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Overlooking woods hole

Tour the New Research Vessel R/V Neil Armstrong, an insider photo essay

June 26th, 2016 by Beth Colt

new research vessel in Woods Hole

Woods Hole officially welcomed a new $100 million dollar research ship called the R/V Neil Armstrong on Saturday June 25th.  Over 25 years in the planning, this gleaming new floating laboratory was open for the day, with thousands of lucky visitors (including me!) invited on board for a full tour.

Woods Hole is the NASA of the ocean.  Led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, our tiny village is a world leader in understanding everything about ocean science.  I have been looking forward to my VIP insider tour since the invitation arrived weeks ago.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution WHOI

Our tour was led by Cyndy Chandler, longtime WHOI scientist and veteran of many “cruises” which is what the scientists call a research trip out on the boat.

new boat in Woods HoleOur group was pretty stoked as we boarded, looking up at this huge ship loaded with high tech gear.

Woods Hole research boats

Check out the Bridge of the R/V Neil Armstrong

First stop was the bridge, where we learned the ship is controlled by the tiniest wheel plus a couple of joysticks like a video game console.  The navigator explained that the technology of the ship’s engines allows them to remain in an exact location within a few inches if the seas are calm.

inside tour of research vessel in Woods Hole

What about inside the ship?

We traveled up and down the ship’s hallways, seeing bunk rooms, a floating hospital room, a fully handicap accessible room, recreational spaces and laboratories where the scientists do their work at sea.

R/V Neil Armstrong in Woods Hole

Cyndy explained how communications at sea have changed since she started at WHOI in the 1970’s.  She said the new internet connection was great for morale as shipmates can communicate regularly with loved ones, but sometimes she missed the quiet of leaving distractions behind.

Woods Hole scienceShe told us the labs were stripped of gear as each science cruise brings their own computers and equipment aboard.

research vessel in Woods Hole, interior

See the Galley of the R/V Neil Armstrong

The galley is where the 40+ scientists and crew eat all their meals.  The chef talked about the challenges of cooking and serving meals when the boat is in a rough sea.  I appreciated the small plastic sign he had over the serving area (“free beer tomorrow“) which he removed from the former vessel R/V Knorr before it was sold to the Mexican Navy.

visit inside the RV Neil ArmstrongOutside, we looked back at the Woods Hole waterfront from on high.  The ship feels at least four stories tall,

Woods Hole newsand I spied Quicks Hole Tavern and the Woods Hole Inn from this cool new vantage point.

visit to the research vessel Neil Armstrong

On the aft deck, they explained how experiments start with a huge crane that can lower equipment into the water as well as an ingenious system of deck bolts for ever-changing special gear.

visiting a research vessel in Woods Hole

Back on the Docks

Back out on the docks, there were exhibits, t-shirts, photo-ops and more.  I looked at the “CTD” device that measures conductivity, temperature and depth — one of many things lowered off the ship to collect data.

RV Neil ArmstrongGuides were wearing purple t-shirts with a graphic image of the new ship and the slogan “R/V Neil Armstrong — one giant leap for the ocean.”  In many ways, the mysterious ocean is one of the last unexplored corners of planet earth, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole is much like NASA in it’s mission to understand the darker corners of the deep blue sea.

exploring the RV Neil ArmstrongGoofing around at the end of the tour of the R/V Neil Armstrong with one of the divers suits, I am deeply appreciative of WHOI for their generous welcome, this amazing tour, and the ongoing science to which they are so dedicated.

Welcoming World Class Scientists, Everyday

It’s pretty cool living next door to all the big things happening at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.  It can sometimes be a little intimidating to welcome these world-class scientists to the Woods Hole Inn, but we are reminded that while our research is focused on simpler things like good linens, spotless rooms and the world’s best home made granola, everyone needs a good night’s rest.

Woods Hole MA ocean research

Daytrip to Provincetown from the Woods Hole Inn

June 14th, 2016 by Beth Colt

from guest blogger Julie Pearl:  Everyone says, a Cape Cod summer is not complete without a daytrip to Provincetown,  known for its beaches, arts, and fabulous gay community.  Even though I have only been in Woods Hole a few weeks, I put a day visit to P-Town at the top of my summer bucket list and headed off with my friend John early Saturday morning.

Welcome to Provincetown

The drive from the Woods Hole Inn was about an hour and a half with no traffic, which I am told is record time for the 100-mile journey. We took Route 28 up to Harwich for the scenery,  then cut onto Route 6 from there. Once past Wellfleet, the view from Route 6 between Truro and Provincetown was incredible, with the sea on both sides, sand dunes rolling alongside — it made me feel like I was out west again.

Commercial street P-town

A warm June day, just a bit over cast, was perfect for our walk along Commercial Street, the central destination for shopping, people watching, and finding a bite to eat. The street was full of art galleries of all styles, historic buildings decorated with flair and unique shops filled with one of a kind items.  There was also every sort of food imaginable, from super cute bakeries and coffee shops, to a huge range of fine dining including fresh steamed lobster, sushi and raw bars, Italian and much more.

Sushi Boats in P-Town

With so many choices, we finally decided to sit up on the balcony at a sushi bar called Saki so we could continue to watch the parade of interesting people strolling through town.  Overlooking Commercial Street, we both enjoyed the sushi and drinks.  Saki is the perfect spot to fuel up for a beach exploration, and we loved the energetic, fun vibe.

The Purple Feather

Of course, we also had to tame our sweet tooth at one of the many ice cream parlors/bakeries lining the street. After much consideration, we were sucked in by the aroma from a crowded place called ‘Purple Feather.’  With a great selection of decadent pastries, fudge and gelato, we felt we made the right choice.

The Salt Water Marsh

Well fueled for further exploration in our epic daytrip to Provincetown, we drove to the tippy top of Cape Cod, where we discovered a gorgeous view of the salt marshes and estuaries.  From there we continued on to the open expanses of Race Point Beach, the northernmost tip of the Cape Cod peninsula.  This beach is known for it’s proximity to Stellwagen Bank, a national marine sanctuary and whale breeding ground, so it is not unusual to see whales swimming close to shore here, but we were not so lucky.

Race Point Beach

While rain clouds rolled in, nothing could stop us from putting our toes in the warm Gulf Stream waters of Cape Cod while also experiencing the vast, dramatic beauty of this preserved land called the “National Seashore” and taking a moment to thank to President John Kennedy for giving us this legacy.

National Seashore

A visit to this divine beach was the perfect counterpoint to the hustle and bustle of Commercial Street Provincetown, it’s harbor packed with fishing boats and ferries from Boston (only an 1-1/2 hr ferry ride across Cape Cod Bay and Boston Harbor).  This point-counterpoint is perhaps the secret to Provincetown’s unique draw — a place of extraordinary physical beauty at the end of a long road.

Provincetown Fishing Boats

Our daytrip to Provincetown was a great success, and I would definitely suggest the unique experience to any traveler to Cape Cod. Judging from the crowds, this journey is once made and many times repeated as it’s a village at the edge of the world filled with fun personalities, artsy funk and a vast stretch of beach whose beauty simply has to be seen to be believed.  Visiting Provincetown on Cape Cod is one of many great day trips from the Woods Hole Inn, located on the water in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, a part of New England, USA.

Fall Beer Bed & Breakfast Weekend (Nov 4-6th, 2016)

June 6th, 2016 by Beth Colt

craft beer tasting Cape Cod fall 2016

Summer has just begun, but fall is around the corner and we are partnering with the Cape Cod Chamber to create a fabulous “Beer Bed & Breakfast” weekend on Cape Cod in November (4th – 6th, 2016).  As the season comes to a close, true Cape Cod lovers will gather for a fall weekend filled with romance, respite, delicious breakfasts and a killer craft beer dinner at Quicks Hole (Saturday Nov 5th at 7 pm).

You can read all about the menu here.  This craft beer noshfest will feature local draft beers, lobster taco bites, chicken tacos and a kale, corn & beans salad with cumin corriander lime dressing.  Finish the evening off with a taste of our famous “bag of donuts” all while looking over the ferry terminal from our year-round restaurant Quicks Hole Tavern, located next door to the Woods Hole Inn.

Woods Hole craft beer tasting

Fall in Woods Hole is all cozy & romantic, with low light, fireplaces lit and long walks on empty Cape Cod beaches.  Or hop the ferry across the street and visit Martha’s Vineyard after the crowds have moved on and sales are in full swing.  Cape Cod is fall’s best kept secret, but now you are onto it, so book today as this fab Woods Hole Beer Bed & Breakfast weekend will sell out for sure.

Details and pricing here.  The value of this craft beer dinner is $40 pp, but pricing is included in your two night stay. A limited number of seats will be sold to locals as supplies last.  Please call the restaurant 508-495-0048 to reserve.  Please note that service is not included, and we encourage you to tip your servers.

Craft Beer tasting at Quicks Hole Tavern

 

Water Street Kitchen – new fine dining in Woods Hole

June 5th, 2016 by Beth Colt

Woods Hole food newsIn the heart of Woods Hole stands a charming old fish shack which has for decades operated under the name The Fishmonger but has recently been re-modeled, re-conceived and re-launched as the Water Street Kitchen & Public House.  Buzz on the street has been excellent, and I finally had some down time this weekend to catch a meal at the bar, less than a block from the Woods Hole Inn.

The old Monger  — as locals liked to call it — was rich with lore.  People still talk about the thick cut fresh toast, inventive pies baked daily, piping hot coffee served on wooden tables.  In it’s heyday in the 1970’s, the Monger was at the center of local life in Woods Hole.

So, it is totally fitting that the group behind this transformation are led by Molly and Chelsea Doohan (who grew up right here in Woods Hole) along with Molly’s husband, the talented chef John Wilson.  This new restaurant is truly a Woods Hole family affair, and you can feel the genuine warmth the minute you walk in the door.

new restaurants in Woods Hole

The dining room has been painted a glam slate grey, lit with low light creating a romantic atmosphere.  The curved bar is well stocked with craft and vintage bottles, and small plates are from a Victorian grandmother’s collection which when combined with delightfully chilled cocktail glasses add to the the authentic family feel.

Views are as dramatic as always, with the building perched on the waterfront close to the drawbridge.  The night I was there, the fog rolled in and created a seaside ambiance which made a great backdrop to attentive service.

new food in Woods Hole

And then there is the food.  Chef Wilson is a man of considerable talent, and his unfettered vision is in full swing here in the Water Street Kitchen menu.

Water Street Kitchen in Woods Hole

We started with the house baked bread with radish butter ($4), and added several “small plates” including a revelatory warm goat cheese in olive oil with a spicy cranberry relish and freshly sliced toasts ($8).

Water Street Kitchen Woods Hole

Then we tried the pan fried shishito peppers with a nori aioli ($9) and the yellowfin tuna tartare subtly flavored with Nobska Farm chilis, olive oil, lemon and sea salt ($15).  Both dishes were excellent, with well balanced flavors and just the right size portion.

Water Street Kitchen a new restaurant in Woods Hole Cape Cod

We opted to share the Water Street burger which is ground beef and brisket plus a braised short rib served on a sweet bun with a roasted tomato and a slice of gouda cheese ($17).  The inventive and delicious “togarashi frites” are on the side, and it’s worth a visit just to try these beauties.

Water Street Kitchen

While we were quite full, it was not possible to leave without trying the dark chocolate pretzel tart ($8), which was a salty sweet dream — crust made of crushed pretzels, rich dark chocolate and a peanut butter mousse filled with strawberries on top.  No Saturday evening is complete without an aperitif of which there is a thoughtful list — I went with the Burmester Ten Year Tawny Port – perfect preparation for the foggy walk home.

Woods Hole restaurants

The log line at the Water Street Kitchen is “modern flavor, local roots” and that does a good job of capturing the experience of eating here.  Check out the whole menu, and start dreaming about your next visit to our charmed village by the sea.

romantic dinner at the Water Street KitchenWe are excited to welcome the Water Street Kitchen to the roster of waterfront restaurants that cluster the harbor here in scenic Woods Hole.  Woods Hole Inn guests (and locals like me!) are lucky to have this option for fine dining during a stay in the Cape Cod village of Woods Hole, MA.

And best of all, the spirit of the Monger lives another day.

 

 

 

Daytrip Martha’s Vineyard – my tour of the fabulous new Nobnocket Inn

May 8th, 2016 by Beth Colt

the Doctors House on MVMother’s Day in Woods Hole, rainy and overcast with teenagers sleeping in … the perfect day for a little “me” time!  Walked across the street to the ferry to daytrip Martha’s Vineyard and visit our friends Simon and Anabelle, who have just purchased a fabulous property in Vineyard Haven called the Nobnocket Boutique Inn.

Martha's Vineyard ferryMy trip over on the ferry was uneventful – I enjoyed the hot tea available from the commissary on the upper deck, and watched the fog roll over and back across the islands. Lots of lovely wooden sloops back in the harbor — despite the relentlessly chilly spring weather we are having, someone must believe summer is around the corner.  The ferry ride is one of the best parts of the daytrip Martha’s Vineyard, a forty five minute boat ride across Vineyard Sound (passenger ticket $17 round trip).

Visit Martha's Vineyard

The Nobnocket Boutique Inn is about ten minutes walk up the hill from the ferry landing, through a charming residential neighborhood.  Simon and Anabelle told me it was once the island doctor’s residence, and in an earlier incarnation was a B&B called “The Doctor’s House” that had an unusual reliance on busy wall paper.

new bathroom marble Nobnocket Inn

All that is the distant past with Simon and Anabelle’s tasteful renovation.  With newly polished hardwood floors, plenty of fresh white paint, fabulous modern tiles, sparkling new large bathrooms — the Nobnocket is a fantastic luxury property that is sure to wow the Vineyard visitor.  I simply can not wait to recommend this to Woods Hole Inn guests headed over to the Vineyard for a few days.

Nobnocket, a neighbor to the Woods Hole Inn on Martha's Vineyard

The common areas are large and attractive, with an indoor sun room that feels like you could be in a swank London boutique hotel.  From every window, you look out over the large property offering true Martha’s Vineyard quiet and tranquility, all within a close walk to the restaurants, beaches and hustle bustle of Vineyard Haven.

Nobnocket Boutique Inn on Martha's Vineyard

After a nice hot cup of tea (and some innkeeper to innkeeper chat:) with Simon and Anabelle, I wandered the short walk back to Vineyard Haven to survey the shops and restaurants near the ferry terminal.  I love this one just for the name…and it was an appropriately rainy day to stop in and explore as travelers have done since 1973.

gerat shopping on Vineyard HavenI am always impressed in Vineyard Haven by the consistently adorable window dressing, which was true of most of the shops along this stretch — art galleries, jewelry stores, t-shirt shops, a killer bookstore where President Obama shops every August, interior design, fabulous furniture, housewares and much more to explore just steps from the ferry landing.

day trip from Woods Hole InnA quick stop into the Waterside Market for their popular “Cab” sandwich (ciabatta with chicken, avocado, bacon $11) reviewed last summer by Guy Fiore of Diners Drive-ins & Dives fame is a MUST… super yummy, great place, busy even on a rainy Sunday in May.

lunch on a daytrip to Vineyard Haven

Then finally the ferry ride home, still a bit foggy but starting to burn off, the end of my daytrip to Martha’s Vineyard from Woods Hole.  What a fantastic way to spend Mother’s Day — enjoying some quiet time visiting friends and shopping the charming town of Vineyard Haven.

Woods Hole Inn daytrips

And don’t forget to check out the Nobnocket Boutique Inn.  Simon and Anabelle are the nicest, and this place is sure to knock your socks off.  Day-tripping to Vineyard Haven from the Woods Hole Inn is one of my favorite activities.  Perhaps it will also be one of yours.

a new B&B on Martha's Vineyard

Room 7 After Photos – a Cape Cod renovation story

April 22nd, 2016 by Beth Colt

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After nearly three months of renovations, room seven at the Woods Hole Inn is complete! With new floors, new windows, beautiful marble tiles, a glass rain shower, and built-in air conditioning — it now stands refreshed and polished, and ready for a busy summer! Scroll down to see some “after” photos. To see the “before” photos on this Cape Cod renovation, click here.

IMG_8203Prior to this Cape Cod renovation, Room Seven at the Woods Hole Inn was a bit creaky, with funky old hardwood floors, windows that were hard to open and a bathroom with pink tiles that dated to the 1950’s.  This queen room deserved a new floorplan, new hardwood floors, new insulated walls and (drumroll please…) a built in air conditioning system.  And best of all, a brand spanking new bath with marble glass shower with the rain style shower head for complete relaxation and immersion in the shower.

IMG_8199The new room is still sunny and bright, but now has our signature hardwood head board with with linen curtains, matching bedside tables from a furniture dealer we love in Kingston MA called Dovetails, and vintage flower prints that we stumbled upon while shopping the vibrant New Bedford antiques scene.

IMG_8214Fresh flowers make any room sparkle, and no Cape Cod renovation is complete without them!

IMG_8225Jute rugs soften the hardwood floors, and vintage furniture upholstered with our favorite teals and beige modernist prints.  Visit us in Woods Hole, and experience this vintage restored Cape Cod renovation first hand.

3 Reasons to Visit Woods Hole in the Spring

April 18th, 2016 by Beth Colt

landfallYes, there’s nothing quite like summer in Woods Hole. We won’t deny it, and we’d be lying if we said we weren’t counting down the days! In the meantime, spring feels like a best kept secret around here. As the weather warms up, the daffodils bloom, and Eel pond slowly but surely fills with boats, the town comes alive again. If you haven’t visited, you must — now’s the chance to get a popover at Pie in the Sky without the wait, or score front row viewing of the seals having their lunch at the aquarium. Just in case we haven’t convinced you yet, here are three more reasons…

A New Restaurant 

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This winter, the town of Woods Hole was all a-buzz as Phusion restaurant underwent a serious makeover. With a new name, a new chef, and a new menu, the 41-70 offers inventive dishes with the same gorgeous backdrop to match. Word on the street is that the brunch is to die for.

Landfall re-opens for the season

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Some things don’t ever need to change. Case in point? The Landfall. You can now go to the local-favorite restaurant for a fresh squeezed cocktail and enjoy the view of the ferry coming and going from the back dock. Did we mention that the drinks are the best in town?

Baby sheep at Peterson Farm

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In need of a cute fix? Peterson Farm is just an easy six minute drive down the road from the Inn. You’ll feel transported to the English country side, and even better — if you come in the next month or so, you’ll be able to see the baby sheep (they are as cute as they sound). Come soon though, they grow up fast!

(Top photo via the 41-70)

Renovation Woods Hole Inn style, with secrets found in the walls

March 18th, 2016 by Beth Colt

renovation Woods Hole Inn

When we first bought the Woods Hole Inn, it suffered from what is politely referred to as deferred maintenance — peeling paint, broken windows, a Byzantine layout. Many people saw a tear down, but we appreciated it’s Victorian charms and renovated over several years (the epic adventures of renovation 2012 are here before, and duringduring and after) to create the vibe and atmosphere our guests have come to love.  We like to call it vintage restored, and to be honest we felt that we were “done” with renovation Woods Hole Inn.

Then along came a recent acknowledgement as one of the top ten B&B’s in the country.  And with that, we began looking with fresh eyes at every corner of the property.  Room Seven is located on the first floor, and while it’s uneven floorboards, 50’s era pink tile, and plywood closet seemed quaint, in the stark light of our new honor, it just felt … (sigh) tired.  Here is what it looked like after we cleared all the furniture but before we started renovating this January 2016:

Woods Hole Inn pre-renovation photos

We felt we could live without this built-in bureau, a remnant from a time when this was the innkeepers quarters.  You can barely see the pink tile in this photo — but it’s safe to imagine that Gloria McLean (innkeeper of the 50’s) chose it.

renovation Woods Hole Inn

And so we commenced a major rehab to make Room Seven larger with a new floor plan, brighter with new windows, and more chic with marble tile and a glass rain shower.  Along the way we were also able to upgrade the floors, add a real closet and put in built-in air conditioning.

Room Seven cleared out before renovation

We kept the charming bulls eye moldings, the solid brass door hardware and other touches which you have come to expect from our aesthetic.  There was plenty of work involved — demo, plumbing, wiring, changing the sprinkler head locations, new recessed lights and more.

renovation Woods Hole Inn

Renovation of an old building is not for the faint of heart as you never know what you will find that requires an expensive upgrade — and this time was no different as the rough plumbing had to be totally re-worked (ouch).  But there are often wonderful surprises as well, like this old newspaper which if you look closely is dated April 22, 1910 (Good news, the Red Sox won that day:) which was found in the walls.

old newspaper

I also love the headline (“Perhaps Washington Will Know Better Than to Start Anything Like That Again”) which in light of the political drama so far this season seemed almost contemporary.

Here is a sneak peek of the results of renovation Woods Hole Inn 2016, with more to come next week.  Stay tuned for the renovation “after” photos by signing up for our newsletter,  or following us on Facebook.

glass shower at the Woods Hole Inn

Enjoy this snowy view of Eel Pond, as we worked through the winter to keep the Woods Hole Inn special for you.  Hope to see you soon!

sunset in snow Eel Pond Woods Hole

Soul in the Hole; a new restaurant in Woods Hole

February 18th, 2016 by Beth Colt

With flair, fanfare and an unexpected wedding, “The 41-70” — a new restaurant in Woods Hole on Water Street — opened last night.  Le tout Woods Hole was in attendance for the opening party to wish owner Carol Grigas, and co-chefs Brandon Baltzley and Laura Higgins a fine welcome to the 2016 season, enjoying live music and great company on a relatively warm February evening on the Eel Pond.

new restaurant in Woods Hole

What nobody knew was that Baltzley and Higgins intended to tie the knot in the late afternoon just before the party began!  So in addition to delicious lobster sliders, freshly shucked oysters bathed in a warm buttery mignonette and exquisite stuffed quahogs called “Laura’s Stuffies” on the menu, there was wedding cake, champagne and lots of well-wishes.

new restaurant in Woods Hole

The foodie movement in Woods Hole has taken a sharp turn towards experiential fine dining with the arrival of Baltzley and Higgins, with major food blogs like Eater plus the cover of this week’s Boston Globe food section crowing about new found soul coming to the area.  Woods Hole has long benefited from it’s unique waterfront location in attracting top of the line culinary talent, and we are excited to watch this take flight.  Grigas was all smiles, welcoming the crowd to the warm boat-like space (formerly known as “Phusion”) and watching them enjoy live music, good company and tasty cuisine.

new restaurant in Woods Hole

Woods Hole Inn guests can add The 41-70 — located a short walk from the front door of the inn — to the list of excellent waterfront establishments from which to choose in the village of Woods Hole.  So exciting to have a new restaurant, and if rumor holds true there is more to come . . . so stay posted to the Woods Hole Inn blog for all your breaking Woods Hole restaurant news.

Woods Hole new restaurant Brandon Baltzleymenu 41-70 Brandon Baltzley

Woods Hole Inn named in Top Ten B&Bs in the US

January 16th, 2016 by Beth Colt

The Woods Hole Inn was named one of the top ten B&B’s in the US by prestigious BedandBreakfast.com for 2015.  This is a SERIOUS honor, and we are so grateful for the acknowledgement.

Back in 2008 when we bought the property, then a somewhat dilapidated house, I do not think many people might have imagined that the building could ever achieve such an honor.  But thanks to the hard work of many — a talented architect, a loyal builder, amazing managers, breakfast, housekeeping and front desk staff — here we are, deeply grateful for this extraordinary shout out.

I do feel the accolades also belong to the village of Woods Hole itself, a small but vibrant place with unique geography that draws all sorts of brilliant people into it’s web of wonder.  With a deep water harbor one of the best on the Cape, waterfront farm-to-table dining, great shops and world class science, Woods Hole is truly unique and should be on your bucket list.best inn in America

I am also grateful to the really cool panel of judges that created the list: Caroline Morse, senior editor for SmarterTravel, Stirling Kelso, freelance travel writer and editor Jessica Plautz, travel editor for Mashable,  Laura Motta, director of publishing for ShermansTravel and Jo Piazza, managing editor for Yahoo Travel.  They have cool jobs, and I respect the amount of research they must have done to make the decision.  It goes without saying that all five of you are welcome at the Woods Hole Inn anytime, just give us a call.

Being named in the top ten B&B’s in the US?? I feel a bit like Sally Fields when she won the Academy Award for Norma Rae: I haven’t had an orthodox career, and I’ve wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn’t feel it, but this time I feel it, and I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you really like me!

sally field

Here’s hoping we see you soon in Woods Hole.  Check out our vintage restored rooms here and knock this one off your bucket list:)

Holiday Season at the Woods Hole Inn

December 15th, 2015 by Beth Colt

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Happy Holidays from the Woods Hole Inn! We hope everyone is having a lovely holiday season. Here on Cape Cod, we are experiencing some unusually warm weather, and without the giveaway of bare tree tops, you would think spring is here.

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Despite the lack of fresh snow and blistery winter wind, there is no shortage of festive cheer. Our decorations are in full swing throughout the Inn…

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We are certainly getting in the spirit with a sparkly blue nutcracker and brightly glowing Christmas tree.

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Outside our doors, Woods Hole is adorned with lights, wreaths, and candle-lit windows. Children pop into Pie in the Sky after school for a hot chocolate, and Trivia returns to The Fish Monger as a fun winter event.

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Down the road, Quicks Hole Tavern gets bathed in warm sunlight during the lunch rush…

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And just the other weekend, the town of Falmouth put on their annual Holiday parade:

We hope everyone is having a joyous and spirited Holiday Season!

Saved A Life Yesterday

November 7th, 2015 by Beth Colt

We work really hard to keep it fun behind the scenes at the Woods Hole Inn, enjoying each others company, sharing a laugh or two, supporting each other to make sure we deliver the best possible guest experience.  But yesterday, teamwork moved to a whole new level.

Kaylee saved Dan’s life.  Literally.

handyman at the Woods Hole InnAt the Woods Hole Inn, Dan Doughty does a little bit of everything.  If the sidewalk needs shoveling after a big snow, if a room could use a new coat of paint, if a door handle breaks, if an air conditioner starts to rattle — Dan gets things back in order, stat.  In an old building like ours, there is always something for Dan, and we are forever grateful for his expertise and good spirit keeping us ship shape.

Kayle Costa works at the front desk, checking guests in, making reservations and answering all your questions.  She is warm, knowledgeable and wonderfully competent.  We are so lucky that our small business continues to attract star players like Kaylee.

So what happened??  OK, yesterday Dan and Kaylee were alone at the inn.  Kaylee told Dan to take a candy from the Halloween jar, joking that she did not want to eat the bowl herself.  Dan chose a Three Musketeers Bar and as the warm sugary chocolate started to melt, it slipped down his throat in an odd way.  He laughed, everything was fine, it was just a small one, a mini bar.  But the chocolate only seemed to lodge further.  Now he started to cough.  “You OK?” said Kaylee.  He spit what remained out, but he could not clear his airway, wheezing, gasping, no air coming in or out.  “Oh my God,” said Kaylee, seeing his eyes start to bulge. “Do you need the Heimlich?”  Yes, he nodded, yes, NOW.

Kaylee at the front desk of the innSeveral frantic attempts ensued before the chocolate popped out like a cork.  It turns out in addition to Kaylee’s other great qualities, she took CPR rescue in high school. Wow, thank goodness she was there as the world is definitely a better place with Dan still in it.

We back each other up, everyday, 24/7.  Most days that means sharing hot water for tea, covering someone’s shift, grabbing a broom when housekeeping is short staffed, or a shovel when the snow falls too fast, or the phone when it rings off the hook.  In a pinch, we all pitch in.

Yesterday, Kaylee went a giant step beyond that level of team work and saved a life.  WOW!  Thank you, Kaylee.  I know Dan thanks you, but we all do, as you exemplify calm in the storm and great team work.

We are so lucky to work together.

 

Elope Cape Cod for the perfect New England Elopement

October 31st, 2015 by Beth Colt

Elope Cape Cod, Cape Cod Weddings, Nobska LightOctober is the perfect time of year to elope on Cape Cod with mild weather, empty beaches and sunsets that make photographers drool.

The Woods Hole Inn is your one-stop shop for a stylish New England elopement — vintage-restored guest room, home-made breakfasts each morning and advice in arranging all the details for your perfect wedding.  New England elopement was never so easy!

Chad and Kendall came up this week from Texas to tie the knot in the magic hour at Nobska Lighthouse.  The Woods Hole Inn staff helped them coordinate the officiant, the marriage license, flowers and a photographer.

The photos from this extraordinary afternoon really tell the whole story, and at the risk of sounding like an Irish poet:  Chad and Kendall, may the rosy glow of sunset illuminate your marriage for many years to come and may you remember to return to Woods Hole to connect with this special day with it’s darkening sky, empty seascape, dramatic lighthouse and a young couple deeply in love.

Of course there is the sweet morning repast to jog your memory;  my father always said the perfect honeymoon breakfast was a roll in bed with honey.

To book your elopement at the Woods Hole Inn, check out our special package here.

Stylish modern bride chooses Cape Cod elopement Chad and Kendall walk into their future together Sunset over a wedding on Cape Cod Kiss the bride wedding Cape Cod Weddings Cape Cod, wedding New England View over Vineyard Sound for wedding on Cape Cod Nobska Light elope New England Dad and daughter right before the ceremony elope Cape Cod red flowers brigal bouquet Cape Cod wedding Elope Woods Hole Inn small family wedding at Nobska Light on Cape Cod, Cape Cod elopement

Fall Fun on Cape Cod, Woods Hole style

October 20th, 2015 by Beth Colt

We hope everyone had a wonderful end of summer. Here in Woods Hole, fall is well underway, and we greet the crisp air (and available parking!) with open arms.  Hello to fall fun on Cape Cod.

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Pumpkins on porch of Woods Hole InnVibrant pumpkins replace flip flops and beach towels on the patio of the Woods Hole Inn…

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An empty Stoney Beach is shocking to the eyes, especially in contrast to busy peak summer when families are packed to the brim along the shore.

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Coffee Obsession returns to its quirky off-season hours…

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And the infamous Quicks Hole Taqueria crawdad gears up for winter storage.

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It’s hard to imagine that only a few months ago, this very road held over 12,000 Falmouth road race runners.

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But, despite the lull and quiet peacefulness that autumn brings, there are still signs of life! Pie in the Sky forever stays open, epicenter of fall fun on Cape Cod, serving their renowned popovers and locally roasted coffee….

And tourists and sightseers continue to frequent Nobska Lighthouse.

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Last but not least, Quicks Hole Tavern donuts hit the spot on a chilly weekday lunch.

Looking for fall fun on Cape Cod?  Piping hot donuts in hand, you may have hit the jackpot.

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Cape Cod sunset sail on the Liberté

August 7th, 2015 by Beth Colt

If you’re looking to get out on the water and do it in style, you’ve got to book a ride on the Liberté. Watching the sunset over the westernmost part of Cape Cod from the deck of a beautiful 74’ three-masted schooner is easily one of my best memories from this summer.

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My friend Bonny and I had been waiting for some good weather to go out for a relaxing evening after work, and last Thursday turned out to be the perfect day. The air had that perfect end-of-July warmth, and there was enough wind to fill the sails and keep us cool as we made our way out into the Vineyard Sound. The crew was composed of Captain Chris and two experienced and friendly young women. Their teamwork allowed us to get our sunset sail underway quickly, and all we had to do was sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds while reclining in one of the boat’s many comfortable seating areas.

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Once we were out of the harbor and all the sails had been raised, the crew offered full bar service with a selection of wine, beer, and cocktails. With glasses of pinot grigio in hand, Bonny and I toasted to the dog days of summer and laughed as we listened to Captain Chris’s tales from his time at sea.

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Captain Chris Tietje and his wife Jane had this sail boat designed and built just for them, and they live on it for most of the year. In the summers, they keep the boat docked in Falmouth Harbor (a 10 minute drive from the Woods Hole Inn) and take people out for a one-of-a-kind Cape Cod sailing experience. While on the boat, Captain Chris treats the passengers to stories about the birth of the Liberté and the history of Martha’s Vineyard and the surrounding waters.

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There were about 35 other passengers with us that evening, but the boat never felt crowded. It seemed that each separate party was able to have their own intimate moments while still harmoniously coexisting with the rest of the group on board. There was plenty of room to move around, and I made sure to get photos from each part of the top deck.

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The Liberté sails three times a day, seven days a week throughout the summer and can be booked for private charters or parties. If you’re looking for a memorable Cape Cod sailing experience, you don’t want to miss out on a chance to ride aboard the magnificent schooner, Liberté. Check out www.theliberte.com for more information about the Liberte and how you can plan your sailing trip.

— from guest blogger Sam Frawley

Day Trip to Martha’s Vineyard, exploring Aquinnah and Gayhead Cliffs

July 26th, 2015 by Beth Colt

As a photographer I don’t like to admit this, but I can honestly say that there are some things that just have to be seen in person. These places that defy my desire to capture in a photograph are so magnificent and breathtaking that a picture just can’t do them justice. My day trip to Martha’s Vineyard to visit the Gayhead Cliffs in Aquinnah proved to be one of these places. Last week, my sister Olivia was on the Cape with one of her best friends from school and I wanted to treat them to a day of adventure. My sister and I have made many day trips to the towns on Martha’s Vineyard but had never visited Aquinnah, so we were very excited to get off the beaten path.

We took an early afternoon ferry from Woods Hole and found a great spot up on the top deck to hang out as we crossed the Vineyard Sound aboard the Steamship Authority’s Island Home ($17 passenger ticket RT). The ferry ride itself is gorgeous and it is easy to enjoy the views of the surrounding coast line, Nobska Lighthouse, and Martha’s Vineyard.

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Once we landed in Vineyard Haven we made a quick stop at the Black Dog for lunch. The first year round restaurant on the island started in 1971, this iconic spot on the harbor in Vineyard Haven is worth the trip alone.  The fish and chips were excellent and we were now fueled up for our journey to the cliffs.

I was pleasantly surprised by the ease of use and organization of the public transportation system on the island. The VTA (Vineyard Transit Authority) has published a detailed and intuitive map with bus schedules and extensive routes that take people all over the island. For just $8.00, you can purchase a day pass to hop on and off all day long. We got on the bus in Vineyard Haven, made a switch in Chilmark and arrived in Aquinnah in about 50 minutes.  This day trip to Martha’s Vineyard is inexpensive and convenient as a guest of the Woods Hole Inn, where the Woods Hole ferry terminal is located across the street.

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The Aquinnah bus drops passengers off at the top of the Gayhead cliffs where there is a gorgeous observation deck to view the vibrant multicolored cliffs cascading into the surrounding seas. You can also see the iconic Gayhead Lighthouse which was just recently relocated. Almost $3.5 million dollars were raised to move the lighthouse from the rapidly eroding cliffs, and the elaborate job moving this antique brick structure was completed this spring saving the famous lighthouse from certain ruin within a few years.

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From the observation deck, we made our way down to the beach below where we were able to get a closer look at the clay cliffs. They were saturated with jeweled tones of rust, powdery whites, mustard yellow, and honeydew green. So amazing to have an incredible natural landmark located just a short ride day trip from Woods Hole.  No wonder the Wampanoag’s (native Americans from the Cape and Islands) consider this a sacred spot.

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Although I got some great shots of the cliffs, I know there will always be more ways to capture their natural beauty. I have already started to make plans for my next day trip to Martha’s Vineyard where I will once again challenge myself to fit the feeling of seeing them first hand into a photograph. But in all honesty, you really just have to go see them for yourself.  -Sam Frawley, guest blogger

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Fun at the Falmouth Farmers Market

July 12th, 2015 by Beth Colt

If you’re looking for local flavor, there’s nothing quite like wandering around the local farmers market. The Falmouth Farmers Market (just up the road from the Woods Hole Inn in Woods Hole, MA on Cape Cod) has a long standing tradition of attracting farmers and artisans from all over eastern Massachusetts to sell local produce and share rich, unique stories. Boasting a new waterfront location this season (at Marine Park adjacent to the harbor), the Falmouth Farmers Market now has abundant free parking, cool sea breezes and great water views.

Woods Hole Inn fun things to doFalmouth Farmers Market on Cape Cod

 

 

 

 

 

 

The farm to table movement has blossomed on Cape Cod in recent years, with the Falmouth Farmer’s Market leading the charge.  Many local restaurants and chefs avail themselves of this wonderful weekly tradition, starting at noon on Thursdays in summertime.  How lucky are we to have access to berries picked earlier that morning, fine artisan breads baked right on the Cape, sweet corn ripened at the peak of summer, farm fresh eggs still warm from the nest?

romantic summer getaway Woods Hole Inn Farmers Market Cape Cod

 

 

 

 

 

 

On a recent visit, I was inspired by the passion and generosity that exists within this community of people. As my brother and I strolled from booth to booth, we were greeted with smiles, free samples and an education about the energy and love that goes into creating this delightful array of goods. I never thought I could be so entertained learning about artisan Balsamic Vinegar. No joke! You have to stop by Tony Melli’s tables and hear about his craft firsthand.

Flavored olive oils at Farmers Market Cape Cod home made goods at Farmers Market Falmouth Cape Cod

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each booth overflowed with hand made, organically grown, and fresh baked goods, on which I easily could have blown all of last week’s paycheck.  I’ll be back for the all natural herbal bath and beauty products from Thyme After Thyme, hand made soaps from Woods Hole Soapworks, homemade salad dressings from DD’s Dressing, artisan olive oil and balsamic vinegar from Olio di Melli, craft wines from Westport Rivers Winery, and loads of gorgeous, fresh produce from Allen, Silverbrook, Pariah Dog Farms just to name a few.

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The Falmouth Farmer’s Market convenes every Thursday from noon until 6 p.m from spring though fall. It’s a 10 minute drive to Falmouth Harbor from Woods Hole (which is a village of the town of Falmouth).  This farmers market is a must see for any one interested in communing with the locals and tasting the unique flavors of Cape Cod.  You will find us there procuring herbs and inspiration for the weekend’s breakfasts at the Woods Hole Inn.

— from guest blogger Sam Frawley

Cape Cod Cocktails, the best of Woods Hole summertime concoctions

June 24th, 2015 by Beth Colt

There’s certainly no shortage of places to sit down and enjoy Cape Cod cocktails in Woods Hole.  However, given so many good options it can be a daunting task to choose the right beverage for you. Don’t fear! This past week, a couple friends joined me for a Cape Cod cocktail tour and we did the “work” for you. Below you will find our favorite drinks at each of the seven waterfront restaurants we visited – all of which are walking distance from each other. Hope you enjoy and remember to read responsibly.

LANDFALL

Drink of choice: Bloody Mary

Secret house recipe served with Spanish olives and celery.

Notes: If you’re waiting for the afternoon ferry and you need something to tide you over before dinner the Landfall is the place to go. Their Bloody Mary is the best around and its zesty, savory, and spicy flavors will keep your mouth entertained until the very last drop. It’s always 5 o’clock somewhere!

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CAPTAIN KIDD

Drink of Choice: The Tarpaulin Brothel

House-made Privateer Spiced Rum, Angostura Bitters, Rinse of Absinthe, twist of orange

Notes: This drink is an adventure in a glass. If you’re feeling the winds of good fortune at your back and the call of the open seas then you’ve got to dive in. This bold drink from a watering hole that’s a self described “pirate bar” features Captain Kidd’s special house-made spiced rum and a dash of absinthe. Before long, it will have you wanting to chase buried treasure and hoist the main sail. If you’re looking for a drink to get you in touch with your inner Jack Sparrow then this drink is the “X” that marks the spot on Captain Kidd’s menu.

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QUICKS HOLE TAVERN

Drink of Choice: Little Harbor Lavender

Muddled Raspberry, lavender infused Grey Goose, St Germain, and fresh lemon

Notes: Fresh, sweet, and modern like the new restaurant that serves it, this drink has a pleasing and relaxed flavor. Quicks Hole Tavern opened it’s doors last year and has quickly become a favorite with an innovative and imaginative menu. Looking to view the harbor as if from the prow of a ship?  Sip your Little Harbor Lavender and watch your ship come in with the best view of the Martha’s Vineyard ferry in Woods Hole.

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QUICKS HOLE TAQUERIA

Drink of Choice: House-made Sangria

Secret blend of red and white wines, fresh squeezed lemon and orange juice

Notes: One of my very favorite things to do in Woods Hole is to grab some friends and post up at the Quicks Hole Taqueria for some chips and salsa and their fantastic house-made sangria. They sell it by the pitcher and it’s the perfect complement to kicking back on a sunny afternoon and people-watching in the heart of Woods Hole. If you swing by on a Friday or Sunday evening, you can even catch one of the fantastic local bands that perform for free in the parking lot next to the restaurant.

PHUSION

Drink of Choice: Ruby Red Crush

Absolut Ruby Red Vodka, fresh mint, Combier Pamplemousse Grapefruit Liqueur, fresh lemon.

Notes: As this restaurant’s name would lead to you to believe, Phusion’s menu consistently presents interesting blends of different international flavors and styles. This French-influenced beverage features imported grapefruit liqueur and fresh mint that was picked from the restaurant’s in-house herb garden moments before it was added to our drink. The Ruby Red Crush is a light and refreshing drink that will have you crushing on summer and saying “au revior” to all your troubles.

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FISHMONGER

Drink of Choice: Mongerita

Tequila, Cranberry Juice, Triple Sec, Fresh Lime juice, Agave Nectar

Notes: This drink is the Fishmonger’s Cape Cod twist on a classic margarita. The addition of cranberry juice fills this cocktail with the tart refreshment you need on a warm summer day. Also, if you happen to be in Woods Hole on a Thursday evening, Fishmonger is a must – thanks to their Thirsty Thursday free appetizer special and great selection of draft beers.

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SHUCKERS:

Drink of Choice: Shucker’s Smash

Vodka, Dark Rum, fresh squeezed orange juice, pineapple juice, lemon, and Grenadine.

Notes: In addition to recently being featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, Shuckers boasts a world famous raw bar, sushi and a great waterfront location. We asked for something summery and I think they found a way to fit summer into a mason jar. This drink was just the right amount sweet with a fresh squeezed citrus twist to keep you feeling like you’re sippin’ on sunshine, Cape Cod cocktail style.

Barnstable Harbor Cape Cod Ecotour

June 16th, 2015 by Beth Colt

Cape Cod has so many great places to explore, but my friend Bonny and I were looking for something that could be described as a Cape Cod ecotour — you know, a fun day in the sun with a little learning and an eco twist.

Enter Captain Joe, who along with his staff at Barnstable Harbor Eco-Tours, offers a leisurely cruise around the harbor aboard a charming pontoon boat called The Horseshoe Crab.  Packed with a wealth of interesting information about the history of the harbor and natural life, the tour was guided by expert naturalist Phil Kyle. Bonny and I really enjoyed Phil’s enthusiasm for history, especially his tales about the Prohibition-era rum running from this storied harbor.

Sam and Bonny ready for the tour aboard the Horseshoe Crab

Barnstable Harbor itself is gorgeous, well worth the trip. On one side it is bordered by the white gold dunes of Sandy Neck Beach, a six mile long barrier beach, and on another there is a large field of marshland which draws myriad species of shorebirds which we learned about from Phil.  Sandy Neck Light

Might not sound much like a Cape Cod ecotour, but the best of the day was views of the Cottage Colony at the very end of Sandy Neck Beach. The Cottage Colony is home to a collection of beautiful beach cottages as well as Sandy Neck Light – a picturesque lighthouse marking the end of the peninsula. The cottages are in the historic district of the peninsula and most are more than 100 years old. As the boat neared the Colony it appeared we were visiting an idyllic little seaside kingdom, best captured from a boat.

Sandy Neck Point

There were many opportunities to take photos of the harbor and I couldn’t help snapping a couple gorgeous shots for my Instagram, and I thought about coming back another day and exploring Sandy Neck on foot to see more of this stunning harbor and unique ecosystem system from the land.  Well, there is always next year.

 

Buoy returning to Barnstable Harbor

Barnstable Harbor is approximately a 50 minute drive from the Woods Hole Inn. Tours last about 2 hours and are $25 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under. Woods Hole Inn concierge staff would be happy to assist guests in scheduling a day like this one on Barnstable Harbor.  Or call Captain Joe @ 508.221.6162 for more information or to schedule your Cape Cod ecotour – what a great way to spend the day exploring Cape Cod!  — from guest blogger Sam Frawley

Captain Joe, Phil Kyle, and the Horseshoe Crab

Ten Signs of Spring in Woods Hole

June 10th, 2015 by Beth Colt

Graffiti on a boat house in Woods Hole MA on Cape Cod

As winter comes to an end, there are relentless signs of spring here in Woods Hole, in fact Woods Hole spring is made famous by the writings of environmentalist Rachel Carson whose research for her world-changing treatise “Silent Spring” started right here. For me, the signs of spring Woods Hole are everywhere, so I will list my top ten (Letterman style) saving the best signs of spring on Cape Cod for last.

10. Fog

The water remains cooler than the air for some time, and this causes these intense clouds of fog to roll past even on a bright sunny day.  It’s really fun to sit on the beach and just watch, but remember a sweatshirt because when you are enveloped by a cloud it gets chilly quickly.

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9. Roofers

Spring is the time for house repairs and the village rings with the sound of hammers, scrapers and the comforting blast of commercial radio loud enough for everyone on the crew (and the neighborhood) to enjoy “Paint it Black” and other classics.

Green tarp covers Woods Hole House for roofing in the spring.

8. Osprey

I have heard that these huge hawks gave Buzzards Bay it’s name back when Gosnold passed through, and they return each spring to make their sprawling nests.  If you want to watch them up as they spawn, I recommend the WHOI OspreyCam for a Cape Cod dose of wildlife viewing.  And thanks to Woods Hole’s own Rachel Carson- without her work which raised the alarm about the over-use of DDT in our environment back in the 1960’s, we might not have osprey around anymore.

WHOI osprey cam

7. Bright Colored Rowboats

As the snow recedes, the bright colored bottoms of the stored row boats and kayaks pop with color off the newly green grass.  In April, the Woods Hole historical museum hosts a model boat show — you can see one of the model boats racing across Eel Pond in the background here.

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6. Rolling Bags

More than a million people take the ferry from here to Martha’s Vineyard each summer, and about this time the streets start to become full of people walking with their rolling bags, their distinctive lopsided gate followed by a gravelly roar of rubber.

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5. Coffee Roasting

At Pie in the Sky Bakery, our neighbor here in Woods Hole, the busy coffee season is marked with extra roasting.  A lovely smell of fresh coffee drifts over the village when the wind blows the right way, and with a deep sniff you feel energized and alive.

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4. Clear Water

The colder water of spring is especially clear, so photos from the beach make the waters look downright Caribe-like, and debris from the winter becomes uncovered (thank goodness for “Clean Up Eel Pond Day” as this rubber tire is long gone).

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3. Daffodils

The daffodils burst improbably out of the brown leaf litter lining the road sides like toy soldiers.  Each year as I drive around admiring them, I think about the person that dug them into these woodsy locations and how they disappear for most of the year, only to emerge in spring with their sunny surprise.

Close up of bright yellow daffodils with the words "Woods Hole Colors"

2. Landfall Cocktails

The Landfall re-opens in mid-April, and this is the time to get in for that perfect fresh-squeezed cocktail on the dock looking out over the Woods Hole passage with the ferries coming and going.

Landfall restaurant in Woods Hole

1. Lobster Tacos at Quicks Hole

The ultimate sign that spring is in full swing is when Quicks Hole re-opens their famous Taqueria and I enjoy my first lobster taco of the season.  So glad winter is over, so happy summer is almost here.

Lobster Tacos in Woods Hole

Saying Goodbye to an Old Friend on Earth Day

April 24th, 2015 by Beth Colt

Women gather around copper beech and hug it before it gets cut down April 2015 Woods HoleEarth Day is always special in Woods Hole, as the village is packed with scientists and others who study, examine, support and cherish mother earth and her oceans.

But this Earth Day was unique, as locals gathered on Challenger Drive to say goodbye to an enormous copper beech tree that has offered shade and comfort for 150 years.  Aborists have determined the tree is beyond saving, and this massive old friend will be cut down soon for safety.

About 40 people gathered as Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution leader Susan Avery said a few words about how hard it is to say goodbye to a tree of this stature.  Local theologian Deborah Warner spoke about nature, then read a moving Mary Oliver poem that began, “When I am among the trees, especially the willows and the honey locust, equally the beech, the oaks and the pines, they give off such hints of gladness, I would almost say they save me, and daily.” (From “Thirst, poems by Mary Oliver,” Beacon Press, 2006)

Susan Witzell, a local historian, shared anecdotes about Joseph Story Fay who once owned this property and planted these seedlings back when Woods Hole had been cleared for timber and was mostly meadow used for sheep.  Fay was devoted to planting trees, and along with his gardener Michael Walsh, is responsible for much of the forest that now dominates this end of Falmouth.

In closing, a group gathered around the base for an actual tree hug.  It was such a warm spring day, with long shadows drifting across the impossibly green spring grass.  Susan Avery spoke of planting a new copper beech in the same spot and emotions ran high thinking about this symbolic new era in Woods Hole, a time for saplings, spring and new beginnings.

WCAI also reported on this special day, and you can hear their radio version of the story here.

Woods Hole Cape Cod Trees with blue flowersWoods Hole copper beechgreen spring grass in Woods Hole photo 4(1)Deb Warner and Susan Avery on Earth Day April 2015Cape Cod blue flowers in Woods Hole

Snow Photos 2015 from Woods Hole, Cape Cod

February 28th, 2015 by Beth Colt

view of Stoney Beach winter 2015 with open water and hashtag snowThis winter brought more snow than usual with the month of February racking up over 100 inches in Boston, breaking snowfall records all over the region.  Our snow photos always intrigue summer visitors who only see Cape Cod at 80 degrees.  It’s hard to imagine Coast Guard ice cutters crisscrossing the Hole, intrepid explorers out seventy five feet on Buzzards Bay, MBL scientists enjoying pick-up hockey on Eel Pond, ferries dodging ice cakes clogging the Passage, massive navigational buoys drifting like toy boats.

My quest for snow photos typically involves rushing out the minute it starts, as the snow always seems to melt within a few minutes.  Not so much for snow photos 2015.  We have been covered in a decent blanket since the first blizzard hit in late January.  Since then, I have lost count of how many more days it snowed, although I remember Valentine’s Day — soft quiet accumulation all night with a dramatic blizzard slamming like a hangover in the morning.  These winter storms had romantic names like Neptune and Juno, Greek reminders of god-like forces greater than us.

In addition to the relentless snow fall, cold air blasted us for most of the month.  We now have significant sea ice formed all along our shores rendering the landscape at water’s edge into something otherworldly, arctic.  If you have not seen satellite photos of this phenomena, check this out, as it appears to be frozen at least half way across Buzzards Bay.

To keep the harbor open, the US Coast Guard sent ice cutters to maintain the ferry system connecting us to Martha’s Vineyard.  Out on Nantucket, a local photographer captured slushy waves that made the New York Times, while here in Woods Hole we watched, mesmerized, as the ice floes and some of the buoys moved through the currents of the Woods Hole passage.

When the Eel Pond froze over earlier this week, the first intrepid explorers were scientists from our local labs in special suits designed to prevent drowning.  But once it was proven solid, lots of Woods Hole lemmings (including me) rushed out to experience the feeling of walking and skating in the middle of the village.

I particularly love this birds-eye-view film shot by my neighbor Brian Switzer (a wonderful director and inspired teacher in our local public schools) of Woods Hole in these extraordinary conditions.  I think you will enjoy it, and perhaps the snow photos 2015 in my photo essay that follows.  For daily photos, check out my Facebook page #WoodsHoleColors.

MBL Street engulfed in snow during blizzard Woods Hole 2015snow in Woods Hole on Cape Cod winter 2015thermometer outside in Woods Hole porch showing zero degreesEntrance to Eel Pondin Woods Hole filled with icesnow photos Cape Cod 2015Cape Cod snow photos 2015snow photos 2015 hungry ducks in Woods Hole on Cape Codsnow photos 2015 Cape Codsnow photos 2015

Steve Jobs Mega Yacht Venus

January 5th, 2015 by Beth Colt

inside maga yacht venus Steve JobsIs is fitting that I captured images of the late Steve Jobs yacht Venus with my iPhone?  Yes.  Would he have been amused that posting them to Instagram later that day would cause an international stir?  I am thinking not.

I took a vacation last week, sailing around the British Virgin Islands with my family and a few friends on a small rental sailboat from a great outfit called the Moorings in Tortola.  On our last night out at sea, we anchored in the Norman Island Bight, famous as an ancient hideaway for pirates and rum runners.  Captain Kidd hung out there, or so they say at the pub onshore.

In any case, I was snorkeling and enjoying the trade winds on our last day out when this extraordinary mega yacht anchored at the mouth of the harbor.  It looked like something suitable for a villain in a Bond movie.  Not really even like a ship — boxy, clear, highly structured.  From a distance it appeared that the bow was square, like the whole thing was a floating Bauhaus inspired cube.   More like something you would see in the Malibu hills than on the ocean.  More like an Apple store.

When we got closer, we saw the huge bow deck littered with teak furniture and red cushions.  The illusion of a box from afar was created by a polished chrome bowline that reflected the water.  The whole boat was like a mirror, mirroring images that passed (like our tiny sailboat that looked positively trailer trash in comparison).  The stern was open like a tin can, with a ziggurat of steps cascading down to the water.  We circled peeking into what was clearly an exercise room with a huge shiny X that reminded me of the Mondrian Hotel in LA.  Several crew members were in there, polishing the chrome, scrubbing the deck  and rearranging the bicycle collection.  There were paddle boards, a small umbrella, room for the launch which appeared to be elsewhere.

I posted these photos to Instagram right after I saw the ship.  I could not resist, even though I try to keep my photo stream focused on fun things to do here in Woods Hole.  Little did I imagine that these images would go viral the next day. First on Gizmodo, then Business Insider, Time MagazineCult of Mac, you name it.

So what does Steve Jobs’ mega yacht have to do with the Woods Hole Inn?  Challenging question.  I am a big fan of the iPhone, especially for photos, and I teach a seminar called “ten tips for great photos with your smart phone” with a session coming up next week.  Not nothing, but not likely to get me the TED talk that might earn me an invite on this ship. Of course, there is always Captain Kidd.  He hid out around here too, in amazing harbors like Tarpaulin Cove and Quicks Hole — equally beautiful places in summertime.  (There is even a Captain Kidd restaurant right here in Woods Hole!)  And we share the beautiful Atlantic waters as Cape Cod is the last stop on the East Coast for the Gulf Stream.

OK, maybe you are right — the connections between the Woods Hole Inn and Steve Jobs’ mega yacht Venus are tenuous at best.  I doubt publishing these photos will help get me my dream invite on board, but I’ll keep you posted.  I can only imagine the stir true inside shots might make.  All rights reserved.

Steve Jobs Venus yachtmega yacht Venusinside Steve Jobs mega yacht Venus

 

Photo of the Year, Pick Your Favorite from the 2014 Season

December 20th, 2014 by Beth Colt

Call me shutterbug.  All year long, I wander around Woods Hole and snap photos with my iPhone.  I post these photos daily on the Woods Hole Inn’s Facebook page under the moniker “Woods Hole Colors.”  Maybe some of you already follow me there.

As we hurtle towards the New Year, I decided to review 365 days of my photo library and share my favorites.  There are so many breathtaking vistas in and around Woods Hole, but I am always hunting for new light, a new angle, a new take.  Somehow, the scenery manages to change and familiar spots continue to look new to me.

My photo of the year essay starts in the winter, perhaps my favorite season because it is new to me.  As a wash-ashore aka former summer person (the lowliest form of life to a real Cape Codder:), the landscape I know so well never ceases to amaze me when bathed in snow.

snow on Eel Pond Channel in Woods Hole winter 2014

A close second to snow scenes are winter sunsets.  I am not sure if they are more beautiful because we need them to be to keep our spirits up in the cold, or perhaps we are more likely to appreciate them because they come so much earlier in the day.  In any case, the light across the water with storm clouds hovering also captures my imagination.

sunset and research vessel in Woods Hole, MA on Cape Cod

When spring comes, I wait for these three cherry  trees to blossom.  You can see them from Woods Hole Road as you drive into town, and their high bloom only lasts a day or so, less if the wind blows hard.  Perched as they are atop a hill in the golf course, these three sisters epitomize late spring for me.

cherry trees on Woods Hole golf club in full pink blossom in springCome summer, I like to visit Menemsha on Martha’s Vineyard.  You can get there via the ferry to Vineyard Haven, then hire a taxi or hop the public bus system.  This spring, I held an iPhoneography workshop at the Inn and on Sunday we visited this tiny fishing village.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a commitment to get all the way out to Menemsha.  Off the grid.  Rustic.  Old school.

Menemsha Fish Market closed for the seasonIn late June, the Corwith Cramer comes back to her home port.  This metal hulled clipper ship sails the seven seas with college kids aboard as part of the “Sea Education Association” (aka S.E.A.).  Her slip in Woods Hole is right across the street from the Woods Hole Inn.  All of a sudden, Woods Hole feels a bit more like the whaling village it once was.

Corwith Cramer from the stern at port in Woods HoleHigh summer, the days are so long it does not get totally dark until after 9 pm.  The view from the Eel Pond drawbridge is beautiful every day, but some days, with the stillness of evening settling the water to glass, a ferry perched on the horizon and the sky tingling with hues of pink and baby blue?  Thank goodness for that iPhone in my pocket!  Poems should be written about this channel, children named after it, world leaders brought here to fill their hearts with tranquility before global negotiations.  I share the immeasurable healing power of a single vista.

Martha's Vineyard ferry in the distance from Woods Hole draw bridge

Summer is a blur of guests from far and near with the streets of Woods Hole packed like Manhattan, the buzz of late night revelers walking in the warm air, buskers, beach days, sailing trips, outdoor showers, sand on the floor, piles of salty towels on the porch, little sleep and lots of fun.

green bike with red wagon on Falmouth MA beach photo by Beth ColtFriends visit: we enjoy restaurant meals, ferry rides, books on the beach and long walks home under the bright stars.

friends gather at Quicks Hole Tavern including Timothy OliphantThe kids love these long days filled with cousins, trips to Cuttyhunk for ice cream, climbing the copper beach in front of Pie in the Sky, trying every item at the penny candy store.

Cuttyhunk ice cream store summer Cape CodSummer is all about parties and invitations.  This was a memorial gathering in the forest outside the house of my friend Jill (a wicked talented architect) who lost her daughter earlier this year.  It was an understandably muted festivity in honor of Lizzie, but there was plenty of square dancing after the pot luck meal.

hay bales for chairs and wooden board tables at pot luck gathering summer of 2014 in Falmouth MA

 

Of course there are also spectacular summer sunsets, and many people have roof decks.  Sweet huh.

sunset on roof deck overlooking Buzzards Bay on Cape Cod

Not every day is perfect.  Sometimes the fog rolls in and you can hear the ferries talking to each other with their horns as they pass in pea soup of Vineyard Sound.  A hush seems to fall over the village, even the street conversations are quieter.  OK, you’re right – it’s perfect in a different way.

Eel Pond Channel in fod with red light in foreground and mysterious large ship in the distanceThen with a headlong rush comes fall.  It’s later here because the Gulf Stream keeps temps high until the end of October.  As my kids carved pumpkins on the front porch at Halloween this year, a gaggle of eighth graders came by in towels from a swim at the beach. (I think they were showing off, but whatever.)

Road winding away with yellow leaves and old fashioned fence in Woods Hole MAFor the final best photos of the year, I will take you home to a recent autumn picture of the Woods Hole Inn, where a warm welcome awaits you should you decide to come experience the Cape Cod seasons for yourself.  If you have a favorite from my collection, let me know in the comments below.

Or follow me on Facebook, where I post seasonal images every day, all year long. #WoodsHoleColors

Woods Hole Inn instagram filter with autumn leaves in forground

 

 

Knit Cape Cod Weekend

December 9th, 2014 by Beth Colt

Knit Cape CodKnit your way across Cape Cod with this great weekend value at the Woods Hole Inn.  Knitting on Cape Cod was never so easy.

Join us January 23 – 25, 2015 in Woods Hole for a knitting weekend in conjunction with our friends at Sage Yarns Falmouth.

Our Knit Cape Cod gathering kicks off on Friday night with a free wine and cheese welcome mixer at the Woods Hole Inn.  On Saturday, Knit Cape Cod continues with two workshops plus lunch overlooking the waterfront at the new year round restaurant Quicks Hole Tavern (next door to the Woods Hole Inn).

Sunday is reserved for a knitalong on the Martha’s Vineyard ferry with plenty of time to explore the Vineyard Haven shops, visit the Alpaca Farm, enjoy lunch at the Black Dog Tavern or whatever your heart desires on the island.  Extended parking in Woods Hole is offered as part of the package, to make this Sunday visit seamless for you.  Who knew knitting across Vineyard Sound on the ferry could be so much fun?

You can read the entire itinerary for Knit Cape Cod with all the details right here.  Rooms at the Woods Hole Inn (including TONS of extras) start at $369 for three days, two nights on the waterfront in stunning Woods Hole.

Locals are also welcome to join the Knit Cape Cod fun!  Check out the packages page for all the details about booking for the Saturday Knit Cape Cod seminars and lunch.

Book this unique “Knit Cape Cod” weekend today by calling the Woods Hole Inn (508) 495-0248.

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