Helen Dugdale

Hanging out in Cape Cod

Nestled in the southern eastern corner of mainland Massachusetts, Cape Cod is a slice of the USA that remains untouched - it's home to golden sandy beaches, oceanfront restaurants and small quaint towns with white pitch fences. Although it swells from a population of 228,000 to 500,000 in the summer, there is always enough space and enough beach to go around.

As a place to visit all year, Cape Cod is tranquil and offers outdoor activities whatever the weather. Deckchair Adventures will be doing a deeper dive into the delights of Cape Cod in other articles, but right now we’re taking a nose around West Dennis, which is renowned for being both charming and modern and welcoming to families of all ages.

Deckchair Adventures on West Dennis

West Dennis lies on the southern side of Cape Cod, it sits prettily alongside the coast which means there is ample scent of surf, the sound of waves and super-fresh seafood. The village beach is a mile-long, wheelchair accessible and is perfect for kite-flying and windsurfing.

If paddle boarding or kayaking floats your boat, whether you’re a fanatic or a newbie, the team at Bass River Kayaks will help kit you out with everything you need to get into the water

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Craving some retail therapy then make sure you head straight to Cuffys of Cape Cod which is literally a shopper’s paradise for everything and anything that they can print the words ‘Cape Cod’ on from spoons and tea towels to hoodies and cuddly toys.

When you’re peckish then head to Sand Bar a laid-back spot overlooking the river of West Dennis Beach. The menu offers pub grub for lunch and dinner including raw bar, signature wings and lobster rolls to homemade pizza. There is also an impressive drinks menu including cocktails, beer, wine, and spirits.

Lighthouse Inn, Cape Cod

If you’re looking for a hideaway somewhere to relax, unwind and sit and ponder life, then The Lighthouse Inn, should be your next stop.

Some hotels claim that they’re ‘on the beach’ when in reality you get there only to rudely find a road between the property and the sand. But that’s not true here. The Lighthouse Inn is literally just a few steps away from a private sandy beach and the enticing sparkle of the Atlantic Ocean.

For history lovers, a lighthouse was originally built on the site in 1855 by the Federal Government and functioned for 75 years until the Cape Cod canal was built. Then in 1938 along came the Stone family who brought the property with a view to develop it and sell it. But, after inviting a guest to stay to help pay the mortgage, the family thankfully realised just how magical the place is. Fast forward 84 years and the Lighthouse Inn is still owned by the Stone family and going strong.

© Deckchair Adventures
© Deckchair Adventures

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Offering accommodation for 160 guests with all rooms coming with ensuite and air-con, you’ll find the perfect place for your needs whether that’s a family or accessible room or a place with a glorious ocean view.

During our stay, we made the most of the free entertainment and facilities that include a seasonal swimming pool, Shuffleboard, tennis courts, mini golf, and volleyball. There is early morning yoga (weather permitting) if you feel the need to reset your charka, or you can just hang out on the beach and watch your family members doing the hard work.

All rooms come with a kettle and microwave for convenience and the 200-seater oceanfront restaurant serves hearty local food. Young couples and families sit alongside groups of friends, many of whom seem they have stayed before.

The Stone family have cleverly managed to retain an authentic rustic Cape Cod laidback atmosphere with a happy blend of the new that makes you want to linger that little bit longer.

Deckchair Adventures on the Lighthouse Inn

Whether you choose to visit during the summer months or the Autumn, you can’t help but get the uncanny feeling that everyone who stays here leaves a little bit of themselves behind to help welcome the next guests.

There is something hypnotic about the Inn that even though it is steeped in history and atmosphere there still is a youthful spring in the well-trodden floorboards that could well call you back time and time again.

We will be heading back to the Lighthouse Inn. - Team Deckchair

Catch Cape Cod on the Screen

Before you head off to the Cape why not catch up on some TV shows and movies that are filmed there to get a whiff of the delights awaiting you.

* Hightown is an American crime drama that is currently in its third season and follows Jackie Quiñones journey to sobriety that is overshadowed by an unfolding murder investigation. The first season was filmed in Provincetown with locations including Provincetown Inn, MacMillan Pier, and Commercial Street. For later seasons the filming was moved to Wilmington, North Carolina. Watch the show on Amazon Prime.

* If you’re in the UK then catch American Horror Story an anthology horror drama series about the Harmons, a family of three who relocate to Los Angeles and move into a house that is haunted by demonic creatures that not only scares the new owners but also devours them. Now in season 11, parts of the show were filmed in and around Provincetown. American Horror Story is available on Disney Plus and is rated 18+.

* Classic movie Jaws was filmed on Martha’s Vineyard in 1975. Back in the day, even just the music used to terrify the audience! See for yourself if the large fish makes you fear getting into the water again. Watch it now on YouTube, Google Play, Amazon, and Apple TV.

* Year by the Sea with Celia Imrie and Karen Allen is based on Joan Anderson’s memoir and is a film about an empty nester who hides away on Cape Cod in a bid to find the person she was before marriage and children. The movie drops in on various locations on Cape Cod including Wellfleet, Orleans, Chatham, and Eastham. Stream the film on Amazon.

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