This is not an ordinary summer. If you want to get away, you should be sticking with destinations ideally within driving distance in your home state. Luckily, living in Boston, that means we have my favorite summer destination, Cape Cod. We recently stayed in the most gorgeous house in Harwichport that was walking distance to the beach and the little downtown area. Although most shops were closed, we still were able to get takeout from some of the restaurants.
Here are some pictures of this amazing home.
The property we stayed at is one of the many rentals through Del Mar Vacations. Awkwardly many cape rentals do not include linens or towels but all Del Mar homes do! They also provide 24/7 emergency line and customer service (which for us included jumping our car’s dead battery on day of check out). Also unlike other cape rentals, all properties are keyless entry so you don’t have to pick up the keys at an office in middle of your Saturday but can go straight to the property! Use promo code SarahFit at check out when booking and get 5% off!
Now is the time to book. I heard just yesterday (Sunday June 7th they had 20 bookings in one day!).
Ok, so here is my Cape Cod pandemic vacation check list. Please note that I have family here and will be here most of the summer myself so ensuring that people are staying safe, practicing social distancing and being respectful is VERY important to me.
#1. Not to state the obvious but please do not come if you are feeling unwell.
We have a lot of older folks on the cape and it only takes one asymptomatic careless person to lead to a large outbreak. If you’re from out of state, per our governors order, it is recommended to quarantine for 14 days. If you have a private house on a private beach, you could theoretically get everything delivered and stay at your rental the entire time. You do however, then put the cleaners at risk but I’m going to assume for the rest of this post, ya’ll are coming in healthy, wearing masks when social distancing isn’t possible and have not been in contact with anyone who has recently tested positive.
#2. Utilize grocery pick up and delivery.
We used Rory’s organic market in Dennisport for our deliveries while staying in Harwichport. They also have a location in Mashpee. It is very easy to order and they deliver same day! Rory’s is like a small Whole Foods. Do not expect to save money shopping here but they quality is top notch. Order early to get fresh bread!
We also had curb-side pickup from Dennis Public Market and Cape Abilities. DPM is where we get all of our grilling favorites and Sundae School Ice cream. If you are not local, it might be tricky to order from here because you download a PDF and then fill it out with what you want based off pictures on their Facebook page. They don’t have an online shopping website. They have delicious marinated steak tips which I highly recommend as well as marinated chicken breasts from Bell and Evans. The teriyaki and bourbon are my favorite flavors. They also have Boar’s Head cheese and deli meat for sandwiches on the beach. If you visit their Facebook page, you can see pictures of their aisles. They customer service is the best! They will call you if they don’t have something and tell you what they do have!
Cape Abilities in Dennis has same day curb site groceries too featuring local produce and some groceries. This was the quickest method of getting food for us! It took about 2 hours from when I placed my order until it was ready to pick up.
You can also do Peapod on the Cape and more food delivery options are expanding to the cape including New England Country Mart. NECM used to service local restaurants and are one of the many companies to pivot and provide food directly to consumers! Even Juice Press is not delivering to Cape Cod.
When we arrived in Harwichport, we stocked up on groceries at home via Amazon and brought them with us and supplemented with DPM and Rory’s.
Some stores are allowing customers back inside but I’m still going to advocate that you take advantage of these options while you can especially if you are coming from out of town.
Other places to grab groceries via delivery or curbside pick up include Chatham Village Market, and Instacart. Please note that these are heavily mid cape options as this is where I go and many of my followers go as well. Leave additional suggestions below in comments for other users!
There are also fisherman who are selling fish directly off the boat!
#3. Enjoy the many small businesses partaking in curb-side take out!
I’m sure many might read this post and want tourists to stay home BUT the tourism industry has taken a beating. Some restaurants will never come back. At least these cape places are used to a slow off season. They are doing everything they can to keep their businesses afloat! Here are a few of my favorites, along with many of your suggestions via Instagram:
- Sesuit Harbor Cafe (still cash or personal check… sigh but now open for breakfast and outdoor seating)
- Smugglers (Formerly cash only now accepting Venmo!!)
- The Marshside
- Chapin’s Bayside
- The Marshside
- The Pheasant
- Ocean House
- The Mercantile
- The Underground Bakery
- Woolfies Bakery
- The Port
- Ember Coal Fire Pizza and Wings
- Del Mar
- Hangar B
- Mom and Pops Chatham
- Chatham Squire
- Macs (one in Chatham and Shack in Wellfleet)
- Chatham Fish Pier
- Blue Fin
- Mad Minnow Bar
- The Knack
- Jo Mamas
- Hole in One
- Rock Harbor Grill
- Hog Island Brewery (Orleans)
- Eat Cake for Breakfast (Brewster)
- Anejo Mexican
- Crisp Flatbread
- I’m sure there are many more now…
Here is a list as well that is dated April 1st so likely many more have been added but this is a list from Cape Cod Times featuring more restaurants.
#4. Know the rules.
The rules are changing daily. As I mentioned above, you can now book weekly rentals but people want longer stays since they are working from home. Del Mar had 20 bookings yesterday alone! Here are a few rules that likely will not change:
- Wear a mask when social distancing isn’t possible. I did not encounter a need for a mask at the beaches EXCEPT when we decided to go for a walk on the Jetty. In hind sight, we will be avoiding jetty walks from here on out.
- Get to the beach early and stake our your spot! You’ll need to be 12 feet away from other guests and a maximum of 10 people are allowed in a “circle”. I gotta be honest, I did not see people abiding by this rule of 10 at all while I’ve been at the beach. I’m not sure if it’s enforceable either but it’s the current recommendation.
- Some bathrooms are open, some are not. Bring your own hand sanitizer.
- Outdoor seating may be open soon in Massachusetts but again, if you’re visiting from out of state, please quarantine for 14 days until recommendations suggest otherwise before doing so.
I realize there are people who think this is a made up pandemic. I am not one of those people. I also am no longer one of the most scared people who thinks you must not leave your house but believes with wearing a mask, keeping distance, you can safely enjoy the outdoors and social distancing get togethers. When kids are involved, it gets hard. Pay attention to their actions. They do not get it.
If you plan to get social distant get togethers, pay attention to the social media of those you plan to meet up with. Are they on the same page as you? Are they exposed to essential workers who may be at a higher risk? Are you staying with high risk grandparents?
We all have to weigh our own risks vs rewards. For those who have been cooped up in the city, the rewards of visiting the Cape for a week may LARGELY outweigh the risks especially if you and your family follow the rules and are low risk yourselves. Check out Del Mar Vacations to find your perfect home and don’t forget to use promo code SarahFit to get 5% off your reservation! There are still plenty of homes with availability especially in Orleans one of my favorite spots!