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Monday, April 30, 2012

Cape Cod in 3 Days

If you are spending three of your vacation nights on Cape Cod, we hope you will come to quaint and historic Sandwich Village and stay with us at our Cape Cod bed and breakfast inn. With a stay of three nights, you really only have 2 full days here and the day you arrive. If you arrive in Sandwich prior to our 3:00 pm check-in time, give us a call and, if we possibly can, we will get you settled into your room. If early check-in is not possible, you can leave your car at the inn and head out to explore Sandwich and have a bite of lunch. The Dunbar Tea Shop, the Brown Jug, and the Belfry Bistro all serve lunch, each in a different and charming setting.

Now would also be a great time to visit Heritage Museums & Gardens. You can have a bite to eat there also, in the outdoor setting of the Magnolia Cafe. Grab a map of the grounds and head out on one of the nature trails or visit the antique car museum. Be sure to visit the tree house in Hidden Hollow. And don’t miss a spin on the antique carousel before you leave the gardens.

Another wonderful place to visit in Sandwich is the Glass Museum. Watch glass being blown and learn about the history of the village and its’ connection to glass making. Walk over to the Dexter Grist Mill located on Shawme Pond and then pay a visit to the Hoxie House, the oldest house on Cape Cod. The docents who lead the tours are worth the price of the ticket.

When you return to the inn, Charlie will be happy to pour you a glass of wine and help you select a great place to have dinner. There are so many wonderful restaurants to choose from very near our inn and a couple that you can walk to.

The morning of your first full day on Cape Cod, we will serve you a hearty and healthy breakfast and send you on your way with maps and information to help you have a fun-filled day. For first-time visitors to the Cape, we always suggest a drive along scenic Route 6A. This lovely drive begins in Sandwich and winds through the villages of Barnstable, Yarmouth Port, Dennis, and Brewster, ending at the Orleans rotary. Aptly named, this winding road will show you the oldest and most historic parts of Cape Cod. You will pass by cranberry bogs, nature centers, salt marshes, and through villages with old captain’s houses, antiques shops, and art galleries galore.

As you pass through East Sandwich, you will pass a cranberry bog on your right and near the Green Briar Nature Center. Just a bit further along, you will cross Scorton Creek. You will get a beautiful view of the saltmarshes and in summer drive carefully if the tide is in because kids will be jumping off the bridge and into the river. This is a wonderful place to go kayaking. If you have time while you are here, Justin from EcoTours will take you out for a paddle.

If you have family and friends who will be expecting a gift from your trip, you will find several cute boutiques in East Sandwich, among them are the Black Crow Gallery, Mrs. Mugs, and Painted Daisies. Sandy Neck Beach is located in East Sandwich and West Barnstable.

In Barnstable Village, make you way down to Barnstable Harbor. The view across to Sandy Neck lighthouse is a fabulous photo op. Mattakeese Wharf restaurant and Osterville Two fish house are both located on the harbor. Some other points of interest in Barnstable are the Sturgis Library, the Olde Colonial Courthouse, and Crocker Tavern. The old Barnstable Tavern and the Dolphin Restaurant are both right on 6A in the village.

As you journey through Yarmouth Port, you may want to stop by the Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary and go for a walk along their nature trails. There is an amazing view across the river to Sandy Neck and the lighthouse there. Other things you may enjoy here are the Edward Gorey House and Gray’s Beach. The Optimist Café on Route 6A is a great place for lunch.

Sesuit Harbor Cafe
The next village along Scenic Route 6A is Dennis. Near the town line is the Antiques Center of Cape Cod. This is a splendid place to stop and spend a little time. Dennis is a fairly large village compared to others along 6A and there are lots of interesting places to spend time. We love Borsari Gallery and Tea Room. The setting is killer and lunch lovely. Be sure to ask them about the building’s history. The Cape Cod Museum of Art is in Dennis as is Scargo Lake and Scargo Tower. The view from the top of the tower is wonderful. We also love driving down Sesuit Neck Road to the harbor where the Sesuit Harbor Café is located. This quintessential clam shack is one of our most favorite places to eat on Cape Cod. Charlie is mad about their lobster roll.

Just up 6A from Dennis is the Village of Brewster, which is home to the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History. This is well worth the stop, especially for nature lovers. The Brewster Store is located on your left as you pass through the village and is a fun place to stop and browse. There are many galleries and small antiques shops located along 6A in Brewster. Drive slowly so that you don’t miss one in case you want to stop for a visit.

As you leave Brewster traveling along Route 6A, you will come to Route 6, also known as the Mid Cape Highway. Jump on here following the signs to Provincetown. This larger roadway travels through Orleans, Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, and into P’Town (as the Cape Codders call it). This is a beautiful part of Cape Cod, with many places to visit with more time. With only a couple of days, we suggest that you enjoy the drive through these lovely villages and move along to P’town. We suggest you take the turn-off to the Information Center as you enter Provincetown. It is well-marked along the highway and the view from there over the dunes is very much worth the detour. After all, the purpose of this suggested day-trip is to show you how diverse and beautiful the Cape really is.

When you arrive in Provincetown, head down Commercial Street to the large public parking area near the pier. One of the great things to do in P'town from May through September is to go on a Whale Watch Cruise. The office where you can purchase tickets to the Dolphin Fleet Whale Watch is located neat the public parking lot.They even have a sunset cruise that you will love if the weather is warm and sunny.

When you return from whale watching, you will have time to stroll the streets of P’town and perhaps have dinner at the Lobster Pot on Commercial Street. You can’t miss it, just look for the large lobster hanging out front. When you leave P’town, we suggest that you take Route 6 bake to Sandwich. Take exit 2 onto Route 130 and back to the Inn. You can have a glass of brandy, port, or sherry before you turn in for a comfy, and probably much needed, nights rest.

At this point, you have only one full day left to spend on Cape Cod. You will need to decide whether to take a day trip to Nantucket Island or Martha’s Vineyard. We think you would enjoy either one. Keep in mind that Nantucket is the smaller of the islands and may be more appropriate for a day trip. We have written blogs on both of these lovely islands that may help you decide which one is the best choice for you. Simply look in our blog index and click onto each of these articles.

Whichever you choose, we are happy to help you make arrangements for your visit. Martha’s Vineyard is accessible from either Falmouth or Woods Hole and is only a 30 minute ferry ride. Nantucket is accessible from Hyannis via a 20 minute plane ride or 55 minutes on the fast ferry. If you are taking the 9:00 am ferry to Nantucket, we are happy to send you off with a take-away breakfast to enjoy on the ride over. Martha's Vineyard is quite large but you can enjoy a day-trip there. Nantucket is a small island and ideal for day-tripping.

After breakfast at the inn on your third morning will be check-out time. For us, it will be like saying goodbye to friends. We will be hoping you experienced the magic of Cape Cod and that you will be making a return trip to stay with us and do more exploring.

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

Friday, April 27, 2012

Why We Blog About Cape Cod

Cape Cod is much larger than most folks think, with many villages and towns, each with its’ own special charm. There are numerous bike trails, hiking paths, and many beautiful beaches and nature preserves where you can commune with nature. We have amazing restaurants and quaint shops, and endless museums and galleries to visit. We have some of the world’s most talented visual and performing artists exhibiting and entertaining in many types of venues throughout the Cape.  And then, there is our world famous sea food. There is something for everyone to enjoy here no matter what the season.

One of our reasons for writing this blog is to provide information that we hope will help you in planning your stay on Cape Cod. We blog about upcoming events, about places we have visited, and about experiences that we have had in the many years we have lived on this wonderful and diverse quasi island. Even for those of us who reside here, there are always new adventures to enjoy. After nearly twenty years, we are still exploring the Cape. Sometimes we even hear about places off the beaten path that one of our guests has stumbled upon. We check them out and share them on this blog and with guests at our inn.

We realize that most people don’t have an unlimited amount of time to spend when they vacation here. We hope our blogs featuring suggestions for things to do for a two, three, or four night stays will help you to experience the best of Cape Cod in the time that you have.

Folks come to Cape Cod each year for many different reasons. Whatever yours is, we hope that you will come to quaint and historic Sandwich Village and stay with us at our bed and breakfast. We will do our best to provide you with information that will help you have a memorable Cape Cod experience. After all, we want you to love it as much as we do and come again and again.

                                                                                  Jan Preus, the Innkeeper, chef, and artist in residence.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Piping Plovers Nest on Cape Cod Beaches

 People are attracted to Cape Cod for many reasons. Most of the guests who stay at our Sandwich bed and breakfast come for the tranquil beauty, pristine beaches, and regional seafood. We have also had many “birders” over the years. They come in the spring, summer, fall, and winter. They arrive with binocular, cameras, notebooks, field bags, and field guides in hand in search of species rare and some not so rare.

One of the most well-known of the migrants to Cape Cod is the piping plover. These small birds return each spring from their winter hiatus in the south to nest and lay their eggs in the sand along Cape Cod’s beaches. This year, these endangered birds, as well as many other species, have migrated earlier than they normally do, possibly due to the unusually warm winter both here and in the southern United States.

A concern of the piping plover early migration this spring is our recent cold snap and whether it will have an impact on their mating and nesting. These small birds make their nests in the sand by scratching shallow depressions and surrounding them with bits of shells and rocks. This makes them extremely vulnerable, not only to the elements but to predators and to beach-goers alike. Most of the areas where the plovers nest are marked off by the wildlife service to protect the eggs and the young birds. It takes the eggs in the nests about 28 days to hatch and then it is another 30 days or so before the young plovers can fly.

Piping plovers were brought back from near extinction to its peak in the 1940’s but the population began to decline again due to recreational use of beaches and the increase in residential and commercial development. The Endangered Species Act passed in January of 1986 placed them on the endangered list. The US Fish and Wildlife service on Cape Cod has played a major role in the protection of the piping plover population.

Whether you live on the Cape or are just vacationing here, we all want to go to the beach to walk, swim, play, and enjoy the warm, sunny days. Visitors to Cape Cod beaches can help by being mindful of and respecting roped off or fenced areas that are to protect the plover’s nesting grounds and hatchlings. This also means keeping off-road vehicles and pets out of the area. This doesn’t seem too much to ask to ensure that an endangered species continues to thrive.

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

Monday, April 16, 2012

Cape Cod in Two Days

Cape Cod is a place known for its natural beauty; wind-swept dunes, beautiful beaches, wild forests, and protected estuaries. Narrow roads wind through quaint villages filled with historic significance. Delicious locally grown foods and fresh harvests from the sea are abundant in restaurants and seafood shacks. Cape Cod is an experience; one we hope you will enjoy while staying at our Cape Cod bed and breakfast.

If you are visiting for the first time, let us help you make the most of your time here. With a stay of two nights, you really only have one full day to explore Cape Cod. Check in at our bed and breakfast is between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm. After check-in, you will have the afternoon to enjoy Sandwich Village. If you arrive in Sandwich early, drop in at the Dunbar Tea Shop for lunch. It is just around the corner from us and is one of the top 10 English Tea Rooms in the United States. The food is fabulous and tea a must. After lunch, check in at our inn and there is still time for a stroll around Sandwich Village before dinner at one of our many fine restaurants.

After a delicious full breakfast the next morning, depart with map in hand for a drive along historic and scenic Route 6A. This winding road meanders along the curve of Cape Cod Bay through Sandwich, East Sandwich, West Barnstable, Barnstable, Yarmouth Port, Dennis, Brewster, and into Orleans. It is such a beautiful drive and will give you a real feel for Olde Cape Cod complete with cranberry bog sightings, old sea captains houses, quaint villages, and marsh views out to the waters of Cape Cod Bay. There are plenty of opportunities to stop along the way for a bit of antiquing and shopping and an abundance of places to enjoy some famous Cape Cod seafood.

Route 6A runs from Sandwich to the Orleans Rotary. At this point, you can take Route 28 over to Chatham for a bite of lunch and a view of the Chatham Lighthouse. There is great shopping in the lovely village of Chatham. You could spend the rest of the day there or head back up Route 28 to the Orleans Rotary and onto Route 6 bound for Provincetown.

Route 6 will take you through Orleans, Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, and to P’town, which is the tip end of Cape Cod. If you arrive there early enough, you may be able to make the sunset whale watch cruise aboard the Dolphin Fleet. The offices are located just off the public parking lot on Commercial Street. Before you leave town, seafood lovers should have dinner at the famous Lobster Pot restaurant. Provincetown is a diverse village with something for everyone.

When you arrive back at the inn, we will have brandy, port, and sherry waiting for you. You will be tired from your busy day but you will have a real sense of the beauty of Cape Cod.

The next morning, after breakfast at our inn, we hope you will have time to visit the Sandwich Glass Museum or Heritage Museums and Gardens before you leave the Cape. If not, you can save those for your next visit.

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

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Affordable Cape Cod Spring Fling 2012

We have had a blessedly mild winter here on Cape Cod, for which most folks who live here are truly grateful. Now that spring is officially here, it is time to start thinking about your plans to visit Cape Cod this year. We hope those plans include a stay at our Sandwich bed and breakfast located in Cape Cod’s most quaint and historic village.

There is so much to do here in Sandwich and on the Cape, and we hope your stay will be a nice long one. If you come to the Cape every year, you know there is so much to choose from that you never run out of things to enjoy, and that there is always a new adventure just around the bend. If you have only a short time to visit, let us help you make the most of your stay by sharing some of the places that we think make Cape Cod a most special place.

Our lovely Cape is one of the top vacation destinations in the and people come from all over the world to enjoy its natural beauty. We in the accommodations industry love meeting new folks and are fortunate to be so busy with guests. What this means for folks planning a visit, is that you need to make your accommodation plans early.

With the mild winter we have had, we are expecting a really beautiful spring and summer. Flowers are already blooming and the Cape is shrugging off the last vestiges of Old Man Winter. Trails are ready to be hiked, rivers and streams are just waiting for kayakers, and restaurants are tweaking their menus all in preparation for you visit.

We at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center are fluffing and buffing our lovely guestrooms to a sparkle and shine and putting in the annuals and planting the window boxes in anticipation of a busy 2012 season.

We are offering an amazing early spring special that we hope will fit nicely into your travel budget. Enjoy a Spring Fling in Sandwich for just $139 per night plus taxes for the months of April and May. You must stay at least 2 nights and you will need to call us at 508-888-6958 to book this special.

Ask us about designing a special package for you that includes a 3-course dinner at one of Cape Cod’s best restaurants and we can even add tickets to a couple of Sandwiches’ premier attractions. Give us a call! We would love to have you come for a visit.

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