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See More of Cape Cod!
As the typical vacationer drives along Route 6 from Wellfleet to Provincetown, they are greeted by the most typical Cape Cod scenery, rolling sand dunes along the horizon of the Atlantic seashore, fronted by scrub oak and occasional ponds and marshes.
Of course, long before you reach your desired beach, you will pass any number of roadside vendors displaying colorful inflatables across walls and roofs. Stop in for gas, soft drinks, sun block, pizza, sand buckets, tee shirts, sunglasses, shorts, film (who uses that anymore?), hot dogs, swimsuits, flip-flops, and perhaps even a lobster or two, with steamed clams on the side.
By the time you make it to any of the traditional fishing harbors, like Hyannis Port or Provincetown (P'Town to the locals), you begin to notice the traditional arts and crafts of the fishermen and whalers that long ago settled these parts: carved wooden figures of birds and mermaids and sea creatures, traditional wood framing and lapped or shingled siding, colorful combinations of pigments.
Along your journey, take a moment now and again to simply take in the calming coastal scenery. The rhythmic sounds of the bright blue currents along a sun-drenched shore can leach all of your workaday troubles away surprisingly quickly.
If shopping therapy is one of your favorite vacation pursuits, why then just amble along the narrow gridded streets at harborside, sampling the wares of the many merchants vying for your transient dollars. You'll find snack foods of all variety, arts and crafts of every color and material and stripe, clothing to suit your laid-back days.
As you stroll the streets of any of the smaller, older Cape Cod villages, you'll see plenty of traditional architecture: Cape Cod cottages alongside Queen Anne Colonials, and structures that are amalgams of ad hoc design accreted over the centuries.
Once you make it to any of the many beaches, odds are you will be within the Cape Cod National Seashore (CCNS), a 430,000-acre national park, operated by the U.S. Park Service. Here the fragile ecosystem of seashore, dunes, grasses, scrub oak, marshes, ponds and pine barrens are preserved and protected. In turn CCNS and the remainder of the Cape protect Cape Cod Bay and the southeasterly coastline of the State of Massachusetts from the brunt of North Atlantic weather.
As you depart the long and broad peninsula of Cape Cod and reenter the mainland of Massachusetts, you will be crossing one of several bridges that span the Cape Cod Canal. This Canal, which in fact turns the Cape into an island by severing it from the mainland, connects Cape Cod Bay to Buzzards Bay to the southwest, facilitating sea traffic that need not negotiate the lengthy and hazardous route around the Cape.
Leaving the Cape for parts west, consider stopping less than an hour from the Cape Cod Canal in Plymouth, MA. There you can view the historic Plymouth Rock, sheltered within its own prominent pavilion, as well as the replica Mayflower II, commemorating the vessel that first brought Pilgrims to the Cape and New England in 1620.
Be sure to travel all the way to charming Provincetown!
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