At 339 square miles in size Cape Cod is home to dozens of spectacular beaches, hundreds of wondrous shops, and thousands of beautiful sites all open to the public. Still, when driving along one of the main roads or winding down a rural side street, it is hard to miss the signs designating a private road, club, or beach. It surely must make one wonder what it takes to get in to those clubs, beaches, or other private, luxurious areas of this peninsula. Here are some of the most exclusive areas of Cape Cod, and a little bit about what it takes to see them up close and personal.
The Eastward Ho! Country Club in Chatham is home to one of the most scenic golf courses on the Cape. The club was opened in 1922 with the golf course being constructed between 1921-1924. The views of Pleasant Bay are breathtaking and the club itself provides spectacular dining rooms and top notch casual and fine dining as well as private functions. Naturally this private club is not easy to become a member of. In order to become a member one must be referred by a current member and then are placed on the waiting list. Any guest of the club must be introduced by a member, and in the summer be accompanied by a member. One can however take a drive by the club and course and get a glimpse of what members enjoy along Fox Hill Road.
Private and gated communities are sprinkled throughout Cape Cod. None may be more mysterious than that of Great Island in South Yarmouth. The initial guard shack lies at the end of South Sea Avenue and is continuously inhabited. The easiest way to travel out onto Great Island is to either own a home in the community or be a friend of someone who does. If neither of those applies it is virtually impossible to venture out there. A total of four layers of security await from the initial guard shack out to where the magnificent Point Gammon Lighthouse resides at the southern tip of the island nearly three miles away. The ultimate in privacy with unspoiled views all around make it the most desirable ‘neighborhood’ on Cape Cod.
The Ridge Club in Sandwich is a world class private golf course. There are several different levels of membership, allowing access to different amenities in the club. One advantage here is that one does not have to be a resident of Sandwich to become a member. Guests are allowed, though if they are unaccompanied by a member they must present proper contact information. Tee times must be set up with the pro shop in advance and of course only appropriate attire is allowed. Still it is a fair price to pay to have access to such a fabulous golfing experience.
Despite the luxurious exteriors and posh amenities the Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club in Brewster is surprisingly accessible to the public. Though it has only been in existence since 1986 Ocean Edge has become entrenched on the Cape as one of its finest locations. The century-old Nickerson Mansion as well as dining and drink options Ocean Terrace, Bayzo’s Pub, and Linx Tavern are all open to the public. There are three different levels of membership which encompass different accessible activities. Membership allows one to partake in the award-winning golf course as well as private Bay Pines Beach and Beach Bar. However, anybody can become a member and anyone can book a room at the resort.
Two of the most posh resorts on the Cape, Chatham Bars Inn and Wequassett in Harwich, both have high class restaurants and bars in addition to deluxe accommodations. They are also open to the public provided one does not mind a little wait, or reservations. Chatham Bars Inn has four restaurants, including Stars and The Sacred Cod, opened to the public and also two private dining rooms. Wequassett has five different restaurants, including the four-star Twenty-Eight Atlantic. This, in addition to the Outer Bar & Grille and Pleasant Bay Terrace, is all open to the public. These two exclusive resorts are a little slice of luxury for anyone who wishes to partake.
These are only a few examples of the exclusive and luxurious locations which lie on the peninsula that is Cape Cod. Some are surprisingly accessible to the public while others require a lot of effort to indulge in, or are nearly impossible to see firsthand. Remember though, if one cannot get into one of the most exclusive spots on Cape Cod there are countless beautiful locations, fabulous restaurants, and wonderful shops that are completely open to the public here.
By Chris Setterlund