Saturday, May 21, 2011

Eastham, MA to Brewster, MA on US Route 6 (A)

Before leaving Eastham I paid visits - or at least photographed these sites:

     Coast Guard Beach (top rated beach in USA); wide, clean and popular, and shrouded in mist on the day I visited.
    Nauset Light
   Three Sisters Lighhouses
    Edward Penniman House; Proof that Whaling Captains were rock-stars of their day, this commanding 1868 French-Second-Empire styled home was the first house in Eastham with indoor plumbing and the town’s first flush toilet.  It sits right across the street from the Fort Hill B&B and is open periodically for tours.
          Salt Pond Visitors Center; at the Cape Cod National Seashore. Walk through the door to a panoramic view of Salt Pond, a typical Cape salt marsh, inlets and attendant wildlife.  The museum bursts with harpoons, scrimshaw and other whaling and lobstering paraphernalia, along with information about the indigenous Wampanoag – the “People of the First Light” who made their home in this 4:40am sunrise, first-light-land 10,000 years ago. Park rangers are on hand to steer you to the best hiking trails whether you’re into lighthouses, birds or just fresh sea air.  This is what JFK meant when he signed in the bill authorizing the National Seashore as a place “to preserve the natural and historic values of Cape Cod for the inspiration and enjoyment of people all over the United States.”  If you don’t feel at one with nature here, something is seriously wrong.
      Route 6A begins again in Orleans, but before taking the turnoff towards A, I headed to Rock Harbor to see: 
    Church of the Transfiguration in Rock Harbor; some call it a monstrosity; others say it’s out of place.  But there’s no denying that this sprawling modernist church imposes itself on this little fishing village.  Most bizarre is the black angel that stands atop a rectangular bell-tower.
Route A runs from Orleans to Brewster under the faster Route 6.  Stay on 6A to see: 
Brewster, MA General Store

Brewster General Store
     The Brewster Store; It’s the old fashioned General Store of Yore (only the prices here are inflationarily modern).  Baskets of tchothkes, a hodgepodge of stuff, you could browse around for hours.  Cobalt glass, lobster magnets, fudge, and those candy sticks (4 for $1) I will always associate with school field trips can be found among suspenders, mood rings ($3), antique tin signs and a bazillion other things on 2 levels.
     Cape Cod Museum of Natural History - where the Big Mouth Bass captivated me no end.
    Nickerson SP; for those planning to camp on the Cape, there are some great sites on a large kettle-pond in this forested area of Brewster.
Cobie’s Clam Shack; typical fried clams, ice-cream, etc. since 1948. A traditional stop for those who summer here. If your pockets are light eat here, if you're due for a splurge, 

Chillingsworth Restaurant
Chillingsworth Restaurant and Bistro; Chef/owners Nitzi and Pat Rabin believe in transcendent experiences when it comes to dining.  And they sure deliver.  Zagat’s deemed Chillingsworth “worth the drive from anywhere.” I’ve had haut meals the world over and I’d rank mine here among the best.  If you want to rush or catch a movie, ask to be seated in the Bistro – a more causal and lower priced ($25 3 course menu)– part of the restaurant.  For a meal to savor, reserve a table in the original home built in the late 1600’s.  Each intimate room is dressed in French and Early American finery.  The couch in the single table “Library” has seen many a bended knee according to Pat; it is a popular spot to propose marriage.  I sat in the Empire Room – portraits of French Royalty adorn the walls.  Black/White Truffle Mac and Cheese, perfectly balanced tuna taretare ringed by mango puree, a trio of ambrosial soups (refreshing cold melon, piquant lobster bisque and tomato clam broth) perfectly seared Cape Scallops sitting on a bed of fresh corn risotto, a cloudlike lemon custard for dessert – this is a special meal – made even more special when owners come out to greet each guest when the rush is over.  Outstanding, transcendent and worth the splurge. (1/4 mile from the Old Sea Pines Inn)


Rowantree Room at Old Sea Pines Inn

Old Sea Pines Inn
Old Sea Pines Inn
Old Sea Pines Inn;  I could look for months (or years) and not find inn owners more low-key and NICER than Steve and Michel Rowan who have kept a “resort of a former era” vibe alive at the Old Sea Pines Inn.  The name itself evokes steamer trunk stays on the Cape, and in fact this 24 room B&B used to be a boarding “Charm School” for young women.  I felt at peace as soon as I walked into my room – the Rowantree -  on the 2nd floor.  No TV.  Small sitting room, burnished wooden floorboards, floral quilts on the sleigh bed –I just felt the presence of many happy vacationers.  Each room is different, clean, and beautiful. Old Sea Pines is not on the beach.  It is not high tech or “stylish.”  “It is what it is, and we want it that way,” Michele told me. And it works. During the summer, the Rowans host a Musical Dinner Theater ($58 includes dinner and a show) in the bright enclosed patio where a hot breakfast is served every morning.  Four family suites are “designed for young, happy, vibrant families,” said Steve.  And during weekends in warm months, there’s bound to be a wedding on the property.  This place is a rare find; a nurturing and “resort” getaway at more than reasonable rates. ($85 for shared bathroom - $165 per room in season, includes breakfast.)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Malerie!
    My name is Jane and I'm with Dwellable.
    I was looking for blog posts about Brewster to share on our site and I came across your post...If you're open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you :)


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