100 Trowbridge Road
Bourne, MA 02532
Phone: (508) 759-0800
Fax: (508) 759-4575
Peter Rabbit (the American version) loved his briar patch, as did his creator, Thornton W. Burgess. Burgess, a native of nearby Sandwich, was a naturalist as well as a storyteller, and the Burgess Society runs this center adjacent to the 57-acre briar patch in his memory. There are nature trails, a wildflower garden, a host of programs, the Robert S. Swain Natural History Library, and a jam kitchen and gift shop. Admission by donation The Thorton W Burgess Museum, filled with Peter Rabbit memorabilia, is three miles to the west, in Sandwich.
The Pinewoods Camp is an exclusive dance and music camp that occupies immense significance. It is built over in the distinctive Bungalow/Craftsman style of architecture. The site has paved its way to the National Register of Historic Places. It encompasses a mammoth 31 acres (13 hectares) of land area. The construction of the camp dates back to 1919. The site is located in the Plymouth city in Massachusetts. The camp organizes a range of enthralling camp sessions and programs.
Made up of 2500 acres of marshlands, open water, barrier beaches, trout streams, watersheds and uplands, with 11 wilderness campsites and several walking tours, the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Reserve makes for a great day trip. Other park activities include swimming, shell fishing, canoeing, kayaking and even restricted hunting on Washburn Island, which is accessible only by boat. The reserve also includes the 500-acre South Cape Beach State Park.
Designed to combine fun with learning, the displays at this museum are educational and interactive. A puppet theatre, planetarium, Dress-Up Castle, submarine and train are open for exploration. The highlight is a 30-foot pirate ship where children can imagine themselves riding the high seas. Special programs include holiday parties, cooking classes, crafts and workshops with unusual themes such as "All About Cranberries." Admission: $6 ages 5-59, $5 ages 1-4 & 60+.
In the 1950s, shipbuilder William Baker designed and built this accurate recreation of the cramped vessel the Pilgrims took from England to the New World. In 1957, the new ship sailed from Plymouth, England to Cape Cod, retracing the original Mayflower journey. Today, it is moored in Plymouth and serves as a living history museum. Tour guides take visitors through the ship, painting a vivid picture of the misery endured by passengers and crew on the 1620 voyage.
This beach, located on Nantucket Sound, is one of the largest and most popular on Cape Cod. The water is a very pleasant temperature from mid-July to early September, and the gentle swells are refreshing compared to more placid Cape waters. It is generally free of seaweed and rocks, as well. There are lifeguards and bathhouses in season, as well as noisy kids and parking hassles, but that's summer on the Cape, right? The long beach and foamy surf make for beautiful walks in quieter seasons.
The Plymouth colony, which lasted from 1620-1692, is firmly embedded in the collective imagination as one of the major chapters in the story of the United States. This museum reveals some of the earliest pages in that story, through artifacts both famous (William Bradford's Bible) and humble (household artifacts). It also acknowledges the other, and often overlooked, characters in the story: the native Americans who had settled these shores many centuries before Europeans came sailing in on the Mayflower. A gift shop carries reproductions of many of the museum's artifacts.
Focused solely on local waters, this small but impressive aquarium has been delighting visitors since 1871. Kids especially love the "touch tank," where they can reach into tide pools filled with starfish and sea cucumbers. Other displays include sea turtles, lobster and wolffish. A special exhibit shows the effect of plastic trash on marine life. Two harbor seals have taken up residence in an outdoor pool and are a star attraction. The aquarium is operated by the Northeast Fisheries Science Center.
A welcome refuge on a rainy day, this library offers Internet access in addition to the expected books and tapes. There is an active children's program, including story time for pre-schoolers, with times that vary with the season. Library cards are free for Massachusetts' residents; there is a nominal charge for out of state residents. Other services available to the public are a fax machine, a copy machine and "mainland" newspapers for those who need their New York Times fix.
Wind's up, surf's up, sail's up, you name it, they've got it. This shop sells everything from waterproof watches to snorkel gear. Their motto is, "If it's for the water or the beach, chances are we have it." Indeed they do. In addition to sale items, you can lease a kayak, sailboat, canoe, body board, surf board, and wet suit. Enjoy the water vehicle of your choice by hour, day or week. Lessons are also taught in sailing, windsurfing and kayaking.
A round of mini golf on a warm summer night is something of a Cape Cod tradition. The courses at Pirate's Cove break with tradition but not in any manner that draws complaints. Instead of windmills and still statues, you'll golf through caves, by waterfalls and around a pirate ship. There is a Captain's Course as well as the Blackbeard's Challenge Course. For a discounted rate you can play your course again and see if you can't beat your kid the second time around. Admission: $8 adults, $7 children.
Although referred to as the bike trail, this paved path also welcomes walking, running, horseback riding and rollerblading. And if there is enough snow, (which is rare), you may cross-country ski, too. Built on an old railway bed, the scenic 25-mile (40-kilometer) trail takes you from Dennis to Wellfleet via cranberry bogs, lakes and towns. Nickerson State Park, off Route 6A in Brewster, maintains the trail and is at the halfway point. See the website for a map with other rest areas and access points.