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Location: Cape Cod
Cape Cod's unique landmass stretches from the northeast tip, Provincetown, to Woods Hole in the southwest. Known for it's beaches, lighthouses, and seafood, the Cape also has a history of early European settlement possibly dating back to 985. The region's infrastructure heavily relies on summer businesses, making the winter quiet and remote. This February, we decided to see what a winter on the Cape was like for ourselves.
After getting in at Logan International Airport, we took a three hour bus ride straight to the front door of our bed and breakfast, Inn at the Oaks. The inn is located in Eastham, which is less popular and less populated than it’s neighbors, Orleans and Wellfleet, but none the less beautiful. The 13 room inn was built in the 1870’s and has been serving guests, such as Henry Beston, since the 1920’s. We were the only people staying in the main house so our mornings were spent eating breakfast at the end of a 10 person dining room table and our evenings in front of the fireplace, stretching out on the couch with a glass of wine.
Most of the restaurants recommended to us were closed down for the season, but we managed to find a place that served fresh caught fish and chips just south of our inn. The place is Sir Cricket’s and in addition to the friendly staff they have a selection of fried seafood including scallops, oysters, and calamari. The name comes from the founder Herbert Harrison’s favorite racing dog, possibly the one that made the establishment a possibility back in 1970. Locals were coming in and out to pick up dinner orders while right next door the fish market helped a few people select the freshest fish and lobster. At $15 each we managed to get a large order of fish and chips, a coleslaw salad, and a side of fried scallops.
During the day, we walked through the woods along newly paved pathways, through the neighborhoods of classically styled Cape Cod summer homes, and up and down the windy winter beaches. From the inn, it was only 2 miles in either direction to the water and both the Atlantic and the Cape still had a few paddle boarders, horse riders, and even mid afternoon swimmers. Despite the winter, there was a restful calm on the Cape that allowed for intimate and peaceful days, a much appreciated escape for us Chicagoans.