Written by zabelle on 03 Dec, 2006
Christmas Tree ShopMultiple locationsChristmas Tree ShopsWith a slogan like "Don’t you just love a bargain" you know that you are going to enjoy shopping here and find lots of wonderful bargains to boot. This chain of shops was founded on the Cape over 30 years…Read More
Christmas Tree ShopMultiple locationsChristmas Tree ShopsWith a slogan like "Don’t you just love a bargain" you know that you are going to enjoy shopping here and find lots of wonderful bargains to boot. This chain of shops was founded on the Cape over 30 years ago and has expanded into the other states of the north east and the tri-state area. What I love about the stories on the cape is that they are smaller, less crowded and much easier to visit.We visited two on this trip, the one in Falmouth and the one in Sagamore and last year we visited the one in West Dennis. If you haven’t ever been to one it is a little hard to describe. Think floor to ceiling seasonal decorations at prices that you won’t be able to believe. Just one example, a three foot Christmas stocking for $4.99, I bought a similar one at Marshalls just 2 weeks ago for $12.99 which I thought was a good price.But it isn’t all about Christmas, there is wood furniture and household items. Last year I bought 2 beautiful hand-painted room screens for $59 each. Try to picture us with two screens in boxes, (they are over 5 feet tall) trying to fit them into our Ford Taurus. The boxes were way too long for our trunk, we had to put them into the car. I was plastered at an angle against the passenger window with my head tipped to the side. We drove back to the hotel to drop them off but it was a very uncomfortable drive, not to mention the 150 mile ride home. They were that good of a buy There are lots of other things too, lots of tea and coffee choices, specialty foods, picture frames and much, much more. It's all great fun and every trip is an experience. Christmas isn’t the only holiday they celebrate, they celebrate them all and all the seasons too. BooksmithFalmouth Plaza, FalmouthI love visiting an independent book store and it is getting harder and harder to find them. This one was almost next door to the Christmas Tree and across the street from the Hearth N Kettle Restaurant. They had a nice selection of local authors as well as books about the Cape. But what we found were an excellent selection of current fiction. Al was looking for a book to read and he found not one but two that were of interest. I picked up a travel sudoku book since I was suffering from puzzle withdrawal. They had a wide variety of magazines, travel books, and a very large children’s section. There is a very cute gift shop within the store. Mashpee CommonsJunction rt 151 & 28Mashpee, MAUsually I wouldn’t write about a Mall, if you have seen one yada, yada, however this one is not like any other I have ever seen. Yes it has loads of store, Williams Sonoma, Ann Taylor, Coldwater Creek, Gap, Talbots, Banana Republic, Pottery Barn and lots more over 90 shops, restaurants, and entertainment. So far nothing unusual but as soon as you drive in you will see the difference. This is a Mall set up like a traditional New England town center. There is a brick clock tower, streets, outdoor cafes, and lots and lots of stores. It is totally charming, even Al who swears he is allergic to Mall shopping had no problem strolling along the streets of Mashpee Commons.Green Briar Nature Center and Jam KitchenEast Sandwich, MaNow you can visit Green Briar and take one of their jam cooking classes or bring the children here to see the animals or you can hike on their trails. What I did however was to visit their shop. Oh my. I love jam and I love savory jellies, chutneys, and relishes, so I felt like I had landed in heaven. There is one wall filled with savories and one wall filled with sweet. Average price is between $4 and $5. There are some combination packs made up or you can buy the jars individually. Either way it is a good buy and very tasty too. Pairpoint GlassSagamore, MaNot only can you shop here for some very high end glassware but you can also watch a glass blower in action Monday-Friday. There are also some one of a kind pieces of glass jewelry from local artists.Hospice Thrift ShopBarnstable MaThis was one of those impulse stops. Brandon had forgotten to bring a swim suit so when I saw the thrift shop I thought I might be able to find one for him. As it turned out they didn’t have any children’s clothing but what they did have was a whole room of vintage Christmas decorations at ridiculously inexpensive prices. I purchased an Irish Coffee crystal Christmas mug and a set of four olive oil dipping bowls and together it cost me $2.50. What I passed on were pretty trays, a Spode bell and lots of very cute ornaments. I also passed on the warm cider and cookies, what was I thinking? Close
Written by mtemail on 17 Sep, 2005
Hyannisport Harbor has a wealth of choices for dining and entertainment. Hy-line cruises runs a harbor cruise that essentially focuses on seeing the Kennedy compound, the Kennedy summer house, and Ted Kennedy’s sailboat. It really is a crowd pleaser, and the ride is a nice,…Read More
Hyannisport Harbor has a wealth of choices for dining and entertainment. Hy-line cruises runs a harbor cruise that essentially focuses on seeing the Kennedy compound, the Kennedy summer house, and Ted Kennedy’s sailboat. It really is a crowd pleaser, and the ride is a nice, slow, even trip and very pleasant. This is one of the ports where you can take a ferry to either Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket. We chose Nantucket this year.
The ferry over is just under 2 hours (we usually take the "slow" ferry so we can sit outside and enjoy being part of the ocean). Once there, you can take the bus tour, which runs just over an hour (and costs about $18pp) and is located on the pier you get off of from the ferry. The tour will show you Cranberry Fields and Kathy Lee Gifford’s summer home. You also hear how Bill Clinton couldn't get into the highly exclusive golf club on Nantucket. Usually if you take the ferry to Nantucket, you are there for a day, and there are lots of dining choices and the remainder is filled with shopping. The cobblestone streets are truly unique, and the day is well worth it!!
Written by mcurri on 31 Jul, 2004
For our yearly vacation in April, my husband and I stayed a week in Cape Cod at "The Harwich Port" in Harwich Port, MA. A friendly and welcoming place, the timeshare offered relaxed and private accommodations. The Harwich Port is located in the…Read More
For our yearly vacation in April, my husband and I stayed a week in Cape Cod at "The Harwich Port" in Harwich Port, MA. A friendly and welcoming place, the timeshare offered relaxed and private accommodations. The Harwich Port is located in the center of the quaint town of Harwich Port, just steps from shops, restaurants, the post office and three minutes by car to the star market (which was GREAT). Across the street from the inn, down a short bike trail, is a beautiful public beach. While in the area, we enjoyed touring the fishing towns nearby, playing mini golf (Cape Cod has the most mini golf courses per capita in the US) and riding along the well-marked bike paths.
We took the ferry to Nantucket one day, and spent our afternoon riding bikes along the island. There are two bike rental shops located right off the ferry that are reasonably priced and convenient. These rental shops provide free bike trail maps of the island and will give directions if you ask.
Since April is considered "low" season in Nantucket, not all the restaurants and tourist shops are open, but there are enough to keep one occupied for an hour or two – three to four hours if you are a "serious shopper." On the positive side, low season also brings peaceful, quiet trails - empty beaches free of crowds - and natural beauty including daffodils, along the roadsides and bike trails.
Towards the end of our trip, we spent a day driving through Provincetown (the roads are very narrow) and sightseeing in the national parks on that side of the Cape. Note: It can be quite cool and windy during this time of year, so make sure to bring sweatshirts and/or windbreakers and hats for outdoor activities.
Written by skeptrix on 27 Jul, 2003
Early fall can be a pleasant time to visit the Cape, especially if you prefer to avoid the crowds of summer.
I've visited the Cape in early October and was fortunate to have warm weather and sunny skies. October is off-season, and many of Provincetown’s…Read More
Early fall can be a pleasant time to visit the Cape, especially if you prefer to avoid the crowds of summer.
I've visited the Cape in early October and was fortunate to have warm weather and sunny skies. October is off-season, and many of Provincetown’s art galleries are open only on the weekends at this time of year. Planned activities for children are limited, but Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary sometimes offers after-school programs. I've found all of their children's and family programs to be of very high quality. Things to do in the off-season include walking on the beach, looking for sea creatures at low tide (you might want to take waterproof boots), walking around Provincetown, and bicycling. On a rainy day you might visit one of the Cape’s excellent libraries at Wellfleet, North Truro, or Eastham. Many of the libraries offer a children’s story time.
A day trip to Woods Hole can be both fun and educational. The renowned Woods Hole Oceanographic Center (WHOI) as well as the National Fisheries and the Marine Biological Laboratories have public exhibits. WHOI’s exhibition center features a mock-up of the interior of the deep submersible Alvin and a film about finding the Titanic featuring Titanic explorer and WHOI scientist Robert Ballard. The National Fisheries have two resident harbor seals in a small outdoor exhibit, aquaria, and a hands-on exploration center for getting a close-up look at sea life. From Woods Hole, one can catch ferries to Martha’s Vineyard.
Since 1999 I've gone to Cape Cod every spring or fall. I stay at Sandcastle Condominiums in Provincetown. (See the Sandcastle journal entry.) Sandcastle is located right past the town line, so it's on the outskirts of town. It's a quick bike ride or drive…Read More
Since 1999 I've gone to Cape Cod every spring or fall. I stay at Sandcastle Condominiums in Provincetown. (See the Sandcastle journal entry.) Sandcastle is located right past the town line, so it's on the outskirts of town. It's a quick bike ride or drive into the center. During the late spring, summer, and early fall, an inexpensive shuttle runs along the road and into town and to the beaches.
The information below is about a trip in late June where my son (8 at the time) and I spent two weeks at Sandcastle.
At this time of year, there were many children at the resort, which was nice for my son who always had someone to play with at the indoor pool. We also enjoyed walking on the beach at low tide when we could see many little sea creatures including hermit crabs, lady crabs, and even a tiny pipe fish. In late June the water was warm enough to lie down in with our masks and snorkels.
The National Seashore areas are also worth visiting. The Outer Cape is gorgeous and wild with high sand dunes and wonderful areas for bicycling.
We went into Provincetown and enjoyed walking around. We were there during the weekend of the Portuguese Festival and saw some of the entertainment and the parade. Provincetown is a very tolerant and diverse community. It is known for being gay/lesbian friendly.
We enjoyed buying freshly made saltwater taffy, shopping at Puzzle Me This, an excellent shop full of games and puzzles, and walking the town pier to look for sea creatures in the water.
On other days, we went to the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, which has excellent and very reasonably priced programs for adults, children, and families as well as children's day camps in the summer. The National Seashore also offers many programs for adults, children, and families. The National Park System has a Junior Rangers program for children, which is available even in the off-season. Another day we went to Brewster to the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History (summer camps also), which has aquaria and a touch tank. In Brewster we also visited Nickerson State Park and swam in freshwater Flax Pond, which was full of tadpoles. Luckily we had our masks and snorkels with us.
When you're on the Cape you can get a library card for $5. It's good at all the Cape libraries. A card allows you to borrow books and to use the computers for checking email. Another great thing you can do with a Cape library card is check out a museum pass. I was able to borrow a pass to Plymouth Plantation that saved us about $20 on admission fees. It only cost $3 for my son and me to visit Plymouth and the Mayflower reproduction.
I wouldn't recommend a trip to Plymouth Plantation if you are only on the Cape for a week. There is enough to keep you busy without leaving the area. But for a trip of two weeks or more, a trip to Plymouth is quite easy to do.
Written by nonniepazonnie on 26 Sep, 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…Read More
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.
Written by SCRogerD on 21 Dec, 2004
How this unit earned an International Resort of Distinction Award is totally beyond my comprehension. The only positive things I can say about Pier 7 Condominiums are that the location is excellent and that the management is very pleasant and tries to be helpful and…Read More
How this unit earned an International Resort of Distinction Award is totally beyond my comprehension. The only positive things I can say about Pier 7 Condominiums are that the location is excellent and that the management is very pleasant and tries to be helpful and cooperative. From that point, everything goes downhill.
As advertised, the units were converted from an old motel, and it was a very small motel. There is absolutely no soundproofing for the lower floor units, so when ever the occupants of the upper floor are awake and moving in their unit, it sounds like elephants dancing to the occupants of the unit below. Some of the noise from the adjacent units upstairs also radiates to the unit below, especially if the people in the adjacent unit are of a large stature. Access to the upper level units was by a long wooden deck that ran the full length of the unit, and whenever the upper-level guests walked up and down the deck, it sounded like thunder to the lower-level guests. The unit is also in the approach and departure path for Hyannis, and starting at about 6am, about every 5 or 10 minutes, low-flying aircraft fly over on their way to Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard.
The quality of the furnishings is very poor. The cabinets are old melamine cabinets that, while clean, are difficult to open and close and hold very little. What is called a clothes closet is a joke. It has a 1.5 diameter rod about 12 inches long that you must remove from it’s holder to thread through the loop hanger in order to hang clothes. Apparently there is fear that guests will steal the hangers. Under the TV set are three drawers about 3 inches deep in which you can store clothing. There is nowhere to store suitcases. The bathroom is so small that there is no place to put any toiletry items while shaving, bathing, applying make-up, etc., and the lighting in the bathroom is very poor. While the mattress was of good quality, the box spring was so bouncy that when one person rolled over, the other person was nearly thrown out of the bed. There was a love seat in the unit that was in reasonable shape, but the chair was wobbly and felt like, if you moved very quickly, it would come apart. The lighting in the unit was very poor. There was nowhere to sit and read at night.
The outside of the unit was well-maintained and quite nicely landscaped. Management had very thoughtfully placed one plastic yard chair beside the door of each unit. One of us could sit outside and see the beautiful view of the parking lot while the other one had to stand. I will admit that the upper level units, in addition to the parking lot view, had a view of a marina full of boats.
When we first went to use the coffee cups, we thought they were dirty from the previous guests, but later discovered that was not the case, but rather that the glaze in the cups was crazed, and that coffee had stained the ceramic underneath the glaze. When I mentioned this to management on check-out, they told me that those cups should be replaced, but apparently there is no system in place to check for such deficiencies. They made an effort to have activities, and the nature walks were good, but they might do well to tailor their activities to the age group in attendance. In our case, the entire group was senior citizens, and having a hot dog cookout around a camp fire in one of the seafood capitals of the world doesn’t seem like good planning to us. For some reason, they changed the towels every day, even if you didn’t use them. This seems like a terrible waste and just adds unnecessarily to phosphate pollution.
They have a self-designed system for charging for local telephone calls by the minute, which is outrageous. Apparently, the property owner’s association has discovered a money-maker, as they charge $0.25 plus $0.10 per minute for local telephone calls, and $0.25 plus $0.65 per minute for any other call except 800 numbers, but then they have written their own program to determine which calls are local calls and which are not.
I went into this unit knowing that I was going to a small studio unit, but since it was an International Resort of Distinction, I expected it to be of a high quality. I think that you are doing all future visitors a great disservice by allowing it to keep that rating.
Written by Slaney on 17 Jan, 2003
The whole of the Cape is really beautiful--from the beaches to the towns and villages, some with English names, yet so different from their namesakes.
We visited the JF Kennedy museum in Hyannis, which tells the story, in pictures, of the whole Kennedy family. They still…Read More
The whole of the Cape is really beautiful--from the beaches to the towns and villages, some with English names, yet so different from their namesakes.
We visited the JF Kennedy museum in Hyannis, which tells the story, in pictures, of the whole Kennedy family. They still have a compound on the outskirts of Hyannis. We saw the church where they used to attend services whilst holidaying on the Cape.
There is a Native Indian Burial Cemetery just outside Mashpee which I found very interesting, with lovely inscriptions and carvings on the headstones.
We took a boat trip from Falmouth to Martha's Vineyard, where there are bikes for hire and tour buses which go right round the island. We found it interesting just wandering around Edgartown. The houses had very bright, colourful fishing floats outside.
We caught an early commuter bus from Hyannis and visited Boston for the day and walked the whole of the Freedom Trail and had wonderful clam chowder in a quaint pub.
The best trip of all was the whale-watching trip we took from Provincetown. This was such a wonderful experience, it's hard to put into words. Wherever we looked there were whale spouts, flukes, full whales--it was amazing. They were right at the side of the boat and were so large. The boat crew - who were naturalists - could identify them by their markings and told us their names and what types of whale they were.
On the whole, the weather was good, but we had a couple of days of heavy rain and a couple of days of wind.
One thing which amazed us was seeing a mother skunk with three babies crossing a road ahead of us - we don't have skunks in the UK.
Written by EPearl on 13 Oct, 2002
Since this was where our trip originated, it seemed only fair that I put in a mention for this wonderful, old, college town. There are many colleges and universities in and around the area, so the city itself is a mecca for young people. But…Read More
Since this was where our trip originated, it seemed only fair that I put in a mention for this wonderful, old, college town. There are many colleges and universities in and around the area, so the city itself is a mecca for young people. But while I was there, I always got the feeling of a warmth and friendliness that is often absent from other large cities.
Maybe it's just me, but in addition to the other attractions of this city, its people held the key. It is not very often that people smile and say hello to you as you are walking down the street, but that was my experience. Like I said, maybe I just seem more approachable, which some people might consider a bad thing these days. Anyway, there are plenty of sights and experiences in this town besides its numerous single bars, which we frequented, also.
If you are into the Boston Pops, and I don't know anyone who isn't if they have ever heard them perform, this is the place. If you are lucky enough to be able to get tickets, this would be one of the highlights of your visit. Plan ahead and check out the schedule. If possible, don't miss a chance to catch a live performance.
For those interested in history, you have also come to the right place. The best tour is their Freedom Trail tour. It includes 16 stops, encompassing such highlights as Paul Revere's House, Old North Church, the U.S.S. Constitution, Boston Common, and on and on. It is meant to be a walking tour, and includes a distance of about 2-1/2 miles of pavement and parks, so make sure you are in shape for the trek. There are plenty of museums in the city for rainy day activities. Everything from children's museums, art and science museums, natural history, as well as the JFK Library and museum.
For the shoppers, shopping interests include fresh fruits, vegetables, pastry, etc. - don't miss the Copley Square Farmer's Market on Tuesdays and Friday. Great place to buy an assortment of food, or just people watch. Wherever you go, there is sure to be something for everyone.
Written by EPearl on 10 Sep, 2002
During the two visits we paid to the Cape Cod area, we ended up staying in the same small town. I had first gone to the Cape with a girlfriend, and we looked for a location which had easy access to the rest of…Read More
During the two visits we paid to the Cape Cod area, we ended up staying in the same small town. I had first gone to the Cape with a girlfriend, and we looked for a location which had easy access to the rest of the Cape Cod area. We decided on Dennis Port. It proved to be a good choice then, and seemed to be a good choice the second time I returned with my husband. Not remembering my prior trip in detail, we made reservations in Dennis Port for what was probably the same reason, its central location. After arrival, a light started to go on in my head, and I realized I had picked the exact same location for the second time. Some points of interest had changed or closed since my first visit (a local pub I visited during my first visit), but the building was still standing. Types of accommodations vary - such as guest house, motel, or cottage style. There are numerous access roads to the beach, so even if you are not staying at a beachfront location, it is easy to get to. Dennis Port is a nice, quiet little town, and we were glad to get back to it after a long day's travels on the Cape. Close