With the remains of another hurricane about to drench and unleash gale force winds on our tent, we decided to break camp early. Friends had invited us to spend the night with them in Hyannis, so we packed up and headed west.
First stop was for lunch as Sesuit Harbor Café. I’ll admit that the combination of enthusiastic reviews and the name of the restaurant had given me a certain image in my mind which was shattered the minute we stepped out of the car and made our way across the parking lot.
“This can’t be it,” I hissed to my husband who, in hot pursuit of his scallop basket, simply shrugged and headed for the door. Inside wasn’t much to look at either but I took heart from the fact that this “classic Cape Cod clam shack” was family owned and operated and has been in business over 22 years so they must be doing something right. When our order arrived, after taking the first bite, I was forced to eat my hat, along with the unequivocally best Reuben and onion rings I’ve ever tasted. Also, the restaurant and outside tables were super clean and the waitress was prompt and friendly. Someday I’ll learn not to judge on appearance alone…
This was put to the test again in Hyannis, a town we’d always dismissed as “too touristy” or “not the ‘real’ Cape”. I don’t think I’ve been to Hyannis since I was a junior in college looking for a summer job at the seashore and both the village and me have changed quite a bit since then!
Jim and Heidi took us on a grand tour starting with a walk down to Bismore Park on the Hyannis Harbor. There we saw a small memorial honoring John F. Kennedy’s establishment of the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961, a program that is still attracting volunteers and going strong sixty years later! On my next visit I hope to visit the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum for the first time.
Next, we took a stroll along the HyArts Artist Shanties. Loved them! Each of the differently decorated ‘seaside studios’ is named after one of the seven villages in town of Barnstable and hosts an artist for a week before changing over to a new one. Not only does this program give local artisans an affordable space to showcase their work, it gives them a higher visibility and opportunities to meet visitors from all over the world that they might not have access to otherwise.
We got a chance to talk to Pat Kelly, a potter who came to the Cape to visit decades ago and never left. She creates textured pieces that are functional (candlesticks and coffee mugs!) as well as beautiful, and makes many of her own glazes (email@example.com). A plethora of items that would make a really nice addition to your home or office!
Speaking of shopping-it’s always a blast with my gal pal Heidi! Our last outing was to Skaneateles so this mini-spree was long overdue! Main Street in Hyannis is packed small businesses-something for everyone! Here’s a few of my favorites:
The pecan and cashew turtles at Kandy Korner (despite the fact that everyone knows how I feel about using Kute K’s instead of the correct spelling).
Best t-shirts and gifts
Islands, where I picked up a hilarious shirt or two, a new lunchbox, and some ridiculous, but very comfortable, pajama bottoms. The woman that waited on us was delightfully salty and made supporting a local business a pleasure!
The Daily Paper. Food was plentiful and delicious. I wouldn’t usually dare to order a fruit cup in a diner-style restaurant but theirs was outstanding! The service was excellent and everyone around us looked like there was nowhere they’d rather be. A refreshing change from most of last year.
Best Cape Cod prints
I’ve been a fan of Kennedy Gallery and Studios for years. My house is full of their Cape Cod tiles! Artist Robert Kennedy happened to be in the studio that day so we chatted with him after he signed the vintage print we’d just purchased.
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All in all, it was a perfect ending to our annual pilgrimage to the Atlantic Ocean!