Category Archives: B and B

Winter Walks

January 17, 2011 by Beth Colt


Woods Hole Inn guests Douglas and Mary enjoy a quiet moment at the end of the jetty on Stoney Beach.

It’s been cold here — oh yeah, it’s winter — but we still give our walking tour of Woods Hole in whatever kind of weather, because Woods Hole is dramatically beautiful 24/365.

Douglas and Mary came up from NYC for a four day getaway.  They took me up on my offer to see the “secret spots of Woods Hole” and we wandered out the front door of the Woods Hole Inn on a sunny morning to explore.  I took them down Water Street, over the drawbridge and past Woods Hole harbor.  I told them all about the history of this little village at the edge of the sea, about the whalers, how the harbor was especially protected like Nantucket’s, the clearing of all the trees up the hill for building ships, the way sheep used to graze everywhere, the coming of the railroad and the industrial age here, then the arrival of scientists from Harvard and the importance of the industry of science to the last 100 years, and finally the development of tony Penzance Point and the turn to a luxurious summer retreat at the edge of the world.

We walked up Bar Neck Road and peered at the Penzance guard gate and the manicured (even in winter!) hedgerows of the mansions out there.  Then we walked to Stoney Beach where Douglas and Mary walked out the jetty, gazed out at Buzzards Bay and embraced.  It was such a romantic spot, I snapped the photo above then quickly turned away to give them a little privacy.  Standing out on that rocky jetty, thrust into the ocean so calm, it looked as if they fell into a magical spell, bathed in the spotted light of the water with the positive ions of the ocean’s atmosphere washing over them.  I defy you to not feel relaxed in this sublime spot.

It was especially clear and I was able to show them the windmills of Falmouth and the railroad bridge over the Canal at the top of the Bay.  In the other direction, you could see to New Bedford and imagine the joy of a fisherman heading out to sea on a calm day like this one.

We continued up Gardiner Road and peeked in at the hidden beaches, then up the hill on Buzzards Bay Avenue, densely wooded now and more for houses than grazing sheep two centuries later.  Back on School Street, we paused at our third view of the Eel Pond where a man was rowing a boat through the ice — crunch, crunch — to get to the gammed houseboats frozen together in their protected spot by the shore.  We stopped at the Woods Hole schoolhouse and reflected briefly on the storied history of science as well as the instincts of this village to preserve this old building.

When I left Douglas and Mary back at the Inn, I gave them a copy of Susan Witzell’s charming “Walking Tours of Woods Hole” for further study.  I imagined them poring over it back in their room — or perhaps just taking a well-deserved nap.

Douglas and Mary, guests of the Inn, on our winter walking tour.

Views to the Eel Pond on our winter walking tour, winter 2010-11.

We watched a man crunch his rowboat through the ice on the Eel Pond to get to the houseboats. I learned later he was one of the caretakers. Note the submerged boat to the right of the houseboat cluster -- that will be a project come spring!

The Woods Hole school house is now used as a preschool and in summer, houses the Children's School of Science, an amazing program that has existed here for 100 years.

Holidays Are Here!

December 7, 2010 by Beth Colt

The holidays are here and we celebrated today with an open house!  Sara and Steph cooked all yesterday, making little phylo dough pastries piped with fresh apple, smoked salmon with red onion capers and dill on little pumpernickel toasts, mini turkey tea sandwiches with real stuffing and cranberry sauce and my favorite, fresh jumbo shrimp perfectly steamed with lemon and bay leaf for dipping into two delectable sauces.

We were joined by friends of the Chamber of Commerce, many of the local B&B owners, all the local Woods Hole business people as well as new friends and neighbors.  Our tree is huge and gorgeous this year — ready for our guests to enjoy through the holidays.

Our 2010 Christmas tree at the Woods Hole Inn.

There were lovely little desserts like petit fours and peanut butter kiss cookies, and our guests seemed to have fun mingling, listening to Christmas Carols and even swigging some egg nog at noon.

Turkey Tea Sandwiches were a hit at the party.

Peanut butter with dark chocolate Hersey kisses…yum!

And here are some of the nice people who joined us.  It really was a great time and I hope you will join us when we do it again next year!

Jay Zavala, Falmouth Chamber of Commerce and Judy Laster, Woods Hole Film Festival director enjoyed the repast.

Trish and Kevin Robinson of the Captains Manor Inn.

Veteran’s Day Celebration

November 11, 2010 by Beth Colt

Our special Veteran guests dig into breakfast at the Woods Hole Inn.

As part of a nationwide effort to honor veterans, the Woods Hole Inn joined B&B’s around the country in offering a free stay to those who have served or are actively serving our nation.  Over 900 inns are participated nationwide, representing over $325,000 donated in this unique effort to recognize the importance of Veteran’s Day.
The Woods Hole Inn welcomed Vets (or active members of the military) and their families on November 9th with a champagne and cheese reception at check-in.  Ushered into the vintage restored rooms, the guests were cradled in the lap of luxury.  The next day, as the nation gathered to honor veterans and our military, these special guests relished the Inn’s sunny breakfast room and a gourmet breakfast of home-made corned beef hash, apple tart, fresh fruit, vanilla bean Greek yogurt, Sippewissett pound cake and plenty of hot coffee.

Sippewissett Pound Cake, fresh fruit and home-made corned beef hash were on the menu for the Veteran’s Day breakfast.

This Veteran’s Day event, representing 2,700 donated rooms nationwide, is a brand new program started this past summer by Kathleen Panek, innkeeper of Gillum House in West Virginia.  A plethora of publicity has materialized and like many inns around the country, rooms at the Woods Hole Inn were claimed within a week of joining the program.

The overwhelming response from the military and veterans was, “thank you for thinking of us.”

Here are a few of our guests and their stories:

Chef Sara Dillon serves veteran Lucille Taylor and her husband James.

The Taylors came from Leominster, Mass for a quick getaway by the sea.  Lucille is retired but served many years in the US Airforce.  They were feeling a little under the weather and were not able to join in the prosecco and cheese welcome, but they said the pillow top rest perked them up…”Like sleeping on a cloud,” said Lucille.

Trish and Rick Barone with their sons Jimmy (9, on the right) and Ricky (11) of Hull, Mass.

The Barone family loved staying in Room 5 (a suite – perfect for a family of four).  Rick Barone served in the US Coast Guard for over 20 years.  He was stationed in Woods Hole several summers when former President Clinton visited Martha’s Vineyard as part of the presidential security detail.  The Barone’s read about the promotion in the Boston Globe and wanted to come back to Woods Hole, a place where they hung out early in their relationship.  Rick particularly appreciated being in a restored old building, wanting to know when it was build (1878) and some of the history of the place (Don’t get me started!) “We love it here” said Trish, “and we plan on coming back.”

Haney and Lauren Hong of Cambridge, Mass.

The Hongs were looking for a respite from student life at the Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Mass.  Haney, who originally hails from Los Angeles, spent three years in San Diego as a submarine officer.  He was then promoted to the Pentagon in Washington DC, where he served as part of the strategic think tank for the Secretary of the Navy.

The Hongs were really sweet about how much they liked the Inn and told me they would tell all their Cambridge friends about what an easy getaway Woods Hole was from Boston.  “The photos are great online,” said Lauren, ‘but it’s even better when you get here.  It really feels like home, more than just a vacation away, so comfortable .. like I am staying at my Aunt’s house.”

Brian and Tammy Jester of Falmouth were also part of the fun.

Brian and Tammy Jester just drove across town for a little getaway, and I wish I got a better picture of them as they are a handsome couple.  Brian served TWO campaigns in Iraq where he was a Warrant Officer in the Army.  He also served in the Coast Guard in the early 1980’s and was stationed in Woods Hole on a Buoy Tender (the big boat that cleans and places the buoys).  He and Tammy have four kids and two of whom have also served in the military.  Like many Falmouth residents, the Jesters said they don’t get down to Woods Hole that much, even though it’s only a few miles away.  They were very grateful for the good night’s sleep and Tammy said, “My mother would love this place.”

It was an honor and a pleasure to make the Inn available as part of this nationwide giveback.  What a great way to celebrate Veteran’s Day.  And a special thank you to Kathleen Panek for getting this ball rolling and inspiring all of us to come on board.  We look forward to next year!

Prosecco and local cheeses welcomed the Vets as they arrived at the Woods Hole Inn.

Hurricane Season

September 4, 2010 by Beth Colt

The night of Hurricane Earl.

Hurricane Earl.  We watched you on the news, tracked you online, fretted about you for days.  We boarded up windows, moved all the outdoor furniture indoors, warned traveler not to come, even shut our restaurant down in anticiaption of your messy arrival.

The hatches were battened by noon Friday.  And then we waited.  I took a nap.  I saw half the staff headed to the beach for a last minute swim — it was so hot and humid.  In the late afternoon, I took a long walk with my mother.  Waiting, watching.  A gust of air would come and we would say — here you come now.  And then nothing.  You are such a big tease, Earl.

Finally in the late evening, with guests tucked happily in their air-conditioned rooms, I went to bed with all the windows closed, storms down.  I was ready for you, Earl.

And then you never really came.  Some rain, a little wind.  But there is no flooding, no power outages.  Just another sunny day on Cape Cod.

So it was a whole lot of prep, for nothing but a whimper.  I am relieved, but also somehow disappointed.  I was enjoying the crisis and now that there is no crisis, I feel like an army general who has been stripped of my responsibilities.  Now we put everything back, we return to the normal flow of things.  We chalk Earl up to a fire drill.

I guess I am glad we never really met Earl, but I was ready for you nonetheless.

Walking around WoHo

July 28, 2010 by Beth Colt

Naushon Island in the distance.

From our summer guest blogger Caroline Matthews:

I’ve had the great opportunity to live like a genuine Cape Codder: on the water. The nights are always cool and comfortable out on the back porch and the mornings start right at 6:45 thanks to the friendly folks at the Steamship Authority. What to do when you’ve got no TV, no Internet and the world literally as your oyster? Go explore, of course!

My two favorite things in the entire world are taking photographs and swimming at Stoney Beach. Beginning a day with both truly improves my mood and productivity while I’m running around the restaurant and attending to guests at the inn. There’s just something about finding a vacant beach and knowing you’re the first of the masses to take a dip in the Atlantic’s chilly yet comforting waters.

Woods Hole gets crammed with tourists in summer but if you venture past Water Street, the village is home to a hardy population of under a thousand. Traffic builds rarely during the day (except when the drawbridge goes up for a visiting sailor), and the quiet lanes and hedgerows are punctuated by crickets, birds and the occasional screech of a child at play.

Once the day is in full swing, the village can get hectic with all of the foot traffic — people dragging their rolling bags and fighting for a spot in line at one of the two local coffee shops.  Sometimes it feels almost like an airport with all the hustle bustle.

A morning along Eel Pond.

That’s what makes the quiet mornings so precious to me. Woods Hole reminds me of the unique treasures found only in a slow-paced life.


Pets welcome at Woods Hole Inn

July 28, 2010 by Beth Colt

Pooches and kitties are welcome in Room 6!

Why leave charming Fido at home when you will both be happier if you stay together?

Grab a leash and show Fido this quaint walking village.  Cross the drawbridge and peek at the mansions of Penzance or head toward Surf Drive on the quiet bikepath.  You will be amazed by the vistas across Woods Hole Great Harbor,  across Vineyard Sound or up Buzzards Bay to the Cape Cod Canal.  Fido will like the smell of the freshly mowed grass and the bunny rabbits that scamper under the hedgerows.

You will enjoy the local shops; he will appreciate the cool sea air.

You will like the choice of restaurants; he will gobble the treat at check in.

You will like the pillow top mattress; he will thank you for the stylish doggie bed.

At the Woods Hole Inn, we understand the joy of traveling with your pet.

Hop on, hop off: WHOOSH TROLLEY

July 27, 2010 by Beth Colt

I’m pretty fond of chugging along in my dated 12 MPG Suburban back in Texas, but after being hired by an eco-friendly inn and restaurant, I figured I’d trade in my tank for a bike or a better pair or tennis shoes. I was so thrilled to explore the nooks and crannies of the village during my first few days, but then I realized I needed groceries! And shampoo! And toilet paper!

Quicks Hole has the only market in town providing fresh produce, milk, eggs and specialty cheeses. But Falmouth, just three miles up the lush Woods Hole Road, has an adorable Main street stuffed with tee shirt and souvenir boutiques, ice cream and candy shops and three supermarkets.

WHOOSH Trolley takes visitors on up to Falmouth for shopping and good eats.

Fearful that there’s not enough time to go to the Vineyard? Grab a famous tee at the Black Dog General Store. Be sure not to miss Ben & Bill’s Chocolate Emporium for a typical Cape Cod treat: ice cream and fudge. Try the lobster ice cream if you’re brave!

The open-air trolley only costs $2 and leaves every half hour from the Steamship Authority just down the street from the inn. Strike up a conversation with the drivers, the owner of the red trolley car has the most character, and maybe he’ll let you toot the horn.

I’d trade my Suburban for a worn pair of tennis shoes and the trolley anyday.

Keeping it local

July 24, 2010 by Beth Colt

Downstairs from the Inn, we are lucky to be neighbors with an amazing little restaurant called Quicks Hole.

Open for lunch and dinner, this place is beyond the bomb-dot-com.  Our favorite part about it is their commitment to going green.  Like us, they support local farmers and fisherman, use compostable takeaway products and generally do everything they can think of to be responsible about the environment.

Chef Steph from Quicks Hole shops the Sandwich Farmers Market, July 2010

Chef Steph Mikolazyk grew up on the coast of Rhode Island, daughter of a lobsterman.  So she knows her lobster rolls and makes a wicked authentic quohog chowder with roasted local corn.  Steph ventures from behind the line a few times a week to visit local farms and pick the produce herself.  She likes to take heirloom tomatoes and use them with her crispy skin striped bass, or garnish the brioche lobster rolls with sweet pea tendrils.  Whatever looks good this week ends up in her amazing specials.

Keeping it local and fresh takes extra time, but it’s worth it when you taste the food.  Inn guests delight in a cool sangria with hot lobster tacos moments after check in, and most of our staff eats at Quicks every day.  You know its the coolest spot in town when you also see the local plumber, two fisherman and a nobel laureate sharing chips and salsa at cocktail hour.

Quicks Hole— another great reason to stay at the Woods Hole Inn.

Divine Granola

May 13, 2010 by Beth Colt

A message from a recent guest, verbatim:

I was a guest at your wonderful inn over the weekend, and TRULY enjoyed my stay. It was the icing on the cake for my weekend in Martha’s Vineyard, and I have not been able to stop thinking about it! I am emailing now to ask you a question that you probably do not get often, but I really enjoyed the breakfast I had on Sunday morning, and I couldn’t get enough of the granola you guys had out to mix with the greek yogurt. I went to the local grocery store after I returned to Boston to find a similar type of granola, but I couldn’t find anything like it. Do you mind telling me where it is from? It was a very dark granola with raisins in it, and it was really delicious! I would appreciate it so much if you could please let me know!

Thank you and I hope to hear from you!



Dear Veronica,

Our unique Woods Hole Inn granola is growing more famous by the moment and we regret that we can not reveal the special formula.  When a national food magazine contacts us for the inevitable story about it, we promise then and only then to reveal the secret to the world.  In the meantime, you will just have to come back and stay with us again!

Continental breakfast at the Woods Hole Inn; homemade granola with Greek-style yogurt is on the bottom left.

Daily Dish

January 31, 2010 by Beth Colt

Homemade continental breakfast offered each morning at the Woods Hole Inn.

Every complaint is a gift.

And we received a few “gifts” about our breakfast last year. So come New Years, we made our resolutions about 2010 and one of them was to improve breakfast.

I’d like to welcome chef Sara Dillon to our staff. Sara comes to our little Inn with years of fancy restaurant experience.  And I am pleased to tell you that she has completely re-conceived our breakfast offerings and service.  Maple Creme Brulee French Toast anyone?  Roasted tomato and asparagus tartlette?  Sippewisset Sour Creme Pound Cake..covered with fresh blackberries?  Hello!  I’m picky and I will tell you, this stuff is delicious.

Add this to our already incredible local coffee (thanks Erik at “Pie in the Sky” for artisan-roasting our exclusive breakfast blend), and a charming “to-go” bag if you have to leave us in the early morning, and you have a recipe for breakfast success.

Sara is as devoted to living local as we are — she is making our Greek-style yogurt from scratch, she pioneered a WHI homemade granola that has guests sneaking into the larder for more, and she found a working gristmill in Sandwich to source locally ground corn meal.  We know you will love her locavore spirit.

So rest assured, when it comes to the fantastic breakfast part of “bed and breakfast“…we have it covered!  And a special thank you to every customer who nudged us toward this stellar addition to our staff.

B & W continental breakfast

Continental breakfast at the Woods Hole Inn. All new menu from our professional chef in 2010.