The drive north from Chatham along Route 28 (although the signs say 28 South), is along beautiful Pleasant Bay. The views are breathtaking. This route will take you up to Orleans. This area of the Lower Cape from Orleans to Provincetown (the Eastern facing part of the Cape) is sometimes referred to as the “Outer Cape.” It includes the Cape Cod National Seashore, a national park comprising much of the Outer Cape and the entire western side of the coast. Located along here are some of the most popular beaches in the United States.
The town of Orleans is nestled between beautiful Skaket Beach on the Cape Cod Bay side and Nauset Beach on the ocean side. Why this town is the only one on the Cape with a French name, (most have their origins in England) no one really knows. It was the where the first cable between the US and France ended and is home to the French Cable Station Museum.
|Rock Harbor, Orleans|
The next village going down Cape is Eastham. Known as the Gateway to Cape Cod National Seashore, this town also sits between Cape Cod Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Two very popular Cape beaches, Coast Guard Beach and Nauset Beach, are here. It is also home to Nauset Light, which flashes its’ red and white beams across the beach and out to sea. You can venture inland to historic Windmill Green where you may tour the windmill during the summer months. On the Cape Cod Bay side of Eastham is First Encounter Beach, where in 1620 the Mayflower explorers first encountered the natives.
|View from Salt Pond Visitors Center|
Next stop Wellfleet, appropriately know as “the gallery town.” Any day of the week gallery-hopping in Wellfleet is a joy. However, during the summer months, Saturday is officially “Gallery Night.” Just about every gallery in town is open from 6 – 8 pm on Saturday evenings and you will see just about everybody in town as you stroll from place to place.
|Marconi Beach, Wellfleet, MA|
Moving on down the road you encounter Truro, once known as Dangerfield because of its treacherous coastline. Its' unspoiled woods and dunes have been a draw for artists and writers alike. This is due in no small part to the fact that the Cape Cod National Seashore stretches up its’ eastern shoreline. Wild and beautiful, Truro is home to the famed Center for the Arts at Castle Hill, which draws folks from across the country to take summer art classes. Be sure to visit Truro Vineyards for a taste of locally-made wine.
|Race Point Lighthouse, Provincetown, MA|
The intent of this blog, and the ones covering the Upper Cape and Mid Cape, is to give potential visitors some idea of just how large and diverse Cape Cod is. And, we haven’t yet covered the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. Each of those will be covered in upcoming blogs.
When planning your visit to Cape Cod, think about staying long enough to really experience this beautiful part of the country. Come stay at our Sandwich bed and breakfast and book our “2011 Special.” It makes an extended stay very affordable and 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