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|
|Sandy Neck Light House|
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.
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|
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.
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.
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|
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|
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