Things To Do Cape Cod Winter Vacation
Cape Cod has always been considered a premiere vacation destination in the summer. But let’s not forget what the region has to offer in the winter.
Cape Cod in the winter is quiet, tranquil, serene and – brilliantly beautiful.
Laura Holson, a writer for the New York Times, wrote this about Cape Cod in winter:
To enjoy Cape Cod in winter, you must close your eyes and listen.
There is a symphony of cold in sound: A lone seagull dives for an errant fish offshore, a far-off splash echoing across the emptiness of gray and blue. Frozen ice and sand crackle underfoot as a golden retriever bounds along the beach. The gentle whistle of icy breath, the muffled scratch of a coat collar pulled tight around the neck.
But the real allure of a winter day at this warm-weather getaway is what you don’t see when your eyes are open. Absent are the lines of cars snaking through jammed parking lots of summer or the dance of sunburned beach goers who slap and yell at stinging waves. The Cape in winter is like a carnival park past its prime, empty but approachable because it is so familiar.
And along the shore, there is always the promise of spring, when small waves frozen in sand will retreat with the thaw and slip back to sea, waiting to embrace the crowds when they arrive once again.
That, at least, is what crossed my mind as I stood one crisp afternoon in January on Coast Guard Beach, 15 miles north of Chatham, Mass., the town situated at the Cape’s elbow. I was seeking a tonic for my post-New Year’s blues. As I wound my scarf tighter around my neck to ward off the bitter cold, I noticed a single fishing boat bobbing in the surf near shore. A rugged fisherman onboard waved in my direction, then hauled up a heavy metal cage from the water, hand over gloved fist.
It was easy to imagine what the Lower, or Outer, Cape (actually the easternmost part, stretching north from the elbow to Provincetown) might have looked like in the early 1700s, when settlers plucked abundant mackerel and cod from the waters along the northeastern shore. Nearly a century later, the author John Hayward described the area in The New England Gazetteer as a place “noted for its fine sailors and men of superior nautical talents.” But it was a place of hardship too, he wrote, where widows “had lost their husbands by the dangers of the sea.”
These days, the biggest hardship in winter is finding that a favorite fried clam shack is closed for the season. But in the off-season, the unfettered charm of the area’s small shore towns is easier to explore.
Beaches like Lighthouse Beach in Chatham are empty, their unspoiled vistas rimmed in blue and crystallized white froth. Empty houses line the gullies around Pleasant Bay, where lonely chunks of frozen ice bunch along the water’s edge, ushered together by the drifting tide.
Cape Cod Winter Vacation Packages
Let Holson’s wonderful writing about Cape Cod In Winter inspire you to visit the region while the weather is brisk and the setting, quiet.
Come see why Cape Cod is a world-class destination – even in winter.