very large and beautiful indoor pool, complemented by an oversized adult spa and a children's wading pool, which are all located in an attractive indoor atrium. There is a large indoor racquet club for squash, racquetball, and tennis. Plus, there are outdoor tennis courts and a large outdoor pool. In addition to the racquet club, there is an on-site health spa with fitness and weight machines. They also offer aerobics, yoga, water aerobics, and other group classes. Plus, there are tennis classes and other beginner-level sporting activities. There is a restaurant with lounge/nightclub on location. Golf is nearby.

Resort Experience:
I was surprised at how family-friendly this resort was. I bought the week as a romantic getaway for my husband and I to use annually for our anniversary. Come to find out there are so many family attractions and activities, I rent "bonus time" (greatly discounted accommodations for owners when resort is not at full occupancy) to take the kids.

The management at the Cove is excellent. I have been thrilled with all communications and procedures. I own five timeshare weeks total and the Cove was the only resort that sent us a membership guide and membership cards after we bought our week. We get regular communication in the form of letters and newsletters. In all my dealings with staff, they have been helpful, courteous, and responsive.

The resort is located on a commercial strip, so the immediate surroundings are not very accommodating to strolling or lounging about. There are plenty of things to do at the resort, but it is not beachfront. It is over a tidal basin for which there is no access because of wetland regulations. But it is near more than a dozen beaches, tidal basins, rivers, lakes, and a bay--allowing for fishing, kayaking, sailing, and power boating. In addition, there are many biking, hiking, and walking trails on the Cape. But you will need a car to explore. I like to shop and there is plenty of that at the Cape: from outlet centers to art galleries to antique shops and gift shops. Bring your credit cards. In the immediate area, for kids, there are amusement parks, children's museum, zoo, mini golf, sports centers, arcades, wall climbing, trampoline jumping, science and nature centers, galactic bowling, movies, boat rentals, and more. The most convenient are the many enjoyable activities offered by resort for kids and families.

I can't write about family activities without mentioning that there are no kitchens or "cooking" facilities at the Cove. Due to fire code laws in the town, the units have only a "wet bar"--consisting of a fridge, sink, and cabinet space.

Cove at Yarmouth
183 Main Street
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
(508) 771-3666

Clancy's

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by nonniepazonnie on September 26, 2003

Clancy's is walking (or stumbling) distance from The Cove at Yarmouth . "A county tavern" by description, this steak and seafood restaurant is a great place to eat or drink.

My husband and I went there for a late dinner after arriving at our resort. It was after 9 pm and they were still serving dinner. We both enjoyed our meals. I had the sirloin tips and swordfish combination and both were cooked to perfection. They had a range of country inn-style entrees in beef, pork, poultry, and seafood. The house specialty is Shrimp Samantha. A wide range of microbrew and European beers, including our favorite, Pilsner Urquell, were on tap and served by the pint.

Live Entertainment
There is live entertainment every night in the pub. We greatly enjoyed the entertainment. It was a solo singer/guitarist playing old soft favorites like "Cat's Cradle", "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," and "Mr. Bojangles." Music from the live entertainment is piped everywhere in the restaurant, even into the bathroom, so those who aren't close can hear.

A Rich Man's Bar
The pub area was warm and inviting. A gathering of about eight men ages 40-60, wearing boat shoes with no socks, collected one by one. Maybe homeowners from nearby, they seemed to know each other; but didn't come together. Even though they were wearing Docker's short and polo shirts, you could still tell they each had a net worth with six or seven zeros. I wished I had brought my mother who is single again. Where else can you find that many yacht owners in one place?

Great Service
Staff were friendly and funny. Other patrons were also friendly, talking and joking with us. Everyone seemed to have a sense of humor. I didn't want to leave. And I want to go back.

Casual, Country Elegance
The atmosphere is elegant country with deep green walls framed by glossy Victorian mahogany wood trim. The wall art was quite captivating--framed prints that looked like oversized Medieval village scenes from children's book illustrations. Clancy's says they serve "giant portions for reasonable prices." I think they serve up plenty of fun for wealthy middle-aged adults looking to kick back in a casually elegant, friendly, fun atmosphere. They have a function room, and cater parties and clam bakes. See more at clancyscapecod.com

Clancy's of West Yarmouth
175 Route 28
Cape Cod, Massachusetts, 02673
(508) 775-3332

Cuffy's of Cape Cod

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by nonniepazonnie on June 3, 2004

Cuffy's of Cape Cod (508-393-9517) is a large, bright, stylish retail shop that sells only Cape Cod T-shirts, sweatshirts, polo shirts, and lounge wear. It isn't your typical T-shirt shop selling red plastic squeaking lobsters and puca shells. It has the atmosphere of an Abercrombie & Fitch: bright, open, trendy, and cool. And it sells only Cape Cod resort wear--nothing else.

There is a wide selection of high quality fleece, windbreakers, sweatpants, and shorts. The fabrics are 100% cotton for all shirts and sweats. The colors are enchanting, not your typical array: periwinkle, soft yellow, dusty rose, fuchsia, mint, sage, mulberry, and, of course, navy, green, gray, and red. The prices are reasonable, with great "buy two get one free" deals on mix and match sweatshirts and T-shirts. There's also a clearance section where stonewashed men's 100% cotton sweatshirts were marked down to $14.99. The store has very large sections for children, teens, men, and women. Sizes go to at least XXXL for a roomy fit. Women's occupies an entire room and includes larger sizes as well. You'll find zip-up, pullover, hooded, long sleeve, short sleeve, tanks and more--all embroidered or printed with CAPE COD across the front. And it's all tastefully done, no cropped tops, tacky, or distasteful messages on the seats of pants or revealing styles. You won't end up fighting with your teenage daughter over the appropriateness of a shirt.

There are fitting rooms and a bathroom for shoppers' convenience, plus plenty of parking. It was a comfortable, enjoyable atmosphere to find the perfect, wearable souvenir. There is also a Cuffy's in Chatham.

Cuffy's of Cape Cod
723 Route 28
Cape Cod, Massachusetts, 02670
(508) 398-9517

National Seashore

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by nonniepazonnie on June 8, 2005

Cape Cod National Seashore is amazing--truly majestic and well worth the experience.

Here's the official park explanation: it comprises 43,604 acres of shoreline and upland landscape features, including a 40-mile-long stretch of pristine sandy beach; dozens of clear, deep freshwater kettle ponds; and upland scenes that depict evidence of how people have used the land. A variety of historic structures are within the boundary of the seashore, including lighthouses, a lifesaving station, and numerous Cape Cod-style houses. The seashore offers six swimming beaches, 11 self-guided nature trails, and a variety of picnic areas and scenic overlooks.

We went from one beach to the next, each as impressive as the last. This is a bit of a drive from the mid-Cape, where we were staying, but it is so much more pristine, majestic, and gorgeous that you can't even compare traditional beaches to this protected sanctuary. You must go and see it. It encompasses some 30 miles of coast that was placed into federal protection by JFK, a Cape Cod enthusiast. He knew what he was doing.

Visit the website to plan your trip, as you have many beaches to choose from: http://www.nps.gov/caco/index.htm. But make sure and go.

Cape Cod National Seashore
Marconi Site Road
Wellfleet, Massachusetts, 02667
+1 508 349 3785

Yarmouth on the Mid-Cape

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by nonniepazonnie on September 26, 2003

Mid-Cape More Commercial, Less Picturesque
I spent a weekend in Yarmouth for my wedding anniversary. I had never been to the Mid-Cape before. I have visited Provincetown and Nantucket and was expecting something like that: weathered cedar singled ocean homes with extravagant flower gardens and a Range Rover or two in the driveway.

Yarmouth was more commercial, more family-oriented, and more middle class. A painted white cement spouting whale at the edge of a miniature golf course was our reminder to turn for our resort. I didn't expect a spouting cement whale to be one of my memories. There were also sneaker outlets, a pay-per-use trampoline center, fast-food restaurants, and strip malls.

I go the gamut when it comes to beaches, with annual trips to both Ocean City, MD, and Nantucket, MA, so I am OK with commercial beach resorts. My husband said he was "underwhelmed" by Yarmouth. I think we were both expecting small, windy, oceanfront streets with art galleries, jewelry stores, and resort-wear boutiques--you know, historic elegance where women wear wide brimmed hats, unreasonable walking shoes, and $200 sunglasses. All that is driving distance from Yartmouth, a mere 30 minutes south on Route 28 brought us to Chatham considered "the elbow of the Cape." Chatham is all that, plus white linen jackets, valet parking, and jazz clubs. But Yarmouth is a T-shirt and sneaker place. Leave those expensive red Italian strappy shoes at home, unless you plan to travel to other towns.

Beaches Are Food for the Soul
No matter what runs along Route 28 in Yarmouth, once you get to the shore, you remember why you came--to go to the ocean. The beaches were glorious. The water was warm. The sky was clear and blue. The water was more turquoise than you'd expect for New England. The breeze was intoxicating. We played on the rocks. We looked for shells. We read. We slept. We took in as much as we could--the organic scent of sea water, the sun sparkling on the sailboats just offshore, the rhythmic crashing of waves, a glimpse of a harbor seal playing in the surf--all made us breathe in deeply to try to take in more warmth, more relaxation, more memories of Cape Cod.

Island Access a Plus
One major asset of Yarmouth is that it is close to Hyannis where you can catch ferries to Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard. Yarmouth is just a few miles from the ferry docks. We took a daytrip to Martha's Vineyard, which was pure fun and excitement. The Islands of Cape Cod, although only a few miles off shore, offer an addictive atmosphere of being away from it all. You are "on island time." The world, your worries, and your "to do" list seem a galaxy away when you are visiting the Cape Cod Islands. If you go to Yarmouth, take the ferry to see the Islands. It is well worth the trip. I prefer Nantucket, which is so pristine and preserved -- in miniature, it could be an illuminated porcelain village on someone's fireplace mantel. Martha's Vineyard has more of a Florida Keys feel. You know some serious partying goes on at the Ocean Bluffs section where outdoor bars with grass umbrellas pump out pulsing reggae music. Beyond Ocean Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard, you'll find well-preserved, quaint Colonial villages with gourmet shops and art galleries connected by brick sidewalks. Nantucket offers more sightseeing, dining, and shopping in the immediate vicinity of where the ferry drops off. Martha's Vineyard is a little more spread out, but has a good bus system to see all the sights. The Nantucket ferry is longer and more expensive, making Martha's Vineyard more accessible for day tripping.

Yarmouth is a comfortable, affordable, and convenient location for families. I'd go back with the kids for sure. They'd love the spouting cement whale and the trampoline center. But if we were to go again for our anniversary, I'd look beyond the Mid-Cape. I'd consider Chatham to the east or Falmouth to the west. We visited both these towns during our stay and they offered the quaint, historic, upscale, romantic atmosphere we were seeking.


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