While the calendar says spring is arriving next week, cold weather and nor'easters have the whole East Coast feeling trapped in a never-ending winter. Escaping to Cape Cod, if only for a long weekend, might just be enough to recharge your batteries. After all, why should college kids be the only ones to enjoy a little Spring Break fun?
Here's how to swim in warm waters, savor moonlit meals, and enjoy the great outdoors—no plane ticket required.
Spending a relaxing morning tucked into a cozy bed, and waking up to the smells of a freshly-made breakfast. Sound like a little slice of heaven?
Shoveling all the recent New England snow is hard work. For those in need of post-winter pampering, Harwich's Platinum Pebble Boutique Inn rolls out the red carpet with gourmet in-room breakfasts, access to a yoga studio, en-suite fireplaces, and large bathtubs perfect for reading a book while soaking in suds. Getaway packages featuring everything from couples' massages to whale watch passes can be found on the inn's website.
Chatham Gables Inn, a beautifully restored sea captain's mansion, offers an intimate getaway away from it all. Enjoy breakfast in the garden room before heading to a luxurious massage or facial at the spa. It's just minutes away from Chatham's quaint Main Street shops, restaurants and cafes, as well as spectacular views of the shore and historic Chatham Lighthouse.
Nestled in historic Yarmouthport is the Inn at Cape Cod, a restored 1820's Southern Plantation property. Wake to homemade breakfasts at the elegantly appointed inn, and on a nice spring day enjoy a glass of wine on one of the charming porches. Antique shops and great restaurants as long Route 6A - including the Old Yarmouth Inn - are just a short stroll away.
Savor all the quirky charm of Provincetown with fewer crowds. Chic decor, zen outdoor gardens and an authentic farm-to-table restaurant experience await at the trendy Sage Inn & Lounge. The boutique hotel is just a stone's throw to bustling Commercial Street, Provincetown Harbor and The Crown & Anchor, where a renowned cabaret lounge plays host to lively drag shows, stand up comics, and theater performances.
Enjoy Happy Hours like a local
Cape Codder cocktails overlooking sunsets on warm summer nights might need to wait a few months, but there's no shortage of signature drinks and craft beer up and down the Cape. For a decidedly elegant outing, sip cranberry infused cocktails or wine from around the world in the moon-lit conservatory room at the Dan'l Webster Inn in Sandwich. Alternatively, the tavern offers local beer and bar snacks in a New England style pub.
Can't make it to Napa or Sonoma Valley? No problem. Tastings are held every weekend (and daily in season) at Truro Vineyards. Head to the Chatham Wine Bar to sample small plates and more than 150 varieties of wine. Try vintages from South America to Spain at the intimate bar, or choose to savor French and American meals that are as pretty as they are delicious fireside in the dining room. And an extensive wine list pairs nicely with Italian cuisine and fireside dining at the new Bucatino Restaurant & Wine Bar in North Falmouth.
There's plenty brewing for craft beer lovers. Cape Cod Beer offers flights and full pours in its warehouse-style digs in Hyannis. The brewery is open 6 days a week (closed Sundays) for tours and tastings. You'll find about a dozen varieties of in-house brewed suds on tap and in bottles. Tastings are also held at the new Barnstable Brewing in Hyannis.
Read our recent blog for more spots to enjoy winter/early spring nightlife.
Swimming's not just for beaches
No plane ride or passport required for a dip into warm waters at these heated indoor pools. The Sea Crest Beach Hotel in Falmouth is a seaside lover's dream in the summer—just steps away from a private beach. In winter and spring, you can still take advantage of waterfront views while enjoying brisk walks on the sandy shore. Warm up with laps in the hotel's indoor pool, situated in a large glass enclosure; you might just be able to watch the snow or rain fall outside while floating in clear blue waters. Afterwards, toast to the coming spring over sunset views at the hotel's Red’s Restaurant & Lounge.
The Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Club in Brewster offers two indoor pools for guests and members. The Bay Pines year-round pool features a deep and shallow end with adjacent hot tub. The Fletcher Village pool in the fitness complex has an indoor pool and outdoor pool (open in summer months), toddler pool, hot tubs, saunas, locker rooms and a snack cabana that will have you feeling like you're snacking on the beach, even in winter-like weather. Indulge yourself before or after your swim at the resort's Beach House Spa.
Four Points by Sheraton Eastham offers easy access to the National Seashore Park in all weather, and gives visitors the chance to float in warm waters year-round. Enjoy sun-filled days in the pool, located inside a cozy solarium. There are even guest rooms overlooking the pool for spring-starved vacationers in need of summer vibes.
Lace Up Your Hiking Boots
No need to wait for summer to explore the great outdoors. Even in cooler temperatures, a hike along coastal trails and wooded paths is a treat for outdoor enthusiasts—especially those looking for a little solitude from city living or a glimpse of rare birds. For a full-day across the peninsula, explore parts, or all, of the Cape Cod Rail Trail, following the path of an old railroad for 22 miles through Dennis, Harwich, Brewster, Orleans, Eastham and Wellfleet. For scenic canal views, the Cape Cod Canal Trail provides a great day of walking or biking along the waterway. And if you love the beach on cool, empty days, you'll love a brisk hike around the Cape Cod National Seashore. The 40-mile stretch of preserved land winds from Chatham to the tip of the Cape, and offers off-season visitors impressive vistas without the crowds.
Shop til' you drop
Along our backroads and just off the beaten path, visitors will find an incredible array of arts and crafts, wood carvers, jewelers, painters, weavers, glassmakers, sculptors and potters, just to name a few. Cape Cod’s celebrated antique trail takes visitors Cape-wide, for every town has at least one. Old King’s Highway (historic Route 6A) is a treasure trove of exquisite antique finds and galleries. Take a walk along the Main Street centers, which offer chic retail shops, bookstores, specialty boutiques, local souvenirs and upscale eateries and cafes. And a diverse range of dining and shopping options can be found at the Cape Cod Mall in Hyannis, Mashpee Commons and just over the bridge at Wareham Crossing.
Wherever you shop, don't leave without a keepsake of your Spring Break on Cape Cod.