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Our 500th TripAdvisor Cape Cod Review

October 9th, 2014 by Beth Colt

Woods Hole Inn near Martha's Vineyard ferry

As of today, we have received our 500th review on TripAdvisor Cape Cod.  Six years in business, 500 reviews, 96% of which are four or five stars.  Wow, I am grateful for all those guests who shared their experiences with the world.  Sometimes I feel like Sally Fields at the 1984 Academy Awards:  You like me, you really like me.   But the online review system is not just an echo chamber of positives for us.

We use TripAdvisor as a way to listen to our customers, and most of the time they tell us they are happy.  But every once in a while, well ergh, four times since we opened six years ago (but who is counting), they really let us have it.  A “terrible” review can leave me sleepless for more than a few nights, brainstorming about the details and trying to fix every single one of the highlighted issues.  I read a book once called “Every Complaint is A Gift” and the title really says it all (now you don’t have to read the book:)  By studying the meta message in each negative, I know we can consistently improve.

As the old saying goes, the customer is always right.  In this day and age of online transparency, the customer is more than that: our guests are a lifeline to growth and continued business.  So we listen very carefully.

Thank you to each and every customer who took the time to write us a review on TripAdvisor Cape Cod — good, mixed or bad.  We truly appreciate it.  We know that your vacation days are precious, your business travel important.  We care about the details of making your journey special.

One of the most gratifying thing about this zen-like focus on customer satisfaction is that we have a robust list of repeat guests, people who cherish us as much as we cherish them.  They come back, time and again, and bring their friends.   So we thank you all, and we hope to see you soon at the Woods Hole Inn, located in the small fishing village of Woods Hole, part of the town of Falmouth on Cape Cod.

 

Fall Colors 2014 in Woods Hole

October 6th, 2014 by Beth Colt

Woods Hole ferry to Marthas Vineyard

Fall into autumn with a visit to Cape Cod, the perfect time to explore Woods Hole.  There are so many exciting things to do in fall, looking at the fall colors is just one of them.  Here, my TOP TEN reasons to visit Woods Hole this autumn.

#10:  Ride the Shining Sea Bike Path

Riding bikes on Cape CodBefore moving here, I had no idea of the splendor of riding a dedicated bike path, past beaches, lagoons, bird sanctuaries.. all without a car in sight.  Falmouth’s Shining Sea Bike Path is a national treasure, especially as the fall colors bloom.  Add the cool air, and it is the perfect time to explore Falmouth by bike.  The bike path is 11 miles long, starting in Woods Hole and ending in North Falmouth.

#9: Sit a Spell

Woods Hole autumn colorsThe ferry horn blows in the distance.  The blue heron explores the shoreline, leaves tumble in the wind, a water bug sends ripples over the perfect reflection.  You slow down, listen, and true relaxation sets in.

#8. Walk to the Light Houseautumn Nobska light Nobska Light is know as one of the most beautiful lighthouses in America,  and it’s a short walk from the center of Woods Hole.  Wander up here on a clear day and you can see Menemsha, Martha’s Vineyard, Falmouth Heights, even Tarpaulin Cove if you know where to look.  Ferry boats pass in the distance, white clouds race overhead.  Lie on the cool grass and imagine you’re in your own personal  “Christina’s World.”

#7. Go Antiquing

antiquing on Cape CodI live for antique shops filled with clutter — old wooden boats, glass balls, ships anchors, crooked oars and wicker chairs.  Here, treasures unknown await — a racy deck of playing cards, old letters, signs for businesses that no longer exist.  Upper Cape Cod has a nice collection of these hideaways, plus an excellent yard sale scene.  When you come to the Woods Hole Inn, I will share my secret sources with you, crafting an itinerary that includes a scenic drive and plenty of Cape Cod memorabilia.

#6. See the Sunrise over the HarborWoods Hole romantic walksSure, anyone can walk around our charming marina any old time of day, but if you really want to see it at it’s VERY best?  Sunrise!  Every day this amazing show goes on and most people are still in bed.  Not you!  I tipped you off, now just get up and see it:)  You can thank me later.

#5. Walk an Empty Beach

Dog on beach Falmouth MA

Fall colors bloom on the beach with the deep blue of the ocean setting off the autumn leaf peepers display.  Long walks searching for seaglass and shells are in your future.   I recommend Nobska Beach, Stoney Beach, Wood Neck Beach, Surf Drive or Chappaquoit but there are many others within an easy drive of here.  You will not run out of beaches to explore while staying in Falmouth — there are over 70 of them!

#4. Eat a Romantic Meal on the waterfront

Woods Hole waterfront diningIn the fall, the waterfront places fire up the wood stoves and these summer porches become the most delightful and romantic dining destinations.  Try the Landfall, the Captain Kidd, Fishmonger, Phusion or the new Quicks Hole Tavern.  There is a waterfront table with an incredible sunset view of the fall colors waiting for you in Woods Hole.  Yum!

#3. Paint a Picture

Dockside in Woods Hole paintingBundle up, grab your paints and find the perfect vista to paint. Oh that Cape Cod light!  Just sitting on the dock of the bay, watching the time roll away.  Add the fall colors?  Perfect.

#2. Enjoy a Hearty Breakfastcontinental style breakfast at the Woods Hole InnGuests of the Woods Hole Inn enjoy a great spread of all you can eat treats like mini quiches, bread puddings, croissants, fresh cut fruit, Greek yoghurt, home made granola and lots of piping hot coffee.  Who doesn’t want to start the day with a great breakfast?  You will need it with all the activities we have planned for you.

#1. Daytrip to Martha’s Vineyard

ferry to Marthas VIneyard parkingFrom the Woods Hole Inn, you just walk across the street to hop on the ferry to visit Martha’s Vineyard. As the ferry pulls away from the slip, look back over the village of Woods Hole for the view above.  The 45 minute ferry ride is part of the fun, with a great outdoor deck plus hot cocoa and beer inside.

Passenger tickets are $16 per person round trip.  You arrive in Vineyard Haven where there are shops, bookstores and great restaurants to explore.  Parking is tricky in Woods Hole, but as a guest of the inn we will take care of all that for you.   It makes day tripping to the Vineyard delightfully easy.

That’s it, my TOP TEN.  Hope to see you soon in Woods Hole!  The fall colors await.

My Bucket List, or Day Trip to Oak Bluffs on Marthas Vineyard

September 27th, 2014 by Beth Colt

Visit from Woods Hole InnI recently ran into a gaggle of women of a certain age from Ohio on the streets of Woods Hole.  They were wearing matching yellow t-shirts which were titled “My Bucket List” and included Las Vegas, New York City and you guessed it, Martha’s Vineyard.  I hear this a lot at the front desk of the inn: “We are headed over to Martha’s Vineyard — it’s on our bucket list!”  It might surprise you to know that Vineyarders never refer to their island home using the full name — they call it “the Island” or sometimes “the Rock.”

Summer keeps me pretty darn busy, but yesterday dawned clear and warm — one of the most beautiful days of September — and I hopped the ferry to get on the Rock.  The boat leaves about 50 yards from the front door of the Woods Hole Inn, and I walked on with other passengers up the ramp to the left of the terminal (round trip $16).  The 45 minute trip across Vineyard Sound was uneventful, just lovely views over Nobska Lighthouse, West Chop, Vineyard Haven with gulls circling above, tourists posing for pictures.

The Oak Bluffs ferry landing is offered in summer only, and this was one of the last days one can ride directly to “OB” as the locals call it.  By the time we pulled into the slip, the wind and waves made the landing challenging and I heard that later ferries were diverted into Vineyard Haven which is a much more protected harbor.

a daytrio from Woods Hole

 

 

In Oak Bluffs, I met an old friend from high school and we wandered down to the harbor looking for a great spot to eat.

 

 

 

 

Daytrip from Woods Hole Inn

We found it on the second floor deck of a gingerbread cottage turned restaurant called “Lobsterville,” where we sat in the sun overlooking the harbor and enjoyed a delightful meal.  Catching up with old friends in this kind of venue is unique — you want to talk about the last thirty years, but there are so many interesting things to look at and see that sometimes the conversation gets derailed, like Yes, then my father died oh look at that beautiful wooden sloop.  (Maybe those two thoughts are not so disconnected anyway.)

 

 

 

Woods Hole Inn close to Marthas Vineyard

At Lobsterville, I ordered the steak appetizer on the recommendation of the waiter.  It came on a puff pastry with tomatoes and melted mozzarella.  It was enough for a full meal with two pieces of steak, a drizzle of reduced balsamic and this delightful sprig of rosemary ($16).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

visit Marthas Vineyard

After lunch, we wandered the streets of Oak Bluffs past hamburger joints, moped rentals, t-shirt shops, fudge and candy stores and of course the famous 100+ year old “Flying Horses” Carousel.  We strolled into several wonderful Inns (the Dockside, a new place which looks super chic) and the Oak Bluffs Inn, a charmingly renovated authentic Victorian.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daytrip from Woods Hole

Oak Bluffs Inn owner Eric showed us the tower atop his building with wonderful views of Circuit Avenue and the ocean in the distance.  He was really nice, taking time out of a busy day to give us a full tour.  Here is a webcam of the view from this tower!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also strolled the Campgrounds, also known as the Gingerbread Cottages.  This unique community of 1880’s miniature Victorian houses circles around an open air wooden meeting hall which was used for Methodist Revival Retreats back in the day but now is a gathering place for summer concerts, lectures and other cool things like a summer taping of the “Moth Radio Hour.”  Last year when I walked through the Campgrounds, Wynton Marsalis was playing.   This is hallowed ground, a national landmark and one of the most charming neighborhoods you will ever visit.  It is a very short walk from the ferry.

 

day trip from the Woods Hole InnGingerbread Cottages breat day trip from Woods HoleVisit Marthas Vineyard from Woods Hole MA

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the way back to Woods Hole, I managed to get a photo of the new Quicks Hole Tavern (our new year round restaurant opposite the ferry) which was a new angle on the building, especially photogenic on this lovely blue sky day before the leaves start to turn.

IMG_5860 IMG_5873 IMG_5881

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back in Woods Hole that evening, a local band called “Brother’s Rye” was playing in front of Quicks Hole Taqueria and le tout Woods Hole was out on the streets to enjoy the last gasp of summer weather.

As the day ended, I thought about the nature of friendship and travel, that I can get away to this incredible island next door,  pick up a conversation with an old friend from the tenth grade, enjoy the crisp, clear fall weather on Cape Cod, and return home to my friendly village with music placing in the streets.

I don’t have a bucket list, but if I did, my day trip from Woods Hole to Oak Bluffs (aka The Rock) would most definitely be on it!

 

 

 

Saying Goodbye to Summer in Woods Hole

September 14th, 2014 by Beth Colt

Summer in Woods Hole, MAGirls just want to have fun or so my father likes to remind me. Although I am a serious college student during the rest of the year, I am an unabashed pleasure-seeker in the summer. And this summer at the Woods Hole Inn, my work and my play mingled most affably.

One might think that having grown up in Woods Hole, I’d be tired of the tourist scene. But for me, the bustling street life, the teeming beaches, and even the long lines for my double iced soy latte are all part of summer, and, seeing it all from the perspective of a Woods Hole Inn guest and blogger, I totally understand why our guests keep coming back.

Thanks to the Woods Hole Inn, I explored (and savored!) the restaurants, historic tours, and local museums and events through the eyes of a visitor and couldn’t have been more delighted. Early morning donuts at the Black Dog in Vineyard Haven, an afternoon lesson on Walsh roses at the Woods Hole Historical Museum, and one of the best sunsets over Eel Pond “on assignment”; who wouldn’t want to be a tourist or a guest blogger!

As my summer comes to an end, I would like to thank the pleasant and helpful staff at the Woods Hole Inn for giving me the chance to simultaneously work hard, learn tons, and play local traveler. It was a fantastic summer in Woods Hole!

-Guest Blogger, Gwen Martin

Things to do in Woods Hole

MV Chilifest on January 24, 2015

September 7th, 2014 by Beth Colt

MV Chilifest (also known as the Big Chili Contest) is right around the corner on January 24, 2015 this year!  Start getting excited for the fun of the ferry ride packed with happy people headed to the big tent with all you can eat chili donated from local restaurants, live music and plenty of cold beer.  Sponsored by mvyRadio, this day of wintery fun and games benefits the local Red Stocking Fund and raises over $30,000 for local charity.

The ferries leave Woods Hole starting early with eager restauranteurs carting hot chili for the MV Chilifest.  There are free buses on the Martha’s Vineyard side to the PA Club in Oak Bluffs where the crowd gathers under a huge tent with heaters.  About 3,000 people attend, and the party lasts most of the day, at least until all the soups are consumed and prizes handed out for winners.  Tickets to the  Martha’s Vineyard Big Chili Contest are hard to get, mostly sold at local bars and hangouts both on the island and in Falmouth.

This year, the Woods Hole Inn is offering a special MV Chilifest package with free Chilifest and ferry tickets included in your two night stay.  Conveniently located across the street from the Steamship Authority ferry to Martha’s Vineyard, our two night package is a great deal.  You can see all the details on our specials page.  Book now while supplies last.

Here are some snapshots of all the fun from prior years, or go ahead and dive into the blog archive for the full story.

Woods Hole Inn Chilifest Special

Having fun at the Marthas Vineyard Chilifest.

Woods Hole Inn Chilifest Package

Over 3,000 people attend the MV Chilifest in January on Martha’s Vineyard

Woods Hole Inn close to ferry to MV

Great fun with live music all day under a tent in January on Martha’s Vineyard near Woods Hole MA.

Woods Hole Inn package for Chilifest

Free chili and lots of beer at the Martha’s Vineyard Big Chili Contest on Cape Cod in winter.

Woods Hole Inn Chilifest package

Move aside Mardi Gras, we have FUN on Cape Cod in wintah.

Breakfast at the Woods Hole Inn, featuring Rachel Ray

August 31st, 2014 by Beth Colt

Rachel Ray Romantic Meal for Two

When Rachel Ray calls, you answer, right? Last week, we heard she was looking for special romantic breakfast recipes, and what’s more romantic than breakfast for two at the Woods Hole Inn?

Woods Hole Inn's breakfast

So, close your eyes and imagine a perfect parfait of fresh cut berries, layered with thick greek yogurt, and house-made granola, the fragrance of savory bread pudding wafting from miniature cast iron pans, and a warm muffin dusted lightly with powdered sugar.  How about the steam off a hot cup of coffee, served in a thick pottery mug that rests softly in the heart of your hand?  Plus the smell of salt air fresh off the harbor?  Hmm, now that sounds nice.

 

 

 

Romantic Meal for Two, Woods Hole Inn, Rachel Ray

Open your eyes and look out over Woods Hole Harbor with ferryboats bustling and cumulous clouds floating over distant islands. Spend a moment dreaming about your perfect Cape Cod vacation day — sleeping late in your comfortable bed, walk to the beach, take a long swim, stroll along the harbor, savor a lobster dinner, sip a nightcap with your feet in the Atlantic.   Cape Cod vacation perfected.

 

 

 

 

Rachel Ray Romantic Meal for two

But how should we relate all this back to Rachel Ray? Enter Charlene, our world class breakfast chef.  Her vegan “Tomato Soup” muffins are notorious up and down the East Coast, and we felt confident that Rachel Ray would be suitably impressed by her perfect breakfast spread.

 

Breakfast at the Woods Hole Inn – always a work of art.

Ride the Carousel of Light in Falmouth MA Cape Cod

August 20th, 2014 by Beth Colt

Romance Cape CodThree miles up the road from us in Falmouth, summer people and locals are flocking to a new attraction — the Carousel of Light.  The brain child of artist and sculptor Lance Shinkle, this extraordinary wooden carousel is fun for young and old.  Each horse was hand carved by Shinkle, and the exterior of the carousel is painted with scenes of summer fun right here in Falmouth MA Cape Cod.

Resurrected this summer from twenty years of storage in Shinkle’s garage, the Carousel of Light is once again open and running until late August.  The Carousel is located in the parking lot in front of the Mullen Hall School on Katherine Lee Bates Road, just a half block off charming Main Street Falmouth MA.

Looking for the perfect romantic fun on Cape Cod?  I suggest walking Main Street to check out the shops and restaurants.  Stop into any one of the great bakeries, coffee shops or ice cream parlors for a special treat (I am partial to lobster ice cream at Ben and Bill’s ice cream or a pain au chocolate from the authentic french bakery Maison Villatte), then stroll past the library to the carousel.

Three dollars a ride gets you up and circling the parking lot on your trusty steed.  You will be amazed by the detail of these carved, painted horses as they serenade a clever mermaid with flowing hair to the tinkling sound of old Cape Cod themed songs.  With the southwesterly breeze blowing and big white puffy clouds floating overhead, you might experience a sort of Cape Cod Nirvana — peace, tranquility and carousel happiness all melded into one.

Try it!  The Carousel of Light is located in Falmouth MA.  Woods Hole is a village of the town of Falmouth MA Cape Cod, located at its’ southwestern most tip.  The Woods Hole Inn is a great jumping off point for all of Falmouth, Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod.

Falmouth MA lodgingCape Cod lodgingFalmouth MA Cape CodRomance Cape CodCape Cod Falmouth MAFalmouth Lodging

Walking around Woods Hole

August 18th, 2014 by Beth Colt

Relax in Woods Hole MAFrom Guest Blogger Gwen Martin:

Looking for something to do in Woods Hole? When in doubt, take a walk. I personally love walking anywhere, but walking around Woods Hole is especially rewarding.

Walk Around Eel Pond:  The classic Woods Hole walk is “around the pond.”   Start off where ever you can see Eel Pond (an inlet harbor and marina).  I prefer heading down Water St. from the Woods Hole Inn to Ocean Park for a pause to check out the boats and ferries passing through “the Hole” (aka Woods Hole Passage).

Continue down MBL St. to the walkway in front of the modernist Swope Building checking out the array of summer boats filling Eel Pond.  Bear right up Millfield St. and stop by the garden at the Bell Tower in front of St. Joseph’s Church.  At the top of Millfield take a right on School St., back to the village center. The view of the Pond at the causeway makes a spectacular place to pause and take in the view. The circumnavigation is about a mile, a perfect way to start or end your day, especially when topped off with iced coffee or ice cream at one of several Woods Hole eateries.  You’ve earned it!

Discover Nobska Lighthouse:  The secret walk up the bike path to Church St. disproves the thought that Nobska Light House is only accessible by car. For those with a sense of adventure (and good walking shoes), start at the Steamship Authority Parking lot and make your way up the bike path past scenic Little Harbor on your right.  Immediately after you go under a large overpass, look for a steep dirt path going up the hill to your right.  Once on Church St, head left past gorgeous, older estates. Just around the corner, you’ll be greeted by Nobska Light and a great view of Vineyard Sound.  Perfect spot for a selfie and a swim on Nobska Beach.

Explore Penzance Point:  Want to have major house-envy?  Stroll out to nearby Penzance Point — one of the most exclusive real estate spots in the world. Penzance Point is the final tip of the peninsula that is Woods Hole with water on both sides much of the entire walk.  From the Inn, head to the end of Water Street, turn right onto Albatross.  Take your first left onto Bar Neck Road.  There is a guard house at the beginning of the road but walkers are welcome during daylight hours.  Round trip from the Woods Hole Inn to the end of Penzance Point and back is about three miles.

Wherever you chose to take a stroll around Woods Hole, I guarantee that it will be great. What’s not refreshing about ocean views, lapping waves, magical garden vistas and fragrant sea air?

Relax Woods Hole, MARelax on Cape Cod WALKING6 WALKING7

Things to do in Woods Hole MA

Relax in Woods Hole MA

Woods Hole MA Things to Do

Things to do in Woods Hole MA

Relax in Woods Hole, MA

Relax in Edgartown, nearby Edgartown MA lodging

August 11th, 2014 by Beth Colt

 

Relax in Edgartown MA

Sea-washed shingles, neatly trimmed cottages, cheerful flowerbeds, and a scenic harbor full of yachts and sailboats make Edgartown one of my favorite spots to visit on Martha’s Vineyard. Edgartown seems to emanate summer and relaxation, beckoning me back every year.

Ferry boat to Martha's Vineyard from Woods HoleThe easiest (and most economical) way to get there is to take the Woods Hole Steamship Authority ferry to either Oak Bluffs or Vineyard Haven, which is the perfect solution for finding Edgartown MA lodging. From either of these Vineyard towns, catch Martha’s Vineyard bus #1 or #13; they leave every fifteen minutes and cost a few dollars.

 

 

 

Coffee in Edgartown MAOnce in Edgartown, I head immediately to Murdick’s Café for a perfectly brewed iced coffee and a taste of their homemade fudge. The chocolate peanut butter variety is decidedly indulgent, but who can argue with a recipe that dates back to 1887!

 

 

 

Things to do in Edgartown MALikewise, Edgartown is arguably one of the best places for boutique shopping: luxuriant cashmere sweaters donning nautical patterns at 20 Main, sailboat-embroidered shorts at Island Outfitters, and uniquely Vineyard necklaces and bracelets at numerous fine jewelry shops. There are also preppy name-brand stores like Jack Wills, Lilly Pulitzer, and Vineyard Vines. My favorite store is Backwater Trading, featuring outerwear, fishing paraphernalia, and casual beach attire – summer anyone?

 

 

Delicious food nearby Edgartown MA lodgingFor classic Vineyard fare, wander down Dock St. to the Seafood Shanty. Their calamari is fresh and local and delicious and the rooftop dining provides spectacular views of the harbor and the Chappy Ferry’s “back and forth” between the Vineyard and Chappaquiddick Island, a 527 foot passage!

 

 

 

Edgartown MA lodgingI discovered two new treasures this year in Edgartown: Edgartown Books and the Edgartown Lighthouse. The bookstore is located right downtown and was a welcomed oasis from the bustling town. Cozy seating areas tucked between aisles of this historic building brings browsing for the perfect beach read to a new level. And don’t miss the awesome stairs! After unwinding, I was ready for a trek to Edgartown Light, my first time to venture out to this totally picturesque lighthouse. Wandering past the historic Edgartown Public Library, stately seaside homes, and the gorgeous Harborview Hotel makes the trip even more worthwhile.

 

Woods Hole InnBefore catching the bus to Oak Bluffs for the ferry and to complete my summer escapade, I grabbed a freshly made frozen “Arnold Palmer” from MacPhail’s Corner Café – refreshing! So, whether you want to walk along the harbor or spend the day browsing boutiques, Edgartown will become your summer pleasure. –Guest Blogger, Gwen Martin

 

 

 

Cafes in Edgartown MA

Shopping in Edgartown

Woods Hole Inn Day Trip

Day trip from Woods Hole MA

Downtown Edgartown MA

Edgartown Public Library

Chappy Ferry

Shopping in Edgartown MA

Edgartown MA books

Homes in Edgartown MA

Shopping in Edgartown

Ferry boat to Vineyard Haven

The Woods Hole Film Festival

July 28th, 2014 by Beth Colt

Woods Hole Film FestivalIf variety is the spice of life, Woods Hole and its film festival are hot! The village is home to world-renowned scientific institutions and historic buildings and a plethora of delightful eating establishments, beaches, and cultural events like contra dancing, jazz and folk concert series, art shows, and the Woods Hole Film Festival. And the film festival is a delectable mix of feature length narrative films, documentaries, animation, and “shorts,” and the content and settings of these mostly independent films are wildly diverse.

A few unconventional and intriguing ones that I plan to catch this year include Wicker Kittens, Marmato, and Antarctica. Just the title, Wicker Kittens, is enough to awaken curiosity, but an annual jigsaw puzzle competition in Minnesota – that’s a must see phenomenon! More seriously, Marmato, set in a 500 year old mining town in Columbia, is a film described as “a canvas of magic realism and the confrontation with globalized mining.” Antarctica, on the other hand, captures the issues of data recording in the frozen tundra with limited time – should be a packed audience, so get your tickets early! There is lots of light-hearted fare as well, like on Kids’ Day. This year, this fun event features a movie inspired by the famous children’s series, “The Boxcar Children.”

Don’t miss what Movie Magazine calls “one of the 25 coolest film festivals in the world.” The Woods Hole Film Festival runs until Saturday, August 2nd, and, there is much more than films with music, parties, and filmmaker discussions to round out the week. Check out the full listing of movies and events at www.woodsholefilmfestival.org/. -from guest blogger Gwen Martin

Woods Hole Film FestivalWoods Hole Film Festival

Woods Hole Film Festival

Beaches of Woods Hole

July 27th, 2014 by Beth Colt

Romantic getawayWhere is the best beach in town? This is a question I hear regularly around town and especially at the Inn.  Since our village is peninsular, you can’t walk 5 minutes in any direction without seeing the ocean and waterfront property is not exactly hard to come by. And although much of the ocean front real estate is private, the public beaches in Woods Hole each have something different to offer to both visitors and locals.

Confusing because of its name, “Stoney Beach” or “Stoney” (by the locals) is actually the sandiest beach in Woods Hole. Sheltered from the prevailing southeast sea breeze, Stoney is the perfect place to spend a day at the beach without getting sand in your sandwich, and by the middle of summer, the water is warm and welcoming for even the most novice ocean swimmers. Nestled between weathered cottages, Stoney is setback from the road, and, because it is an official town beach, a Life Guard is on duty during the day.

Woods Hole BeachesVenture a little bit farther in the opposite direction, and find the most scenic beach around just below Nobska Lighthouse with gorgeous views of the Lighthouse, Martha’s Vineyard, and the entrance to Woods Hole Harbor. The consistent southwest breeze makes Nobska Beach the perfect balmy day hang out spot and if you need some extra cooling-off, take a dip in the crisp water. Make sure to take a quick walk up to the Lighthouse to snap some pictures of the ferryboats going by.

 

 

Things to do in Woods HoleWant to bring your dog to the beach? Or watch the sun set over the water from your car on a chilly evening? Then the “Town Landing” opposite Park Street is for you. It is somewhat hidden from the road, down a lengthy stone road, and, although the beach looks unappealingly rocky from first glance, swimming is actually a breeze because of its lack of sand bars and quick drop-off. You can venture out on the jetty too and slide into the cool, refreshing water.

 

 

Woods Hole Beach DayNo matter what you are looking for, the beaches of Woods Hole are sure to please. So grab a beach towel from the front desk and make your way to any one of these walkable beaches from the Woods Hole Inn. You can grab on iced coffee from Coffee Obsession (or an iced soy latte, my personal favorite) and the locally inspired “Bourne Farm” sandwich from Woods Hole Market on your way.  — from guest blogger Gwen Martin

 

 

 

Beaches in Woods Hole MA

Day Trip to Historic Sandwich Village from Woods Hole, nearby Sandwich MA lodging

July 24th, 2014 by Beth Colt

Sandwich MA lodgingEver drive a distance for a scone? You will for fresh blueberry or ginger ones from the Brown Jug Café in Sandwich, MA on Cape Cod.  Although the memory of the scone with a dark roast coffee on the café’s secluded patio persuaded me to make the trip, Sandwich has other treasures that will satisfy your curiosity just as well as the scone will satisfy your hunger.  Sandwich is a short jaunt from the Woods Hole Inn, which is your perfect solution for Sandwich MA lodging.

 

 

 

 

lodging sandwich cape codA five minute walk from the Brown Jug are two marvelous Sandwich MA historical sites:  the Hoxie House and the Dexter Grist Mill. The Hoxie House is one of the oldest surviving houses in Massachusetts, dating back to 1675. Perched atop a knoll overlooking the Shawne Lake, the traditional saltbox house preserves the ambiance of a bygone era with massive open fireplaces, leaded windows, and wide-planked “windfall” floors. I almost expected Mr. Smith (the first owner) or Mr. Hoxie to walk in as the tour guides set the scene of the time. The guides’ enthusiasm was contagious and I left both amused and better informed about the history of the time.

 

 

Sandwich MA lodgingThe bubbling brook from Shawne Lake feeds the wooden water mill at the Grist Mill, and, although most of the mill machinery is not original, it is true to 18th century New England technology. The rushing water and hum of the grindstones set a fine backdrop to the subtle sweet aroma of the ground cornmeal spilling from the chute. (The cornmeal is available for purchase for those who want to have a taste of history — bring some back to the Woods Hole Inn and our private chef will bake it up into something delicious for you the next day!)

 

 

 

romantic getawayThe pleasant stroll whetted my appetite, and, as I walked along the tree-lined streets, I entertained my options, from sandwich joints (no pun intended, of course) to more upscale venues. The Belfry Bistro, a renovated church with a stately belfry and spacious patio seating set back from the street, drew me in and I was not disappointed! I feasted on the Bento box special, which featured yellow tomato gazpacho, ham and swiss panini, and summer greens salad. It was a delicious way to sample a few of the bistro’s specialties; my favorite type of meal.

 

 

 

Woods Hole Day TripsOn the drive back to Woods Hole, I dropped by the Thornton Burgess Society’s Green Briar Nature Center & Jam Kitchen on Route 6A. The center is a tribute to Burgess, author of the classic children’s tales of Peter Rabbit (and his friends) and long-time resident of Sandwich. Just as I remembered from my childhood, the fragrance of steaming blueberries permeated the bright and cheerful jam kitchen and the color of orange swamp lilies brightened the wildflower garden.

 

 

 

Other options in Sandwich for the historical minded are the Sandwich Glass Museum, the Heritage Museum and Gardens and the historic Sandwich Boardwalk.  Whatever you choose, Sandwich will bring you back in time and bring you back for more.  Visit Sandwich MA for the perfect day trip from the Woods Hole Inn, and a great place to find Sandwich MA lodging.  - from guest blogger Gwen Martin

 

Historic Highfield Hall & Gardens (Falmouth MA lodging)

July 17th, 2014 by Beth Colt

Falmouth MA near Woods HoleWoods Hole is a village of the town of Falmouth, MA on Cape Cod,  and Historic Highfield Hall and Gardens is three miles up the road.  Highfield Hall is a restored house surrounded by gardens and now used for art exhibits, cultural gatherings and events.  The Woods Hole Inn is a perfect jumping off point for your Falmouth, MA lodging to explore Highfield Hall and the arts on Cape Cod.

This season at Highfield Hall, don’t miss the exhibit called “Portals and Passageways.”   As you drive up Highfield Drive, you will see trees that have been “yarn bombed” with brightly colored knitting.  This fabulous burst of color turns an everyday forest into a gaggle of well-dressed statues, anthropomorphizing trees into stately ladies on a stroll from the Hall.  What a perfect welcome, a cheeky hello if you like, to this unusual exhibit.

The guided walk starts with “Fragment House,” a glass sculpture by Danielle Krcmar made with sea-glass suspended from wire and steel.  Stepping in this little cubicle, you look back up at the main house and reflect on the nature of habitats, the joy of windows, and the wonder of scale.  Poetry is carved on glass panels, the light glints on the fragments, and the summer wind breezes past you for a magical effect.  You know what they say about people in glass houses…

As you wander the paths around the gardens, you will find other wonders from local artists — a series of mirrors installed in thin strips like trees in the woods (Andrea Thompson), a mossy path leading to a beautiful copper beech tree (Wendy Bagley), a geodesic peat moss hut called “Pan’s Portico” (Ben Silva), a felt covered sign inviting you to explore “Hither and Yon” (Salley Mavor) and much more.  These sculptures and installations remind us of our relationship to the wild, of the nature of man’s need to build shelter, of the beauty of the dappled sunlight in the forest, of how lucky we are to have such skilled artists and craftsmen living on Cape Cod.

Great credit for the very existence of this resource in town goes to a group of dedicated preservationists who reclaimed Highfield Hall from the jaws of the wrecking ball and turned it into one of the best arts resources on Cape Cod.  Special thanks to Jim and Ruth Clark, and others, for leading the charge.  Our town is a better place for their generosity.  One visit to Historic Highfield Hall will convince you, and if you are looking for the perfect lodging Falmouth, MA, please check out the rooms at the Woods Hole Inn, just three miles down Woods Hole Road from this cool spot.

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Ruth and Jim Clark at Highfield Hall

Cape Cod Roses, or How Woods Hole grew this famous Cape Cod Rose

July 15th, 2014 by Beth Colt

WRFinal1From Guest Blogger Gwen Martin:  Ever wondered what a New England seaside village looked like in the early 1900s? A walking tour of Woods Hole opened my eyes to what life was like here over a hundred years ago. Although the village is now home to four major scientific institutions with their laboratories and offices, back then only the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) and National Marine Fisheries were in operation and only in the summer months, and they had fewer than 5 year-round employees each. And people think that Woods Hole is quiet during the winter now, ha!

During those early years, however, there was a thriving industry in Woods Hole that I would never have imagined. Its products were totally trendy and shipped worldwide. Any guesses? Roses. Walsh Roses to be specific. After years of experimenting while a gardener at the Fay Estate, Michael Walsh developed several strands of low-maintenance, beautiful, and unique Cape Cod roses. The Fays even hired an additional gardener, so Walsh could concentrate solely on developing his roses. The Fays wagered wisely, the Walsh rose did become world-renowned.

The Woods Hole Historical Museum’s tour guide noted that Walsh was an astute horticulturist. He repeatedly sent roses across the Atlantic to Paris flower shows, and, without fail, the roses were in full bloom upon their arrival two weeks later.  And his Woods Hole rose grew to be one of the most famous exports of Cape Cod, known to travelers around the world for it’s distinctive color and simple bloom.

Although the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution now owns the land where Walsh’s roses grew, his Cape Cod roses also grow throughout the village alongside shuttered 18th century cottages, quaint churches, and treasures like the exquisite stone Bell Tower and the gorgeous stone building which is home to the Woods Hole Public Library, adjacent to Walsh Cottage at the Museum.

The Woods Hole Historical Museum has created a map of the main rose locations, and they hope that visitors and locals will take the time to walk around and see this remarkable living history, a wonderful activity while staying at the Woods Hole Inn.

- Gwen Martin, guest blogger

WRFinal4WRFinal2Falmouth MA lodging

Visit the Woods Hole Historical Museum in summertime Cape Cod

July 11th, 2014 by Beth Colt

Cape Cod summertime funThere are so many fun things to do in summertime on Cape Cod, but one of my favorites is a visit to the Woods Hole Historical Museum in Woods Hole, MA.  This small gem of a collection is housed in an adorable 18th century farmhouse draped with rambling roses and accompanied by an equally charming barn filled with old sailboats, models and memorabilia.

This season, there are two exhibits at the Woods Hole Museum — one on the history of businesses in the village and the other a series of life-like drawings of fish and sea creatures by James Prosek, a noted artist, author and naturalist.  His paintings are incredible, and made me think of a modernist Audubon.  See more on his work here.

I took a special interest in the “Businesses of Old Woods Hole” exhibit, as I recently gave a talk on being an entrepreneur in the village of Woods Hole so I am aware of some of the incredible leaders that have made this little village what it is today.  Lining the walls are biographical material and photos of small-town luminaries such as Elijah Swift, Walter Luscombe, Prince Crowell and others who built whaling ships, created the guano factory that once operated here, started the first banks and more.  It’s really interesting (and inspiring!) to think about the challenges they faced, especially as so much has changed since then.

There are a few exhibits that never change at the Woods Hole Historical Museum — the small boat museum is essentially an old barn lined with the hulls, models and detritus of small wooden sailboats.  There is a retired mirror dinghy (this class of boat developed in the 1930’s is still sailed on Saturday mornings at the Woods Hole Yacht Club), a Hereshoff or two and more.  Best of all is a moment in the cool shade of this quaint barn, looking out at the sunny Cape Cod weather just thinking about all the happy hours sailors spent on these vessels before they were retired to this perfect spot.

There is also a model of the village of Woods Hole, a brilliant creation of miniature houses, docks, ships capturing Woods Hole in the 1890’s.  It was made one winter by a crew of enterprising villagers, and it offers a birds eye perspective on the village that is well worth seeing.

When you come to Cape Cod in summer, don’t miss a visit to the Woods Hole Historical Museum located at 579 Woods Hole Road.   Check their website for access and hours which are significantly greater in the summertime.

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Win a Free Night at the Woods Hole Inn, and other stories of our photo contest Cape Cod

June 30th, 2014 by Beth Colt

Woods Hole Inn free rooms

Jeanette from Surgery to Stage – won a free night at Inn in any season plus dinner for two at Quicks Hole Taqueria

Each year, the Woods Hole Inn holds a very special contest where we ask guests to wear our distinctive t-shirt to a far flung or unique spot, take a photo and submit it to our Cape Cod photo contest.  We are pleased to share the 2014 winners of this wonderful tradition, who will receive free nights at the Woods Hole Inn and other treats for their efforts.

The 2014 contest wrapped up in April of this year with submissions from far and wide — amazing locations as far away as Machu Picchu (two submissions actually!), the Great Wall of China, and Istanbul.  Others managed to wow us with images from closer to home — up in the rigging of a 126 foot Schooner and aerial yoga were some of the most unique we’ve ever received.  But the winning submission was the one that touched our hearts.

Jeanette is a professional dancer with the Miami City ballet, one of the largest ballet companies in the nation. After visiting the Woods Hole Inn in July 2013, Jeanette experienced every dancer’s nightmare: a torn tendon in her ankle which required major surgery. Her first submission pictures Jeanette in her hospital bed in a Woods Hole Inn tee. And miraculously, just a few short months later, she is back out on the stage performing a grand mattement again wearing her comphy tee. We are thrilled that our simple shirt was useful to her, and came along for the tough ride. I want to take this opportunity to thank Jeannette, once again, for sharing her special story with all of us and we look forward to welcoming her to the inn for her free nights stay plus lobster tacos in our farm-to-table restaurant Quicks Hole Taqueria.

The 2015 photo contest is just getting off the ground with the first entries in this week and posted on our Facebook page!  We look forward to viewing your entries, wild and blustery or beautiful and serene from places as close as Boston to as distant as Timbuktu. Submissions can be made by e-mail or on our Facebook page, and come with your permission to use your image here.  To vote for the audience favorite and see the newest entries to the 2015 contest, please visit this tab at WoodsHoleVacation.com.

Thank you to all who wear our tee to all corners of the world.  Here are the other 2014 winners, with special thanks to all for joining in the fun:

photo contest cape cod

Brent and Naomi in Cancun – won free night at the Inn and free dinner for two at Quicks Hole Taqueria by winning the Audience Favorite

photo contest Woods Hole Cape Cod

Rebecca in Ghorepani, Nepal – won free dinner for two at Quicks Hole Taqueria

romantic Woods Hole Inn

Sue and Marc at Machu Picchu – won free dinner for two at Quicks Hole Taqueria

 

Visiting Falmouth Main Street, Old World Shopping at Cape Cod’s Best Main St

June 28th, 2014 by Beth Colt

Woods Hole is a village of Falmouth MA on Cape CodWoods Hole is a village of the town of Falmouth, and three miles up the road is the center of town which we call Falmouth Main Street.  Crowded with year-round restaurants, adorable shops, candy stores and ice cream parlors, Falmouth’s Main Street is a nice bike ride from the Woods Hole Inn, where we offer bicycles to our guests.  It’s also an easy drive, and Main Street Falmouth has plenty of parking with no meters.

If you choose to bike from the Woods Hole Inn, hop on the bike path in front of the Steamship Authority and enjoy the three mile journey with vistas towards Martha’s Vineyard and several good spots to stop for a swim.  Once in Falmouth, head off the bike path at Depot Avenue (you will see the Falmouth Bus Depot filled with green Peter Pan buses there) and ride past the Queens Byway onto Main Street.

There are dozens of locally-owned restaurants on this historic stretch which like Woods Hole has been protected and preserved as a historic district.  You can choose from Indian, Mexican, Italian, Traditional Cape Cod, fabulous French bakeries, brunch spots, delis and much more.  There really is something for everyone on Main Street Falmouth, MA.

Then of course, the shopping.  Fancy upscale stuff at Lily Pulitzer, Maxwell & Co, Pilgrim and others.  Great summer finds at Port Cargo, Green Eyed Daisy, Cape Chic Co and more.  Gift shopping too at Celebrations, Treasure Chest, Pink Polka Dot.  Real old time shopping from small vendors who know their customer — and that customer is you.

Don’t leave Main Street in Falmouth without a visit to one of the many patisseries, candy or ice cream shops.  Perhaps a taste test is in order?  There is Gelfi’s, Ben and Bill’s, Tisberry Yoghurt, Cupcapes of Cape Cod and the fancy French bakery called Maison Villatte for starters.  Don’t miss Coffee Obsession or Pies a la Mode, at either end of this long stretch of charming shops.  Main Street is really a great hang out for the sweet tooth in us all.

Enjoy your exploration of our quaint town.  Falmouth Main Street is famous for being one of the nicest shopping and dining experiences on Cape Cod.  Here are photos of some of my favorite Main Street Falmouth MA spots.  Or click here for more info and a map of the area.

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Sushi Cape Cod in Woods Hole at Shuckers Raw Bar

June 24th, 2014 by Beth Colt

sushi Woods Hole Inn

Moving from Los Angeles — arguably the sushi capital of America — four years ago, I was somewhat stunned to discover that there was not much sushi on Cape Cod, and none in Woods Hole despite our twelve lovely water view restaurants.  Raw bar, yes.  Ahi tuna on salad, yes.  Ahi tuna in a burrito, yes.  But authentic sushi wrapped in rice and nori sprinkled with a little sesame seed?  Nope.

As of this week, all that has changed!  I am so excited to announce that Shuckers Raw Bar & Cafe on Water Street  — just short stroll down the block from the front door of the Woods Hole Inn — now offers this sublime treat in summertime.

I was there last week and can tell you that the sushi chef is really talented and they have all your favorite items — fresh seaweed salad, edamame, lobster roll with mango and avocado, tuna sushi and sashimi and more.  Platters were attractively plated and loaded high with fresh pink ginger, pert piles of green wasabi.

To sit on the famous Eel Pond overlooking the marina and enjoy roasted eel?  Come on, who does not want to give “sushi Cape Cod” a try?

Photos that follow are from a lovely outdoor evening at Shuckers, our neighbors here in Woods Hole, a village of Falmouth on the Upper Cape Cod.  Oh, how we are grateful for this new Cape Cod sushi option!

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Summer on Cape Cod, Woods Hole is Quintessential Cape Cod Village

June 9th, 2014 by Beth Colt

Sunset summer Cape CodSummer on Cape Cod…the smell of fresh cut grass, the whoosh of the surf, a light breeze on hot skin, corn on the cob with butter, tender lobster meat melting in your mouth.  Cape Cod is the essence of summer, and Woods Hole is the quintessential place to enjoy it.

My summer started with a visit to Stoney Beach (an easy walk from the Woods Hole Inn) and my first swim away from the shore.  Looking back at the bay dotted with waterfront estates and sweeping lawns, I felt a release from the worries of winter.  I reflected on all the things I love about our little village — scientists walking around with lanyards, wooden boats bobbing on their moorings, the smell of charcoal from my neighbor’s yard, rabbits that tear around at dusk, twinkling lights of the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard reflecting on the harbor, sunset with music playing at Quicks Hole, warm popovers in the morning from Pie in the Sky, my favorite tea at Coffee Obsession, a cool pinot grigio on the dock of Landfall.

Last weekend, I put all the winter coats in the basement and dusted off the paddle board, the life preservers and my flip flops.  We moved the dinghy to the beach, and collected the Mirror (a tiny wooden sailing vessel popular here) for racing in Great Harbor with the Woods Hole Yacht Club.  I located last year’s stash of sun screen, my summer shorts and t-shirts, swimsuits and coveralls.

Oh summer, with your visitors galore and friends from faraway places.  We wait for you all year, then you are here and we wonder, can it really last through October?  Oh yes… in beautiful Woods Hole, the answer is yes.

Woods Hole summer getawayFourth of July Cape CodCape Cod fun getawaySummer Woods Holefree music on Cape CodSummer Cape Cod

Woods Hole Spring Festival for May Day is Best on Cape Cod!

May 24th, 2014 by Beth Colt

May Day spring festival Woods Hole

Ok, I’ll admit I am partial to the events of the Woods Hole social calendar, and think Woods Hole is clearly the nicest small town on Cape Cod.  For the record, the Smithsonian Magazine agrees with me, naming Woods Hole in it’s top twenty best places to live issue this year (at an impressive #5 nationwide!).  In any case, the spring festival on May Day in Woods Hole is one of the finest events of the season, especially when the weather cooperates as it did today.

Imagine a bright green ballpark, full sun shining and huge white clouds drifting across the sky…  A few hundred people gathered in clusters around the lobster roll stand, the hot dog grill, the Maypole…  Kids running and playing, flipping over trampolines, climbing in the “lighthouse” play structure…  Cherry blossom sweetness drifting, salt in the air, a wind cool off the sea still chilly from winter.

The streets are filled with summer people, locals out of their houses to garden, tourists on their way to Martha’s Vineyard.  Memorial Day weekend in Woods Hole feels a bit like someone turned the light switch on, it happens so suddenly that we transform from this sleepy little village to the hustle bustle of summer.

May Day in Woods Hole is a wonderful celebration — from artisans selling wares, to the local preschool lemonade stand, to the jugglers, a pie eating contest, cod tacos at Quicks Hole and so much more.  Make the Woods Hole Spring Festival part of your summer plans, you will not regret it!

Here are some images from this afternoon at the Woods Hole May Day spring festival:

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Spohr Gardens Daffodil Days in Spring on Cape Cod

May 19th, 2014 by Beth Colt

Fun Falmouth Romance Getaway

Springtime on Cape Cod invokes images of fields germinating, baby lambs darting across meadows, the bright green of fresh grass and of course the ubiquitous daffodil, a harbinger of summer which is right around the corner.  The best place to see fields of waving daffodils is on a drive to Woods Hole where they will entice you all along Woods Hole Road and lead you right into the incredible six acre Spohr Gardens, one of the loveliest small public gardens on Cape Cod.

This land was placed into conservation by a very generous couple, Margaret and Charles Spohr, and a non-profit group called Friends of Spohr Gardens maintains it.  From the parking lot, a gentle sloping path leads you past thousands of daffodils nestled in the trees amid a series of grist mill wheels artfully placed.  At the bottom of the hill, enjoy the view of Oyster Pond where you might see a swan or two swim past.  From here, you can smell the salt water as the southwest wind blows the spray off Surf Drive and across the pond.

Walk out onto the small dock and look back at the reinforced shoreline which has been arranged with old anchors and ship detritus painted jet black.  If you are lucky an osprey will swoop past.  Or a butterfly will alight, resting for a moment from the breeze.  Consider bringing a kayak for a paddle around this lovely pond, where on the opposite side you will find a bird sanctuary.  Birders delight in this kind of quiet locale where Cape Cod birds tend to gather in droves, in springtime the swans nest and you might see their cygnets.

Spohr Gardens is a short walk or drive from the Woods Hole Inn, and is especially appreciated by locals and guests at this time of year.  Don’t miss a visit to this special place in spring on Cape Cod.

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Soft As A Grape T-Shirts and Sweats Opens Woods Hole Shop

April 24th, 2014 by Beth Colt

Shop at the Woods Hole Inn

This month, a new shop called Soft As A Grape opened on the ground floor of the Woods Hole Inn, a great expansion of shopping in Woods Hole.  This is exciting news for all of Woods Hole, as well as for travelers on the Steamship Authority ferries to Martha’s Vineyard as this stylish new shop offers high quality t-shirts, sweatshirts and much more in a convenient location right on the corner of Water Street and Luscombe Avenue, just steps from the ferry terminal.  Stay at the Woods Hole Inn and enjoy this Woods Hole shop!

The new space has been dramatically renovated with new hardwood floors, gorgeous wooden shelving, extensive new lighting and more.  Best of all is the antique boat that dominates the entrance, filled to the brim with sparkling new shirts and insignia clothing.  Want to head home with a memento of your trip to Cape Cod?  Soft As A Grape is the perfect place to find something hip to share the news of your travels at home.

In addition to their line of t-shirts and clothing, the nice folks at Soft As A Grape have dedicated a space for Woods Hole Inn branded merchandise including our famous coffee mugs, handmade starfish soaps, t-shirts and more.  Come into the new shop at the corner of Luscombe and Water Streets in Woods Hole and see for yourself the great energy of this new shop.

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Stoney Beach Woods Hole an easy walk from the Woods Hole Inn

April 13th, 2014 by Beth Colt

Woods Hole Inn Stoney BeachSpring is in the air, with daffodils popping and the bike path cluttered with dusty bikes out for the first ride of the summer.  Wandering just a few minutes from the front door of the Inn brings you to Stoney Beach Woods Hole, affectionately called “Stoney” (as in “see you at Stoney“) by locals.

This stretch of sand facing Buzzards Bay is hidden away in a small residential neighborhood, close to all the laboratories (MBL, WHOI and others) and very popular come summertime.  Summer people will be stunned to see I found it empty earlier this week, light waves blowing in and huge puffy clouds racing by for my eyes only.

Now there are many advantages to a swim at Stoney — the prevailing wind from the southwest puts the beach in the lea, so it is often warmer than other beaches in Falmouth.  There are two stone jetties from which you can look back and enjoy the beach scape dotted with charming Cape Cod waterfront cottages.  Then there is the Gulf Stream water, which on the bay side seems even warmer and delicious in summertime.

Popular with families and children because the sand extends shallow for quite a ways out from the beach, I have always wondered why it is so-named when it is clearly sandy.  My pet suspicion is that the clever scientists that discovered this corner of Cape Cod before the turn of the century named it “Stoney” to keep out the riff raff.

Here the hermit crabs frolic, kids dance in the waves and wind-surfers learn to get up on their boards.  The older generation likes to swim laps across the bay in their flowered swim caps.  Come the late afternoon, someone always seems to be water-skiing or tubing in the distance.  Porta-potties,  a fresh water shower area and lifeguards make this a very comfortable place to spend a summer afternoon.

Parking is limited, but beach passes from Falmouth will get you in, if you are lucky.  Most guests at the Woods Hole Inn choose to walk over, it’s about a half mile or ten minute walk (with your complimentary beach towel from the front desk).  You will see plenty of other neighbors doing the same, in fact the back streets of Woods Hole are awash in half-clad beach goers.  It is the ritual of summer, walking through town, grabbing something at the Woods Hole Market then settling on the beach with an ice-cold soda.

Woods Hole summer.  Yes, it is right around the corner.

 

 

Photo Safari exploring Cape Cod & Martha’s Vineyard

April 7th, 2014 by Beth Colt

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Our spring Photo Safari exploring Cape Cod kicked off Friday night with a wine and cheese reception at the Woods Hole Inn.  Locals Cathy and Prue joined guests Marie and Janice for this weekend of exploring Woods Hole and Martha’s Vineyard through the eye of the camera.

Saturday morning,  I led a two hour talk designed to boost confidence and share tricks and tips for iPhoneography.  In addition, we covered some key principles of photo composition, including capturing the Cape light, creating the illusive third dimension, and shooting children’s faces for greatest impact.  I shared images from my collection “Woods Hole Colors,” daily visual ruminations on life in the most beautiful village on Cape Cod.

In the second half of the talk, I revealed my favorite phone apps that make taking great photos easy and fun.  By the end of the session, everyone was swiping and exploring; even the SLR crowd was considering using the iPhone to take photos to promote online sales.  In addition, we talked about strategies and tips for creating buzz on social media, and what sites to focus on for small business success.

In the afternoon, we walked the back alleys and waterfront roads of Woods Hole, stopping to capture things that caught our eye — red boat overturned on an empty beach, an osprey reflected on the flooded marsh, long jetties disappearing into the harbor.  Saturday night, the group bonded over sunset and dinner at the new Quicks Hole Tavern topped off with an order of the “bag of donuts” with dipping sauces of Creme Anglaise and chocolate.  Yum!

Sunday morning, we hopped the ferry to the Vineyard and explored the island with a car and driver.  With a cold wind in from the southwest, the sun was glinting off the water and the brown of the marsh grasses stood in stark contrast to the bright blue sky as we crept into Vineyard Haven on the Steamship Authority ferry.  Exploring gingerbread cottages (called “The Campgrounds”) of Oak Bluffs, waterviews along State Beach, lighthouses at East Chop and Edgartown, captain’s row of Edgartown Harbor — all with our great driver Chris from Harbor Taxi in Oak Bluffs.  A highlight for me was his choice of Middle Road to Menemsha, a winding country lane with open meadows, farms and fields overlooking the distant ocean that leads to the tiny deserted fishing village at the western end of the island.  Worth the trip!

Back in Vineyard Haven, we had a nice lunch at the Waterside Market, then ferried back to Woods Hole.  Much of this journey was already documented in social media, but please enjoy my photo essay on #PhotoSafari Cape Cod & Martha’s Vineyard, and consider joining us for a true getaway in Woods Hole!

Menemsha Details Cathy Norton from MBL on Photo Safari Janice Murray, photographer on Photo Safari Woods Hole Telegraph Hill Sign from Woods Hole Inn Photo Safari all rights reserved Seagull on Martha's Vineyard ferry Dinner with Woods Hole Inn guests at Quicks Hole Tavern walking Woods Hole, Penzance Point Seawall Beach on Penzance Point in Woods Hole Woods Hole Yacht Club Woods Hole harbor Martha's Vineyard Gingerbread Cottages Edgartown Harbor Hotel romantic Cape Cod weekend Woods Hole Inn Menemsha Larsens Fish Market Menemsha great day trip from Woods Hole Photo Safari Graduates, Cathy Norton, Prue Reynolds, Janice Murray, Beth Colt

Summer Dreams meet Spring Reality in these Snow Photos of Cape Cod

March 28th, 2014 by Beth Colt

romantic Cape Codbike tour of Falmouth and Martha's VIneyard, Cape Cod activitiesBrazen Belles, Cape Cod

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Dreams — I am officially dreaming of summer, long days where the light lasts, and I luxuriate in the cool breeze on my skin after a nice long swim, or sit at the edge of the sand with a tattered New Yorker, a fine sun hat, and strong dark glasses watching puffy clouds pass over Vineyard Sound.  Add a chilly drink nestled in the sand at my side, and this is a dream of summer perfection.

With spring officially here, I was hopeful to see witch hazel, snow drops and crocuses popping in my neighbor’s yards here in Woods Hole.  But March came roaring through, her most lion-ish self, with a something the weather service was calling a “bomb.”  Sounds a lot scarier than it turned out.  Nevertheless, Tuesday dawned with snow coming down sideways and wind blowing 50 knots.  Nantucket got it the worst, with over a foot of snow.  We had high winds and a couple of inches, but it blew around so much you wouldn’t know it.  Best of all, no shoveling required.  Most people slept in, stayed indoors for the morning — by mid afternoon most everything was back open for business.

Here is a glimpse at the look and feel of the storm at the height — Tuesday morning March 25th, 2014.

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