Take a captivating trip through the Cape Cod National Seashore with miles of white sandy beaches, trails and hikes to take your breath away, and majestic dunes. Just keep reading and you can visit all those places right now.
The Cape Cod National Seashore is a 4,308-acre park set aside by an act of congress in 1961 to preserve and protect a unique geological area and wild life habitat of New England.
Cape Cod is about 60 miles south of Boston, Massachusetts. It was formed when the last glaciers to visit the region melted about 12,000-years ago leaving a large lake. Because of special features and material surrounding the glacial lake, the water drained out exposing the sediment and deposits left by the glaciers from earlier times.
With the rising sea level and the protection from the battering ocean provided by Georges Bank gone, nature started to reshape the whole of Cape Cod — especially the Atlantic facing National Seashore area.
The relentless shaping of the Cape continues even today. But this is the place to come to escape. This is the place to come to experience nature.
So let’s take a brief Cape Cod vacations trip together. Are you ready?
The first stop on your trip is Nauset Beach in the town of Orleans.
The entrance to Nauset beach is located in East Orleans at the end of Beach Road, where there’s a large parking lot. The lot is about 2 miles from Routes 6/6A. During the summer months you’ll pay to use the lot.
Protection is the name of the game at Nauset not just for the dunes, but the birds nesting in the spring. Always pay close attention to beach erosion and bird nesting protection signs anywhere during your Cape Cod vacations. Heeding the signs means the area could still be here next time you visit.
At the entrance to the beach you can turn left and walk North, or take the South walk by turning right. Both walks offer spectacular views and hidden areas of the Cape even many residents haven’t discovered. Time your walks to be at low tide so you’ll be walking on exposed sand bars on the North walk, or have a dry crossing to Pochet Island on the South walk.
In the summer Nauset beach is very popular with vacationers, but there always seems to be room even at the busiest times. Swimming is good — but stay close to the shore. It’s the Atlantic Ocean so it’ll be a little cooler than on the Cape Cod Bay side or the Nantucket Sound beaches.
National Seashore Eastham Visitors Center…
The Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham is your next Cape Cod vacations stop. It’ll orientate you to the park, and provides short films, a museum, and free maps for hiking and biking trails.
Note: The Salt Pond Visitor Center building has been closed for renovations since 2003. It’s due to reopen in 2005 – in fact right about now!
Starting from the visitor center is the short and easy 1-mile loop Nauset Marsh Trail that follows a path around the salt pond and Nauset Marsh before returning to the visitor center. It’s a varied terrain of salt marsh grasses, juniper and bayberry bushes, and a great place for bird watching due to the proximity of the marsh.
The salt pond itself is a glacial kettle pond that was once freshwater but the ocean has seeped through.
The Lighthouse Beaches…
Two wonderful beaches to visit in the Eastham area are Coast Guard Beach and Nauset Light Beach.
Coast Guard Beach can be reached by bike from the bike trail from the Salt Pond Visitor Center, or by car from Nauset Road off Route 6 directly after the Visitor Center — just follow the signs to the lot on Doane Road. This beach is a favorite walk of mine at low tide, and was the area where Henry Beston wrote The Outermost House. Sadly the blizzard of 1978 washed the cottage where he lived while writing the book — out to sea.
Yet another example of the awesome forces continually sculpturing the Cape Cod National Seashore.
But here’s another gem of a beach for you…
Nauset Light Beach can be reached from Brackett Road also off Route 6, and then Cable Road and Ocean View Drive. The parking lot is small and fills up quickly in the summer.
Close by the beach is Nauset Lighthouse. Originally built in Chatham in the late 19th century, it was moved here shortly after, and moved again in 1996 when erosion of the cliff threatened to collapse the lighthouse.
The beach is popular for the imposing and towering cliffs and clean white-sand, and walks that create memorable Cape Cod vacations.
Great Island Hike in Wellfleet…
The Great Island hike in Wellfleet is a 6-mile hike, so allow yourself at least half-a-day to explore this wonderful area.
Located on the Cape Cod Bay side of the Cape in Wellfleet, drive to the trailhead off Chequesset Neck Road, and prepare yourself — and camera — for an exhilarating hike. The area is pretty open and so take sunscreen and a hat.
What will you see?
Marvelous views of Wellfleet Harbor and Cape Cod Bay await you once on the island (hint: it’s not really an island anymore).
Another hint: this is a real nature hike. There’s no sandwich bar or coke machine waiting for you at the end, so take your own snacks and drinks. Of all the trails in the Cape Cod National Seashore Park, this is perhaps the most remote — and I like that!
Out on the Island itself there used to be a secluded Tavern used by Whalers and the like. Nothing remains of it today except for a sign to mark the spot where it was.
National Seashore Province Lands Visitors Center…
The visitor center in Province Lands is off Route 6 and on Race Point Road. This is the northern tip of the park, and marks our final stop together on this Cape Cod vacations trip.
The Visitor Center itself has an observation deck where you can view the majestic surroundings of ocean, forest, and the omnipresent towering dunes. The area includes two swimming beaches — Race Point and Herring Cove — a bike trail, and a walking trail. There’s also a beautiful lighthouse at Race Point.
The bike trail is a challenging 5.25-mile loop that you can start from the visitor center. I’d describe it as undulating bordering on hilly.
There’s also a fair amount of hairpin turns, and so helmets and a safe speed are a must. Believe me the downhill stretches are so exhilarating, but you can easily forget and misjudge bike traffic coming the other way. I’ve seen many a tangled mess — Ouch!
And that’s the end of this brief trip.
Wow! You did a lot in a few minutes – from your chair. But now it’s time to do the real thing. Are you ready?
Archive for » June, 2012 «
Making travel arrangements isn’t like it used to be. I mean, you can still do things the old way if you want. But, you can make things so much easier on yourself if you take advantage of the latest trends.
Years ago, putting a travel package together wasn’t impossible. But, travel agents weren’t keeping all their information up to snuff. You would get to your destination and find out that there was a better hotel just down the street. There are better places to eat on the other side of town. There are events you could have enjoyed for much cheaper than gate prices if you had only known.
Look For Yourself
Now, it’s so much different. The Internet has helped to leverage everything. You can look for yourself at destinations on the other side of the world. You’re no longer the blind asking the blind. Travel agents have to keep themselves up to date if they are going to be able to compete for your business.
An individual who would like to travel can simply compartmentalize their entire trip and get the best deals on everything they plan on doing. Some people might look at it as a hassle. But most people find that planning their vacations just keeps them motivated until it is their time to go.
Plenty of cities offer package deals in what they term a city ticket. You can look for city tickets on the Internet and find out who has them as well as where to purchase them. City tickets get you front of the line privileges at the city’s greatest places. You can get discounts on great food and you get to see the greatest sights the city has to offer.
A great way to keep from losing your money is the exchange card. Plenty of hotels throughout the world offer them to visitors so that everything they purchase at the hotel can be bought with the exchange card. That way you can’t lose your money and it can’t get stolen. The card can get lost, but you can get reimbursed by reporting it in a timely manner. Some hotels throughout the world have a deal with certain merchants in town. You can use your cards their as well. Most of the time, those merchants are the best place to go anyway. Whether it’s a restaurant or a souvenir store, you get the best deals and you can use your exchange card rather than carry cash with you all over the place.
Guides know those little things that only the residents know. If you want the best food, ask a guide about the best restaurants. If you want to have something interesting to do, ask a guide to show you. Guides know the culture. Most of the time, they grew up there. Wherever you want to go in this world, there is a guide you might want to hire to show you around. Don’t go somewhere unless you plan on really experiencing the place. That’s where a guide comes into play.
Making travel arrangements has taken on quite a few changes. For the most part, these new trends are for the best. They facilitate making travel accommodations easier for the individual and that takes business out of the hands of the travel agent. In order for them to draw some of their business back, they are going to need to stay up to date on their information and make sure they are offering the best deal possible. That’s the art of capitalism. Enjoy the rewards!
It can be intimidating and nerve wracking to drive around New York City, Queens and parts of New Jersey and Long Island due to the traffic congestion and swarm of cars. If you add to this the anxiety usually involved in taking a flight and meeting a time deadline, this can really compound. Of course you also have to factor in potential traffic jams, parades, construction issues, lane closures and accidents when you drive.
If you are trying to make a flight out of JFK airport, Laguardia (LGA)
These days, chances are that betrothed couples already have all of the blenders, towels, dishes, silverware, and other household items they need. With the swing toward men and women getting married later in life, most couples either have individual homes that they’ll combine once they’re married, or they have been building their own trousseau while living together. Because they’re often footing the bill for all or part of their wedding, the one thing couples don’t have is money for the honeymoon of their dreams. That’s why the latest trend in bridal registries is the honeymoon travel registry.
Perhaps a couple wants to go on a cruise, vacation in Europe, or enjoy a Disney vacation. They may dream of four-star hotel accommodations or flying first class on their favorite airline. Whatever their fantasy honeymoon, more and more couples are opting to register with an online travel agency.
With a bridal travel registry, the couple can have their dream honeymoon while wedding guests can be assured that their gifts will combine to form memories that will last a lifetime. And, the process of both registering and giving is easy and straightforward.
Essentially, a honeymoon bridal registry allows the couple to set up a personal registry web page. If the couple already knows their honeymoon destination, they can reveal that on their web page and select items to include in their gift registry. For example, if the couple is traveling to Hawaii for their honeymoon, they may decide they’d like to go to a Hawaiian luau and list two luaus (one for the bride and one for the groom) in their registry. They may also select a romantic candlelight dinner, breakfast in bed, and a hotel room upgrade. They can include entertainment and activities, such as scuba diving lessons, a helicopter ride, horseback riding, and snorkeling. The couple can even add travel items like inter-island flights, limousine service, and a rental car.
Similarly, if the bride and groom have decided that London is their destination of choice, they can include an English afternoon tea in their travel registry, dinner for two at Jamie Oliver’s restaurant, a medieval banquet, and a Harrods’ shopping spree. Perhaps they would like tickets to Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, London theatre tickets, or a tour of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. If so, they can add those items to their travel registry as well.
For wedding guests, a honeymoon travel registry makes it easy to find a personal, yet remarkable gift. Giving a sunset cruise, for example, is much more memorable than a set of mixing bowls. Gift givers can even opt to send the couple a customized gift card, or print one out and bring it to the wedding.
A honeymoon signifies the beginning of a couple’s life together, and is a welcome relief from the stresses of planning their wedding. Having a honeymoon travel registry can help make the couple’s dreams come true and give them memories to last a lifetime.
Safety and security are always a concern when you travel. Everyday, travelers venture into large metropolitan cities both domestic and international. No matter where travelers go, they will end up in locations where street crime exists. It is even more prevalent in countries where unemployment, poverty, and overpopulation exist. In some countries, a traveler watch can equal a few months salary. Often criminals specifically target travelers if they are women, or because if they carry an expensive equipment, and will often not return to prosecute if the criminal is caught.
A person who travels alone, most likely turns to be a victim of the petty crime. Person traveling alone faces more risks when compared to a person traveling with someone or groups. All over the world, we could see travelers facing crimes. We cannot just say that, travelers are targeted only for their jewels or a lump sum of money. Petty crimes take place even for a penny. The most stolen items are cash, jewels, credit cards, mobile phones, cameras, passports and even sometimes your wardrobes. Criminals are wiser than us. At times, a petty crime may end up in losing lives too. So, it is advisable to travel in groups rather than traveling alone. Though losing our money or other belongings may be a great loss losing a passport is worse. While traveling to countries abroad, passport plays a major role to depict our identity. So, passports have to be kept very safe from getting into the hands of the criminals.
One of the best ways to prevent crime is to visit your own government international travel safety information and warnings website. You will find up-to-date travel information, details on potential safety issues ranging from pickpocketing to terrorism, even weather warnings. Gather knowledge about latest travel warnings and be alert of your surroundings during your trip. If you are concerned about the safety situation, avoid border cities and unpopulated areas.
When traveling with children, teach them to tell your name, house address and contact numbers, which will be very useful if they get lost or get into the hands of the strangers. But advise them not to pass on this information to casual enquirers or over phone. Do not leave them alone in crowded places. For toddlers who are yet to communicate clearly, tie an identity tag or card.
In many big cities, you may be approached by strangers asking you your place, your details and so on. Unfortunately, when you travel alone you have to be wary of people and trusting someone you have just met is a risky business. You have to remember that personal safety is a must.
Finally, the important thing is that, travelers should be bold enough to report to the cops, when they are affected by criminals. In many popular destinations, you could find tourist police who can help you. Do not get panic in disastrous situations. Traveling not only involves handling risky situations, but also contains lot of delightful experiences.