Featured Stories & Articles from Cape Cod Travel Magazine: Weekend Getaways - Sandwich
I needed a getaway that was high on comfort and low on stress, where familiarity would be reassuring, but not boring. I decided to return to a place I had visited on many trips before, lured back time after time for the destination’s historic charm and scenic beauty.
There is no shortage of things to do in Sandwich. I’ve enjoyed some of the many outdoor pleasures (bird sanctuaries, saltwater estuaries, fresh water ponds, beautiful beaches, dunes and marshes) and the plethora of recreational opportunities (walking and bike trails, golf, kayaking, cruises or fishing along the Cape Cod Canal). I’ve visited most of the museums, historical homes, shops, art galleries and studios. However, I couldn’t wait to get back to do it all again.
My weekend at the elegant family-owned and operated Dan’l Webster Inn & Spa was the perfect prescription for comfort and pampering. On this trip, my priority was a visit to its Beach Plum Spa.
With its muted tones and spacious treatment rooms, the tranquil spa provided the perfect setting for pampering. As I reviewed the Beach Plum’s extensive menu of services for men and women, I was impressed with the wide range of offerings. I know I’ll be back for a massage, facial, body treatment or, my personal favorite - the hand and foot ritual. While I was enjoying the benefits of a solo trip, I also noted for future visits that the spa caters to couples on romantic getaways.
The minute I walked into my luxurious suite, I knew it would be a room service night. The fireplace, elegant furnishings, enormous four-poster king size bed, outdoor balcony and oversized whirlpool tub were all invitations to stay in and relax.
I soaked in the whirlpool tub, wrapped myself in a generous robe, ordered room service, and eventually faced the most difficult decision of the evening - whether to continue reading in the cozy chair, or climb up into the enormous bed and enjoy all the TV channels I don’t have at home. After my delicious dinner, I realized I couldn’t resist the huge bed and I called it a night.
In the morning, I enjoyed the spacious walk-in shower, brewed coffee from the in-room coffee maker, sat on the balcony and thought how fortunate I was to enjoy a night away in such serene surroundings. Still, I resisted the urge to remain ensconced in bed and headed out for a walk. I was pleased to find that the Brown Jug Gourmet Food Shop and Bistro featured many of my favorites: Dancing Deer brownies and Iggy’s breads and rolls. Armed with a shopping bag full of treats, I returned to the Dan’l Webster to enjoy coffee in the garden. I followed the path to the outdoor heated pool, sipped my coffee, and pondered my choices for the day.
I opted to spend my time touring the historic houses and gardens in the downtown area. Sandwich’s overall environment is free of hustle and bustle and every season has a certain charm, especially along Main and Jarves Streets, in the heart of the historic village. I always love to gaze at the impressive 1847 First Church of Christ, remembering that of all the churches in the world, Elvis chose it for the cover of his 1967 album “How Great Thou Art.”
I strolled down Jarves Street, returning to shops and galleries that are old favorites, as well as exploring some new additions. It was a relief not to be doing “necessities shopping,” but rather pleasant meandering in search of the delightfully unnecessary. I was happy to finally visit The Spotted Cod, which friends have been raving about. The lovely shop captures the spirit of elegant seaside living and it is an inspiration for home updates.
I drove over to Merchants Square on Rte. 6A and visited the Summer Cottage, which carries a range of candles, lotions, bath gels and soaps, including Caswell-Massey and Crabtree & Evelyn. I settled on the “Sandwich Serenity” note cards, featuring watercolors by Sandwich artist Joseph Gallant.
For lunch, I dashed over to Aqua Grille. Located on the Cape Cod Canal at the Sandwich Marina, it fulfilled my need to be close to the water. I enjoyed a long lunch, munching on one of their famous salmon burgers as I watched the fishermen and lobstermen on a nearby dock.
I continued my leisurely pace, revisiting some of my favorite places. The views were as lovely as ever from the Sandwich Boardwalk, and I was delighted to once again see the swans in Shawme Pond. The landscape was just as luscious at Heritage Museums & Gardens as I’ve always remembered. The famed rhododendrons had long since bloomed, but the grounds were exquisite. Surprisingly, there were no lines at Heritage’s antique carousel and I decide to recapture my youth with a quick spin on one of the brightly painted ponies. And no matter how many times I take in the vintage auto collection of pharmaceuticals magnate J.K. Lilly III, I am wowed by the exhibit.
At the Sandwich Glass Museum, I was just in time to catch one of the glassblowing demonstrations. I wonder who it was that first came up with the idea of creating art in this fascinating way. After admiring their extensive collection of historic glass in the past, I headed back to the inn to get ready for dinner at the Belfry Inne & Bistro, a restaurant consistently chosen as one of the Cape’s most romantic dining options.
I enjoyed the Belfry’s architecture and history almost as much as I did the cuisine. Built in 1900, the former Catholic Church was gutted and reconfigured to create a dramatic space, accented with amber stained glass windows. Chef Daniel Kenney had arrived at the Belfry just a week before my visit, bringing with him a new menu. On this evening, I sampled his Wellfleet mussels with sliced garlic, basil leaves, Chardonnay and crushed red pepper and the Day Boat Cod with shaved vegetables and new potatoes, baked in parchment. With its enchanting interior, excellent service and Chef Kenney’s creativity, dinner here was the perfect way to end my perfect day.
At the end of my trip, I realized the concept of “doing something nice for yourself” does indeed have many benefits.Back to Cape Cod Travel Guide Stories