Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cape Cod Winter

I was recently asked why you would want to be on Cape Cod in the winter. My first reply would be why not. But, I guess that wouldn’t satisfy anyone who didn’t understand.
After, the bustle of summer has passed the real Cape Cod emerges. The small town atmosphere and home town quality comes back to life. Each town has their fall celebration; be it the cranberry festival, the oyster festival, turnip festival or windmill weekend. Each community has their own unique way of celebrating. It may be a parade of local businesses and families, the fastest oyster-shucking contest, the turnip cook-off or the ever-famous craft fair.
You won’t find ski resorts but you can find a quiet fire road or trail to cross country sky after a snowstorm. Your family won’t find an amusement park but you will find a beach to stroll for an hour and never see another soul. You won’t easily find a Wal-Mart or many other chain stores so you will have to shop locally where they remember your name. You may also find yourself getting lost in a general store for hours or a boutique, antique shop or even an art gallery.
Activities do exist in the winter. Some suggestions include the Audubon Sanctuary, The Natural History Museum, Cape Cod Art Museum, Cape Cod Maritime Museum, Sandwich Glass Museum, and Whydah Sea Lab and Learning Center. There is also the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, which is the largest private non-profit ocean research engineering and educational organization. You may want to travel to the Outer Cape where 44,000 acres is owned and preserved by the government as the Cape Cod National Park Service. This land is devoted to saving Cape Cod as it was when Henry Thoreau first visited and wrote about such an exquisite, rare, quiet piece of land- the winter is when you can actually have this experience.
You can go still go shell fishing, saltwater fishing, and or ice fishing. Walking, biking and yes for some surfing is still possible! The Cape does not completely close down after the summer. For most Cape Codders after the summer is when the Cape opens. It’s time to enjoy a peaceful day at the beach snuggled in a warm down jacket, watching a sunrise or sunset all by yourself, or observing a blue heron search for food in a marsh, or just drive down to the beach to read and watch the waves.
So, it’s not for the quick paced family or vacationer that’s wants to be occupied for 24/7. It’s for the people who are looking for a place to stop, relax, enjoy, and know how to entertain themselves.
Karen O'Connor


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