A Perfect Day in Wellfleet, Massachusetts

By Alexandra Grabbe
Innkeeper of Chez Sven Bed & Breakfast

innkeeperschezsven(1)A perfect summer day in Wellfleet starts with a hearty organic breakfast at Chez Sven!  (An alternative suggestion would be The Wicked Oyster, where chef Sean Woodman makes pretty wicked omelets whose composition changes daily.)

chezsvenbreakfastHit the pavement early at the Wellfleet Drive-In for its memorable flea market, open Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, an absolute must for bargain hunters.  Funky clothes, famous-label cosmetics, antiques at low, low prices. There’s something for everyone at the Wellfleet flea market.

On the way back, stop at Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary and admire the new green building, which received the third highest rating in Massachusetts.  Pick up the daily list of birds sighted and head out toward the Silver Spring trail, one-half a mile long.  Roots underfoot and the birds chirping overhead make for a memorable experience.  Before leaving,  don’t miss the composting toilets!

macshackBack in Wellfleet, park at town hall and go directly down Bank Street to The Juice for a smoothie.  (My personal favorite is the Maui Wowie.)  Step into the Left  Bank Gallery, across Commercial, and admire original art before joining the tourists exploring the village center.  Pick up a toy at  Abiyoyo or a few postcards at Wellfleet Marketplace.

Proceed on down Main Street to Briar Lane and The Box Lunch, which serves awesome wraps with names like Jaws, Porkie’s Nightmare, or the Guac, the vegetarian standard. (This popular eatery has fans in Boston who ask friends visiting Cape Cod to bring back favorite “rollwiches,” so call ahead in order to simply pick up your order and save time.)   With picnic lunch in backpack, drive out Chequessett Neck Road, for the most spectacular view in Wellfleet.  Don’t forget the sun cream and water!

Park in the National Seashore at Great Island.  Experienced hikers may want to walk out to Jeremy Point.  The hike back, along the shore, is two miles long.   Take a dip in the warm water of Cape Cod Bay.  Expect extreme beauty along the way.

longpondLess sporty types may prefer a massage or yoga at Quiet Mind Studio. 

For more drama, head to the ocean beaches where surfers ride the waves.  Cahoon Hollow and White Crest accept day-trippers.  For other  town beaches, stickers are required in high season.  On the way back  to town, stop at Long Pond and wash off the salt.  Exhausted yet?  How about a nap before dinner?

oystersCheck out the raw bar at Mac’s Shack, which has received rave reviews in the New York Times, or The Bookstore, which offers seating upstairs where it’s possible to watch the sunset.  Pizza lovers should return to The Juice or Flying Fish.  The newest restaurant in town is called Pearl.  Wicked Oyster and Winslow’s Tavern are also great options in the village center.  Wherever you go for dinner, try the world-famous Wellfleet oyster, which must be savored for its sweetness, the result  of our harbor’s ten-foot tides.

WHATNo day in Wellfleet would be complete without an evening of theater.  “Edgy drama” is served up with style at the Wellfleet Harbor Actors’ Theatre (WHAT), which imports actors from Broadway for both its new Julie Harris stage and the old 90-seat venue on the harbor.  If these shows are sold out, check out the double feature at the Wellfleet Drive-in instead.

Can’t come in summer?  Wellfleet is stunning in fall and spring, too. Hike through the National Seashore, explore deserted beaches, visit  Mass Audubon.  And, to ensure a perfect stay, get a good night’s sleep and start your day with a wholesome breakfast at Chez Sven!