Winter on Cape Cod

I am a summer girl. I love everything about those hot, sticky months – flip flops, sundresses, lounging on the beach, sun brewed iced tea, and best of all loads of business. The downside is that I have to forgo all that lounging on the beach for working ten hour days seven days a week, so I generally save any soaking in the sun for vacations during the winter. Living in a seaside village with seventy miles of shoreline, you would think that I’d feel nothing but jealous and resentful of our guests who get to take advantage of it all. And while some days, there’s nothing more I want to do than exchange my apron for a bathing suit and tube of sunscreen, for the most part, I relish the hustle and bustle of running a busy inn all summer long. Plus, come winter, I get to enjoy the Cape in many ways summer guests miss out on.

Take for example, Lighthouse Beach, just 1.5 miles down the street. I took my daughter there just the other day and we had the entire beach to ourselves and even glimpsed a couple ocean effect snowflakes blowing through the sunny sky and down the sandy shoreline that seemed to stretch for miles. Or, how about the fact that, despite some restaurants closing for the season, the ones that remain open aren’t trying to flip a table three times in one night, so leisurely meals without reservations are always an option. And then there’s the much appreciated ability to make a left hand turn – an impossibility when the narrow Cape Cod streets are jammed with traffic in the summer.

People always ask how I survive the quiet, uneventful Cape Cod winters. Those who know me well are surprised at the ease with which I shed my fondness for New York and Boston for a home on a street whereas we are the only year round residents. Perhaps after the hectic summer, I long for a peaceful reprieve and Chatham in the winter fits the bill perfectly. But I think it’s more than that. I have grown to love the intimacy of a small town where the dry cleaner and fish market owner know me by name. I have even gone so far as to suggest to guests that winter is, indeed, the best time to visit the Cape. What could be better than strolling down Chatham’s Main Street without tripping over hundreds of people, stopping at the Squire for a big bowl of calm chowder, and retiring to Lady Mariah for a soak in the giant whirlpool tub and a warm fire with a bottle of wine and a good book…and all for lower winter rates?

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