What to do in Cape Code when its dismal out?
September 11, 2009 8:46 PM   Subscribe

I've been living in Boston for the last 7 years and I still haven't made it down to the Cape! I'm headed down there this weekend with a few friends, staying in West Yarmouth not far from Hyannis. It's going to be quite a rainy weekend. Anyone have any suggestions of what we should do? What's not-to-miss even when the weather is crappy? All suggestions welcome, especially those awesomely random. We're geeky people in our late-20s who enjoy random adventure.
posted by miasma to Travel & Transportation around Yarmouth, MA (18 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Yes, that would be Cape Cod, not Cape Code =).
posted by miasma at 8:47 PM on September 11, 2009

Since you're geeky, I'll assume you enjoy a good bookstore. You must therefore go to Parnassus Books, in Yarmouthport. It was one of Edward Gorey's favorite places, if that tells you anything.
posted by cerebus19 at 8:59 PM on September 11, 2009

If you're geeky, you're just an hour away from Woods Hole! Great geek town - the Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) is there, so the whole town is more geeky than norm. I believe there's also an aquarium where you can see (and touch) different sea creatures.
posted by zippy at 9:18 PM on September 11, 2009

Speaking of Gorey, you could go to his house in Yarmouthport.
posted by jesourie at 9:32 PM on September 11, 2009

If you're up for a rather longer drive, pop over to Fall River and visit Battleship Cove.

If you've never seen a real battleship close up, it's not to be missed.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:50 PM on September 11, 2009

I haven't been, so I can't vouch for this, but Cape Cod Chips gives factory tours. I don't know if you're really into potatoes, but it could be a good rainy day activity.
posted by Diagonalize at 10:30 PM on September 11, 2009

Cape Cod is popular as a natural attraction - beaches, ocean, sand dunes. So ignore the weather and get outside and ...

-- Visit the Mass Audubon center in Wellfleet and take a nature walk
-- Go to First Encounter Beach in Eastham and walk on the same sand the Pilgrims did when they met their first Natives in 1620.
-- Go to Provincetown and walk through the Beech Forest. (Yes, beech trees, not the beach)
-- Drive out to the Chatham Light or to Nauset Light or to Lifeguard Beach and let the wind and surf knock you down.
-- Get up at dawn and watch the sun rise over the Atlantic.
-- Visit Marconi Beach, the site of the first wireless transmitter to communicate with Europe in 1903.
-- Take a fast ferry trip over to Nantucket from Hyannis. It's only an hour each way. Go out on the back deck and breath in totally unpolluted sea air and gaze on Nantucket Sound. As a bonus, the ferry will leave you right in downtown Nantucket which looks and feels like the 19th century. Walk up to the Maria Mitchell Association Observatory, which is just past downtown, and visit the place where astronomical history was made.
-- Forget Woods Hole. Everything is closed on weekends and you'll wind up sitting in traffic for the Vineyard.
-- Forget Fall River. Have you looked on a map to see where Fall River is?
-- Rent a bike and ride on the wonderful bike trail from Dennis to Provincetown.

If that's way more than you could do in one weekend then come back. The fall is the best time to visit.
posted by birdwatcher at 4:06 AM on September 12, 2009 [2 favorites]

Go to Provincetown; it's fun! While you're there, check out my favorite geeky store in the world: Puzzle Me This.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 4:14 AM on September 12, 2009

Response by poster: Awesome suggestions so far, keep 'em coming!
posted by miasma at 5:25 AM on September 12, 2009

Go to Poit's in North Eastham and have fried clams!
posted by jgirl at 5:29 AM on September 12, 2009

I'm not sure if weather will permit it this weekend, but deep sea fishing is so much fun. I went a few years ago, and almost everyone caught something, plus you get to relax in the sea air.
posted by fermezporte at 6:25 AM on September 12, 2009

I was at the Cape a few weeks ago during our other recent hurricanes. Low tide on the bay side in bad weather is dramatic. On the ocean side, bring some tea or coffee in a thermos and sit and watch the big waves. The outer Cape beaches are stunning. Other ideas:

- Climb the Pilgrim Monument (tower) in Ptown
- Whale watch - when we saw a young whale breach I realized I was not a jaded Massachusetts resident
- Take one of the Cape Cod Railroad trips
- Seconding birdwatcher's suggestion to see Nauset Light. Tours are on Sunday afternoons.
- Scargo Pottery is a kind of open air studio up in the woods. They've got some nice stuff, but it's also interesting just to see the potters working.
- I'm surprised no one else has mentioned the awesomeness that is Cape mini golf?
posted by cocoagirl at 6:51 AM on September 12, 2009

On your way down stop in New Bedford and go in the Seaman's Bethel--Melville sat in one of its pews. Or stop in Plymouth and see that one rock.

In Chatham maybe you can watch a fishing boat offload. Walk along the seashore. In bad weather and with few people around you will feel like you're at the world's edge.
posted by subatomiczoo at 7:15 AM on September 12, 2009

I'll recommend against going to the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History unless you've got small children with you. It's a nice place but definitely geared towards kids.

There's a ton of great food to be had. The best lobster bisque can be found at The Brewster Fish House. Tiny restaurant but worth every penny.
posted by kidsleepy at 8:14 AM on September 12, 2009

In Chatham maybe you can watch a fishing boat offload...

Swing by Lighthouse Beach to see if there are any more great white sharks being sighted off shore. Ten have been sighted this past week; five have been radio-tagged by biologists.
posted by ericb at 10:13 AM on September 12, 2009

The Sandwich Glass Museum is small, but pretty cool. I especially like the glass-blowing demonstrations.
posted by sotalia at 11:26 AM on September 12, 2009

1. Black Fish Restaurant in Truro or The Wicked Oyster in Wellfleet.
2. There are a lot of interesting artist galleries in Truro and Wellfleet.
3. Provincetown will still be hopping at this time.
4. My two favorite coffeehouses "Pie in the Sky" and "The Coffee Obsession" are both in Wood's Hole.
5. Take a hike around some kettle ponds. There are beautiful trails through the woods.
6. Have a drink at The Bookstore in Wellfleet.
7. Go to Mac's for lobster. PJ's for fried clams.
8. There's a drive in theatre at Wellfleet. Always fun.
9. Even if the weather is terrible, you should take a walk down the beach, IMO.
posted by xammerboy at 10:52 PM on September 12, 2009

Kind of saw this question late (it's the morning of 9/13) but if you like salt water taffy drive over to South Yarmouth and stop at the Mermaid Taffy stand. Besides one other place in Provincetown, this is the only place on the Cape that MAKES their own taffy.
posted by Hanuman1960 at 7:17 AM on September 13, 2009

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