Hot Times: Summer on Cape Cod

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So summer 2012 has arrived. It blasted in this week with record temperatures and paved the way for sequels yesterday and today. Now twelve long weeks of sultry days followed by equally balmy nights await us. This is the season for lying on the beach and splashing in the waves. Time to put away the “to do” list and get out your beach shoes. Another endless summer stretches before us.

When I was a kid the nearest beach was an hour’s drive from home and another state away. Consequently, we didn’t get a whole lot of opportunities to go to the beach for the day. So when an chance did arise, it was cause for celebration. Today, I can be on the nearest beach in 4 minutes or less, depending on the traffic.

Sandy Neck beach stretches for miles along Cape Cod Bay and its shimmering sands wink at us in the distance. Rich and I often stroll along the beach in the late afternoon looking for sea glass and hoping to find some other treasure to take home and share with our guests. Driftwood, sand dollars, stray lobster buoys and an assortment of flotsam and jetsam tossed from the ocean decorate the yard and garden of our Inn.

But Sandy Neck is not the only beach we frequent. When it comes to finding the ultimate stretch of sand on Cape Cod, choice is the operative word. While we as residents can purchase a beach sticker to access all of the beaches in Barnstable, visitors must pay a daily parking fee or, for longer stays, buy a week-long pass at the Hyannis Youth and Community Center located at 141 Bassett Lane in Hyannis. Here, in no particular order, are some of the choices here in the mid-Cape area:

  • Sandy Neck Beach: Barnstable’s longest beach, which is noted for its high sand dunes and RV access. Sandy Neck Road in Barnstable.
  • Millway Beach: Located next to Barnstable Harbor (departure point for the Hyannis Whale Watcher). Though it is a small stretch of sand it does have a lovely view of the lighthouse on Sandy Neck. This is a residents-only beach found at the end of Millway Road in Barnstable.
  • Hathaway’s Pond: Open to the public, this fresh water pond has a nice playground area for the kids. Phinney’s Lane in Barnstable.
  • Craigville Beach: A very popular warm water beach on Vineyard Sound. Located in Centerville off Craigville Beach Road in Centerville.
  • Covells Beach: Another residents-only beach east of Craigville Beach with moderate surf and warm water. Craigville Beach Road in Centerville.
  • Kalmus Beach: Located on Hyannis Harbor. This beach is great for windsurfing and offers a nice picnic area. Ocean Street in Hyannis.
  • Veterans Beach: Located next to the Kennedy Memorial along Ocean Street in Hyannis.
  • Sea Street Beach: This public beach is located on Hyannis Harbor and features a nice picnic area. Sea Street in Hyannis.
  • Dowses Beach A residents-only beach located on East Bay in Osterville. Wianno Avenue.