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Looking for some suggestions

Branchburg, New...
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Looking for some suggestions

We have rented a small cottage in Chatham with our 15 month old son for the last full week in June. Being a young family we do travel on a budget and are looking for some cost effective suggestions...beaches, places to eat, places to visit...ect. None of us have every been to the Cape so any insight you might provide will be helpful.

Thanks

Boston...
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1. Re: Looking for some suggestions

I'll just get the ball rolling. Do you like baseball even a tiny little bit? I love going to the Cape Cod League games, and Chatham does have one of the teams. This is a terrific thing to do even if you go just for the atmosphere. Low-cost. Of course, Chatham has history and many beaches, and most of that is free. You can't park at Lighthouse Beach for very long, but it might be all you need if you just want to give it a look (and the lighthouse -- there are interesting descriptive signs there). But there are many other beaches and I believe you can use any of them. Be sure to visit the Chatham Town Pier at least once. Park, then walk down nearly to the water's edge. You will see a set of wooden steps going up , and a viewing platform almost over the water. This is a great spot for seeing seals. Not guaranteed, but they do often hang around there because some fishing boats still come in to port there. We were there Saturday (June 1) and saw 3 seals. You can also get a lobster roll from the little shop there.

Chatham has some great nature preserves, like the Monomoy preserve (part of this is in Chatham, easily driveable, and part is actually on the island of Monomoy which is a whole different thing). The part on the mainland is wonderful. I love walking around Chatham, especially the part that is fairly near Lighthouse Beach. Lovely, lots of great views. It feels like the water is everywhere.

Just discovered there is a small railroad museum at the preserved railroad station in Chatham! It was closed when we were there in early June, but looked fascinating. The station is beautiful and they have a real caboose, and all sorts of stuff we could see when we looked into the windows of the museum.

I've never been to an outdoor concert in Chatham, but hear they are very nice. There is also a professional theater in town, but that might not work with your little one. There are some toy and gift stores and a five and dime type of store, and ice cream. Hope this is a good start for your list.

upstate NY
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2. Re: Looking for some suggestions

I too love going to the CC league baseball games, but they don't start until the 12th this year.

You could rent bikes with a child seat and do the rail trail.

For food, most of the restaurants have their menus online so check out the prices before you commit. We always eat breakfast in our room and save $20 a day there. There are also chain places you can go to to save $.

Chicago, IL
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3. Re: Looking for some suggestions

Oh dear, Chatham is populated pretty much with a group of realtively expensive restaurants. Fortunately you are in a cottage so you can save $$$ by cooking in a bit. For a breakfast splurge you can all go to Hanger B which is at the Chatham Airport or head to Marion's Pie shop on Rt 28 for their famous sticky buns and/or other pastries fresh from the oven .

Down by the fish pier you can buy fresh fish for your grill though it may cost less at the grocery store. For pizza George's in downtown Harwich is terrific. If you want to load up on staples and some other groceries for the week at bargain prices then stop at Market Basket. Cross the Sagamore bridge and take the (immediate) first right turn to get to the grocery store/Market Basket.

For lots of free things to do on the Cape please take a look at the Top Questions and you'll see that topic with lots of great things to do.

In addition to any beach that you can walk (avoid the daily parking fee) to also drive over to Oyster Pond which your son will enjoy. I believe the parking there is free. Find that approximately at Rt 28 and Stage Harbor Rd. If you get to the rotary then you've past it. Be sure to drive over at least to have a look at the beach below Chatham Light. You can park your car in town at Eldrige garage and they will taxi you over to the beach since you can park there only 30 minutes during the day. There's no charge for this beach but you'll need to take a picnic lunch and hope not to have to use the porta potty. One day a week (maybe Wed.) the lighthouse is open for tours. The view is spectacular. Friday night is the free concert at Kate Gould park that was mentioned. Folks go there many hours in advance and put down blankets and chairs. This might be fun for some but I find it too much work since there are many other places on the Cape for great, free music. Get a copy of Cape Week, the entertainment section of the Cape Cod Times. It is in the Friday newspaper and is free at the visitor's centers and at the realtors so you can get it when you check in. I think you can see it online too just without the coupons but you'll get an idea.

BTW, I see you are from NJ. Are you trying CC instead of a Jersey beach this summer? Hope you like it. You will find it to be quite different. Be sure to stop into one of the two Chatham Visitor's Centers and pick up somethings that look good to you. You can also chat with the staff there too.

Have fun.

Mr. Pleasant Forest is thrifty and is also in South Chatham. If he doesn't see this soon you might send him a private message to get his attention.

Branchburg, New...
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4. Re: Looking for some suggestions

Wow...I am so please with the responses that you have all provided...I've never used this forum before and I must say I am impressed. Perhaps I over stated the need to be thrifty, however we are trying to avoid breaking the bank. We choose Chatham because of its location...day trip to P-town and several other places are on the agenda. The cottage that we rented is walking distance to downtown and to the beach...evidently the bike path is at the end of the dead end road we are staying on. We are planning on heading out to Nantucket for a day...or MV if everyone thinks that is a better option? Also, I've heard about massive lines of traffic getting across a certain bridge. We are driving up to Providence on Friday June 21st and staying in a hotel. We hope to get to this dreaded bridge everyone talks about by 8am...will we be okay at that hour? A 15th month old in traffic can be ugly...

We typically spend a week in Stone Harbor or Cape May...south Jersey....we have also vacationed many times in Newport and along the Maine Coast....figured it was time to try something new...

South Chatham, MA
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5. Re: Looking for some suggestions

Cape Cod Charlie and others have given some GREAT advice this far! And remember -- since I'm a single guy living here seasonally to run a cottage colony, I don't get out much so and input I have is more based on my tenants feedback, ok?

Let's see -- food shopping -- I use Stop & Shop at rt 137 & rt 39 East Harwich -- you're likely pass it on way -- if you don't have the "club card", just say you forgot it at home & they use one.

Events -- That should be the first Friday nite band concert during stay so you MUST go to that if weather permits...if you're in Chatham when it band time and you don't go, it's like visiting Plymouth and skipping the Rock!

I've treated personal guests to lunch at the fish market take out counter by the Fish Pier -- good portions for a good price and you can sit watching the boats. -- Most eating places in Chatham tend to be pricey (IMO) but I've understood that Longshore (sp?) isn't too bad (not been there myself) --

For beaches, try Oyster Pond right in downtown -- its not really a pond but is free and has real bathrooms.

Thats it for now

South Chatham, MA
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6. Re: Looking for some suggestions

Addendum : see http://www.chathamband.com and http://www.chathaminfo.com

I've only missed about 3 Chatham Band concerts in last 10+ yrs and they have 10 every year -- and those were due to rain so some were cancelled!

You can get there at 7:30 and still find a good place to put out blanket If you're not too picky where you sit.

I'm obviously only in need of room for one chair and I often get there at 7:50pm and find my usual spot.

Regarding visiting islands: I tend to suggest driving to Falmouth and taking shorter/cheaper ferry to MV. Yes, you have traffic but it's more scenic than same amount of time on water.

Chicago, IL
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7. Re: Looking for some suggestions

If you choose to go to Nantucket you can depart right from Harwichport. If MV you can depart from Hyannis or drive to Falmouth or Woods Hole to depart.

Branchburg, New...
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8. Re: Looking for some suggestions

Thanks for all of your feedback guys...I really appreciate it. If anyone else has any other preferences or anymore insight into Nantucket or MV I am open to it...thanks again. Devin

Chicago, IL
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9. Re: Looking for some suggestions

Sorry to say that you will have to do some research and see which Island appeals to you more. I prefer MV but the next person will prefer Nantucket. I can tell you this, MV is expensive and Nantucket is hyper expensive starting with the boat ride there. Go to Nantucket only if it really beckons to you and then it might be the highlight of your trip. This is one question that no one can really answer but you.

Canada
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10. Re: Looking for some suggestions

I think if it were me that I wouldn't bother with either island with a 15 month old and just a week on the Cape. If the weather is good he'll be happy on the beach with a bucket and spade, and if he still takes a nap you can go back to your cottage for that.

You've already got quite a drive to get to the Cape and you have to drive back again so you might be happier limiting your driving on the Cape. Only you know how your child is about travelling etc but in my opinion if he's happy everyone is happy and vice versa.

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