Your 24 Hour Guide to Wellfleet – Here’s What To Do

sk_wellfleet-great-island-sunset_10-6-4Known as the “Oyster Capital” of Cape Cod, Wellfleet is a marvel of natural beauty. Halfway between the “tip” and the “elbow” of the Cape, the town features rolling peaks of sand dunes, a quaint harbor, multiple sites of historical intrigue, and a host of activities for both the shopper and the nature lover.

It is truly a town you could spend weeks in and feel as though you’ve only scratched the surface, but not everybody has that kind of time.

That’s why we’ve distilled a trip to Wellfleet into its most elemental necessities below, making it easy to plan a day trip there.

8:30 to 9:30 a.m. – Breakfast
The Blue Willow Bakery (1426 US-6) is known for their croissant sandwiches and buttery sticky buns. There aren’t many options in town for morning meals; it’s more of a seafood place. Some of the locals even eat it for breakfast.

9:30 a.m. to noon – Swamplands and Great Islands
There are multiple walking paths in town noted for their intriguing features, but perhaps the three most distinctive ones are the Atlantic White Cedar Swamp (off Marconi Station Road), The Great Island Trail (off Chequessett Neck Road), and the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary (291 US-6).

Walking on the boardwalks which cut through the cedar swamps will make you wonder how they haven’t filmed an episode of some inter-planetary feature there yet. It’s full of flora, both familiar and foreign, and mounds of dirt creating mini kettle ponds full of frogs. Nature enthusiasts and photographers alike will delight in the safari-like feel of the place, as they brush branches aside and watch out for snakes, amphibians and birds.

The Great Island Trail, only accessible at low tide, is much sandier than the swampland. It surrounds you in tree- and shrub-covered dunes. Hikers can expect to encounter fiddler crabs, herons, egrets, and a host of seabirds.

For a more guided educational experience, try the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, a MassAudubon property. Five miles of meadows, woods, bay beaches and ponds are all detailed extensively inside the visitor center, where park interpreters will answer any questions and provide you with a list of items to look out for. You’re likely to spot turtles, literal hundreds of species of birds, horseshoe crabs and much more.

KA_Wicked Oyster Wellfleet_080816_019Noon to 1 p.m. – Lunch
One of the most unique restaurants on the Lower Cape provides patrons with literary options to go with their meal. Bookstore and Restaurant (50 Kendrick Avenue), like many of Wellfleet’s eateries, specializes in seafood and craft cocktails, but also features an attached bookshop.

But when it comes to oysters specifically, it’s hard to beat the Wicked Oyster (50 Main Street). It’s one of the highest-rated restaurants on the Cape, with locals and tourists alike flocking to it when oysters are in season.

Although the Sunbird Café’s brick-and-mortar location is in Orleans, their renowned food truck has a recurring location at 2520 US-6 in Wellfleet. The multicultural menu is packed with flavorful dishes which rotate each week.

1 to 5:30 p.m. – Market Fleas and Galleries
Shoppers of the refined and rustic alike will leave Wellfleet with something, that’s virtually guaranteed. The dangerous part might be: just how many somethings!

The flea market at the Wellfleet Cinema grounds (51 Rte 6) features over 200 vendors who sell a little bit of everything: classic Cape Cod, sports, and other cultural memorabilia, antiques, jewelry, clothes and more. A warning: you will spend longer than you give yourself time for, so make sure your afternoon in Wellfleet isn’t too thoroughly booked.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the town is also regarded as “art gallery central.” There are about 13 of them in town, featuring the work of artists who work in pottery, paintings, sketches, sculpture, jewelry, wearables, glass and other mediums. All of the town’s galleries are located on Commercial Street, Main Street, Briar Street and Bank Street, making it easy to “gallery hop” throughout the afternoon.

sk_wellfleet-great-island-sunset_10-6-205:30 to 7 p.m. – Dinnertime
You know a place is legendary when there are news articles about its seasonal opening day. A night at The Beachcomber (1120 Cahoon Hollow Road) establishment guarantees a lighthearted, casual experience with a melting pot of surfers, tourists and locals, all perched on top of a giant dune. Situated in a 19th Century life-saving station, the establishment offers fresh seafood, live music and an unforgettable Cape Cod beach party vibe.

For a less sandy experience, try PB Boulangerie (15 Lecount Hollow Road). They’re menu focuses on sweets but the bistro offers homemade pastas, meat entrees and cheese plates, like the “Chariot of Cheese.” But a dessert selection is a must: the Mont Blanc features vanilla ice cream, homemade meringue, chestnut cream, chestnuts, whipped cream and chocolate sauce

7 p.m. to Whenever – Nightlife
If you have a little extra time to spend in town, you must go to a screening at one of the last remaining drive-ins in the region: The Wellfleet Drive-In (51 US-6). The famous outdoor theater proves that that this classic form of movie-going is far from a relic of the past. Bring a blanket, buy some popcorn, and kick back in the car for a relaxing double feature.
There’s also the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater (2357 Old Route 6 Road), which presents modern and old classics in a majestic, black-box setting.

By Adam Forziati
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
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