Cape and Islands
Wild game is the focus of a Thanksgiving dinner at Water Street, the signature restaurant at Harbor View Hotel on Martha's Vineyard this year. Created by Executive Chef Nathan Gould, the buffet, prices at $59 for adults and $25 for children 12 and under, includes local meats (venison and boar, for example, and of course, turkey), artisan breads and cheeses, salads, soups, seafood and seasonal desserts. The buffet runs from 11:30 a.m. To 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28. For information and to check out the menu, visit www.harbor-view.com
If you find yourself on Nantucket Aug. 1 and are keen on shipwreck history, this may pique your interest. Barry Clifford, shipwreck discoverer and National Geographic Underwater Explorer, will speak at the Egan Maritime Institute about his discovery of the Whydah, the first pirate shipwreck to be positively identified. The ship sunk during a storm off the Cape Cod coast in 1717 and is the only pirate shipwreck ever found with treasures and artifacts intact, he said. Clifford will also talk about the culture of the secret world of pirates of the 17th- and 18th-century Atlantic world.Two lectures are offered, the first at 2 p.m. at Egan, geared toward families, and another at 6 p.m., with cocktail reception, at Le Languedoc restaurant. There is also a dinner offered at 8 at the restaurant, with Clifford. For ticket pricing and info, visit www.eganmaritime.org, call 508-228-2505, or email email@example.com
Harbor View Hotel on Martha’s Vineyard is the official sponsor and hold of the Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival Aug. 3-4, a biennial event celebrating the island’s literary heritage, with two days of panel discussions, lectures and book signings by 30 authors. The festival kicks off Aug. 3 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the hotel, and continues the next day at the Chilmark Community Center.Saturday’s panel discussions will include Pulitzer Prize winners Tom Reiss and Tony Horwitz; Boston Globe journalists and authors Kevin Cullen and Shelley Murphy (currently covering the Whitey Bulger trial in Boston, who co-wrote a book about the infamous gangster); former Globe journalist Dick Lehr; Harvard historian Niall Ferguson; social commentator Sean Wilentz; and coming-of-age novelists Adam Mansbach, Susan Choi and Mark Slouka. A selection of authors will also speak individually about their books, including Allen Barra, “Mickey and Willie;” George Howe Colt, “Brothers;” Jean Theoharis, “The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks;” Linda Greenlaw, “Lifesaving Lessons: Notes From an Accidental Mother;” and Eric Asimov, “How to Love Wine: A Memoir and Manifesto.” At Chilmark Community Center the next day, three tents will be set up for discussions, book sales and lectures from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. All events are free and open to the public. For festival info, visit www.mvbookfestival.com. If you’re planning ahead, the hotel is offering a deal on the 2013 Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival Oct. 17-20, with a starting rate of $399 a night. The rate includes two tickets to the grand tasting Oct. 19. A Friday-night stay can be added for $169. For festival information, visit www.mvfoodandwine.com, and for information on the Harbor View Hotel, www.harbor-view.com
Need help navigating the ample arts scene on Cape Cod? The Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard chambers of commerce have launched a new “Arts App” to bring the Cape and the island’s galleries, museums, studios, performing arts and art-related events to your fingertips.There are three separate ones: ArtsApp Cape Cod, ArtsApp Nantucket and ArtsApp Martha’s Vineyard. The free apps are downloadable from all mobile devices and accessible from any PC. Each includes a map, directory of artists and attractions, event calendar and current news. You can search for things like local painters or potters, concerts or lectures, and the apps also feature geo-locational awareness, detecting your location and giving events and venues within your vicinity. New entries are constantly being added. The Apps were developed by TapWalk, a Boston-based high tech company, with funding from a Mass Cultural Council grant. The project is a joint collaboration between the chambers, Coastal Community Capital, Inc., and The Arts Foundation of Cape Cod. You can find the apps in the iTunes app store by searching ArtsApp Cape Cod, ArtsApp Nantucket or ArtsApp Martha’s Vineyard.
Provincetown on the tip of Cape Cod now has a new free smart-phone app that officials say is as unique as the town itself. The iPtown app has about a dozen different sections to help visitors and local find services, food and lodging, shopping, special events and happenings. It offers hundreds of links to businesses and attraction websites and connects users directly to businesses via phone. The app uses images particular to Ptown like a town crier, street artist, a pet fetching a Frisbee, cycling shopper, and a rainbow-covered town scene welcoming the LGBT community.
The iPtown app is free and available on all platforms.
Honoring the 50th anniversary assassination of President John F. Kennedy this November, the JFK Museum Foundation in Hyannis has opened a special exhibit, "Cape Cod: The Summer of 1963 to Nov. 22, 1963," which looks back on the president’s final months on the Cape.
"From the joyful 1963 summer memories of the President and his family, to the palpable fog of grief that settled over Cape Cod after his death, this exhibit will remind us how truly special those Camelot days were," said Rebecca Pierce-Merrick, museum curator, "and how one day in history changed it forever." The exhibit uses photos, videos, wall displays and news clips to tell the story of JFK’s last months on the Cape, where the Kennedy family spent much of that summer, including time spent mourning the death of their third child, Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, who died when he was two days old. Special new videos produced by documentary film producer and Kennedy family videographer Andrew Fone are part of the exhibit.For more information, visit www.jfkhyannismuseum.org
MBTA service from Boston to Cape Cod begins Friday when the new CapeFlyer will depart South Station, with stops in Braintree, Middleborough, and Buzzard’s Bay, before arriving in Hyannis. The specially-outfitted coach will run weekends this summer through Labor Day.
“Working closely with our partners in the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority, we are thrilled to bring rail service back to Cape Cod to help more people experience the beauty and fun of the Cape while getting there quicker and in a more enjoyable way,” MBTA general manager Dr. Beverly Scott said.
The train service is a welcome option to avoiding notable summertime Cape Cod traffic. According to the MBTA, weekend inbound traffic over the Sagamore and Bourne bridges during July and August averaged nearly a quarter-million vehicles during a typical summer weekend in 2012. Friday’s 5:12 p.m. departure from Boston is scheduled to arrive in Hyannis at 7:50 p.m. Saturday and Sunday service will depart South Station at 8 a.m. and arrive in Hyannis at 10:18 a.m. Bus service will be available at the destination, as well as free shuttle service to the nearby Hyannis docks with ferry service to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.
The coach will include concessions and bar service (following the Middleborough stop) on the Friday night trip. Bike racks will also be available. A round-trip ticket from Boston will run $35 ($20 one way).
AAA Southern New England can design trips for members just about anywhere, but in the interest of saving money and patronizing businesses in its own area, is also keen on creating trips closer to home, officials there say. One of them is “The City Get-Away Boston,” where you can spend the night at the Revere Hotel in the Hub’s theater district, eat at Four Diamond-ranked Asana at the chef’s table, go to Fenway Park for a ball game and get 10-percent off at the team store. You can also hit Huntington Theatre for a $5 discount per ticket or get $10 off at Blue Man Group.Further south is the “Family Friendly Resort Cape Cod” offering, with a stay at Four Diamond-ranked Wequasset Resort & Golf Club, dinner at the resort’s twenty-eight Atlantic, and a whale-watching trip with Dolphin Fleet Whale Watch, where AAA members get discounts. There is also the “Ultimate Luxury Beach Vacation Rhode Island,” with a stay at Five Diamond Ocean House (a giant hotel on the bluffs that was rebuilt in place of the original one that stood for many years, and using more than 5,000 artifacts and furnishing elements from the original), dinner at the hotel’s Four Diamond Seasons restaurant, and theater at the nearby Theatre By the Sea, a classic barn theater that in its glory years saw the likes of Marlon Brando and Mae West tread the boards there, and where AAA members get 10-percent off select performances this summer. For all info, check out www.southernnewengland.aaa.com
You don’t have to wait for the summer heat anymore to find things to do in Nantucket. Though things ramp up mostly after Memorial Day, and certainly by July 4, the island has a variety of early-season offerings, and hotels and inns with deals to take advantage of them.One popular event is the Nantucket Wine Festival, marking its 17th year May 15-19, with a schedule of special events such as celebrity chef cooking demos, tastings, seminars, symposia, auctions and a charity gala. For full event schedule and pricing, visit www.nantucketwinefestival.com The White Elephant is hosting many of the festival events, including the Grand Tastings and Harbor Gala, the former featuring more than 150 wineries from around the world. The gala is the festival’s signature event with 40 stations of dishes prepared by the country’s best chefs, which, naturally, are paired with appropriate wines. The White Elephant and sister properties, White Elephant Village and The Wauwinet, are offering weekend packages including stays, event tickets, dinners at Brant Point Grill and Topper’s, as well as brunches. Rates start at $500 a night. For info, check out www.nantucketislandresorts.com At Harborview Place, offered by Beautiful Places villa rentals, stay three or more nights in a one- to three-bedroom residence and get a wine festival package with access to a variety of events, including the tasting, VIP party, auction, Friday night supper club and breakfast on the harbor. Visit www.beautiful-places.com/location/massachusetts for information. Orla and Michael LaScola, owners of American Seasons, are partnering again with West Coast wineries such as Donelan Family Wines and Flowers Winery to host seminars and dinners highlighting domestic wines paired with LaScola’s take on American dishes. For information on the events at the restaurant, visit www.americanseasons.com If you have flexible travel plans, the antique inn Century House celebrates its 180th anniversary this year by offering a weeknight stay in a queen room for $180 plus tax and service during select dates in May and June, based on last-minute availability. There is no online booking for this deal: Call 508-228-0530 on the preceding Saturday or Sunday to secure a stay the following Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday night. You can also combine the special with multiple week-night stays at standard rates. And you can help celebrate innkeepers JeanEllen Heron and Gerry Connick’s 30th anniversary running the inn. Connick’s famous and massive berry breakfast alone is worth the stay. The next month, the spring version of Nantucket Restaurant Week runs June 2-9 (another runs in the fall), with a variety of restaurants participating, including American Seasons, where they offer three-course dinners from $25-$45. For a full listing, visit www.nantucketrestaurantweek.com Writers have long been drawn to the island, including historic scribes like James Fenimore Cooper and Edgar Allen Poe, and modern authors such as Nathaniel Philbrick. The 2nd Annual Nantucket Book Festival runs June 21-23, with panel discussions, interactive readings for adults and kids, and “Authors in Bars” events giving festival goers a chance to personally toast their favorite writers. A roster of more than 20 notable American writers are expected, among them Philbrick, Paul Hendrickson and Lois Lowry. The Brant Point Grill at the White Elephant, the event’s host hotel, will host the weekend’s closing brunch June 23 with Alice Hoffman, author of more than 20 novels including “Here on Earth,” an Oprah’s Book Club choice. Other events include breakfast receptions with authors Ann Leary and Amy Brill, and a pig roast at Cisco Brewery. Check it all out at www.nantucketbookfestival.org And lest we not forget the island’s nautical roots, the Egan Maritime Institute will hold “Red, Right, Returning: Present Day United States Coast Guard Lifesaving Procedures and Boat Safety” at the Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum, May 23-Oct. 14. The outdoor exhibit features present day Coast Guard lifesaving procedures, guide to boat safety and a recreational four-person life raft for anyone to try out on dry land. Back by popular demand is last year’s exhibit, “Guiding Lights: Nantucket’s Lighthouses, Keepers and Their Families,” that includes hands-on activities. Visit www.eganmaritime.org for more information.
Provincetown is long known for its art scene. Last year, Harbor Hotel Provincetown introduced ARTBEAT, a series of bi-monthly exhibits celebrating the area’s artistic bent. Beginning May 13, the hotel unveils its newest addition to the series, “Provincetown Award Winners,” featuring the best of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum’s members. The show will feature past and present award winners of the major grants, The Lillian Orlofsky Award and The Romano Rizk Scholarship. The exhibit runs from May 13-June 27, with opening reception May 16 at 5:30 p.m.
The hotel will continue to be home to rotating exhibits of paintings, sculpture, video and film, as well as co-sponsored events with local collectors and museums. It’s also a place to save some spring money: Through May 20, they have a “Pay the Temperature” deal, where daily rate is based on temperature on the day of check-in. The rate can’t be booked online but by calling 855-447-8696. For hotel info, visit www.harborhotelptown.com
Ocean Edge Resort & Beach Club in Brewster on Cape Cod, has relaunched its mansion side of the property, part of a $40-million ongoing renovation of the resort that is now complete. The Mansion at Ocean Edge now has 31 two- and three-bedroom Presidential Bay Collection villas (formerly the Bay Pines Villas) on or close to the beach, and 90 Mansion guest rooms that were done last spring.
By Kari Bodnarchuk, Globe Correspondent
Want to discover Nantucket’s best family beaches and bike routes, track down good kid-friendly restaurants or rainy-day activities, or find out how to rent baby equipment or hire a local babysitter? A new website, Nantucket-Bucket.com, offers up-to-date info on family-oriented events, activities, and resources island-wide. Look up activities and programs by topic or date. The site, started by Nantucket resident Logan Gomes, also has a blog with do-it-yourself craft projects and entries by guest bloggers from the Nantucket community. Register on the website and receive a weekly e-mail with information on activities, discounts, and special promotions. www.nantucket-bucket.com
By Necee Regis, Globe Correspondent
Here’s a good reason to hope the weather remains cool: The Harbor Hotel is offering a Pay the Temperature promotion. Daily room rates will be based on the Provincetown temperature at 2 p.m., as reported by the National Weather Service on the day of check-in. With an average temperature in April of 55 degrees, this deal could save you a bundle off the Harbor’s posted spring rates (from $99). This promotion cannot be booked online, is based on availability, and stay must be completed by May 20. Guests will be charged a $50 non-refundable deposit. 855-447-8696, www.harborhotelptown.com
Gray seals littered the beach on Cape Cod's Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge on Thursday, one of the most popular spots in New England for the mammals to enjoy the spring sun. The most recent count showed more than 15,000 seals off the coast of the region.
Can you guess how many seals are in the above photo? You can also check out more of Globe photographer David Ryan's photos from the refuge here.
By Kari Bodnarchuk, Globe Correspondent
See some of the most remarkable “dream” cars ever made, from a 1927 LaSalle to the futuristic Terrafugia flying car, during the Heritage Museums and Gardens exhibit “Driving Our Dreams: Imagination in Motion” in Sandwich. Fifteen concept cars, drawn from museums and private collections nationwide, will be on display April 13 through Oct. 27. Get up close to an Infinium solar-powered car, a 1956 Firebird II, and the 1963 personal Corvette of Harley Earl, a pioneer in auto design and the father of the Corvette. Design and test your own concept car in the Family Discovery Room, and attend talks by leaders in the automobile industry. Adults $15, children ages 3-12 $7, 2 and under free. 508-888-3300, www.heritagemuseumsandgardens.org
By Necee Regis, Globe correspondent
Take advantage of preseason rates and start dreaming about the beach. Nantucket’s retro-chic hotels, The Veranda House and Chapman House, are offering Countdown to Summer 3-2-1 packages (May 19-June 27). Includes two complimentary round-trip passes on the Steamship Authority’s Fast Ferry service from Hyannis (valued at $138) for a three-night stay, and one complimentary pass for a two-night stay. Rates start at $199 midweek and $249 on the weekends at The Veranda House, and $169 midweek and $209 weekends at Chapman House. Both offer a complimentary morning meal, free Wi-Fi, and afternoon chocolate chip cookies. 877-228-0695, www.theverandahouse.com
By Necee Regis, Globe Correspondent
The Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival hosts its 13th annual event (March 15-17) at the Chilmark Community Center with films from the festival circuit as well as shorts and features with local appeal. Watch movies on comfy couches in the “community living room” outfitted with state-of-the-art projection and sound. Stay for post-screening discussions with filmmakers and others. Events include live music hosted by the Hay Cafe and a daily feast prepared by chef Chris Fischer. Tickets $15, members $7. Couch seating add $5. Weekend pass $150. 508-645-9599, www.tmvff.org. The Harbor View Hotel & Resort in Edgartown is offering a Martha’s Vineyard Movie Escape package, including two-night stay (March15-16) and two all-access festival passes, $479, with reserved couch seating $679. 800-225-6005, www.harbor-view.com
Harmless or careless?
There’s a furor brewing in Truro, where some Cape Cod residents aren’t pleased with the town’s depiction of a smiling shark on this year’s beach sticker, arguing that the image downplays the recent fears of sharks swimming along the shore during the summer months.
According to the Cape Cod Times, the sticker won unanimous approval from the town beach commission.
Kelly Clark, director of the town's recreation and beach department, told the Times that she was concerned about the repercussions of taking the Cape’s shark issues too lightly, but was essentially told to “lighten up.”
Truro boasts four beaches, all which require a parking sticker, which can be purchased $15 a season for residents.
More at the Cape Cod Times web site.
Sure, Boston has the largest St. Patrick’s Day in New England, but they do it right down the Cape as well: The 8th Annual Cape Cod St. Patrick’s Parade is March 9, starting at 11 a.m. at the intersection of Route 28 and School Street, and ending in Yarmouth, at Forest Road.
The parade features more than a dozen marching bands from all over New England, floats, antique cars and family entertainment, as well as a grand marshal this year who is still a big hit in Boston and all over New England: Derek Sanderson, Boston Bruins bad boy in the 1970s, playing on Stanley Cup teams in 1970 and 1972, before his life spiraled downward due to drugs and alcohol. He later rebounded, with the help of good friend Bobby Orr, and became a TV color analyst for Bruins games, and is now managing director of The Sports Group at Baystate Wealth Management in Boston, counseling young athletes about money management and helping them avoid the disastrous financial mistakes he’d once made.
A movie, “Turk,” about Sanderson’s life is reportedly on tap to be made this year, based on his recent book, “Crossing the Line: The Outrageous Story of a Hockey Original.”
The parade’s grand marshal’s dinner-dance will be held the night before the parade at the Irish Village in Yarmouth. For information, visit www.capecodstpatsparade.com or www.facebook.com/capestpatsparade
By Kari Bodnarchuk, Globe correspondent
Spend the school break on a bluff overlooking Cape Cod Bay. The Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club in Brewster (above and below) hosts special activities Feb. 15-23 with indoor pool programs, a pizza party, and Ping-Pong for kids, and cooking demonstrations, wine and chocolate tastings, and daily fitness classes for parents. The resort also features family movie and karaoke nights, and a Project Runway program during which children can design and showcase their own fashions. Stay in the Britterage Villas, which have living rooms and kitchenettes, or the newly renovated Mansion Wing guest rooms, which offer hotel-style service. One-room villas from $129 per night; guest rooms from $195. Mention “February Vacay” when booking. 800-343-6074, www.oceanedge.com
Usually when you say a food is smokin’ good, it’s a figure of speech. But at the Chatham Bars Inn Resort and Spa down the Cape, it’s quite literal, when it comes to one dessert.
We stayed there last summer, had dinner at the new STARS steakhouse restaurant there that had just opened, and after a whopping dinner of Midwestern beef (you choose your own cuts from a beef cart they wheel to your table, offering by-the-ounce pricing from $2.40 an ounce), were whisked away to a dessert room to partake of dessert wines and decadent desserts, which the night we were there included the "Tobac-Cocoa Ice Cream."
The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce and dozens of the Cape's establishments and attractions are offering a variety of events this holiday season. The chamber also offers a "Christmas on Cape Cod Passport," which encourages local shopping and gives the chance to win cash prizes, up to $9,000 in all. A new feature in this year's Cape holiday party is the Polar Express train ride aboard the Cape Cod Central Railroad, chugging through the Cape's countryside, with hot cocoa and treats, a cast of characters from "The Polar Express" book and movie, and visits from Santa. Check it out at www.capecodpolarexpressride.com
Inns and resorts throughout the Cape are also offering value-added stay packages, including dinner gift certificates, passes to holiday events and seasonal amenities. The passport the chamber offers alows visitors to get theirs stamped at each business they visit, giving them entry into a contest to win gift cards of $500, $250 or $100. With the accumulation of five stamps, the holder is eligible for a grand prize, Christmas in July, a two-night stay at the Cape Codder Resort and Spa in Hyannis.
For information on all of what the Cape is offering this season, visit www.ChristmasonCapeCod.com or call 888-332-2732.
For the first time in 25 years, Boston to Cape Cod rail service is being restored, with weekend trains from South Station to Hyannis beginning in May.
According to the Barnstable Patriot, “the plan is to attach a couple of air-conditioned rail cars and a bike car at South Station to Boston-Middleborough/Lakeville trains, which will continue without switching to Hyannis. Beyond that South Shore station, the Cape-bound train would stop at Wareham, Buzzards Bay, and either West Barnstable or Sandwich before arriving in Hyannis.”
The introduction of rail service to the Cape should hopefully help alleviate summer Cape traffic, but it will come at a cost. Weekend round-trip service is slated to be priced at around $30. Service would include departures on Friday evenings, and Saturday, and Sunday mornings with return trips Saturday and Sunday evenings. The Patriot reports there is also the possibility of an early-morning Monday return train as well.
“I think we’ll have a modest start,” Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce CEO Wendy Northcross told the Patriot. “It’s going to be weekends only, so there will be some restrictions there.”
Further details are still being worked out, but Tom Cahir, administrator of the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority, said service can hit a break-even point with a mere 650 passengers per weekend.
The weekend lineup includes the carving demo which will show head-to-tail carving and showing diners how to harvest and use each part of the animal; a beer and charcuterie master class; an "All-Things Pork" dinner, featuring a range of pork specials at American Seasons.
For complete pig-out information and reservations, visit www.americanseasons.com/hogtoberfest.html or call 508-228-7111.
So the Nantucket Project seems a good fit, it running Oct. 5-8, a veritable think tank which brings together big-brained types from many disciplines, such as writer and businessman Jack Abramoff; CNN political analyst David Gergen; Eric Schmidt, Google chairman; Henry Louis Gates, Harvard professor of black culture; John Abele, founder of Boston Scientific; and Doug Melton, founder of the Harvard/MIT Broad Center for Stem Cell Research. For full information and ticket pricing, visit www.nantucketproject.com/#blank
The Nantucket Project is one of a few cool things happening on Nantucket in the off season, a time with still lots of sun but lower temperatures and prices. For cheaper fall stays, check out the "Hot Dates, Cool Rates" program. Nantucket Island Resorts is offering discounted fall nightly rates, including at places like Jared Coffin House, with rooms going for $125. Check it out at www.nantucketislandresorts.com/hotdates.php
There are a lot of great restaurants on the island, and many are showing their stuff during the Nantucket Restaurant Week Sept. 24-30, including Topper's at the Wauwinet, home of a notable butter-poached lobster, and Brant Point Grill at the White Elephant, known for its duck confit Bolognese. Visit www.nantucketrestaurantweek.com/ for complete information.
The 10th annual Cranberry Festival is scheduled for Oct. 6, when the Milestone Cranberry Bog and Nantucket Conservation Foundation host a festival celebrating the island's historic bogs. Events include cranberry foods of all stripe, bog tours, hay rides, and sheep-shearing workshops. Check www.nantucketconservation.org/page.php?section=3&page=cranberry_festival for more info.
And rounding out the season, the Brant Point Grill offers a New England Thanksgiving and on that morning, the island hosts the 11th Annual Turkey Plunge on Children's Beach. For information on all, visit www.nantucketislandresorts.com or call 800-475-2637.