By Andy Tomolonis
Don’t look now, but the summer of 2019 is fading fast. Back-to-school buses will soon be rolling, and the sun sinks earlier every night. But that doesn’t mean you have to call it quits on summertime adventures just yet. The ocean water is still warm, and there are plenty of attractions to enjoy.
We’ve compiled this “sand-bucket list” of five fun things to do in and near Yarmouth – from beach walks to bike rides to meals on railroad wheels. End your summer vacation with a few of these ideas, and the sizzling memories will keep you warm until the summer of 2020.
Yarmouth’s beautiful beaches beckon long past Labor Day, with white sand, spectacular scenery, and warm Nantucket Sound waters (slightly cooler on the Cape Cod Bay side). Bare-footers take note: the sand is cooler in late August and September so you can wriggle your toes in comfort. After Labor Day there are no lifeguards, which means you’ll need to watch the children carefully. But regulations also ease up in the fall, allowing for dogs on leashes. Please be courteous and clean up after your pup (think about those bare-footers). Find more information about fresh- and salt-water beaches on the Chamber’s website: https://www.yarmouthcapecod.com/scenic-yarmouth/beaches/
Sand Sculpture Trail:
Like sand? How about art? Then take a tour of the nation’s largest Sand Sculpture Trail, before the family-friendly artwork is disassembled by Columbus Day. Fitzysnowman’s 33 sand sculptures survived the summer tornadoes, but they won’t outlast the Yarmouth DPW’s machinery in October. Grab a map of the trail at the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, the Route 6 Visitor Center, or download one from the website. And remember to take pictures at your favorite sculpture. The Chamber’s photo contest is still open through Labor Day, and you could win great prizes from local merchants. Learn more at https://www.yarmouthcapecod.com/sand-sculpture-trail-photo-contest/
Inflate your spirit:
Cape Cod Inflatable Park – along with its adjoining Challenge Zone obstacle course and H20 waterpark – is switching to weekend-only operation after Labor Day, and the facility closes for the season on Columbus Day. So if you want to tame Pavlin the Bull, stick yourself to the Castle Wall or try the Triple Bungee, time is running out. As of Sept. 3, the park will be open weekends only, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Water attractions close on Sept. 8. Too old for trapezes, wrecking balls and slam dunks? That’s OK. Parents who want to do nothing but relax, while the kids bounce from ride to ride are admitted free to the Challenge Zone and Inflatable Park. Check the website for information on rides, parking, food, lodgings and prices. https://capecodinflatablepark.com/
Pedal the Rail Trail:
As of last December, the iconic Cape Cod Rail Trail – a favorite spot for cycling, jogging, strolling, and rollerblading – extends all the way to West Yarmouth. Put your pedals to the mettle with a long ride from Higgins Crowell Road to Lecount Hollow Road in Wellfleet (and back, whew!) … or take it easy with the kids on a shorter section. The Rail Trail course is generally level and smooth, which makes for easy riding, running, or rolling. The new section includes three bridges – one spanning Route 134 in South Dennis, another stretching across Station Avenue in South Yarmouth, and the George Allaire Bridge over Bass River and into Dennis. Find more info at the Cape Cod Rail Trail website: https://www.capecodbikeguide.com/railtrail.asp
Dine on the Rails:
Hungry for scenery? Board the Cape Cod Dinner Train in the neighboring town of Hyannis for a five-course meal and a three-hour evening ride through cranberry bogs, marshes, woodlands and quaint Cape Cod villages. Along with the scenery, history, and old-fashioned charm, guests will listen to romantic music by candlelight and dine on a sumptuous meal. What’s on the menu? In August, you can choose from Sautéed New England Cod Homard, Herb-Encrusted Roast Tenderloin Champignon, Breast of Chicken Francaise, and Vegetarian Manicotti. The menu changes in September, and there’s also a brunch and luncheon trains, along with scenic (non-dining) tours. Find more information about the dinner train and other rail rides at https://www.capetrain.com/.
Andy Tomolonis is a nonfiction author, travel writer and freelance journalist.