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Exploring Cape Cod: The Lower Cape (Part 3)

- Alex

My family and I have always rented houses in the Lower Cape. We’ve actually been in the same house in Orleans for six years. The reason we like renting houses in the Lower Cape is because it’s central to both the Outer Cape and Upper Cape. Just an important fact for you: as you go down the Cape, you see less beaches and more alternative activities. The Lower Cape is sort of a combination of both regions.

So far we’ve stayed in Harwich, Brewster, and Orleans and Orleans is our favorite town of the three. I think it’s our favorite because there is plenty to do there. As far as beaches go, another one of my favorite beaches is there, Skaket Beach. It’s a five minute drive from our house and is perfect for our first day. Skaket is a bay beach so the water temperature is always more satisfying than the ocean beaches. At high tide, you can swim but at low tide you really can’t…unless you want to walk out two miles past all the sandbars. But don’t get me wrong—the sandbars are really interesting and fun. We went to Skaket our last night on the Cape for the sunset and it was beyond ‘cool’. It was low tide and lots of people where there walking around and having fun on the sandbars. I love taking pictures so I had a field day! We would also go to Skaket in the morning with our bakery goods. Well…perhaps I should rewind a bit. Every morning, my family and I would wake up early and go to a local bakery and take our breakfast to either Skaket Beach or the nearby Rock Harbor. Both are the loveliest at low tide, especially Rock Harbor because of the fake trees in the water that are supposed to guide the ships into the harbor. Again, I had way too much fun taking pictures.

Another beach in Orleans is Nauset beach, not to be confused with Nauset Light beach. It’s an ocean beach but it provides really great sunrises. We woke up before the crack of dawn to see the sunrise there before we left the Cape. Let me just say…lots and lots of pictures. Nauset also holds Monday-night concerts in the summer. The adults usually stay and listen to the concert while us kids and ‘teens’ get ice cream and play on the beach.
As for dining in Orleans, our traditional first night meal is at the Orleans Inn. The Orleans Inn is historic as well as good food. It’s a cute place because it actually is an inn and it also provides nice views of the water nearby. If you’re looking for more New England fare, right across the way is The Lobster’s Claw—another one of those get-there-early places. Yes, it is touristy but if you’re craving some good ole’ New England lobster, it’s the place to go.

My relatives who join us in Cape Cod rent a house in Harwich. Harwich isn’t a very beachy town, but there are still things to keep you occupied. One of our newer activities is Bumper Boats. The entertainment center is called Grand Slam and there are batting cages as well. Bumper boats are a blast, no pun intended. You ride around in little boats bumping into other people and shooting water at them…it’s honestly great. Right down the road from Bumper Boats is Seafood Sam’s. Sam’s a fried fish restaurant that is casual and quick. I stick to the clam strips and crab cakes but every year my cousin orders a full lobster that he cracks open and eats himself…surely an adventure in itself. If you’re interested in going on a night-time swim, try out Sand Pond. It’s a small pond in Harwich that we go to every year. It’s open during the day, but at night it’s free! If you’re looking for a quaint New England town, look no further than Chatham. Chatham is one of the smaller towns on the Cape and is the elbow of Cape Cod. Chatham is filled with cute little shops and pretty harbors (as well as huge, expensive, gorgeous homes).

Next time, I’ll be talking about the Mid and Upper Cape which is, in my opinion, the ‘rainy-day’ option.
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