by Donna Cain, Innkeeper and Owner
Cape Cod bay
We have been happy innkeepers in Brewster for almost 10 years, and we are continually amazed at the wonderful activities that are available on the Cape. Listed below in no particular order are some of our favorites:
1. Cape Cod Central Railroad- for all the train enthusiasts you will not be disappointed with the Cape’s rail. The nostalgia begins at the train station in Hyannis where whistles and old fashion conductors greet train guests. The scenic ride travels past the marshes of Barnstable and Sandwich before turning south along Cape Cod canal. Check out their packages on http://www.capetrain.com
Cape Cod Railroad conductor
2. Cape Cod National Seashore- the national seashore comprises over 44,000 acres of white ocean beaches, hiking trails, bike paths and unique ecological sites. Our favorite beach is Marconi but you cannot go wrong with any beach on Cape Cod. We also like to recommend that our guests visit the Salt Pond Visitor in Eastham where you can visit with park rangers to learn about the seashore, hike around the salt pond or walk the trail to the Coast Card beach.
3. The Cape is known for our cranberries and it’s fun to learn how they are grown and harvested. The Cape Cod Bog and Cranberry Company gives a 90 minute tour of their organic 10 acre bog. Learn more at http://www.cranberrybogtours.com
4. Heritage Museum and Gardens- This is a magical place that includes beautiful gardens, a restored windmill, a vintage 1912 carousel, galleries of American fold art and a wonderful antique car exhibit. Definitely worth a trip to Sandwich. http://www.heritagemuseumsandgardens.com
5. Green Briar Nature Center and Thornton Burgess Museum- Did you know their are 2 Peter Rabbits? An English version written by Beatrix Potter and an American version created by author and conservationists, Thornton Burgess. Born in Sandwich in 1874, Burgess infused his love of nature into the woodland adventures of Peter Rabbit, Reddy Fox and other characters. The Thornton museum commemorates his voluminous body of work with a collection of books, toys, games and original illustrations. the center also includes lovely trails and wildflower gardens. http://www.thorntonburgess.org
6. Lighthouses- Before the construction of the Cape Cod Canal, commercial vessels were forced to navigate around the peninsula, a dangerous journey thanks to rocks and shoals. Strategically positioned lighthouses, many of which remain today, were vital safety beacons. http://www.capecodlighthouses.info is a great source to learn about the individual houses and history. The Highland light in Truro was once the most powerful lights on the East Coast.
7. Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge- It is a slice of pristine paradise and includes 7,604 acres which is comprised primarily of North and South Monomoy islands, which extends from south of Chatham proper, creating a narrow trail off Cape Cod’s elbow. The refuge is home to vital habitats for migratory birds but is probably best known for the largest site for gray seals. Visors are welcome and encouraged to leave no trace behind of their visit. Visitors can access the island by the 3/4 mile nature trails, accessible from teh Morris Island visitor contact station or by a private or commercial boat. http://www.monomoysealcruise.com
8. Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum- The walk up the monument includes 116 steps and 60 ramps. On a clear day the tower can be seen from Boston. It’s the tallest all granite structure in the country, rising more than 250 feet. Built to commemorate the Mayflower Pilgrims first landing in the new world in Provincetown in 1620, the cornerstone was laid in 1907 by President Roosevelt. http://www.pilgrim-monument.org
9. Truro Vineyards- Today the vineyard is a family run operation with wonderful tours and wine tasting.
10. Wellfleet Drive In- Opened in 1957, this is one of the country’s few remaining drive-ins. First run double features are shown throughout the summer on a 100 x 44 foot screen, with a state of the art FM stereo sound system that decodes modern sound tracks. but if you truly want nostalgia, there are original Mono speakers available. http://www.wellfleetcinemas.com
11. Art’s Dune tours- Art’s tourds has been operational since 1947, so when the Cape Cod National Seashore came a calling the operation was grandfathered and allowed to continue. Plush Suburbans take you over the sand and along the water with slightly salted knowledgeable guides offering info about the famous writer’s shacks and various landmarks. http://www.artsdunetours.com
12. Nickerson State Park- The Cape’s only state park covers 1,900 acres of untouched woods with more than 10 kettle ponds dotting the peaceful landscape. Once part of multimillionaire Ronald Nickerson’s vast estate, the park now offers plenty of opportunity for camping, walking and biking. http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/southeast/nick
13. Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary- includes 5 miles of scenic trails that wind through the woodlands, salt marsh and barrier beaches of Wellfleet bay. You’ll find many birds. The center also includes a 700 gallon aquarium where you can glimpse the underwater worlds of slat marshes and tidal flats.
And you thought Cape Cod only had wonderful beaches……..we have so many other wonderful things to enjoy during your stay.