The End of Summer, and the Beginning of Bliss in “Old Cape Cod”
Have you ever stood in line waiting to get onto the first hole of a miniature golf course with warm ice cream melting down your knuckles and your kid yanking on the back of your shorts complaining that she’s hot and bored, all the while asking “why are we just staaaanding??”
Because, kid, Dad chose to bring the family to Cape Cod in the middle of the summer. Not only that, but he decided it was good idea to hit Route 28 on the commercial side of Cape Cod—and on a Saturday?? Jeez…nice going Dad. But hey, Route 28 is undeniably fun for a kid, and the summer is school vacation time. So Dad, you get a get-out-of-jail-free card for your errors. But an hour and a half from now, when you’ve made it through the 18 holes of sticky golf clubs, sore ankles and whining children, look deep into the eyes of the jolly, smiling whale on the final hole. He’s not laughing at you. No. It just seems like he is because right now you feel like the entire world is against you. Look again. He’s trying to help you. He’s your friend. Listen to the whale carefully…
And then it dawns on you. The whale wants you to come back to Cape Cod AFTER Labor Day weekend–and although somewhere between the 11th and 12th hole you might have snapped under the pressures of Cape Cod’s high season and found yourself sharing secrets with an inanimate, grinning object, you’ve just had a moment of clarity. You compose yourself, hand in your clubs, get the family in the car and add another chassis to the bumper-to-bumper traffic. Back at your hotel the kids decide to hit the over-populated fenced in pool, so you grab a warm soda from the humming vending machine and take a tip from your pal the whale. You Google “cape cod fall events” and a transformation occurs (no, not within you, that happened around the 12th hole, remember?).
Cape Cod suddenly seems different.
Gone are the crowds and the long lines of summer. You read about harvest festivals, ghost tours, outdoor art shows and intimate autumn craft fairs. Suddenly Cape Cod is less of a touristy, beach destination, and more like the place that Norman Rockwell kept in his mind’s eye. The destination where the crimson and golds of the rustling trees are celebrated, and the intermittent silences are only broken by a seagull’s distant cry.
Experiencing the magic of the shoulder season is only properly done by getting away from the cheap hotels and the Route 28 parking lot (yes, there is still plenty of traffic on the south side even as the season’s shadows grow longer). If you want to experience New England in all of its autumn charm, check yourself in to one of the Classic Inns of Historic Cape Cod Bay. Then keep checking that calendar of events you found on line. There are dozens of upcoming late September and early October happenings. Below is a short list of our favorites. All of the events listed are minutes from the inn of your choice in Cape Cod’s historic district. Feel free to ask your innkeeper for more information on any of the following.
Let the bliss begin…
September 25: Green Briar Nature Center Family Jam Making Workshops in East Sandwich, 1pm-3pm.
Sept 24-26: 2010 CLASH (Cape Land & Sea Harvest). THE fall festival on Cape Cod which is annual Cape-wide event celebrating the rich heritage and abundance of local foods. Tours, tastings and hands-on events Friday & Saturday. Saturday evening are the “ScoopApalooza” ice cream socials. Sunday is the season finale farmers’ market and farm to table event. See a complete schedule.
Sept 26: Slow Food Cape Cod “Farm to Table Dinner”. Spend an afternoon at Falmouth’s Coonamessett Farm and enjoy a sampling of freshly shucked oysters, listen to live jazz music, take in a farm tour and sit down to an elegant five course community meal featuring recipes from the book “Edible, A Celebration of Local Foods”. Co-founders of Edible Communities Publications Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian will be in attendance. Tickets are almost gone, so act now!
Oct 1-3: The 3rd Annual Fall for the Arts Festival in towns across Cape Cod. Fall for the Arts is a regional, free, family-friendly festival that showcases local art and culture.
Oct 8-10: By the Bay Fine Art & Craft Show, Brewster, 10am-4pm
Oct 9-10: The 2010 Sea Glass Festival held by the North American Sea Glass Association, Hyannis, Sat 10am-6pm; Sun 10am-5pm.
Almost daily through November: Barnstable Village’s Haunted History Tour. Walk the historic and haunted Old Kings Highway. There are over ten stops on the tour and eight have ghost stories including Cobb’s Hill Cemetery, the 1690 “Old Jail” and Cape Cod’s most haunted building, “The House of Eleven Ghosts”. 7pm