Questions about Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard area

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Poppy Davis
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Questions about Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard area

#1 Post by Poppy Davis » January 13th, 2018, 6:41 pm

We're starting to plan our summer vacation and thinking about doing Boston for a week, then a beach area for a week. We started looking at Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, but the logistics of getting around the islands without a car seem tough and the cost of getting a car to the islands is ridiculous. Our son will be 5, so he can't bicycle for long stretches. We want to find a nice place to just relax for a week. We want to be very close to a beach and have some decent family-friendly restaurants to choose from.

I found an Airbnb in the Wareham/Onset Village area. Is this area nice? Are there other areas we should be considering?
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#2 Post by cjsavino » January 13th, 2018, 7:04 pm

I would look in Truro, very cape like area. Wareham
Is nor even over the bridge. We used to rent on the bay side, smaller waves and the water is warmer. Great sunsets and fires allowed on the beach with permits.

Wellfleet is also very nice
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#3 Post by Brent C l a y t o n » January 13th, 2018, 7:13 pm

The Cape is not my 'hood, and if you're not using a car I'm not sure how you get around. However if the 'true' Cape ('over the bridge' as Chris points out) is not going to work for you I suggest looking around Westport on Buzzard's Bay. Westport Rivers Winery is really nice. You can be on the beach and 5min from a farm with fresh summer produce.

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#4 Post by johngonzales » January 13th, 2018, 8:20 pm

My family had a house where we spent all our summers in Onset. That was many moons ago, but I still drive through to check it out. The area of houses where ours was just across the street from the beach, between the pier and the point by the Onset Rock are still nice.
We're big Martha's Vineyard fans. We always fly into Boston, rent a car and take it across on the ferryfrom Woods Hole. It doesn't seem that expensive. One could just fly onto M.V.. but it's a plane swap and usually expensive. I think you could get by in Edgartown without a car. I've done that a couple of times. There are some nice rentals down by Katama too, that would be an easy Uber into Edgartown.
On the cape, I like Chatham and Truro.

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#5 Post by Poppy Davis » January 13th, 2018, 8:35 pm

Thanks, all!

John - It does look like getting a car over to MV is only about $100 round trip. The site I was looking at earlier seemed like it was $500+ to take a car. So now that I know that, I can look at MV again. Uber is not an option since we still use a car seat for the kid. Glad to hear about Onset. I like how central it is and how easy it would be to do day trips to various places.

All the rentals in Truro seem to be condos. We'd much prefer a house, so our kid doesn't bother anyone with his running around.

We're just starting to figure this all out, so thanks for the help!
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#6 Post by Mike Maguire » January 14th, 2018, 7:47 am

Have stayed in Wellfleet many times, quite a few houses to rent there.

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#7 Post by Merrill Lindquist » January 14th, 2018, 10:44 am

I agree with Wellfleet...beautiful. Rented many houses there over the years....

I found once we had a child that renting a house became more and more like home-life. More making beds, buying food, cooking and cleaning. All of which was a pleasure when we both had career jobs and just wanted to be out there at the beach, enjoying an unhurried life. Kids change pretty much everything.

My suggestion would be to spend your week in Boston, then take the short flight from Logan to Nantucket. Or the fast ferry, without a car. If you stay at a place like The White Elephant on Nantucket, it is an easy walk to the beach, shops, first-rate restaurants, places to have a drink, etc. Nice focus on food and wine on Nantucket. If you want to explore, arrange to rent a car on the island. You really don't need a car to enjoy this island. Many hotels will meet you at the ferry, or you can get a cab at the airport. You really do not need to be saddled with a car, much less go on that ferry with a car, to enjoy the best of Nantucket.

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#8 Post by Victor Hong » January 14th, 2018, 10:53 am

Poppy Davis wrote:We're starting to plan our summer vacation and thinking about doing Boston for a week, then a beach area for a week. We started looking at Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, but the logistics of getting around the islands without a car seem tough and the cost of getting a car to the islands is ridiculous. Our son will be 5, so he can't bicycle for long stretches. We want to find a nice place to just relax for a week. We want to be very close to a beach and have some decent family-friendly restaurants to choose from.

I found an Airbnb in the Wareham/Onset Village area. Is this area nice? Are there other areas we should be considering?
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#9 Post by Ken V » January 14th, 2018, 12:44 pm

IMO you're not really "on the Cape" until you pass Orleans. This is the "outer cape", the forearm when you look at the cape as an arm bent at the elbow. Any place from Easton to P-Town is nice, though Wellfleet and Truro are the nicest. You must visit P-Town, though there might be one or two things that are challenging to explain to a 5 year old.

The outer cape is so nice because you got the bay on one side and the ocean on the other, with not much distance between. The downside is getting out there.
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#10 Post by Merrill Lindquist » January 14th, 2018, 12:50 pm

Ken V wrote:IMO you're not really "on the Cape" until you pass Orleans. This is the "outer cape", the forearm when you look at the cape as an arm bent at the elbow. Any place from Easton to P-Town is nice, though Wellfleet and Truro are the nicest. You must visit P-Town, though there might be one or two things that are challenging to explain to a 5 year old.

The outer cape is so nice because you got the bay on one side and the ocean on the other, with not much distance between. The downside is getting out there.
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#11 Post by Poppy Davis » January 14th, 2018, 1:36 pm

So what's the problem with Onset not being "true Cape"? Is it just a prestige thing?

I'm finding that Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard are out of our budget. Onset seems to get us most of what we want (2 bedrooms, easy walk to beach) within our budget. Dining options might not be the best, but we're traveling with a 5-year old, so we're not looking for high-end anyway.
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#12 Post by brigcampbell » January 14th, 2018, 1:44 pm

There are MANY nice casual dining options on the cape. Google/yelp is decent for that. The cool ones are converted houses in remote areas.

I was surprised, just didn't, how family orientated the cape is. P-town is a must visit for an afternoon and dining.

We happen to be in P-town during a mass wedding of 500 couples. Needless to say there was a great vibe.

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#13 Post by Merrill Lindquist » January 14th, 2018, 2:36 pm

Poppy Davis wrote:So what's the problem with Onset not being "true Cape"? Is it just a prestige thing?

I'm finding that Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard are out of our budget. Onset seems to get us most of what we want (2 bedrooms, easy walk to beach) within our budget. Dining options might not be the best, but we're traveling with a 5-year old, so we're not looking for high-end anyway.
Poppy - it is not just a "prestige" thing. It's access. If I recall correctly, Onset is before the famous rotary and bridge - home to many a traffic backup that is not fun. After the bridge, the Cape emerges. If you want to experience the National Seashore and the bay beaches, you are putting yourself out of range. If you are heading there in peak season (July/August), I would want to get past Hyannis and take what the lower Cape has to offer. So starting at Orleans, perhaps, but going further in, as in Wellfleet and Truro.
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#14 Post by Victor Hong » January 14th, 2018, 2:55 pm

Be sure to enjoy the funnel cakes.
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#15 Post by brigcampbell » January 14th, 2018, 3:53 pm

Weekend traffic on the cape makes the 405 at rush hour(s) look like a dream.

The only road to P-town is basically a rustic 2 lane road with poor traffic control. The Mass Pike it is not.

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#16 Post by cjsavino » January 14th, 2018, 5:35 pm

http://www.ddre.com/rentals.asp?txtcity ... rch=Search

This is a great Cape location, we have rented in this area.
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#17 Post by Andrew Demaree » January 14th, 2018, 5:43 pm

Poppy, my family and I had a nice vacation in North Falmouth last June. That’s not far from where you’re looking at. We took some road trips around the Cape and spent a day out in Wellfleet. I’m sure it’s nicer to be out that far, but North Falmouth was more affordable for us. The key for us was to find a house with a big deck and a nice beach nearby. Might be more competition for beach space later in the summer. I don’t know. But we didn’t have much trouble when we went. Lots of good restaurants in Falmouth, which is a cute town not far away.

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#18 Post by Victor Hong » January 14th, 2018, 5:57 pm

Consider Block Island.
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#19 Post by D. Walker » January 14th, 2018, 5:57 pm

We go to Cotuit mainly, and it is great there along the bay. Water is warm (truly) and very few waves, which is great for little kids. There is a cape league baseball stadium in a number of these towns (Cotuit, but also Wareham), which is really fun with kids.
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#20 Post by jhemming » January 14th, 2018, 7:16 pm

PD

So many options. I spend 2 weeks a summer on the cape with my two little girls. The last few years have been in Chatham. The options ar quite endless and it all depends on what you (or your wife) is looking for in a vacation. With a young child Nantucket sound or Bay beaches are much more enjoyable than than the outer beaches (i.e. coast guard). I love both MV and Nantucket but still stay on the 'mainland'. If you could make either of them work (i.e. Reasonable house and able to get car on the ferry over) the go for it. Otherwise I would recommend the mid cape.


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#21 Post by Peter Baird » January 14th, 2018, 7:20 pm

I usually leave my car on the mainland and bring bicycles out to the islands. Both islands have tons of bike trails and flat terrain. It's perfect. Just get a taxi to move my bags for me, or the hotel itself.

And what Merrill says is true: it just gets nicer, the architecture prettier, the beaches better, etc. once you're over the bridge onto the Cape.

I love Welfleet and Chatham.
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#22 Post by Paul H Galli » January 14th, 2018, 7:35 pm

Much prefer Nantucket to Martha's Vineyard....

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#23 Post by Gary Schulte » January 14th, 2018, 8:08 pm

Victor Hong wrote:Consider Block Island.
Agree with inclusion of this location for vacation consideration.

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#24 Post by Poppy Davis » January 14th, 2018, 8:52 pm

Gary Schulte wrote:
Victor Hong wrote:Consider Block Island.
Agree with inclusion of this location for vacation consideration.
I just looked and for our dates, there are 2 listings available: $1,200 & $1,300/night. I'm not a baller like that!
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#25 Post by Victor Hong » January 15th, 2018, 5:03 am

Rent a house for a week, for much cheaper than that per night.
I ain't no balla, neither.

Crescent Beach is perfect for kids. The restaurants are casual, affordable, and quite good.
You can bring a car onto the island for $35 each way. And you avoid the stupid Figawi crews on Nantucket.
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#26 Post by Gary Schulte » January 15th, 2018, 5:39 am

Poppy - Take a look at VRBO and Airbnb as there are many more listings. That said many places on Cape Cod and the Islands, along with Block Island, have repeat customers every year and they book early. Nearby large metropolitan areas have droves of people seeking beaches in summer. Also pay attention to the weekly check-in and out as many are Sat to Sat.

If you want the baller experience try the Ocean House in Watch Hill, RI .... https://www.oceanhouseri.com/about .

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#27 Post by Victor Hong » January 15th, 2018, 6:14 am

Be very careful about using VRBO, HomeAway, or FlipKey.

https://www.wineberserkers.com/forum/vi ... &p=2112849

Use local real-estate agents, instead, notwithstanding my usual descriptions. Sullivan Realty, on Block Island, from which I have rented for almost fifteen years, is very good.
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#28 Post by Brian S t o t t e r » January 15th, 2018, 5:46 pm

Have you looked into Chatham? Has very nice beaches and a very walkable downtown with cute shops and restaurants.
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#29 Post by Merrill Lindquist » January 15th, 2018, 5:56 pm

Brian S t o t t e r wrote:Have you looked into Chatham? Has very nice beaches and a very walkable downtown with cute shops and restaurants.
Chatham Bars Inn? Memories. (Expense account from the now-defunct Digital Equipment Corporation.) I can only describe myself as a survivor of that corporate experience.

Good family atmosphere but probably pricey, in Chatham, as Nantucket.
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#30 Post by Ken V » January 16th, 2018, 6:13 am

Poppy Davis wrote:So what's the problem with Onset not being "true Cape"? Is it just a prestige thing?
I can't speak specifically to Onset, but the outer cape is a unique experience. A relatively narrow sand bar stuck way out in the ocean with a calm bay on the west side (much better for a 5 year old). Sunset and sunrise over the water. It's hard to describe, but it is very special.

I'm not sure why you'd fly all the way across the country just to be in a regular Atlantic Ocean shore town. We went last summer to Salem and Gloucester, in part because that's the closest spot to us on an ocean, and we had limited time and energy. You already have the Pacific in your back yard.

Poppy Davis wrote:I'm finding that Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard are out of our budget. ....
I have a friend (sadly not a close friend) who has a house on Martha's Vineyard. I don't know how much the house cost, but the initiation fee for the golf club was $1M.
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#31 Post by Peter Baird » January 16th, 2018, 6:33 am

Ken V wrote:
Poppy Davis wrote:So what's the problem with Onset not being "true Cape"? Is it just a prestige thing?
I can't speak specifically to Onset, but the outer cape is a unique experience. A relatively narrow sand bar stuck way out in the ocean with a calm bay on the west side (much better for a 5 year old). Sunset and sunrise over the water. It's hard to describe, but it is very special.

I'm not sure why you'd fly all the way across the country just to be in a regular Atlantic Ocean shore town. We went last summer to Salem and Gloucester, in part because that's the closest spot to us on an ocean, and we had limited time and energy. You already have the Pacific in your back yard.
I really agree with this.. once you're in Sandwich the character changes, but once you're on the outer Cape (Chatham north) or the Islands it really is great and feels like something different. I'm only a 2 hour drive from the Cape and I don't make the trip just for the South Shore of MA somewhere.
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#32 Post by Poppy Davis » January 17th, 2018, 1:29 pm

Thanks for all the advice! I just booked a house in Chatham just a short walk from the beach.
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#33 Post by johngonzales » January 18th, 2018, 8:58 am

You'll really like Chatham. I disagree with whoever said the Cape starts at Eastham and, as I said, I've spent a lot of time there. Still have family in Hyannis and Dennis, and my grandparents are buried about 15 minutes from Chatham.

No disrespect intended, but the perspective is a little different when you are a Californian as opposed to a New Englander who is accustomed to many coastal towns. Chatham is a classic Cape Town and kind of central. If you want you can day trip up to Provincetown, and if you really wanted an adventure you can drive to Hyannis and take a ferry over to MV or Nantucket for a long day trip. But there are nice beaches and nature all around Chatham.

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#34 Post by Will F » January 18th, 2018, 9:09 am

Poppy Davis wrote:Thanks for all the advice! I just booked a house in Chatham just a short walk from the beach.
I would definitely check out Impudent Oyster in Chatham and if you make the trip to P-Town Blackfish in Truro is the best restaurant on the cape.
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#35 Post by brigcampbell » January 21st, 2018, 1:26 am

Truro Vineyards was a nice place to relax in the sun on the lawn with some local wine and cocktails. Kid friendly and room to run around.

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#36 Post by Chris L » January 28th, 2018, 11:23 am

+1 to all the Wellfleet recommendations... although I'm sure you'll enjoy wherever you choose.
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#37 Post by jhemming » January 28th, 2018, 12:35 pm

For our weekly trips we always try to eat at the Impudent Oyster and grab a drink outside at CBI. I would also recommend bringing some wine and getting you lobster roll / fried seafood fix from Sesuit Harbor in Dennis as its one of the few BYO on the cape. I would day trip it to Wellfleet and either do Maconi's beach or the Sancuary and then grab Oysters at Mac's or Mobys's (BYO).
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#38 Post by M.Kaplan » January 28th, 2018, 3:15 pm

I second the Raw Bar/Sesuit Harbor Cafe.
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#39 Post by Poppy Davis » January 28th, 2018, 6:37 pm

Thanks all! I will mention that we are a vegetarian family. blush

So, um, best pizza recommendations on the cape?
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#40 Post by jhemming » January 28th, 2018, 7:25 pm

Talkative Pig in Chatham.
Ember in Harwichport.
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#41 Post by Gary Schulte » January 28th, 2018, 9:56 pm

Poppy - Take a look through Edible Cape Cod for some vegetarian friendly restaurants..http://ediblecapecod.ediblecommunities.com/

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#42 Post by jhemming » January 30th, 2018, 8:40 am

Poppy

One tip - I would order / scedule food delivery from PeaPod to be delivered on Sunday morning. That way you can avoid the madness that Stop and Shop in Chatham can be on the weekend. But this has to be done in advance as every weekly renter wants a Sunday morning deliver. Then you can use the local Chatham market for smaller purchases if fresh produce. There is a Farmers Market in Chatham during the middle of the week.
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#43 Post by Jonathan Kalman » January 30th, 2018, 12:11 pm

jhemming wrote:Poppy

One tip - I would order / scedule food delivery from PeaPod to be delivered on Sunday morning. That way you can avoid the madness that Stop and Shop in Chatham can be on the weekend. But this has to be done in advance as every weekly renter wants a Sunday morning deliver. Then you can use the local Chatham market for smaller purchases if fresh produce. There is a Farmers Market in Chatham during the middle of the week.
Years ago we rented a house in Chatham every summer for family holidays. After the second trip my wife asked why we bothered renting a house when we seemed to spend most of our time in Stop and Shop! Having said that we had great times in Chatham and remember the Cape with great fondness.

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