Cape Cod in an Afternoon.

As much as I love exploring new destinations on the road, one of my favorite activities is to return again and again to favorites spots so I can discover something new, a hidden gem that I had never noticed until a new trip finally reveals it to me. Since moving to Massachusetts almost a year ago, I have made numerous trips to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, exploring much of National Seashore Park and Provincetown. Another trip to the cape this past weekend, intended originally to show some of my favorite sites to a special guest, instead turned into an unexpected and delightful discovery.

With my girlfriend in town to visit this weekend, we had plans to explore Cape Cod, as she had never seen it. The day included a leisurely breakfast at a favorite restaurant, scenic views of dunes and lighthouses, and then two fascinating discoveries in a public library in Provincetown. Rather than my usual narrative, however, I thought to turn this post into a photo essay and let the pictures tell the tale.

Map of Cape Cod, with a red pin denoting Provincetown Public Library.
Our final destination for today: Provincetown, MA.
Donut covered in powdered sugar on white plate. In the background, coffee in a mug and creamer.
You need a big breakfast to tackle Cape Cod, and where better to start than Hangar B Eatery in Chatham, one of my favorite cafes. While waiting for breakfast, we snacked on this buttermilk potato donut with our coffee. Yum!
2012 Honda Accord in parking lot by ocean.
After breakfast, we explored National Seashore Park, a national park which extends for much of the length of Cape Cod. Back near the ocean, my car is in its natural habitat.
Nauset Lighthouse, on top of a dune.
Nauset Light, which was detailed in a previous post. When I was last here, it was a warm day in mid-spring. On Saturday, temperatures never rose above 22 degree Fahrenheit. With the winter wind blowing from the ocean, it was… chilly.
Marconi Beach stone marker for location of the first wireless telegraph station.
The marker on Marconi Beach indicating the location of the first wireless telegraph station in North America. In 1912, this station received a distress call from the doomed ocean liner RMS Titanic.
Snow-covered dunes of Cape Cod.
The snow-covered dunes of Cape Cod. It’s hard to tell from this panorama, but we are standing about 80 feet above the ocean. Despite my girlfriend and my best efforts, we were unable to capture a photo that accurately gave a sense of the height of the dunes.
Highland Light.
Highland Light, also known as Cape Cod Light, which was detailed in this post.
2012 Honda Accord in Provincetown, MA.
Arrived in Provincetown, which sits at the very top of Cape Cod. Detailed in a previous post, this beautiful town is one of the most popular spots on the Cape.
Christmas Tree constructed from Lobster Traps.
If you live in a 317-year old fishing village, your Christmas tree might look a little different…
Decorated arch entrance to an alley. The arch says "Babydoll Gasoi Memorial Art Alley."
Provincetown has a vibrant art scene. This arch caught my girlfriend’s eye. It is the entrance to an alley covered in murals.
Provincetown Public Library exterior.
As we walked down Commercial Street, the Provincetown Public Library caught our eye. Housed in a former church, the library has served the Provincetown community in this building since 2005. While I wanted to just turn around and head back to the car, my girlfriend suggested we check it out, as there might be something interesting to see…
The sailing ship Rose Dorothea on the second floor of the library.
…and climbing the stairs to the second floor, we came to a half-scale model of the fishing schooner Rose Dorothea. 66′ long and 12′ wide, this massive model was built in the library.
Panorama of the schooner Rose Dorothea.
I find it hard to call this ship a “model.” It takes up the entire second floor!
Masts extending through holes in the ceiling.
So massive is the ship that holes had to be cut into the ceiling to accommodate the ship’s masts.
View of the Rose Dorothea from above.
The ship is a model of the Rose Dorothea, which was based in Provincetown and won several international sailing competitions in the early 20th century.
View of Provincetown harbor through the 3rd story window.
The library promises the best free view of Provincetown, and this third-floor window did not disappoint.
Card catalog with open drawer.
As the son of a librarian, I have a soft spot for the workings of a library. This old card catalog, though no longer in use, still was filled with cards.
Recipes in card catalog drawer.
Which, on closer exploration, turned out not to be book records. Instead, the catalog was filled with recipes! The longtime town librarian had collected thousands of recipes over the course of her life, and her friends and family had donated them to the library after her passing. How exhaustive was the collection? This entire drawer is filled solely with different meatloaf recipes.
Race Point Beach.
A quick detour to Race Point Beach, the very end of Cape Cod. The wind whipped viciously off the Atlantic Ocean. Needless to stay, we took a few photos and got back into the warmth of the car.
2012 Honda Accord at Race Point Beach.
The Accord has now been to the very end of Cape Cod. With almost 99,000 miles on the odometer, the car is quickly approaching the 100,000 mile barrier.
Christmas Tree Shops Building, built like an English barn.
The last stop of the day, to a retail store? Well, Christmas Tree Shops started on Cape Cod, and this is one of the more… unique… store designs I’ve ever seen.
View of the Bourne Bridge from the interior of the store, looking through a window.
While I can count on one hand the number of Christmas Tree Shops I have visited, I am going to guess this is probably one of the more scenic views from the entire of any of the stores.

Cape Cod continues to be one of my favorite locations to visit in New England. This past Saturday was a beautiful winter day on one of the most rugged and scenic seascapes in North America. National Seashore State Park is open year round and is free to the public during the off season (although if you visit during the winter, bundle up!). The Provincetown Public Library is also free of charge, and is open seven days a week. I hope you enjoyed this brief photo essay, and thank you for coming along on another journey down the open road ahead!

‘Til next time.

4 thoughts on “Cape Cod in an Afternoon.

  1. All I’ve had to eat so far today was a Marie Callender’s TV dinner. So I opened up your post and was welcomed by the sight of that delicious buttermilk potato donut. How dare you! Haha. Great tour of Cape Cod. I especially love that massive ‘model’ ship, and the fact that you went to the location where the RMS Titanic distress call was received. Can’t wait to see what you have in store for the big 1-0-0 coming up very soon!


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