Cape Cod

Cape Cod is firmly entrenched in America’s cultural subconscious. Everyone’s seen the preppie-porn pics of a young JFK with windswept hair smiling toothily from his sailboat. You’ve heard at least one of the many songs out to immortalize its sandy charm, like Patti Page’s “Old Cape Cod” or, for you millennial types, Vampire Weekend’s “Walcott” and “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa.” The Cape is one of those places that’s as much a state of mind as spot on the map, equal parts heady sea breezes, sand in your shoes, endless beaches, and mountains of battered and fried bivalves that has a way of capturing hearts, and not just because of the cholesterol. It’s undergoing a bit of a renaissance, however.

The Cape that Kennedy knew is still here, the one old folks expect when they drive the hour down from Boston or snowbird north in flocks from Florida for summer sun, salt water taffy, deep sea fishing, galleries of pastel watercolors interspersed with boutiques hawking sea-life-embroidered khakis. It’s an affordable, if shabby-chic-er, alternative to the stuffiness of the Hamptons. There’s a new, younger scene starting to take root as well, spreading from the long-gay streets of Provincetown and Boston professionals sick of the city life. Farm to table restaurants, surf shops, wine bars, bustling nightlife and modern art are popping up amongst the dunes, forging a laid back beach culture all their own. It’s one that’s helping to at last revitalize some of the areas that struggled with the fall of Camelot and subsequent demise of preppie tourist cache. Call it gentrification, but in a seasonal economy it beats the alternative. As the old radio ad used to implore, there’s never been a better time to escape to the Cape.

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99 Marconi Site Rd. Wellfleet, MA. 02667