Cape Cod must-do's, from mid-Cape to Ptown

Aug 23rd, 2010, 05:34 PM
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Cape Cod must-do's, from mid-Cape to Ptown

Hey experts out there ... I'm doing some research and would like to hear from those in the know and who have been out on the Cape: what are some of the quintessential Cape Cod type things to do while visiting? I'm particularly interested in the Mid Cape area: Cotuit on up to Dennis. What are the special things and special places about that region of the Cape? Thanks for your help!
outofblue is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2010, 07:41 PM
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You definitely have to go to the National Seashore on the lower/outer cape. That is the prettiest part of the Cape, IMO. Go to beaches such as Race Point, Herring Cove, Head of the Meadow, Coast Guard Beach. There are also hiking/walking & biking trails. Wellfleet center/harbor is very pretty. We enjoy having lunch at the Bookstore Restaurant. For dinner, try Moby Dick's in Wellfleet, Lobster Pot in Provincetown, also Surf Club (I think)in P'town by MacMillan Wharf. Don't spend a lot of time on Rt 28; it is very crowded, very commercialized. Chatham is also nice for shopping & restaurants. We also like Skaket Beach in Orleans.
HOpe this helps.
Kwoo is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2010, 09:45 PM
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Get out on the water if you can: Seal watch, whale watch, ferry to M.V. or ACK will all give you an entirely different perspective of the Cape.

Eat the local bounty: Clams, scallops, oysters, cod, flounder,lobster, fried anything and everything and of course, ice cream ice cream and more ice cream.

Go to an art show, craft fair, outdoor band concert, summer stock theatre performance.

Do nothing but sit on the beach with your feet in the warm sand, gaze out at the sparkling water and contemplate the meaning of cold, dismal winters.
Bowsprit is offline  
Aug 24th, 2010, 02:51 AM
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In West Brewster (just past East Dennis), just past Dennis, there is the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, with an active schedule of nature programs and trails out to the bay.

In Dennis, there is the Cape Cinema, a quirky movie theater showing independent and foreign films in an interesting old building on the grounds of the Cape Playhouse (where there is summer stock theater). There is a great mural on the ceiling and your shoes won't stick to the floor.

In Yarmouthport, you can go out to Gray's Beach at Bass Hole, where there is a boardwalk out over the marsh, a small beach with a nice view, and a closeup view of nesting osprey.

Scargo Pottery in Dennis is a fascinating store and workshop where several members of a talented family make and sell beautiful pottery in a scenice setting.

I love The Red Pheasant restaurant in a beautiful old house on Route 6A in Dennis.
Nikki is offline  
Aug 24th, 2010, 08:38 AM
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Will second the various beaches, especially those of the Cape Cod National Seashore, as the best attractions here. There are some decent hiking areas as well, especially in Nickerson State Park.

As far as standard "tourist attractions" go, most are okay if not necessarily at world-class level. Most every town has a windmill and/or grist mill plus a small historical society museum with artifacts that sometimes are at rummage sale level. Many have a historic house or two, and some have historical sites of varying degrees of interest. The three best attractions I've come across thus far are the Sandwich Glass Museum (a world-class entity as far as I'm concerned), Heritage Museum and Gardens (also in Sandwich), and the Church of the Transfiguration (a really nicely done church in modernist style, in Orleans). And if vintage electronics and such are your thing, the French Transatlantic Cable Station Museum (Orleans) will likely be of interest.
bachslunch is offline  
Aug 24th, 2010, 09:14 AM
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It may be not necessarily quintessential Cape Cod, but the Edward Gorey house is a lot of fun, and something to do if it's raining.
bknow is offline  
Aug 24th, 2010, 11:45 AM
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Regarding P-town, here's another vote for the Cape Cod National Seashore.

We are not beach people, but we rented bikes and rode on the 8+ miles of trails in that area:

It was lots of fun, with great scenery. The trails have a bit of uphill and downhill, and occasional sharp turns. You can ride the bike all the way out to Race Point Beach & Herring Cove.

We rented bikes from Gale Force Bikes. They are located about 1 mile from McMillan Wharf, very helpful w/our bike rentals. While they are far from the Wharf, they are very close to the start of the bike trails, so you spend little time on the main roads (Rt 6/6A) compared to renting from other places in P-town.
yk is offline  
Aug 24th, 2010, 01:58 PM
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Thanks -- these are great so far. Feel free to keep them coming ... what do you all like about the Hyannis area?
outofblue is offline  
Aug 24th, 2010, 02:04 PM
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Always the contrarian, I never understand this question about Cape Cod. There are, in my opinion, no "must dos" on Cape Cod. There are a handful of "interesting dos" - some listed above - but none of these would really be worth going out of your way to see - they are just something to see.

The essence of Cape Cod is to relax, see the beaches, do some outdoor activities - bike, walk, see scenery, eat, perhaps visit some little artist galleries (the galleries are little, not the artists).

One thing to note is that when the weather is bad, the roads on Cape Cod are packed, adding to the misery of wasting your vacation with bad weather. Everyone else is looking for something to do.
gail is offline  
Aug 24th, 2010, 02:41 PM
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In Hyannis I like the Brazilian Grill restaurant for great churrascaria, barbecue which they bring around on skewers and you keep taking more until you can't look at another piece. Also a large buffet of interesting dishes. There is a large Brazilian community in the area, which frequents this restaurant.

Across the street from there is Harry's Blues Bar, which has live music nightly.
Nikki is offline  
Aug 24th, 2010, 02:48 PM
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I don't particularly care for Hyannis. As I said in my first post, the quinteseential Cape Cod is the National Seashore, and the towns on the outer/lower Cape: Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro & P-town. For shopping & restaurants, I much prefer Chatham over Hyannis.
Kwoo is offline  
Aug 24th, 2010, 04:41 PM
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Kreme n Kone for fried seafood! It's in West Yarmouth I think.
divineMissM is offline  
Aug 24th, 2010, 04:57 PM
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I love Hyannis. It's honest and just as authentic as Chatham or Falmouth or any of the other 'quaint' villages. There's a good restaurant on Main Street: Embargo. You can get great tapas there and they have specials at certain times of certain days. (1/2 price tapas all day on Tuesday and from 4-6 on the other days)
Bowsprit is offline  
Aug 24th, 2010, 05:49 PM
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The Audubon Bird Sanctuary in Eastham is a great place to wander thru hundreds of acres of unspoiled beach and marsh.
The National Seashore Salt Pond visitor's center in Eastham is another must do for first timers to the Cape.
zootsi is online now  
Aug 24th, 2010, 06:22 PM
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never knew about the Edward Gorey house! Really fun idea for a rainy day
LittleWing is offline  
Aug 24th, 2010, 06:24 PM
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The Audubon Sanctuary is indeed great, but it is in South Wellfleet. Check out the programs at their website:

More activities and programs through the National Seashore:

And while we're at it, here are the activities offered by the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History:
Nikki is offline  
Aug 25th, 2010, 10:24 AM
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Actually, although the entrance to the Audubon Sanctuary is in Wellfleet, and the address is in Wellfleet there is actually a small part of the Sanctuary along the coast that is in Eastham!
Also, you might be interested to know that Harry's Bar in Hyannis is for sale.

To the question at hand.....Can't think of anything great about the mid-cape area except that it has lots of commercial things to do, so might be great for families looking for go-carts, malls, mini-golf etc. And the Nantucket Sound beaches on the south side in Dennis, Harwichport and Chatham are very popular with folks who have little ones because there are basically no waves and warmer water.
yellowbyrd is offline  
Aug 25th, 2010, 10:43 AM
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I'd say not to miss the National Seashore Visitor Center in Provincetown. Climb to the viewing area and see both Provincetown center and the Bay and the Atlantic on the other side.

As for the Wellfleet Audubon Sanctuary, that map does indicate that they may own some land in Eastham, but, trust me--my friends own a house in Wellfleet between the sanctuary and Eastham and there is no access to Eastham through the sanctuary (unless you swim!).
cw is offline  
Aug 25th, 2010, 05:17 PM
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The mid-Cape area does have some really good restaurants that might be worth a drive. I'm thinking of abba and Ocean House just as examples but there are more.
Bowsprit is offline  
Sep 7th, 2010, 07:05 AM
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Orleans, MA is super quaint and lovely. Nauset and Skaket beaches are wonderful, and this place is perfect for a sweet tooth (& great for a rainy day):
Crystal07 is offline  

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