by Shannon Lane
I grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Brewster for my high school and college years. Coming home now after 10 years in the Boston area has brought back a flood of great memories, and recently I’ve been dreaming about what my perfect day in this beautiful town would be like.
It would honestly start here on the Captain Freeman Inn’s poolside screened-in porch, eating one of Lisa and Donna’s delectable breakfast creations. Fresh squeezed orange juice and a cup of Harney & Sons Earl Grey Tea would definitely be involved, as would fresh pineapple with dried cranberries, Crème Brûlée French Toast and a couple of slices of hickory smoked bacon. Yummers! To complete the perfect breakfast experience, I would enjoy one of our warm, lavender and grapefruit scented hand towels draped over my welcoming face.
After that I would head over to the John Wing Hiking Trail at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History. This is one of my favorite walks, as it passes through the coastal pitch pine woodlands, across a salt marsh to Wing’s Island, and finally descends through a salt marsh swale to the barrier beach and tidal pools of Cape Cod Bay. It is truly a microcosm of the Cape’s landscape, highlighting the natural and human development which has shaped this fragile land from geological times to the present. The tidal flats and creeks are home to a variety of fish, crabs, shellfish, worms, and snails as well as many seaside plants, grasses and trees. I discover something new every time I walk there, and always leave with a smile on my face :)
From there I would bike along the Cape Cod Rail Trail to Nickerson State Park for a quick swim in Flax Pond. This is one of the cleanest and loveliest bodies of water I have ever encountered, a 48 acre natural kettlehole pond sitting along 1.1 miles of undeveloped shoreline protected within the confines of Nickerson State Park. The water transparency is excellent, aquatic vegetation is scant and the bottom is composed primarily of soft, light sand. All of this combined makes for a perfect swimming experience, with no worries of unwelcome critters or dark, mysterious algae preventing you from diving right into the refreshingly cool waters. You can even rent canoes, kayaks, and paddle boats there through Jack’s Boat Rental!
Next I would drive on over to Paine’s Creek Beach to watch the sunset. In my most humble opinion, this is the prettiest place in the world to watch a sunset! There’s as good a western view as you can get here on Cape Cod, and the landscape seems to reflect the light as if by magic. Words cannot describe how peaceful and beautiful this experience can be but the amazing picture below, taken by our very own and very talented Byron Cain, should give you a sense of it!
Finally, to cap off my perfect Brewster day I would enjoy dinner at the Peddler’s Café on Thad Ellis Road. This is undoubtedly the best hidden gem I have found in 25 years of eating on the Cape. From the moment you walk through the front door you are transported to an intimate French Bistro where food is meant to be enjoyed to its fullest and guests are encouraged to take their time savoring every delicious flavor they encounter. The smells alone are intoxicating, but the first bite that hits your mouth will have you literally moaning with pleasure! The service is welcoming and personal, the ambiance warm and romantic, and the wine list surprisingly expansive.