At the very center of Woods Hole, a storied village playing a lead role in Cape Cod’s colorful history since the 1600’s, stands the newly renovated Woods Hole Inn. This Cape Cod inn was first erected in 1887, as the area moved beyond its roots as a whaling village and merchant industrial hub, and embraced its future as a cradle of marine science and a summer playground.
Originally built with 30 rooms, the four story gabled building was known early on as the Avery House, commanding waterside views of Great Harbor, crowded with merchant sailing ships, as well as the bustling train terminus next door. Today, Great Harbor teems with sleek modern research vessels, colorful houseboats, oceangoing commercial fishing boats, summertime sailboat regattas and busy Martha’s Vineyard ferry traffic, departing from the same spot where the trains used to whistle in.
Back in the day, local lore has it that inn proprietor Mrs. Avery owned a parrot who squawked “Giddyup!” and “Whoa!” from the front porch whenever the horse-drawn mail coach passed. Today, from that same porch, guests can watch the nearby drawbridge go up and down, as it lets all manner of research and pleasure craft in and out of the snug inner harbor called the Eel Pond.
Living in this very special town, which balances ancient maritime roots with its current role as a mecca for science and recreation, we treasure past and present equally. So as we painstakingly renovated all four floors of our Cape Cod inn over the past half decade, every effort has been made to balance improvement with preservation. New wallpaper has been fashioned from old guest register cards, and refinished hardwood floors were kept in their charmingly haphazard original configurations, letting the building whisper tantalizing clues about the twists and turns it has taken through the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Along the way, every effort was made to reduce, reuse and recycle, employing sustainable and environmentally sensitive materials and processes.
The inn’s 14 rooms have all been updated, creating vibrant, welcoming spaces. New bathrooms and graciously proportioned rooms were most recently added upstairs, with private decks looking over Great Harbor, the Eel Pond, and the Martha’s Vineyard ferry landing. With vintage restored hardwood floors, refinished cast iron tubs and pedestal sinks, the best of the old was combined with the best of the new: gleaming glass rain showers, marble subway tiles, original artwork and modern decor.
Your hosts at the Woods Hole Inn hope you will choose to visit this singular place for the same reasons we chose to live here: its unique combination of blessings for the head, heart and soul. Cape Cod has been luring lovers of landscape and seascape for as long as we’ve had eyes. But the town is more than the seafarers, scientists and summer-timers you might expect. Creative and talented folks of every description love this place. That’s why our tiny village offers so much to enjoy: an aquarium, science centers for kids of all ages, art galleries, libraries, restaurants, parks, an ocean-side bike path, a golf course, tennis courts, a film festival, musical events, theatrical productions — all this to add to our harbors and beaches and lighthouses and more beaches!
And that’s just Woods Hole itself. Our Cape Cod inn is a lovely 45 minute ferry ride from Martha’s Vineyard, where a whole other vacation wonderland awaits. We’re a short drive from whale watching ports of call, from fishing boat charters, from movie theaters where you can eat a full meal while you watch, from bowling alleys and bumper boats and mini golf — from practically anything you can imagine.