Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cape Cod: National Geographic's Drive of a Lifetime

National Geographic names a drive across Cape Cod peninsula one of the drives of a lifetime. From Sagamore to Provincetown, exploring Cape Cod Bay, National Seashore, classic villages and spectacular beaches, this drive will show you the hidden charm of the Cape and make you return again and again...

Drive of a Lifetime: Classic Cape Cod

Saturday, March 13, 2010

"Fake it 'Til You Make It": Cooking demo and wine tasting at The Wine List on March 19

The Wine List calls itself "Cape Cod's Best Wine Shop" and not without a right to the claim. This little charming store,  conveniently tucked in right next to Trader Joe's in Hyannis, has been voted #1 on the Cape Cod A-List in 2009, out of 23 contestants to the "Best Wine Shop" title.

The Wine List regularly hosts themed wine tastings that feel intimate but can pack in nearly 50 people. The store is beautifully decorated in warm tones, combining contemporary and traditional motifs. The wine selection is extensive but thoughtfully assembled. The Wine Store also offers classes and hosts events.

On March 19, The Wine List will offer a cooking demo, showcasing vegetarian (pescatarian) cooking and wine tasting event. Check the website for the up-todate registration information:


Saturday, March 06, 2010

Dogs on the beach

There is a great joy in watching one's four-legged buddy frolicking on the beach, playing in the waves and stirring up a sandstorm. Many dog owners travel to the Cape in the search of that perfect morning walk in the beach or an afternoon hike on the trails with the family pup. Some beaches allow dogs all year round, others permit them outside of summer months only. Here's the information about Cape Cod towns and their "dogs-on-the-beach" ordinances.

Off Leash Heaven

Race Point Beach in Provincetown allows dogs off leash from 6AM to 9AM all year long. Yes, that includes the summer. Dogs allowed on lead all day long. For the human companion(s) - beware of the strong undertows and the big surf.

On Lead and Restricted Access:
Cape Cod National Seashore
Dogs are allowed on lead all year long (including summer), except for nesting bird protected areas.
From a point South of Nauset Beach parking lot to trail one, dogs are prohibited from May 15 to Labor Day. From a point South of trail one to the Chatham lnlet, all dogs must be on a leash of not more than 30 feet at all times, unless below the high tide mark, from May 15 through Labor Day. Dogs are prohibited from areas closed to vehicle or human traffic for Piping Plover protection.
Allowed on leash from Labor Day until May 15. Also allowed at Dyer Prince Road/Rock Harbor Beach Area before 8:00 a.m. and after 5:00 p.m between May 15 and Labor Day.
Dogs are allowed on Barnstable public beaches from September 15-May 15. Not allowed in the summer.
Dogs are allowed on leash during the off season from September 16 until March 31.
Dogs are allowed on leash on the beach from Labor Day until Memorial Day.
Dogs are allowed on leash on the beach from October 1 through April 30.
Dogs are allowed on leash on the beach only from Labor Day until Memorial Day
Dogs are allowed on the beach, on a leash, only during the off season, October through March.
Dogs are allowed, on a 6' lead, before 9:00 a.m. and after 5:00 p.m. on the following beaches from the 3rd Saturday in June through Labor Day: Duck Harbor, Newcomb Hollow, Cahoon Hollow, White Crest and Maguire Landing.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Christmas on Cape Cod

Cape Cod is well known as a fantastic summer destination. The beaches, the dunes, the sailing, whale watching, golf - all and many more attractions draw crowds of visitors from end of May to end of August. But it's a gem during the remaining months of the year and well worth a trip, even if you could only make it a weekend getaway (but it certainly deserves a longer stay with so many things to do!)

The holiday season is fast approaching and Christmas is a lovely time to spend on Cape Cod. This is the time of tradition and celebration on Cape Cod and you are invited to experience it with the native Cape Codders.

Many towns and villages have tree lighting, Christmas strolls, caroling, special concerts and performances. Historical homes and inns decked in holiday finery open up their doors to visitors. Towns like Falmouth and Chatham have Christmas-by-the-sea traditional celebrations that start right after Thanksgiving day and go into New Years.

Dunbar Tea Shop in Sandwich features a Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol reading - a favorite that always draws a full room. Dunbar Tea Shop is a "historical tea room in the heart of old Sandwich, Massachusetts" - check out their afternoon tea menu for that pick-me-up treat after an afternoon of gift shopping.

Sandwich is the oldest town on Cape Cod and is full of history and charm. The Heritage Museum and Gardens are decorated with holiday lights on at the end of November. The holiday festivities include a Christmas stroll through the town center, caroling, indoor Victorian displays, and free rides on an antique carousel.

Chatham and Falmouth have a month long Christmas by the Sea celebrations - take part in holiday strolls, tree lighting ceremony, tour the historical inns. Caroling in the famous Nobska Lighthouse in Falmouth, decorate your own gingerbread house, watch Santa arrive by boat into the Falmouth Harbor - for the complete schedule of events, check Falmouth Chamber of Commerce:

Falmouth Christmas By The Sea Schedule

Get into the holiday spirit as you stroll along the Hyannis harbor and take part in the Harbor lighting ceremony, Watch the wonderful boat parade, see Santa arrive in a lobster boat, partake of the cheer, fabulous Christmas lights all around, free chowder, piping hot chocolate, and the festive hayride.

The Cape Codder Resort and Spa in Hyannis sets up a enchanted village lights and figures in the courtyard - this is always a favorite with children.

Schedule of holiday events in Hyannis

Santa Train on Cape Cod Railroad in Hyannis on Saturdays and Sundays

Enjoy a train ride and lunch with Santa - Cape Cod Central Railroad features special Santa on Saturday and Sunday - music, caroling and candy canes galore!

Don't forget the fabulous shopping and dining opportunities available on Cape Cod throughout the year.

And of course, the beaches remain spectacular no matter the season!

At the end of the day, relax in one of our Cape Cod vacation rentals, in front of a roaring fire, enjoying the peace and tranquility of the area.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Free WiFi points in mid Cape Cod

While I generally don't have a great need to use a public internet access point while on Cape Cod, our recent trip abroad had made me aware that many of Cape visitors might find the information below useful.

We spent a fabulous 10 days in Switzerland, staying in a small village at a lovely villa with stupendous views over the lake and the mountains. Its only drwaback for a net junkie such as myself was the lack of internet access. A lot of time and effort was spent locating internet cafes in the cities that we visited. So in the attempt to save the same effort for Cape guests and visitors, here is a list of 3 location in mid-Cape, all with free high speed internet access.

Panera Bread
Cape Town Plaza (map)
790 Iyannough Road
Hyannis, MA 02601
(508) 862-8015 | phone
(508) 862-8017 | fax

In addition to free internet access, Panera Bread serves delicious sandwiches and salads and mouth-watering breads. It's a great place to hang out with your laptop - cozy, comfortable and free wifi!

Next door to Panera Bread is Burrito Bistro
790 Iyannough Road
Hyannis, MA 02601
(508) 771-6071 | phone

I have reviewed Burrito Bistro in a previous post.

And lastly, the most surprising store to offer not only free internet access but also 5 actual computers visitors can use free of charge - KMart! Yes, KMart. I was very surprised to see that the store now offers free internet cafe of sorts. The store itself has been hugely improved from the KMart of years past - it's clean, well-lit and fairly logicaly laid out, so I no longer avoid it as a plague. The bonus of free computer access is just an icing on the cake :)

KMart is also located in Cape Town Plaza.

In addition to the above free access points, Barnes and Nobe Bookstore across Rt 132 from Cape Town Plaza has paid internet access (T-Mobile).

And of course, we all our homes are set up with high speed wireless as we frequently work from our vacation rentals.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Cape Cod Restaurant Review :: Urban Delights on Main St

We have recently popped into RooBar after more then a year's absence - it's close by, and yet we rarely choose this restaurant, possibly because I am always worried about crowds and noise. RooBar always appears to be packed at night, with loud music and much revelry spilling out of its doors.

We made reservations and upon arrival, the hostess attempted to guide us to the worst table in the restaurant (right by the kitchen entrance), even though there was a very nice booth open. My husband and brother in law immediately unleashed all charm they could master, and after some protestations that the coveted booth was reserved for "mafia", we found ourselves seated at booth by the window and sending a glass of wine as a "thank you" to our hostess.

After this inaspiciuous arrival, we got our menus and a wine list and cracked down to the hard task of choosing. RooBar is a very different type of Cape Cod restaurant - the slant here is urban fusion, with choices such as tuna tartare or mussells provencal, instead of the more typical Cape Cod fare. I remembered stuffed quahogs as being excellent from prior visit and we got a couple of orders of these. They were truly heavenly.

Tuna tartare salad and mussells were a hit. The salmon I ordered was perfectly acceptable, but somewhat on the meh side. I do recall that they make excellent pizzas - the lamb pizza was very good.

I was disappointed in the wine list - I recall more imaginative choices from prior visits, but it would appear that RooBar in Hyannis decided to go the safe route and only stock wines from very large producers (Mondavi, Gallo, etc). The Louis Latour Pinot Noir my sister ordered was adequate but no more then that.

So the food ranged from ok to very good (those quahogs!), the ambience while not subdued, not rowdy either - there was some music and an active bar. After 10 pm, the dining area is cleared out and there's live music and dancing - I think that's why we always see it packed on Saturday nights!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Cape Cod Restaurant Review - B2 Burrito Bistro, excellent choice for a quick bite in Hyannis

Unfortunately, as much as I love spending time on Cape Cod in off season, quite often we are involved in working on one project or another (painting, cleaning, planting, remodeling, etc) and really have no time for a nice sit down lunch during the day. Still, the regular fast food options rarely appeal (if you do not count hitting up MickeyD for fries late in Sunday night, as we are leaving the Cape and it is the only game in town at that hour). Luckily for us, there's the fabulous B2 Burrito Bistro, when the service is prompt and courteous, food is quickly prepared but does not suffer in quality for it.

B2 Burrito has contemporary, warmly decorated interior and it's a pleasure to sit down while waiting for your meal to be prepared or eat in - no sterile athmoshpere of Subway or Papa Gino's.

The signature B2 burrito is a great collection of flavors - beans, rice, carrots, corn, zucchini, onions and broccoli, cheese and sour cream. Personal favorite - steak fajita salad, with *fresh* salsa on top of romaine lettuce, chargrilled peppers & onions, sour cream and cheese. The hard shell tortilla is actually tasty - by the time I was done with the salad, there was no sign that it came in a tortilla shell :)

Chuck loves Fajita Burrito - rice, peppers, onions, cheese, sour cream, well prepared steak strips. My goal is to try the Boston Blue Burrito next - combination of blue cheese, steak and onions is irresistible.

B2 Burrito Bistro is located in Capetown Plaza, in the same strip mall as KMart, Panera Bread and Filene's Basement, right across from Cape Cod mall. The location is definitely short on charm, but oh so convenient if you are out shopping in Hyannis, and the pleasantly decorated interior, excellent service and great fresh food prepared quickly more then makes up for it.

B2 Burrito BIstro is at 790 Iyannough Road, Capetown Plaza, Hyannis, MA 02601
Phone: 508-771-6071

You can get there from our Hyannis Port vacation home by taking Old Town to Craigville Rd to Pitchers to Bearses, and taking a left on Rt 132. From our West Yarmouth vacation homes, you can get there by taking Bayview to Main to Rt 28 to Rt 132.