As if you needed another reason to take some time off to visit Cape Cod, Yankee Magazine published an interesting countdown in its July/August 2012 edition: The 25 Best Beach Towns in New England.
For those of you who aren't familiar with the area, New England includes the entire coastlines of Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and even as far down as the bay of Connecticut, so with hundreds of beaches lining the shores, it's quite an accomplishment to make the cut.
Cape Cod and the Islands claimed an impressive 10 spots... that's almost half of the entire list!
- #9 - Chatham, MA
- #2 - Provincetown, MA
- #3 - Nantucket, MA
- #6 - Edgartown, MA
- #7 - Rockport, MA
- #12 - Falmouth, MA (tie)
- #12 - Wellfleet, MA (tie)
- #13 - Oak Bluffs, MA
- #15 - Orleans, MA
- #21 - Brewster, MA
So why not take a road trip up and down the Cape to check out some of these now-famous beach towns? As you'll find, each one has its own charm, character, and something new to offer. From cute gift shops, to historic sites, to sandy beaches, to the best lobster salad you've ever had in your life, your Cape Cod getaway will be something you always remember.
Be sure to book a room with us
to stop at during your journey! Sandwich may not be much of a beach town, but we're definitely a great place to stop and look around!
Let's face it: the future is here and there's really no need to call in a dinner reservation anymore.
...well, if you're planning on dining at the Belfry Bistro, there's ALWAYS a reason to reserve a table, but what we mean is that you don't necessarily have to do it over the phone.
Aside from our online table reservation widget on our "dining" page, we are also proud to introduce our new Facebook app that lets you book your favorite table at the Belfry without leaving the comfort or your computer... or even the comfort of your Facebook account!
Simply click the the "Dining Reservations" button in the upper left corner (under the "like" button), pick a date and time, and you're good to go! Plus, if your plans change or you need to set aside a chair for a few more people, just give us a call or shoot us an email and we'll be sure to adjust your reservation right away.
Booking a delicious, gourmet dinner at the Belfry has never been easier. So what are you waiting for?
CLICK HERE TO "LIKE" THE BELFRY INN ON FACEBOOK!
...and click HERE for your free gift!
We know they exist and we know they're Earth's largest mammals, but how often do we get to see them? Not very often (unless you take frequent trips to SeaWorld). Lucky for you, Cape Cod is home to native, REAL whales that you can get up close and personal with WITHOUT hopping on a plane to Florida.
Not so sure if it's worth it? Consider the following:
1. Your goldfish is not a whale.
Let's get real: when's the last time you've actually seen marine life (pet stores don't count!)? Even if you've visited the New England Aquarium lately, there's just something exciting about seeing live, untamed wildlife. Oh, and just so we're clear, Humpback Whales are about 4 times the size of Shamu- and I'm only talking about a small one.
2. Everyone loves boats.
Well, not someone who's just watched "Titanic," but mostly everyone. Even if you don't happen to catch too many whales while out on your journey, a trip to Stellwagon Bank on a big fishing boat is something that everyone in your family can enjoy, so no need to worry about keeping the "so bored" crowd happy.
3. It's cheaper than a day at the Aquarium.
We all love to see wildlife, but zoos and marine parks can get expensive. Thankfully, whalewatches average out at about $30 per adult and $20 per child. Plus, most allow children 6 and under to ride for free! Check out the local tourist information centers (or the front desk of the Belfry) for admission coupons! Imagine: you can do something fun and STILL have money leftover for a nice dinner!
Have you ever been on a whale watch?
By this point, I'm sure you're aware of how amazing the gourmet meals at the Belfry Bistro are. Our awards, reviews, and faithful customers speak for themselves, but there's one thing that may create a bit of a problem for us: our food is just SO good and SO high-quality that we may scare away the "I just want a quick cheeseburger" family crowd.
I mean, let's face it. While you might love to pop open a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and savor every last bite of your 5-Spiced Long Island Duck Breast, some of us are partial to good old, down-home American cuisine- especially your kids.
Thankfully, the Belfry Bistro has something for everyone! So instead of spending most of your Cape Cod getaway at the local fast food joint trying to find something your family will actually eat, bring them to the Belfry instead! In addition to gourmet favorites like the Braised Beef Short Ribs or the Dayboat Chatham Codfish, try out some of our lighter fare options such as:
- Bistro Statler Chicken Breast with Herb Roasted Potatoes and Pancetta Jus
- Grilled Bistro Burger with your choice of toppings
- Classic Fish'n'Chips
- Atlantic Salmon Salad
...and so much more!
So if you're looking for a great place to eat in Sandwich where you can try something new and still keep the picky eaters in your family happy, stop by the Bistro for a fulfilling, no-complaint meal that won't cost an arm and a leg!
When you get sick of relaxing on the beach, shopping, or playing tourist and visiting all the attractions, a few holes of golf is the perfect way to mix things up, get some fresh air, and even get a little exercise! Even if you're not a golfer yourself, chances are, you know someone who is. So if you're looking to spend some time on the green during your Cape Cod Getaway, we've rounded up the best golf courses in the Sandwich area for you to try out.
Cranberry Valley - Harwich, MA (30 mins. from Sandwich)
This beautiful and professionally designed 18-hole course has been rated as "Excellent" by the Zagat Golf Guide and received a 4-star review from Golf Digest magazine. Whether you're a pro, an amateur, or a complete newbie, CV offers instruction for all levels of play as well as one of the best practice areas on the Cape. With endless greenery and a "down-home" feeling, CV will make you feel at home and relaxed- which is how you should always feel when on vacation!
Olde Barnstable Fairgrounds - Marston Mills, MA (20 mins. from Sandwich)
This has got to be one of the most interesting courses you'll ever play. The former home of the Barnstable Fairgrounds has been converted into a state-of-the-art, 18-hole course (hence the name) and will "have you using every club in your bag," or so it likes to brag. The main clubhouse is actually a renovated barn from the fairgrounds and has a full service bar/restuarant inside- perfect for relaxing after the game and collecting your winnings.
The Dennis Pines - Dennis, MA (30 mins. from Sandwich)
The Pines is a gorgeous course complete with waterfront views and amazing florals. Although it's been rated as one of the toughest layouts on Cape Cod, it could be the perfect fix if you're up for a challenge. They have cheap club rentals (in case you leave yours at home accidentally) and a comfortable lounge to hang out in after a long day. Even if you don't play your best, you definitely won't walk away dissatisfied.
So what are you waiting for? Book a room at the Belfry, pick out a tee time, and we'll see you on the green!
When most people think of the Belfry Inne, they think of The Abbey or the Painted Lady (depending on your favorite), but what you may not know is that there's a third building that bears the Belfry name: The Village House.
Built in 1830, the Village House has all the classic charm, elegance, and character the Belfry has to offer at a price that won't burn a hold in your pocket.
Call me old fashioned, but I love sitting the feeling of just sitting on a front porch, while people watching, enjoying a drink with friends, or taking in one of my favorite books. The Village House's covered porch is perfect for taking a break from your fun-filled Cape Cod getaway and just observing the scenery.
"Lobbies" are for commercial hotels and airport terminals. The Village House has a gorgeous, cozy parlor complete with a fireplace and plenty of room to share a friendly conversation with another guest or just warm up during a New England storm.
If you've stayed in one of our other Belfry buildings, you're used to the unique, one-of-a-kind rooms we have to offer. While you won't find any stained glass or bright pink paint in the Village House, you'll find classic, clean rooms with just a splash of character to make your trip that much more memorable.
The Village House is also the most practical choice for families. Averaging at about $185 per night, it's our most cost-efficient building. In addition, some of the rooms contain two twin beds (instead of the usual Queen size) which is perfect if you're travelling with children. No more trying to cram everyone into a giant King mattress- get them their own room instead!
To book a room at the beautiful Village House, click here or give us a call at 508-888-8550.
Let's be honest: there are hundreds of B&B's to choose from when planning your Cape Cod getaway. Each one is so different and has so much to offer, so it can definitely get a big overwhelming. So how do you know which B&B is right for you and your family? How do you avoid those inns that just don't seem to work out?
Don't worry, I've got you covered.
1. Is it really a B&B?
When it comes to lodging option on the Cape, there are all kinds of places to choose from: hotels, motels, inns, B&Bs, guest houses- you name it. While it might be easy to assume they're all the same, there are reasons why they all prefer to use different names.
Hotels/Motels: Personal space, private bathroom, no curfews, no set rules, no meals included, corporate feeling
Inns/B&Bs: Personal space, private OR shared bathroom (depending on specific inn/B&B), some minor courtesy rules (leave some doors locked after a certain time, stuff like that), breakfast included, feeling of "home"
Guest Houses: Personal room, shared bathroom, lots of house rules/curfews, "mom'n'pop" feel
It's important to consider your own habits and behaviors before booking a stay. Check in with the innkeeper no matter where you stay to know house rules and policies up front before signing on the dotted line.
2. Do the rooms fit your lifestyle?
If you're used to 5-star suites and private indoor swimming pools during your vacations, you should know up front that Cape Cod inns and B&Bs are usually very old-fashioned and do not have the modern-day, 21st century ammenities. Since so many of the B&Bs are in old houses (or if you're at the Belfry, an old cathedral), the rooms are small and each one is different. Make sure to consider the following:
- Is the room big enough for my entire family? How many beds are there? Is an adjoining room available for extra space?
- Does it have a private bathroom? How many sinks and showers are there? Are there any spa facilities?
- Is the inn close to the attractions I want to visit? Will I have to factor in extra travel costs?
3. What will you eat?!
While it's a given that your average B&B will offer a complimentary breakfast, it's always a good idea to double check to see what dining options are available- especially if it doesn't state specificially that it's a B&B.
- Is there a restaurant attached? What are the room service hours?
- If no, what restaurants/grocery stores are in the area?
Be proactive and ask questions when planning your Cape Cod vacation! Don't let desperate innkeepers talk you up and let you buy into something you don't want.
...or you could stop by the Belfry to enjoy, clean, comfortable rooms complete with a full breakfast, gourmet food, and dozens of attractions in the area. Your choice!
It seems as though fewer and fewer people have been catching the waves at Cape Cod beaches this summer due to sightings of Great White Sharks in the area. What might be bad news for someone just trying to cool off in the ocean could be exciting news for those of you looking to spice up your typical Cape Cod getaway.
So what's bringing all the sharks here anyway? Local marine biologists claim it's due to the explosion of the seal population in the area as well as the sudden spike in water temperatures. Sharks are somewhat nomadic and follow their prey without any real sense of direction.
So far, most of the sightings have occurred off the coast of Chatham, MA which just happens to be a quick drive from Sandwich! So instead of doing the usual musems and shopping travel routine, take your family on a shark hunt! Even if you don't get to see a Great White, your kids will love playing "explorer" and learning new things.
Or you can take the expedition one step further and go on a whale watch! You never know what will be hanging out at Stellwagon Bank, so get a seat on the boat, bring your camera, and expect to get closer to exotic marine life than ever before.
And once you've returned from a long day of shark hunting, your clean, comfortable room at the Belfry will be waiting for you.
There's never a shortage of things to do during your Cape Cod getaway- especially when you're staying with us in Sandwich. From beaches, to tours, to museums, to stores, you'll never run out of things to do. As a matter of fact, you might have a hard time deciding just what to do with your free time!
One attraction that is definitely a must-see when staying in Sandwich is the Heritage Museums and Gardens. Each year, the museum hosts new, exciting exhibitions that provide fun for the whole family. Check out some of this year's exhibits:
What kid doesn't love a treehouse? As one of New England's first certified Nature Exploration Classrooms, the Hidden Hollow area is a giant interactive adventure through nature that your kids will love. There's a full schedule of games and activities everyday, and hey, maybe you'll learn something new this vacation!
Normal Rockwell: Beyond the Easel
Normal Rockewell's art is an American treasure that we've all come to know and love. The Heritage Museum's exhibit features Rockwell's most notable works of art as well as an in-depth look at the photography that inspired his pieces and the process he used to create them. With more than 150 works featured at this exhibit, there's a lot to see and learn.
World Class Antique Auto Collection
We all have a "car guy" in our family, but even if you're not big into them, the Heritage Museum's Antique Automobile collection is a definite must-see. With classics on display like a 1909 Steam Car and a 1919 Model T Ford, you'll be amazed to see how far technology has come. Some of the cars were even owned by famous celebrities!
American Art and Carousel Gallery
While you browse through one of the best collections of American Folk Art in the country, your kids can ride on the 100-year-old antique, hand-carved carousel. Endless rides are included with admission, so you should take a spin as well!
The Heritage Gardens host Southern New England's Largest Public Garden. Aside from the impressive collection of plants, shrubs, and trees native to Cape Cod, they are also hosting the 2012 Whimsical Garden Gates exhibition. This is a must-see for all you "Green Thumbs" out there.
So while you're staying with us at the Belfry Inne, make sure to visit our front desk to pick up tickets for the Heritage Museum and Gardens. You won't regret it!
When most people think "wine tasting," they think of a gathering of pretentious people sipping on some mediocre wines while making small talk.
At the Belfry Bistro, we like to redefine wine tastings and make them something you actually want to attend- not just something your significant other guilted you into or something you do out of pure boredom.
So here's why we think you should ditch your normal Wednesday night routine (which, by the way, you don't have one), and stop by the Belfry for a drink with us instead.
1. You don't have anything else going on.
As I said before, our tastings are on Wednesdays which means they're the perfect opportunity to relax and take a breather before you continue on with the rest of your workweek. We won't interfere with your weekend plans (unless you decide to come back for dinner on Saturday night...) nor will we keep you out too late.
2. Our wine selections beat the local bar's by far.
We feature four new, refreshing wines each week. You won't see any grocery store brands here- only carefully hand picked selections that you'll definitely miss when dining somewhere else. In the past we've featured selections from vineyards all over the country, and sometimes we even have the winemaker stop by for the tasting!
3. Making friends is fun, right?
Tastings at the Belfry are not your typical awkward get togethers, so there's no small-talk necessary. Feel free to either stick by your party or branch out and meet some new people. The Belfry is known for it's comfortable, "at-home" atmosphere, and that feeling definitely comes through at the tastings. Make sure to bring a camera and share your event pictures with us on our Facebook page!
So, what are YOU doing Wednesday night? If these reasons didn't convince you, check out our schedule and selections list.