Coastal Neighborhoods

 provincetown monument

The iconic Pilgrim Monument has been a part of Provincetown for about a century, but this historic landmark actually reflects a part of history that dates back nearly 400 years. The monument first began going up around the turn-of-the-century, but it was built to commemorate an important event several centuries before that.

The Cape Cod Pilgrim Memorial Association built the monument in honor of the Mayflower Pilgrims’ first landing in Provincetown in 1620. It’s said the pilgrims spent about five weeks exploring the region before moving on to Plymouth.

Not only is the historic landmark an important Provincetown tourist attraction today, but it’s also important for understanding American history. Before leaving for Plymouth, the Pilgrims wrote

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Osterville Village - Cape Cod

If you’re looking for a great small-town setting, there’s yet another reason to consider putting down roots in Barnstable. This small New England town consistently ranks as one of the happiest towns in America.

One of the latest rankings comes from Top Counseling Schools, which matches up students with great options in colleges and universities. The Cape Cod town ranked number 11 on its list of the 20 happiest small towns.

Barnstable grabbed the number two spot behind Naples when it comes to locations with the highest social well-being. The town performed especially well in terms of local restaurants and outdoor activities. The list also took into consideration the employment rate, local income, and the poverty rate.

The ranking is right in

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washburn island - falmouth ma
Photo: Putneypics

Located off the southern side of Cape Cod, Washburn Island remains a treasured Falmouth spot. The small island sits in Waquoit Bay and is only accessible by water.

More than 300-acres in all, Washburn Island is filled with a mix of tall trees, barrier beaches, plus coastal salt ponds and marshes. Once home to a summer estate, followed by a location for military training, developers have had their eye on the island in the past.

At one time they hoped to develop luxury homes, a yacht club and a helicopter pad. Area residents fought back, though, and the state ended up buying Washburn Island in the early 1980s.

Purposely left as a natural and secluded island, you’ll now find less than a dozen campsites on Washburn Island but

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eel pond woods hole - falmouth ma

Photo: slack12

A popular seaside destination in the summer months, Woods Hole continues to attract visitors with its appealing arts community, shopping opportunities, dining, fishing and marine research. This Cape Cod village may be small in size, but it is large with opportunity.

Especially popular during the warmer months of the year, the tiny village boasts a number of deep-water harbors, plus museums, beaches and attractions. Once considered more of a pass through for ferry travelers, Woods Hole now invites visitors to try out its waterfront eateries, explore its scientific offerings and enjoy its beaches.

The town is so charming, Smithsonian Magazine once put Woods Hole on its list of the “Best Small Towns in America to Visit”. At the

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popponesset marketplace - mashpee ma

Graphic: Popponesset Marketplace

Popponesset may not be as well-known as some of its nearby counterparts, but it’s certainly gaining in reputation. For years the community was known as a destination for the middle-class of Boston, and its charming character remains strong to this day.

This Upper Cape village sits in Mashpee, but don’t let its tiny population dissuade you. Bordered on its southern edge by Nantucket Sound, the village actually gains its namesake from Popponesset Bay.

Now decades since its beginning, the seaside village of Popponesset maintains a strong reputation as a popular family destination. Popponesset is home to more than a mile of private beaches, plus it also has its own baseball field, basketball court and community

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smile mass beach chair

Cape Cod has long been known for its focus on inclusiveness and respect for all cultures.  But until recently, vacationing on the Cape for parents and spouses of people with disabilities was uniquely challenging.  Most motels and rentals aren’t ideal for wheelchair use, and the Cape’s vaunted beaches and ponds can be an obstacle course rather than a haven for children and adults with mobility issues.

Thanks to the non-profit organization, SMILE Mass — Small Miracles in Life Exist — vacationing on the Cape just got a little easier.  North Truro is now home to a newly renovated beach-accessible condo.  Located at 544 Shore Road adjacent to the Beach Point and Noon’s Landing neighborhoods, the condo is a two-story, 1,100 sf oceanfront home.  Located

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the knob - falmouth ma
Photo: Maxim Off

A popular place for taking a nature walk, spotting area wildlife or taking in some fantastic views, The Knob in Falmouth is one location you don’t want to miss when visiting Cape Cod. This tiny peninsula extends out in the bay from Quissett Harbor, with multiple trails, room for swimming and impressive natural scenery all around.

Part of the small seaside Village of Woods Hole, The Knob was actually gifted to the Salt Pond Area Bird Sanctuaries decades ago. Long considered a quiet spot to catch a sunset and enjoy nature, more and more people are starting to discover the area.

The 12-acre property is filled with a number of trails, plus it has a pleasant swimming beach for cooling off during a warm summer day. Perhaps the best

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 Indian Ponds - Maston Mills MA

While Cape Cod’s known for its beautiful beaches and waterfront possibilities, some of its inland sites may prove just as enticing. Locals know that some of the best swimming, kayaking and fishing is possible on one of the many kettle ponds that dot the area.

Made up of a total of three interconnected ponds, Indian Ponds in Marstons Mills is an especially popular location for boating, fishing and swimming all year long. A joining of Mystic Lake, Middle Pond and Hamblin Pond, the freshwater kettle ponds have been a part of the local community for generations.

Located in the west Barnstable village of Marstons Mills, each pond measures more than 100-acres in size. You’ll also find a nice selection of unique, waterfront homes surrounding the

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coast guard beach - eastham ma

Coast Guard Beach is once again ranked as one of the best. The beach recently took the number six spot when it comes to the annual list of the best beaches in the country, compliments of Dr. Beach. Last year Coast Guard Beach sat in the number five spot.

Not only is the beach special for its unique attributes, but it’s also the only New England beach to grab a spot on the list this year. Beaches are ranked in terms of everything from water temperature and cleanliness to safety and the softness of the sand.

In fact, 50 different criteria are taken into consideration. The professor behind the ranking system has been coming out with the list for decades, with his selections based on personal visits and federal data collected by the EPA.

As for

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days cottages - truro ma

Known by some as the flower cottages, the Days’ Cottages in Truro are truly part of an iconic Cape community. A staple in the area since the early 1930s, the cottages offer perhaps some of the best and most immediate access to the sand and water.

Identical from the outside, the 22 cottages are right on the beach between North Truro and Provincetown. Standing all in a row, the cottages have no doubt been the subjects of countless photographs over the years, and they have quite a story to tell.

The Days’ Cottages are all painted white with green shutters, but they’re individually recognized by their names. The original owners named each after its own flower, giving some individualized identity to the Truro beach cottages.

After all, it’s hard

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