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This week, being birthday week and all, Rich and I decided to go to Nantucket for the day with our bikes. We took the first fast ferry of the day offered by the Steamship Authority, which departs from the terminal on South Street in Hyannis. It was a beautiful spring morning, with bright sun and light winds, and the seas were relatively calm. We left the dock at the stroke of 8:00 AM and cruised slowly out of Hyannis harbor, past the Hyannis Yacht Club, Veteran’s and Kalmus beaches, and the gabled peaks of the Kennedy Compound in Hyannisport. An hour later were at Steamboat Wharf on Nantucket. (more…)
Often on a sunny afternoon, Rich and I will head out to explore Cape Cod beyond the immediate environs of our bed and breakfast inn. Armed with my trusty Cape Cod Street Atlas and Rich’s GPS, we set off on an adventure of discovery. It was on one of these missions that we uncovered some of our favorite off-the-beaten path destinations on the lower Cape. Starting from the rotary at the Orleans/Eastham line where Route 6 and 6A meet, the drive continues as far as Provincetown, covering roughly 25 miles. You can take Route 6 from West Barnstable or follow the more meandering path of Route 6A to Orleans. We prefer 6A if time allows, as it is perhaps more scenic, but generally return via Route 6, the Mid-Cape Highway, as it is more direct and definitely faster. Traveling from the High Pointe Inn, the drive is approximately 120 miles round trip and will take the better part of the day to fully enjoy.
NOTE: All scenic spots are marked with the corresponding page number and grid marks in brackets from American Map’s “Cape Cod Street Atlas”. (more…)
Rich and I just got back from a few days on the west coast, taking a respite in advance of what we hope will be a busy season for our bed and breakfast inn on Cape Cod. Ostensibly we went to visit our grand children for Easter, but we had a few days prior to the start of the kids’ school vacation to do some exploring on our own. We chose Victoria, British Columbia, just off the coast of Bellingham, WA where our son lives, as a likely destination to acquaint ourselves with further.
We arrived by ferry on the last day of March to bright sunshine and temperate weather. Everything was in bloom-tulips, daffodils, forsythia, PJM Rhodies, cherry trees, hyacinth-it was a veritable riot of color. For those of you who have not been to Victoria, it is considered the “most British city outside of England”. Every square inch of green space was perfectly manicured and lovingly tended. In stark contrast to the dull brown and barren trees we left behind in New England, our senses were on overdrive.
We rented a car and decided to drive part of the “Marine Drive”, a 10+ mile scenic drive along the northeastern part of the island. We drove out past Fisherman’s Wharf, through the outskirts of Victoria proper and some lovely oceanfront residential properties, along a wide swath of groomed parklands laced with paved bike paths abutting the coastline. People were out jogging, riding their bikes, roller blading, and walking their dogs. We were amazed by the abundance of municipal land dedicated to public recreation, but were thunderstruck when we came upon on sign that read “entering off-leash dog park”. Dogs of all sizes were frolicking freely on the grass while their owners strolled casually nearby. Being dog owners ourselves, we are always thrilled to see dedicated pet-friendly areas in other parts of the world. So we parked the car and enjoyed the view of Puget Sound and puppies playing with careless abandon.
It reminded us that there are some dog friendly areas on Cape Cod as well, both on land and sea. Most places require that dogs be leashed, but here, in a nutshell are some great outings for you and Fido on your next vacation to Cape Cod.
Hiking or Biking Trails
Dog-Friendly Beaches: Most Cape Cod towns do not allow dogs on their ocean beaches between Memorial Day and Labor Day, but there are some exceptions.
Cape Cod Dog Parks: There are two dog parks on the Cape, one in Dennis and one in Provincetown.
On the Water: A couple of local cruise operations and a whale watch company welcome well-behaved dogs on leashes, as long as they are notified when the booking is made.
On one of our frequent “jump in the car and see where it takes you” adventures, Rich and I headed to Chatham for an afternoon of exploration. Having a rare afternoon off from our duties as innkeepers of the High Pointe Inn, we took advantage of the record-breaking spring temperatures and put the top down on the converible. We took the Mid-Cape Highway to exit 11 then followed Route 137 into Chatham and cruised down Main Street. At the intersection of Main and Shore Rd., with Chatham Lighthouse on our left and Lighthouse Beach straight ahead, we opted to go right onto Morris island Road. It seemed the “road less taken” and being the curious sort, we meandered down the winding road until we could go no further. (more…)
Rich and I began our inn keeping careers in North Conway, NH in the heart of the White Mountains before moving to West Barnstable, MA and opening the High Pointe Inn. Living in the shadow of Mt. Washington, the tallest mountain east of the Mississippi, and surrounded by five major ski slopes, was a bit daunting for couch potatoes such as ourselves. The area was a haven for skiers, rock climbers, mountain bikers, and other daredevil outdoor types. We stuck out as flatlanders, which was what the locals called folks from away.
Determined to take advantage of this outdoor wonderland, and needing to drop a few pounds after our first summer of inn keeping, I cajoled Rich into trying a few of the hikes in the area. We had done Diana’s Baths, a gentle hike through the woods to a gorgeous waterfall with rock pools, several times with Casey, our yellow lab pup, but it was time to try something a little more challenging. So we set our sites on Black Cap, an easy hike with a paltry 900 foot vertical rise. (more…)