This year has already been ten years long, and we’ve still got six months to go. After an interminable spring spent in isolation, warmer weather has us all dreaming of getting away from it all. Preferably while lying on a beach, and drinking something cold and bubbly.
Since Cape Cod is a prime destination within driving distance for several major metropolises, you can bet that we’ll still be having a summer season -- it’s just going to look a little different than years past.
What should you expect? The same standards we’ve been practicing for months: if you’re unwell, stay home. If you’re out and about, wear a mask and keep your distance. Bring as much of what you need with you, and be patient with local restaurant workers, town employees and beach attendants, and other tourists as we all navigate this new system (and wash your hands!).
Fortunately for you, I am an introvert at heart and have built a whole social life around having minimal interaction with other people. So my suggestions for a fun and socially-distanced summer are as follows….
Depending on the town, beaches stop charging admission after 5pm (but close at dark), so make the most of the longer days and arrive later. Parking lots tend to be emptier later in the day, and you run less of a risk of getting completely sunburned your first day here! Red River Beach in Harwich and West Dennis Beach in Dennis both have ample parking lots and room to spread out.
Restaurants are allowed to offer patio service now and many are also still doing takeout. Pick somewhere you’ve never tried before, and a beach you’ve always wanted to go to, and enjoy sunset dinner with amazing water views (don’t forget the bug spray!). If you haven’t already, Encore in Dennis has truly incomparable bread pudding; at Rock Harbor in Orleans, try the prosciutto pizza; and for lobster rolls, there’s nowhere better than Sesuit Harbor Cafe (also in Dennis!).
There will be drive-in movies in both Hyannis and Wellfleet this year! All the fun of going to the movies, with none of the annoyance of someone kicking your seat for the entirety of the show.
Holiday Hill in Dennis Port is the best mini-golf on the Cape, and yes, I am willing to fight about it. Wait until the heat breaks in the evening and see how long before a lighthearted, fun activity turns into a challenge of your competence as a human being. Let’s not forget that having a golf club to swing will encourage people to keep their distance!
Covid-19 has made this an exceptionally challenging year, and we’re not out of the woods yet. For all that people are excited to escape to the Cape, the cancellation of popular parades, fireworks, craft shows, and various Fests is a disappointment. But rest assured, it will still be a great summer. All the things that make Cape Cod wonderful are unchanged: the tantalizing array of food and beverages, the diverse natural splendor of our beaches and trails, and most importantly, the feeling of pushing ‘pause’ on reality to spend time with the people you love. So come, enjoy, stay healthy, relax and recharge.