A short stroll from the Woods Hole Inn, the waterfront restaurant Shuckers offers a great spot to beat the summer heat and enjoy a delicious meal. I wandered over there after work last week with my family for a great dining experience.
Love the raft they have set up so you can sit right on the water, with great views of Eel Pond and nice steady breeze. The portions were huge — my older son enjoyed the rib eye, my younger son scarfed down his baked scrod, and my husband and I enjoyed fresh salads. Mine was topped with blackened scallops that were fresh and yummy.
Summer is not complete without a trip to Shuckers, and on Tuesday nights they offer a boiled lobster special that is the best deal on Cape Cod — TWO boiled lobsters with steamers, mussels and corn on the cob for just $23.95. Beat that!
Much happens behind the scenes to get Quicks Hole ready to re-open in the spring — dusting off the bar stools, scrubbing the floors, fire inspections and so much more!
But the most exciting thing each year is rolling out our mascot, the lobster. This large fiberglass object is the source of endless street happiness with kids smiling and parents snapping his photo all summer long.
At the end of last season, our lobster was pretty beat up. Faded from years in the sun, too many toddlers had crawled on him and his left claw had fallen off. Off he went to the lobster hospital (yes, that’s what it’s called) and he came back with all his body parts re-attached. Add a sturdy metal base, plus a great new paint job by Steve (artist, lobsterman and Steph’s dad). Sweet!
How much did all that cost? Really, don’t ask. I mean what does price matter when it comes to things like life-like fiberglass lobsters? This baby has watched Luscombe Avenue for decades now. He has seen owners come and go. He has witnessed countless ice cream disasters, seen ferries grounded, watched hurricanes blowing through. He has posed with thousands of toddlers, hundreds of drunks and a few famous guests. To us, he is priceless.
We are pleased to see him back at his perch. Enjoy the photos that follow, and consider a trip to Quicks Hole for our famous lobster tacos. Quicks Hole at 6 Luscombe Avenue on the ground floor of the Woods Hole Inn is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner in season.
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.
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!
Lake 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:
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.
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.
Larsen’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.
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:)
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.