Provincetown Tours with a Twist

By August 10, 2017 PROVINCETOWN EVENTS, PROVINCETOWN THINGS TO DO, STAY IN PROVINCETOWN

 

I love me a good tour. Doesn’t matter if I’m a visitor to a new place or simply doing something new in my hometown. In my opinion, a good tour must be a) FUN & ENTERTAINING

  1. b) EDUCATIONAL, in the broad sense that it piques your curiosity and shows you something new, and c) FUN (Did I mention that already?). Ptown tours run the gamut, from the classic (the whalewatch, the trolley) to the quirky (see below!) and definitely have the FUN and curiosity piquing thing covered! Here are a few of my favs:

WHALEWATCH

Can’t come to Ptown for the first time and NOT do it. Well, I guess you could, but why? The animals themselves are amazing creatures. You are out on the water. There are snacks and naturalists.  What’s not to love?

ART’s DUNE TOURS

Simply driving by Ptown’s crazy sand dunes is not enough.  You have to get out there.  Those silent windswept expanses also offer a welcome bit of peace and quiet¾and quite the contrast¾after the the buzz of Commercial Street. There is something for everyone¾adults, kids, families, singles (sorry, the pets have to stay behind though).  In September and through the fall, their Sunset Tours are available almost every day (starts at 4:30pm) and include a traditional New England style Clambake, with alternative food offerings of course.

PTOWN PEDICABS

I lived in Asia about 10 years ago and pedicabs were an essential part of my daily existence. I am so happy that they have arrived stateside!  Ptown Pedicabs offers customized tours of whatever you want: galleries, downtown, graveyards, history, and more.

KAYAK & SUP TOURS

See Provincetown by water! Provincetown Aquasports offers kayaking and paddleboard tours for all ages and experience levels of Provincetown Harbor, Herring Cove, and Long Point Lighthouse.

SIDEKICK SIDECAR TOURS

I have never done this tour, so I can’t speak from experience, but I have to say, this one is on my TO DO list! Take a ride with a private tour guide on a vintage 1986 Honda CMX motorcycle.  You’ll have to fight over who gets to ride in the sidecar!

SAIL ABOARD A WOODEN SCHOONER

Want to see what it feels like on a 100-year-old wooden sailing vessel?  I’ll answer for you: yes, you do.  The Hindu, originally built in 1925 as a pleasure yacht, will always be one of my personal favorites (we spent the afternoon of our wedding on it) but there are others too.  There’s a reason these sailboats never retire.  A leisurely sail around Provincetown Harbor is magical and soothing—just about as timeless as it gets.

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Theater In Provincetown

By July 20, 2017 PROVINCETOWN ART, PROVINCETOWN EVENTS, PROVINCETOWN THINGS TO DO, STAY IN PROVINCETOWN

Provincetown’s connection to theater is just as rich and storied as its connection to visual art. Thanks to the Provincetown Players, a small but influential company active in the early 20th century, Provincetown is often considered the birthplace of modern American theater. Playwrights such as Eugene O’Neil, Tennessee Williams, Susan Glaspell, Norman Mailer, Paula Vogel are just a few with strong Ptown connections. These days, several theater companies have taken the reins in Provincetown’s theater scene and are making it as diverse, vibrant, and relevant as ever. Here are a few of the companies making it work in Ptown today:

 

Peregrine Theater Ensemble

This relative newcomer to the Ptown theater scene already has an impeccable reputation for putting on high quality programming. Named after the first Pilgrim child born in the New World (when the Mayflower was anchored in Provincetown Harbor), it also sports a great name. This season, Peregrine presents, CHICAGO, for its Outer Cape premiere. It has already gotten rave reviews.

 

Provincetown Theater

With a history that goes back decades (albeit with a different name) the New Provincetown Players (NPP) bring excellence and excitement to their home turf, the Provincetown Theater. This year’s showstopper is a radically re-styled and re-staged version of Oscar Wilde’s “Salome” starring Australian native Kim David Smith. Wilde’s once-banned biblical play features new costuming, scenic design, choreography and casting. Performances are at 7:30 Wednesdays through Sundays July 12 through August 19.

 

Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival

Now in its eleventh year, the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival celebrates Williams’ connection to Cape Cod and his avant-garde spirit, so easily captured in this town.

This year’s festival, September 21-24, presents plays by Tennessee Williams and William Shakespeare: the two great poet playwrights of the English language — both of whom mastered their craft while living in turbulent times. The four-day extravaganza presents shows all over town performed by theater companies from across the globe.

 

Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater (WHAT)

Not technically in Provincetown, but noteworthy nonetheless, WHAT presents some of the best-and most adventurous-theater on the Cape. This company embodies a kindred spirit of risk-taking and openness to new ideas that any Ptown local would recognize and admire.

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2017 Provincetown Gallery Tour

By June 30, 2017 PROVINCETOWN ART, PROVINCETOWN EVENTS, PROVINCETOWN THINGS TO DO

Now that summer is in full swing, the crazy summer whirlwind of outstanding art that is Ptown’s gallery season is ON. No matter how long your stay, if you are human, carve out at least an hour to wander down Commercial Street’s East End.  No where else can you see such high quality contemporary art in such a non-snooty atmosphere. That’s what I appreciate most about the galleries in Ptown. After a friendly hello from the gallerist, you will be left to your own devices to check the art out and no one will be giving you the stink eye, wondering whether you are cool enough to be there. If you are in Provincetown over a weekend, Friday Night Gallery Strolls, from 7-10pm (Mid-May through September) are an annual tradition. Many galleries plan their opening receptions for Friday nights, making it a fun and festive evening. In addition to last year’s round-up of galleries, here are a few more worth the stop:

 

ALBERT MEROLA

This gallery has been around since 1988 and shows a diverse range of contemporary artists, including one of my favs, Paul Bowen. First show up in July is Richard Baker, an award-winning painter, with a series of small-scale, trompe l’oeil gouache paintings of classic books.

 

RICE POLAK GALLERY

Another Commercial Street contemporary powerhouse showing painting, drawing, photography, and sculpture.  Representational, minimal, abstract, naïve, folkish—you name it, they’ve got it. Up now through the beginning of July is a group show of gallery artists including some of my favorites Edward Del Rosario, Stanley Bielin, and Julia Zanes.

 

GAA GALLERY 

Only a couple years old, GAA is in ArtStrand’s old space just off Commercial Street with an additional space in Wellfleet.  I’m totally biased, as my sister-in-law, painter Erika Wastrom, shows there but aside from that, they do a nice mix of nationally relevant artists. Up next is

Ohio-based artist Dani Leventhal (who recently screened a piece at the 2017 Whitney Biennial), with a series of collages that  incorporate personal and found photographs, film stills, paper fragments, fur and found objects, and marks made in oil, wax, and watercolor.

 

SCHOOLHOUSE GALLERY

Showing modern and contemporary painting, photography, and printmaking with over 50 artists from the Outer Cape and beyond, this gallery packs a large punch. Each show through the summer contains a small group of artists. First up in July are Anthony Falcetta, Leah Dyjak, Marty Epp-Carter, and Ted Kincaid. I’m particularly psyched to see Dyjak’s unconventional photographs of Ptown’s Herring Cove Beach.

 

JO HAY OPEN STUDIO

Started in 2014, Jo Hay is another relative newcomer to Commercial Street’s gallery roster and it’s new to me. I am curious to check it out the next time I’m out and about. Showing now through July 5th is painter KJ Shows, with a series of realistic portraits of shoes; converse, espadrilles, loafers, and more. Looks like fun.

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Provincetown Shopping: A Commercial Street Stroll

By June 19, 2017 PROVINCETOWN THINGS TO DO, STAY IN PROVINCETOWN

It’s amazing. No matter how long you have lived here. No matter how many times you’ve done it. Walking down Commercial Street never gets old. Strolling, window shopping, browsing—it is a multi-course feast with flavors suited to anyone and everyone’s taste. On a recent walk, I checked out a few shops that just opened and a few that were new to me. I suppose you could call this a round-up but it is admittedly a random smattering. That is the beauty of Provincetown: the delight in discovering a new hidden gem of a shop—with a crazy, distinctive personality—that was probably there all along.

kmoe

This brand spanking new shop just opened this season with goods produced by the two partner/owners: Karole Moe (hence the origins of the name, kmoe) and Karen Baker.  It is a random combo: hefty, rugged leather jewelry, custom-made light fixtures, often built from repurposed materials, and slick, glossy wall décor in firey hues of reds and oranges.  But somehow, it works.

The Captain’s Daughters

When I stopped by, this store was only weeks into its first season. It’s an interesting mix, combining a tea bar with vintage goods and nautical apparel and accessories. It totally won me over with courteous, personal service and a tasty cup of tea. I’m a fan of any shop where boxes of hard-to-find loose leaf tea stand within arm’s reach of piles of stunning indigo-dyed vintage textiles.

room68

This shop has been around for four years but was totally new for me. Not sure how I missed it before. Statement pieces for your house that would totally make a room without screaming about it.  Pricey but completely unique.

Kenneth Scott

Another relative newcomer, this men’s apparel shop features casual wear, swimsuits, basically everything you need for summer living here in Provincetown (or to capture dreams of it when you are elsewhere).

Loveland Provincetown

This shop is so cool, it doesn’t even have a website. Every now and again you walk into a shop and think, OMG, someone opened a store JUST FOR ME! I imagine a lot of people have that reaction when they enter this rich, colorful bohemian pirate ship. As far as Commercial Street goes, it’s a little out of the way in the West End. Totally worth the detour. It will make you happy.

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Indulge Your Sweet Tooth—Provincetown Edition

By June 19, 2017 FOOD & WINE, PROVINCETOWN THINGS TO DO

We New Englanders take our ice cream VERY seriously. And Provincetown is no exception. As I write this, I am on my way to Commercial Street for my mid-day indulgence. Summer is a couple weeks off, but that has never stopped any self-respecting Cape Codder I know (myself included) from grabbing a little something. The sun is shining, the bees are buzzing, and well, it’s time. There are plenty of places to go.  In the list below, I stopped at seven, but there are undoubtedly more (sorry Ben & Jerry’s).  The best part?  They are all on Commercial Street, so you could even do your own uh, ice cream crawl? Yeah!  Hit them all up!  Wow, how come I never thought of that before?  Let’s do it!

Purple Feather Café and Treatery  The Purple Feather features 24 Flavors of gelato.  With names like Turtle Dove, Chocolate Sundae, and Mojhito, I’m swooning already.  Plus, they have sandwiches and regular food, if you are feeling like you should be practical.  Desserts, wines, and cocktails plus fruit tarts, brownies, molten lava, biscotti, chocolate chip cookies, and their specialty, homemade éclairs round out a very full menu.  Everything is homemade on premises.   If you go, try the Mermaid’s Orgasm.  Peach, pineapple, coconut.  Yup, I’m in.

The Nut House Obviously, roasted nuts are a specialty at this 16-year-old joint but the chocolate chip cookies and ice cream are equally amazing.  Travel & Leisure magazine agreed and named them one of the must stop ice cream shops in the USA.  Their recommendation? The brown butter brownie ice cream.  Sounds just about right.

PtownScoop Small on size, big on flavor.  This place the perfect spot to hit up after ogling art in the East End.  Plus, it’s location is just far away enough from the main hustle and bustle that there’s rarely a crowd.

Bliss! P’town Frozen Yogurt Word on the street is this is the best soft serve in town.  Homemade ice cream, homemade waffle cones.  And good people watching!

Happy Camper If you’re not totally committed to ice cream, this place may be your speed.  They’ve got house made popsicles, ice cream, donuts, and more.  Donuts are really their jam. National Donut Day is June 2 (later this week!).  I’m guessing they’ll be celebrating it right.

Lewis Brothers Ice Cream The institution.  All ice cream is made fresh in the store every day.  Keep an eye out for their solar powered Ice Cream Truck!  They’ve got over 25 flavors plus some adult only flavors with names like Belle De Brillet, Chocolate Guiness, Limoncello, Mint Julep (Kentucky Derby Special), Mudslide Chip, and White Russian.

I Dream of Gelato Plenty for everyone to enjoy here—tons of flavors! With extraordinary flavors like Banana Killer, Cherry Tart, Nutella, and Fior di Latte w/Almond, they have arguably the best gelato (made with milk, not cream) around. Plus, the only vegan options in town.

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5 Reasons to Visit Provincetown this May & June

By May 18, 2017 PROVINCETOWN ART, PROVINCETOWN THINGS TO DO, STAY IN PROVINCETOWN

Here in Provincetown, we are finally emerging from our seasonal hibernation and don’t look now, but the thermometer outside says 65 degrees. Yippee! May and June are interesting months on Cape Cod, as the tourists arrive in a slow trickle. As locals, we notice that the traffic at lunch break gets a little slower, there’s a longer line at our favorite coffee shop, that sort of thing.  The deluge of people doesn’t really start until July, after schools get out. So the ‘shoulder season’ (a.k.a. now) is a really great time to get to Ptown for a visit.  Weather can be iffy but there’s no lack of indoor activities.  In fact, one perk of the iffy weather is that it forces you to explore beyond the beach in a way that you just wouldn’t do at the height of summer.  Rates are often cheaper for ferries and events. And no huge crowds (not yet anyways)—caveat to that is Memorial Day Weekend which, when Ptown gets its party on for the first real she-bang of the season.  If you are not the partying sort, better steer way clear.

 

Here are some fun events to catch in the next two months:

 

World-Class Concerts, Readings, & Speakers

Housed in the historic Hawthorne Barn (which was a famous Ptown art school

during the first half of the 20th century), Twenty Summers brings a lively slate of musicians, writers, poets, and leaders in their field for lectures, concerts, and readings every spring weekend, mid-May to mid-June.  We’re talking world-class offerings.  Not to be missed.  Buy your tickets early—some events are already sold out and the small space only allows about 50 seats.

 

One-Of-A-Kind Performances

The Provincetown Theater has opened its 2017 season with a bang. May 3-20, catch “Salome” by Oscar Wilde, a scandalous play that takes place at King Herod’s Birthday party. May 24-June 11 is “Amadeus” by Peter Shaffer, a Tony Award winning play telling a highly fictionalized biography of the lives of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his rival composer Antonio Salieri.

 

Great Music

Memorial Day Weekend, Melissa Ferrick performs at The Art House for two shows on May 27 & 28.  A Massachusetts native and a teacher at Berklee School of Music in Boston, Ferrick has played with the likes of Ani DiFranco, Morrissey, the Indigo Girls, Bob Dylan, and more over her long, successful career.  This show celebrates her newly released 12th album.

 

Just Plain Fun

On June 1-4, Provincetown CabaretFest 2017 returns with “Sentimental Journey,” a tribute to the music of World War II. Run by John O’Neil, the weekend is packed with four days and three nights of cabaret, music, workshops, networking, humor and fun.  Eric Comstock & Barbara Fasano are this year’s headliners.

 

The Galleries Are Open!

Head to the East End! The galleries have emerged from their winter slumber to share all that their busy artists have been cranking out over the winter. Here’s just a sampling: Cortile Gallery is showing “Freshly Created: New Works” for its opening show with new works by all 30 of its gallery artists.  Always scratching the avant-garde itch, AMP Gallery presents a group show of provocative paintings by Jay Critchley, Jackie Lipton, Dorothy Palanza & Jicky Schnee.  On view at Provincetown Art Association & Museum (PAAM) through July is On Bended Light, a retrospective of esteemed Provincetown photographer Marian Roth.  I don’t want to miss a selection of recently deceased Wellfleet painter Selina Trieff, on view at Berta Walker.

 

 

 

 

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Do-It-Yourself Provincetown Wellness Retreat

By April 28, 2017 PROVINCETOWN THINGS TO DO

 

The daffodils and cherry trees are blooming so it is official, spring has arrived on Cape Cod. Spring cleaning season. Yay. Question: what’s way more fun than washing your windows or cleaning out your closets? A visit to Provincetown, of course! Since I’ve got the spring cleaning thing on my mind, I’ve been thinking of all the ways to ‘clean’ up my own lifestyle, physically and emotionally. A little rest and relaxation is a great place to start, but what if we add in exercise and a little TLC for the body too? Sounds perfect to me and the Crowne Pointe Historic Inn & Spa may just be the perfect spot from which to embark on this little cleansing adventure. Below I’ve outlined how I would spend a weekend refreshing body and soul, CPHI&S style.

Body
This is a no-brainer but I would start with some pampering at the top-rated Shui Spa, conveniently located at the Inn. A soak in the mineral tub? Check. 90-minute Hot Stone Massage? Check. Or perhaps I’d go with one of the spa’s many packages, combining massages, facials, mani/pedis, body scrubs—so many flavors to choose from!

Exercise
Yoga classes abound here in Provincetown. Even at this time of year but especially once high summer season hits. There’s yoga on the beach, on a SUP—you name it, it’s probably here somewhere. But here are a few of my favorite yoga stops (for a longer list click here): Yoga East Wellness Center (wide range of classes including hatha, vinyasa, meditation and the Stand-Up Paddle Yoga classes), Yoga with Will Coons (from late May to mid-September, outdoor yoga on the deck of Boatslip Resort), and Strength & Clarity Pilates and Yoga Movement Studio (mixed practice studio offers daily yoga flow classes).

If yoga isn’t your idea of wellness, there are plenty of other ways to get exercise. Get out and enjoy the outdoors at the same time by renting bicycles, swimming and hiking along the Cape Cod National Seashore, or simply jogging around town. Or perhaps a stair workout up the 252 foot high Pilgrim Monument?

Food
It’s often a challenge to eat healthy when traveling but not in Provincetown. In addition to having several vegan-friendly establishments (click here for some of our recommendations), there are several markets with a greener, healthier bend. My favorites? Bradford Natural Market and 141 To Go (plenty of gluten-free, non-GMO, organic produce and packaged foods; the Hot Bar is the only vegetarian buffet in town), the Grab n Go Health Bar (for juices, smoothies, and snacks), and for dinner, I’m excited to try Sal’s Place, the Italian Bistro recently reopened at the tail end of the 2016 season to rave reviews.

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Weddings: Provincetown Style

By April 20, 2017 PROVINCETOWN EVENTS, PROVINCETOWN THINGS TO DO, STAY IN PROVINCETOWN

It’s spring.  My outdoor thermometer finally broke 60 degrees.  Yay!  That means summer is not far off and wedding season will be upon us in just a few short weeks. Did you know that we do weddings here at Crowne Pointe? Actually, when you get right down to it, the inn is an ideal spot to host any kind of gathering, from small, intimate dinners to large, formal functions and anything in between.  We do it right.  Personalized service from beginning to end so that the day feels like yours and like you.  Comfortable.  Classy.  Polished.  Stress-free.  That’s the goal.

 

What I love best are Crowne Pointe’s wedding packages for 2 (perhaps I’m biased since I eloped).  Think private ceremony, flowers, champagne, a small cake for two, dinner and more.  What more does one need, really?  If you want to tie the knot but eschew the pomp, then one of these special choices would be the way to go (I would personally go for the ride in the pedi-cab, but that’s me). And you really couldn’t ask for more tasteful surroundings or better amenities.  Picture clear blue skies, the gardens in full bloom, music (I’ll leave the style choice up to you), sensational food, wine, and cocktails courtesy of our award-winning restaurant, The Pointe.

 

If you are in the wedding planning stages, here are some quick fun facts to ruminate on:

 

  • We can accommodate parties as small as 2 and as large as 150.
  • Professional wedding planner services are standard.
  • Indoor and outdoor settings available.
  • Your event will be yours alone—we only do one event at a time. No double-booking.
  • Our packages offer ultimate flexibility. You dream it.  We do it.
  • From flowers to cocktails, food, and accommodations, we offer the best amenities to match your day.

 

For more details, click here for the inn’s full description of wedding services or here for more information on the wedding for 2 packages.

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Provincetown’s Best Coffee

By March 31, 2017 PROVINCETOWN THINGS TO DO, STAY IN PROVINCETOWN

It is still only in the 40s outside here in Provincetown (hello, it’s the end of March??!!).  On a bright note, the sun came out today.  As I shiver in my chair, I’m daydreaming about a stroll down Commercial Street and a toasty warm cup of coffee.  Spring and summer and all the frozen treats you can dream of are just around the corner but for now, a hot, nutty beverage is the perfect antidote to the never-ending New England Winter.  Provincetown’s got plenty of coffee shops, but here are three that stand out from the crowd.  Best part: they’re all open this time of year! Well, technically Joe opens this Saturday, April 1.

 

Wired Puppy

Voted best coffee by Cape Cod LIFE magazine for 8 years running, this place is a Commercial Street institution.  Plenty of specialty coffees on the menu as well as a single serve brewing station.  All of their coffee is certified organic and fair trade and I dare you to make it out without buying something—a shirt, a coffee cup—with that cute little dog on it.

 

Kohi Coffee

Also conveniently located on Commercial Street, this shop is a relative newcomer (opened in 2014) but is fast establishing its reputation as a haven for the coffee maven.  With all fair trade and certified organic offerings on a menu that changes daily, Kohi may just be the best cup of coffee you’ve ever had.

 

Joe Coffee & Café

For many folks, this is their GO TO spot for coffee in Provincetown.  While I will be forgoing their patio this time of year, it is awesome in the summer—quite possibly the best people watching ever (a claim that applies to just about any restaurant on Commercial Street, I suppose).  A perfect spot to start your day.  People rave about the croissants.  In the summer, it’s crowded, but we needn’t worry about that now.

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Best Ways to Enjoy Spring in Provincetown

By March 20, 2017 PROVINCETOWN EVENTS, PROVINCETOWN NEWS, PROVINCETOWN THINGS TO DO, STAY IN PROVINCETOWN

Adventures out into nature are a Provincetown specialty.  This time of year, outer Cape Cod’s winter/spring landscape is rich and invigorating in its own way.  Two reasons why this time of year is awesome for exploring all Mother Nature has to offer: first, no crowds.  You’ll probably have the beach or hiking trail entirely to yourself.  Second, the wildlife.  Spring is an ideal time to catch peepers, right whales (just off shore around Race Point), and a variety of birds.  Here are three great walks/hikes that are perfect for this time of year.

 

Pamet Area Trails, Truro

The Pamet Area Trails, just down the road in Truro, are part of the Cape Cod National Seashore.  There’s easy parking, the walks are not too long, and you’ll get amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean, the great dunes, and now defunct cranberry bog that was once used in commercial cranberry harvesting.  Cranberry plants grow wild all along the trail.  If you are willing to negotiate some steep sand, you can even trek down to the beach and walk along the shore for as long as you want. Located at 111 North Pamet Road.

 

Directions: Take Truro Center/Pamet Roads exit off Route 6 in Truro. Proceed 1.5 miles on North Pamet Road to the end. Trail begins at the parking area adjacent to the Environmental Education Center (a hostel in summer).

 

Race Point Lighthouse, Provincetown

Birders, Dog walkers, and whale watchers, this old Ptown Fire Road is for you.  It’s also an easier route to Race Point Lighthouse than trekking across the soft sand of the beach.  People know Race Point Lighthouse as one of the quintessential symbols of Provincetown and the outer cape.  What is less well known is that it is also one of the best spots on the Cape, and most likely the East Coast, to see Right Whales up close.  Right Whales typically arrive off our shores anywhere from February to April.  Bring bug repellent (in summer) and choose a calm day.

 

Directions: From Route 6 take a right onto Province Lands Rd. heading towards Race Point.  In about ½ mile, just after the bike path crosses the road, there’s a small dirt parking lot on the left.  The trail starts from the parking lot.

 

Great Island, Welfleet

This state park is actually a peninsula that forms the outer boundary of Welfleet Harbor.  In a part of the world filled with jaw-dropping scenic vistas, Great Island stands above as one of the most beautiful spots on the Cape (in my opinion).  It can be a long hike if you want (going all the way around the peninsula is 8.4 miles) but you can do an out-and-back walk and make it any length you want.  There are wooded trails, a salt marsh, dunes, and a bayside beach.  There is also a historical tavern site that dates to the 17th century.  It is a challenging walk as most of it is in sand and you do have to pay attention to the tides.

 

Directions:  Follow Main Street in Welfleet all the way through town.  Turn left onto Holbrook Ave.  Take your first right onto Chequessett Neck Road.  Follow for 2.5 miles and the Park’s parking lot will be on your left.  The trail starts at the far end of the parking lot.

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