I have had the tremendous opportunity to adventure around Cape Cod all summer, while living in the quaint village of Woods Hole as the summer intern at the Woods Hole Inn. What a treat!
I came from a small town in Vermont, so upon arrival in early May, I felt instantly at home here. I am captivated by the ocean, and aspire to live near the water when I settle down someday. I have been spoiled, living right here overlooking Vineyard Sound with Buzzards Bay around the corner.
Leaving this all behind will be very difficult. Not only am I going to miss the epic sunsets at the Knob, my lunch breaks swimming over at Stoney Beach, or my late night bites at Pie in the Sky, but the people within this town have also imprinted on me. My days here were nothing but beautiful skies and smiling faces.
The summer months in Woods Hole are always busy — bustling with vacationers, summer visitors, locals, and of course all the science residents. I loved gazing out my kitchen window on the top floor of the Woods Hole Inn, imagining the stories of each pedestrian below. I saw families with wild children running down the sidewalk for ice cream. I saw local teens staring at their phones, giggling and sharing videos. I saw sweet couples walking hand in hand maybe on their anniversary, or a vacations away from the kids.
Perhaps the best summer development was my new road biking hobby, with a sweet bike lent to my by my cousin for my blogging adventures. I biked to almost every Falmouth beach, and explored most of Martha’s Vineyard too. Man was that fun!
I am going to miss this little town and all the Woods Hole Inn staff. Cape Cod was a great adventure, and as I head back over to Germany this October on my next adventure, I will be bringing a little piece of Woods Hole with me…
A Woods Hole cap of course!
I hope you have enjoyed my take on the Cape. This is not good bye, this is a see you later!
Here is our recent wrap up of romantic lighthouses on Cape Cod. Looking for romance? Look no further than our top five romantic Lighthouse Cape Cod list that follows . . .
#1 Nobska Lighthouse
Woods Hole, MA
Nobska Lighthouse is a classic New England style lighthouse, poised on a hill top looking out over Vineyard Sound, Martha’s Vineyard and the Elizabeth Islands. Recently sold to the Town of Falmouth, and about to be restored by the “Friends of Nobska Light,” this extraordinary location offers epic sunsets. Better yet, stay up all night and share the dawn here. Kissing in the lighthouse shadow is said to be good luck, and the view alone will fill your year with joy.
Nobska is an ideal location for special moments in your life. Check out Chad and Kendall’s elopement at Nobska, a special day photographed by the Woods Hole Inn. Parking is limited at the lighthouse itself, or walk fifteen minutes from the bike path in Woods Hole on Church Street.
#2 Edgartown Lighthouse
Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, MA
The Edgartown Light is at the end of North Water Street, across from the Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard. A short walk from the center of the village past rows of beautifully restored historic whaling residences, the Edgartown Light boasts an incredible vantage point between the harbor and the sea. With deep water on both sides, this delicate peninsula has survived centuries of storms, welcoming sailors back into the protected harbor. Drift knee deep into Nantucket Sound and grab your perfect summer selfie with the lighthouse behind you. Romance, Cape Cod style!
The Lighthouse is open to the public daily from June 27th – September 5th. Parking is limited, or it’s a ten minute walk from where the bus drops you in Edgartown. Check out our suggestions for a great bike trip to Edgartown here.
#3 East Chop Lighthouse
Vineyard Haven, Martha’s Vineyard, MA
The East Chop light sits on a hill guarding the eastern entrance to Vineyard Haven Harbor on Martha’s Vineyard. Ferries, antique clipper ships, speed boats and sleek modern sailboats zip by this glorious vantage point looking out both at Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds. The lighthouse is located on East Chop Drive, half way between Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs by car. There is street parking in this residential neighborhood of million dollar homes. Hop out and enjoy the view. Take a minute to dream about your future home by the sea, hold hands and make a wish together. Everything is easier with a partner at your side, especially exploring Cape Cod’s finest lighthouses! Look here for more details on your fun day exploring Oak Bluffs.
#4 Gay Head Lighthouse
Perched above the sacred red clay cliffs of the Wampanoag, the Gay Head Lighthouse is located in Aquinnah on Martha’s Vineyard. From here, you are gazing west towards Block Island, with Cuttyhunk and the Elizabeth Islands to your north. Still a working lighthouse, you can walk down to the beach below and pay your respects to John Kennedy Jr and his wife Carolyn Bessette whose plane crashed in the ocean near here on July 16, 1999.
The Gay Head Lighthouse has been recently relocated at great expense ($3.5 million), due to the rapid erosion of the cliffs. Turn your head towards the Southwesterly breeze for the perfect wind-swept romantic selfie in this extraordinary locale. An easy day trip from most of Cape Cod, more photos and how-to details for your trip are here.
#5 Wings Neck Lighthouse
The Wings Neck Light marks the channel to the Cape Cod Canal at the tip of Wings Neck, a promintory in Buzzards Bay. With a huge view of the bay, Bassetts Island, Abiels Ledge, Cleveland Ledge and the busy freighter traffic of the canal, Wings Neck Light is not to be missed. A short stroll from “The Big House” memorialized in George Colt’s epic book about 100 years in the life of a summer house, many Cape Codders have found romance here over the last hundred years. If you appreciate “The Big House,” then the Wings Neck lighthouse should be on your bucket list.
Many of the houses adjacent to the lighthouse are also available for rent by the week in summer, so for true lighthouse lovers, this is a great option for your vacation rental on Cape Cod.
Chappaquiddick Island, the island off of Martha’s Vineyard
Located off Martha’s Vineyard is Chappaquiddick Island, or Chappy as the locals call it. Barely connected to the main island by a thread of beach, often breached in storms, the main way to Chappy is by ferry from Edgartown. Exploring this remote island is one of the highlights of a visit to Cape Cod and can be accomplished in four easy steps from the Woods Hole Inn.
1 — Take the Martha’s Vineyard Ferry
The ferry terminal is about 100 steps out the back door of the Woods Hole Inn, with ferries departing to Oaks Bluff and Vineyard Haven regularly from 6am- 9:30pm. The trip takes about forty minutes ($17 RT passenger fare plus an additional $8 for your bicycle). My friend and I hopped on the 9:30am ferry to Oaks Bluff to start our bike adventure to Chappaquiddick Island.
2 — Ride the Beach Street Bike Path
Once in Oak Bluffs, we hopped onto Beach Street. This six mile bike path takes you along stunning Joseph Sylvia State Beach, right onto the center of upscale Edgartown, MA. It is a beautiful ride of about 45 minutes, and we successfully resisted diving off the famous Jaws Bridge — saving that for the way back.
3 — Find the Chappy Ferry
The Chappy Ferry is located right next to Memorial Wharf, off Dock street in Edgartown. The ferry travels 527 feet, lasts about 2 minutes and delivers you to a whole other world ($6 round trip with a bike). The ferry is called “On Time” as it has no official schedule, just goes back and forth all day. We enjoyed the brief ride, waved to the ferry driver and zipped out the only road.
4 — Explore Chappaquiddick Island
We biked about four miles on pavement before the road turned to dirt. Wobbling over pebbles and spinning out in sand pockets was a bit tricky in our street bikes, but we managed. After about a mile, we crossed a small bridge which opened up to the gorgeous Wasque Point, facing the Atlantic to the southeast. From here, it’s clear sailing, blue sky ocean as far as you can see, next stop Spain.
Our Chappaquiddick Island adventure took us to a whole other world with 38,000 acres of pure nature, conservation lands and unparalleled ocean views. The Island is larger than you think, so I highly recommend taking your bike over — maybe with tire repair kit for that sandy road. Bikes are also available for rent in Oak Bluffs.
Next time, we will visit Poucha Pond at the Mytoi Japanese Gardens or find the famous Cape Poge Lighthouse. There is much to see on Chappaquiddick, the island off the island, a memorable day trip from the Woods Hole Inn. I called them four easy steps, but only you can be the judge of the “easy” part. Enjoy exploring!
Nantucket… the Grey Lady… #ACK… Whatever you call this island thirty miles off the coast of Cape Cod, a trip here will change you. Known for cobblestone streets, elegant shopping, and surf-raked beaches, Nantucket Island is a unique place that should be on your bucket list.
I could not spend the summer on Cape Cod without exploring this famous destination. From Woods Hole, my friend and I drove an hour on a weekday to Hyannis to catch the 8 am high speed ferry (passenger tickets are $50 Monday-Thursday, $77 otherwise).
Parking in Hyannis is offered offsite at multiple locations ($15 parking fee per calendar day) with a free shuttle to the ferry dock. You can pay more to park across the street in private lots, if there is room left.
Nantucket Main Street
The cobble stone Main Street is lined with high end boutiques, beautiful flower displays, old school street lamps and expensive restaurants. Many of the shoppers were tricked out in high prep – nantucket red shorts, pants with whales, pink sweaters and blue blazers — great fun people watching. The streets are lined with antique Cape Cod style saltbox houses left over from Moby Dick’s era, back when Nantucket was a metropolis of whaling fortunes. For history geeks, be sure to add the Old Whaling Museum to your itinerary.
An old friend with #ACK cred recommended the Handlebar Cafe which was easy to find, made a sweet cup of Joe and offered healthy breakfast options at a reasonable price. Got to love their Instagram feed too!
Near the coffee shop, we hopped on the Nantucket WAVE. This local bus system runs regularly to all the island hot spots. We decided to explore Surfside Beach on the south side of the island, a fifteen minute bus ride from the center of town ($1.25/person). Surfside Beach is a great place for a long stroll searching for shells, sand dollars and Nantucket blue sea glass.
We soaked our share of sun, took a dip in the salty Atlantic then decided to head back to town for a cold one at the Cisco Brewery. On the free shuttle service which departs from Federal Street every 20 minutes, the brewery driver gives you fun facts including his tongue -in-cheek warning to watch out for loose kids, saying “…this is the time of year where a lot of families come out and pretend they have never even had children…” He did a great job welcoming us to the Cisco vibe.
Enjoying our flight of beer samples, the bartender taught us a dice game, adding a playful touch to the beer tasting experience. We attempted to roll high and lost, but someone was bound to get lucky and win a pile of nickels!
Even if you are not a huge beer drinker, there are also wine tastings, the Triple Eight distillery and some great ciders on draft. With live music, food trucks and a super fun atmosphere, it was hard for us to leave authentic Cisco Brewery.
The fast ferry home gave us time to reflect on our trip to Nantucket Island. The Grey Lady is a place of extraordinary physical beauty, great people watching and lots of fun destinations. Another amazing day trip from my perch this summer at the Woods Hole Inn.
My Edgartown bike trip started with the short pedal from the Woods Hole Inn to the Martha’s Vineyard ferry terminal across the street. It was the perfect day to explore the island, leaving from Woods Hole to the port of Oak Bluffs.
Ferry to Oak Bluffs
The ferry was about forty five minutes but it didn’t feel long with the cool ocean breeze, the view of distant shores and plenty of boats to watch from the ferry deck (passenger ticket $17 plus $8 for the bike).
Once in Oak Bluffs, I took the scenic Beach Road towards Edgartown. The five mile ride along Joseph Sylvia State Beach takes about an hour … if you can resist stopping to dip your toes in those clear Atlantic waters. The path does run along the main road, but don’t worry, it’s pretty flat with guardrails to separate bikes from vehicular traffic.
The “Jaws Bridge” marks the Edgartown – Oak Bluffs line. As I neared the bridge made famous by the Steven Spielberg film, I saw shirtless beach lovers on the railings ready to jump. The Jaw’s Bridge is on the bucket list of many visiting Edgartown (Martha’s Vineyard) and you too can ignore the signs and leap into Nantucket Sound in this glorious location.
Beach Street flowed into Upper Main Street and the center of Edgartown where I found upscale shops, local galleries, epic summer flower displays and many friendly faces. My favorite was the Backwater Trading Company, full of local crafts, designers creations, silly cards and original t-shirts. What a hoot!
My Edgartown bike trip would not be complete without a jog over to the Edgartown Lighthouse Beach — less than a mile from the center of town. A short walk out on a sandy peninsula, the lighthouse was smaller then I imagined, but still an incredible vantage point between the harbor and the sea. With many tourists milling about, I had to wait for my perfect empty shot!
Atlantic Fish & Chop House
Before making the trek back, I decided to re-fuel with a lobster salad at the Atlantic Fish & Chop House. Their patio seating was an ideal spot to watch the high end yachts and old wooden sailboats jostling through ritzy Edgartown Harbor.
I feel lucky to be spending the summer day-tripping from the Woods Hole Inn to cool places like the bike path between Oak Bluffs and Edgartown , a convenient place from which to explore all of Cape Cod and the islands.
Want to follow in my footsteps? Enjoy lunch at the Atlantic Fish & Chop House in Edgartown as part of a special package, details here.
Everyone says, a Cape Cod summer is not complete without a daytrip to Provincetown, known for its beaches, arts, and fabulous gay community. Even though I have only been in Woods Hole a few weeks, I put a day visit to P-Town at the top of my summer bucket list and headed off with my friend John early Saturday morning.
The drive from the Woods Hole Inn was about an hour and a half with no traffic, which I am told is record time for the 100-mile journey. We took Route 28 up to Harwich for the scenery, then cut onto Route 6 from there. Once past Wellfleet, the view from Route 6 between Truro and Provincetown was incredible, with the sea on both sides, sand dunes rolling alongside — it made me feel like I was out west again.
A warm June day, just a bit over cast, was perfect for our walk along Commercial Street, the central destination for shopping, people watching, and finding a bite to eat. The street was full of art galleries of all styles, historic buildings decorated with flair and unique shops filled with one of a kind items. There was also every sort of food imaginable, from super cute bakeries and coffee shops, to a huge range of fine dining including fresh steamed lobster, sushi and raw bars, Italian and much more.
With so many choices, we finally decided to sit up on the balcony at a sushi bar called Saki so we could continue to watch the parade of interesting people strolling through town. Overlooking Commercial Street, we both enjoyed the sushi and drinks. Saki is the perfect spot to fuel up for a beach exploration, and we loved the energetic, fun vibe.
Of course, we also had to tame our sweet tooth at one of the many ice cream parlors/bakeries lining the street. After much consideration, we were sucked in by the aroma from a crowded place called ‘Purple Feather.’ With a great selection of decadent pastries, fudge and gelato, we felt we made the right choice.
Well fueled for further exploration in our epic daytrip to Provincetown, we drove to the tippy top of Cape Cod, where we discovered a gorgeous view of the salt marshes and estuaries. From there we continued on to the open expanses of Race Point Beach, the northernmost tip of the Cape Cod peninsula. This beach is known for it’s proximity to Stellwagen Bank, a national marine sanctuary and whale breeding ground, so it is not unusual to see whales swimming close to shore here, but we were not so lucky.
While rain clouds rolled in, nothing could stop us from putting our toes in the warm Gulf Stream waters of Cape Cod while also experiencing the vast, dramatic beauty of this preserved land called the “National Seashore” and taking a moment to thank to President John Kennedy for giving us this legacy.
A visit to this divine beach was the perfect counterpoint to the hustle and bustle of Commercial Street Provincetown, it’s harbor packed with fishing boats and ferries from Boston (only an 1-1/2 hr ferry ride across Cape Cod Bay and Boston Harbor). This point-counterpoint is perhaps the secret to Provincetown’s unique draw — a place of extraordinary physical beauty at the end of a long road.
Our daytrip to Provincetown was a great success, and I would definitely suggest the unique experience to any traveler to Cape Cod. Judging from the crowds, this journey is once made and many times repeated as it’s a village at the edge of the world filled with fun personalities, artsy funk and a vast stretch of beach whose beauty simply has to be seen to be believed. Visiting Provincetown on Cape Cod is one of many great day trips from the Woods Hole Inn, located on the water in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, a part of New England, USA.