There are so many things to do during your getaway at The Captain’s Manor Inn we thought we would provide some Day Trip suggestions to help with your planning. Some of the daytrips are centered in Falmouth others in neighboring towns like Sandwich still others are explorations of the Islands or the Cape Cod Lighthouses. Enjoy scrolling down the page and reading about several day trip options.
Blog by Lauren LaScalia (sous-chef at Captain’s Manor Inn)
It’s that time again, your Barnstable County Fair on Cape Cod has come to town!
Every July at the Cape Cod Fair grounds vendors of all sorts pile onto the grounds ready to set up shop for the week. The Barnstable county fair is always fun for all ages. With plenty of rides, games, music, and even a demolition derby, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
The Demolition Derby
Being a newbie to the county fair scene, I could not wait to go on Derby night to watch all the car commotion. Personally, I couldn’t believe this type of activity was even safety approved, but it sure was fun to watch ! All different types of beat up cars with special numbers on them were in a serious fight and the crowd was loving it. We skipped out early from the derby to avoid the crowds and made our way to some rides.
Rides for the Adventurous
I cannot lie and say I am a huge fan of amusement rides, however I will support the people I am at the fair with and watch them have fun ! We walked
around to all the different types and ended on one I will gladly participate in, the Ferris Wheel. We hopped into our four seater and up we went. It was amazing to check out the fair scene from that high. You can really get a good picture of how big of an event this really is from the top of the Ferris Wheel. After everyone had their ride fun it was time for my favorite part, the classic fair food !
Classic County Fair Food
With so many options for food, I was overwhelmed. Did I want a blooming onion, corn dog, cotton candy? I had heard a lot about and was told I must try a very special food vendor called “Steak on a Stick. We circled the Fair grounds twice looking for it, but with no luck! They must have taken the year off. We ultimately settled on a blooming onion and a corn dog from the neighboring stand. It was just as delicious as I imagined. I realized while I was eating, the main reason I wanted to come to the fair was for the food.
Falling right in the middle of summertime, the Barnstable County Fair is always great fun for you to enjoy with friends or family. You need to know that although the Fair might cause traffic around the area, it is definitely worth the adventure. For the kids there are plenty of age appropriate activities. Some of the children friendly activities are a petting zoo, horseback riding, and fair games. Not to worry..for adults there is the Demolition Derby, live music. Take note that for the first time ever this year they will be selling beer. You can enjoy the fair over the weekend from 12 pm – 10 pm and 12pm- 9pm on Sunday, don’t miss out on this classic Cape Cod event ! You can see a schedule of events at the fair here. Also below are some pictures from our time at the fair.
Photo Credit: Stephen Atkinson
For many who only know Cape Cod as it relates to sunning on the beach, Cape Cod might not seem like the obvious place for a nature hike, but there are 5 great hiking experiences in upper Cape Cod. Whether you are experienced on the hiking trails or you just want to get some fresh air and a nice walk, there is a trail to meet your needs. Below is information on 5 trails in the upper Cape area rated from under a mile in length to over 3 miles from start to finish.
1. Salt Pond: This trail serves as one of the best places to bird watch in Falmouth. It sits on 35 acres of woods and surrounds the pond itself. As a well maintained, simple trail this is perfect for your afternoon walk. Salt Pond can be accessed right off the shining sea bikeway heading towards Woods Hole. Click here for trail map of Salt Pond.
2. Spohr Gardens: Spohr Gardens stretches across 6 acres of land located on Oyster Pond. The gardens are open year round with a special focus on springtime when daffodils bloom and attract crowds to come out and celebrate. The winding grassy paths make it a perfect trip for people of all ages to enjoy the beautiful sights and activities Spohr Gardens has to offer. Access is available of off Fells road in Falmouth.
3.The Knob: Stretching just under one mile to the top, The Knob is a great excursion with an added bonus of spectacular views of Quisset Harbor and Buzzards Bay. As you are walking up to the knob you may stop to swim and enjoy the beach. Cornelia L. Carey donated 12 acres including the knob to Salt Pond Areas Bird Sanctuaries in the early 1970s in the hopes that the public would enjoy the beauty of this nature preserve.The Knob is open to the public from sunrise to sunset and is one of the top spots on the upper cape to view incredible sunsets. Click here for some information and a trail map of The Knob. Also check out the great drone video below done by local Falmouth business Skyflik.
4.Beebe Woods: Head to Highfield Hall and Gardens and you will find trails with a little more difficulty than the previous three options. Highfield Hall and Gardens is set in Beebe Woods which consists of 383 acres of land that was donated to the town of Falmouth by the Mr. and Mrs. Josiah K. Lilly, III in 1972. This 383 acres is part of an original 700 acres of property owned by the Beebe family. The trails and setting at Beebe Woods are perfect for any individual in need of some fresh air and a good work out. There and back, Beebe woods is just over 3 miles. Another Bonus of Beebe Woods is the trails that link to Peterson farm, one of the oldest farms on cape cod. To head out into Beebe woods you must keep a special eye on where you are walking due to many irregular hills and pot holes ! To see and or print a copy of the map of trails for Beebe Woods you can click on this link by The 300 Committee which is a private, non-profit land trust working to preserve and protect natural lands in Falmouth, Massachusetts.Other than the beautiful nature the woods possess, the shining star of the area would be the restored mansion Highfield Hall, which is available for tours.
5. Long Pond: With a total distance of 3.5 miles, Long Pond serves as the most difficult trip of all the trails listed above. To gain access to Long Pond, you may enter by Falmouth High School or Fire tower road, which the trail stretches in between. Once popular with fisherman, unfortunately access to the pond is now off limits. The northern side of this trail consists of many steep slopes keeping walkers, runners, or bikers on their feet! Fun Fact: Long Pond has been the main source of town water since the 1800’s. Click here for link for trail map of Long Pond
With this small list of great hiking trails on Upper Cape Cod, we hope to motivate you to get out there and enjoy the start of summer for some great exercise and awesome sights.
The Annual Cape Cod Auto Show at Heritage Museum and Gardens will be held on June 11, 2016 from 9 am until 2 pm. Over 100 cars are expected to be showcased at the event.
The cars are of a wide variety to appeal to all and include hot rods, antique cars, classic autos and even custom cars. Many of the cars at this annual event have historically been in pristine condition but there are also those under restoration that are fun to look at. This year there will be a special exhibit area that will showcase cars that were made in Massachusetts and two cars will also be celebrated this year upon reaching milestones. They are the Toronado and the Continental MKII that are celebrating 50 and 60 years respectively.
A parade of cars will take place at 2 pm but prior to that you can stroll to your hearts content staring at 9 am to view the cars that will be staged at Heritage’s Parade Field.
Last year we thoroughly enjoyed the show and love having the chance to share pictures from that year as shown below. If you have a chance to go into the “Driven to Collect” auto show indoors at the Heritage Museum and Gardens you will see our favorite auto ——-
A favorite venture for many of our guests is going on a Cape Cod Whale Watching trip. Our sister and brother-in-law recently visited from North Carolina and that was a must do on their 25 year anniversary trip.
The options are many depending often on how long you have to spend for the day. For example you can travel to the tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown, and explore the town prior to jumping on the Dolphin Fleet Whale Watch excursion. The scenic drive to Provincetown is about 2 hours and offers you the chance to see a great deal of Cape Cod on your way to and from the whale atch excursion. For our International guests who are staying with us for several days will often choose this excursion.
If you have less time to spare or just would like a shorter drive to and from the Whale Watch excursion you can either choose Captain John’s out of Plymouth or out of Hyannis Whale Watcher cruises out of Barnstable Harbor in Hyannis.
The picture below was one of MANY that our brother-in-law took while enjoying their whale sightings.
A Plymouth day trip or 1/2 day trip is a popular excursion that many of our guests enjoy. Often guests will choose to explore Plymouth on their way to us in Cape Cod or on their way back to Boston’s Logan airport to travel home or even while traveling to Northern New England while on an extended vacation.
Visitors from around the country and around the world are drawn to Plymouth’s significant history. Colonial history started here when the Pilgrims arrived in 1620 and the Plymouth rock is one popular visitor attraction (most people remark….”I thought it would be much larger”).
Plymouth is proud to be home to a working harbor busy with fishing and lobster industries, shopping and restaurant venues, numerous ocean activities and of course Plymouth Plantation where you can relive the days of the pilgrims.
If you have a full day to enjoy Plymouth’s offerings, you can most likely fit in a whale watch on Capt. Johnson’s vessels along with various other activities.
Some of the most popular Plymouth activities are:
Pilgrim Hall Museum – This is America’s Oldest Museum. Here you can see items that came to America on the Mayflower.
Plimouth Plantation – Here history is brought to life in a fun and interactive setting. At Plymouth plantation and aboard Mayflower II guests enter a living re-creation of America’s past. The thatched roof homes, hand carved wooden furniture and simple, metal pots and tools have been authentically reproduced to set the scene of a 17th century Wampanoag home site. The Mayflower II is a full scale reproduction of the ship that crossed the Atlantic in 1620.
Mayflower Society Museum -across the street and around the corner from Plymouth Rock, the Mayflower Society Museum is in the heart of Plymouth’s historic district. It is on one of the five original roads laid out by the pilgrims for their colony. The property overlooks the harbor where a reproduction of the Mayflower is moored. The house was originally built in 1754 by Edward Winslow, who was the great-grandson of Gov. Winslow of Massachusetts and a Pilgrim descendent. An interesting bit of trivia is that Lydia Jackson married American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson in the East parlor of the house in 1835.
Pilgrim Path Walking Tours- toward audio headsets and maps are available at the waterfront visitor information center for these walking tours. You would start at Plymouth Rock and winds through side streets on the matter. You will find homes and Museum celebrating Plymouth’s rich historic pass from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
Village Landing Marketplace- located on Plymouth scenic waterfront hear it, you will’s have a true New England experience. There is a unique collection of specialty shops and restaurants that are locally owned and operated.
Captain John’s Whale Watch-Excursions to Stellwagen Bank, which is one of the primary feeding grounds for humpback whales, minke whales, humpback whales and dolphins, are part of this adventure.
A nice half day trip while staying at The Captain’s Manor Inn is exploring Woods Hole Village a mere 3 miles down the road. This quaint seaside village and is home to the internationally acclaimed Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (nicknamed WHOI) and the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) which is an international center for research, education, and training in biology.
Take a leisurely walk or bike ride down the Shining Sea Bikeway or hop on the Falmouth SWOOSH trolley to travel the 3 miles to the Village. Enjoy a walk down Water Street for some window shopping or to check out the famous popovers at Pie in the Sky Bakery or the lobster tacos at Quicks Hole.
Some of must sees are:
Another great day trip while staying at the Captain’s Manor Inn is the seaside venue of Newport, Rhode Island. Newport is best known for its extraordinary mansions which visitors can tour thanks to the work of the Preservation Society of Newport County. The Preservation Society includes 10 historic properties, as well as the Newport mansions store and the Green Animals Topiary Garden.
Our suggestion for your Newport daytrip is to enjoy your full breakfast at the Inn before you head off on your hour plus drive to Newport. Upon arriving in Newport purchase your Museum admission ticket and prepare to be awed by magnificent architecture and historic furnishings. Based on personal experience and great guest feedback we suggest your best properties to view would be the Breakers, the Marble House, and the Elms. A wonderful feature for these properties are the audio tours so you can enjoy the mansions at your own pace with narration available in English, French, German and Spanish. After viewing three of the properties most guests feel it’s time to explore other Newport offerings.
Some suggestions include the themes glassblowing studio and gallery featuring handblown glass and the opportunity to make your own ornament or paperweight if you call ahead and schedule.
If you like art, perhaps a tour of the Newport Art Museum is on your to do list. If history is an interest you might visit the Touro synagogue completed in 1763 and the oldest synagogue in America. When it’s time for lunch or dinner Newport’s harbor area is the place to go where there are countless options for dining on the pier. Another activity after a break to eat is the 90 minute 1-mile walking tour of historic Newport www.toursforcurious people.com.
After your full day of visiting historic Newport head on back to the Captain’s Manor Inn and enjoy a nice glass of wine on the veranda or in your room as you unwind.
There’s something so appealing about visiting a lighthouse. It may be the magnificent scenery, or the history it represents, or simply the romance of the sea.
From the upper Cape just over the bridge, to the tip of the Cape in Provincetown there are countless lighthouses to be explored. Right in Falmouth, Cape Cod we have our very own Knobska’s lighthouse which is one of the most photographed lighthouses in New England. It has often been the site for a romantic proposal at sunset.
Scroll below the map and read about a suggested scenic lighthouse day trip.
A Day trip of lighthouse sightseeing could go like this:
After breakfast at the Captain’s Manor Inn drive down Mill Road to Surf Drive and take a right driving along the beautifully scenic Vineyard Sound until you reach Knobska Lighthouse. Feel free to park and explore. Free guided tours are available on certain dates during the year.
After leaving Knobska Lighthouse we suggest you head down Rt 28 towards Chatham at the “elbow” of Cape Cod. Once in Chatham head down Main Street to the Lighthouse. This is an active lighthouse managed by the U.S. Coast Guard and was originally built in 1877.
Your next suggested lighthouse stop is in the town Eastham which is part of the National Seashore. Some fascinating history comes with Nauset Lighthouse. The lighthouse was originally built in 1887 and was in Chatham. It was moved from Chatham to Eastham in 1923 to replace what was known as the Three Sisters Lighthouses. Since that time the Three Sisters Lighthouses have been restored. A little trivia is that the Nauset lighthouse is the logo for the Cape Cod Chips company.
After your visit to the Nauset seashore we suggest you head towards Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod. There are three lighthouses in Provincetown. At this outermost tip you will find the Wood End and Longpoint Lighthouses which were built in 1872 and 1875 respectively. Race Point Lighthouse was the first lighthouse to be built at the end of the Cape in 1816. Of the three lighthouses only Race Point is opened to the public during the summer season.
Now it is time to head back to relax at the Inn and if you feel so inclined you may stop at one more lighthouse which is located in Truro. What makes this lighthouse really special is that it was the first lighthouse built in Cape Cod and it was ordered so by George Washington in 1797.
When you arrive back at The Captain’s Manor Inn it should be just in time to enjoy a glass of wine on the veranda before taking a stroll into Falmouth Village to enjoy dinner at one of our many wonderful restaurants.
Just a short 1/2 hour drive from The Captain’s Manor Inn, Sandwich was the first Cape town settled in 1637 and its name was based on a seaport in Kent, England. What was a small agrarian community changed dramatically when a Boston businessman Deming Jarvis established a glass factory in Sandwich. The Boston and Sandwich glass company grew to be one of the largest glass makers in the nation.
A must see in Sandwich is the Heritage Museum and Gardens. This is the largest public garden in southern New England and it is located on 100 acres of magnificent grounds on the banks of Shawnee pond. This site is especially famous for their Dexter Rhododendrons as well as numerous daylilies, hostas and hydrangeas. In addition the gardens feature nationally recognized specialty gardens, water features and sculpture.
The heritage Museum hosts three gallery buildings with diverse exhibitions. Our particular favorite, housed in a reproduced Shaker Round Stone Barn, is an automobile gallery featuring more than 30 beautifully maintained antique American automobiles. Another fine collection is the American Art & Carousel Gallery which includes an extensive collection of folk art and a working vintage carousel from 1908.
Another site you should visit is the Sandwich Glass Museum. There are displays of more than 6000 different glass pieces created by different glass companies in Sandwich during the 19th and 20th centuries. A highlight of your visit will be the opportunity to view glassblowing demonstrations on site. The glassblowing demonstrations are held daily from 10 AM until 4 PM every hour on the hour.
Other interesting glass shops to visit in Sandwich are listed below:
• McDermott Glass Studio & Gallery (272 Cotuit Road, Sandwich, Ma 02563)
Closed Monday, Gallery Tue-Sun 10-5, Glassblowing Thu-Sat 10-5
• Glass Studio on Cape Cod (470 Route 6A, East Sandwich)
• Pairpoint – Americas Oldest Glass Works (Route 6A Sagamore Ma)
If you have more time to spare in Sandwich perhaps you would enjoy the Heritage Trail: