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Cape Cod, Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard

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Any recs for where to eat and what to do for the Cape, Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard? A friend bought an inn on the Cape, so we would be doing a day trips to Nantucket/Martha's Vineyard. 

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Whale watching out of Provincetown was good, Chatham was fairly nice, saw some seals there, no Great Whites, although there's plenty of signs warning of them.  Saw some people setting up for a night time picnic with a campfire on the beach, believe you have to get permission/permit first, cool idea.   Had breakfast at Captains Table and dinner at Red Nun Inn, we liked both, the latter being more of a sports bar type place. 

Haven't been down to MV yet. 

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go to Cape Cod league games - Chatham has the best field IMO. You can catch multiple games a day as all the fields are close together on the mid cape.

Wellfleet Drive-in movie is pretty fun.  You can rent bikes and ride the old train route

Whale watching at Provincetown as already mentioned.

Honestly I don't remember one meal while we were on the Cape.  I do remember there was all kinds of good beer - spent lots of time sitting on the deck drinking in the nice weather.

 

Weekend traffic is horrible - if you plan anything to do that requires a longer trip make it really early.

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If you're going to swim, try Buzzard's Bay, around Falmouth if you can find a public beach.  The water is cold, but not icy like P-town.

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I do not know much about the Cape, but I do about Martha's Vineyard, been there more often than I liked.  I have not been back in about 6 years so things may have changed.  We always flew straight to the Vineyard but I understand if you don't have a reservation on the ferry to go to MV from the Cape you need to make a reservation today if you are wanting to take a car.  It may be too late.  

If you go to Chappaquidick there is nothing there but private homes and beaches. It is a small ferry ride from Edgartown to Chappy to and from and I think it is $5 per car each way.  There will be a line at certain times of the day so you may wait a bit.  Right when you get off the ferry there is a private beach club where they filmed some of the Jaws movie where they still today have the orange and white changing rooms on the beach. There is one beach for the lolpoors on Chappy if i recall but you have to buy a season pass I believe and you need a 4x4.  It's where the bridge is.  The rest of the place is just poison ivy and ticks.  I hated going there every fucking summer.

If you do go, Edgartown is ok, it is the Amity form Jaws.  It is a nice town, and they have some good food and shopping right on the water. Candy store and Ice creams stores lobster rolls etc, and of course the Black Dog.  The town where the ferry comes in called Oak Bluffs has the oldest carousel in the country I believe.  They have some other touristy stuff to do there as well.  Gay Head has a nice light house and some cliffs, it is also where JFK Jr washed up after his plane crash I believe.  But it is a drive to get out there.

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3 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

Seems like a really cool and picturesque area, too bad it's overrun with massholes and other yankee types.

You just described every coastal town in New England during the summer.

Full disclosure: Grew up in a coastal NE town.

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Nantucket

Black Eyed Susan's for Breakfast

Galley Beach was pretty great for a nice expensive lunch.

 

The Port in Harwich was pretty good.

I dragged my wife and father in law to a Cape League game in Chatham, and it was boring AF.  Nothing like Summer Catch.  It was something to say I did.  Bought a t-shirt and hat...bailed after like 3 innings.  

 

We mostly stuck to the house we rented.  Cooked and drank at home and on the little beach by the house.

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37 minutes ago, Mack Tripper said:

Dennis

I can tell you this, the drive from Sandwich to Dennis is going to make you want to pull your eyes out unless you are going in on a Sunday-Wednesday. 

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Ptown's a pretty neat area if the sight of banana hammocks don't bother you, pretty much Key West of the North.  I know I got my fill of chowdah and lahbsta rolls while there...  wicked good.  Fuck the haters, love the Masshole accent, baseball season had just wrapped up when we were there.  I wanted to do MV but Jr. and his GF wanted to do Plymouth and Salem and since this was their vacation, we obliged them. 

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Nantucket is an awesome place.

The beaches on Nantucket are great as is people watching in town.

The ferry (steam ship) ride from Hyannis a few hours so take the fast boat which is under an hour.  Make reservations early and I wouldn't bother taking the car.

Expect everything to be expensive, keeps the poors off the island. 

If you desire to explore the Nantucket wilderness, remember the ticks and Lyme disease are rampant, so spray yourself down.  My child (no pics) works on the island during the summer and she gets a lecture every year about this.  Some of our family there has had to deal with it as well, a little prevention will go a long way.

The good looking women up there are good looking right up to when they start talking.  The New England 'accent' is no friend to your ears (see Masshole and Yankee types above).

 

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1 hour ago, Cheeseweasel said:

You just described every coastal town in New England during the summer.

Full disclosure: Grew up in a coastal NE town.

Yeah I was going to ask if there were any sort of similar, but less populous places for the summer. 

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1 minute ago, TwiceHorn said:

Yeah I was going to ask if there were any sort of similar, but less populous places for the summer. 

Not until you get to Maine.

The Cape is great, but the fact that there's only 1 road in makes it unbearable to travel to. And you have so many from Mass/RI/CT that can be there in 1-2 hours, that make it a VERY popular place in the summah.

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1 hour ago, Cheeseweasel said:

I can tell you this, the drive from Sandwich to Dennis is going to make you want to pull your eyes out unless you are going in on a Sunday-Wednesday. 

Negatory. Driving in from Boston on a Saturday. FML

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25 minutes ago, Mack Tripper said:

Negatory. Driving in from Boston on a Saturday. FML

Wow. You are fucked, my friend.

Make sure it's the 4th of July weekend so you can enjoy the full 8 hours of your 20 mile drive.

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17 hours ago, PenelopeWitherspoon said:

Well, that'll take hours. God speed.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 

 

17 hours ago, Mack Tripper said:

Negatory. Driving in from Boston on a Saturday. FML

Oh, you are so fucked.

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20 hours ago, Judge Roybeanbag said:

I once knew a man from Nantucket...

I once knew a woman from Wheeling. 

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So you’re staying in Dennis... Pretty good, centrally located spot... Suggestions, some of which have been mentioned, some of which have not:

-Cape Cod League game... Agree that Chatham is the best park but any of them will do...

-If you’re going to do a day trip to one of the islands, I’d go to Nantucket via the high speed ferry from Harwich. Nantucket’s town is more compact and easier to tackle in a day whereas the Vineyard is more spread out. There are buses around the island if you want to go to one of the beaches... If you want the warmest water, go to one of the south facing ones.

-Drive up to Welfleet or Provincetown one day. The dunes are absolutely amazing. P-town is super gay but it’s nice and charming with good restaurants... It’s cool to go to the top of the tower there and lookout over the entire Cape.. You can even see the Boston skyline on a clear day.

-If you go to Chatham for a game, hit up The Squire for a pre or post game beer. It has a great vibe and there will be lots of talent on a weekend night. They have food too but it’s pretty standard seafood/New England fare. Also great in Chatham for kids (unclear if that’s a factor here)is the Chatham Candy Manor... It has awesome fudge too for adults. 

-If you want to play golf, Captains is probably the best public course on the cape and it isn’t far from Dennis. Eastward Ho is probably the best on the cape overall, but you have to know someone to play there. Blue Rock is also a fun par three.

With regard to traffic: 

You’ll be fine driving around the Cape on weekdays. Might you hit a snag here or there, yes... Will you want to shoot yourself, no. 

However, on Saturday coming down from Boston... Either leave Boston before 8 AM or after 3 PM. 

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Nantucket is the shit for generally wholesome entertainment (even the drinking is pretty preppy and lowkey). I'd love to hate it because it's so rich and a hair stuffy, but it really is just cute and great.

For food Black Eyed Susan's is wonderful and fairly quiet - Company of the Cauldron requires a res but the food and wine list is worth the splurge.

Something Natural is THE place to get picnic sandwiches - there's a special (the Sheila's something? it involves an absurd amount of carrots) that the owner's wife made up when she was pregnant that is 10000x better than it sounds like. Their chicken curry and chicken salad sandwiches are both A+. You also might run into the local celebs like Seth Meyers and Eric Schmidt since it's up on Cliff Road.

The Gazebo is where all the scions of the finance families drink. Gorgeous girls, skews young. Don't know where the older folks drink, to be honest.

Both of the main edge beaches (Madaket and Sconset) are wonderful. Madaket is delightful and chill enough that I once got a teenage handjob there without any kids getting their lives ruined. Sconset's a bit busier but the little town around it is so cute. It's where the local fishermen lived when the whaling captains lived in town.

Surfside and Nobadeer tend to be busier and more Boston bro-y. Great Point is suuuper quiet but you need a beach driving permit to make it up to the good part.

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I went to a big wedding on Nantucket a number of years ago. Took Cape Air (a.k.a. "Cape Scare") from Boston Logan to ACK.

The youth hostel is the cheapest place to stay on the island (if you are paying) and stayed there on a Wednesday night in the dorm loft room. Right near the water. Outdoor showers.

After that I stayed in a bungalow for 3 nights where the occupier of said bungalow got lost for 3 nights so I had the place for free. (He was the ex-boyfriend of the cousin of a girl I used to work with... but I'd left the company.) Got into some place for free and without waiting in line, because the original "The Bachelor" was with us.

Took the ferry off the island to stay with a former neighbor in the town of Harwich Port (I think) on Cape Cod.

Hope that helps.

MA-hi-nantucket-gallery-01.jpg

MA-hi-nantucket-gallery-03.jpg


Here's the link for the hostel:  https://www.hiusa.org/hostels/massachusetts/nantucket/nantucket

Edited by Napoleon

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On 6/14/2018 at 2:52 PM, Mack Tripper said:

Negatory. Driving in from Boston on a Saturday. FML

you should consider just canceling your entire trip.

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Is this the all things New England thread? Didn't see anything for Maine and I'm heading up there for a week starting July 2nd. Never been anywhere near there so need some recs. Fly into Portland, spend a day or two there and then driving up to the Bar Harbor area for few days before returning to Portland for the flight back. Looks like finding beer and good places to eat will be no problem, not sure what to expect on the way up to Bar Harbor. Who's been and whatcha got?

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4 minutes ago, Mr.Hovis said:

Is this the all things New England thread? Didn't see anything for Maine and I'm heading up there for a week starting July 2nd. Never been anywhere near there so need some recs. Fly into Portland, spend a day or two there and then driving up to the Bar Harbor area for few days before returning to Portland for the flight back. Looks like finding beer and good places to eat will be no problem, not sure what to expect on the way up to Bar Harbor. Who's been and whatcha got?

Rose Eden Lobster is a great place if you are looking for a "no frills" Lobster dinner.

You'll drive thru Freeport on your way to Bar Harbor -- LL Bean is a kick if your family likes to shop.

If you have time, drive up Route 1: Booth Bay is very nice for a day trip. Heck, any of those towns along the coast are worth a walk around.

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2nd on Freeport. 

Red’s for Clam strips and lobster rolls. 

Otto’s Pizza in Portland, had a Lucy’s Fried Chicken Poster in bathroom last time I was there.  

Lobster Shack in Cape Elizabeth, near Portland, great view. 

Did a Whale watching excursion out of Booth Bay, saw one whale, the one out of Provincetown is better. 

Kennebunktport, nice little area as are others like CW said. 

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If you have any appreciation for old boats I suggest that you stop in any small town that has a harbor and take a walk around the docks. There are some truly beautiful craft that have been meticulously maintained for many, many years. Runabouts, sailboats, cruisers... just all sorts to drool over and it's free to look!

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Not much of a beach person but love walking around Marinas of Coastal towns, shrimp, lobster, fishing boats along with the private boats.   

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51 minutes ago, El Diablo said:

If you have any appreciation for old boats I suggest that you stop in any small town that has a harbor and take a walk around the docks. There are some truly beautiful craft that have been meticulously maintained for many, many years. Runabouts, sailboats, cruisers... just all sorts to drool over and it's free to look!

I'm in.........  Love old wood boats, classic line sailboats, Chesapeake bay dead rises, Chris craft speed boats, dories.

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Buddy of mine when I was in the Navy, he was from Marblehead, MA. We had another crewmember who was from Bar Harbor. We rented a Volvo and drove from the ship in Norfolk, thru Boston to Bar Harbor, over to the White Mountains in VT/NH, all during a week in October, think it was '81. Guy from Marblehead had a brother who lived in Portsmouth, we spent one night there in the harbor on his old motor yacht. Lived on steamers and soft shell clams.

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4 hours ago, El Diablo said:

If you have any appreciation for old boats I suggest that you stop in any small town that has a harbor and take a walk around the docks. There are some truly beautiful craft that have been meticulously maintained for many, many years. Runabouts, sailboats, cruisers... just all sorts to drool over and it's free to look!

Yeah, love classic boats and so does Mrs. Hovis. We met while club/fleet sailing on Lake Travis so that part will be easy. Have gone out on a few old schooners on the west coast and will try to do that as well on this trip. Hopefully there won't be a traffic nightmare on the way to Bar Harbor like described in the Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard and Cape Cod posts.

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8 minutes ago, Mr.Hovis said:

Yeah, love classic boats and so does Mrs. Hovis. We met while club/fleet sailing on Lake Travis so that part will be easy. Have gone out on a few old schooners on the west coast and will try to do that as well on this trip. Hopefully there won't be a traffic nightmare on the way to Bar Harbor like described in the Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard and Cape Cod posts.

Traffic won't be too bad unless it's 4th of July weekend. Just know that the roads to many of the "beach" areas are 2 lane so it might be heavy early in the morning or late in the afternoon. 

Nothing is ever as bad as going to the Cape.

Have you been to Maine before?

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15 minutes ago, Cheeseweasel said:

Traffic won't be too bad unless it's 4th of July weekend. Just know that the roads to many of the "beach" areas are 2 lane so it might be heavy early in the morning or late in the afternoon. 

Nothing is ever as bad as going to the Cape.

Have you been to Maine before?

Never been to any part of New England. Have always gone elsewhere. This is my wife and daughter planned trip.

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24 minutes ago, Mr.Hovis said:

Never been to any part of New England. Have always gone elsewhere. This is my wife and daughter planned trip.

Hope none of you plan on swimming! 

The beaches are rocky, but beautiful. If you like seafood, it's paradise. Grew up there, so it will always be home.

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Jr. is having his wedding up in Maine come August, Poland Springs area.  Their reception will be held back in Ft. Worth.  It’s a beautiful state as is NH and VT. 

Edited by Underdog

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1 minute ago, Cheeseweasel said:

Hope none of you plan on swimming! 

The beaches are rocky, but beautiful. If you like seafood, it's paradise. Grew up there, so it will always be home.

Bar Harbor water will induce massive amounts of shrinkage but if you don't mind colder water, York Beach in Southern Maine on the way up or down could be an option for some sand and warm(er) water.

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Wasn't planning on swimming, just assumed it would be frigid. We are suppose to do some night kayaking around Castine, phosphorus plants or something of that nature gives the water a glow and the wife thinks this a must do. Sounds like dry suits might be in order. 

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I'm married to a real salty New Englander - born/raised in Kennenbunkport (where her mom still lives) and her dad lives on Nantucket.  We also had a share of a house in Edgartown for a few years about five years ago.

All that said, the main contribution here is to go to the Cisco Brewery on Nantucket.  Great way to kill an afternoon.  And Slip 14 near the ferry is great - good boat-seeing spot.

Oh, not to repeat the obvious, but traffic TO the cape is unbearable - drive in the middle of the night if you have to.  Gridlocked with Massholes all around.  After going to MV every summer for a few years, we finally bailed on it - the Boston factor is way too strong.  Nantucket is where it's at.

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On 6/14/2018 at 3:28 PM, Judge Roybeanbag said:

I once knew a man from Nantucket...

Let’s just say the stories about him are greatly exaggerated. 

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Got back yesterday from my Maine vacation so  thanks to those for their recs and tips. Other than United Airlines delays, crappy customer service and lost luggage on the flight to Portland it was a great trip. Piss on you United, I'll gladly fly other airlines in the future.

We had a Airbnb rental in Cushing that was remote, right on the water with it's own dock, pretty much your typical Maine cottage. This was our base to go up and down Hwy.1 for day trips. Went sailing on Penobscot Bay out of Camden on the 4th on a classic schooner the Olad. For those who stated their love of old boats this is a perfect way to spend a few hours. Had time to eat/ drinks then catch the fireworks over the Camden Harbor. This would be a good place to spend a couple of days, really cool little town. Also did the hike up to Mt. Battie just outside of town in a state park. The view of the Camden Harbor was excellent. It was much warmer than I anticipated and I sweat out every Maine beer I drank during the hike.

Couldn't convince my daughter to do the nighttime luminating sea water kayak tour out of Castine , so we did the morning tour instead. It was fun, but nothing outstanding. Lunch at the Warf next door afterwards was plenty good though, with more Maine beers . This was a reoccurring theme, go do something outdoors related, then stumble on a great place for seafood and beers, repeat. 

Made it to Acadia National Park on a rainy Friday , drove the one way loop around the park with lots of brief scenic overlooks until the rain stopped then hiked around one of the lakes. Drove to the top of the mountain and again, the views were awesome. Beautiful place with crowds that you would expect at a National Park, but nothing that wasn't manageable. Bar Harbor on a Friday was crazy crowded though, and I wasn't anticipating this. I figured it would be busy but it was a snarl of traffic and no where to park. Really wanted to spend some time there but after a half hour of looking for a place to park we gave up and went to a pub in Ellsworth.

Spent the last day of the trip in Portland before flying back to Austin. For the most part we hung out in the Old Port area and had a blast. So many cool places on every street and alley I could have spent a few days there just wandering aimlessly. 

Flew back on American with no issues, so once again, screw you United.

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Bumping because the tread is a year old.

Going to the Vineyard next week and staying for 3 week.  Need to see if there is anything new that is missing from this tread.  Will have plenty of time for fishing so if you can give some insight (bank, beach access) please do. 

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