by Marti Mayne
Drive through the towns and villages of Falmouth, MA, which takes in eight townships, and everywhere you look the grey shingled buildings speak to the history and tradition of Cape Cod. As I drove into Woods Hole, I couldn’t help but think anyone looking for a great Cape Cod vacation destination would love this town. Known as the starting point to any Martha’s Vineyard vacation, via the famous Steamship Authority’s Martha’s Vineyard ferry that leaves from here, I was amazed at all that Woods Hole offered beyond a ferry portal. Front and center on Main Street, and literally a stone’s throw from the Martha’s Vineyard ferry is the Woods Hole Inn, a welcoming blue building located near the entrance of Water Street; you’ll recognize if from the umbrellas on the front deck. Traditionally Cape Cod on the outside, the minute one walks into the Woods Hole Inn they discover quite the opposite. The decor is part contemporary and part art deco, and the vibe here is fun, funky and laid back. Just about 75 miles from Boston, this is the ideal Cape Cod summer getaway destination for those from Boston and beyond.
Let’s see, where do I start? When I walked in I was immediately greeted by the Red Chair, famous for its recent trip around Cape Cod. The inn’s entry way is flanked by a stairway to the second floor wallpapered with guest registration cards from the 1950’s. “A very cool effect,” I thought and later learned that this wallpaper was specially created for Beth Colt, the innkeeper and co-owner.
It seems like there is a living room or private deck for each person here. Living rooms, chess rooms, computer areas, comfortable a deck overlooking the ferry’s activity, the list of places to hang out goes on and on. From the welcoming kitchen overlooking the ocean to the upper, middle and lower decks you’ll find a place to check your email, enjoy a game of backgammon or chess, sip tea, toast the evening with a glass of wine, watch the ferry come and go – you name it, there’s a place for it.
I can’t think of a better spot from which to explore Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. Jump on the ferry, about a 25 second walk away, and spend the day on Martha’s Vineyard, then use this as your base to explore the beaches and attractions of Cape Cod. Heck, you don’t even have to leave Woods Hole to find amazing things to explore. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is the world’s largest non-profit oceanographic research facility. Based in buildings throughout Woods Hole, it’s a fascinating place to explore the newest in ocean research. Not more than ten minutes away is Falmouth’s alluring Main Street with wonderful shops and restaurants offering something from just about every cuisine around the world.
Breakfast at the Woods Hole Inn is fabulous. Served buffet-style during my stay I enjoyed homemade individual blueberry bread pudding, two different kinds of quiche, fresh fruit (and tons of it), juices, coffee and tea, yogurt and yummy homemade granola too. In the afternoon cookies and a wonderful tomato soup cake (tasted like zucchini bread) plus the best raspberry tea I’ve ever had were readily available in the kitchen for guests.
At dinner time, don’t miss the inn’s restaurant, located in the lower level conveniently on the way to the ferry. Here at Quicks Hole, Baja surfer hangout meets Cape Cod clam shack in wonderful harmony. Lobster is the highlight here and in served in any manner of taco, burrito, salad or roll. The restaurant specializes in tacos, burritos, salads and from-scratch soups like chicken tortilla and local favorite, quahog chowder made the traditional way with bacon and roasted corn. Cape Cod Beer is on tap, along with a selection of wines and favorite brews. It’s all enjoyed inside at tables or on the water view deck. I tried the Cod Tacos. The best fish tacos I’ve ever had were accompanied by freshly made warm chips and the salsa bar featuring everything from hot and spicy to smoky and sweet.
I got a chance to tour many of the guest rooms, all a blend of California fresh and artsy cottage styling. Contemporary and clean décor is the theme here. I couldn’t help but notice the incredibly silky sheets and bed coverings and the thirsty thick towels. The spacious rooms, free wi-fi, flat screen TVs, handmade soaps and lovely toiletries all added to the welcoming style here. A touch of green next to the deep blue sea remains the mantra here with all efforts toward eco-tourism accomplished here.
Coming next, a story about the Falmouth B&B Association’s ten stately member inns. Watch for it!
When You Go:
Woods Hole Inn, 28 Water Street, Woods Hole, MA 02543, 508-495-0248, www.WoodsHoleInn.com and www.quicksholewickedfresh.com/.