New & Noteworthy on the Cape & Islands 2013
Families vacationing in Chatham and neighboring villages can breathe easier when it’s comes to finding a babysitter this year. Summer Sitters, LLC (508-237-8965) is a fully licensed babysitting referral company that matches families with CPR-certified babysitters who have ample experience working with children. The company, which covers Chatham and surrounding Cape towns, offers short-term, hotel and group babysitting services to residents and visitors of Cape Cod alike. Just contact Summer Sitters to reserve a time and a childcare provider will show up at your door. Welcome back date night!
For bicyclists, getting around and planning an adventure just got a little easier. The Outer Cape Bike Shuttle, operated by Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority, stops at 11 locations between MacMillan Pier in Provincetown and the Cape Cod Rail Trail at Marconi Beach in South Wellfleet, giving bicyclists a chance to rest their legs, cover more ground or link up with other transportation services, such as the ferry from Provincetown to Boston or Plymouth or the Plymouth & Brockton Bus company, which makes several stops along the Outer Cape that connect to Hyannis and beyond. The Outer Cape Bike Shuttle also stops at the Cape Cod Rail Trail, the Province Lands bike trail, the Head of the Meadow bike trail, town centers, is close to beaches and within the Cape Cod National Seashore. The service will run 9 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. daily between June 22nd and September 1st. For more information, visit www.capecodrta.org/bike-shuttle.html.
Rail service from Boston to Cape Cod is returning for the first time in almost 25 years! With this unique partnership between the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority, MassDOT and the MBTA, starting Memorial Day weekend 2013, you will be able to take the CapeFLYER - an extension of the MBTA trains beyond Middleboro, continuing to Buzzards Bay and terminating in downtown Hyannis. From Hyannis, visitors will have easy access to the local bus network, rental cars and the Nantucket ferries. You can even bring your bike. The final schedule and fares will be available in early 2013 at www.capeFLYER.com, but visitors can expect a train leaving South Station on Friday nights at around 5:15 PM and round-trip trains leaving Saturday and Sunday mornings and returning at the end of each day. The service will run on the weekends between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The trip time will be approximately 2 1/2 hours.
Current information about Cape Cod artists, galleries, museums and events is now right at your fingertips. ArtsApp Cape Cod for mobile smartphones and tablet devices is a new digital guide to the best studios, galleries, and museums the Cape has to offer. Use the app’s interactive map to find talented local artists near you, or search the app’s directory to find artists by medium. Peruse the events calendar to find great family-friendly activities at local galleries, museums and theaters, or find the perfect handmade souvenir at the shops of Cape potters, artists, and jewelers. The ArtsApp is free to download and available on all Apple, Android, and mobile-web capable devices. And, if you are planning a trip to the Islands, be sure to check out ArtsApp Nantucket and ArtsApp Martha’s Vineyard.
Cape Air has been providing air service to the Cape & Islands since 1989. Beginning in June 2013, Cape Air will be spreading their wings with seasonal service between Hyannis and New York. Passengers can fly from Barnstable Municipal Airport to Westchester County Airport in White Plains. From there, customers can opt for Cape Air’s limo transport to the heart of Manhattan. The new Hyannis to New York route joins the existing P-Town to NY, Nantucket to NY and Martha’s Vineyard to NY services offered seasonally by Cape Air. To book, call 866-CAPE-AIR or visit www.capeair.com.
Get your binoculars out for the first ever Cape Cod Bird Festival, brought to you by the Cape Cod Bird Club. The three-day event will be held September 13th through 15th at the Cape Codder Resort & Spa in Hyannis (1125 Rte. 132, Hyannis). Scheduled events include: field trips to birding hotspots across Cape Cod; a pelagic trip; workshops led by birding specialists; informative lectures; and bird-inspired family activities on Sunday. Birding expert, author and director of the Cape May Observatory, Pete Dunne, will be the keynote speaker for the event. For more information, visit www.capecodbirdclub.org.
For those who dig vintage vehicles, you won’t want to miss the 3rd Annual Woodies on the Green. On September 21st, at the village green in Yarmouth Port (on the corner of Strawberry Ln. and Rte. 6A) there will be a collection of antique beach wagons on display from noon to 3 p.m. After, stay to watch these old-fashioned rides in action as they cruise down the street. For more information, call 508-362-3311.
The Red Mill Hotel, with its triangle-shaped lobby welcoming visitors, not only has new owners, but a new name: Cape Shore Inn (793 Main St., South Yarmouth: 508-694-7969). The Kansagara family bought the property, which boasts a large outdoor pool, just before Memorial Day last year and has since remodeled the inn. All 18 rooms received new carpeting, modern bedding and bathroom upgrades, including granite vanities; the office area also has a fresher look with a new counter area and LCD TV. What’s not new is the inn’s commitment to providing affordable, family-friendly lodging from its convenient location close to many sites and attractions in the Mid-Cape area. Bus tours and wedding parties are welcome.
The Penny House Inn and Day Spa (4885 Rte. 6, Eastham; 508-255-6632: www.pennyhouseinn.com), a 17th-century sea captain’s home turned bed and breakfast, has new owners and a host of new package deals. Along with a daily homemade breakfast and complimentary tea and scones in the afternoon, the quaint, 12-room inn now offers a romantic winter getaway package that includes a four-course meal, a bottle of wine and movie; and for budding artists there are four-night art workshops in oil painting with their talented artist-in-residence, Nino Scimeca. Within a short driving distance to beaches, bike trails and ponds at the National Seashore and local attractions, there is no shortage of things to do at the Penny House Inn. But, with a heated, in-ground saltwater pool and spa services available here, you might not want to venture out at all. The inn is open year round and can accommodate families, wedding parties and groups.
The rebirth of an island favorite, The Nantucket Hotel + Resort (77 Easton St.; 508-228-4747: www.thenantuckethotel.com.) opened last summer, after extensive renovations and years of vacancy (it was formerly the Point Breeze). “From the outside it looks like an 1891 building; and on the inside, it’s all 21st century,” says Owner Mark Snider about the historic hotel’s recent makeover. The massive project included remodeled rooms, and one- to four-bedroom suites with kitchenettes; a new 300-person capacity Grand Ballroom for events; Breeze Bar and Café, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner indoors or out on the deck. But, there is still more to come. Next summer, Nantucket’s only year-round hotel will have additional luxurious accommodations and The Nantucket Club, a state-of-the-art fitness center with two outdoor swimming pools and a hot tub, and fitness class studio. In addition to providing complimentary transportation from the ferry in downtown Nantucket, the resort also offers a “Two-Island Vacation Adventure” package, where guests can stay at both The Nantucket Hotel and their sister property, the Winnetu Oceanside Resort, on South Beach in Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard. They orchestrate the transportation and logistics; guests don’t have to worry about a thing.
Located in the heart of Provincetown under new ownership is Salt House Inn (6 Conwell St., Provincetown; 508-487-1911: www.salthouseinn.com). The inn redefines the classic bed and breakfast with a fresh, contemporary approach. The decor of the 15 individually designed guestrooms evokes the feeling of a breezy Cape Cod beach cottage complete with collections of vintage art and curiosities. Salt House Inn (formerly Dexter’s Inn) offers relaxed luxury with warm service and thoughtful amenities, including well-appointed bathrooms, plush bedding, WiFi, and complimentary parking. Each morning, guests enjoy a gourmet feast of homemade pastries, savory treats, yogurt, granola, and more. A communal table in the breakfast room lends itself to socializing, while the newly landscaped grounds offer an al fresco dining area, outdoor lounge, and sun terrace.
Guests of the waterfront Anchor In (One South St., Hyannis; 508-775-0357: www.anchorin.com) now can enjoy the hotel’s spectacular harbor views from the comfort of a new fire pit seating area—sure to be a popular spot at dusk and into the evening. The new fire pit is just one of the many amenities the 42-room hotel offers, including a daily complimentary continental breakfast, outdoor heated pool and a long list of shops, restaurants, and attractions within walking distance.
Just when you think Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Club (2907 Main St., Brewster; 508-896-9000: www.oceanedge.com) couldn't get any better, they do, as 2013 marks an exciting re-launch of the resort as a premier luxury getaway. Ocean Edge encompasses 429 acres straddling either side of Brewster’s picturesque Main Street. Over the last five years, more than $40 million has been invested in the resort, much of it to accommodations on “The Mansion side,” the portion of the property surrounding the historic Nickerson Family mansion. "We wanted the new Mansion guestrooms and Bay Pines villas to come alive with texture and detail that embody a Cape holiday, but with a fresh and modern approach to color and styling," says Linda Snyder, the acclaimed interior designer based in Torrance, CA who handled the project. Other upgrades on the list of recent improvements include a new Members Sport Club, and renovations to the 4,500-square foot wedding and meeting facility.
Puritan Cape Cod (508-775-2400: www.puritancapecod.com), a third-generation clothier known for its Cape Cod lifestyle brand, has expanded the company’s vision of casual wear with its launch of a new lifestyle brand, Chatham Chino Company. Inspired by the khaki uniforms that Puritan supplied to Chatham Coast Guard Station personnel nearly a century ago, the clothing line will focus on menswear initially. So far the company has made available—both online and at their four store locations—their house-designed cotton polos and button-down shirts with signature hurricane logo and embroidered cap as well as the pants that started it all—comfortable cotton chinos in two shades of khaki. The lifestyle brand aims to celebrate Cape Cod’s rugged, salt-of-the-sea heritage with style.
Truro Vineyards (11 Shore Rd., Truro; 508-487-6200: www.trurovineyardsofcapecod.com) is looking beyond the vine and branching out into the rum trade. Since the Roberts family purchased the vineyard six years ago, the company has developed several new wines, added a barrel room, and became the site of two popular summer festivals: annual grape stomp and WAAM — “Wine, Art, Appetizers & Music.” Now they are building a two-story distillery for their rum line, which is expected to make its debut sometime in August. Perfect for mixing but smooth enough to drink straight up, the aged rum will be around 80 proof and will eventually include several specialty flavors.
A European-style apothecary and treatment sanctuary has just opened in Orleans. Founded by seasoned esthetician Alison Supple Evans, Supple Apothecary (82 Route 6A, Orleans; 774-316-4555: www.suppleapothecary.com) carries only natural, organic, and holistic products made with the purest and most technologically advanced ingredients. You can shop for make-up, skin- and hair-care products, organic soaps, and fragrances--all of which are free of chemicals and synthetic ingredients. Supple Apothecary, like its California location, also offers regenerative, detoxifying, and balancing facials as well as waxing.
What started out as a mobile pizza operation has morphed into a brick-and-mortar restaurant business for Owner Jason O’Toole and his team. O’Toole began slinging pizza in the spring of 2010 from his traveling wood-fire oven at local farmer’s markets, public events and private parties throughout Massachusetts. Although the company still caters pizza parties, the business now includes a full-time restaurant, Pizza Barbone (390 Main St., Hyannis; 508-957-2377: www.pizzabarbone.com). The secret to Pizza Barbone’s early success—aside from using fresh, quality ingredients—is their handcrafted Stefano Ferrara oven, which was built by third generation Italian oven-makers out of rock and ash from Mt. Vesuvious. The wood-fire oven is one of less than 30 of its kind in the US and heats up to 1,000 degrees to churn out blissfully blistered Neapolitan pizzas every time.
Citizens of the Quahog Republic rejoice. The popular restaurant in Falmouth has expanded to include a second location with a fresh renovation in Wareham. Aptly named the Quahog Republic Waterfront Eatery (197 Onset Ave., Wareham; 774-678-4032: www.quahogrepublic.com), the new location overlooks Onset town pier, making the restaurant accessible by both land and sea. To capitalize on the bay views, the restaurant added an outside deck perfect for sipping a cocktail and dining on savory seafood dishes--including stuffed quahogs and their award-winning quahog chowder— burgers and more. Diners can also order items off their fresh raw bar, which showcases local oysters and littlenecks.
A brand new spot to sip coffee and chat with friends opened this past spring in downtown Hyannis. Rendezvous Café (394 Main St., Hyannis; 508-827-4449: www.rendezvoushyannis.com) offers hot Panini sandwiches, fresh free-trade coffee, and something new to Main Street: a crêpe bar. The versatile French creations are made to order and stuffed with sweet or savory fillings. The café also incorporates a splash of Italy to their drink menu with a selection of cremosas, or Italian sodas, which people can mix and match to create endless combinations.
From the owners of Coonamessett Inn, Tugboats, and the Flying Bridge restaurants—local dining mainstays—comes Clancy’s redux. The Cape Cod Restaurant Group bought the already established, locally loved restaurant (8 Upper County Rd., Dennisport; 508-394-6661: www.clancysrestaurant.com) last May. Owner Bill Zammer says that much of the restaurant will stay the same, including the casual, family-friendly atmosphere. Some of the improvements, however, include new paint, carpeting, TVs, and the addition of high-top tables. Along with the great view overlooking Swan River, customers can expect a menu featuring a unique mix of seafood and comfort classics like chicken parmesan, steak, crunchy onion rings, and macaroni and cheese, as well as dishes based on seasonal ingredients.
The space formerly occupied by Shaw’s Market in Mashpee Commons has been transformed into The Lanes Bowl & Bistro (9 Greene St., Mashpee; 774-228-2291: www.lanesbowlandbistro.com), a boutique dining and entertainment venue that is the first of its kind on Cape Cod. A casual bistro, 10-pin style bowling alley and stage for scheduled performances are all housed under one roof, with an al fresco seasonal bar and bocce court just outside for a fun range of activities. The design inspiration for The Lanes Bowl & Bistro came from the "turn-of-the-century bowling alleys typically housed in the basements of halls and public buildings," says Owner Jeff Moore. "Our ‘vintage-industrial’ vision combines an old factory feel with urban edginess." But, the most "striking" feature of the new venue is its broad appeal: it's the perfect spot to host everything from kids' birthday parties to functions. But to us it just sounds like a fun night out on the town with friends.
Now customers can get an even closer look at the beautiful ocean views at the Ocean House (Depot St., Dennisport; 508-394-0700: www.oceanhouserestaurant.com), a Zagat-rated fine dining restaurant that directly overlooks Nantucket Sound. They recently added a hip and breezy beach bar, which will be open Memorial Day through Columbus Day for lunch and nightly fare. Early evening musical entertainment, an edited bar menu and signature handcrafted beverages, like the hand-muddled strawberry lemon Mojito, makes the new beach bar a destination in itself. But it’s an especially fun starter course to an evening that evolves into an unforgettable three-course meal inside the restaurant.
Last July marked a huge milestone for the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum (397 Main St., Hyannis; 508-790-3077: www.jfkhyannismuseum.orgmashpe): It has been 20 years since the museum opened at the old town hall on Main Street in downtown Hyannis. More than two decades ago, local leaders in the Town of Barnstable’s Heritage Group and Hyannis Chamber of Commerce, including then President Wendy Northcross, noted the public’s interest in the family time that President Kennedy spent on Cape Cod. With the help of co-founder Rebecca Pierce-Merrick, the museum opened and has become a popular cultural centerpiece for the area, attracting more than 45,000 people annually. Today you can find a permanent photographic exhibit that reflects some of the private moments Kennedy shared with his friends and family on Cape Cod and view a video narrated by Walter Cronkite about Kennedy’s experiences here. The museum also hosts a well-attended speakers series, which in the past has featured Senator Paul Kirk, attorney Ken Feinberg and Clint Hill, a former US Secret Service Agent and author of “Mrs. Kennedy and Me,” a memoir about his time spent protecting Jacqueline Kennedy.
Although the Provincetown Art Association and Museum (460 Commercial St., Provincetown; 508-487-1750: www.paam.org) has been around for almost a century, last year marked the 20th anniversary of the museum’s successful “Student and Educator Curating Program.” The community program invites students and teachers to choose a work from the museum’s collection and then respond to it through writing and other creative media such as printmaking, sculpture, painting, drawing, and more. A theme is chosen, and the student/teacher projects are hung for a publicly received art reception in the museum’s galleries alongside the work that inspired their work. Since 1992, PAAM has hosted more than 80 student-created exhibits, with many more to come.
The fun and lively Provincetown Carnival, a week-long celebration full of themed parties and events with a colorful parade down Commercial Street as the festival's highlight, turns 35 this year. The atmosphere is reminiscent of Mardi Gras with crowds of people dressing in costumes and soaking up the joyous revelry. The end-of-season tradition is a must-see. Housing books up early, so plan accordingly. For more information, visit www.ptown.org or www.provincetownlive.net.
Downtown Hyannis is home to Cape Cod’s first state-designated cultural district, the HyARTS Cultural District, which includes many cultural and historic attractions, shops, and restaurants. Located in the heart of the district is the Kennedy Legacy Trail, open year round, which celebrates the significant role the Kennedy’s played in shaping the history of Hyannis and Cape Cod. From the family compound in Hyannisport to the JKF museum on Main Street to the armory downtown, where President Kennedy held his very first press conference after election. The self-guided 1.6 mile trail consists of 10 informational signs that are placed at key locations from Main Street to the harbor, finishing up at the JFK Memorial at Veteran’s Beach. Each stop provides a brief history of the site and its significance to the Kennedy’s and their life on Cape Cod. Visitors along the trail can retrieve additional information by accessing the QR code or dialing the number on each sign. Brochures and maps are available at the JFK Museum on Main Street, Hyannis (www.kennedylegacytrail.com). The Town of Sandwich was more recently added to the list of designated cultural districts. Visit www.massculturalcouncil.org for details!
Congratulations to Wequassett Resort and Golf Club (On Pleasant Bay, Chatham; 800-225-7125: www.wequassett.com) for being chosen by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine as being one of the world’s best resorts in 2012. The luxury resort was also designated by Conde Nast Traveler as being the home of one of the “17 Hotel Terraces with Unbelievable Views.” Here, guests can wake up to breathtaking views of both Pleasant Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
Coastal Living magazine voted Chatham as one of America’s “Happiest Seaside Towns,” citing its small-town charm and visible history as reasons for its appeal. The town is just one of 15 towns recognized by Coastal Living magazine editors, who took into account weather conditions, the town’s walkability, school and crime ratings as well as the healthiness of beaches and financial and educational backgrounds of the general population.
Coast Guard Beach in Eastham made the list of “Top 10 Beaches in the U.S.” For more than 20 years “Dr. Beach,” Professor Stephen Leatherman of Florida International University, has been ranking the nation’s beaches based on environmental quality and safety for swimmers. Coast Guard Beach, located within and operated by Cape Cod National Seashore, was named sixth in the country. Visit http://www.nps.gov/caco/planyourvisit/coast-guard-beach-eastham.htm for additional info.