For those who have never had a holiday on the northern east coast of the United States, we can let you into a little secret: It’s more like british Cornwall than a mediterranean St. Tropez. The coast into the Atlantic is very rough and natural and the people as well as the houses are a mixture of stylish, reserved and conservative.
Cape Cod, the island at Boston’s feet, is doubtless the most famous – and biggest – holiday island in New-England. This is mainly down to the Kennedy clan, who used to have their summer base in Hyannis Port. The white mansion is still part of the scenery. There`s only a small sign in front of the property, which reads “No Entry”. It indicates that this is still very much a private domicile. However, there are rumours that the so called “Kennedy Compound“ will be turned into a museum and will be open to visitors.
Not only the Kennedys, but also Martin Luther King, Tennessee Williams, writer Norman Mailer, artist Mark Rothko or even the signee of The Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Franklin all loved this island. And the reason might be very simple: It`s a beautiful piece of land with untouched beaches, tiny beach towns and a lot of small bed&breakfasts with nice little restaurants.
If you drive up Main Street 28 in an easterly direction to Chatham and then continue north to Provincetown, you will discover a world similar to furnishing catalogues by Ralph Lauren: white wooden houses with blue or green freshly-painted window shutters, well-tended front gardens, and churches right out of historical dramas. On the coast: many old lighthouses, rough dunes and huge sand beaches.
On our trip we discovered a little inn called The Bluebird Parker Beach Lodge. A stylishly renovated & rejuvenated Motel in Yarmouth, just some 100 metres from the beach. Of course it might seem a little cheesy when you enter their lobby, but for one or two nights with the family, it works perfectly well.
Every Cape Cod trip usually ends in Provincetown, the magical place that has become a cultural hub for the LGTB-community, creatives and artists. After two years of party absence during the pandemic, Provincetown seems to have an even stronger community. And during the low seasons in spring and autumn, it is a very relaxed place to unwind and eat good and healthy food by the sea.
Our favourite place in Provincetown is the Salt House Inn. Kevin O`Shea and David Bowd created this “home from home” a few years ago, in accordance with the Pretty Hotel’s philosophy: The walls are hung with locally found pieces, the rooms are bright and the most important thing: you immediately feel at home. In the meantime the boys have opened another hotel belonging to their Salt Group, one more pretty hotel right here in Provincetown, the Eben House, which is of course, just as pretty.
And don’t worry: The island boasts over 900 kilometers of beaches. That is the total length of a country like Germany! That’s enough to distribute the many families and hipsters who come here in the summer.
It’s best to fly to Boston. Hire a car from there and make sure that you have some time on your hands, drive via Hyannis Port in the direction of Provincetown.