24 Hours in Bourne – What to Do

ThinkstockPhotos-466732416 (1)If you drive to Cape Cod, you have no choice but to travel through Bourne, as both vehicle bridges are located in the town. But somehow it is one of the most overlooked communities on Cape Cod.

But there are plenty of ways the locals have fun, and the town has no shortage of beautiful places.

If you’ve only got one day to spend along the “Gateway to Cape Cod,” check out our guide below.

8 to 9 a.m. – Breakfast
There are two places you need to know if you are fixing for a good breakfast in Bourne, because they’re in business even when temperatures drop. In a not-so-touristy Cape Cod town, that’s saying something.

First up: The Daily Brew (1370 MA-28A, Cataumet village) has breakfast sandwiches, fresh-baked muffins in several tempting flavors, smoothies, coffee and a carefree, relaxed atmosphere. It is also known for its cozy upstairs seating, adorned with artifacts still remaining from when the 19th century building was an antiques store.

Holly Berries (254 Shore Road), another loyal local favorite, will lay some serious flapjacks on your plate. Their menu follows traditional New England breakfast fare to the tee – expect to find baked beans with your eggs and fresh fruit in your pancakes. You can’t leave without trying a griddled muffin with butter.

9 a.m. to noon – A Morning in Nature
One might not expect to find some of the most diverse natural settings on in the region in the unassuming, mostly residential town of Bourne. But to ignore its ample space, sprawling ponds and bordering bogs would be to look away from countless examples of the Cape’s diverse rich ecosystems.

The Four Ponds Conservation Area (Parking lot off of Barlows Landing Road) is much-beloved by dog walkers from all over town. As the name implies, this hidden gem features plenty of water and, correspondingly, a great diversity of plants and wildlife. On the border with Bourne’s town forest, Four Ponds and the surrounding lands provide visitors with 280 acres of woodland to explore.

The ponds are an excellent place to spot turtles, frogs and plenty of birds.

Another fascinating natural attraction, which surprisingly few locals even know about, is Butterflies of Cape Cod (26 Herring Pond Road). This outdoor enclosed butterfly habitat exhibits several local species and educates its visitors about the importance of pollinators and how to attract them.

If it’s a seaside jaunt you’re after, start your day along the Cape Cod Canal. Tons of rollerbladers, skateboarders, bicyclists and power walkers trek all or part of the 14-mile long paved, flat trail which runs on either side. In the warmer months, you’ll see recreational boats cruising parallel, and end up near the “downtown” part of Bourne, Buzzards Bay, sitting under the train bridge.

The Bourne Bridge over the Cape Cod Canal.

Noon to 1 p.m. – Lunch
If you’re already in Buzzards Bay, check out Krua Thai (100 Main Street) for lunch. Krua is one of those places that locals have trusted for years. Experience the off-the- pier-fresh seafood, hand-cut beef filets, scrumptious stews or any of their other mouthwatering dishes.

Back on the “Cape side” of Bourne in the village of Monument Beach is a little pizza and sub shop called Monument Beach Pizza (18 Beach Street). Stop in there for some award-winning pizza, from classics like the Margherita to some head-turners, like the Salt Works (featuring Applewood bacon and dill pickles).

1 to 6 p.m. – Touring the Town
If you’ve got kids, there’s one place you have to bring them in Bourne. The National Marine Life Center (120 Main Street) is a marine animal hospital and rehabilitation center which doubles as a museum. The wild animals treated here include sea turtles, seals, seabirds, porpoises, whales, dolphins and even manatees. Sometimes, the public may see inside the living quarters and watch as attendants feed the animals. There is also a gift shop with local art, jewelry and toys.

For history lovers, try the Aptucxet Trading Post (24 Aptucxet Road), a replica of the nation’s oldest store. The building is on the original site of the early 1600s structure, and contains artifacts reaching back to the original Plymouth colony. Come for tours and a walk along its beautiful grounds.

6 to 7 p.m. – Dinnertime
The Cape has many establishments which are sort of a rite of passage; a measure of one’s familiarity with what this region has to offer. The Chartroom, a small restaurant overlooking the harbor at Kingman Yacht Center, is one of those institutions. If the killer view isn’t enough, The Chart Room has old fashioned seafood dishes and a lively barroom atmosphere.

Another popular seafood place, this one hovering over a salty inlet near a marsh, is The Lobster Trap (290 Shore Road). This unsuspecting shack offers live music, an intimate atmosphere and plenty of fresh fish and lobster.

For something familiar but incredibly well-executed, you’ll have to try what many consider to be the best Chinese food on Cape Cod: Golden Place (4 Barlows Landing Road). The beauty of this place is simple: the food is some of the best Mandarin, Szechuan and Cantonese cuisine you’ll find south of Boston, end of story.

Be sure to end the day at yet another legendary spot: Somerset Creamery (1268 MA-28A). If you see long lines, don’t be surprised: all will agree, the wait is worth it. Most assume the only decent ice cream to be had on the Cape doesn’t begin to crop up until Yarmouth, but oh, how deliciously wrong they are. Somerset is home of the “Cranberry Bog” flavor, but also feature a delightfully-long list of full-fat, sugar-free and frozen yogurt flavors. In September, be sure to try Indian Pudding!

By Adam Forziati

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