Saturday, May 21, 2011

And I'm Outa Here: US Route 6 (A) From Provincetown, MA to Eastham (Fort HIll), MA

Cottages on Route 6A, Provincetown, MA
Cottages for rent along 6A in North Truro, MA
I left Provincetown, heading west on 6A rather than the more "interstate" like "Mid-Cape Highway" 6. 6A was the original route and parallels the swifter moving Route 6 here but takes you through a parallel universe that hasn't left the 1950's.  It's worth it to drive slowly just to soak in the old shacks and cottages.   

6A winds through salt marsh and dunes for about 8 miles before you reach the town of Truro where 6A merges with 6.  I spent a few minutes in the Vineyards and Atlantic Spice: 

Truro Vineyard Trademarked
Lighthouse Wine Bottles
  Truro, 11 Shoreline Rd @ Route 6A, Truro, MA, 508-487-6200, I love these Mom and Pop vineyards, and this one has the benefit of coastal views.  Pick up a trademarked bottle of Truro White it’s in the shape of a lighthouse.  Worth the purchase for the ocean-blue bottle alone, though the wine is decent, too. 
    Atlantic Spice;, Intersection of Route 6 and 6A, Truro, MA; Enter this pedestrian blue warehouse and you’re hit with a wonderful olfactory experience.  A spice-herb-tea-potpourri emporium, if Atlantic Spice doesn’t have it, it probably doesn’t exist.  A nice quick stop if you’ve been looking for a huge sack of cloves or 50-ct. bags of Spearmint Tea.

Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
Another few miles on Route 6 brings you to Wellfleet and another few worthwhile stops:

   Wellfeet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary;, 291 State Hwy. 6, Wellfleet, MA – to get a complete overview of Cape Cod and its varied habitats, this former bird-banding station is key.  On 1,100 acres, you can easily spend the good part of a day hiking along five miles of trails through a variety of habitats – woodlands, tidal marsh, beach, coastal sandplain, fresh water ponds.  You’ll see ospreys and otters, kingfishers and muskrats, crabs and hundreds of other miracles of nature. Walk into the LEED Certified (read: Eco-Friendly) Nature Center and sit in a sling-back chair for a bit while gazing at bird feeding stations through a wall of glass.  Just outside the front door, there’s a hummingbird/butterfly garden.

Marconi Wireless Diorama 
           Marconi Wireless Station @ Marconi Beach; Here’s an assignment for a local Boy Scout Troop; clean up the Marconi Wireless Telegraph diorama at Marconi Beach!  Though dirty and in some disrepair, this model located in the spot where the first Telegraph Station once stood (its terminus was in England), is homage to the precursor of the internet.  Planks of wood, held down by rusty chains, are all that remain of this now-antique communications center.
            WHAT Theater; stands for Wellfleet Harbor Actor’s Theater, and if you happen to be in town for a show, you might encounter a celeb taking a busman’s holiday.

PB Boulangerie

     PB Boulangerie; A stop on the popular 22-mile Cape Cod Bike Trail ( this pastry shop/cafĂ© seems to have been airlifted from Provence and plopped down in the middle of busy Route 6.  Any calories you may have worked off on the bike trail will be replenished and then some with the can’t-resist goodies gleaming within glass display cases. No wonder this place has become an instant hit.

     Wellfleet Drive In (one of few remaining drive-ins); nothing says summertime romance like a drive-in-theater.  Whether you’re 16 or 86, you can neck with your honey while watching a first-run flick from the comfort of your own car.

Driving along, I passed a slew of lobster shanties, motor lodges, motels, strip shopping centers and ticky-tackey shops.  As I wrote before, this is not an exhaustive guide of every establishment on US Route 6.  But if you do want something more in-depth or to explore more of Cape Cod, I'll refer you to the ULTIMATE source, Kim Grant. She knows the inns and outs of this 60 mile long island like no other.
Fort Hill B&B*;, 508-240-2870 is a block off busy Route 6 in the Historic Fort Hill District and its own world. Set right on the popular Fort Hill Trail and Nauset Marsh, I dropped off my luggage in Emma Suite (takes up the whole 2nd floor dormer area with antique furniture, bold mustard-yellow walls, and an adorable country-ish bathroom), and walked up the road to the trailhead. Sandbars and marsh grass lends texture to the Atlantic Ocean waterscape below – and a mile-long path dips down a cat-tailed rimmed shoreline.  Don’t miss a hushed sunset stroll before heading out to dinner.  If you balk, inn-owner Jean Avery will strongly urge you to “GO!”.  She’s the boss.  And I’m glad I listened to her.  “This is the only inn located right inside the Cape Cod National Seashore,” Jean stressed. “It’s why people come here.”  Breakfast is served at 8:30, but Gordon sets out coffee by 7:30, turns on mellow music and lights a fireplace fire (a real one!) if weather calls for it.  Jean whips up fresh fruit and yogurt parfaits, blueberry cake, pear pancakes and other toothsome dishes, served on china in a formal dining room.  Before you leave, Jean will provide you with directions to “The Tree” in Yarmouthport.  I’ll leave the mystery for you to discover.

* I was hosted here.


  1. Yay for original alignments! I hope you drive every one of them. And those cottages in Provincetown are a real throwback.

  2. Malerie, wishing you safe travels across this beautiful country! We look forward to welcoming you to Historic Ashland NE on Saturday, the 11th of June!

  3. The Days Cottages are in North Truro, not Ptown, and many artists are attracted to painting the quaint, Cape-sy Cod-sy vista!

    1. Hi LS - thanks for the information. I corrected it, as you can see. I loved those cottages - what a view!!


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