Last October Daniel and his Mom were planning a trip to the Cape Cod region of Massachusetts for a family wedding. I hadn’t yet met Dan’s parents but his Mom invited me on the trip anyway! A little bit of pressure meeting your boyfriend’s mom on vacation, but that may be a post for another time.
Cape Cod is a hook shaped peninsula on the state of Massachusetts. It’s the site of small, quaint fishing towns, lighthouses, history and of course Provincetown, one of the top LGBTQ+ destination in America.
We stayed in the small village of Hyannis or as I liked to refer to it, The Anus. The town was definitely in it’s off season, many of the small shops and restaurants had closed down for the winter. Not everything was closed though, there was still plenty of open shops and restaurants to enjoy. We departed Hyannis to head to our first recommended activity!
#1 Bike Riding on Martha’s Vineyard
Honestly I didn’t know what the hell Martha’s Vineyard was. Dan is definitely the travel planner in the relationship, so I had to ask, who was Martha and why were we visiting her vineyard?!
Accessible only by boat or air, Martha’s Vineyard is an island just South of Cape Cod. A two hour round trip ferry to the island is $59.00 so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the island. The first ferry leaves at 8:00 AM and the the final returning ferry back to Hyannis is around 9:00 PM.
Right off the dock there are a few bike rentals to choose from. We did not book in advance, although this is an option. We chose Martha’s Vineyard Bike Rentals and paid a day rate of $30.00 for a 21 speed mountain bike. This also included a bike trail map, lock, and helmet.
We started on the Oak Bluffs to Edgartown bike route. A map of Martha’s Vineyard bike routes can be found here. The beginning of the route is laid out with gorgeous beach views to the left, as well as views of the bay to your right. If the wind and season is right, you may see wind surfers skating around the water’s surface.
After a few miles you’ll arrive in Edgartown. This well preserved 19th century village built by whaling captains has been carefully maintained. It’s cobblestone streets are a little narrow, so be sure to stay on the path and try not to hit pedestrians.
We kept cycling down to Chappy Road to catch views of Cape Poge to take in some views of the starch white lighthouse that resides there. Did you know this lighthouse appeared in the movie ‘Jaws’?
We took the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road path and cut over to County Road on our way back. Get ready to get that workout in! This trail has some major inclines, but hey, it’s good for the bod.
#2 Hiking the National Seashore
The Cape Cod National Seashore is extensive and covers most of the northeastern border of the cape, protecting an array of beaches. We chose the Great Island Trail which is about a 4.7 mile loop. This trail offers a variety of diverse landscapes, from marshland, to beach, to forest; all these worlds collide.
The beginning and most of the trail is sand. So be prepared to get sand in your shoes, or walk barefoot, which is what I eventually chose to do. Walking through the dunes can be exhausting so make sure you bring plenty of water, we recommend the KUYOU 2L Hydration Bladder.
Winding through the dunes, takes you through the bay marshlands. Speckled all throughout the soft landscape are tiny holes. Before you know it you will notice movement as tiny crabs scurry sideways, entering and maneuvering through a system of underground tunnels. I was nervous about stepping on them at first, but they were quick to get out of the way.
The marsh ends at the beginning of an enchanting pine forest. In Autumn you will find many locals, hunting the mushrooms in the forest (FYI, we later discovered this is illegal). The pines open up to a beautiful meadow.
Stepping out of the forrest transcends to a flat meadow that ends at towering dunes, constantly collecting sands carried on the winds of an ocean breeze. Hiking up to the top of the dunes gives great views of the Atlantic. We took a breather here admiring the views and one another. After we caught our breath we headed down to the beach to enjoy the ocean and search for seashells.
On our way back into the forest we encountered a very different kind of local. A coyote began walking along side us. He tested his curiosity taking a few steps towards us then turned away to head back into the meadow. He gave us one last glance, which Dan captured beautifully below.
This trail is worth every grain of sand that was stuck in our shoes. Please do not miss the opportunity to take in these gorgeous New England landscapes.
#3 Kayaking Salt Pond Bay
I just need to take a moment to give a shout out to Dan’s Mom, Mary. Mary is in her 50’s and was able to keep up with us (and sometimes even surpass us, in every activity), very impressive! Our final and most entertaining activity was kayaking in the Salt Pond Bay on the East coast of Cape Cod.
We booked our three hour kayaking adventure Cape Kayaking. with Kayaking begins in the Nauset Marsh, however, you can only kayak this area during High Tide. The Marsh provides an route to Salt Pond Bay, home to many seals who wonder in from the ocean to bob around and fish in the bay. I was anxious to see the seals, and see if I could get an opportunity to pet one. The kayak instructor ruined my dreams though when he informed that the seal would bite us and give us “seal rot.” I tried to research this further, but couldn’t find anything? I think he was just keeping us from the seal’s love.
Once we arrived to the center of the bay, little bald heads began popping up all around us. We loved watching the seals play. We watched as they would pop up, go back under and then pop up closer, and then closer; but still no pets.
We had about 6 in our group. One guy flipped his kayak and said he couldn’t do it anymore. Our guide had to tow him; he asked the amateur to help him paddle. He wasn’t helping the guide any so Mary called him out and said”you better be helping him paddle!” Get em’ Mary!
We arrived at a small sandbar and relaxed a bit. We walked up and down beach enjoying the birds, (Dan enjoyed them a little too much, see below). We then ventured back the way we came, and said goodbye to the seals!
That wraps up our Cape Cod adventures. Which one sounds the most appealing to you?