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Thread: Cape Cod?

  1. #1
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    Cape Cod?

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    If all goes to plan I will be visiting Cape Code this summer. I've never been there before. Mostly likely it will not be a cycling trip, because I'm hoping to be there with my parents who are 80ish years old. Also I don't expect us to be spending time hanging out at any beaches, at least not for getting a tan or swimming. The reason behind the trip would be to visit a relative who has landed a most excellent internship with the collegiate baseball league there. He'll be based near the elbow in the Harwich area.

    I'd appreciate any suggestions (especially budget-friendly ones) for where to stay, where to eat, sightseeing ideas. I already expect that Plymouth will be on our list. Easy hikes (flat and short) would be good. Railroad-related things (museum, steam train ride, model railroad layouts) would also be of interest, if there are any.

    Thanks!

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
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  2. #2
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    I used to live on Cape Cod and *never* went to the beach in the summer! You should try at least one ride on the Cape Cod Rail Trail, although it'll probably be very busy in the summer. Check out the National Seashore. Lots of little hikes, and good history. Because the Pilgrims landed there first (before Plymouth), the Seashore has an interesting combination of natural history and people history (jump on the rail trail in Harwich and you can ride to the visitor center). I'd say there's more seafaring history than railroad history. The rail trail has informational kiosks every now and then, but I'm thinking you want it all in one place.

    There is a scenic railroad leaving from Hyannis. I don't know much about it, though. I love visiting the Cape. I hope to go in May.

  3. #3
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    Do not even think about riding there, during the summer, unless you go out before 5:30 AM. Trust me on this.
    I spent every summer of my childhood/teen years at the Cape. Then, when I moved back here, every vacation with my kids. Now, I rarely go, except in the off season.
    Stick to the beach on the weekends, have a barbecue, and if you do go out for dinner, go to a place where you can make a reservation.
    I second the National Seashore. Also, the Audubon Sanctuary in Welfleet. Miles of flat, beautiful hiking, and if you time it right with the tides,you can walk pretty far. Last summer I hiked on the Pamet Area Trails in Truro. Go here, if you want a spectacular, harder/hilly hike to escape your family. It is rare for me to go to a place on the Cape I haven't been to before. Sandy, dune hiking, with a view to die for.
    Go to a beach on the bay side at least once, when the tide is low. It is amazing. I like Crooks Brook Beach in Eastham.
    Rt. 6A from Dennis to Brewster for antiques/art. There is a natural history museum on 6A in Brewster. The Brewster General Store.
    Stay off of Rt 28 as much as you can.
    Chatham Center/Main St. The Penny candy store near the rotary and the Fudge store. Seriously. You can have it shipped anywhere. Fun to people watch here.

    Food: Bucca's for Italian food in Harwich. On Rt 28. No reservations. Go early/late, during the week. Sundae School. Yes, just what it says. There are a couple, but the one on Lower County Rd in Dennisport is the real deal experience. Don't eat before you go and order a blueberry Sundae, if it's in season.
    Go to Bonnats' (spelling) in Harwichport for breakfast. Portuguese rolls.... do not miss this one!
    Chequessett Chocolate in North Truro. The best hand made chocolate and coffee drinks I've ever had...
    Arnold's for seafood in Eastham
    Go to Provincetown. There is nothing else like it in the world.
    If you are going to have one "fancier" family dinner, I suggest The Red Pheasant in Dennis. In an old house, with charm. It's been there for 40 years and never fails.
    PM me for more.
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  4. #4
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    Thank you very much, ladies, for your suggestions. The plan of the trip seems to be morphing, as some family members want to spend time visiting Boston, including a Red Sox game at Fenway as well as the historic sites there. There's also interest in a possible visit to Lexington and Concord. They're thinking that we can find a hotel that is centrally located, though I fear we will end up having to drive a long time/sit in lots of traffic every day to get back and forth between the hotel and the Cape or Boston. I need to look at a map.

    Digression: I'm looking into the National Seashore. I saw this on the National Park Service website:

    "The word "cranberry" originated as a contraction of crane berry, a name given to the plant by early settlers because the flower resembles the head of a crane."

    I'm not seeing it. Unless they were thinking of the color. Nonetheless I will thrill my family with this bit of trivia when we get there.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cranbe...cos_120604.jpg
    Last edited by ny biker; 02-29-2016 at 03:52 PM.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  5. #5
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    Ha, ha. I laugh because, well my new street is a cranberry ...
    If you decide to do Lexington and Concord I can lead you on a tour... seriously, let me know. And, there are ways to avoid the traffic, by planning your driving times thoughtfully.
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  6. #6
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    I thought I responded to this earlier, because I remember agreeing with Crooks Brook Beach. My friend lives right near there. Last year we managed a sunset at low tide. I never realized the tide went out so far!

    I'll leave the practical advice to Crankin. Living there, I hardly went out to dinner. And during the summer, when I wasn't working, I didn't go out much, just visited with friends.

    I was hoping to visit in May, and coincidently, I was going to stop in the Concord area on my way home. Not sure if it's going to happen this year. I hope you can work out a great trip!

  7. #7
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    Anyone who wants to meet in Concord, just let me know.
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  8. #8
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    That's nice - thanks! I was going to pm you as the time got closer, just to ask about the different trails in the area. I'm still trying to work out the dates with my friend on the Cape.

  9. #9
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    So our trip will be happening soon. Of course I've been too swamped at work to have much time to think about what I want to do while I'm there. I think my parents have been coming up with ideas. My mother mentioned a few things, but the only one I remember was visiting the Kennedy library.

    We found a rental house in Plymouth. There's a pond behind it and a canoe is available. There's also another pond nearby with a beach that we can use. So I went swimsuit shopping for the first time in years. What an ordeal -- it's like shopping for bras that only come in one cup size. Most of the tankini tops are super low cut, the girls are practically falling out of them, and there's all this foam padding which surely must float if you try to go swimming. The only good thing is that swim shorts and skorts are widely available now, no longer just an old lady thing. After much consternation and and frustration, trying on suits at seven different stores, going up four sizes to finally find a top that isn't too tight across the back only to find that now the cups are way too big, I finally found one Nike tankini top that fits. Then I realized that most of the swim shorts and skirts come in navy or black but I need royal blue to match the new tankini. Luckily Land's End has a "cobalt" swim skirt that fits well and matches perfectly. After all this hard work I decided to order another one of their skirts in navy, since it would work for canoeing (or kayaking, which I'd like to try one day) with some of my cycling tank tops.

    But I digress.

    I think we might actually end up spending one or two days just hanging out at the rental house, since it sounds like a pretty nice place. And it will be nice to be able to cook some meals instead of going out for all of them.

    Now that almost all of my pre-vacation shopping is finished (I also needed new sneakers, picked up some swim shoes on clearance at Sports Authority and sandals at Land's End, plus a small electric fan for my room since I'm pretty sure there will be disagreements about the thermostat setting for the A/C), I'm hoping to find some time to study the map and get a feel for where things are. I suspect we will be making/changing plans as we go. I'd better start watching the weather up there, too.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  10. #10
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    Hanging out at the rental house seems nice and relaxing. I just came back from the Cape a few weeks ago. I had planned to ride some of my old favorite routes, but it was kind of chilly. The friend I stayed with was a park ranger and knows all the "unknown" hikes, so instead of riding, I enjoyed some private "ranger-led" hikes. I didn't realize she would have so much free time, and I was happy to be able to spend time with an old friend. So keep your options open.

    When are you going?

    ETA: I went to the Kennedy Library a couple of years ago. I didn't know what to expect and was pleasantly surprised. I found it interesting to learn some of what went on "behind the scenes" of so many decisions and policies. I've since visited the Clinton Library in Little Rock (great bike path along the river, btw) and felt myself drawn in the same way.
    Last edited by IBrakeforPastry; 06-05-2016 at 02:48 PM.

  11. #11
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    NY, it sounds like your rental will be peaceful! But, just to inform, Plymouth is *not* on the Cape. You have to go over one of the 2 bridges over the canal to be on the Cape, and just warning that can involve serious traffic on certain days/times. Plymouth has great restaurants, obviously the Plymouth Plantation, and even great riding in the Pinehills and Myles Standish State Park (hiking there, too). Hyannis (where the Kennedy Museum is) will take you about 30-40 minutes. That is about mid-Cape. If you want to see the lower Cape, like the National Seashore and Provincetown, just be prepared for a drive. Falmouth and Sandwich will be close for you. There is a fabulous glass museum in Sandwich, as well as the Heritage Plantation and Garden. Falmouth has a cool downtown and the only west facing beach on the Cape, Old Silver Beach. Go there for the sunsets. Take in all of the antique shops on Rt. 6A, between Sandwich and Dennis.
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  12. #12
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    I wasn't sure if NY meant the Kennedy Library in Boston, or the Kennedy Museum in Hyannis. But anyway, I did a fast round trip bike ride on the canal path on my way home, starting at the Sandwich marina at the Canal Visitor Center. Most importantly, there is a great ice cream stand right at the entrance!

  13. #13
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    I have done that path once. It is beautiful, but short.
    I have never been to the Kennedy Museum in hyannis, but the library in Boston is awesome.
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  14. #14
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    Despite having lived on the Cape, that was my first time riding the canal path. On my way home, I left Eastham after breakfast, stopped in Sandwich, rode the path at a pretty fast pace (until I turned around and faced a headwind), had lunch, ice cream, and continued on my way. I wasn't in a rush, and it was nice to break up the trip. I'm looking forward to going back.

  15. #15
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    I think my parents were looking at the Kennedy thing in Hyannis. We chose Plymouth because it's way less expensive than being on the Cape and is more convenient for the days we will be going to Boston. I figured we'd have to put up with traffic getting around. Most of us are used to it, living in NY, DC or LA.

    I added Plymouth to my list of Weatherbug locations and looked at the 10-day forecast. WTF, it's barely hitting 70 for a high temp. Looks like I wasted lots of time and money buying a swimsuit that I won't be wearing because it will be too cold. Also this complicates the whole packing thing -- will need more long sleeves, long pants, closed-toed shoes, sweaters.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

 

 

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