Cape Cod in July

Old May 16th, 2007, 07:19 PM
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Cape Cod in July

Hello. I've read several Cape Cod threads, and get the idea that the Lower Cape from Provincetown to Chatham is the "place to be." We will be spending 5 nights in Boston (already planned out) and 4 nights on the Cape in mid July. So far we have a B&B called the Secret Garden Inn in Provincetown for two nights, but can extend to four. Anyone heard of it? It appears nice, it was cheap, and it got good reviews (though only two) on TripAdvisor. We were debating spending the other two nights in the upper cape to see that end of things, but I haven't seen any threads about upper cape towns. We plan to head out at least to Eatham from P'town, so we should see a good chuck of the lower cape. Any suggestions on whether we should just spend the remaining two nights in P'town or move to somewhere else between Brewster and Sandwich. We are active mid-30's with two young kids who are used to traveling, and we will have a car. Just wondering if there's something in the other parts of the cape that would be worth moving for. Thanks!
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Old May 17th, 2007, 07:04 AM
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Stay in Wood's hole and take the ferry to Martha's Vineyard.PAul
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Old May 17th, 2007, 08:11 AM
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I don't know the particular inn, but your plan sounds fine. The outer cape is the most spectacular and amazing -- the Falmouth to Brewster is more like touristy suburbia with beaches. So I think you would be fine if staying put.

But if you do want to check out the more touristy/shopping stuff, by all means do so. Brewster or Orleans would be nice. Hyannis is very crowded.

Ignore Paul. If you've never been to the Cape, there isn't any value added by going to MV or Nantucket. You can see just as much beauty on the cape without the time and expense of taking the ferry and dealing with car.
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Old May 17th, 2007, 09:23 AM
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I do not know anyone who has stayed there,paulg, but do know its location. It is smack dab in the middle of Commercial Street, so it will not be too quiet!
I think I would rather stay up in the East End, or down in the West End,of Proivincetown, not quite in the middle of town.
That said, I think you will find lots to do on the Outer Capein July. Do take a dune tour, in Provincetown, and take advantage of the National Seashore offerings (their Visitors Center is in Eastham,) where you will find the schedules of walks, talks, concerts at the outdoor pavilion, etal, and very worthwhile, with the children. Climb the light at Highland Light in Truro, spend a day at the backshore (the ocean), another day on the bayside in Wellfleet, where they will enjoy low tide, and all it's little critters on the salt flats, Square dances on the pier in Wellfleet on Wed. night, the whole turn turns out, from 2 to 80 years of age- the children's theatre in Wellfleet, also near the pier, under the tent- a great playground there-and of course the ponds, which the little ones love,as well as fishing off the Wellfleet pier, on cloudy days.pier
I can't think of a reason to stay in one of the Upper Cape towns, though I'm sure those that live there will take umbrage! In Sandwich, there is the Thiorton Burgess house, which features the illustrations of his famous children's books, and a small gift shop. Also the Green Brian Jam Kitchen, where you can see jams and jallies made, which has a small lovely herb garden; also the Visitors center on the Cape side of the Canal is interesting-as is the Sandy Neck boardwalk. All can be done in a day- for most of sandwich is now a "commuter" town to Boston.
Staying where you are allows you to explore Wellfleet, Truro, Eastham, Orleans and Chatham-take a ride on the Old Kings Highway, Rt. 6A, and admire the old Sea Captains Homes- and on Tuesday and Thursday, there are walking tours starting from the Historical Society in Wellfleet, which are fun- lots of old houses in the center. Each town's chamber of commerce publishes a booklet. publishes a booklet. They will be happy to send one to you gratis, if you go to the towns website.
Hope this is helpful- If you put my name in the search section, more threads about the Cape will come up, and may be helpful to you.
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Old May 17th, 2007, 06:28 PM
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Thanks for the advice, capxxx and ccshanty. It sounds like staying put in the lower/outer (which one is more correct?) and seeing all there is to see over the 4 days is the better way to go. We don't need the touristy part. And we had already decided against MV on this trip. We have relatives in Boston and will be making enough trips to warrant a separate trip to MV. Also, maybe we'll look into a 2nd B&B in Wellfleet or Chatham for the other 2 days to try a change. Thanks! Keep the advice coming if others have opinions, or if anyone has stayed at the Secret Garden Inn.
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Old May 17th, 2007, 07:01 PM
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Just started checking on other places in the lower cape. Anyone heard of the Even'tide Motel in Wellfleet? It's ~ $150/night and got decent reviews on TripAdvisor. And it looks kid-friendly. Thanks ... just fishing.
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Old May 17th, 2007, 07:20 PM
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It is an older Motel, on Rt. 6, but set way backfrom the road. The people I have talked to always like it- it has an indoor pool, (which the kids seem to love, and the family who has owned it for generations, are sincere, friendly, and very accomodating. it is clean- just not "new". It is difficult to find something in the village that will take children. Because the towns of Eastham, Wellfleet, and Truro,have so much land in the Seashore, the land available for commercial development is on Rt. 6- the main highway dividing the Outer Cape- bayside from ocean (three miles wide, at it's peak). The rather old fashioned Inns, and new B&B's,, are "grandfathered" in the village-ie: they have been "guest houses" or Inns before the Seashore came into existance/ This part of the Cape is the "Old Cape"- it still feels and appears very much as it did when Thoreau wrote about the Old Oysterman's house. I like the Eventide. As long as you do not expect all of the amenities of the newest hotels. It is indeed kid-friendly.
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Old May 17th, 2007, 07:26 PM
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thanks, sounds like a possibility. We are not at all concerned about newness or amenities. We rarely use a hotel/motel for more than just sleeping unless it is something very special, and prefer to spend our time and money on the "extracurricular" activities.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 05:59 AM
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Make sure you book in advance for any place you want to stay. Trying to find a place while you're there could be next to impossible as you're going during prime time and the Cape is VERY crowded in the summer. As was said above, most B&B places we've found in P-town are in downtown locations. P-town is intensely popular so be careful about suddenly deciding to find other options. Rt 6 and 28 are loaded with motels but they fill up fast in the mid summertime! Upper Cape is really just an extension of the state, mostly suburban, not touristy. The backroads though can be sweet but you won't find much to visit except maybe some nature centers. Mid Cape is a mix, very crowded around Hyannis but there are some pretty towns and beaches. Also understand that the bridges coming over and off the Cape are jammed, particularly on weekends. Midweek is usually fine but I'd hate to be a car with kids on a weekend unless its 4AM or 11PM trying to get over one of the bridges! I too would skip the islands unless it was after Labor Day. They won't look much different than the Cape itself so its really alot of hassle for day tripping.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 11:28 AM
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For those who need clarification on Cape Cod terminology....generally, the lower cape extends to Orleans (including Chatham, Harwich, Brewster) while the outer cape, where the National Seashore has bought and preserved much of the land and all of the beaches on the Atlantic or eastern side, includes the towns of Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro and Provincetown.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 02:30 PM
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I understand it to be rather different, yellowbyrd: the outer Cape is also known as the lower Cape, reaching from probably Chatham to Provinctown, although the boundaries are somewhat flexible. The upper Cape is the area closest to the mainland, including Sandwich, Falmouth, and Bourne. Towns in the middle are, not surprisingly, thought of as mid-Cape.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 02:44 PM
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According to this website -
http://weneedavacation.com/Cape/Cape-Cod-info.htm
The sections are the Upper Cape (including Bourne, the Mid Cape and the Lower/Outer Cape (including Ptown)

And, this one has Upper next to the mainland too, and Ptown at the tip in the Lower Cape
http://www.capecodtravel.com/gettingaround/maps/

I've always thought Ptown was in the Outer Cape area too (as in outermost section)
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Old May 19th, 2007, 01:26 PM
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Well there is always confusion about the terminology. Some guidebooks refer to the Upper, mid, lower cape regions only. In that case, then the more populated towns of Chatham, Brewster and Orleans are lumped in with the less populated National Seashore towns of Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro and Provincetown. However, when they refer to the OUTER cape they are referring to Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro and Provincetown (never Orleans, Brewster or Chatham)! Some guidebooks lump Eastham in with Orleans and some totally confuse the Lower Cape with the Upper Cape! Sort of like when you go from Orleans to Chatham which is due south by taking Rt. 28 North! Mid-western visitors who are used to places laid out on a compass are always totally befuddled on the Cape! Just keep in mind that you travel from the mainland over the bridge and drive through the upper-cape, the mid-cape, the lower-cape and finally the outer-cape regions.
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Old May 19th, 2007, 05:26 PM
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Yellowbird, you sound like a native- not too many of them left, anymore!
As someone who has spent summer's since the 40's,(when the Cape was quite different)- and has been a year round resident since 1983, Yellowbird has it as the old timers would have it. She is right on!
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Old May 19th, 2007, 08:14 PM
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That whole upper/lower cape thing had me crazy -- I was trying to be rational -- upper to me meant further out and north - up. Which is of course, backwards.
We're going in July and really looking forward to it -- thanks for the info on the Sea Captain's houses.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 10:46 AM
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I was told that the terminology comes from analogy to parts of the arm: your lower arm is the part below the elbow, for example.

Even if that's not the reason, it makes it easier to remember.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 12:35 PM
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you might also want to take a look at orleans. Bay and ocean beaches (skaket and nauset beaches) and a cape cod league baseball team.
Please note that Provincetown can sometimes be less than "family friendly". How to put this? Every time I take my kids (7-13 years old) out to Provincetown I feel the need to explain that not all gay people are drag queens on roller skates. Will I continue to take my kids to Provincetown- yes. But just thought I'd give you a bit of warming that it has a reputation of being a free for all.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 06:37 PM
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Just an update. With all of the good advice, we decided to stay in the lower cape for the entire 4 nights. After trying hard to find another inn for the final two nights (the Even'tide in Wellfleet required 3 nights minimum) we finally got the Southfleet Motor Inn in Wellfleet. So we are in P'town for two nights and Wellfleet for two nights. Should be a blast.
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Old Aug 6th, 2007, 07:00 PM
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Quick Trip Report:
We had a great time in Cape Cod and then Boston. Boston is always fun, but this was our first time to the Cape. We stayed two nights at the Secret Garden Inn in Provincetown and two at the Southfleet Motor Inn in South Wellfleet. P-town was great fun and the Secret Garden was phenomenal (review posted on TripAdvisor). It was right in the middle of Commercial Street across from the wharf, but it was set back from the road by two buildings and hidden in a "secret garden." It's a cute, cozy, quiet, little B&B with 7 rooms. It was run by a man named Abe and his partner Tom, who was in NYC at the time. He was the nicest host ever, was great with our two kids, and put together a great breakfast for all the guests. I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to be in the middle of the action without feeling like it. We enjoyed whale watching (and saw about 10 humpbacks up close) and Art's dune tour with our guide who declared himself the biggest fruit on the Cape (I won't dispute him), where we got to go inside a dune shack because we were dropping off a one week guest at one of the shacks - Interesting. The shopping, strolling, people watching and seafood eating was also great. One full day got rained out in Wellfleet, but we managed to tour the town, see the Marconi station and take the marsh walk, survey the beautiful dune beaches around Marconi, and go to the Wellfleet Flea Market. Next time I think we need a couple of more days to account for the unpredicable weather, but still it was a fun time.
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