Few things are as classically New England as a seaside escape, amid the shifting sand dunes, dense pine forests, and rustic wooden cottages of Cape Cod. Since the days when the original Nauset people inhabited the land, the Cape’s enchanting atmosphere has attracted many, from European settlers, to the upper echelons of American society--most notably, the Kennedy family--yet the region has managed to maintain much of its quiet beauty and rural charm. Over the years, we’ve loved bringing travelers from around the world to visit different parts of this vast, windswept stretch of land and sea--and every few years, we make a few new discoveries ourselves! This year, we’re introducing the Cape Cod Explorer, the latest edition of our beloved Cape Cod excursion, and we can’t wait to show you what treasures await. Here’s what not to miss this year, on your next trip “down the Cape”:
Village Views in Sandwich
After an epic view from the bridge that takes us across the Cape Cod Canal, we’ll ride through the Cape’s oldest town, the village of Sandwich--about to celebrate its 380th birthday later this year! Ride past the town’s elegantly weathered wooden homes, and the beautifully reconstructed Dexter Grist Mill, where you’ll encounter that understated charm that draws us back to the Cape every year.
Breezing Through the Bay
A harbor cruise across Lewis Bay is one of those essential Cape Cod experiences; relax as the ferry takes you through the bay’s calm waters, breathing in the gentle sea breezes that sweep in off of the Atlantic Ocean. Learn about the area’s fascinating history as you cruise through small channels past piers, small villages, sandy shores, and lighthouses. Eventually we'll enter the open harbor, where the sight of gliding sailboats, yachts, and views of the opulent but stately Kennedy Compound might convince you to start scanning the real estate section of the Cape Cod Times when you get back to the shore…
Cape Cod Flavors
After you've worked up an appetite, you'll have time to sample some of the Cape's fresh seafood--whether it’s the sweet scallops harvested from the bay, Wellfleet's beloved oysters, or the region’s famous fried clams and steamed lobster, you are in for a feast you won’t forget. A lunch at one of the Cape’s old school, seafood-with-a-view spots like The Lobster Boat offers something for everyone--and if bivalves and crustaceans aren’t your cup of chowdah, don’t worry--there are plenty of pastas, grilled steaks, and chicken for you landlubbers, as well as vegetarian options.
A very exciting addition to this year’s Cape Cod Explorer is the real treasure we have in store for you: Back in 1984, underwater archaeology expert Barry Clifford unearthed the world’s only 100% authenticated pirate ship from the “Golden Age” of piracy (we didn’t even know there was such a designated time period, but we learn something new everyday around here)--complete with the only authenticated pirate treasure ever recovered! And if glimmering silver coins and other spoils plundered at sea aren’t enough to catch your eye, the Whydah Galley museum is full of fascinating exhibits, artifacts, reconstructions, and parts of the wreck that you can watch being excavated in the laboratory. The ship’s iconic bell and other fragments--as well as guns, swords, and shackles--tell quite a turbulent tale, from the Whydah's origin as a heavily armed slave ship, to its capture and rebirth as a proper pirate ship under “Black Sam” Bellamy and his band of freed slaves, prisoners, and Native Americans--leading up to the eventual wreckage, just off the coast of Massachusetts, where the ship and its treasure lay buried for two and a half centuries.
A Site to Sight-Sea
We can’t let you go home without a stop at one of the most iconic New England vistas, the beach, where ashen-white sand dunes dotted with swaying beach grass meet the gently crashing blue surf, while gulls soar overhead. We can’t think of a better way to contemplate the end of a very full day on old Cape Cod.