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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sandwich, MA for Christmas

 Sandwich Village is all decked out for Christmas. Last weekend residents, visitors, and quests at our Sandwich bed and breakfast hailed the lighting of the town Christmas tree. All year long this huge, natural spruce next to the Sandwich Town Hall shades the Civil War memorial across the street from the Inn’s driveway. Now, adorned with festive multi-colored Christmas lights, it casts a warm glow over all of Town Hall Square Historic District.

The "Holly Days in Sandwich" annual celebration starts with caroling in front of the First Church of Christ and the tree lighting, and continues through Christmas. Visitors can enjoy creative and beautiful decorations throughout the Village and along historic Route 6A, the Old Kings Highway of Colonial days. Sandwich merchants have extended hours on Thursday night and are open all day Saturday, and some have limited hours on Sunday for the shoppers convenience. While shopping, note the festively outfitted store windows and the doors of many neighboring homes. Most likely they are participating in the Chamber of Commerce’s “Stores and Doors” decorating contest. New this year, shopper can vote for their favorites on Facebook.  No, you cannot vote for the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center this year, but yes we have been an official ‘winner’ a few times and I think our door this year is still a winner.

Sunday is the Holly Days Home Tour with over a dozen antique homes opening their decorated doors to the public. A great chance to see how Christmas may have looked hundreds of years ago. Our Cape Cod B&B is not on the tour this year, but as always, we fully adorned inside and out. Even if you miss the Home Tour, you can get the flavor of a very historic Holiday by staying with us. We have an “In the Spirit’” special and other packages still available between now New Years.

Jan Preus, the Innkeeper, chef, and artist in residence at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cape Cod for New Year's Eve 2011

As we look forward to saying goodbye to 2011 and to welcoming in the New Year here at our Sandwich bed and breakfast, our thoughts turn to just how we will celebrate this year.

Each December 31st at the stroke of midnight, most of us participate in a tradition that I suppose could now be referred to by the currently popular term ‘flash mob’. I am referring to the moment just before the stroke of midnight when we all stop whatever we are doing, whether it is dancing, dining, or some other traditional (or not so traditional) form of New Year’s Eve celebration, to kiss loved ones and complete strangers, toss down a sparkling beverage, and sing Auld Lang Syne.

Truth be told, most of us aren’t even sure what the term ‘Auld Lang Syne’ means. The song itself was taken from a poem written in 1788 by the immortal Scottish poet, Robert Frost. The words translate from the old Scottish dialect meaning ‘Old Long Ago’ which is about friendships and loves in times past. The ‘cup o’ kindness’ refers to a drink which men and women share to symbolize friendship.

Whether you choose to gather with family or friends at an event large or small, or if you plan on a quiet evening alone with the love of your life, take a moment at the stroke of midnight to clink a glass of bubbly in a toast to dear old friends from you past and present.

It may not be Time Square but Sandwich is a wonderful place to celebrate the arrival of the New Year. We have a Celebration Special that includes a stay of one night in a fireplace guest room at our Sandwich bed and breakfast, a Sparkling Wine Hour at the Inn, A New Year’s Eve Dinner and Celebration at the unique Belfry Bistro, and a lovely breakfast on New Year’s Day. The total package is only $389 and you can add an additional night for just $149 plus tax. You can enjoy your evening at the Belfry Bistro with all the bubbly you would like without the worry of driving after, as we are just a couple of blocks away. This special can be booked online or just give us a call at 508-888-6958. We would love to help you with your celebration plans.

Jan Preus, the Innkeeper, chef, and artist in residence at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cape Cod for the Holidays

Holiday Events 2011

No place are the Christmas Holidays celebrated more beautifully than on Cape Cod and here in our Village of Sandwich, which resembles a Currier & Ives painting this time of the year.The spirit of the season abounds at our Sandwich bed and breakfast and throughout the village in brightly lit shops, museums, art galleries, and homes. There are tree lighting ceremonies, parades, caroling, holiday open houses, and a warm holiday welcome to visitors in every village throughout the Cape.

Celebrations are taking place all along beautiful Route 6A from Sandwich to Brewster, along Route 28 from Falmouth to Chatham, and from Orleans to Provincetown. The Cape Cod Chamber has a listing of events Cape-wide but we wanted to tell you about a few of our favorites.

Historic Sandwich Village exudes Christmas spirit in every church, home, shop, bed and breakfast, and restaurant. The warmth of the holidays is extended to residents and visitors alike. Holly Days in Sandwich will begin Friday, December 2nd with carol singing in front of the First Church and then the lighting of the town Christmas tree. Seasonal events in the village will continue through the Antique Home Tour on December 10th.

The Second Annual Glassblowers' Christmas will begin on November 21st and run through December 30th at the Sandwich Glass Museum. Hundreds of beautiful glass ornaments will be on display and a special ornament for your tree will be available for sale in the museum gift shop. An exhibit of a famous collection of nativities from around the world will show how other cultures celebrate Christmas. Admission is free for members and children and only $5 for non members.

Gardens Aglow – Celebration of Lights - Visit Heritage Museums & Gardens on November 25th – 27th, December 2nd – 4th, 9th – 11th, and 16th – 18th to stroll through the grounds as they are “aglow” with holiday lights. There will be musical performances, visits with Santa, and rides on the holiday carousel. Children can enjoy drop-in crafts to make a trinket to take home. Tickets for members are $7 for adults and $4 for children. For non-members, tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Children under 2 will be admitted free of charge. There will be something for the whole family to enjoy.

The Green Briar Nature Center will celebrate the season with A Country Christmas, an open house during the first three weekends in December. The center will be resplendent in decorations inspired by a country home of a bygone era. Sample the Jam Kitchen products and have a cup of mulled cider. Some of their jams, jellies, and relishes will make wonderful holiday gifts.

Titcomb's Bookshop on Route 6A in East Sandwich will celebrate the season with an open house on December 3rd and 4th. See an exhibit of vintage Madame Alexander dolls. As December 4th is National Cookie Day, they will treat you to a cookie from one of their featured Holiday cookbooks and a cup of tea in Nancy Titcomb’s antique teacups.

In Barnstable Village on December 2nd – 4th, the Barnstable Historical Society will hold a Holiday Boutique featuring over 40 artisans and craftspeople. On December 3rd, St. Mary’s Church on Route 6A in Barnstable will hold their annual Holly Fair.

The Yarmouth Port Christmas Stroll will take place on December 4th from 1 – 4 pm. Enjoy caroling and the tree lighting on the Village Green at 4:15 pm and tour museums and B&B’s to see their beautiful Christmas decorations.

Brewster For the Holiday-On December 2nd and 3rd from 9 AM to 5 PM, enjoy a traditional Cape Cod holiday celebration. Participating businesses along Main Street will be displaying “Brewster For the Holidays” flags. Shops, inns, museums, galleries, and restaurants will be aglow with holiday spirit. Drummer Boy Park is the site of the wreath and tree lighting on Friday evening, December 2nd, followed by a band concert at the Brewster Baptist Church. The Cape Cod Natural History Museum will hold a Gala Family Holiday Party on Sunday afternoon, December 4th.

Chatham’s annual Festival of Trees will be on December 3rd from 1 – 4 p.m. The Annual Chatham Christmas Stroll will take place on December 9th through December 11th. The festive weekend will start with the tree trimming and lighting on Friday evening. Main Street shops will welcome shoppers with warm holiday spirit. There will be caroling, musical entertainment, a Historic Inn Tour, and much more to celebrate the season.

Orleans - A Seaside Christmas in Orleans will be celebrated on November 26, December 2nd, 10th, and 17th with events throughout the village. There will be a candlelight stroll with Mrs. Clause, hayrides, chowder to warm you, carol singing, and of course Santa. Visit shops and galleries and enjoy holiday refreshments. This will be a great time to do some Christmas shopping.

Provincetown’s Holly Folly celebration is December 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. Enjoy shopping, holiday events, and music of the season as the entire village celebrates the holidays.

Falmouth Holidays-by-the-Sea Weekend is December 3rd and 4th. There will be concerts, the lighting of the Village Green, the Annual Christmas Parade on Sunday at noon, Santa’s Arrival and much more to celebrate the season.

The Falmouth Theatre Guild’s production of "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" will take place at Highfield Theater in Falmouth on December 2nd – 4th, and 9th – 11th. There are afternoon and evening performances and tickets are $16 and $14. Check their website for more information or call 508-548-0400.

Hyannis Village’s annual Harbor Lighting and Boat Parade will takes place at 4 p.m. on December 3rd as part of Hyannis Village Christmas. There is a Main Street Stroll complete with music and holiday activities including the arrival of Santa.

Grab a bit of the Christmas spirit this year by visiting Cape Cod. Share the warmth of the season with us at our Cape Cod bed and breakfast. We would love to have you.

Jan Preus, the Innkeeper, chef, and artist in residence at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sandwich Thanksgiving 1750 & 2011

Plimoth Plantation
   As Thanksgiving Day fast approaches, Jan is scrambling with the preparations for a traditional dinner with friends at our Cape Cod bed and breakfast. I was wondering what the first Thanksgiving in our house in 1750 must have been like. Jonathon Bassett built our house in Sandwich only about twenty miles from where the Pilgrims and Indians celebrated that first Thanksgiving. Today, at the Plimoth Plantation they commemorate the occasion with a full re-enactment of the event. A visit to this re-creation of the 17th century English Village built by the Pilgrims shortly after landing here in 1620 is always fun but especially meaningful on Thanksgiving.   

By November of 1750, Jonathon Bassett and his family would have been settling into their new house in the bustling Sandwich Village. The new family house was located across from the Mill River, on Franklin Street (now Tupper Road), just a short distance down stream from the Grist Mill. The Grist Mill was the center of industry then and now, fully restored, is again grinding corn daily during the summer season. On that Thanksgiving Day, the Mill would have been closed and since the future Town Hall (1834) was not built yet, the entire square would have been very quiet.

Hoxie House
The Bassetts may have invited neighbors to dine with them. Although Sandwich was still sparsely settled, I am sure they knew some of the Pope family. John Pope had the next house a little to the north (now 110 Tupper), and Seth Pope lived a little south on Grove Street (10 Grove). The original Bassett house was a classic saltbox and much more rustic than our home today, which was expanded into our current Federal style home in 1830. In 1750, our house would have looked more like the Hoxie House on Water Street, which is also now a museum and like the Grist Mill open to the public during the summer season. Our current dinning room was the original kitchen and would have been the center of activity and entertainment. 

Newcomb Tavern
If the Bassett family had not prepared a meal at home, they most likely would have gone to a local tavern to dine. Maybe Mr. Bassett just escaped the after dinner clean up and went to join his friends for a toddy, no televised football games in those days, but still a good time for male bonding. He was in luck, since in 1750 two of Sandwich’s taverns were very near by. The Newcomb Tavern at 8 Grove Street would have been the closest, but maybe too close to home. The Fressenden Tavern on Main Street was only a short walk up River Street. Even though the Revolutionary war was still more that 25 years away (1776), the talk may have been about taxes and politics….some things never change. Mr. Bassett’s political disposition could have dictated his Tavern choice; the Fressenden Tavern became the patriots’ headquarters and Newcomb Tavern the Tories’ headquarters. The Newcomb Tavern still stands on Grove Street and is now a private residence and The Dan’l Webster Inn is on the site of the original Fressenden Tavern.   

The Bassetts may have served corn bread made from meal from the Grist Mill, just as Jan makes muffins from the meal for our guest. Mr. Bassett may have secured his wild turkey main course from the vast open forests surrounding the Village. Today, some of that sense of the wild and a potential source of turkeys remain just up the road in the Shawme Crowell Forest. A few weeks ago at breakfast, my American and British guest raced for their cameras as a flock of 30 plus wild turkeys pecked their way across our front lawn. A flock of turkeys may be a rare sight for most, but here in Sandwich we are accustomed to seeing the turkeys wonder down main street (Route 130) from the Forest, through the Village to the Marsh, and back.

As the holidays approach and the price of fresh turkey increases, you would think the birds would be more cautious. They should be thankful every time they make it home in one piece. I am thankful that I live in Sandwich and can experience the turkeys and all the history just as the Bassett family did in 1750. The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are very special times in our little village. We would be glad to have you join us at our historic Sandwich Inn to share this unique experience.

Happy Thanksgiving

Charlie Preus, Assistant Innkeeper and Wine Steward at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Friday, November 18, 2011

Cape Cod Holiday Season 2011

 An old-fashioned Christmas is synonymous with spending the holidays at our Cape Cod B&B in the quaint and historic village of Sandwich, MA. The celebration of Christmas in our lovely village is complete with a magical train ride from the train station in Sandwich aboard the North Pole Express to visit Santa’s workshop, tours of some of our most beautiful historic homes all decked out for the holidays, and our own Holiday ornament to commemorate the occasion. On November 27th, the magic of the season will begin in Sandwich with the lighting of the littlest Christmas tree that will float on Shawme Pond throughout the holiday season.

A Seaside Christmas
 Holly Days in Sandwich is a two-week long series of events that exude the spirit of the New England holiday season. The official kick-off of our “Christmas Stroll” is December 2, 2011, when local residents and visitors gather in front of the First Church of Christ on Main Street to share in the singing of seasonal carols and to watch as the town Christmas tree comes alive with brightly colored lights. For the next two weeks, there will be holiday celebrations throughout the village commencing with the Holly Days Home Tour on Sunday December 11, 2011 from noon to 4:00 pm.

The celebration of the holiday season in Sandwich will begin this year with the 2nd Annual Glassblowers’ Christmas at the Sandwich Glass Museum. This event will feature a special exhibition entitled Nativity Artistry featuring nativities reflecting a variety of local customs from around the world. Creches incorporating wood, natural fibers, clay, tin, and glass are the artists’ interpretations of their cultural traditions. Also on exhibit will be holiday decorations in glass created by some of the region’s finest glass artists. The exhibit opens on Monday, November 21st and runs through Friday, December 30th.

Another seasonal celebration that will certainly get you in the spirit is Gardens Aglow at Heritage Museums & Gardens. Each year starting the Friday after Thanksgiving the gardens are literally aglow with millions of lights. Stroll through the gardens, visit the antique automobile museum, listen to holiday music performed by strolling musicians, ride the antique carousel, and toast marshmallows at the outdoor café.

During our Christmas Stroll, all of the lovely shops in Sandwich village will be festooned with gifts to delight anyone on your shopping list. We have a Holly Days Special that we hope will entice you to come for a stay at our Sandwich bed and breakfast to get "In The Spirit". While you are here you can have lunch or dinner at one of our lovely restaurants, enjoy the seasonal festivities, and do your Christmas shopping. What a wonderful way to spend a winter weekend.

As you stroll around our lovely village you will feel as though you are stepping into one of the paintings of Currier and Ives. In the words of the old Christmas Carol by Irving Berlin….let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

 Jan Preus, Innkeeper, chef, and artist in residence at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Nantucket Island Day Trip

If you are coming to Cape Cod, we hope you will stay at our bed and breakfast located in the oldest and perhaps the most historic of the Cape’s villages. If you will be visiting the Cape for several days, you should take a day-trip to the “Little Gray Lady”, the island of Nantucket. This small island out in the Atlantic Ocean is truly another world.

Nantucket is located 25 miles off the coast of Cape Cod. The island is about 50 square miles in size with a year-round population of just over 10,000 people. In recognition of the island’s 150 years as the center of the world’s whaling industry, the U.S. Department of the Interior has designated Nantucket Town as a National Historic Landmark.

Getting There
Straight Wharf
Transportation to Nantucket Island is available via air or water from Hyannis. To get to the island by ferry, you will need to book passage aboard either the Steamship Authority or Hi-line Cruises. Both depart from Hyannis and both have traditional ferries and fast ferries. The traditional ferries take approximately one hour and fifty-five minutes to make the trip and the fast ferries only about fifty-five minutes. The difference in the two is mainly the cost of tickets, but each has a different departure schedule. The important thing to remember is to check out their information online and make reservations.

If you are thinking about taking an automobile to Nantucket Island, you may want to reconsider. The island is small with only one main village and there are many transportation options available once you arrive. The only ferries transporting automobiles are the traditional ones that take two hours and it is quite expensive. Be sure to check for space availability and fares on the websites for each company.

Both Nantucket Airlines and Island Air provide air transportation from Barnstable County Airport in Hyannis. See their websites for fares and schedules.

Getting Around
When you step off the ferry and onto Straight Wharf, you are on island time and in what the locals call Nantucket Town. If you are visiting Nantucket for the first time, you may want to take an organized tour of the island when you arrive. There are a number of options available via wheels, heels, and peddles. Most require advanced arrangements during the summer months. This will give you an opportunity to learn about the island and see some places that you probably will never see on your own. Most folks don't know that Nantucket has two cranberry bogs, Milestone Road and Windswept, both working bogs. The tours show you the bogs, The Old Mill, Sconset Village, Sankaty Head Lighthouse, Nantucket  moors, and Low Beach.

If you would like to tour the island by bicycle, you can rent wheels and get a wonderful map of the bike paths at Young’s Bicycle Shop on Broad Street. Nantucket Bike Tours offers a number of guided biking tours and will even customize one for you.

Not a cyclist? Not to worry. There are several automobile rental companies on Nantucket where you will find convertibles, Jeep Wranglers, and other fun cars that you can rent for the day at pretty reasonable rates. We have had guests who have done this and had a really great day touring the entire island.

There is seasonal public transportation on the island in the form of The Wave bus, which has routes from Madaket to Sconset, Surfside to Jetties beaches, to Nantucket Airport, downtown Nantucket, and to the Mid Island area. Check the schedules and dates of service online and when you see the bus, wave it down and it will stop.

Getting Charmed
Known as a whaling port during the 17th century, little has changed architecturally since. The cobblestone streets are still lined with old-fashioned lamps and quaint seaside cottages. The island is a national historic district and is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Just ask anyone who has ever visited there.

Nantucket Village is filled with restaurants that would satisfy the most ardent of foodies, world-class boutiques, art galleries, and museums. The island has beautiful beaches and wild moors, gray shingled house with white trim, cobblestone streets, and in the summer months, rose-covered white picket fences and blue hydrangeas everywhere you look. From the moment you arrive, you will be in love with the island way of life.

If you would like to take a walking tour of Nantucket Town, you can pick up a self-guided tour map at the local Chamber of Commerce and be on your way. You will be guided to historic houses along Lower Main Street, Upper Main Street, Milk Street, Bloom Street, Howard Street, to the Old Goal on Vestal Street, Quaker Meeting House on Fair Street, and the Fire Hose-Cart House on Gardner Street. During the summer months, a climb up the 94 steps to the top of the First Congregational Church bell tower is a must. The birds-eye view will take your breath away. Make sure you have on comfortable walking shoes as the cobblestone streets can be difficult to navigate in those stilettos you love so much because they make you legs look amazing.

Guided tours are available to the Old Mill, the oldest windmill in America and one of Nantucket’s historic icons, and to the Oldest House, that was built in 1686. Guided tours are available through the Nantucket Historical Association at the Whaling Museum at 13 Broad Street.

A must see while you are on the island is the Whaling Museum and it’s numerous galleries that showcase the history of Nantucket and its whaling past. The museum features a restored candle factory, artwork, artifacts, and a forty-six-foot sperm whale skeleton.

If art and antiques are where you interests lie, you will have a fine time checking out the local galleries and antique shops. Many creative people call this small island home. One of the most well-known of Nantucket’s products is the Nantucket Lightship Basket. Woven by Alan Reed and Nap Plank and signed and dated, these are some of the most coveted baskets in the world. Native artist and Scrimshander Lee Ann Papale does the scrimshaw for these works of art. Visit the shop at 11 First Way in the Mid-Island area to see their new and vintage baskets.

Nantucket Town is a Mecca for shopaholics. Most of the quaint boutiques are locally owned and are filled with items you surly won’t find in any mall. You are sure to find a unique treasure for yourself or a gift for someone special. A favorite place of mine is the Nantucket Cottage Hospital Thrift Shop. Located in a lovely old house at 17 India Street of which the entirety has been converted into a shop, this place is a little gem. You will find great style here that is amazingly affordable. They are only open from mid May through mid October. So plan you trip accordingly.

If you are visiting Nantucket anytime from June to October, stop by the Cisco Brewery at 5 Bartlett Farm Road for a tour. The cost is $20 per adult and covers the brewery, the distillery, and the winery and includes samples of their products. You even get to keep you tasting glass. During the afternoon and early evening hours there is live music. You can bike there or take the Regional Transit Authority buses Miacomet Loop. If you do take the bus, be prepared to walk about a third of a mile from the bus stop.

While you are out that way, be sure to visit Bartlett’s Farm. It is the island’s oldest and largest family owned farm and sells fresh fruits, vegetables, plants, and flowers. Bartlett’s Farm Kitchen has  farm-fresh ready to go foods. Be sure to check their website for the date of their next farm dinner. You may want to make a special trip to the island to attend. Reservations are necessary.

Getting Sun
Nantucket has pristine, beautiful beaches with designated entry points. Some you can get to by foot from town, others you may need wheels, or peddles. You can take the shuttle bus to, or within walking distance of, several beaches. Surf and rip currents can be dangerous and not all beaches have lifeguards or services of any kind. Madaket Beach is famous for its sunsets. Great Point has a lighthouse that is well worth seeing but you will need a beach permit and a four-wheel drive vehicle. Brant Point has a lighthouse that is familiar to everyone who has visited the island as it will be for you when you visit. You may want to pick up a picnic lunch to enjoy at the beach. Just remember not to leave any litter behind.

Getting Fed
In Nantucket Town there are wonderful bakeries, chocolate shops, gourmet specialty shops, and markets, all purveyors of the most delicious and the finest of products you will find anywhere. If you are a foodie, every conceivable kind of dining experience is available here from world-class fine dining to the casual and friendly. Galley Beach is one of the highest Zagat rated establishments on the East Coast and where the rich and famous enjoy the coastal cuisine. Figs at 29 Fair is perhaps Nantucket’s most historic restaurant featuring the bold and complex Mediterranean flavors of well-known chef Todd English. For great food and good value in a casual atmosphere, stop in at The Brotherhood of Thieves at 23 Broad Street. Here you will find good food, good drink, and good company. We like to sit at their 1840’s Whaling Bar. Black-Eyed Susan’s at 10 India Street and Queequeg’s at 6 Oak Street are both casual and fun. A great local favorite is the Even Keel, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We love having lunch on their outdoor patio. This is a great place to grab take-out if you are headed to the beach for a picnic.

Getting Home
Make sure you check the ferry schedules so that you don't miss the boat back to America!

There is something for everyone on this quaint and beautiful island off the coast of Cape Cod. The Gray Lady’s picturesque beauty is sure to steal your heart. If you are staying at our bed and breakfast and traveling to Nantucket on one of the early morning ferries, we are happy to make you a take-away breakfast to enjoy on the trip over. Just let us know the day before you plan to visit the island.

Note: Visitor information is available on the Nantucket Island website and from the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce.

Jan Preus, the Innkeeper, chef, and artist in residence at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wellfleet OysterFest 2011

 Yes, it is early October, and guests staying at our Cape Cod bed and breakfast cannot believe the temperature has been pushing 80 degrees. Many of the Cape beaches and summer oriented attractions and shops close after Labor Day and even still more shutter up for the winter after Columbus Day. Sadly I missed my last lobster roll of the season at the Sesuit Harbor Café, which closed on Columbus Day. 

So, yes the weather continues to be unseasonably warm and pleasant, but even without the beach focus, Cape Cod offers so much to do in the fall. Last weekend was the height of Cranberry Festivals, with celebrations of the cranberry harvest from Brewster to over the bridge in Wareham. If the prediction of more great weather doesn’t attract you to Cape Cod, how about the opportunity to attend the Wellfleet OysterFest in Wellfleet, MA? To the well-informed oyster aficionado, it is no secret that this quiet, bayside port is the home of the world famous Wellfleet oysters, and the site of the 10th annual Wellfleet OysterFest on October 15th and 16th. This is a two-day celebration of the town’s long shellfishing history with a weekend of food, art, music, and fun.The Wellfleet OysterFest was started by, and is sponsored by, a local non-profit group called SPAT. I kid you not, SPAT, which stands for Shellfish Promotion and Tasting, was created with a mission of “fostering a greater understanding of the towns shellfishing industry.” Also, in case you did not know and I sure didn’t, an oyster actually is formed from a free-swimming larva called a spat.

Today, the Wellfleet OysterFest is two full days of great fun and activities. The winding streets of the downtown area of Wellfleet are blocked off and street vendors offer every imaginable method to consume oysters. It is a sheer delight to eat a plate full of raw oysters that you watch being shucked just after they were plucked from an icy bed in a full sized dingy heaping with fresh oysters from Wellfleet harbor’s pristine oyster beds. I am not sure I would have used the SPAT acronym, but who am I to argue with success.  

Last year, we lucked out with the comings and goings of guests and made it to the Wellfleet OysterFest on Sunday. Beware that on a summer day the traffic from the Orleans’s rotary to Wellfleet can be a bumper to bumper slow go, and on this autumn weekend it will be just as busy. A parking tip from our experience is to ignore the signs and flag wavers directing you to off site parking as soon as you hit the town limits. These distant temporary lots are miles from the action and require you to hop on a shuttle bus. Since we have been to Wellfleet many times, we headed to the harbor which has a huge parking lot. Although it was full when we arrived, spots soon opened up and we were then only a short walk from Main Street and the events, including the Oyster Shuck-off.

From our Sandwich Inn, it is only about a 45-mile trip. You may experience some delays on the road into town, but it will be well worth the wait to participate in this one of a kind seaside festival on October 15 and 16, 2011. Come stay with us and share your experiences with us and our other guests over breakfast the next morning.

Charlie Preus, Assistant Innkeeper and Wine Steward at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Monday, October 3, 2011

Heritage Museums & Gardens Newest Exhibit

As we say goodbye to the warm days of September and welcome in October, our Cape Cod bed and breakfast is still very busy and our guest are enjoying the nice fall weather. September and October are good months to visit the Cape and Islands because the weather is wonderful and the summer crowds are gone. On a recent day, while all our guests were off on their adventures for the day and before new guest checked in, I left the inn to run a few errands. At mid-day, I found myself near the Heritage Museum & Gardens and decided to stop in to see the new Tree House in the Hidden Hollow.

Heritage Museums & Gardens is a real gem located a mile up Grove Street
from our Sandwich Inn. It is over 100 acres of botanical gardens with three museums. The gardens were originally created by the Lilly family of Indianapolis, Indiana to house the collections of Josiah Kirby Lilly, Jr., the past Chairman of the Board of the Eli Lilly and Co., the international pharmaceutical firm. Today, the permanent collections and changing exhibits are housed in the three main buildings: the J. K. Lilly III Antique Automobile Museum, the American History Museum and the Art Museum. The magnificent grounds and pathways are home to thousands of Rhododendrons, daylilies, hostas, and hydrangeas. From May, starting with the world famous Dexter Rhododendrons, something is always in bloom along the manicured trails. In addition to museums, other attractions on the grounds include the Old East Windmill, a Labyrinth, a Maze, the Flume Fountain and the Hidden Hollow.

Although only a short distance from our Inn, and a must see for my guest, Jan and I seldom have time to personally explore our beautiful neighbor. I usually make it up at least once during the summer to the antique auto show. Today, I headed directly to the Hidden Hollow, which is billed as “an outdoor discovery center where children can climb stepping stumps, navigate log balance beams, construct forts, create nature-inspired art, build with blocks, dig in sand, experiment with water, make music, engage in sensory investigation with plants, and more”. I just wanted to see the new Tree House.

My fantasy of living in a tree house started with reading Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe and Johann David Wyass’ Swiss Family Robinson. In both classic novels, the main characters survived a shipwreck and found themselves stranded on a hostile island. As they sought protection from the elements and required a defendable position, a tree house provided the perfect refuge. Building high in the tree kept them off the damp ground and gave them a vantage point to observe enemies in time to secure and defend their home. My imagined and romanticized tree house, based on my readings, was given new depth when I visited the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House at Disneyland in 1960. I still found myself excited and in awe last year as we walked through the Disneyworld Magic Kingdom’s version of the Tree House in Orlando FL. 

You are never too old to enjoy a tree house. The Heritage Museums & Gardens Tree House sits in the large Oak trees above the Hidden Hollow. Built by students from the carpentry program at the Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School, the tree house is made of sustainable woods of ipe, locust, red cedar and mahogany. I had to restrain myself from letting out a Tarzan-like yell as I ascended the stairs to the top and surveyed Hidden Hollow from a bird’s eye view. Years after the first reading those old adventure books, I still love a tree house and I am glad that one is so near for the next time I feel the need to clime to the top of the trees and get a new/better prospective on the world.

Heritage Museums & Gardens continues to be a magical place here in the heart of Sandwich Village and a must see for guest who stay at our Sandwich Inn. See our website for the winter specials to see the Spectacle of Lights at the Gardens and enjoy the Holidays with us.   

Charlie Preus, the Innkeeper's Assistant and Wine Steward at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Monday, September 26, 2011

Cape Cod Arts and Artisans

 Fall for the Arts 2011

Edward Hopper's "Corn Hill"
We love Cape Cod. We think it is a beautiful, wonderful place to live, and that our Cape Cod bed and breakfast, located in Sandwich, Massachusetts, is the perfect place to stay and explore all that is available here. Not only do we who are lucky enough to live here think it is special, but so do the millions of people who visit here each year. Scenic Cape Cod, with its’ beautiful light, quaint villages, the sea, and lifestyle, has attracted people of talent and imagination since John Audubon came here in 1835. Edward Hooper summered in South Truro and painted numerous famous Cape landscapes. Ralph Cahoon is perhaps the most famous folk artist to reside and work here. Marcus Waterman’s paintings featured the outer areas in the Provincetown area. Provincetown is America’s oldest art colony where, in 1899, artist Charles Hawthorne was so besotted with the intense sunlight here that he founded the Cape Cod School of Art and taught and painted here for 30 years. In addition to visual artists, poets and writers have also been drawn here. Thoreau spent time on Cape Cod and Eugene O’Neill wrote his first play here.

For the entire month of October, the rich artistic community on Cape Cod is celebrated with the "Fall For The Arts Festival." The Festival covers the Cape with events scheduled from Sandwich to Provincetown to Chatham to Woods Hole. There are over 125 special events, including live performances by local musicians, special exhibits, readings and lectures, guided art and heritage walks, and much more. See the complete schedule by town at the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod website.

A handy guide to find your way to see the work of wonderful artists and artisans is the second edition of the Arts & Artisans Trails of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard & Nantucket published by the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce. The guide divides the Cape into five distinct "Trails." The Old King’s Highway Trail starts right here in Sandwich and follows Route 6A through Barnstable, Cummaquid, Yarmouthport, and Dennis. We are proud that a third of the all the artist and artisans listed in the guide are in Sandwich, many within walking distance of our B&B.

Although Sandwich has always been on the map for its' historical sites (it is the oldest town on Cape Cod), it is also a haven for the many of today’s talented artist and artisans. Sandwich is home to the Sandwich Glass Museum, which houses a wonderful collection of Sandwich Glass, and the Heritage Museums & Gardens where you will find one of the most important collections of American antique automobiles in the country.

We are offering a special "Fall For The Arts" package at our Sandwich Inn during October that includes a free copy of the trail guide to help plan your day trips. See our Specials & Packages page for more information about our package and come experience the season on Cape Cod. You may even find some wonderful holiday gifts for the people on your Christmas list.

Charlie Preus, Innkeeper's Assistant and Wine Steward at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Martha's Vineyard: A Day-trip Away

Many of the guests who stay at our Cape Cod bed and breakfast take day-trips to Martha’s Vineyard. It is just a short hop on one of the ferries to a wonderful adventure on that lovely island. There are two ferries from the mainland to Martha’s Vineyard during the summer months and one that runs year-round.

The Island Queen, with plenty of safe parking in a paved lot nearby, leaves from the harbor in Falmouth from late May through mid October. This is a charming pedestrian ferry that is a 35-minute mini cruise across the sparkling blue water of Vineyard Sound to the village of Oak Bluffs on the island. During the summer months you will cross with other day-trippers, folks who are staying for the week, people who have summer homes there, and families who live on the island. You are welcome to bring your bike, the dog, and the kids on board. Keep in mind that they only accept cash or travelers’ checks for tickets.

The Steamship Authority travels to the Martha’s Vineyard year-round. It leaves from quaint and charming Woods Hole, with ferries to Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs. If you are planning on taking your car, be sure to plan ahead and check schedules and rates. You may be surprised at the cost of taking an automobile over to the island during the summer months. You may even find that it is more economical to rent a car on the island for the day.

You can also rent bicycles and mopeds to get around Martha’s Vineyard, but there is also great public transportation there. Bus service is available between Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, and Vineyard Haven and you can get limited service to the other villages of Aquinnah, Chilmark, and West Tisbury. The frequency of the busses varies with the season, but the service is year-round. You can pay as you go or get daily and multi-day passes. You can board at regular stops or just wave the bus down en-route. There is also taxi service available on the island.

There are three main villages on Martha’s Vineyard: Vineyard Haven, Oak Bluffs, and Edgartown. All three have visitors’ information centers where you can pick up maps and other information about each village so that you can make the most of you day on the island. These are the larger of the Vineyard’s villages and each is very different and charming.

Vineyard Haven has beautiful public beaches and a year-round waterfront and harbor. Just across the street from the Steamship Authority building is the Vineyard Haven Visitor Information Center. Be sure to stop in there if this is your first trip to Martha’s Vineyard. You can pick up maps there and directions to shopping, the Williams Street Historic District, public restrooms, West Chop Lighthouse, and other must-see places.

Oak Bluffs is home to the famous and colorful Gingerbread Cottages and the Flying Horses carousel. The village is lively with a casual atmosphere and offers something for everyone. The Oak Bluffs Visitors Center is located near the carousel on Circuit Avenue. The folks there will direct you to public restrooms, the Gingerbread Cottages, East Chop Lighthouse, the arts district, and they can tell you what time the tours are at the Tabernacle in Trinity Park. If you like the beach, there are three public ones in Oak Bluffs.

Edgartown Harbor
Eight miles from Vineyard Haven and 5 miles from Oak Bluffs is the village of Edgartown. This charming village was home to sea captains during the wealthy whaling era and may of the elegant captains’ houses still stand. You will love the white picket fences intertwined with rambling roses that you see all around the village. Stop by the Church Street Visitors Center where you will find public restrooms and lots of information about the village. Some interesting places to visit are the Old Whaling Church, the Edgartown Lighthouse, and the historic Dr. Daniel Fisher House. If you like to shop, you will love all the lovely boutiques in the village. For the beach lover, you will find several public beaches here but watch out for the rough surf.

A "Must Visit!"
From the harbor in Edgartown, you can take a ferry just across the way to Chappaquiddick Island to visit the Mytoi Oriental Gardens. Created by Hugh Jones, this Japanese-style garden is nestled within the island and sheltered by a pine grove. There is no Japanese translation for the word “Mytoi.” Mr. Jones chose to use this spelling to name the garden as he always referred to it as “my toy.” This garden includes a pond with an island that is accessed by a raised bridge. The pond is home to turtles, frogs, and goldfish. There is a footpath leading to a stone garden and a salt marsh. This beautiful and tranquil garden is open all year.

The villages of West Tisbury, Chilmark, and Aquinnah are smaller and more remote but charming none the less. Aquinnah is the western most village on the island and where you will find the beautiful, gray, Gay Head cliffs that are a great attraction for visitors. It is also home to many of the island’s original residents, the Wampanoag Native Americans. West Tisbury is a quintessential New England village with its white church, old mill, Alley’s General Store, and post office. There are art galleries to explore and a glass blowing studio. Chilmark is largely rural and quite picturesque with tree lined country roads where you will see sheep grazing in stone wall bordered fields overlooking the ocean. Located within Chilmark is Menemsha, a quaint fishing Village and harbor.

If you are visiting Martha’s Vineyard for the first time, you may want to take one of the sightseeing tours of the island when you arrive. Tours originate in both Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs but they are seasonal so you may want to check with the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce for more information.
When planning a visit to Martha’s Vineyard, be sure to keep in mind that it is a seasonal island and that some restaurants and attractions are closed before Memorial Day and after Veterans Day.

This is just one of the many splendid adventures that is just a day-trip away from our bed and breakfast.

Jan Preus, the Innkeeper, chef, and artist in residence at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cape Cod and the Cranberry

Labor Day has gone, but as the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce announced immediately after the passing of the tropical storm Irene, Cape Cod is open for business. In fact, we are very busy at our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast and the weather has been great. So great in fact, that so far in September, we have served breakfast to our guest on our garden patio more often than weather permitted in July and August.

As fall approaches, the focus shifts from beach activities to more foliage and seasonal celebrations. The scenic and bucolic drive along Route 6A, the Old Kings Highway, is always beautiful, but is enriched now by the changing colors in the trees and the maturing cranberry bogs. 6A is dotted with working cranberry bogs, which evolve from a mousy brown to bright green as the harvest approaches. When the bogs are flooded for a ‘wet harvest’ and the red fruit floats to the top, our country lanes are bedazzling with a patchwork of brilliant greens and reds.

Cape Cod and New England have a long history with the cranberry, that little red berry that graces almost everyone’s table at least once a year on Thanksgiving Day. The cranberry, the blueberry, and the Concord grape are believed to be the only three native, American fruits. All other fruits were brought to America from other parts of the world. The cranberries special place as part of our traditional Thanksgiving Day meal reflects it significance to the Native American Indians who shared that first meal with the Pilgrims in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The Indians used the versatile wild berry as food, a fabric dye, and a healing agent in addition to using it as a key item of barter.

Today, the cranberry is still an important part of the agricultural life of Massachusetts. Over 12,000 acres of cranberries are grown in the Southeastern corner of the state, and it is still the number one cash crop. Cranberries are harvested between mid-September and the end of November. Besides adding great color to our landscape, the cranberry and its annual harvest is a cause for celebration and another reason to visit us at our Sandwich Inn.

A great annual event is the Cranberry Harvest Celebration sponsored by the Cape Cod Cranberry Association and A.D. Makepeace Company. The two-day event on October 8-9, 2011 is held in Wareham, MA. Centered at the Tihonet Village Market, it includes cranberry information, local food vendors, unique arts and crafts, plus activities for children.  See the complete schedule of events and directions. If you look closely you may even see those two characters from the Ocean Spray Cranberry commercials, one of the event sponsors.

So it may be fall, but there is still lots to do on our little slice of heaven we call Cape Cod. 

Charlie Preus, Innkeeper's Assistant, and Wine Steward at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Friday, September 9, 2011

Cape Cod Jazz Fest and Grape Stomp

Fall is just around the corner with many fun adventures in store for guests who visit our Sandwich bed and breakfast. On Sunday, September 18, 2011, from 2:00pm until 6:00pm, Truro Vineyards will be site of the 14th annual Grape Stomp and Jazz Fest. Oenophiles, foodies and jazz aficionados, bring your beach chair and a blanket and prepare to enjoy live music by "Moby Dick & The Whalers," great food from local vendors, wine by the glass, and local arts and crafts. Have some fun with free admission and parking.

Truro is the least populated of Cape Cod’s villages and surely one of the most beautiful areas. It is located almost at the tip end of the Cape but is well worth the visit, if just to see the dunes and the verdant and tranquil setting of Truro Vineyard. The warm ocean breeze and the sandy soil make an ideal growing place for wine grapes.

Truro Vineyards is a working vineyard with a nearly 200 year old, rambling captains’ house that was immortalized in Edward Hoppers 1930 painting entitled Rich’s House. This is one of the few buildings on the Outer Cape featured in Hoppers paintings that is open to the public. Built in 1813 and situated next to 44,600 acres of National Seashore, the Federal style farmhouse was first owned by John and Hannah Hughes. Sporting a rich history and later proving to have soil that would be perfect for growing grapes, the property became a vineyard in 1992.

In 2007 the vineyard was purchased by the Roberts family. It is first and foremost a family business that now, thanks to the Roberts family, has a newly built “green” winery practicing recycling and composting. Their work here is producing enjoyable, increasingly respectable wines. They grow Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes which are hand-picked at harvest time. They also purchase grapes grown by other premium vineyards to allow them to produce a greater variety of wines.

There are free guided tours of the vineyard and winery each day from 1:00pm to 3:00 pm from Memorial Day through Columbus Day. Enjoy a wine tasting or a picnic on the beautiful grounds out back of the farmhouse overlooking the vineyard. And, don’t forget to stop by the gift shop where you will find great gifts for the wine lovers in your life.

You don’t have to go to California to have that vineyard wedding you are dreaming about. Talk to the folks at Truro Vineyards and let them help you plan your special day.

Jan Preus, the Innkeeper, chef, and artist in residence at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sandwich, MA: New Sound in Town

The sound of music is back in Sandwich Village, where our Cape Cod bed and breakfast is located. When we first moved to the beautiful historic Town Hall Square district in Sandwich Village nine years ago, Jarvis and Main streets hosted several musical options. On the north corner was a piano store and adjacent to that, a small music shop.  Upstairs across the street, in what is now the Brown Jug Wine Shop, was a recording studio. On an afternoon walk through the village, it was common to hear the sounds of piano and guitar lessons or music tracks being laid down at the studio.

The piano store moved to 6A and the other music shops are long gone, but music has returned to Jarvis street. Most of the summer, the Brown Jug has hosted music on its’ patio on Sunday afternoons, featuring the talented Gregg Harper.

Gregg Harper
Gregg’s mellow, Burl Ives like voice and acoustic guitar fill the patio with life. He entertains listeners with great folk, blues, roots, and jazz. Both his original songs and his covers of standards are done in his own memorable style. He makes each arrangement his own, from Cat Stevens to Bob Dylan, to catchy island tunes.

A life-long musician, Gregg has written and produced his own music. His CD, “Dragonfly” features such pieces as What We Want, Walk In Beauty, The Affair, and the title song, Dragonfly. This cd is available at various places around Cape Cod and from Gregg directly at the Brown Jug on Sunday afternoons.

It has been a joy to take a brief break from our inn keeping chores and walk over to the Brown Jug to enjoy a bottle of wine, a beautiful plate of cheese, and the smooth sounds of Greg Harper, al fresco with friends and guests on a Sunday afternoon.

The sound of music has returned to Sandwich Village. So, before the summer ends, meet us on the patio at the Brown Jug from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm on a Sunday afternoon to relax and enjoy the sounds and tasty delights offered in this little slice of heaven.

Charlie Preus, Innkeeper's Assistant and Wine Steward at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cape Cod Baseball League

Boys of Summer

Major League Baseball still has almost two months before the World Series will decide the next World Champion. The single most outstanding player may even become known as Mr. October for leading his team to victory. Here on Cape Cod, guests who stay at our Sandwich Bed and Breakfast have an opportunity to see the real "boys of summer", the college athletes that play in the Cape Cod Baseball League (CCBL). The league just wrapped up their season with the Harwich Mariners defeating the Falmouth Commodores for the 2011 Cape League Championship.

As the wooden bats are stowed, the concession stands boarded up, and hundreds of volunteers and fans look forward to next year, another great summer of baseball comes to a close. For the Cape League, this was its 126 season since its' founding in 1885. The league attracts the best of the today’s college players who are destined to become the major league baseball stars of tomorrow.  In 2010, 217 CCBL alumni were playing in the majors  or one in seven of the current major league players spent time honing their skills on Cape Cod. 

The ten Cape Cod Baseball League teams cover the Cape, making it easy for visitors to catch a game almost every night of the summer. Teams are located in Bourne, Brewster, Chatham, Cotuit, Falmouth, Harwich, Hyannis, Orleans, Wareham, and Yarmouth-Dennis. The Bourne Braves play at the new Doran Park, just six miles from our Sandwich Bed and Breakfast.  

If you are a baseball fan, consider the great baseball you can see when you come and stay on Cape Cod. As you plan your next summers vacation, check out the 2012 Cape Cod Baseball League schedule. If you stay with us, I’ll take you to cheer for my Bourne Braves who finished out of the money this year but, as in all sports, there is always next year. 

Charlie Preus, the Innkeepers Assistant and Wine Steward at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sandwich Glass Museum

The Old and the New

Sandwich’s history is prominent in the Sandwich Heritage Trail which features ten exceptional museums and historical sites that we are proud to share with guest from around the world who come to stay at our Cape Cod bed and breakfast.

For years Sandwich, MA was known as the Museum Town, for the likes of the Heritage Plantation, Glass Museum, Doll Museum, etc. Today, we promote our key historical and geographic pedigree and the Sandwich Chamber modestly proclaims that ‘Cape Cod begins here’. This positioning statement of fact recognizes Sandwich, incorporated in 1637, as the oldest town on Cape Cod and that Sandwich is literally the first ground that 100s of thousands of visitors touch annually as they cross the Sagamore Bridge, leaving the mainland behind.

We are happily located in the historic Town Hall Square and across the street from the Sandwich Glass Museum. This museum was established in 1907 as the Sandwich Historical Society with a mission defined as “collects, preserves and interprets the history of the Town of Sandwich”.  In addition to being the oldest town on Cape Cod, a large part of Sandwich history is involved with American glass production. Sandwich was the world center of pressed glass production in the mid-1800s and the Sandwich Glass Museum is the major repository of the highly collectable Sandwich glass. We arrived in Sandwich in 2003, just in time for the dedication of the then brand new museum expansion that "Relight the fires in Sandwich" with a fully functional glass furnace where visitors see daily entertaining glassblowing demonstrations.

Guests at our inn enjoy seeing the art of glassblowing and the historical exhibits that show the output of the long gone massive factory that dominated Sandwich during the 1800s. The Sandwich Glass Museum is not a dusty and stagnant accumulation of the past. Its special exhibits and events create a fascinating, continuously changing look at art as expressed in the medium of glass. I attend the opening reception of the new exhibit of Ricky Bernstein’s Kitchen Dreams. I was overwhelmed by the innovation and scale of his  work and fully agreed with the invitations statement of ‘Ricky’s larger than life wall relief sculptures will astound and amuse even the most serious’.

Mr. Bernstein is a nationally acclaimed artist and sculptor whose collage-style glass and aluminum wall reliefs tell a story with a decided pop-art flavor. They are not only colorful and masterfully created; they uniquely feature a slice of Americana. Originally from Providence, RI, his work is featured in galleries and museums nationally and internationally.

This exhibit runs through October 30, 2011 and is just one more reason we encourage all of the guests at our Sandwich inn to walk across the street and spend some time at the Sandwich Glass Museum.

Charlie Preus, the Innkeepers Assistant and Wine Steward at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sandwich’s Best Sandwich 2011

Folks will be lining up in our lovely little village on Saturday, July 16th to taste and help select the best sandwich in Sandwich. Guests who are staying at our bed and breakfast will be casting their vote and enjoying Sandwich Fest 2011.

Some of the town’s best chefs will be putting their culinary skills to the test to showcase their best sandwich. Awards will be given for Best Non-Vegetarian, Best Vegetarian, Best Use of Local Ingredients, and of course the People’s Choice.The sandwiches will be served under the big tent behind the Belfry Bistro on Jarves Street. There is a limit of 600 tickets that will be sold for the sandwich tasting. Ticket price is $15 for the tasting and to vote for your favorite sandwich. They can be purchased at the participating restaurants. They are: Aqua Grille, Belfry Inn at Bistro, Beth’s Special Teas, Bobby Byrnes, Booster Bar and Grille, Café Chew, Momo’s Food Emporium, Sandwich Pizza House, Dan’l Webster Inn and Spa, the Clubhouse at Sandwich Hollows.

Gregg Harper
Sandwich Fest is great fun for the entire family. There is live musical entertainment, street fair vendors selling food items and arts and craft items, activities for the kits, and even something for Fido; a pet costume contest. The entertainment will be provided by the indie rock band In Like Lion, acoustic guitarist and singer Gregg Harper, and singer/songwriter Allie Lamb. There will be a historic walking tour of Sandwich Village  with “Thornton Burgess,” and a 50/50 Cash Raffle. Tickets for this raffle are $50 and only 400 will be sold. Last year’s winner took home $5,050.

In the evening there will be a free concert on the Shawme Pond bandstand featuring Adam Hoffman Revival. Bring a chair or a blanket and be ready to dance. For more information about the evening event, contact the Sandwich Recreation Department at 508-888-4361.

So, grab grandma, grandpa, and the kids and dress Fido and make your way to Jarves Street in Sandwich. Oh, and don’t forget your appetite.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Sandwich Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. For more information contact the Sandwich Chamber of Commerce at 508-833-9755.

Jan Preus, the Innkeeper, chef, and artist in residence at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cape Cod’s Scenic Route 6A- A Day Trip

As Charlie always tells guests at our Cape Cod bed and breakfast, a trip along scenic and historic Route 6A can take 4 hours or 4 days, depending on how many times you stop along the way. Beginning in Sandwich and meandering along the Cape Cod Bay or north side of the Cape to Orleans, this bucolic road is among the most famous scenic drives in the country. It meanders past stately, historic homes, beautiful gardens, views of salt marshes, fields, cranberry bogs, many historic cemeteries, and gives you occasional glimpses of Cape Cod Bay. Whether it’s beautiful views you enjoy or antique shopping, art galleries, or quaint shops and restaurants, there are scores of tempting stops along the way. After you have enjoyed a hearty and delicious breakfast at the inn, hop in your car, open the windows, drive up Tupper Road to Route 6A, turn right and you are off on an exhilarating adventure.

As you drive through Sandwich, you will see Sandwich Mini Golf on your left and just across the road on the right is Cottonseed Mercantile. You will want to save a visit to the Mini Golf course for a late afternoon or early evening game and Cottonseed’s is definitely a place you will want to visit during your stay in Sandwich. But today is your “6A Day.”

On the outskirts of Sandwich as you drive through East Sandwich you will pass Titcomb’s Book Shop, a favorite haunt of this innkeeper, and The Glass Studio of Cape Cod, owned and operated by Michael Magyar, one of Sandwich’s master glassblowers. Just up the road on the right you will see one of Cape Cod’s famous cranberry bogs.  As you cross over the bridge at Scorton Creek, you will see kayakers moving about along the creek. On warm summer days at high tide, kids like to jump off the bridge into the water. Take your time along here and enjoy this beautiful Cape Cod scenery.

Momo’s Food Emporium will be on your right as you continue along 6A. They have great marsh views and wonderful specialty food items. East Sandwich is small but has some wonderful boutiques if you feel like a little shopping. On your right will be Mrs. Mugs and across the street is a little group of shops including Lavender Moon, and Painted Daisies. Stop in and have a look and their beautiful gift items.

Leaving East Sandwich, the drive through West Barnstable and into Barnstable Village is really beautiful. In several places, especially in the spring and fall months, you can see across the marshes on your left out to Cape Cod Bay. There are lovely old homes, art galleries, and shops all along the way. Claire Murray has a wonderful shop in West Barnstable. It will be on your left. You will love her hooked rugs and she now has a wonderful seaside style furniture line. If you are a quilter, keep an eye out for Tumbleweed Quilts at the intersection of 6A and Route 132 on the right.

Sunset over Barnstable Harbor
As you enter Barnstable Village, you will pass the Sturgis Library, Barnstable Tavern, the Coast Guard Heritage Museum, and many quaint shops. At the traffic light at the intersection of 6A and Phinneys Lane (Hyannis-Barnstable Road), you may want to turn left and head down to Barnstable Harbor. From the beach, you can see across to Sandy Neck Lighthouse, a definite photo opp. Mattakeese Wharf is on the harbor as is Osterville Fish Too, a great little fish house that is open in the summer months.

Sandy Neck Light House
As you make your way back to Route 6A, turn left and continue on through Barnstable where you will pass by Cape Cod Organic Farm (on your left just past Barnstable Village). This is one of a growing number of farms that can be found on Cape Cod. You will see several on your drive. Some have farm stands where you can check out seasonal fresh goodies. As you come to Bone Hill Road, you may want to take a left and follow this road down to the Audubon Long Pasture Wildlife Preserve. The drive into the preserve office will be down Bone Hill Road on your left. Here is a great place to spend a couple of hours. The views across to Sandy Neck Lighthouse are spectacular as is the walk through the preserve. If you don’t want to go all the way into the preserve, drive to the end of Bone Hill Road. There is a small parking lot and beach. If you picked up some tasty treats at a farm stand, here would be a wonderful place to have a snack and enjoy the view.

Leaving Barnstable, you enter Yarmouth Port. If it is nearing lunch time and you would like a light bite or a cup of tea, the Optimist Café will be on your left. There are lovely shops, galleries, and historic sites in the Village of Yarmouth Port and the Old Yarmouth Inn is there.  Some of the best sushi on the Cape can be found at Inaho Japanese Restaurant which is located in the heart of Yarmouth Port and will be on your right.

It is said that New Englanders consume more ice cream per capita than any other place in the country. The evidence of that is in the number of ice cream shops throughout the villages along scenic Route 6A. Stop at one and have a lick.

As you leave Yarmouth Port and pass into Dennis, keep an eye out for the Antiques Center of Cape Cod. It will be on your right and is huge. This is a great place to spend a couple of hours. A bit further up 6A on your left as you get into Dennis Village is the Borsari Gallery and Tea Room, another of this innkeepers favorite places. Stop for a bite to eat or tea and pastries….YumYumYum and wonderful artwork. This is a converted meat-packing barn and a wonderful place to see.

Sesuit Harbor Cafe
Dennis is a large village with many shops, restaurants, and galleries. The famed Cape Cod Museum of Art is located here. You could spend a lot of time in Dennis. Another of our favorite places on Cape Cod is in Dennis; it is the Sesuit Harbor Café. We have written about our fondness for this place in many prior blogs. The seafood is great and the view unbeatable…quintessential Cape Cod. It is not easy to find, but if you turn left onto Sesuit Neck Road and follow it to the end, you will see the Town Landing on your right and just past that, you turn right in front of the Dennis Yacht Club and into the boat yard and follow the gravel road to the parking lot. They are only open during the summer months and serve lunch and dinner. It is a great Cape Cod experience.

As you continue your drive on 6A and headed towards Provincetown, you will pass the Harvest Gallery and Wine Bar. It will be on your left and behind the Dennis Post Office. It is open from Thursday through Sunday and well worth the stop.  The Red Pheasant restaurant is on the right side of 6A on the outskirts of the village. This is another great place for dinner. Charlie greatly admires their wine list.

Scargo Pottery
Scargo Lake, Scargo Tower, and Scargo Pottery are on Dr. Lord’s Road, which will be on your right as you drive along 6A. It is the oldest pottery studio on the Cape and features the work of seven resident artists. You can watch them as they work in the “open studio” environment.

There are some really beautiful beaches In Dennis. Corporation Beach is off of Corporation Road. For Chapin Memorial Beach, turn off 6A to New Boston Road, to Dr. Bottero Road. To get to Mayflower Beach, from 6A turn on Bayview Road and take Dunes Road to the beach. There are many others but these have parking and public restrooms. You may want to stop at one for a bit and dig your feet into the sand, feel the warmth of the sun on your face, and breathe in the ocean air…now there is a calming moment.

The next village you come to as you drive along scenic 6A towards Provincetown is Brewster. The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History is a great stop. It will be on your left. There is a nature museum and 80 acres of trails to walk and take in a little fresh ocean air. Not far from here on your left is a small group of unusual and interesting shops in an area called Lemon Tree Village. Among the shops are a great birdhouse store, a lavender shop, and a Cook Shop with wonderful things to buy for your kitchen. By-The-Bay gift shop is there and there is also a cute little café in case you need a snack.

Brewster Store
There are so many art galleries and quaint shops nestled into the flora and fauna as you drive through this area…so take your time and enjoy stopping along the way. A place that is a “must visit,” is the Brewster Store. This is another of this innkeeper’s favorite places. It is right on 6A on the left. It is filled with wonderful things “you thought you would never see again.” Enjoy a cup of coffee and look around. You are sure to find something you can’t live without. Have an ice cream from the shop right next door before you leave this area.

As you leave Brewster, Route 6A takes many turns and twists. You will pass under Route 6 (the Mid Cape Highway) and you may even notice signs calling Route 6A the Cranberry Highway, but it is still Route 6A. As you enter Orleans, you will find it to be quiet large with many, many shops, galleries, and restaurants.  Take a ride over to Skaket Beach for a great sunset photo or a stroll along the beach. Off 6A take West Road to Skaket Beach Road. At low tide, you can walk out where the water has receded and play in the tidal pools and perhaps see some sea critters.

Rock Harbor Sunset
As you continue on your 6A drive, you will come to Main Street in Orleans. Here you should stop and have a look around. There are so many cute shops and restaurants to check out. When you get back in your car, take Main Street towards Cape Cod Bay and down to Rock Harbor. Main Street actually becomes Rock Harbor Road. There is nothing like a Rock Harbor sunset. If you are lucky and the tide is right, you may get to see the fishing fleet return to the harbor. That is a sight you won’t forget so, if you go, make sure you have your camera.

If you have taken a less leisurely drive along scenic 6A, you may have time to venture over to the ocean side of Orleans and to Nauset Beach. To get there from 6A, follow Main Street through East Orleans to Nauset Beach Road and take that to the beach. This is one of the largest and most famous beaches on all of Cape Cod. It attracts locals and tourists for swimming and surfing or just strolling along the shoreline. There are extensive facilities here and a large parking lot. There is a fee for parking.

Cape Cod Bay Beach
Orleans is where Route 6A runs into Route 6 (Mid Cape Highway) at the Orleans Rotary.  If you have time you may want to along Route 6 through Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, and to Provincetown. If you have had a leisurely drive and have made a lot of stops along the way, you may want to save the rest of this part of Cape Cod for another day of exploring.

During your 6A Day, You may have seen just the perfect place that you want to stop off for dinner. If not, just head on back to our Sandwich bed and breakfast where we will have a complimentary glass of wine waiting for you. We will be happy to direct you to one of the fine restaurants in Sandwich where you can end your day with some great local cuisine.

Jan Preus, the Innkeeper, chef, and artist in residence at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts