by Donna Cain
One of my very favorite times of the day is visiting with guests during breakfast. I always love to hear about their dining experience the night before and to chat about what they are doing that day. The past few days have been rainy on Cape Cod and while I always love a good rainy day as it’s nice to think that the flowers and plants are getting watered and I can cuddle in with a good book or try a new recipe in the inn’s test kitchen…..but let’s face it rain is not good for guests visiting Cape Cod as most want to get out and explore all of the wonderful nature and unique attractions that bring so many travelers to our breath taking peninsula. Over the years of inn keeping we have come up with some great suggestions for our guests to do on a rainy day. Adding to our “Best Reading Guide to Cape Cod” are some options for our guests to enjoy while staying with us at the best Bed and Breakfast on Cape Cod, the Captain Freeman Inn!
- Our little sea captain’s town of Brewster has several must see destinations that are perfect for a rainy day. The Brewster General Store is just a few steps from the inn and is filled with wonderful gifts, memorabilia, homemade fudge, handmade baby sweaters, penny candy, and a very large assortment of oil lamps, oil lamp chimneys, hurricane globes, oil lamp shades and hard-to-find parts that they have sold for over 150 years. It’s fun to think that Captain Freeman may have walked just a few steps from his home in the 1800’s to get lantern parts that he needed to light this building.
- The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History is a wonderful stop on a rainy day and includes a peaceful observation window where you can witness marsh nature and bird life at it’s finest. The museum is constantly evolving their exhibits and both young and old can learn something new when visiting this wonderful small town museum.
- Our Brewster Historical Society has just moved into their new home on Lower Road in the beautifully restored Captain Elijah Cobb House. They have wonderful tours and events shown on their web site including historic inn tours that stopped by for tea and information at the Captain Freeman Inn this summer.
- A must stop while visiting Cape Cod, no matter what the weather, is our wonderful Brewster Ladies Library Twelve founding ladies established a subscription library in the home of Captain Mayo and opened to the public on January 29, 1853. A fun historical tidbit- Sea Captains held most of the wealth in the mid 1800’s and often donated monies for public buildings. After the ladies opened the library men were allowed to borrow books, but they had to pay more than the ladies. That rule was dropped in time:)
- Stop by the Truro Vineyards for a wine tasting and learn how they pioneered the art of maritime grape growing. Also tour their new South Hollow Spirits where they produce Twenty Boat Rums and Dry Line Gin in a 250 gallon copper pot still. We also love to recommend the Atlantic Spice Company which is just up the road and is filled with wonderful kitchen gadgets and spices, all at a very reasonable price. After all where can you get a huge bag of bay leaves for under $10
- Spend the day visiting some of the many lighthouses that are on Cape Cod. The Truro lighthouse shown below is a wonderful glimpse of time gone by. Also check out a previous blog on this site where I summarized 11 of these wonderful historic buildings.
- We have a wonderful railroad that runs year round and includes scenic routes with lunch and dinner. The Cape Cod Central Railroad is a perfect way to enjoy a nice leisurely ride on the tracks and to see Cape Cod from a different perspective.
- Many of our guests enjoy an afternoon matinee on a rainy day and we love to recommend Cape Cinema in Dennis which is far from your typical movie house. It includes a vintage red velevet curtain, an art deco mural on the rounded ceiling by Rockwell Kent and includes many artsy movies. Check out the selection at www.capecinema.com After your movie walk next door for a wonderful meal at a new restaurant called Encore Bistro and Bar which has fabulous food and a relaxing cape cod atmosphere.
- A must see stop whether it’s sunny or raining is the Cape Cod Canal Visitor’s Center, open from May- October 30th. Operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Cape Cod Canal Visitor Center offers excellent insight into the rich history, fascinating features, and vigilant operation of the Cape Cod Canal. There is also access points along both sides of the Canal for biking, walking and picnic areas. After your visit to the Canal enjoy dinner at the acclaimed Flynn’s Irish Pub.
- Enjoy an afternoon treat or coffee at the Cottage Street Bakery in Orleans (their European Dirt Balls are to die for! ) or the Chocolate Sparrow for a homemade hot fudge sundae. Orleans has a cute downtown area for shopping, and we have plenty of large umbrellas to keep you dry.
- Chatham Marconi Maritime Enjoy seeing an interactive display of both a real German Enigma-cypher machine and two electronic Enigma simulators, which allow visitors to encrypt and decipher their own messages. World War II history buffs will love this place.
- Enjoy an afternoon of candle pin bowling and barbecue…..what a perfect combination. We brought our family to this wonderful bowling alley during Christmas and had a blast!
- Heritage Museum and Gardens is a wonderful destination and includes many festive events for the holidays. We always include a stop at the Dunbar Tea House when visiting the museum.
- Last but not least we love to recommend our guests visit Chatham during their stay with us. It’s a wonderful old fashion village that has many upscale shops and restaurants. The Chatham Light House has convenient parking where you can see beautiful vistas of the ocean and usually you can see the playful seals if you stop at the fish market just up the street. For an added treat stop in the Chatham Bar’s Inn and have a glass of wine on their beautiful porch overlooking the Atlantic.
While I know everyone hopes for sunshine during their visit to Cape Cod we always have many ideas to make your stay pleasant and restful.