The Cape Cod National Seashore is a fantastic daytrip from the Inn. This US National Park is located on the very tip of Cape Cod and about an hour drive from Falmouth.
Visitors from around the world come to this 44,000-acre seashore sanctuary to enjoy the pine woods, sparkling kettle ponds, pungent salt marches, expansive tidal flats, heathered moors, lonely dunes, safe harbors, ancient byways, quaint villages and, of course, the magnificent Great Beach. Forty miles of coastline offer swimmers, windsurfers and boaters tranquil harbors and coves, as well as temperamental open ocean. Biking and hiking trails meander through the woods and dunes. Bird watchers can focus their binoculars on more than 360 species. Wild cranberry bogs nestle in dunes swales and wild flowers from seaside goldenrod to white water lily to sheep laurel give each corner of the park its own special color and perfume.
The land’s history has been meticulously preserved. Native American sites and Pilgrim history are part of the park’s oral tradition and archeological record. Ranger-guided interpretive walks introduce visitors to the Old Harbor Lifesaving Station, a reminder of the courage of Cape Cod’s lifesaving service. Visitors also learn of Captain Edward Penniman, the Eastham man who went to sea for forty years and whose 1868 house with its whalebone gateway recalls the heyday of Cape Cod whaling and sea trade. On a bluff facing the Atlantic, the last vestiges of Guglielmo Marconi’s wireless station protrudes from the sand. It was there in 1903, that Marconi transmitted the first transatlantic radio message, an exchange between President Theodore Roosevelt and King Edward VII of England. More humble icons have also been preserved, including a 1730s-era Cape Cod dwelling, the lighthouses and colorful fishing boats that have provided a living for generations of Cape Codders.
This splendid seashore has inspired numerous artists and writers. Among the greatest are Edward Hopper and Henry David Thoreau who wrote in 1890, “A man may stand there and put all of America behind him.”
After a day at the seashore it is time to return to the Palmer House to prepare for the evening meal at one of Falmouth’s fine restaurants.