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What to do on Cape Cod when it’s not beach weather? In the mood to commune with nature, we headed out on a whim with some friends recently to hike a few local nature trails and prayed that our adventurous spirit would be undaunted by the dreary weather. Eight days of intermittent gray had taken its toll and, although the sun seemed poised to make an appearance, our hopes had been dashed before.
Our first destination was the Knob at Quissett Harbor in Falmouth. A gentle well-worn path winds through woodlands along one of the most beautiful harbors on Cape Cod. About ¾ of the way in you come to a crescent-shaped sandy beach tucked into a small inlet that would make the perfect stop for a quick dip. On this day, however, the weather gods did not allow for swimming so we search for sea glass instead and were rewarded mightily. Just past the access to the beach, stone steps lead to the Knob itself. This recently revetted hill of land juts out into the water and offers amazing views of Buzzards Bay, the Elizabeth Islands, and the towns of Wareham, Marion, Mattapoisett, Fairhaven, and Sakonnet in the distance. Or so we were told by the only member of the group that had walked this way before. Our visit was shrouded in fog, so a return visit is required to confirm this. Undaunted by the lack of view, we enjoyed the solitude and sat on the rocks for quite a while.
Our second destination was the Museum of Natural History on Route 6A in Brewster. There on the grounds are a series of short walks through the salt marsh to Wing’s Island. Wing’s Island is named for one of the first colonial settlers, John Wing, a monument to whom you will pass along the trail. The trails lead through the salt marsh, an upland meadow and forest, and out to the dunes and beach and Cape Cod Bay. The marshlands are bounded to the west by Quivet Creek and to the east by Paine’s Creek, which becomes Stony Brook just south of Route 6A. It’s a gentle walk, clearly marked and easy to traverse, the only obstacle being an occasional muddy spot along the trail that requires bushwhacking a bit or carefully balancing on thoughtfully placed boards. Though we were unable to reach the dunes that day due to flooding in the marsh from recent rains, we were able to spot an errant lady slipper, a blue butterfly, and a rufous-sided towhee, my first.
So if the weather is less than perfect on your next visit to Cape Cod, don’t be discouraged. These are but two of the wonderful nature walks you can explore…one that led us to sea glass treasure, and the other to a treasure of flora and fauna.
Taking in a show or two at the Cape Cod Playhouse has become an annual tradition for us as it has for many Cape Cod locals and visitors since its inception more than 80 years ago. This year, our very dear friends gave us a gift certificate to the Playhouse for Christmas. Dreaming about a sultry summer night out got me through more than one dark and chilly night this winter. So it was with great anticipation that I read the lineup for the 2011 season recently. Always attracting a roster of fine actors, the Cape Cod Playhouse strives for a balance of comedy, mystery, musical, and perhaps a little mayhem too. This year they present:
An Evening with Lucille Ball, “Thank you for Asking” (June 13-25)
Directed by Lucy’s real-life daughter Lucie Arnaz, the show provides a peek behind the curtain of one of Hollywood’s most beloved actresses.
No Way To Treat a Lady (June 27-July 9)
Billed as “an uproarious, and sexy musical that gives new meaning to the phrase “knock ‘em dead’” this comic thriller is a blend of humor, romance, murder and music.
The Graduate (July 11-July 23)
One of the most popular movies of all time, this 60s hit comedy is brought to life onstage. The story revolves around a coming of age college graduate and the mother and daughter next door. You know the plot line, even if you’ve never seen the movie.
Footloose, the Musical (July 25-August 6)
What happens when a small town is turned upside down by a kid from the big city who moves into town and falls in love with the preacher’s daughter? Nominated for Best Musical Score.
Crazy for You. All Gershwin (August 8-August 20)
Billed as “The New Gershwin Musical Comedy”, the story is largely based on the songwriting team’s 1930 musical, Girl Crazy. The musical won the 1992 Tony Award for Best Musical
Unnecessary Farce (August 22 September 2)
A contemporary American farce, full of door slamming, double-entendre, and impossible mix-ups. It’s laugh out loud funny from start to finish.
Reserve your seats now for the upcoming season and make it a true getaway by booking a stay at the High Pointe Inn. The Playhouse is located just 20 minutes down the road from us and this year two new restaurants have opened up on or near the Playhouse campus in Dennis. Stay tuned for my review of Summer Stock and Fin.
Need an excuse to get out of the kitchen next week and come to Cape Cod? Set your sights on any of the nearly 50 restaurants across Cape Cod that will be celebrating Cape Cod Restaurant Week starting Monday, May 16 and running through Sunday, May 22, 2011. Operating twice annually since the Fall of 2009, Restaurant Week is a great way to sample some of Cape Cod’s finest restaurants for a fraction of the price. Featuring a 3- or 4-course prix fixe menu priced at $25 – $35 per person depending on the restaurant, you could easily discover a new favorite, or return to a much-loved venue from previous seasons. Rich and I always try 3-4 “new to us” restaurants during this bi-annual event so that we can recommend new and different places for our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast guests to try.
1. Van Renssalaer’s Restaurant
2. The Sagamore Inn
3. Ten Tables Restaurant & Bar
4. Captain Linell House
5. Black Cat Tavern
6. Victor’s Restaurant
7. Bubala’s by-the-Bay
8. The Bramble Inn & Restaurant
9. Brewster Fish House
10. Nauset Beach Club
11. Old Yarmouth Inn
12. Ross’ Grill
14. Central House @ Crown & Anchor
15. Saki Sushi Bar & Lounge
16. Pisces Restaurant & Bar
17. El Mundo
18. Ocean Terrace @ Ocean Edge
19. Cape Sea Grille
20. Barnstable Restaurant & Tavern
21. The Lobster Pot
22. The Dolphin Restaurant
23. Summer Stock Restaurant
24. Buca’s Tuscan Roadhouse
25. Ciro & Sal’s
26. Dalla Cucina
27. The Bee-Hive Tavern
28. Naked Oyster Bistro & Raw Bar
29. Chapaquoit Grill
31. The Roadhouse Cafe
32. Celestino’s Cafe
33. Fanizzi’s By the Sea
34. The Port
35. Colombo’s Cafe & Pastries
36. 586 Bistro & Bar
37. Vining’s Bistro
38. Blue Moon Bistro
39. Napi’s Restaurant
40. Queen Anne Inn & Restaurant
41. Phusion Grille
42. Scargo Cafe
43. The Belfry Inne & Bistro
44. Five Bays Bistro
45. Gerardi’s Cafe
46. Red Pheasant Inn
47. l’Alouette Bistro
48. Ocean House
Longpasture Wildlife Sanctuary, one of the Massachusetts Audubon Society’s facilities which is located near our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast, just released their 2011 Kayak Adventure dates for the spring season. These 3-hour guided kayak trips feature some of Cape Cod’s most scenic waterways and are a great way to get out on the water with expert guides who will introduce you to the local flora and fauna. No need to bring your own equipment, as everything you’ll need will be provided. Kayak adventures are priced at $40 for members and $45 for non-members. Call 508-362-7475 for reservations.
Sat., May 21st, 9 am -12 pm Sampsons Island, Cotuit
Sat., May 28th, 10 am – 1pm Herring River, W. Harwich
Sat. June 4th, 10 am -1 pm Barnstable Harbor/Sandy Neck
Sat. June 11th, 9 am – 12 pm Gray’s Beach, Yarmouthport
Wed. June 15th, 8 pm – 10 pm Full Moon, Mashpee
Sat. June 18th, 11 am – 2 pm Osprey Paddle, Westport
Sat. June 25th, 9 am – 12 pm Barnstable Harbor/Sandy Neck
The High Pointe Inn supports the efforts of the Longpasture Wildlife Sanctuary through annual donations. Book your kayak trip now and then reserve a room at the Inn, located just 15 minutes from the facility, for a fabulous weekend getaway.
Struggling for years to find a responsible alternative to just throwing away the slightly used bath amenities used by our guests at the High Pointe Inn on Cape Cod, we are pleased to announce that we recently partnered with the “Clean the World” Foundation, which is headquartered in Orlando, Florida. Founded in 2009, Clean the World’s mission is to “reduce the waste created by discarded soap and shampoo products and prevent the millions of deaths caused by hygiene-related illnesses every year.”
How do they do that, you might ask?
Clean the World implements its mission by:
Becoming a partner at the beginning of April this year, we have already collected enough gently used soap and shampoo to fill two of the large “if it fits, it ships” boxes distributed by the United States Post Office. Though this is just a drop in the bucket in the amount of bath amenities wasted annually in the United States alone, it is a step in the right direction and we are proud to be onboard with other caring hospitality properties around the globe, including Hilton Hotels, Ritz Carlton, Marriott, Sheraton and Mandarin Oriental to name a few.
Their Orlando Recycling Center processes over 10,000 bars a day, and has been certified by TriTech Laboratories, an independent, Florida state-certified environmental lab. Its patented process is certified to be 100% effective. To date, they have collected and distributed over 550 tons of soap, shampoo and other hotel amenities to dozens of countries worldwide including Zimbabwe, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Swaziland, Mali, Mongolia, Uganda, Honduras, and Romania. In addition, Clean the World is a natural disaster First Responder. In January 2010, as part of our Haiti Earthquake Relief efforts, they collected and distributed over 150 tons of hygiene products, medical supplies, water, and other essentials to Haiti.
Gilchrist and Soames, the purveyor of high-end bath amenities to the hospitality industry used exclusively at the High Pointe Inn, recently formed a 3-year partnership with the Clean the World organization and is helping to fund the expansion of its infrastucture. We encourage all fellow inn owners, here on Cape Cod and throughout the country, to sign on as a partner with Clean the World and do your part to “Recycle Soap” and “Save Lives”. For more information on how to become a partner, visit Gilchrist and Soames website.