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Please comment on itinerary and hotels for Mystic and Cape Cod in August

Please comment on itinerary and hotels for Mystic and Cape Cod in August

Old Apr 3rd, 2006, 10:50 AM
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Please comment on itinerary and hotels for Mystic and Cape Cod in August

Hi all,

I'm planning a trip in early August and would appreciate comments. The travel party consists of my husband and I and our 2 older teens. Our lodging budget is $200 - $250 a night and we enjoy historical and cultural sites, shopping, general sightseeing. Here's the plan:

Arrive Mystic mid to late afternoon Saturday and spend the rest of the day relaxing and strolling around town. We're staying at the Whaler's Inn. It seems like a good location for walking around town. Is this a good choice?

Sunday - Mystic Seaport and then see what else strikes our fancy if we have more time after that. Any suggestions? We'll probably skip the aquarium because we've been to so many of them.

Monday - Get an early start and drive to New Haven for the 10:30 Yale tour. It appears to be about 56 miles. Is 1.5 hours enough time to get there? Walk around town after tour. Stop in Groton on the way back to see the Nautilus submarine.

Tuesday - Check out and head to Newport. Tour The Breakers and one other mansion (suggestions?). Walk along the Cliff Walk. End the day by driving to South Yarmouth to check in to All Season Motor Inn. Is this too much for one day? Is All Seasons a reasonable choice? We want a place with a pool that is somewhat centrally located on the Cape and this seems to fit the bill. Comments?

Wednesday - Saturday (in no particular order): drive up to Provincetown for the whale watch and sightseeing, drive to Sandwich to see the glass museum, take the Cape Cod potato chip factory tour, spend at least a 1/2 day on the beach.

Which beach would be best? We have one nervous non-swimmer, one weak swimmer, and 2 average swimmers.

Any other suggestions for things to do? There is so much in the tour books that it's a bit overwhelming!

Thanks for reading my long post and for any suggestions that you might have!
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Old Apr 3rd, 2006, 11:17 AM
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Sounds like a fun trip! No matter what, do NOT do the Provincetown drive on Saturday (or any drive onto the Cape for that matter). Most rentals turn over on Saturday and everybody is trying to get onto the Cape Saturday mornings in August.

Be sure to have some pizza for lunch in New Haven.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2006, 11:33 AM
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I would recommend the Mayflower Beach in Dennis, Cape Cod. The Atlantic Coast beaches are COLD and rough - but they are backed with dramatic dunes and worth seeing - just maybe not perfect for your group for a swim.

At Mayflower there is little surf (it's on Cape Cod Bay), you can walk realllly far out into the water and have it only be up to your knees. The tides change drastically here - and small puddles form - perfect for skim boarding.

In Cape Cod, we liked the Atlantic White Cedar Swamp hike and the hikes around the Cape Cod Natural History Center. Nickerson State Park is nice. We love strolling the shops at Chatham and Hyannis (more commercial) and the drive along 6A. One of our favorite things to do is rent bikes and bike the Cape Cod Rail Trail.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2006, 12:06 PM
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Hi Pat,
I agree with cants - try not to do too much driving including leaving the cape on Sat. If possible leave early Sun. or very late Fri. eve.

I live 20 min. n of Newport and can make it to Yarmouth in 1 hr. 15 - so no more than 2hrs. if you avoid rush hr. traffic. I use rte. 24 n to 195 e.

Mystic Pizza - great pizza btw - show the kids the movie first, if girls.

Enjoy!
Sherry
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Old Apr 3rd, 2006, 12:37 PM
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It sounds like basically a very reasonable plan! I would agree that traffic on the Cape is worst on Saturdays.

In Newport, as a contrast to the over-the-top Breakers, I'd recommend my personal favorite, Kingscote, one of the first of the summer "cottages" and one of the more restrained, though the Tiffany dining room could bring you to tears.

Speaking of contrasts: if you're into history, you can't beat Plimoth Plantation, a re-creation of the pilgrims' mid-1630s community in which individual interpreters ARE the specific historic residents right down to their regional English accents and bewildered looks when you mention modern conveniences. Everything from the buildings to the gardens to the breeds of animals is excruciatingly authentic. Wear appropriate footgear.

Look up the Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich -- a full day's adventures for anyone into history, architecture, or gardening.

Sandwich is nearly off-Cape; you might want to plan to do it on the day you arrive or depart; likewise, Plimoth is technically off-Cape since it's on the other side of the canal.

The only caveat that I'd offer is that you not just "walk around town" in New Haven. Have a map and a plan, and ask students or other university denizens for suggestions; This isn't touristy Cambridge; much of New Haven is very rough.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2006, 02:02 PM
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I second the suggestion of Plimouth Plantation and the Mayflower in Plymouth esp bcs you like history. They have costumed interpreters who have taken on the characters of the actual settlers and they never go out of character. IMO, this would be much more interesting than spending lots of time in Sandwich. In terms of beaches, the ones on the S coast along Nantucket Sound will be the closest for you. The water is calm, relatively warm but beaches can get crowded and lots may fill up early. Also, be prepared that Rt 28 where your motel is, is quite honky tonk - no "cape" atmosphere there. Drive along the north side, Rt. 6A for more "atmosphere".
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Old Apr 3rd, 2006, 02:38 PM
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I am wondering where you are arriving - NYC? Boston? Hartford? Because depending on that you might consider doing Yale first, then Mystic, on to Newport and Cape or reversing this.

Downtown New Haven will take no time at all.
A day in Mystic would be enough unless you are into maritime , history and I agree with skipping Aquarium if you have near you and your kids are older teens. Personally, I would probably choose a good 1/2 day and one evening in Mystic if it meant more time in Newport. But if family is into the history of maritime, etc than Mystic is a good place for you, although Newport also has many historical and boating oriented exhibits and museums.

Older teens in our family would much rather have an extra day in Newport. Aside from which other mansion to do , I suggest going to www.newportmansions.org and reading the blurbs about the others and seeing which best fits your interests (ie RoseCliff, modeled after the Petite Trianon if french architecture interests you or Astors Beechwood if that family story interests you (memorabilia about family member that was on Titanic, etc)

In Newport, at base of Cliff walk is Eastons Beach, good for timid swimmers - and your teens (are they boys or girls?) - might enjoy 1/2 a day alone walking along America's Cup, all the shops on each wharf, - or a cruise on the sailing ship Adirondack in the harbor, or Ocean Drive -or shopping/walking each end of Bellevue Ave - and there is nothing like the view from the lawn of Castle Hill for Sunday Brunch or a sunset. Ft. Adams, history and also sometimes has summer concerts.

www.gonewport.com is a good link to see what else is in Newport.

I wouldn't do any driving more than 30 minutes on the cape on a Sat or Sunday, it would make me tear my hair out - do Ptown and the whale watch from there mid week and on the calmest water day you can unless you all have your sea legs and don't get seasick as the rocking motion can bother some people or take a dramamine.

PTown itself you can walk the main street in about 20 minutes.

I don't even know if the Pelham House is still in Dennis, but we used to stay there when the kids were younger b/c they had a pool, were on a beach with a jettee, served sandwiches on the beach, and b/c of the jettee was calm enough for the kids to swim. And the Wee Packet had great blueberry muffins in the morning! But the Mayflower is also a fine choice for all the things you want, and it sounds like poster has been there far more recently then I was at Pelham House, which for all I know is condos by now

Have fun.

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Old Apr 3rd, 2006, 02:42 PM
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well forget the Pelham House, curiousity got me and I googled it and it is being turned into condos....seems thats what they are doing w/ so much of our waterfront in our area...the memories were good though ! great views every day and night....
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Old Apr 3rd, 2006, 06:48 PM
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I personally think your whole itinerary is fine. I won't comment on areas outside of the Cape because I don't pretend to be a travel advisor on places I'm not totally familiar with.

Your choice of the All Seasons Motor Inn on Cape Cod is an excellent one. They cater to families and have both indoor and outdoor pools as well as a breakfast and lunch restaurant. They are very centrally located for easy access to other Cape Sites/Attractions.

Nearby West Dennis Beach on Nantucket Sound is a favorite of Cape families.
You drive down this mile-long beach to look for a parking space. You park the car, get out and step over the concrete wall and you are on the Beach.

While route 28 can sometimes get clogged with traffic on a Summer day it is by no means a Honky-Tonk strip as someone commented here.

First off, honky-tonk implies tattoo parlors, pinball arcades, hot dog stands and other cheesy establishments that you would find on boardwalks in other areas but not on Cape Cod!

Also don't listen to other posters who tell you that you can see all of Commercial Street in Provincetown in a 20 minute walk and call it Ptown because they think they are cool or are too lazy to write out it's proper name.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2006, 09:07 PM
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When a poster asks for comments, they get varied comments and opinions from many people, and we can all certainly be civil about that in word and implied tone.

I have lived in New England for all of my 53 years, in Boston, the south shore and Cape Cod.

No one who posted on this thread acted like a travel advisor 'pretending to know an area they didn't' - everyone gave good sound advice and their honest opinions, obviously from some experience with their references and knowledge.

I understood what irishswampyankee meant by referring to Rte 28 as honky tonk and I did not take offense and my family had a home in Falmouth for decades until recently, and family members continue to live in Chatham, Brewster, Orleans and Plymouth, so I am frequently on the "Cape" - and I feel Rte 28 is a busy route, it is developed, it can be crowded and that is certainly one flavor of the area - the other is 6A, which I have often heard long time residents of Falmouth refer to as the route with 'atmosphere' -

When we have visitors they usually all prefer 6A for the atmospher, the smaller shops, antiques, galleries, the "feeling" they expected of a New England road vs. Rte 28 ... same for many areas and roads in New england....back in the day Rte 3A was the quaint way with atmosphere from Boston to many areas of the south shore and beyond until the highway went in, and some still prefer to do part of their drive on 3A if they are showing people parts of New England.

But, these are opinions, given without judgement on any one elses opinions, and to give you food for thought as you plan your trip and do more reading, research and planning.

It is also only my opinion that many of our out of state guests over the years have been disappointed in PTown - you can certainly take more than 20 minutes to walk the downtown, but you don' thave to or may not want to - the usual area tourists go to is this one main street full of t-shirt stores, restaurants, ice cream shoppes, galleries and sometimes if you've seen that already in your travels, and the sidewalks so crowded you can't really walk together, it can be a disappointment especially if it was a long ride.

And Gene, I certainly no longer think I am "cool" at 53, but I think I have some experience and my opinion can be stated without someone implying I am either cool or lazy -

Several times a summer we go to PTown on our boat for lunch - it is always crowded in August, even mid week (in our experiences) and we are constantly stopping and waving as we wait for someone or two in our group to see where we are in the crowd that separated us - our younger family members are jockeying their strollers on and off sidewalks -

I certainly did not refer to it as PTown b/c I think I am cool or lazy - it's just that that is how many, many people in New England refer to it, and have been for my 53 years here.

Many posters disagree with other posters opinions, but most do it with respect as in -
my experience was different, or gee I disagree, I've always found.......fill in the blank.
The need to comment on others opinions and assume people are lazy or think they are cool or don't know what they are talking about or be overly picky about their descriptive choice of words is unnecessary.....in my opinion. Just adding a new opinion without judging prior posters would suffice.
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Old Apr 4th, 2006, 03:33 AM
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In Mystic we stayed in the Days inn. If you like quaint shopping you should visit Mystic village.
In New Haven we had a tour with a last year student and it was great.In front of the University you have the townhall and 100 yards around the corner you have a parking lot(it's not cheap).Dont go to Louis' lunch for a hamburger.
In Newport the Breakers is great too and the cliff walk.
W e stayed in Wood's hole on Cape Cod.Very nice and peaceful.You can take the ferry to Martha's Vineyard there.We stayed at the Nautilus motor inn with swimming pool and great view from your balcony.
We usually travel in Sept./Oct. so I have no experience with August.Probably much more crowded. Greetings from Belgium.Paul

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Old Apr 4th, 2006, 04:44 AM
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Thanks to all who have responded so far!

Thanks to Karens and others who suggested suitable beaches, they sound great.

We were already at Plimouth Plantation on a previous trip and we really enjoyed it.
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Old Apr 4th, 2006, 07:25 AM
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Hi Pat,
Hope your not too confused now. I think your choice of the Four Seasons is a great one for your family - nice pool and good central location. My teenage neice and nephews love that area as well as PTown. There's lots to do on the rte.28 strip that the kids will enjoy like mini golf, candi stores, arcades, shops, resturants and a local movie theater closeby.

Our favorite beach down that end of the Cape is, as previously mentioned, is the W.Dennis Town beach. The waters in August are nice and not at all choppy and don't have waves - one of my teens can swim, one can't and the other likes to float around on a raft - some NE beaches don't allow this. There are bathrooms. Bring a picnic. It's nice b/c you can park very close to the beach and find a place where your not on top of other people like some of the beaches down that way. It's a very long and pretty walking beach.

The kids and I love poking around the shops in Ptown - people watching, taking a sand dune tour or hiking up the Pilgrim Monument (veiws from the top are great - on a clear day you can see Boston), whale watching and getting something to eat.
Spiros pizza is great for cheap eats or the Lobster pot with good views and somewhat expensive food.
So enjoy!
Sherry
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Old Apr 5th, 2006, 09:46 AM
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I won't comment on the Cape part of your itinerary, but I think 3 nights and two whole days in Mystic/New Haven versus not even a full day in Newport is completely backward. Oh, and your plan of visiting Groton for the Sub indicates that at least somebody in your party is intersted in Naval History; that being the case I would skip Groton and stop at Battleship Cove in Fall River, MA on your way between Newport and the Cape. Instead of just a sub you can tour a sub, a battleship, an East German frigate, a PT boat, and other exhibits.
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Old Apr 6th, 2006, 07:54 AM
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I agree with Larry. One overnight in Ct. should do it, as there is a bit more to do in Newport.

Also, it looks like you may be backtracking by seeing Mystic first and then going to New Haven as you will then have to drive back thru Mystic and Groton. One other thing to consider is that rte. 95 in CT. can be a bear, traffic wise, even on the weekend. The areas around New Haven particularly can be the worst. When driving to Newport try to go very early in the am or very late as well, to avoid beach and weekend visitors.
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Old Apr 6th, 2006, 12:16 PM
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I know it's already been posted, but do stay off the roads on saturday as it's so crowded. A great day for the beach!!
I's agree with previous posters that rt28 isn't the most scenic route. Woods Hole is also a cool place to visit. Ptown is a longer drive than it looks. I'm in Orleans all summer and it take a good 40-50 minutes to drive out there on a GOOD day.
Also look into the cape Cod baseball League. great college players. wonderful old time feel to the games. capecodbaseball.com
renting bikes and riding along the rail trail is also fun.
Have a great time!
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Old Apr 6th, 2006, 01:01 PM
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How could it have taken so long to mention the baseball? Definitely check that out if the teens are into it, and one more calm beach recommendation to throw into the mix - Skaket in Orleans. Go at low tide, you can walk out for what seems like miles. Maybe hit there in the morning (definitely check the tide charts, though, as there is hardly any beach at high tide!), then head up to Ptown (I don't know anybody who DOESN'T call it that) for lunch and an afternoon of wandering, whale watching, whatever. Anyway, you're getting all great tips. And good luck to whomever wants to go to Yale (I assume that's why you're doing the tour)!
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Old Apr 7th, 2006, 03:55 AM
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Well, since someone brought up baseball and history, Newport also has summer league play and the field is one of the oldest in operation in the US. It gets overlooked with all the mansions and yachting, but it is one of the great things that make Newport more than just a one day vacation...

http://www.newportgulls.com/Cardines.htm
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Old Apr 7th, 2006, 10:46 AM
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Pat,

You've received great advice. I would agree that it is worth staying overnight in Newport.

I will suggest that to break up your drive to Provincetown, you stop off at the Cape Cod National Seashore visitor center on Rt. 6, and pick up some information on their beaches. Also maybe on your way back, take a little detour to Wellfleet's Main St. and drive down to the harbor. The town has lots of excellent shops and galleries.

Enjoy!

cw
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