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Phone:508-495-0248

Category Archives: Who We Are

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

March 18, 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

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

January 16, 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:)

Saved A Life Yesterday

November 7, 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.

 

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

December 20, 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

 

 

Fall Colors 2014 in Woods Hole

October 6, 2014 by Beth Colt

Woods Hole ferry to Marthas Vineyard

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

#10:  Ride the Shining Sea Bike Path

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

#9: Sit a Spell

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

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

#7. Go Antiquing

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

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

#5. Walk an Empty Beach

Dog on beach Falmouth MA

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

#4. Eat a Romantic Meal on the waterfront

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

#3. Paint a Picture

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

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

#1. Daytrip to Martha’s Vineyard

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

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

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

Saying Goodbye to Summer in Woods Hole

September 14, 2014 by Beth Colt

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

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

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

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

Guest Blogger, Gwen Martin

Things to do in Woods Hole

Bringing the Summer Beach Inside

January 27, 2014 by Beth Colt

wall paint for beach house

Nantucket Dune.  Sandy Ridge.  Tidewater.   Sounds like bad poetry, but these are Sherwin Williams paint colors currently in use at the Woods Hole Inn intended to bring the poetry of the summer beach inside.

Getting the paint colors right at your beach house is one of the hardest things to achieve — trips to the paint store for samples, letting your patch dry, holding up draperies and fabrics to guess whether or not this color will work when it covers the whole wall!  This is the iterative process we followed here at the Woods Hole Inn to narrow our colors down to our current palette which is meant to inspire you to feel the warmth of the beach in summer, all year long.

Many guests ask us about the colors so in order to share this information, here is a current list:  Our front entry walls are Nantucket Dune.  Our front living room is a darker sophisticated beige called Sandy Ridge.  Walls in most of our guest rooms are the lighter color, Nantucket Dune, with an accent wall of dreamy sea blue called Drizzle.  Complimenting Drizzle is an even lighter aquamarine called Tidewater.  Our trim is all standard white gloss, crisp like a beach towel on a sunny day.

Our exterior blue shingles sometimes also get asked about, and that is a totally custom blend created to match what has been there for a long long while.  You can call Sherwin Williams in Falmouth, MA (508) 548-1770, where they keep this magic formula on file for us.

Bringing the summer beach inside is a thoroughly Cape Cod aspiration, and the easiest thing to do to accomplish it is come visit us here in Woods Hole!  See you soon, we hope.

Bed pillows Lounging chair and side table Bedroom Bed pillows Two beds Bedroom decor and mirror

Outside the inn

Hurricane Katrina

October 16, 2013 by Beth Colt

Sam and Marsha Smalley of Folsom, Louisiana share their sign recovered from Hurricane Katrina.When I bought the Woods Hole Inn, my attempts to purchase the web address woodsholeinn.com led me to Sam and Marsha Smalley of Folsom, Louisiana.    Yes, turns out there was another Woods Hole Inn, down in the bayou near New Orleans.

When I called in 2008, I discovered that the southern Woods Hole Inn had been wiped out by Hurricane Katrina (2005) and the memory of the disaster that ruined the Smalley’s quiet life was still very fresh.  Sam Smalley was kind enough to sell me the web address for a reasonable sum plus the promise that he and Marsha would visit as my guest one day.

Well, here we are five years later, and I am pleased to tell you that the Smalleys drove up this week — took them four days — and I was lucky enough to get a minute to hear more of their incredible story.

The Smalley’s bought their property in Folsom, opening a three-room inn in the late 1990’s.  Sam ran the place and Marsha kept her day job in real estate.  Things were going pretty well for them by 2005 – favorable reviews in Southern Living and plus Sam’s involvement in the local tourist bureau created a strong demand from New Orleans which was a scenic hour drive north across the longest bridge in the world, Lake Pontchartrain Causeway.  Sam told me that he used to get bookings all the time that would end with, …and so how far is the drive from Boston?   Well, that’s quite a ways, he would drawl with a smile. 

As Hurricane Katrina approached, the Smalleys decided to tough the storm out.  One guest who was booked (a woman on dialysis) chose to remain home, thank goodness.  Another guest took one look at the swaying pine trees and drove north.  By nightfall of the first day of the storm, they were solo on their heavily wooded property.

What followed was the epic and now famous storm that hovered longer than expected and brought down over 40 trees in, on and around their house, cottage and garage.   Trees came up with their entire root balls intact, erupting the earth.   A tree crushed their garage.  A tree in their courtyard destroyed one side of the main house while they hid in the foyer hoping for the best.  As the storm cleared, the Smalleys realized they were lucky to be alive, but contacting worried family took another five days.  Their beloved property was damaged beyond repair.

As Sam told the sad story of how it all ended, both he and Marsha’s eyes pooled with tears.  And yet the Smalley’s have kept their good sense of humor and spirit of generosity.  They have six kids, scads of grandkids and they profess to love the northern Woods Hole Inn, talking about coming back for a family reunion and appreciative of the breakfast, the staff, the service. 

They brought me the sign that stood at the end of their front driveway, and I will hang this with pride.  Connections like this make inn-keeping special: living in hurricane country is scary, but the world is a better place when we share it with people like the Smalleys.

Living the Dream

September 1, 2013 by Beth Colt

view of Eel Pond Woods Hole

“Wind’s from the North,” my friend Phil admonished, as we got in the boat to go fishing Saturday.  “Don’t expect much.  Fish don’t like that North wind.”

I was expecting nothing — based on years of failed attempts as a kid — but I thought: Who cares?  Day like this on the water?  Heaven with or without fish for dinner.

Now Phil is a pretty accomplished fisherman, and in certain circles he is downright notorious.  Others stalk him with binoculars and generally scratch their heads about how he manages to catch mo’ bigger better than anyone else.  He seems to know where the fish live.  Call it a hunch, a sixth sense or just the Gladwell-ian 10,000 hours, but it’s fair to say fish should tremble when “Betty’s Boys” heads out past the drawbridge.

First stop was the currents of Woods Hole itself and there were others there already.  Phil looked at one group with disdain, casting along shore near Mink Point:  “Won’t get anything in there today,” he chuckled as he dropped his lure and started trolling.  Now he swore me to secrecy so I can not tell you the direction we trolled, what that incredible lure looked like, or which patch of rocks we skirted but in the first FIVE MINUTES, I had a striped bass on the line which, with guidance, I reeled into the boat.  A keeper!

Within a half hour, my son Charlie had hauled in an even bigger one, north of 20 lbs.  Then Phil threw his hands up —  “We’re outta here” — and whisked us west on Vineyard Sound to another one of his secret spots, “between the grey tote and the stairs to nowhere.”  Along the way we passed about 30 other boats casting for false albacore (it’s derby time on Martha’s Vineyard as well); one of them spotted us and followed.

Coming in close to land, Phil cut the engine, his friend Lisa tossed an anchor.  Then he broke out the live eels.  Yes, I said eels, squirming and wiggling all over the place.  Phil deftly hooked several through the head and and started casting.   Genius.   My son Sam landed another bass within a half hour, too small to keep but the fight was worth it and we got a nice picture.

Back in Woods Hole, we hauled our catch across town to weigh in for the Calcutta Fishing Derby sponsored by the Woods Hole Business Association.  We will surely attend the October 14th award ceremony (at the Landfall) to see if we won and claim our free appetizer for entering.  But it’s safe to say we are already winners with our fridge full and our deepening friendship with Phil.

Now this might sound like a great fish tale, but here are a few photos to prove it really happened.  Thanks to Phil Stanton.

Betty's Boys

fishing Cape Cod fishing Cape Cod Beth Colt with striped bass Phil Stanton fishing in the fall on Cape Cod Woods Hole drawbridge Phil Stanton in his boat Fishing off Woods Hole Live Eels from the Eel Pond Phil Stanton

 

 

Building a Team

August 21, 2013 by Beth Colt

great place to work on Cape Cod

One of my favorite parts of running the Woods Hole Inn is building a team of people who come together to deliver a fantastic guest experience.  I am particularly blessed this summer with a great group who have worked seamlessly together all summer.  As we approach the dog days of August, I reflect on how lucky I am to work with such a talented, committed, knowledgeable and thoughtful crew.

Thank you to each and every one of you who made and is making summer 2013 memorable for all our guests.  You make it look easy!

5 ways Woods Hole is just like PARIS…

April 8, 2013 by Beth Colt

IMG_1241

Last month, my family and I went on a week’s vacation in Paris.  That’s right, Paris, France, home of the Mona Lisa and birthplace of the croissant.   With its’ dramatic wide boulevards, miles of shops and restaurants, triumphant arches and epic churches, it’s fair to say that on the surface of things, Paris does not have much in common with our tiny fishing village on Cape Cod.

But scratch a little deeper and there are similarities, so many that I may start calling Woods Hole the Paris of Cape Cod.

So here we go, countdown style, starting with number five, the things Paris and Woods Hole have in common:

5) IT’S COLD, BUT NOT CROWDED IN MARCH.  Both Paris and Woods Hole are damp in March, prone to spring flurries of snow and dominated by people in rubber boots, blown backwards umbrellas and the scowl that comes from winter lasting longer than desired.  Endure the chilly weather, and visit both places without the crowds.  Here on Cape Cod that means empty beaches, crystal clear waters, open sky and views for miles.  In Paris, you can jostle into the Louvre in less than 10 minutes, and see the Mona Lisa with 100 people rather than 1,000.  Love it!

Woods Hole in March IMG_1397

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4) KILLER PASTRY SHOPS.  OK, Paris has thousands of patisseries competing with each other for the finest tarte citron and mousse au chocolat.  But, here in Falmouth, we have Pie in the Sky bakery offering sweet treats all year long, and the new Maison Villatte, serving French delicacies like croissant au chocolat and palmiers.  Don your bakers hat and let the Parisian bake off begin!

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3) SCULPTURE GARDENS.  Sure, Paris boasts Rodin, Braque and Brancusi… but here in Woods Hole, we have a pretty cool collection of outdoor sculpture.  Check out the placement of simple mill stones in Spohr Gardens, which like the  famous Jardin des Tuileries, is not to be missed in spring plus the collection sprinkled around the MBL on Water and MBL Streets.   Coming soon?  A bronze of Rachel Carson, the famous environmentalist who wrote “Silent Spring,” expected in Waterfront Park.  Take that, Gay Paris!

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2) BIKES EVERYWHERE.  Paris has embraced the bicycle, offering municipal bike rental stations called velib, and creating bike lanes to green up the city.  This is also true here in Woods Hole, where the former train tracks into town have been converted to a dedicated bike path running along beaches, past cranberry bogs and though ancient forests.  Hear, hear to forward-thinking municipalities everywhere.

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Drumroll, please….The number one thing that Paris and Woods Hole have in common is:

1)   BATEAU MOUCHES.  The River Seine is packed with ferries and transport ships, called bateau mouches, some for tourists but many plying the river for trade as they have for eons.  Woods Hole is no different, with a deep water harbor that brought whaling ships here in the 18th century, scientific research vessels in the 19th and 20th.   Ferries also run constantly here, connecting Woods Hole like a tether to the island of Martha’s Vineyard.  The allure of pragmatic boat travel is central to both locales, and ties us to our sister city.

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So there you have it people… why Woods Hole is the Paris of Cape Cod.  If you are having trouble guessing which photo is which, you are not alone, because that is how similar the two places are!

What do you think?

My Summer on Cape Cod

August 17, 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

Road Race Frenzy

August 12, 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 3, 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 1, 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!

Departure to a Gilded Age

July 25, 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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Seven Great Things to Do Around Buzzards Bay

July 17, 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 11, 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.

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