Celebrate Cape Cod’s Seafaring Stories at the 21st Annual Maritime Days Festival
April 2014 — Embrace the maritime lifestyle and heritage of New England’s spectacular Cape Cod peninsula at the 21st Annual Cape Cod Maritime Days festival, taking place throughout May.
With guided kayak excursions, lighthouse and walking tours, and nautical art exhibits among its highlights, this month-long celebration of the seafaring history of ‘The Cape’ is among the most popular annual events in the New England state of Massachusetts. Cape Cod is famous for its long, pristine, glorious beaches — there are 115 in all — romantic inns and B&Bs, arts and crafts galleries, and clam shacks. Stretching some 60 miles into the Atlantic Ocean, the peninsula is studded with some of America’s oldest towns and villages, while the 50-mile long Cape Cod National Seashore includes Eastham’s Coast Guard Beach, rated one of the best in the USA.
Maritime Days activities offer a number of ways to experience the Cape Cod lifestyle, and include:
Tour America’s only private lighthouse!
Lighthouse Inn Tours give guests their very own mid-morning guided tour of the West Dennis Light. Built in 1855 and located on the southern stretch of Cape Cod, this is the only privately owned and operated lighthouse in the US, sanctioned by the United States Coast Guard. Free tours take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout May.
Step back in time in Sandwich
Dating from 1637, Sandwich is Cape Cod’s oldest town and on 17 May it steps back in time to the 1600s. Locals transform the town to replicate the era with 1600s costumed ‘Pilgrims’, Quaker meeting house talk, Sandwich Glass Museum, and re-enactments of actual historical events, plus period crafts demonstrations and games. More details at www.sandwich375.com.
Kayaking the Water Trails of the Outer Cape
Nauset Harbor and its surrounding marshland have been a vital estuary for mariners since their arrival in New England. Cape Kayaking runs three-hour tours exploring the constantly changing coast and waterways, while participants also learn the stories of past mariners and how the sea and land were utilised to develop Cape Cod communities and ‘The Cape’ way of life. Equipment and kayaking instruction are provided; tours are priced at $50 per person.
More than 240 vessels gather in Hyannis
The Annual Figawi Race Weekend (24-26 May) is recognised internationally as a top sailing event, attracting more than 240 boats each year. Visitors should head for Hyannis, on the southern coast of the Cape, to enjoy the spectacle of crafts before they race across Nantucket Sound to the island of Nantucket. www.figawi.com With more events being added all the time, visit www.CapeCodMaritimeDays.com for further details.
Editor’s Note: Discover New England represents the six American states of Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont to promote international visitation.