A Big Getaway for a Big Family

When trying to plan a getaway for my family along with my husband’s two brothers and their families, I was faced with quite a challenge in finding a nice place to stay on Cape Cod that would make everyone happy. We all had certain criteria for the “ideal” getaway.

First and most importantly, we needed someplace that would sleep 6 adults and 4 children ages 4 to 10. In addition to that, I wanted to stay someplace where I could have some serious fun with my children – I felt like I had been working so much, I really wanted to reconnect with my kids. My sister-in-law wanted a little time for herself to escape the chaos. My husband didn’t want to have to eat out every night, he wanted to be able to cook dinner a few times during our vacation. His brother, however, wanted to be somewhere really nice that would pamper us – he didn’t want to rent a whole house that he would have to take care of the whole time and his wife wanted to stay somewhere close to the attractions and shopping in the area.

Well, I thought this task was next to impossible until I discovered a gold mine at the Cape Codder Residence Club! I can’t believe I actually found a place that would make each one of us happy. The luxurious condo-like accommodations were amazing – there were 3 bedrooms – 2 with king beds and 1 with 2 queens, plus the living room had a pull-out sofa. The kids all slept in the room with the two beds and each couple got a little privacy in their own space. My husband loved the beautiful kitchen and took it upon himself to make us all dinner a few times. I need to get him to make his Chicken Tortellini at home sometime! But, when he didn’t cook, there were two restaurants (Hearth ‘n Kettle and Grand Cru) right at the resort, and they were both delicious.

There was fun to be had wherever we turned at the resort. We all had a blast in the indoor wave pool – I loved racing the kids down the water slides! They even enjoyed relaxing in the sauna with me (there was one for adults and kids). My favorite was the gorgeous outdoor pool. It was a little chilly out, but the pool was nice and toasty. And, it was salt-water purified – very nice!

My sister-in-law cherished every moment of her time in the spa. She had what she called “the best massage ever” and she even took her daughter back with her to get mother-daughter manis and pedis!

When we eventually did get out and explore, we found that we were in the heart of it all on Cape Cod. We were just down the street from the Cape Cod Mall and several other shopping areas, a few minutes from the quaint Main Street of Hyannis and Hyannis Harbor where we went on a wonderful Hy-line Harbor Cruise and there were beaches whichever way we turned. The location was simply perfect.

All of us adults loved the unique decorating touches in the condo and the fact that we didn’t have to clean. Our wonderful housekeeper came every day to tidy up and make the beds. Oh, and I almost forgot, my children did run low on clean clothes, but I didn’t need to worry – we had a washer and dryer right in our condo. So convenient!

Needless to say, we had the time of our lives. It is certainly more expensive than a regular hotel room, but it was worth every penny. Plus, split between the three families, it wasn’t too bad. I would highly recommend the Cape Codder Residence Club option to anyone needing more than just a simple hotel room on Cape Cod!



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Outdoor Adventures on the Lower and Outer Cape

If your family enjoys hiking and exploring outdoors, here are a few suggestions for Cape Cod day trips I have enjoyed with my own family. Brewster is only 30 minutes from the Cape Codder Resort and Provincetown, an hour’s drive. Well worth the trip!

Brewster Mills FallsThe Brewster Mill and Herring Run
Corner of Setucket and Stoney Brook Roads, Brewster
The Brewster Mill was built to grind corn using the force of the water running from Mill Pond to the bay. In the Spring the herring come up the Stony Brook to spawn in the pond.

The Brewster Mill is open to the public, selling freshly ground cornmeal, Saturdays June 25 – August 27 from 10-2. Multiple streams tumble over rocks and under bridges in a woodland setting, a cool respite from summer beaches.

Nickerson State Park
On Route 6A, Brewster near the
Orleans border
You don’t have to be camping to enjoy the woodlands of Nickerson State Park in Brewster. Maps of the park can be obtained online or at the entrance. The entrance fee is free for hiking, biking, swimming and fishing although you will need a freshwater State license to fish. Freshwater State Fishing licenses can be purchased online, any tackle shop or at some Town Clerk offices (but not Brewster). Nickerson has two clean swimming ponds, Cliff and
Flax. There is also a very cool frog and fish pond east of Cliff Pond called Little Cliff. You can rent a canoe, kayak, paddle boat or sailboat from Jack’s Boat Rentals on Cliff Pond for a reasonable family budget fee. There are hiking trails around all the ponds making it possible to find a quiet private spot, and allow a friendly dog to take a swim.

Cape Cod Museum of Natural History Walking Trails
Route 6A, Brewster

The exhibitions at the Museum are known for saving a rainy day, but there are also two worthy trails leading from the free parking lots. The John Wing Trail starts next to the Museum building and heads for the tidal beach through level woodlands and the salt marsh. There are many plant identification plaques and a Stonehenge like Solar installation. The bay is fun for children at any tide: walking far out into the bay at low, checking out the shallow pool creature at mid tide and swimming at high tide.

The South Trail starts across the road (Route 6A) journeys through the salt marsh of Stony Brook, (the stream of the Herring Run and the Brewster Mill) and circles around upland through a Beech tree forest. Some of the path is steep and rocky providing just enough challenge to empower youngsters.

Fort Hill, Eastham
About a mile north of the
Orleans rotary, you will see a sign for Fort Hill.
There are two parking lots, one at the base of Fort Hill and one on top. Fort Hill offers a spectacular view of Nauset Marsh, Nauset Inlet and the Atlantic Ocean.

The hiking path winds along the cliff, down to a short Maple Swamp walk and through open fields reminiscent of a time when Eastham was all farmland. Great for bird, bunny and chipmunk watching.

Marconi White Cedar Swamp Walk, Wellfleet
Heading north, from Route 6, turn right for Marconi Beach.
On the way to the beach will be a parking area for the mile and a half White Cedar Swamp Walk. A raised walkway meanders through the shade of the native wetlands of high bush blueberries, bear berries along with the white cedar. The entire family will enjoy this refreshing diverse ecosystem.

Snail Road Trail, Provincetown
For me, one of the more surprising and breathtaking adventures on the Cape is the Snail Road trail. This 1.5 mile hike is not for complainers. Keep your eye out for Snail Road
when approaching Provincetown from the south on Route 6. You will see the sign on the left, but on the right are three small parking spaces along the highway pointing into the
woods. If there are already cars parked you may park along Snail Road on the other side of the highway on the left. The trail starts out in woodlands and then breaks out into a vertical climb up a dune, flows through an expanse of hot sand hills descending into scrub pines and vernal pools (some with cranberries and frogs) passes by an occasional dune shack (almost all are occupied so keep a respectful distance) and culminates at the Atlantic Ocean. Here, you will seldom see people, almost always see seals, and tern nests that
have been fenced off by the National Seashore. As you walk along the shoreline far enough from the cages, the adult terns may go into their “broken wing” performance. An injured bird is rather disconcerting when viewed for the first time until you realize almost every adult tern along the beach is hobbling and dragging a wing unless you approach and then it miraculously flies away. Fun.

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Welcome to our Family Vacation Blog!

Welcome to our family vacation blog!  We are excited to share our ideas and local insider information about fun things to do around Cape Cod and our region.

To help you get the most out of your visit to Cape Cod, we post timely information along with details on family-oriented experiences we’ve had while exploring the area over the years.

Blog articles are written by the Cape Codder’s knowledgeable staff, “go-to travel mom” Luisa Frey and teen travel blogger “Alex” (Alexandra) Gaynor.  They all offer unique
perspectives on Cape Cod.

Thanks for visiting and come back again soon.

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