Rediscover the Cape

Follow these region-by-region itineraries and fall in love with your new ports of call. Plus: The most relaxing beaches and where to eat, shop, and stay.

Upper Cape: For History Buffs and Antique Hounds

tree houseThe tree house at the Heritage Museums & Gardens. (Photo by Trent Bell.)

5 p.m.: After inching over the traffic-clogged Bourne Bridge, you’ll feel like a Pilgrim arriving at Plymouth Rock: tired, thirsty, and famished. Soothe rumbling stomachs with porcini-dusted day-boat haddock and lobster strudel at the Glass Onion (508-540-3730, in Falmouth.

8 p.m.: Help create, or at least witness, theatrical history at a play read-through presented by the Cape Cod Theatre Project at Falmouth Academy (508-457-4242, Your feedback for the actors and director could go far; many a production launched here has landed on Broadway (The Mineola Twins) or off-Broadway (Modern Orthodox).

9 a.m.: Locals start the day right with Belgian waffles and bottomless cups of coffee at Moonakis Café (508-457-9630) in East Falmouth. Like a side of politics with your bacon? Pick up one of owner Paul Rifkin’s “Make breakfast, not war” tees.

11 a.m.: Enjoy whaling artifacts at the Conant House (508-548-4857,, an 18th-century Colonial-style home on Falmouth green. Spectacles once worn by “America the Beautiful” scribe (and town native) Katharine Lee Bates are also on view.

1 p.m.: Don’t let the crowds deter you from stopping by Mashpee’s Raw Bar (508-539-4858, for the buzzed-about lobster roll – you can split one and still leave full.
Don’t let the crowds deter you from stopping by Mashpee’s Raw Bar (508-539-4858, for the buzzed-about lobster roll – you can split one and still leave full.

3 p.m.: Take in glass-blowing demos and peruse items made at the now-defunct Boston?&?Sandwich Glass Company at the Sandwich Glass Museum (508-888-0251, A hologram (yes, a hologram) of Rebecca Burgess, a ship captain’s wife, watches over a Victorian-era dining room table set with finger bowls , an epergne, and other glass pieces.

6 p.m.: Fans of yard sales and Pawn Stars will enjoy a live auction at the Sandwich Auction House (Saturdays in June, Wednesdays in July and August; 508-888-1926, You could score a glittering art deco bauble on the (relatively) cheap.

8 p.m.: Tucked away in a former Catholic church, the Belfry Inne?& Bistro in Sandwich (508-888-8550, has stained-glass windows and tasty dishes like seafood risotto. Live piano music is the perfect excuse for an après-dinner tipple or two. Feeling chatty? It could be because wine is stored in an old confessional behind the bar.

10 a.m.: Oh-so-fluffy pancakes at the Dan’l Webster Inn (508-888-3622, should fortify you for a trip to the 6,000-square-foot Sandwich Antiques Center on 6A (508-833-3600,, where you can lose yourself among the clocks, lighting fixtures, and furniture.

2 p.m.: Wrap up a weekend of antiquity with a spin on the 1908 carousel and a stroll through the hydrangeas at Sandwich’s Heritage Museums?& Gardens (508-888-3300, Don’t miss the new exhibit “Norman Rockwell: Beyond the Easel,” which features more than 150 works by the legendary painter.

harborThe view from the Quissett Harbor in Falmouth. (Photo by Trent Bell.)

Old Silver Beach, North Falmouth
This crescent beach boasts Buzzards Bay water temps (in the 70s), tide pools on the southern end, and striking sunsets.

South Cape Beach, Mashpee
Situated between Waquoit Bay and Vineyard Sound, this beautiful one-mile stretch of white sand has plenty of blanket space and over-the-dunes boardwalks.

Sandy Neck Beach, Barnstable/Sandwich town line
Relax among 4,700 acres of dunes and maritime forests — or hike from the beach to the Great Marsh wildlife sanctuary.

Sea Crest Beach Hotel, North Falmouth
Fresh off a ­multimillion-dollar renovation, this hotel on Old Silver Beach features gorgeous rooms, a fitness center, and two pools (summer rates from $360; 508-540-9400,

Woods Hole Passage B?&?B, Falmouth
Between the cheery welcome, full breakfasts, and garden grounds, you won’t want to venture too far from this carriage house cum inn (summer rates from $199; 508-548-9575,

Rainy-Day Plan
At Titcomb’s, a three-floor, 42-year-old indie bookshop in Sandwich, you’ll find everything from classic Dickens to a Thoreau first edition to the latest non-fiction bestseller (508-888-2331,

  • Julie

    Makes me miss home.

    But you know Coast Guard beach isn’t the bay side right?