Confused about Cape Cod...where, when, how?

May 20th, 2008, 07:16 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 34
Confused about Cape Cod...where, when, how?

Hi Fodorite friends,

Thanks for all your help with my queries.

As you know my family (parents mid 50s) and sibling (mid 20s) are visiting me (early 30s) in Boston for a few weeks from now till early June.

I wanted to take my parents for a weekend trip Fri May 30 - June 01.

We would like a nice comfortable little nicer accomodation with services such as housekeeping.

We are not very physically adventerous, thus want to use the weekend to relax, browse the stores, enjoy the meals, do some sightseeing, e.g. visit Martha's Vineyard.

Can any please help us figure out the best way to get from Boston to Cape Cod (I dont own a car but can rent one if needed), where to stay in Cape Cod and any other must see/must do's.

I am confused as there are so many areas within Cape Cod and so many ways to get there from Boston.

Your suggestions are very welcome and much appreciated!

rvaccha is offline  
May 20th, 2008, 07:24 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
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Gee, the whole Cape is nice. We spent time in West Harwich for 25 years. It's a nice, centrally located town. might check out the Commodore Inn/Motel there. It's right near the beach. And you better rent a car.
sobster is offline  
May 20th, 2008, 07:41 PM
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Rent a car. You can get TO the Cape without a car, but then can not get anywhere ON the Cape easily - it does not sound like you are the hitch hiking types.

Chatham Bars Inn (website by same name, Ocean Edge Resort (ocean edge brewster) might be places to start accomodation starting. Also Red Jacket Inn. These are among the nicer lodgin options on Cape - certainly more pricey than some.

Beware of traffic, even that early in the season. Most cottage rentals are Sat afternoon-Sat AM. If you can leave before 1 PM Friday, you beat much of the traffic. Sunday night traffic back is nasty as well - any chance you can stay until Monday? If so, then leave after 10 AM.

5/30-6/1 leaves you only one full day on Cape - Saturday. With that short a time, skip Martha;s Vineyard. Might even skip it if you add a day.

Drive along 6A at some point and visit some nice art galleries or antique shops. Chatham is a nice little town as are Sandwich and Wellfleet. If you feel like a longer drive, take them to Provincetown for part of a day. Towards end of Cape (Eastham area) there are several historic lighthouses. Also home to Cape Cod National Seashore if you want to go to a beach.

gail is online now  
May 20th, 2008, 07:45 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 41,920
The cape gets booked early. So you maybe too late but hope not.
There's traons and boats to get to the cape.
cigalechanta is offline  
May 21st, 2008, 04:08 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
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You will need a car. Though you can rent at Hyannis Airport, the cost of getting you all there will be prohibitive.

Try to rent the car in Cambridge, Brookline, or anywhere not in the city of Boston, where you will pay an extra 10% tax to support the new convention center.

Expect traffic on Friday afternoon as far as Marshfield.

I don't think you are going to be able to rent a cottage for such a short time. There are many hotels and motels, including standards like Courtyard in Hyannis. Once you think about where you want to stay, identifying one should not be hard. Be sure to check TripAdvisor.

I strongly second the idea of spending some time along 6A in Sandwich and east from there. It is lined with beautiful older houses and lots of antique and curio shops. To your left down many roads is access to the shoreline, crowded later in the season but unlikely to be too busy on June 1 because the water will still be cold.

The Cape Cod National Seashore stretches for miles along the eastern part of the Cape and is very beautiful. Chatham is a lovely town, well worth a visit.

Yarmouthport, Hyannis, and Route 28 through Mashpee are forgettable or miserable, depending on your tolerance for tattiness, but Falmouth (especially the smaller roads) and Woods Hole are well worth a visit.

I would not try to go to Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket in such a short time. Though I live in Nantucket, you will find more than plenty to do on the Cape.
Ackislander is offline  
May 21st, 2008, 07:08 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 20,145
You may be able to get away without a car. Depends where you go though.

You could ferry to Provincetown from Boston, where you'll be able to get around by walking around town or using the trolley service around P-town and into Truro.
From Truro you can transfer to a Flex bus system that will take you down to Harwich and with stops between. You can even request by reserving ahead, the bus to get off route 1.
Most of these towns do have a minimal taxi service.
There may also be a way to bus down to
Hyannis from Provincetown to catch the Martha Vineyard ferry - not sure, though. From there you can take a commercial bus back to Boston.
Accommodation bookings, btw, are stiff for the first big weekend down the Cape.
cybor is offline  
May 21st, 2008, 07:10 AM
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And you can also fly from Boston to P-Town quite easily. You can fly from there to MV. Check out Cape Air and others.
cybor is offline  
May 22nd, 2008, 08:53 AM
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There are so many nice towns, but my recommendation would be the Dennisport/Harwichport/West Harwich area. If you want more activity, Chatham is very nice. If you want quiet, then the bay side is more relaxing, and I would suggest the towns of Brewster or East Dennis. That area has some nice restaurants, antique stores and various shops on or near Route 6A.

Rent a car and leave early Friday to avoid traffic which may not be possible if the sun is shining.

If you are looking for a beach getaway and since your time is limited, try to get a place on the beach so that you don't have to get back in the car. Don't look at motels on Route 28, Lower Country Road or 6A.

Friday, relax on the beach and go to one of the many fine restaurants nearby for dinner.

Saturday would be a nice time to take a ride up to Provincetown, maybe even do a whale watch and shop. But again, leave early because the traffic is awful on the weekends. On Saturdays, you will find that most of the traffic is leaving the Cape in the morning, and arriving in the early afternoon.

There are so many nice shops and towns along the way. You could even stop at Nauset Beach to see the National Seashore. We love Moby Dick's in Truro for a nice, informal, but very Cape Cod lunch.

Lorac1127 is offline  
May 22nd, 2008, 10:15 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 34

Thanks for the suggestions. I made a few calls and so far these are the options:

As a reminder, we are a family of 4 adults, (mid 50s and late 20s) visiting Cape Cod from Boston between May 30 - June 01

Oceans Edge Resort - Brewster - Rooms available
Red Jacket Beach Resort & Spa - South Yarmouth - Rooms available
Radisson Hyannis - Rooms available
Courtyard Marriott Hyannis - Rooms available

We dont need anything over the top as this is our first visit and we would like to have a nice relaxing weekend with shopping and dining options nearby. A few of us are Vegetarian, so a choice in dining options is important.

If there are other suggestions please let me know.

rvaccha is offline  
May 22nd, 2008, 01:15 PM
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As you have a very limited amount of time, I would leave out the Vineyard & outer Cape. You will spend all your time either driving, or on a boat. Visit the Vineyard on another trip, I know you would enjoy it, as I live there. The outer, or lower Cape is also very charming, and very spread out. Again, make that a separate trip. Be on the Southeast Expressway no later than 1:30, or a 2 hour trip will turn into 4+ hours. Enjoy yourselves!
BostonSteve is offline  
May 23rd, 2008, 03:30 AM
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We did a similar trip last year. We hired a car from the Harbour area of Boston, we were then straight on to the main road out of Boston to the Cape. We visited most of the Cape and on our way back we visited Falmouth which we really enjoyed. We stayed at a lovely centrally located hotel called Shoreway Acres Inn. It has a great lawned area with sun loungers and indoor and outdoor pools.This would be ideal for a weekend trip.Also visit Liam McGuires Irish bar on the main street for great food and live music.
Woods Hole is in Falmouth where you can get the ferry to Martha's Vineyard. There are buses from Falmouth to Woods Hole.
marly528 is offline  
May 23rd, 2008, 04:51 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 426
OK, sounds like you might want to consider the Four Points Sheraton in Eastham. It is your typical Sheraton hotel with pool, restaurant and generic, but clean rooms.
Eastham is the beginning of the outer Cape and it is a convenient base because it is midway between Provincetown (30 minutes) and Chatham (20 minutes) for interesting day trips. Lots to do on the outer cape including great National Seashore beaches, visitor's center, shopping, Cape cod Bay beaches, theater, dune tours, whale-watches, Audubon Sanctuary, walking trails etc. Eastham is 1.5-2 hours from Boston.

We always stay at the Fort Hill Bed and Breakfast in the park on Fort Hill. Great location overlooking Nauset Marsh and Coast Guard Beach, full breakfast, nature trails, museum across the lane and wonderful accommodations. I suspect their rates are more than you want to spend, but check them out. Keep in mind that their rates include all tariffs (no additional taxes or tips). They have two suites in the house that would be perfect for your group...If you took both suites, you would have the whole place to yourselves (including your own living room) .
yellowbyrd is offline  
May 24th, 2008, 04:45 PM
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I'd rent a car and skip the Islands. I've always wanted to stay at the Daniel Webster Inn in Sandwich, have eaten there many times, but never spent the night. When I have company come from out of town we do Route 6A; stopping at all the shops and eating along the way. This would be a very sedate place to stay

To have a blast, I'd recommend, Provincetown. My last few overight trips were here with family members. My sister chose to have her 40th birthday celebration here with all the members of her wedding party and we could not have had more fun (the rest of us are 50ish). The beaches are wonderful, there are alot of good restaurants, art gallaries and shopping. Be aware that it is a very diverse community with a large gay community. You can take the ferry to Ptown, but as I recall it is about $50+ roundtrip and you can rent a car cheaper than that and be there in under 3 hrs, depending on where you start from.
Jackie is offline  
May 24th, 2008, 04:59 PM
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You asked about where to stay. I forgot to add that one trip to Ptown we stayed at the Surfside Inn for $99/night which included breakfast and is on the water; I'd stay there again if I was trying to save money. For a more luxurious stay, the Brass Key was heavenly and would be a treat.

Of the places mentioned here, I stayed at the Ocean Edge. It is a really large complex with condo type of accommodations. The restaurants were really good, but you need to drive to the restaurants/pool/activites on their grounds (as I recall). I also ate at Chatham Bars Inn and was really disappointed, so much so that I wouldn't even want to stay at their inn.

Someone recommended the cove as a nice place to stay and i bookmarked it for future reference, but have not stayed here.
Jackie is offline  
May 27th, 2008, 06:26 PM
Original Poster
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Posts: 34

Thanks for the replies, they are much appreciated.

We are planning to drive from Boston to Hyannis either on Friday morning/afternoon/evening (depending on our schedules) or early Saturday morning and returning Sunday afternoon or late Sunday evening.

We are planning to go to Nantucket for most of the day on Saturday and were considering a Whale cruise or any other options....suggestions please! for Sunday.

Do you feel arriving into Hyannis on Sat around 10-11am and leaving on Sunday around 6pm is cutting it too close?

rvaccha is offline  
May 28th, 2008, 02:23 AM
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Sounds adventurous Andy, but sure it can be done.
I expect you have to see as much as possible.
When you arrive in Hyannis on Sat get the ferry to Nantucket A.S.A.P. You could then spend the evening back in Hyannis which is quite lively at night.
How about leaving Hyannis after breakfast Sunday and visiting towns en-route back to Boston.There is good whale watching in Barnstable and we enjoyed Plimoth Plantation, or you could go in the opposite direction and head to Provincetown where you can get the ferry back to Boston.
marly528 is offline  
May 28th, 2008, 02:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Your arrival and departure times put you in the worst of the weekend traffic. If you mapquest or some similar program the trip - at least double, or even triple the listed time - that is really how long it will take you if you leave Boston Sat AM and leave the Cape Sunday afternoon.
gail is online now  
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