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I need Cape Cod vacation advice

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Cal, I live in Truro in the summer (snowbird) and don't disagree with anything said so far. Are you renting a house or staying in hotel as there are a few in Ptown (none I would stay in in Truro) Wagner is ok in Wellfleet but I haven't stayed in it since it was the Duck Creek Inn and it wasn't good. We love the Red Inn which is all the way out in Ptown. In Truro The Blackfish is good and in Wellfleet either the Wicked Oyster or Mac's Shack are great. Mac's has a place on Shankpainter in Ptown which is good also but the ambiance in Wellfleet is great. I wouldn't stay in Falmouth. Chatham Bars Inn is always a good option. I doubt you will be swimming in the ocean in June so the sharks aren't really an issue. Try the bay beaches or kettle ponds if you really want to swim.
Yes it was first year of new ownership at Wagner and they were really gearing up the properties, restaurants and doing a nice job with a personal touch. And we got a great deal for a week in August due to newness and prior ownership issues. The location isn't secluded but good for quick access to water & walkable to town.
I agree Falmouth Nantucket Sound or CC Bay side a viable option in June if you want to swim (not too much swimming at beach in CA until Orange County or south). We had a nice week in Dennis last year, I'd never done those beaches before and the bay side was very crowded but great for kids.
 
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Oh I have another rec: First Encounter Beach in Eastham. Get there early in the morning at low tide. Thank me later.
I guess you have to explain the bay side beaches to CAHUSKY, of which First Encounter Beach is one. On the bay side (the side of Cape Cod that is on Cape Cod Bay, as opposed to the outside of Cape Cod which faces the open water of the Atlantic Ocean) the water is warmer (it's like a big pool!), there are no waves and when the tide goes out there is no water. Literally you can walk out on the sand for a mile or more with no water. It's a strange thing and probably a good idea to see at least once. Just make sure you start walking back to the beach when the tide starts coming in or you'll be swallowed up by the sea like the Egyptians in the Ten Commandments! O.K. I've never seen that happen but when the tide starts coming back in I guess that could happen.
 
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I see people say this all the time and I've never understood it. I've never seen any beach on Cape Cod that was half as busy and crowded, or as hard to get to through traffic, as Misquamicut is. I can't even enjoy the beach when there are that many people on it.

As I said, our kids love it because of the waves.

But last summer on Napatree, there was almost no one there during the busiest period. You're not ging to find a more empty beautiful beach than Napatree. Blue Shutters has a parking lot that gets jammed, but the lot is tiny compared to the size of the beach. In other words, I find Cape beaches more crowded. Misquamicut is not a favorite of mine--but the ids love it.
 
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Im going to be in Providence in late June for work (I live in Reno/Tahoe) and my girlfriend and I are going to head to the Cape for 5 days of vacation afterwards. I’ve never been and honestly don’t know anything about the area. Any suggestions on areas to stay in, things to see, places to avoid?

We’re pretty active and enjoy hiking, biking, kayaking, etc but not adverse to sitting on the beach all day drinking booze. Our initial thinking was to spend a couple of nights around Falmouth and a few nights in Provincetown. Not sure how we came up with that plan or if it makes any sense. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.
Forget the Cape it's already high tourist season. From Providence go to Portland Maine, then on to Boothbay Harbor and if time to Bar Harbor. Scenic highway out, expressway back. Better scenery, less crowd, better everything IMO.
 
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Oh I have another rec: First Encounter Beach in Eastham. Get there early in the morning at low tide. Thank me later.

This was the bayside beach I was thinking of in my last post. A favorite with the kids.
 
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I would also point out that the Cape does not become a mad house until the week leading up to the fourth. Most of June I have found it to be pretty quiet.
 
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I guess you have to explain the bay side beaches to CAHUSKY, of which First Encounter Beach is one. On the bay side (the side of Cape Cod that is on Cape Cod Bay, as opposed to the outside of Cape Cod which faces the open water of the Atlantic Ocean) the water is warmer (it's like a big pool!), there are no waves and when the tide goes out there is no water. Literally you can walk out on the sand for a mile or more with no water. It's a strange thing and probably a good idea to see at least once. Just make sure you start walking back to the beach when the tide starts coming in or you'll be swallowed up by the sea like the Egyptians in the Ten Commandments! O.K. I've never seen that happen but when the tide starts coming back in I guess that could happen.
Years ago was at a bayside beach somewhere around Eastham and we'd parked in a dirt lot. Stayed most of the day, left as tide came in . The nice 1/2 mile sandy path we were walking down suddenly became a river. The lab puppy I was walking started to swim and the knee deep water was headed right towards the parking lot. I picked up the dog and ran to the car which was dry, but a couple of others in the lot had tires halfway under and rising. We left before any Egyptians floated past.
 
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My favorite Cape bar is the Beachcomber in Wellfleet. It sits atop a 75 foot high sand dune. Good seafood, plus an outdoor bar and raw bar. Nice active beach. Need to get there early on weekends as the lot fills up. It's on Cahoon Hollow beach. I think it's the only oceanfront bar on the Cape. It's the Atlantic Ocean though so the water temperature will be 50 degrees.
 
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Do people actually like the Cape?

Just seems like a desperate mediocre beach escape for those locked in New England and a traffic nightmare. Especially as OP is coming from the beaches of California.

Maybe people 'not from around here' might like it...but, I've lived in ME, NH, CT and RI... made several trips to the Cape, vacationed there once. And, while no complaints...wouldn't be in my Top 10 for choices.
If in the area from elsewhere, would sooner go with the earlier poster's recommendation of Block Island...
 
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What about the egos and superegos?

I think that was my ID speaking, as anyone who has been to Misquamicut can attest. Certainly more idish than Blue Shutters or Napatree.
 
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Oh I have another rec: First Encounter Beach in Eastham. Get there early in the morning at low tide. Thank me later.
Something tells me thanks isn’t what you’ll be getting. We’ve been staying near Campground beach, and low tide is low tide.
 
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My favorite Cape bar is the Beachcomber in Wellfleet. It sits atop a 75 foot high sand dune. Good seafood, plus an outdoor bar and raw bar. Nice active beach. Need to get there early on weekends as the lot fills up. It's on Cahoon Hollow beach. I think it's the only oceanfront bar on the Cape. It's the Atlantic Ocean though so the water temperature will be 50 degrees.
They lost a lot of property this winter. Didn’t get to the building, but close.
 

XLCenterFan

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Avoid the Vineyard-its a snobotorium, as Rodney in Caddyshack would say. I grew up going to Eatham, Truro, and Welfleet for a week or 2 every summer and my aunt and uncle own a home in Welfleet. I would suggest either of these three towns, especially Welfleet- it's the sneakiest "best vacation town ever." They each have easy access to the bay (which is unreal when the tide goes out!) and the ocean side (bigger waves/cooler beaches), restaurants/stores, the Beachcomber of course, and are in-between Orleans and Provincetown-both very fun at night. Man, I wish I was there and it was July right now! The upper/middle Cape is the perfect vacation to get away from the hustle and bustle of our New England lives, while not leaving New England! Load the fridge/cooler and just unplug and beach all day, eat and drink all night. Chatham is also great. I swear New England has the best beaches I've been to. I've been to beaches in the Virgin Islands, Florida, South Carolina, and Puerto Rico, and the nicest ones still are the Cape Cod National Seashore.
 
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This thread is proof that to each his own. Some people like the Cape, others don’t.

I have been to all sorts of beaches, all over New England ( and around the country). Nothing like the Cape and the Islands IMHO.
 

MattMang23

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I'm not really a "go-to-the-beach" person for vacation. I'm more a city guy when it comes to vacation. But I love the Cape. It still feels charmingly New England to me. I've been to Myrtle, Ocean City, Jacksonville Beach, Cocoa Beach, Bradenton Beach, La Jolla and will be at Kure Beach and Carolina Beach in a couple weeks. I'd take the Cape atmosphere over any of them. That or Maine.
 
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ABBA in Orleans is real tasty

Mac’s Shack - Welfleet - mobbed to gills but good

Bluefins - Sushi in Chatham, but hammered in the heat of the season

Sesuit Harbor - clam shack that is tasty in Dennis

I love the Squire and the Oyster in Chatham but only for nostalgic reasons. I mean they are great for a beer or eight, but that’s it.
 
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Forget the Cape it's already high tourist season. From Providence go to Portland Maine, then on to Boothbay Harbor and if time to Bar Harbor. Scenic highway out, expressway back. Better scenery, less crowd, better everything IMO.
When I was a kid I went to the Cape a lot and teenage/college years spent a lot of time on Nantucket and some on the Vineyard. Nantucket was the best at the time IMO but it was already losing it's island feel, getting too expensive, and now I know it's insanely expensive.

I don't even like lying in the sand and going in the ocean anymore, so that coupled with everything being overly expensive and overly preppy, I have no interest in ever returning but as a young guy there was a lot of fun to be had. Most of the beaches you wanted to go to at the Vineyard were out at Chilmark and they were a pain in the butt because you needed passes. The key was having friends on the islands who had jeeps and knew all the secret spots where you could avoid everyone and party on the beach. Knowing the cops when you got pulled over was also key. Nantucket still had an island feel back then and it felt like there were no rules anywhere, as a young person it was a blast. The beaches (Cisco, Surfside, Madequesham, Miacomet, Great Point etc) were all great and you could do pretty much whatever the hell you wanted. I'm sure all of that has changed a ton since it got more commercialized and New Yorker money completely took over.

Last summer was my first proper trip to Maine. Stayed in Boothbay Harbor and Portland and saw much of the coast. Portland is an awesome small city. I definitely prefer the scene and scenery up there but my guess is if you're a beach person and have kids who want to play in the ocean it's better around the Cape and the islands.
 
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Forget the Cape it's already high tourist season. From Providence go to Portland Maine, then on to Boothbay Harbor and if time to Bar Harbor. Scenic highway out, expressway back. Better scenery, less crowd, better everything IMO.

Love Maine as well, but water N of the Cape is COLD - great on a 100 degree day, but you'll definitely shrink the canootskis if you fall in.
 
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I think you have the hotels backward. The Chatham Bars Inn. is the big resort on the beach. Very pricey (cheap room $750 a night in June) and already full anyway.

Yea I noticed after I posted and then edited it.
 

GemParty

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We love the Cape too. Have been several times with kids to the South Yarmouth/Dennis area. Ever eat at Skippers? They have delicious fried clam chowder cakes.

A friend recently recommended Hampton Beach in New Hampshire. Ever been?
 
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I haven't been to the Cape in about 10 years, but until then went for 4 to 6 weeks almost every summer. My family started going before I was born and my parents still go. We would stay in the Truro/Provincetown area. There are some good bike trails in P-Town and climbing the tower was always fun. I don't know if it is still allowed, but there was a breakwater you could walk across and walk to the actual tip of Cape Cod. A whale watch is always fun.
If a flea market is your thing, then there was always a good one in Welfleet on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
 
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Avoid the Vineyard-its a snobotorium, as Rodney in Caddyshack would say. I grew up going to Eatham, Truro, and Welfleet for a week or 2 every summer and my aunt and uncle own a home in Welfleet. I would suggest either of these three towns, especially Welfleet- it's the sneakiest "best vacation town ever." They each have easy access to the bay (which is unreal when the tide goes out!) and the ocean side (bigger waves/cooler beaches), restaurants/stores, the Beachcomber of course, and are in-between Orleans and Provincetown-both very fun at night. Man, I wish I was there and it was July right now! The upper/middle Cape is the perfect vacation to get away from the hustle and bustle of our New England lives, while not leaving New England! Load the fridge/cooler and just unplug and beach all day, eat and drink all night. Chatham is also great. I swear New England has the best beaches I've been to.
If you go to Wellfleet how can you skip the drive in theater? There aren't many left in the country. CAHUSKY can take his girlfriend on a romantic night out at the drive in theater. Maybe he'll even get lucky.

Drive-In Theatre
 
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From Orleans North to PTown is the place to spend your time. I can't give advice on lodging. You mentioned you like to hike so any of the ocean side beaches give that option as you can walk forever once you hit the beach. One place we like is Great Island which is part of the National Seashore on the bay side in Wellfleet. Free parking. At peak vacation time in August we have been amazed at how non crowded it is. Park at the paved lot and walk out on the trails towards Jeremy point. You can cut off the hike early as it is long and you walk back up the beach along the bay to get back to where you started. Bring a backpack, food and water. Bring swimwear and a towel as well. Beyond peaceful. For biking ride the Provinceland trails. Some hills involved but a fun ride from Herring Cove parking area to Race Point. All kinds of food in PTown after the ride. The Lobster Pot or little necks and linguine with white sauce and with the beet salad at Nappis. Go on a whale watch with the Dolphin fleet on Macmillen pier. Great time. You can also rent bikes in Eastham and ride from the Salt Pond visitor center out to Coast Guard beach on paved bike trails. For ocean beaches try Marconi in Wellfleet. Water will be cold but at low tide swimming is safe. Sometimes ocean side beaches have rocks where you get in the water so bring water shoes. First Encounter is an Eastham town beach on the bayside but it is unique with the way the sand flats are exposed at low tide. Folks watch the sunset there every night. Longnook beach lot in Truro is also good for this. Rental changeover occurs on Saturday so the bridges are impossible from 10 am getting on on Saturday and also there is a backup getting off the Cape on Sunday afternoons. So travel at other times. Friday nights are also tough from 4 to 8pm. Good luck !
 

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