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Happy Holidays

December 22nd, 2012 by Beth Colt

Cape Cod holiday specials

Sound track as follows:

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

SFX: shrrk of needle across vinyl

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

SFX: another loud scrrratchchchch…

Have a holly, jolly Christmas!

CUT!  OK, now that I have your mind buzzing as mine is with the soundtrack of Christmas… let me pause for a moment and wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas, and happy holidays too!

From all of us here in Woods Hole, to you and yours.

 

 

Woods Hole Inn, Baby

December 13th, 2012 by Beth Colt

Woods Hole Inn photo contestWoods Hole Inn guests Joe and Colleen Klinker had every intention of entering our annual photo contest by wearing their Woods Hole Inn t-shirt to the birth of their third baby.  Great idea!

But they could never have imagined that baby Noelle, born at Mass General Hospital yesterday on 12.12.12 at 12 minutes past 12 noon would end up on yesterday’s TV news and splashed all over the local papers with happy Mom proudly wearing her Woods Hole Inn t-shirt in every shot!

When guests check out of the inn, we encourage them to enter our annual photo contest and say “Wear it in an interesting or unusual location and the most interesting will win a two night stay at the Inn.”  You can see photos from prior years here.

Last year’s winner was on top of a mountain near McMurdo Station in Antarctica.  Another group of happy guests wore their t-shirts on the Times Square Jumbotron for their 15 seconds of fame — inventive, we thought and they received a prize.

Wow!  The Klingers have taken our contest to a whole new level.  Game on!  We are still accepting entries, and will do so until end of March 2013.  Keep the photos coming people, or check this link out to vote.   It’s not over til it’s over…

We are sending our very best to the Klinker family as they settle into their lives with this gorgeous new baby.

What a joyous way to ring in the holidays!

Woods Hole Inn

Winter Visits to Martha’s Vineyard

December 8th, 2012 by Beth Colt

romantic Cape CodLast week I wandered across the street from the Woods Hole Inn and breezed onto the Martha’s Vineyard ferry for a short trip to a place we neighbors refer to as “The Vineyard.”

The winter is a wonderful time to visit, because you see real live Islanders, those hardy souls who choose to live year round on this gorgeous 18-mile stretch of sand and beech groves.

In terms of the look of the population, it is not much different than here in Woods Hole — more grey beards than I ever saw in LA, many people in thick work clothes, the creased faces of hardy sea-farers, boat builders, carpenters, artists and chefs –  plus the former summer people who own shops or have retired from busy careers to run non-profits or serve the demands of the busy summer trade.

There is a sense of distance, even in casual conversation, and my probings about island life are often met with bemused smiles and arch grins.  This cluster of small villages set three miles off the mainland seems to have some sort of secret power, and those who fall under it’s siren song are likely to never leave the place.   They refer to it as the Island, and the rest of the world as America.  As in, “We went to America last week on a BJ’s run.”  It’s like the moat that is Vineyard Sound creates a buffer between the two worlds, a separation that inspires poetry, and peregrinations from urban areas to this secret pocket of urbanity set apart from the rest.

This is one of many reasons why a winter day trip over there is so interesting — it is like visiting a secret world.  Not to mention a gorgeous one.  It takes only 45 minutes to be transported there, and I highly recommend you check it out, especially in winter when you get a better chance at meeting and talking to the locals.  Here are a few other images from my short sojourn.

easy day trip to Martha's VineyardI love the empty seats in the gloaming of dusk.

And arriving in Vineyard Haven at last light.  I do hope my next trip allows more time to explore.

romantic Cape Cod

TV Writers Symposium Feb 22 – 24, 2013

November 26th, 2012 by Beth Colt

TV writers meet in Woods HoleFor the third year, aspiring TV writers will flock to Woods Hole this February 22-24 to learn more about the craft of script writing from veteran television writer, P.K. Simonds.

Kicking off with a wine and cheese reception at the Woods Hole Inn on Friday night, writers will meet for two sessions on Saturday (2/23) plus a wrap up session on Sunday morning (2/24) making for a packed and fun-filled weekend of learning and excitement.

A vivid introduction to the inner workings of dramatic network television, this two-day Symposium will dissect all the pieces of success in hour-long drama writing.

Meet TV drama veteran P.K. Simonds (executive producer of “Ghost Whisperer” and “Party of Five”) who will lead your journey.  Film writing gets more attention in teaching programs and in the media, but the majority of jobs and income are derived writing for network and cable TV.  Simonds has spent over 25 years in the network TV trenches and he will share his experience with you!

The Symposium will go from macro to micro, beginning with an overview of the industry, exploring the differing roles of the writer in TV versus film, then deconstructing the process of writing and producing a single TV episode.  Says Simonds, “I want to break the business down and make it more understandable.  How does a writers room work?  How are stories developed and seasons planned?  Who is responsible for a single script?  What is the balance of power between the players?  Is it possible to do your job in Hollywood without selling your soul?”

To illustrate the creative process in action, participants will be invited to share their stories with the group.  Simonds will lead a story discussion, the same way it happens in professional writers rooms, to try to help writers develop their ideas.  We’ll conclude by discussing important first steps for writers to take to break into the industry.   Writers will network, share ideas and enjoy the stark beauty of Cape Cod in winter.

Applications are currently being accepted via the Woods Hole Film Festival website and include submitting a writing sample.  Fee to attend is $150 per writer.  Accepted attendees will be offered a discounted lodging package at the Woods Hole Inn in Woods Hole.  Book the Woods Hole Inn by calling (508) 495-0248, based on availability.

Renaissance Fair December 1st, 2012

November 25th, 2012 by Beth Colt

I have served the last of the turkey soup, polished off the pecan pie, and fought my kids to scarf the final serving of stuffing  so Thanksgiving is officially over and it’s time for the holiday decorations to come out.  In Woods Hole, that also means it’s time for the Renaissance Fair, a wonderful 30+ year tradition of gathering, shopping and feasting at the Woods Hole Community Hall.

Solstice Singers enter Community Hall in Woods Hole, holidays

Imagine a wreath-making shop with hand-made garlands and wreaths, a “tea house” with sweets and cookies of all kinds, plus plenty of hot tea and cocoa, the Community Hall (our local secular gathering place) decorated and packed with craft vendors selling all sorts of original items from beaded jewelry to stained glass, from sock monkeys to hand knit sweaters, from local photography to letterpress books and journals with covers from old maps.

This wonderfully eclectic collection is topped off by a visit from the “Solstice Singers,” a local choral group that will appear in Renaissance garb carrying a large stuffed pig on a platter.  I often wonder whose basement that paper mache pig lives in all year long, as he looks a bit worse for the wear with a few chunks missing, but the overall effect with the sun coming in sideways through the Hall’s windows and the good cheer in the room, plus the lovely voices of the singers brings a lump to the most cynical throat.

It has been a rough month for the Woods Hole community, as we lost a young man who grew up here and died in a car crash on our main road a few weeks ago.  People in this community came together to cradle his parents and siblings with love, helped fashion a pine box for him, crowded his funeral at the Church of the Messiah, passed a loaf of challah large enough for everyone lovingly made by his friends, the bakers at Pie in the Sky.

arts and crafts at Christmas

His mother has long been one of the organizers of the Renaissance Fair, and I can not help but think that this year will be especially poignant as we gather to kick off the holidays with hot cider, neighborly smiles and good cheer.  The fabric of a small town is rendered with these interactions, and it is as important to celebrate the winter solstice as it is to mourn a terrible loss.

Long Live the Renaissance Fair! 

December 1st from 10 to 3 in Woods Hole. Ample nearby parking.

All invited, free to enter.

Better Way to Stay

November 12th, 2012 by Beth Colt

fall foliage in best village on Cape Cod

Last spring, the Falmouth B&B Association gathered together and pooled our resources to shoot a video about how great our area is, and how cool it is to choose a bed and breakfast when you travel here.

Drumroll, please….

The “Falmouth Better Way to Stay” video, in which we show you all the fun things you will find to do in Falmouth, plus our gorgeous rooms, plus our fabulous breakfasts, has arrived on YouTube and your inbox!!

Although I coordinated the shoot, we did not actually shoot any of the footage at the Woods Hole Inn.

But if you look closely, you may find me in a shot or two, reviving my role as a featured extra, the very spot I started my acting career about (achem – edited so as not to shock you) let’s call it “so many moons ago” in LA.

Check it out here: http://bit.ly/Ukdq3B

Woods Hole is the best village of Falmouth

 

After the Hurricane

November 3rd, 2012 by Beth Colt

Woods Hole one of the most vibrant villages on Cape Cod

In the days after a hurricane, we sometimes get the clearest most beautiful weather of the year. Today, the water is glistening in the clear sunshine, and there are big puffy clouds scattered across a vibrant blue sky.

We were spared this season in Woods Hole, and there is no lasting damage from Hurricane Sandy.  Our power was restored within a few hours (thanks NSTAR!), the few trees downed have been cleared and the minimal flooding has receded.

Even the fall foliage is mostly intact, and looking gorgeous on this cooler fall day, which was not true last year after Hurricane Irene sprayed salt water over all the trees.  I think since Sandy blew from the East here, we were in the lea and the salt spray did not roll in as it sometimes does, blanketing us in an early winter brown.

As I watch the TV news and see the devastation in New York and New Jersey, my heart goes out to those suffering and in need.  At the Woods Hole Inn, we are donating to the Red Cross, visiting the blood bank and hoping that our friends and guests from these places are safe and sound.

traditional Cape Cod houses in fall

 

Birding on Cape Cod

November 1st, 2012 by Beth Colt

rare bird sightings from best B&B on Cape Cod

Did you know that Falmouth — with all it’s open space, forests, beaches, marshland and cranberry bogs — is known  as one of the best places for Atlantic coastline birding?

Yes, you will find the Merlin, the Sanderling, the Cooper’s Hawk and the Warbler all hiding in the rushes here in Falmouth in various seasons.  And if you love spotting the dramatic Osprey, the huge hawk that likely gave “Buzzards Bay” its’ name, you will find them nesting in summer here, and delight in watching their enormous wing span, wild twig-ridden nests, and incredible fishing prowess.  Osprey migrate from here to the Amazon in winter, but return to this area for nesting and hatching their young.

Craig Gibson is a Falmouth resident and passionate bird photographer.  Up at dawn with his long lenses and a sea kayak, Craig hunts the bird life deep in the marshes, and on the small barrier islands and sand dunes where they nest and breed.  His collection of photos “A Year of Falmouth Birds” will take your breath away.  Copies are available for sale in local book shops, and benefit the 300 Committee Land Trust, our local conservation group.  You can also see his great action shots weekly in our local newspaper, the Falmouth Enterprise.

Of course birders will be familiar with the Great Blue Heron, or the Snowy Egret, but for first time visitors to our area, these extraordinary birds will impress and awe you.  Come to Woods Hole to learn more!

Hurricane Sandy

October 30th, 2012 by Beth Colt

 

Cape Cod impact Hurricane Sandy

 

 

Hurricane Sandy blew through Cape Cod yesterday, and we were so lucky that the center of the storm was 400+ miles to our south.

I took this photo of a pink climbing rose a few hours before the storm hit our area, on the assumption that at the end of the day, this delicate flower would look very different.

I was at the Inn first thing in the morning, answering emails and the phone as travelers plans changed, and newcomers sought refuge from the coming gale.  We lost power about noon as the storm seemed to intensify, and by mid afternoon the ocean surge was threatening Waterfront Park.  Thank goodness for our generator, which is very handy in storms, as we were able to proved food, hot showers and shelter to many who found themselves without a home in the storm.

Woods Hole hurricane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I managed to sneak away and see the storm waves at Waterfront Park at about 3 pm, and it got worse later, wrecking the dock maintained by the MBL in this location.  I headed back to the inn to be sure our customers were getting the attention they needed — cheese, crackers, a few bottles of red wine always helps the anxieties that come with the hum of a tropical storm.

Woods Hole Inn best B&B on Cape Cod

 

Then I dug into the pantry and started cooking a Bolognese sauce for pasta, and chopping cucumbers for a bean salad, and washing lettuce for a nice green salad.  I wanted to be sure that our guests felt well cared for.  I mean there were no lights or TV or wifi at this point, so really, what more do you want in a storm than a nice glass of Cabernet and a warm bed?

Woods Hole Inn, best B&B on Cape Cod

As I prepared the meal, the fire department came down to check on the Landfall — the high tide was cresting into their restaurant.  It receded shortly thereafter, and I am pretty sure the building escaped with little damage.  You can see the Steamship Authority ferries, with brave men on board ready to move the boats off the piers if the storm turns, which thankfully in our location it did not.

I wish I had a photo of the meal we shared together, but really, it was too dark for photos.  The candle light was a nice way for people to meet each other, and experience the camaraderie of the storm.  We will be Hurricane Sandy friends forever.

Frankenstorm misses Cape Cod.  Cape Cod B&B

Best of all, the rose in my driveway seems to have survived.  Along with our rowboats, which also did not blow or float away.

We were spared, really, and as I watch the news of New Jersey and New York, my heart goes out to those who have lost so much.  All of us who live so close to the sea take this chance every day, but you never think you will be the one.  My thoughts and prayers to those in need on this dark night in Atlantic Coast history.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holidays by the Sea

October 22nd, 2012 by Beth Colt

Woods Hole Inn, the best place to stay on Cape Cod

Get in the holiday spirit with a visit to Cape Cod this year! The Falmouth “Holidays by the Sea” weekend is right around the corner (November 30 – December 2, 2012) so book your getaway to the Woods Hole Inn today!

What a great time to be on Cape Cod.  Wander the quaint boutiques and shops of Falmouth or Martha’s Vineyard (the inn is right across the street from the ferry landing making day trips particularly easy) and find the very best in original gift ideas.  Take a tour of a real lighthouse, Nobska Light, one of the most famous in New England.  See the lights come on for the decorations on the Falmouth Green, and watch Santa arrive by boat to our harbor.

Best of all, the Falmouth Christmas Parade, attended by thousands as one of the best spectacles of the season, kicks off on Sunday December 2nd this year.  Staying at the Woods Hole Inn, you can borrow one of our free bikes and tool up the scenic bike path to enjoy the parade.

For a full schedule of events, please see the Falmouth Chamber’s website.

Looking forward to getting into the holiday spirit with you in Falmouth this year!  Ho, ho, ho!!

Trainman’s Lanterns

October 19th, 2012 by Beth Colt

Morning light rakes over Woods Hole Inn near Martha's VIneyard ferry

Everyday, interesting people walk in the front door of the Inn — people from all over the world, coming to get a glimpse of the New England seashore, or experience first hand the heady smell of salty marsh air that comes up off the beach at low tide, or walk in the footsteps of Presidents by touring the island of Martha’s Vineyard.

Sometimes they make plans to come a year in advance, and other times they just walk in the door in the late afternoon looking for a place for the night.  In late September, a couple “walked in” (to use the innkeepers jargon) from upstate, New York.  They had been touring the area and taking their chances…we were happy to have one room left, which they booked.

As they wandered around the inn, they saw an antique kerosine lantern that sits on an old metal safe in one of our living rooms and they asked me a bunch of questions about it.  This lantern actually came out of my grandfather’s barn.  My grandparents lived most of their long lives on a farm in coastal Massachusetts, and they kept a herd of dairy cows there from the 1930s through the late 1960s.

My grandfather bred the cows, and had pictures of his winners hanging on the walls of his 1700′s-era house.  I remember the one called “Larches Pat” posing with her handler, all curried and groomed to perfection with a big ribbon on her halter at the Topsfield Fair.  My grandfather was committed to these cows, he really loved them, and he always said one of the saddest days of his life was in the late 1960′s after the milk distributor stopped coming (“you’re too small to warrant a stop,” they told him); after months of pouring the milk onto the fields, he realized he had to sell his prized herd.

WNew England antiques found at the Woodshole Inn, Cape Cod Lodginghen the barn was cleared out after his death (at the age of 97!), this lantern moved into my mother’s basement.  I liberated it a few years ago and it sits in one of the dining rooms at the Woods Hole Inn, reminding me of my wonderful grandparents and their beautiful farm, where I was lucky enough to spend holidays my whole childhood.

Now enter my walk in guests! (I bet you were wondering when I might get back to that:)   No one has ever asked me about this lantern before, but these guests were very curious, remarking on it’s size and style.  Very unusual, they said.  Don’t see them that large, they said.  Well, there were tons of them in my grandfather’s barn before it was wired for electricity, so they were common at some point, I explained.

Honestly did not think much more about this interaction until this week when this cool Trainman’s Lantern arrived in the mail, one for me and one for Amanda.  It came with a thank you letter from the above-mentioned lantern-curious guests, who it turns out own a lantern company in upstate New York.  The letter tells me that the Dietz Company went out of business many years ago (maker of my grandfather’s lanterns), but their company Star Headlight and Lanterns, has been around for 123 years and is still going strong.  In fact, the owner (our guest) is the fourth generation of his family to run this business!!

Here are some highlights from this delightful letter:

“Anne and I really loved staying at your lovely place.  It was the end of a memorable trip.  Your MapQuest got us perfectly to our sons house, where we saw our grand kids, then flew home.  The enclosed lanterns are used daily by all railroads.  Put one next to your Deitz.  Please see Amanda gets one, she was most helpful.  We look forward to seeing you again sometime.”

 

"David W. Jacobs" owner and CEO of Star Headlight Trainman's LanternWell, so do we!!  These lanterns are sure to be useful in a winter storm when the lights go out!  This is the fun of inn-keeping, meeting interesting people and continually learning things about our fascinating world.  And creating this dialogue between new people, and returning guests, where they can share with us the important things in their lives, while we can offer a restful place to return, hopefully year after year, to find peace and tranquility from the crazy buzz of modern life.

So thank you so much, David and Anne (and all the nice people at Star Headlight and Lanterns),  — we hope to see you soon.

Jud’s Museum

October 14th, 2012 by Beth Colt

Dublin, New Hampshire with Judson Hale, editor of Yankee

 

 

The Red Chair is a great way to meet new people.  I know, that sounds really strange but it’s so true!

My humble red chair (rescued from the Falmouth dump, more context here)  is making a tour of all the best Inns and B&B’s in New England, and because of that, it was invited to meet the editors of Yankee Magazine.  And I got to tag along.

Yankee Magazine is headquartered in the village of Dublin, New Hampshire.  In the shadow of Mount Monadnock, this is a classic New England spot if ever I saw one with a white-spired church, petite village green, tiny sandwich shop and miniature rotary.

Blink and you will miss it.

We were ushered in the hallowed halls of this iconic spot, and amazingly enough, retired editor Judson Hale was there!  What an incredibly warm and charming fellow he is — curious about the Red Chair and eager to show us his famous “Museum,” a collection of objects gathered over the 50 plus years he has worked at Yankee, many of them as it’s editor in chief.

Red Chair visits Yankee Magazine

Jud’s Museum is irreverent, historical and downright hilarious.  He has a splinter of the sinking of the Maine (1898) which a man from Cuba claims to have rescued from Havana Harbor, a glove mold from the old runner factory next to “The Balsams” in Dixville Notch, NH and even a crows foot Jud says was stolen from the dead body of Sitting Bull.   He asked for Einstein’s brain but never got it, and that kind of detail does not set Jud back –  he has a fake.

You will enjoy his whimsy in this YouTube clip talking about the contents of his famous office.  I did get the sense he had told the stories he shared with me and the Red Chair a few times before, but you too can experience it with the magic of the internet:)

Here are a few more images from this special visit, one that both the Red Chair and I will cherish forever:

Hanging out outside the building, waiting to meet the Editors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contents of Jud’s Museum, up close and personal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Close up of the fragment of the “Maine” — “How do I know this is a splinter from the sunken ship?” Jud asked me, looking coy.  “The man who gave it to me told me so.” he answers himself with a wry smile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the exact historical relevance of each the objects in Jud’s museum may be a bit suspicious, one thing is surely true — Jud has enjoyed collecting them, and there would be no better tour guide to this rare space than the inspired collector himself.  You can read more about our visit in the Yankee Magazine blog written by Heather Atwell.  Check it out!

Boating on Vineyard Sound

August 22nd, 2012 by Beth Colt

Exploring VIneyard Sound in a boat

Re-discovering Cape Cod from the water is one of my favorite parts of summer.  As the days started to get shorter, and the crispness of autumn snuck into the air, I rushed to take my boat out onto the Sound.  The warmth of the summer water made me feel bold, and we packed the boat with kids and set off in our small vessel last week.

We departed from Woods Hole in the late morning with the goal of visiting Lake Tashmoo on Martha’s Vineyard, and making it up to Menemsha to get fresh fish for dinner at Larsen’s Fish Market.  Some people would take that time to go fishing themselves — I would rather buzz around with a boat load of kids, see the sights and purchase my fresh catch from one of the world’s best fish markets.

Martha's Vineyard boat trip

So off we set with sunscreen, bathing suits, beach towels and plenty of cash to buy our fabulous fish.  First stop, Lake Tashmoo, just about 20 minutes across the Sound on a clear calm day like this one.  Storm clouds hovered over this part of the Vineyard, and I am usually the first to wimp out in the face of real weather but the rest of the sky seemed bright enough and we pushed on.  Brave!

Summer visit to Marthas Vineyard by boatLake Tashmoo was once a pond and the entrance has been opened to a small channel that then lets you into a rather large protected harbor.  We slowed way down to avoid leaving a wake (waves would disturb the other boaters moored and anchored about) so it took the better part of half an hour to putt putt all the way in and see the whole thing.  There were scads of lovely boats, and houses with great green lawns yawning down to the sandy shore below.  It was exciting to peek in the back yards of the valuable waterfront real estate on Martha’s Vineyard and we were not the only ones snooping along the shore.

At the entrance, there is a barrier beach that was packed with people enjoying a lovely day in the sun:

Visiting the Vineyard by boat

Onward we traveled to Menemsha!  The Vineyard is not small (18 miles long) so we powered at full speed for about 20 minutes along the coastline to get to this tiny little town at the very end of the island.  A channel with a strong current flowing let’s you into a beautiful protected harbor packed with real fishing vessels.

Menemsha Harbor with lovely red fishing vessel

We struggled to get a spot to tie up, then found one along the pier and ran to get our fresh fish from Larsen’s.  The kids clambered along the island road to the local ice cream shop, and the day was so hot that it was a challenge to eat the ice cream before it melted all down your arm.  The smarter members of our crew bought “frappes” which is the New England way of asking for an ice cream shake.  Yum.

colorful fish signs in Martha's Vineyard up islandLarsen’s is an institution up island on the Vineyard (you can read more about visiting Up Island as a pedestrian on our blog).  I have seen Larsen’s t-shirts proudly worn in Los Angeles and New York, a way insiders telegraph to each other that they are “in the know” about what is cool on the Vineyard.  It was lunchtime when we got there and people were clustered around lobster trap tables enjoying the fresh fare and harbor views.

Larsens Fish on the VineyardI especially liked the look of this meal, but there were too many kids with us to indulge in a lobster feast.   Gotta love those all-American paper cups:)  Next time!

Lobster meal on paper plates in rustic setting

We explored the Menemsha harbor a wee bit more, then read a few days later of a shark sighting right near there.  I guess they come for the same reason the fisherman like these waters — plenty of fresh fish!

I love my annual peregrination to Menemsha, and I will be back soon before the weather turns the water cool again.  You simply can not beat a day on the waters of Vineyard Sound.  You can re-create this journey with one of many local charter boat captains.  Book a room at the Woods Hole Inn and with a little advance notice we would be happy to set a day trip just like this one up for you.  Sharks, lobster and all:)

Visiting Vineyard Sound

My Summer on Cape Cod

August 17th, 2012 by Beth Colt

Summer is always too short, and the days and weeks are as fleeting as signs of the season – beach days, blooming flowers, and warm midday rainstorms come and go as fast as they arrived. My summer in Cape Cod has been too short, but entirely fantastic and memorable.

Living in and becoming apart of the town of Woods Hole has been wonderful. Before my time on the Cape I have always lived in larger cities and I was originally unsure about spending three months in a “small, sleepy” town. However Woods Hole has surprised me again and again and kept me very busy for the last couple of months.

While the list is long, some things I will miss most about living here are,

The smell of the Inn breakfast in the morning and my hot cup of coffee.

Every morning a delicious, gourmet breakfast is prepared in the Woods Hole Inn for the guests and I love starting my day with the warm smells of freshly baked muffins and just brewed coffee. There is something inherently comforting about walking down the stairs to the heartening smells of a hot breakfast.

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Being less than a five-minute bike ride away from the beach.

Coming from landlocked Minnesota, it’s been an extra special treat living near the ocean. I can see it out my bedroom window, smell it when I walk outside and whenever its sunny and I have an hour or two to spare I go for a quick midday swim. I haven’t swum this much in ages and being in the sun almost everyday makes me feel like a kid again.

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The small-town charm of Woods Hole.

Coming from Minneapolis, and having attended large universities both there and in Copenhagen, I’ve never lived somewhere that had the same feeling and atmosphere as Woods Hole. I love that I can go almost anywhere and run into someone that I know. It’s been interesting to feel apart of a community so easily and I’ll miss the sense of familiarity and friendliness that Woods Hole now has for me.

I’ll miss living in Woods Hole, and working at the Woods Hole Inn. It really has become a home away from home for me. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my perspective on the Cape, and all the wonderful things there are to do, see and try here.

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Thanks for reading and all my best to my friends in Woods Hole,

Megan

Visiting Beautiful Up-Island Martha’s Vineyard

August 16th, 2012 by Beth Colt

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Blog Post by Megan Jensen

My early trips this summer to Martha’s Vineyard kept me close to the main island towns of Vineyard Haven, Oak Bluffs and Edgartown. Each town is unique and has plenty to offer for the casual journey to an offshore isle. But, for my last sojourn to the island before heading home, I decided I was up for something more adventurous – Up Island, as the locals call Menemsha, Chilmark and Aquinnah.

It was a rainy and cloudy day but I decided to brave the weather and optimistically bought a day pass for the bus hoping to see all of the up-island hotspots, from the Menemsha fish markets to the Gay Head lighthouse.

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Taking the bus is my absolute favorite way to get around the Vineyard and I love the helpful and informative bus drivers. They really are the true guides to the island. They’ll drop you off anywhere along their route, and make sure you get picked back up again. They can point out anything from Jackie Onassis’s property to the greatest breakfast stop, and will tell you the best and fastest route to get where you are going.

To head up island you will need to take the number 2 or 3 bus. I would recommend buying an all-day bus pass for $7, otherwise its $1-2 every time you get on and off the bus. When I took the bus I went to Menemsha first because I wanted to have lunch in the historic fishing village, but the bus driver told me it would have been much easier if I had first gone to Aquinnah and then worked my way back to Menemsha.

Menemsha

This tiny, historic fishing village offers visitors a chance to see and experience a different way of life. I was beyond excited to try the fresh seafood and it really was incredible, just-caught fresh and I found myself trying one of everything. The fish markets are little more than one room shacks and you have to eat your meal while sitting outside on lobster traps at makeshift tables. Menemsha Harbor offers a great public beach and beautiful sunsets. For five dollars, you can take the bike ferry across the water to the bike path that leads all the way to the Gay Head cliffs and lighthouse. If the scenery seems vaguely familiar to you, it might be because parts of the movie Jaws were filmed here. Give yourself a few hours here – and keep in mind the bus only comes once an hour.

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Chilmark

Chilmark offers a great in-between stop on your way from Menemsha to Aquinnah (or vice-versa). The Chilmark Store is sure to be busy, and here you can stock up on groceries, local produce and grab lunch – the pizzas are delicious and homemade. Down the street is the Chilmark Chocolate Shop known for a constant line out the door.  I found it to be a great place to relax and refuel before heading to Aquinnah.

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Aquinnah

Aquinnah may arguably be the most beautiful place on the Vineyard.  The name was changed from Gay Head in 1998 to reflect the year round Native American population that still lives there.  This town is known for its stunning clay cliffs, lighthouse and Jungle Beach.  Located near the lighthouse there are quaint rows of shops where you can buy beautifully crafted jewelry or have a bite to eat. Be sure to give yourself 2-3 hours here – there is plenty to see and do. Although if it is really rainy I’d come back a different day, as all activities are outdoors.

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Exploring this side of the Vineyard gave me a very different look at the island and personally I prefer the up-island area to the bustling towns. I love the remote feeling, the broad vistas and the sense of peace.  I hope you get a chance to visit this less-seen part of the Vineyard and find it as beautiful and memorable as I did!

Road Race Frenzy

August 12th, 2012 by Beth Colt

Early this morning Woods Hole went from a bustling village to a packed-to-the-brim racetrack. Runners, and their family, friends and coaches all came for the 40th Annual New Balance Falmouth Road Race. The dark clouds and rain couldn’t dampen the excited spirit felt this morning. Donning garbage bags and raincoats participants came in droves to take part in the race.

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Over 11,000 runners were present for this seven-mile race beginning in Woods Hole on Water Street and ending in the Falmouth Heights. At its heart the Road Race is a “fun” run, perfect for all ages and skill levels, however there were elite athletes present.

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Watching from the deck of the Woods Hole Inn we were able to see the start of the race, the blur of colors as they ran past and hear the cheer of the crowd. The Road Race really is the event of the summer. Congratulations to all this years participants and especially our own Amanda Benoit who ran this year!

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Guest Post by Megan Jensen

 

A Day with the Whales

August 3rd, 2012 by Beth Colt

Guest Post by Blogger Megan Jensen

Last week I had the opportunity to go whale watching in Barnstable with Hyannis Whale Watching Cruises. Before coming to Cape Cod, I had heard about all the fantastic marine life off this unique spit of sand. During my first week here I was lucky enough to see Harbor Seals off of Race Point Beach in Provincetown. But I had yet to see any whales, and was excited to take to the high seas like a modern day Herman Melville.

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I got up early in the morning, hoping to catch the earlier of the two daily cruises. Hyannis Whale Watching recommend arriving a least an hour prior to the cruise departure time – and I recommend calling ahead of time concerning availability and precise cruise times.

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After a quick stop at Pie in the Sky for breakfast, I headed to Barnstable for the 9 am cruise (it’s about 50 minute drive from the Woods Hole Inn). Parking is an additional cost to tickets – around $15.00. I recommend arriving early so you can get good seats on the boat (but once the cruise begins everyone moves around and stands up).

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The first hour is informational, as you make your way out of the harbor with stunning views of Sandy Neck Lighthouse and Provincetown.  As you pass Provincetown, you head out towards the Stellwagon Bank National Marine Sanctuary for the whale sightings  – and the real excitement begins.

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I had not anticipated how great, and close, the sightings would be! I recommend sitting at the top (open to those over 18 years) since you can easily see all sides of the boat. We saw tons of Minke and Humpback whales, many with calves cavorting alongside them.  It was amazing to see the whales catch fish and truly beautiful to watch them dive, flip their tails and empty their blowholes.

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I highly recommend taking a whale watching cruise during your visit to Cape Cod.  I was worried it might be touristy, or the whales would be hard to see, but I was very impressed with both the cruise and the staff.  Don’t forget sunscreen, sunglasses and to dress in layers! The ship has tons of snack and drink options but feel free to bring your own as well.

After whale watching, I stopped by the Cape Cod Beer Micro Brewery that is just down the street for a quick tasting and to pick up a souvenir growler. Other nearby attractions includes the Oldest Wooden Jail in the United States, and the Coast Guard Museum. If you are looking for a bite to eat Osterville Fish Too is right next to the Whale Watching Cruise parking lot. I tried the XL lobster roll and it was delicious!

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I hope you get a chance to spend a day with the whales like I did – it was really unforgettable!

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Sandwich: A Little Town as Great as Its Name

August 1st, 2012 by Beth Colt

A guest post by blogger Megan Jensen

If most visitors to Cape Cod are anything like me, then they probably get a kick out of hearing there is town in the area called Sandwich. Looking at a map when I first arrived I had to laugh, and subsequently make a few bad jokes, “I wonder if they have a good BLT,” “that town sounds delicious, and “lett-uce go to Sandwich!”

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When I visited Sandwich I found there was much more to this village than an interesting name – this town is full of great places to visit, explore, spend time outside, shop and grab a sandwich.

Here is what I saw, did, ate…and highly recommend.

1. Visit the Boardwalk

By far my favorite thing about Sandwich is the boardwalk fording Mill Creek across Sandwich harbor. At 1350 feet long, located in the heart of Sandwich this is an attraction you can’t miss. This boardwalk is actually a replacement of the original that was destroyed in the early 1990’s by a hurricane. When walking the boardwalk pay special attention to the engravings on the planks, which helped pay for the new boardwalk. Messages range from heartfelt to funny, to mysterious. You can park in the boardwalk parking lot (10$), but there is also parking available in town (free) and the distance is easily walk-able.

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2. Grab a Bite to Eat

This town has lots of great places to stop and have a meal or just grab a bite to go.

Café Chew – Called Sandwich’s Sandwichery this organic café has delicious and healthy options on their extensive breakfast and lunch menus. Café Chew is more than just sandwiches; they have all your breakfast basics and a good selection of soups and salads as well. I tried “The Bavarian,” and the brie was amazing!

The Marshland – This Bakery/ Restaurant/ Diner has something for everyone and offers great casual dining on the upper cape. The Marshland’s Stuffed Quahog was featured on the Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.” When I stopped by around 2 pm they were still very busy and the woman working at the bakery knew most of the customers by name. She was incredibly friendly and gave me a day – old bakery muffin for free, it was so good!

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The Roost – Located near the boardwalk on the corner of Rt. 6A and Jarves, this café has a wide selection of locally brewed coffee’s as well as sandwiches. I got the special of the day to go and brought it with me to the boardwalk to eat on the beach.

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3. Heritage Museums and Gardens – Beware – you could easily spend an entire day here. “Comprised of three galleries and expansive gardens located in historic Sandwich, Massachusetts” Heritage Museums and Gardens, “includes galleries for American Folk Art, a vintage carousel, automobiles and traveling exhibitions.” This is a great place for families with children to visit, and it has something for all ages. Don’t miss the Hidden Hollow: an outdoor play complex, that was featured as part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative. When I visited the special exhibition was on Norman Rockwell. Running until September 3rd, I highly recommend seeing it if you get the chance.

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4. The Glass Museum – This was my first stop when I visited Sandwich and besides the several rooms and exhibits filled with amazing glass works I found this museum to give a detailed account of this historic towns history. It’s interesting how the history of glass works in Sandwich is closely tied to the founding, expansion and economic success of Sandwich. References to many of the great glassmakers can still be seen today, Jarves Street is named after Demming Jarves – the founder and manager of the Boston and Sandwich Glass Company. Make sure to see live glass blowing demonstrations every hour on the hour. Also a secret tip, when the glass blower asks for volunteers, raise your hand, you might get a souvenir!

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5. Twin Acres Ice Cream – Don’t forget the ice cream! This local favorite is easy to spot by the crowd usually present outside its serving window. I stopped for ginger ice cream and it was delicious!

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6. Jarves Street – Located near the Sandwich Boardwalk and intersecting 6A this street has several cute shops, café’s and is a great place to park and relax.

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7. Burgress House – When in Sandwich stop by the Burgress House, the home of the author of the famous Peter Rabbit Tales. Thornton W. Burgress grew up and lived in Sandwich and his stories focus on the wildlife he loved around him. “Over 170 books and 15,000 stories by Burgess chronicle the tales of Peter Rabbit and his animal friends, including Jimmy Skunk, Grandfather Frog, Johnny Chuck, Sammy Jay, Reddy Fox, Hooty Owl and many others.”

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Don’t miss these upcoming events at the Burgress House:

August 4:   BLUEBERRY FESTIVAL 

August 15:  PETER RABBIT’S ANIMAL DAY 

This is the route I drove from the Woods Hole Inn to Sandwich. Enjoy!

Queen of Versailles comes to Woods Hole

August 1st, 2012 by Beth Colt

Great Harbor with Lauren Greenfield, director of Queen of Versailles

The Woods Hole film festival is in full swing this week.  Lauren Greenfield, director of the hot new documentary Queen of Versailles stayed with us at the Woods Hole Inn, and she screened her incredible movie to a stunned Woods Hole audience on Sunday night.

Lauren’s gift is capturing the zeitgeist, and she sure did it this time, chronicling the riches to rags tale of the extraordinary Siegel family of Orlando, Florida.  The movie opens as the Siegels are building the largest house in America, which they have aptly named “Versailles.”  The story turns dark when the crash of 2008 clobbers Siegel’s timeshare business, and we are rapt as these over-consumers are faced with what every American faced in the recession, writ very, very large.

A still from the movie Queen of Versailles

While tiny Woods Hole has it’s share of multi-million dollar waterfront spreads, the currency here tends to be less plastic surgery and more Phd’s, less private plane than leather-bound book, less limousine than yacht.  None the less, this cautionary tale hit home as locals talked about it’s themes and colorful imagery for days.

Patrons of the Woods Hole Film Festival were treated to a “master class” with Greenfield on Tuesday afternoon.  In a two-hour session, she traced the roots of her work back to her undergraduate years at Harvard, and made connections with images about beauty culture (the subject of a documentary of the same title), current youth obsession with money (kids + money a short documentary from 2008) and our relationship to celebrity and fame.  Greenfield also screened Thin – her 2006 documentary and book project for HBO chronicling the emotional reality of life within the halls of a residential treatment center for eating disorders.

Greenfield was joined by her husband Frank Evers (executive producer of Queen of Versailles as well as founder of the photo agency Institute for Artist’s Management) and their two kids for the week.  They were spotted at lunch at Quicks Hole, exploring Great Harbor in an outboard, and at dinner at both the Landfall and Fishmonger Café.

Waterfront dining at the Landfall in Woods Hole

Queen of Versailles director, Lauren Greenfield.

Our little village is a  mecca of the talented — we may have to start calling Lauren the Queen of Woods Hole.

Departure to a Gilded Age

July 25th, 2012 by Beth Colt

Today the red chair left the Woods Hole Inn, departing on its latest journey across New England. Friend of the Woods Hole Inn, Kate Kavanagh, volunteered to help the Red Chair reach its destination. There were lots of photographs and a small goodbye as the chair made it’s way out of the inn.

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The red chair will be traveling for the next six months to 40-plus inns in the most beautiful corner of America. For it’s first stop, the Red Chair will be visiting the Cliff Side Inn in Newport, Rhode Island. Surrounded by the mansions of the Gilded Age, a scenic cliff walk and ocean-side views, the Cliff Side Inn was the perfect choice for the start of an epic journey.

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Graham Nash visits Woods Hole

July 22nd, 2012 by Beth Colt

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A guest post by blogger Megan Jensen

Since coming to Woods Hole, I’ve been surprised again and again at how busy this small town can be. You really never know what opportunities might turn up each week.

Last night I was lucky enough to attend a ceremony held by the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary awarding singer/songwriter Graham Nash of Crosby Stills Nash and Young with the Conservation and Environmental Stewardship Award.

Mr. Nash, who is well known for his work with CSNY as well as The Hollies is a true renaissance man. He is also photographer, artist and strong advocate of the environment. After a brief explanation of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, Nash was asked to give his thoughts on current environmental issues we are facing today.

Nash stressed how important it is that we leave a better world for our children, and that we work together to do all that we can. He quoted Willie Nelson, who recalled that things were better when, “you looked around and if there’s anything wrong here, there, anywhere, you took care of your own area. And I think that’s a pretty good thing to go by. If everyone just takes care of their own area then we won’t have any problems. Be here. Be present. Wherever you are, be there. And look around you and see what needs to be changed.”

After this hopeful discussion Nash was given his award and preceded to play a few favorite tunes. In the spirit of marine conservation he played “Wind on the Water,” for the first time ever on acoustic guitar, which he wrote after an encounter with a blue whale while on a sailing trip. The ceremony ended with Nash playing “Teach Your Children” and the audience couldn’t help but to sing along.

Having grown up listening to CSNY, it was amazing to meet Graham Nash, right here in Woods Hole!

(CSN is currently on a 70-plus date world tour, and they just released their first live performance in over two decades titled, CSN 2012).

Eight fun things to do in Oak Bluffs

July 20th, 2012 by Beth Colt

Hot days in July sometimes cause sudden thunderstorms.

This week was hot, hot like life on the proverbial tin roof, so I lit out for the open air of the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard, hoping to catch a little wind on the way, and see the sights in Oak Bluffs.  I have been to the Vineyard many times before, but never explored every nook and cranny of this hip little island town, so here — after an afternoon of beating the streets  — are my favorite to things to do in Oak Bluffs:

1. Hunt for a Souvenir.

Island life is filled with long dusk walks, ice cream cones and trips to the beach.

From Soft as a Grape to Menemsha Blues to the Black Dog, there is a t-shirt for everyone on the main strip which is called Circuit Avenue.  I wandered into the Black Dog and admired their fluffy sweatshirts with the ubiquitous large retriever.  Tip for shoppers: While there appears to be a Black Dog on every corner, the “outlet” store sells much of the same stuff at a discount in a small shop down by the marina called the Dockside Premium Outlet.

2. Go Upscale.

Oak Bluffs now has a Vineyard Vines.

Since the Vineyard was discovered by the masses in the last decade or so (much to the chagrin of the folks who have loved it for centuries), the shopping has gone upscale, especially in Edgartown and Vineyard Haven.  But even rough and tumble Oak Bluffs now has a Vineyard Vines, so don’t miss this wonderful shop painted navy and hot pink at the end of Circuit Avenue.

3. Eat an  Ice Cream.

Ice Cream on Martha's Vineyard.

Do not leave OB without an ice cream cone.  Mad Martha’s, Ben and Bill’s –  doesn’t matter much which place you choose, you will be sure to leave with that blissed out, I-am-on-vacation-and-I-just consumed-three-days-worth-of sugar smile.

4.  Visit the Gingerbread Cottages

Illumination Night is a famous time to visit this incredible neighborhood.Just behind Circuit Ave sits the neighborhood known as the “Gingerbread Cottages.”  This incredible collection of brightly-painted Victorian summer cottages was originally a Methodist campgrounds but is now on the National Register of Historic Places and is a cherished spot for visitors and residents alike.  Stroll back in time on the tiny pedestrian streets, their yards cluttered with day lillies and porches jammed with Kennedy rockers painted every color of the rainbow.

5.  Grab an iced coffee.

A visit from the Woods Hole Inn to Oak Bluffs for the day.

Plenty of choice here for the quintessential frosty coffee crammed with ice.  I went with decaf and lots of milk, and the cup in my hand kept me cool for several extra blocks of exploration.

6. Ride the Flying Horses.

Near the ferry terminal in Oak Bluffs is a 100 year old carousel.

This 100+ year old carousel is just as charming as it looks in photos.  You will see it immediately as you get off the ferry in OB, and be sure to wait for a ride — it’s worth it!

7.  The Beach.

You don't have to go far to find the beach on Martha's Vineyard.Is there anything better than a beach right next to a ferry terminal?  The Jersey Shore has nothing on this, with calm waters, a waterfront park and the shops a stone’s throw from the sand.  Feeling ambitious?  Rent a bike and ride towards Edgartown.  You will come upon the “Jaws” bridge — with kids jumping off the causeway into the tidal currents below just like they did 30+ years ago in the movie.

8.  Ride the ferry home to Woods Hole.

Ferries leave about hourly all summer long between Martha's Vineyard and Woods Hole.Nothing better at the end of a full day of sightseeing than flopping into an ocean-view seat for the cool ferry ride home.  Watch the gulls circle above the deck and feel the southwesterly breeze on your face.  Well-earned relaxation at it’s very finest.

Home from a long day in Oak Bluffs, happy to be back in Woods Hole.

Seven Great Things to Do Around Buzzards Bay

July 17th, 2012 by Beth Colt

Guest Post from blogger Megan Jensen

My favorite part of being an intern here at the Woods Hole Inn is the opportunity it gives me to explore Woods Hole and Cape Cod. So when I found out part of my job was to take weekly driving tours and write about what I saw and did, I was ecstatic!

Last week I took my first driving tour along the coast from Woods Hole to the Bourne Bridge. I started at the Inn early in the morning on a hot and sunny day, and drove up along the coast to the Bourne Bridge. It’s a fun and easy drive, with lots of great places to stop, for both locals and those coming from out of town.

Here is what I saw, did, ate…and highly recommend.

1. Visit the Knob

Just a few minutes drive from the Woods Hole Inn, the Knob offers a great short walk and beautiful views of the water and harbor. There is free parking available near the knob, on Quissett Harbor Road. The path is easy to find and the small conserved forest offers two trails, both ending up at the end of the “knob.” I recommend taking the right hand path, it will take you through the forest and along the water – offering great views, sunshine and an optional stop at a small beach. At the end of the path are benches where you can sit, relax and look out onto the water.Image

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2. Stop and grab breakfast or lunch at the West Falmouth Market

As you continue your drive along the coast stop at West Falmouth Market for food, drinks and anything else you might need. When I got there it was nearly noon and very busy. They have a fresh deli – where you can choose one of their signature sandwiches or you can make your own. You can also order pizza to go. They have all the picnic essentials – coals for the grill, paper plates, and a good selection of beer. When I stopped I also grabbed a tempting looking muffin – all their bakery items are homemade each morning!

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3. If it’s a beach day head for Monument Beach

Driving along the coast I passed by popular beaches with steep parking signs (20 -30$) and crowed shorelines. While Chapoquoit and Old Silver are great beaches, I recommend continuing north into Bourne and stopping at Monument Beach. When driving north it will be on your left, and can be easy to miss. Parking is free along the side of the road, and the beach is just across the railroad tracks. There is parking if you have a beach sticker, and there are also public restrooms and an outdoor shower. I loved swimming in the peaceful harbor, and the beach is great for all ages!

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4. If it’s not a beach day stop and explore the Little Bay Walking Trails

These walking trails are a great way to spend an afternoon. Found alongside Shore Road in Bourne (before you get to the beach) there is a small area to park your car and take a walk in the woods. There is a map located at the beginning of the trails.

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5. Grab dinner at the Lobster Trap

Only one mile north of Monument Beach this restaurant is a great place to eat after a day at the beach. Lots of parking and indoor and outdoor seating – this casual seafood restaurant has something for everyone. Next door to the restaurant is a fresh seafood shop where you also have the option of buying your own food and cooking it at home, or at the beach. I got a stuffed Quahog to go, and am in love. Being from the Midwest I’ve never tried this before and loved eating my meal off of a shell.

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6. Drive across the Bourne Bridge

The last destination on my drive was to drive across the Bourne Bridge. I’ve always thought it was fun to drive across bridges (maybe a Minnesota thing?) and this one is really great. The bridge is huge and the views of the Cape Cod Canal are awesome. I also love driving back onto the cape and seeing the “Cape Cod” bushes welcoming me!

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7. On the way home stop for ice cream at Somerset Creamery

This can be done at anytime during the drive. Located in Cataumet off of Route 28A, this is a good stop on your way out or back home. The ice cream is delicious and there are a ton of flavors to choose from. I opted for the waffle cone (they are homemade and have ingenious no-drip bottoms) with ginger flavored ice cream.

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This was a great drive and can take as little or long as you would like. I suggest following the coastal roads for a better view and more places to stop along the way. Route 28A is a quick alternative however, and each stop is easy to navigate to from the main road.

This is the route I took Woods Hole Inn to Bourne Bridge.

A Cape Cod Summer

July 11th, 2012 by Beth Colt

from Guest Blogger  Megan Jensen

Loving my summer in Woods Hole...

Every summer prior to this one has been a Midwest summer – long days filled with senseless humidity, mosquitos, lakeside bar-b-cues, and countless county fairs.

When I loaded up my car three weeks ago and drove across the country from Minneapolis to Cape Cod I had no idea what to expect of the summer to come.

I’ve traveled all across the US, and having just returned from a year abroad in Denmark, I was excited to once again pack up my bags and explore somewhere new.

Being on the east coast and particularly the Cape has been very different, surprising and refreshing from what I grew up with.

When I had heard about this internship from former intern Caroline Matthews, who I met while studying PR and Design abroad in Copenhagen, I knew very little about Cape Cod. I imagined Woods Hole — which sounded like a storybook village — would be a quiet, sleepy town.

However, when I got to the Cape I knew I had made the right choice. Far from sleepy, Woods Hole is a busy place with plenty to do. Filled with restaurants, an active harbor and a friendly local community – Woods Hole knows how to keep you busy.

Most mornings I wake up early to the sounds of the ships in the harbor. Walk outside my front door and the ocean is there, the smell of the sea and a beautiful view of the water.

I’ve come to love Woods Hole and feel at home here – I can’t walk down Main Street or go out for dinner without running into someone I know.

I don’t miss being landlocked at all, and the beaches here are perfect for swimming day and night. When I’m not working, one of my favorite things is to hop on one of the inn’s beach cruisers and bike to nearby Nobska or Stoney beach or take a small cruise on the Shining Sea Bike Path.

I’m looking forward to what the rest of the summer will bring and hope to share some of my experiences, discoveries and “Midwest” take on the Cape with you.

Cape Cod getaways start in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

Loving life and lobster barley-pops on the Fourth of July in Woods Hole.

Glamour and answering the phone are all in a days work for Megan Jensen, the Woods Hole Inn's summer intern.

All in a day’s work for Girl Friday Megan Jensen, behind the scenes at the Woods Hole Inn.

Woods Hole's Great Harbor, across the street from the Woods Hole Inn.

Fabulous Fourth of July

July 9th, 2012 by Beth Colt

Greatest parade on Cape Cod.

Fourth of July in Woods Hole is like marine biology Halloween — students from all the local laboratories pour into the streets dressed in patriotic costumes with a science theme.  This is your chance to see PhD graduate students clad in balloons, clustered like sporozites or bearded like “G-nomes.”

I love this parade with all it’s quirky glory.  Where else would you see blow-up Santa’s with “Year Round Jobs Wanted” signs walking next to the buxom “Brazen Belles,” a local burlesque show.

Lively entertainment in Woods Hole on Cape Cod.

Or the Ward family in an Italian surrey celebrating 55-years in Woods Hole?

Cape Cod family at the Fourth of July parade.

Even the sidelines are a visual treat, with freckle-faced little boys sucking bright red lobster barley pops and grandmothers sporting red, white and blue t-shirts and vigorously waving their flags?

Here are the photos that tell the whole tale, from the dancing lobsters to the vintage American flags.  All I missed was the water balloon fight at the end, where as I heard it told, a near-riot broke out and a local police officer called for backup after the science students continued peppering him with balloons and laughter.

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