Discovery Bicycle Tours Cape Cod

Bicycle Tour Cape Cod tour guide

Discovery Bicycle Tours Cape Cod, “Your next great adventure starts here.”

The Palmer House Inn has been affiliated with Discovery Bicycle Tours for four years. We always look forward to the arrival of the cyclists, it is our unofficial start to the summer season. This June they will come to stay with us for two nights starting on June 10th and then again June 24th. The complete tour includes two additional nights on Martha’s Vineyard. The total cost of the trip is $2,395.

Bicycle Tour Cape Cod setting out
Setting out.
Shining Sea Bike Path
Shining Sea Bike Path in Fall

During the days spent in Falmouth on Cape Cod, they follow beach roads and “The Shining Sea Bike Path“. These roads and paths weave through salt marshes, cranberry bogs, bird sanctuaries, barrier beaches and tidal flats. The sanctuaries are filled with geese, egrets, red winged black birds, osprey and  many species of ducks. For lunch you will dine at Dana’s kitchen, one of Falmouth’s best known eateries. The evening meals will be at The Quarterdeck Restaurant that is known for its outstanding seafood offerings., however, they have a complete menu of steaks chops and even vegetation dishes. On the second evening you will dine at Osteria la Civeta, a charming northern Italian restaurant located in Falmouth Village and just a seven minute stroll from the Palmer House Inn.

Bicycle Tour Cape Cod planning
The planning meeting, in the Palmer House Inn’s parlor, before setting out for a day of cycling.

You begin your third day with a sumptuous breakfast in the Palmer House dining room. Then you ride to a scenic ferry that takes you to Martha’s Vineyard. While on the Vineyard you will visit the elegant town of Edgartown. It was a colonial seaport with rows of 18th century homes that are a reminder of the great prosperity of the early whaling era. The beautiful bicycle route that Discovery has chosen, takes you past the three-mile barrier beach of Katama and then on to West Tisbury. Then you will take short ferry ride to Chappaquiddick Island. Where you will bike around the island. Next is a visit to the town of Vineyard Haven, where you will ride past historic West Chop Light and bike “up island”to the legendary Aquinnah Cliffs. The next destination is the charming fishing village of Menemsha and lovely Menemsha beach. Menemsha is working village with its own fleet. Its claim to fame is that it is where the 1971’s motion picture “Jaws” was filmed.

You will also visit the town of Oak Bluffs where you will explore the famous labyrinthine streets that are lined with small rainbow colored, Victorian, gingerbread style cottages.  You will also see the nations oldest Flying Horses Carousel.

More information on Martha’s Vineyard

Bicycle Tour Cape Cod tour guide
Toni, the woman in the blue shorts is one of the guides.

In the nineteenth century, Oak Bluffs started as a place where religious revival meetings were held. There was a large tent in the center for the meetings, and smaller tents formed a circle around the large tent. As time passed, the central structure was made of iron and on the wooden tent platforms the little houses were constructed. As one would expect, a town formed around the harbor area close to the camp grounds. The town had hotels and taverns. This was not acceptable to the religious community who frowned upon the use of alcohol. As a result, a fence was built around the their community and the gates were closed and locked each evening.  Remnants of that fence can still be found to this day.

  • The tour information may change. Please see event organizer for details. 

Discovery Bicycle Tours


Cape Cod's Stowe Room, A
Harriet Beecher Stowe room
Cape Cod's Emily Dickinson Room Five
Cape Cod’s Emily Dickinson Room Five

While all of our guestrooms have their own charm suitable for relaxation after the most wonderful day exploring Cape Cod’s history, we recommend the Harriet Beecher Stowe room, the Theodore Roosevelt room or the Emily Dickinson room. These rooms feature comfortable king beds, fireplaces, jacuzzi-style tubs and a relaxing stay before and after your day.

A Sailor’s Valentine

Sailing Sky High

Sailor’s Valentines on Cape Cod

By Pat O’Connell

Sailing Sky High
“Sailing Sky High” by Martha Cahoon.

Many folks believe that Sailor’s Valentines were created by sailing men aboard ships. It’s thought that the sailors used the projects to wile away the time at sea. However, when one stops to think about a sailor’s life, that thought just doesn’t make sense for a number or reasons.

First, can you imagine doing such intricate work aboard a ship while it is pitching and rolling? Second, there were not many idle moments aboard merchant or whaling ship. The crew was either working, eating or sleeping. And third, space was at a premium aboard those ships. There just wasn’t much room for storing personal items.

This is a Sailor’s Valentine that is on display at the Falmouth Museums on the Green.
This is a Sailor’s Valentine that is on display at the Falmouth Museums on the Green.

A Sailor’s Valentine is Intricate Sea Shell Art

They were created as a sentimental or souvenir gift. They use large numbers of small varied colored seashells that are glued into intricately symmetrical designs. The original Sailor’s Valentines were made between 1830 and 1890. They were created to be taken home as a memento of a sailor’s voyage at sea and given to his loved ones.  Most often, they are octagonal designs and were usually between 8 to 20 inches wide. Seashells are glued into place then mounted in a hinged wooden box. The patterns often featured a centerpiece such as a heart shape or a compass rose. In some instances the shells were used to spell out a sentimental message or a motto.

Sailor's Valentine in the Palmer House's James Fenimore Cooper room
Sailor’s Valentine in the Palmer House’s James Fenimore Cooper room.
Sailor's Valentine
Palmer House lnn’s Sailor’s Valentine.

Many of the Sailor’s Valentines were produced in the island of Barbados. This island was an important seaport during the age of sail. It’s believed that women on Barbados made the valentines using local seashells. It’s also  believed that some of the shells were imported from Indonesia. The finished product was then sold to sailors as souvenirs.

John Fondas, author of “Sailors Valentines” states that the most common source for Sailor’s Valentines was the “New Curiosity Shop”  that was located on MacGregor Street in Brighton, Barbados.  It was a popular shop where sailors liked to purchase souvenirs. It was owned by B.H. and George Belgrave who were brothers. John Fondas tells about a Sailors Valentine that was being repaired. During the job a Barbados newspaper was found inside the backing material.

Today the original Sailor’s Valentines are collectible and are valued for their color, beauty and unique qualities. Collectors have sparked interest in this unique art form. Sailor’s Valentine kits can now be purchased in craft shops and online.

The Nantucket Whaling Museum has an extensive collection of the antique Sailor’s Valentines, in addition, our own Falmouth Museums on the Green also has two excellent examples of antique sailors valentines in the Doctor Francis Wick’s House. The valentines were brought to Falmouth by some of Falmouth’s sailors many years ago.

If you are interested in creating a Sailor’s Valentine of your own. Susan Black, a native of Nantucket, has kits that can be purchased online. Each kit includes an octagonal wooden box with a hinged glass front and a collection of seashells from around the world. website

We hope you have a romantic Valentine’s Day.


Carved mahogany four poster bed in the Roosevelt Room.
Carved mahogany four poster bed in the Roosevelt Room.
Cape Cod's Emily Dickinson Room Five
Emily Dickinson Room

While all of our guestrooms have their own charm suitable for relaxation after the most wonderful day of artistic adventures on Cape Cod’s, we recommend the Harriet Beecher Stowe room, the Theodore Roosevelt room or the Emily Dickinson room. These rooms feature comfortable king beds, fireplaces, jacuzzi-style tubs and a relaxing stay before and after your day.

Fall Weddings & Winter Weddings

Fall wedding

Photos from a few of our favorite Fall & Winter Weddings

This beautiful couple wanted an intimate winter wedding in an elegant home. We were married in December so winter weddings hold a special place in our hearts.

Winter weddings on Cape Cod by the Christmas tree
This handsome couple were married the week before Christmas. The halls were decked at the Palmer House Inn which created a festive setting.

Winter wedding for a happy couple.

Winter wedding at the Palmer House Inn located in Falmouth, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA.
Winter wedding

A joyous fall wedding.

Fall wedding at the Palmer House
Joy was in the air on this brisk Fall day. The elopement/wedding was warm and cosy within the Palmer House Inn.

 

A Winter Wedding Elopment for a beautiful couple.

Same sex winter weddings vows by the fireplace.
Wedding vows by the fireplace. These lovely ladies’ wish was to be married on New year’s Day. They started a new year and a new life together.

 

Winter weddings can be fun. This couple wanted some photos in the snow.

Winter weddings on Cape Cod in the snow
Photo with a photo in the snow. Love was in the air on the first day of spring for this happy couple. They wanted to recreate his parent’s wedding day look.

Fall wedding ceremony at the gazebo

Wedding ceremony in the gazebo at the Museums on the Green in Falmouth, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA.
Wedding ceremony in the gazebo at the Museums on the Green.

More on Fall and Winter Weddings on Cape Cod


Cape Cod's Stowe Room, A
Harriet Beecher Stowe room
Cape Cod's Emily Dickinson Room Five
Cape Cod’s Emily Dickinson Room Five

While all of our guestrooms have their own charm, we recommend the Harriet Beecher Stowe room, the Theodore Roosevelt room or the Emily Dickinson room for your wedding. These rooms feature comfortable king beds, fireplaces, jacuzzi-style tubs and a relaxing stay before and after your day.