Cape Cod’s Salt and Sand

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It’s certainly not the place to go for soft sand beaches (most of the beaches are rocky), swaying palm trees, or shallow warm waters because there aren’t any. In the summer, locals crowd Cape Cod for the few weeks of vacation and sweltering temperatures, full of fond memories of ice cream cones, sailing trips, and long forgotten fishing spots. In New England, summering in the Cape is a right of passage no matter which side of the tracks you were born on. However, these aren’t the reasons that I would want to keep coming back to the many towns dotting the hook shaped peninsula of Massachusetts. For me the charm of the Cape is in the little towns and seaside villages with their quirky locals, quintessential whitewashed cottages, and distinctive airs. Wandering around the main streets and backroads of Chatham, Sandwich, and Oak Bluffs, I discover not only the New England traditions deep-rooted from Pilgrim days, but also a thriving community of painters, sculptors, and other artisans who maintain the bohemian vibe that goes hand in hand with this region’s salty winds, tidal marshes, and grass-covered beach dunes.

Every time I’ve visited Cape Cod, I’ve discovered something new and quaint about the region. Hundreds of locals both blue-blooded and otherwise have made the area their summer resort for generations. Almost every New England local has a grandmother, aunt, or cousin who has a cottage in the Cape, and every year the family troops down for a week or so to partake in the precious goodness of the region’s summer weather. Add to this the thousands of visitors who journey from all over the world, and it’s easy to imagine how crowded the small towns become once the warm weather arrives. This is when I go discover the hidden side of Cape Cod. Among the forests of pine trees is a dirt road that leads to an exceptionally gifted glassblower. In his backyard, he patiently creates complexly beautiful sculptures. A rocky cliff leads down to a pebble beach and becomes the ideal setting for a seascape painter who appears at every sunset to capture the ever-changing palette of colors. Finding and speaking with artists in the Cape is one of the most rewarding points of traveling there. The other rewarding point? Discovering a hidden bit of unspoiled shoreline, coming across a desolate wooden pier that streams forever out into the ocean, or encountering my own little tidal pool just as the sun sets.

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5 thoughts on “Cape Cod’s Salt and Sand

  1. Sheila Hurst says:

    It is becoming more difficult to find that hidden side of Cape Cod but it can still sometimes be found, especially by biking instead of driving. I’ve been lucky enough to find that glassblower too.

  2. Rosy says:

    Lovely pics and nice blog.

    • Cabbie Notes says:

      Thanks for visiting, Rosy. There is something so unique about the small town atmosphere of the Cape which intrigues me and draws me to return as often as I am able. I hope you can check in on some of my other posts to see where my travels have taken me. Cheers.

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