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Today we talk to Tamara from Cape Cod in Massachusetts about her hometown, why she loves it and what you shoudl be doing, seeing, eating and drinking whilst you are there! Tamara keeps a blog called Turtles Travel with her partner Donny where they document their adventures whilst they slowly explore the world together. Expect articles about travel, food and drink from countries far and wide including Argentina and Botswana!

Provincetown Harbor Summer

Where are you living?

We are currently on the road, managing a short experiential marketing tour for a nutritional supplements company (think turmeric, collagen and maca root!) We don’t keep a base anywhere, since we travel both for work, and when we’re not working for anyone but ourselves. My home, however, is Cape Cod. I grew up there, and it’s still our default destination when we have time to visit.

Tell us about yourself?

My husband, Donny and I are perpetual nomads. We have been traveling and working together since 2004. Our blog, TurtlesTravel, originally started as a way for friends and family to keep track of us. That remains one of its primary goals, in addition to helping others with the travel bug discover new places and how to travel in a deliberate and responsible way. We enjoy the road less traveled, and focus on doing things slowly. We much prefer digging in and really getting to know a destination rather than quickly passing through. Our work in the experiential marketing world allows us to take more time off than most, since we work on a contract basis. When we’re traveling, our favourite pastimes are walking until we’re lost, eating what’s local and learning to cook it if we can, also scuba diving if there’s any possibility of doing so!

Provincetown winter

What is your favourite thing about Cape Cod?

Our favourite thing about Cape Cod is its natural beauty: windswept beaches, scrubby pines, dunes, lighthouses, bobbing boats, beach plums, cranberries and driftwood. We’re lucky to have a large swath of the Cape protected as Cape Cod National Seashore. Cape Cod’s history has been shaped in large part by its relationship to the sea. The ocean is ever-present. There are countless walks, bicycling routes and whale watching to immerse yourself in the natural environment.

Boardwalk at Gray's Beach

What is your favourite thing to do with a day off in Cape Cod?

It may sound strange, but I love a good cemetery walk. Cape Cod has the most fascinating cemeteries, with stones dating back to the late 1600s!  The old sea captains and early settlers have stories they’re not finished telling. The art of gravestones is somehow beautiful, too. Early stones feature the skulls and winged death’s heads, later replaced by winged cherubs, willows and urns. And oh, the names! It’s amazing how popular Thankful and Temperance were back in the day!

What in your opinion is the one thing you can’t miss when you visit Cape Cod

Visitors should always make a point to head to the Outer Cape: Eastham, Welfleet, Truro and Provincetown. This will be an entirely different experience, depending on which season you choose to visit, but no matter when, there is a quiet, rugged quality to this part of the Cape that will steal your heart.

Any top tips where to go/ what to do on a rainy day?

Okay, this is going to go against logic, but as long as it’s not raining TOO hard, go to the beach!! Storms wash up all sorts of interesting shells and driftwood. The place is deserted. The sea is wild. It’s the perfect time to breathe deeply, meditate and cleanse. The last rainy beach walk we did was in Dennis. We saw the oystermen working the beds, and left with handfuls of fresh oysters!

Chapin Beach Winter

Where is your go-to restaurant ?

Our go-to restaurant is Captain Parker’s Pub. We always order the same thing: Clam Chowder in a bread bowl. Captain P’s has the best chowder around. They’ll be the first to tell you how many awards it’s won, and with good reason. They have a great bar, too, and a new outdoor seating section overlooking the marsh.

And where do you suggest going for a drink in the evening?

For a fancy treat, the Ocean House is spectacular. It’s located in Dennisport overlooking Nantucket Sound. Check out their Beach Bar (pretty sure this just operates in summer) with drink specialties like the Beach Bum and Pleasure Punch as well as light fare. There’s also a good raw bar!

Is there one thing not many people know about Cape Cod?

People think first of the beach and the lobster rolls, but the Cape has a rich literary history as the setting of some great books.  Henry David Thoreau’s Cape Cod should be on everyone’s top travel reads list. You can even recreate his itinerary and walk the route. Some parts haven’t changed much! (Thoreau liked walking the beach in the rain too!) Of course we can’t forget classics like Moby Dick and Beston’s The Outermost House. For lovers of the quirky and creepy you can visit the Edward Gorey House in Yarmouth Port.

Anything else you think we should know?

Like many popular tourist destinations, Cape Cod has a complicated relationship with tourism. Our economy is based on tourism, and many businesses still close down “off-season,” which generally runs from October through April or so. We complain incessantly about summer traffic and getting our beaches back after Labor Day, but we also love the fun and excitement of the summer season. I remember when I was a child, designing big poster-sized signs that said things like “Honk if you had a great summer!” and “Goodbye Tourists. See you next year!” If you’ve already had the chance to visit in summer, come back and enjoy visiting the Cape in the fall or winter!