Road Trip to Cape Cod
Finding All the Beaches
We left on a trip to Cape Cod on June 30, 2006 with the intention of taking pictures of the Cape Cod beaches. I am writing this as we are traveling.
It is Friday about 5:12 PM and we already know we'll be running into rush hour traffic in New Haven CT. As we reached Interstate 95 we noticed the "check engine light come on", and thought, "Oh brother." Maybe the road trip to Florida was a bit much for it?
Well sure enough we ran into the rush hour traffic at Exit 43, and there's a siren too, so that's not a good sign. Now we're trying to decide whether to forgo the trip to a later date. Vlad said he probably got something wet when he washed all the sand off the engine. The Tbird probably needs a tune-up after driving 5000 miles to and from Florida.
We got through New Haven no problem. The extra lane they added has helped getting through Branford too, even though it did slow a little. It seemed more traffic was heading into New Haven than leaving, which I thought was strange.
Narragansett Beach, RI
As we passed the Connecticut River, the traffic got heavy again because of lanes merging. We drove till we exited 3a on Interstate 95 in Rhode Island. From this point Narragansett is 11 miles and that will be our first stop. The sun is setting and it may be a nice sunset, along with an almost full moon. We haven't been to Narragansett Beach for awhile so this should be a treat.
I like the drive to Narragansett via Hwy. 138. It's very scenic, and the University of Rhode Island is located here. Its now 7:15 so it took about 2 hours to drive here from Shelton CT.
When you get at the large intersection of Hwy. 1 and 138, there is a Mobile Station where we stop to get gas. The you head south on Hwy. 1 to get to Narragansett. I see that they built a shopping mall on the Hwy. since our last trip here called the South Green Commons. Then you'll pass an exit for Wakefield and start seeing signs for Narragansett. Exit the Narragansett exit and at the bottom of the exit make a left. Then follow around a circle and go straight, this will take you right into a dead end with a light and the Pier Marketplace. You must turn left at the light, then follow it around to get to the beach. The beach house should be to the left of you and Narragansett parking right in front of you. Make a left and turn into the parking area. Today it is still pretty full even though it's 7:20 PM
The next morning, see Narragansett motels, we went to Burlingame State Park Picnic Area and spent the day getting a tan. The water at Burlingame in my opinion has something wrong with it, it is the wrong color, being too brown and rusty looking and I did not want to swim in it. I was going to snorkel but the lifeguard blew a whistle and said, No Snorkels."
Newport and Middletown Beach
Sunday morning we awoke to find Newport's First Beach was under the "red algae" curse. What a bummer, so we didn't hang out there long, but here's a picture of the Sachuest Beach RV Campground. ( 2nd Beach Campground sign and 2nd Beach Campground entrance )
We drove to Middletown Town Beach to see what was cooking there. It has changed a lot since the last time we were here several years ago. They knocked down all the remaining summer cottages and it is fenced off for the Plover Piper nesting grounds.
There was also a sign that said the the Federal government has acquired the property and made it for General Public use. However, there are still signs announcing that it is still Middletown town beach and Seasonal Passes are required. There was also signs that looked permanently in place that said, No Swimming or Wading. Here's a view of Third Beach. Early morning walkers bring their dogs to walk.
We ate at the Atlantic Grill in Middletown. They have redecorated and the prices were higher.
In Middletown the US Women's Open was bringing in allot of traffic to the area. At the same time the University of Rhode Island was holding the National Athletic Competition. There was an article in the morning Newport newspaper about Governor Roland speaking there.
Fall River, Mass
We set our GPS for Fall River Mass, and headed north on Hwy. 114 to Interstate 24. It is an easy trip getting out of Newport but the ride is not so scenic. We took Hwy. 24 to Interstate 195, and it was just a short hop to Heritage Battleship Cove. You have to Exit 5, follow the ramp around and then take the next exit left, turn right and you'll be able to see the battleships. We stopped here and took some pictures. There is also a popular seafood restaurant here on the waterfront called the Regatta Club and Pub.
We drove down a little further to find the Tourist Information Center to find out where the beach is at, and saw that there is also a carousel. The carousel came from Lincoln Park in Dartmouth, is still operational, opens at noon and is 50 cents a ride. We were also informed that there isn't a beach in Fall River, even though there was years ago. The old beach now holds a pumping station. Everyone seems to go to South Shore Beach, or you can Exit 1 before the Bourne Bridge which will take you into Buzzards Bay Center, and apparently there is a beach there on the canal.
Horseneck Beach State Park
We followed Hwy. 88 south to Horseneck Beach State Park. Since they were charging to get in we took a picture and kept continuing south, then we saw the campground and stopped to get information. We left and continued south, made a right and followed a little road which took us onto Gooseberry Island. There was room for about 50 cars there, Some boats, kayaks, and skidoos were there. There were a few people sunbathing on the south shore. There was no cost to get on the island that I could see, and it was very scenic.
We left the island and traveled east along East Beach Rd, passing a lot of RV's where it seemed everyone had their little spot on the beach. Then we saw Westport Town Beach which was permit parking only. We followed the winding road and passed farms and stone walls along the shoreline and then entered South Dartmouth, which is a quaint little town and we would love to live there.
We followed Hwy. 6 into Dartmouth and almost got lost, see Cuttyhunk Marina. We also noticed the gas is about 10 cents cheaper here than Connecticut. We followed the JFK Memorial Highway and jumped back on to Interstate 195. So we didn't have any luck finding the New Bedford beach.
After exit 20 on Interstate 195 there is a rest area with visitor information. Then you exit toward Cape Cod.
To get to Onset Beach Exit 1 before going over the Bourne Bridge, at the end of the exit make a left and follow the signs. Then we stopped seeing any signs, but stayed on Onset Ave. Hoping it was the right way. We passed a motel and also an Onset campground on the way. But we found out it is not actually a public campground, it is the Community of Christ Campground, and it is made up of small cottages. We headed back up to Interstate 25 and saw a sign for a seasonal campground a little further up, but did not stop to check it out.
We were surprised when we drove into this popular hotspot called Onset Bay. Lots of little shops and restaurants, marina and beach. Very cute and cozy. The last time we were here was years ago, we had heard the John F Kennedy Jr. plane had crashed in the sound. Very sad news.
Exploring Cape Cod
On the other side of the Bourne bridge we saw the Yankee Thrift Motel, a Knight's Inn, and we got gas for about the same price as Connecticut, and then set our sights on finding Monument Beach. On the way we passed the Bay View Campground.
Monument Beach was easy to find. At the end of the road you make a left and there it is. All of the parking seemed to be on the street and there were signs that said. Parking by Beach Permit Only." So Monument Beach must be a town beach.
We kept heading south because we wanted to find Old Silver Beach too. We followed Shore Road, which was rather windy and scenic in spots. We took a side track because we wanted to see what was on Scraggy Neck Peninsula. We passed a small cozy town called Cataumet.
Scraggy Neck turned out to be a Private Community with a guard, so we had to turn around. We went back to N. Falmouth Hwy. and headed south. (or 28 A)
We passed Bay Shores and was thinking it was Old Silver Beach but it wasn't, Old Silver Beach was down further and it was packed. The parking lot was full and the resident parking lot was full. There was a sign at the entrance that said 20 dollars per car. So we drove passed it snapping pictures and headed to our next beach, which turned out to be another residential beach called Chappaquoit, and there was also a Beach Club there and Black Harbor.
So continuing on our journey southward, it looks like it won't be too long and we'll be in Wood's Hole where the Martha's Vineyard ferry is. We bypassed the route to Martha's Vineyard Ferry through Teaticket and jumped on 28 south to go to Cooke's Seafood in Mashpee to eat some fish and chips. I got the Scrod and Vlad got the Haddock. He said that the Scrod was better tasting. We also got a side order of fried Scallops. Though they were delicious, we felt they were too expensive at $10.25 a half pint. Regardless the food was tasty as usual.
After eating at Cooke's Seafood in Mashpee, we headed back to Hwy. 28 because we missed the South Cape exit and wanted to go back for pictures and information. I thought I had read on the Internet that there is a campground near South Cape Beach but there wasn't.
July 3rd West Dennis Beach
July 3rd we spent the entire day at West Dennis Beach. We arrived there early and took pictures and watch it go from, "Nobody being there, to it being jam packed. It was interesting to note that most people just stood in the water talking. The waves are calm here and the beach area in the water in huge. The water is only waist deep for a long way out and there were people snorkeling, including us.
In the water was crabs running around and other miscellaneous sea creatures. I t was pretty cool, the water seems too salty though. It was getting hotter and we were getting too much sun and were wishing we had a beach umbrella. We decided to take a walk on the beach and went to check out north of the beach where the snack bar is, because it seems that that's where most people congregate. We ordered a chicken sandwich and large Pepsi at the snack bar and found out they had a shower in the restroom, so that's cool. The snack bar food was better than average, and the Pepsi was large, just like they are suppose to be, a full 16 ounces.
We stayed till everyone was leaving, and then packed it up and went looking for a Dunkin Donuts for coffee using our GPS. We found the nearest one was in Dennisport so we headed that way. While we were sitting in the Dunkin Parking lot we saw the Dennisport Motel had Vacancies and drove over there and got a room. While Vlad unpacked a few things, I walked down to the Dennisport House of Pizza, and got a large pizza. We wanted a medium, but they don't have medium pizzas. I walked back, we showered and then enjoyed our room and pizza.
July 4th Nickerson State Park
In the morning I made a webpage for the Dennisport Motel and showed the owner, and got more information from her about the occupancy. Then after saying good-byes and checking out of the Dennisport Motel, we stopped at Dunkin Donuts.
We left and went to find and take pictures of the Museum of Natural History but it was closed because of July 4th. Vlad said there is a nice trail across the street from the museum and he followed it quite a ways taking pictures. We left there and travel west and passed Kate's Roadside Diner. Then followed a road and wound up at Paines Creek, which is also called the Brewster Town Beach. We took some pictures, but couldn't stay because you need a parking permit.
We went to Nickerson State Park and they had a spot available and we took it. #19. We stopped at the campstore and bought a tarp because we heard that rain was coming. We set up the tent and covered it with the tarp.
Then we went to a roadside restaurant nearby called Cobies and got cheeseburgers and fries. See Cobies flyer and see Cobies menu Then we drove to find First Encounter beach and got there just as the July 4th fireworks began. So we were able to see all of the East Coast fireworks going off at once. It was real cool. Then Provincetown set theirs off and Wellfleet, and Truro.
We left First Encounter Beach and came back to the campsite and slept.
The next morning I made a campfire and when Vlad woke up we went to get coffee at the campstore. We got there just in time before many campers showed up for coffee too. Then we went to see the beach at Nickerson. Vlad got out and took some pictures. He said it was a small beach - no lifeguard stands. I wanted to snorkel but he wanted to go check on getting some tires and a belt changed. We accomplished neither. We stopped at Midas and they were no help, then we stopped at Firestone and he said the tires will come in tomorrow because the holidays delayed shipping.
So we drove around a lot today looking for some Michelin tires and had no luck. Everyone pretty much said that Michelins had to be ordered. We found a Dunkin across the street from Firestone, and a Brooks Pharmacy. I got some 7up, marshmallows, and Vlad a Arizona tea.
Then we found a Agway and I got some Showsheen. While we were in Agway it started pouring rain. We left there after asking where a grocery store was, But in Cape Cod they call them Food Stores. We were directed to a Stop and Shop in a shopping Mall and there was a Marshall's and a CVS there too. We checked them all out while it rained.
We drove back to the camp and made a campfire. The rain is pretty much over now, and the tarp saved everything from getting wet. After checking the weather on the Internet we saw more storms coming and sure enough it poured all night.
July 6th Exploring Hwy. 6A North Cape Cod
Thursday morning we awoke to everything being wet, including the firewood, so we went to get Dunkin and then took a drive to find out what is unique about Cape Cod. The first stop was at Skaket Beach, where we took some pictures
The we drove along a road and came across Rock Harbor Deep Sea Fishing Port. By this time it had started pouring rain again and all the pictures are wild, and not so clear, but I took pictures of most of the Deep Sea Fishing Boats and their information.
We jumped back onto Highway 6 and came across a sign for Fort Hill and decided to check it out. By this time it had almost stopped raining and we took pictures of the historic house that sits there at the information sign. It turns out that there wasn't a fort there at all, it is like the first minister's house, who was a Calvinist. We picked up a brochure at the National Shoreline Visitor Center. The information sign said there was a whaling captain named Edward Penniman living here in 1867.
National Shoreline Visitor Center
National Shoreline Visitor Center was full of pictures, brochures, and occasional movies about Cape Cod. In the bookstore where I was tempted to buy every book in there, especially one on 1890's paperdolls and make your own lighthouse, but alas I didn't get them. We asked the officer at the desk for a brochure on the National Seashore Beaches and the lighthouses. There was also a display of whale bones and a display of seashells.
Nauset Light Beach and Lighthouse
If you keep traveling you'll come to the Nauset Light Beach and Nauset Light Lighthouse. The road deadends though, and you can park for a few minutes to get out and takes some pictures, but then you'll have to turn around and go back. There was a sign that says the Nauset Light is open Sundays 4:30 to 7:30 See another picture of the Nauset Lighthouse.
Nauset Light Beach is not the same beach as Nauset Beach which is located in Orleans, but it is National Seashore.
Three Sisters Lighthouses
Make a right onto Cable Road and you can see the Three Sisters Lighthouses. According to the ranger they were moved here, it's now sort of a lighthouse collection. They are small lighthouses and reminds me of the lighthouse at Mystic Seaport. There is a small parking spot where you can have 30 minutes to view the Three Sisters Lighthouses and take pictures.
Marconi Beach and Station
We drove back out to Hwy. 6 and took pictures of the businesses and restaurants along the highway. Then we ran into a Marconi Area and followed the road to Marconi Beach but was greeted by a ranger that wanted $15 to get into the Marconi Beach area. We quickly turned around and went back out, turning down the road that said Marconi Station. We followed it and passed the National Seashore Headquarters, and then wound up at a spot called Marconi Station. It had restrooms, scenic views for pictures and parking, and it is free. We parked and took a stroll and saw observation towards and a path to a beach.
So this is good. If you don't want to go to a beach, but just get some scenic views, here ya go. As it turns out this is where Marconi sent the first transatlantic telegraph. Wow.
We started traveling north on Hwy. 6 and turned off to check out the Wellfleet Tourist Info Center, and picked up several brochures on Wellfleet, asked about the beaches in the area, and what is so unique about Wellfleet, in which she replied, It's an Art Gallery Town.
We made our way to Mayo Beach in Wellfleet down near the pier, and across the street from a popular restaurant called the Bookstore Restaurant. Mayo Beach is a public beach and it's free. Plenty of free parking is there too.
We left Wellfleet via their Main St. and saw all the Art Galleries. Cute little town for sure. We exited onto Hwy. 6 and headed back to Camp Roland C. Nickerson State Park The traffic is getting too heavy by 1pm and we wanted to eat at Cobies again, and go back to dry out our tent from all the rain. This time at Cobies I ordered the fish sandwich, cheeseburger and 1 large fry. Great!
After drying out our tent, we left to go find a beach and wound up at Paines Creek for an awesome sunset, the sand fleas were vicious though.
We had a good nights sleep after showering in Area 2. I uploaded the Paines Creek page, and I also have completed Monument beach, South Cape Beach, Onset Beach, Old Silver Beach, West Dennis Beach, Horseneck Beach and Campground, Nickerson State Park, and the Museum of Natural History.
Friday, July 7th Provincetown
This morning we made coffee and left to go to Provincetown before it get jamming. We want to find a place to park early, and have breakfast there. On the way we stopped to take pictures of First Encounter Beach, Cahoon's Hollow (Wellfleet) which has a restaurant there called the Beachcomer, restrooms, and lifeguards. The catch is that you have to travel down a sandy cliff to get to the beach.
Three surfers stood at the edge of the water wondering where all the waves were at, because it was really calm, and Newcomb Hollow does not have snack bar, they do have lifeguards and restrooms, but the same situation where you have to travel down a steep embankment. I think these beaches are free beaches according to the Wellfleet Tourist Center, but they are also part of the National Seashore.
We left after taking pictures of Newcomb Hollow Beach, and traveled hwy 6 and started taking pictures of the beach motels along 6A. We found a parking spot on Commercial Street about 8 blocks from the center of town, there were several other spots closer, but they were taken up quickly.
We walked to the center of Provincetown and was heading toward the Pier when we decided to have breakfast at the Surf Restaurant. It honestly was not the best breakfast we ever had, but it was priced right and we took a chance. The view was terrific tough. We sat on the patio deck. The waitress was very cordial and was at our every wish and command. Her name was Marla. She told us about the Provincetown Pilgrim Tower and where to get the best Salt Water Taffy in town.
The Provincetown Pilgrim Tower
We left there and walked to the Provincetown Tower, passing a small shop that said, Discount Pilgrim Tower Tickets. The lady there was a local and very nice. I asked about what it was like living in Provincetown. She said it was boring during the winter, but not as cold as people thought. I asked her if it was expensive to live here and she replied, Yes, very expensive. She added that she bought her house and property for $10,000 fifty years ago and now it was worth two and a half million.
We paid six dollars each for our tickets, which they are normally seven dollars, and walked towards the tower. It was a walk up a hill, and at the top, a parking lot and the entrance. We viewed the construction of the Pilgrim Tower displays before climbing the tower. I took pictures of the city wall plaques in the tower and a view looking up, and at the top, a view looking down. Also the views from atop the tower, which I must say was very nice. The walk up was almost too much though, but the stairs are spaced by landings.
After leaving the tower we stopped at Cabots where the waitress said they had the best Salt Water Taffy, but after purchasing a box, I know I have had better taffy before. I should have tried the taffy at the Penny Patch across the street.
We walked back to the car, by this time it was 1:30 and we drove out of Provincetown, stopping at a fun beach shopping spot on Hwy. 6 to buy 2 Boogie Boards. We went back to the campground and headed to the campground beach and boogied and snorkeled. Nickerson Beach is pretty nice, though small, and has lots of nice sand in the water. No lifeguards but the moms and pops were their watching the kids anyway.
The Wellfleet Drive In
We stopped at Combies afterwards, grabbed some more cheeseburgers and a huge strawberry milkskake, and went back to First Encounter Beach. I took some pictures and we stayed here till 7:30. We are going to the Wellfleet Drive-in tonight to see the Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man's Chest.
When we drove to the Drive In it was already half packed, and cars were already in line, even though it was still an hour from movie start time. It was nice to be in a Drive In again after all these years. But Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man's Chest didn't turn out to be as good as we thought it would be, and they have continued it as a sequel. So we were bummed. It's kind of leaving you hanging, not knowing the last chapter of a book. We didn't stay for much of the second movie called "Cars" because we were falling asleep.
Saturday July 8th Wellfleet Flea Market
Today is the hubby's birthday and we remembered that the Wellfleet Drive In has a Flea Market today so we're going to go check it out.
The Flea Market at Wellfleet Drive In was a lot of fun. They charged us two dollars to get in to park though. We found a wool sweater there in a style that we have been looking for for years, and it was a fraction of the cost. Then we picked up some camping supplies that we forgot at home. We got some fries and a large coke and continued our stroll through the vendors, here's the drive in playground. It was getting 2:30 and several of the vendors had already packed up and left.
We stopped at Stop and Shop and picked up some corn on the cob, potatoes, and a steak and went back to Nickerson State Park. We grabbed our swimwear and walked down a path from our tent site to take a swim in the lake. It was really nice. I believe the entire lake at Nickerson has sand all on the bottom, and it is so clear it's amazing. We came back and grilled, and enjoyed our last evening at Nickerson.
Sunday July 9 Leaving Cape Cod
Sunday Time to check out of Nickerson State Park. Should we stay or should we go... that is the question. We left and stopped at a local Laundromat to wash all our camping clothes. I think we're going to be heading out of Cape Cod to catch some beaches along the Eastern Mass coastline.
Well, we missed our exit coming out of Cape Cod and wound up having to exit 2 onto route 58, supposedly bypassing several of the east coast beaches like Scusset Beach and Sagamore Beach. Now it appears we are heading for Miles Standish State Forest,. Who knows where the wind will blow us...
Next stop Plymouth Mass
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