Article by Sam Dostaler
Are you going to Cape Cod but only have a weekend? How do you decide what you are going to do in such a short amount of time? There are countless things to do on the Cape in the summer from the beach, biking, whale watching, taking in a Cape Cod Baseball League game, mini golf, wineries and breweries. But when you have just about 60 hours, how to do you prioritize your itinerary? Well luckily we are here to help.
Recently we rented a house in Brewster, part of the Lower Cape, for a weekend with a group of friends with the goal of jamming in as many outdoor activities into 2.5 days as possible. We choose our Brewster home because of its prime location so that we could limit our driving and avoid the Cape traffic and centrally locate ourselves near our weekend activites.
The home we choose was just about a 1/2 mile from Linnell Landing Beach and in the other direction a 1/2 mile from the Cape Cod Rail Trail. We were also less than ten miles from a number of restaurants, breweries, additional beaches and Cape Cod Baseball League options.
In order to maximize our time we left for the Cape early Thursday morning arriving prior to our house check in time so that we could grab lunch at one of our favorite seafood stops, JT’s Seafood in Brewster, and the grocery store. Once we arrived at the house we got everything set up for the weekend before wandering down to Linnell Landing Beach.
We have been to Brewster a number of times but never to Linnell Landing Beach and what a stunning site it was to behold. When we arrived, it was low tide, with the tide stretching nearly a mile out offering us the perfect opportunity to wander out a ways to toss the football.
Tip: If you are looking for a great photo of the beach head up the dunes, from that vantage point you can really see how far the tide goes out. It is also a great spot to sit and just unplug for a while.
After the beach we freshened up and headed out to dinner to another one of our favorites, Land Ho! in Orleans. Filled with signs from around the Cape and license plates from around the country, Land Ho! offers an expansive menu with something for everyone in a relaxing and fun atmosphere. Something to note is that Land Ho! is often packed so build in some time to wait for your name to be called.
We opted for an appetizer of New England Clam Chowder (wow!) and for a main course the Roast Beef Sandwich with Natural Gravy, paired with a beer from Hog Island Beer Co. Now you might think why get a Roast Beef sandwich for dinner, but the Land Ho! sandwich is different, simply put it is out of this world, stocked full with enough tender beef to feed two people.
Following a day of travel and some activities we advice you get to bed early so you can get the most out of your two full days on the Cape.
Friday started with a relaxing stroll to the beach and some games around the yard. For us one of the big advantages of the house, versus a hotel, was the yard. It allows for so many options from yard games to eating outside to easy storage. Throughout the weekend our yard rotated between croquet course, dining room and bike storage.
Our Friday itinerary included walking roughly 1/2 mile to Cobies Restaurant for some fresh seafood at a very good price and then playing a round of golf at The Captains Golf Course in town before returning in time to watch the spectacular sunset on the beach. If you are looking for awe-inspiring sunsets then your best bet is to find a spot on the bay side of the Cape facing west.
Other options for your Friday could have included driving 15-20 minutes to explore downtown Chatham with Chatham Light a short distance away or stopping by a Cape Cod Baseball League game. There are many options within a half hour including Brewster, Orleans just minutes away and Harwich, Chatham a little bit further.
The busiest day of the weekend for us was Saturday, the second straight gorgeous sunny day. We started the day by taking a short bike ride to the beach, this only set the stage for the first portion of our days activities. Once the group was ready we headed for the Cape Cod Rail Trail to combine exercise on the beautiful trails with a trip to Hog Island Beer Co. in Orleans.
Tip: If you need to rent a bike a few people in our group stopped at Brewster Bike Rentals for a good deal on rentals.
We didn’t know what to expect as we peddled towards Hog Island Beer Co., other than we knew it was just off the trail. When we arrived we walked into the perfect Cape Cod brewery with outdoor seating and yard games (corn hole, Connect 4) that flowed right into the open air tap room that included a stage for performances and a ping pong table, shuffle board table, Jenga and arcade basketball hoop.
For beers we opted to sample them all and really enjoyed everything they had to offer. After playing some games, we ordered some reasonably priced food from the bar before opting for their signature beer, the Outermost IPA to pair with the meal of pizza and wings.
Once back at the house it was down to the beach where the tide was what seemed like miles out to sea. Although it was a bit to chilly with the wind to swim the feeling that you get as you continue to walk further and further from the shore is exhilarating, it truly gives you an idea of just how to big the ocean is as you turn and look back towards to the distant shore that you were just standing on minutes ago.
Back at the house we opted to ease ourself into our last night by cooking up some surf and turf and enjoying it on the picnic table in the backyard. We brought the steak from home but the lobster and steamers came from Breakwater Fish & Lobster Market just around the corner. The homemade dinner with friends was the perfect way to end the evening.
Sunday came in as a cloudy day and after packing up the house a couple of us snuck in a round of mini golf at Cape Escape in Orleans to cap the weekend.
Of course you can spend a week, two weeks or more on the Cape and still feel like you don’t want to leave, but in one weekend you can leave thinking I got the full Cape Cod experience.