Tagged : recreation

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Celebrating more than 150 years of history on Cape Cod, the Cape Cod Central Railroad continues with a tradition that’s generations in the making. These days the railroad serves up more of a scenic role, moving through the landscape in an unforgettable way.

The railroad, however, has been a part of the region for well more than century. It actually dates back to the mid 1800s when rail serve first came to Cape Cod. That service then extended to connect several area towns and communities, extending to locations such as Orleans, Wellfleet and Provincetown. At one time even President Ulysses S. Grant is said to have boarded the train.

In more recent years, however, the railroad has turned into more of a tourist attraction, now running excursion trains from

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cape cod museum of natural history

Designed to help tell the story of the natural history of the region, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History opens its doors for nearly year-round opportunities to explore area wildlife and ecosystems. Through education and conservation, Cape Cod’s Nature Place gives visitors the opportunity to learn more about the region.

Although small in size, the museum hosts a number of collections and exhibits, as well as some traveling exhibits for visitors to enjoy. In addition, the location commonly presents lectures, classes, workshops, walks and even field trips, all designed to help visitors learn more about Cape Cod’s natural environment.

Along with the museum itself, hundreds of acres of adjacent land is protected, offering visitors the opportunity to learn

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first night chatham

The countdown is on to ring in the New Year with First Night Chatham. The annual event is packed with family fun, from the annual town photo at noon to the traditional Countdown Cod drop at the strike of midnight.

With non-stop fun and entertainment, this year’s event promises two fireworks displays, the return of the popular Noise Parade and at least 70 planned performers, entertaining the crowds at nearly two-dozen different venues in Chatham.

Now in its 26th year, a full lineup of performers and musical acts are on tap to lead residents and visitors into the New Year. From a jazz quartet to the restored Diamond Jubilee Organ, a poetry reading to Chinese folk art dancing, First Night Chatham promises to be bigger and better this year.

Other acts on the

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chatham labyrinth

Serving primarily as a quiet place to reflect and clear your thoughts, the Chatham Labyrinth also, for some, serves as a carefully designed spiritual place. No matter your reason for visiting, though, the labyrinth is sure to provide an interesting backdrop.

Gifted by local churches as part of a 300th anniversary celebration a few years back, the town labyrinth is a replica of one found in a French cathedral, designed from cut and sealed pavers. Completely in proportion, the design is said to help with the creation of harmony.

With a total of 11 circuits, the path of the labyrinth winds 11 times around until you reach its center. Laid out straight, the path would measure about one-third of a mile and 16-inches wide.

It’s hoped those who embark on the

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nickserson state park brewster ma

From its campgrounds to its trails, its beaches to its freshwater ponds, Nickerson State Park is a true family favorite on the Cape. A destination for locals and for visitors, the state-owned park and recreation area sits in Brewster, named for a family that donated the land where the park now resides.

With more than 1,900 acres to explore, Nickerson State Park provides hundreds of campsites and cabins, plus miles of trails for mountain biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and hiking, some of which even link up with the Cape Cod Rail Trail. Many of the freshwater kettle ponds are stocked for fishing too, while area lakes are prime for boating, canoeing, swimming and other outdoor recreation.

In addition, you’ll also find a boat ramp here, along

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celeste fine art gallery - wellfleet ma

Widely regarded for its historic attributes and seaside location, Wellfleet is also well known as an artsy kind of place. This charming town is tucked away between the ocean and the bay, with a longstanding heritage tied to fishing and aquaculture.

As the natural setting includes everything from protected freshwater ponds and dunes to marshes and moors, outdoor recreation is key in this community, from accessing the Cape Cod Rail Trail to simply taking in the natural beauty of the Cape Cod National Seashore. Promoters of Wellfleet arts and culture also hope to further recognize the importance of the area’s cultural and artistic attributes, however, by helping to celebrate the arts often gained from the area’s unique environment.

The seaside town

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cape cod off-roading

When it comes to visiting Nauset Beach one of the best ways to do it is off the beaten track. Off-roading to The Outer Beach is a popular pastime, especially during the peak season, even more so now that a statewide habitat conservation plan has come into play.

Under the recently approved plan, Orleans officials are able to escort off-road vehicles past plover nesting areas, which previously shut down the trails leading south from Nauset Beach. Because state and federal endangered species laws are in place to protect piping plovers, it’s necessary to keep people away from the nesting areas. Under the vehicle escort plan the birds remain protected while at the same time some conditional vehicle access is opened up to beach areas.

According to the Orleans

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chatham orpheum

For a family-friendly experience, the Chatham Orpheum Theater has served up fun on the Cape for generations. The theater first opened its doors around 1916, at that time making it the very first and the only movie house in Chatham.

From the start of silent films, the old Orpheum Theater was known as a prime, year-round destination for both area residents and seasonal visitors. It stayed that way for more than 70 years, but sadly closed its doors in the late 1980s and the building turned into a pharmacy.

That all changed in more recent years when the pharmacy moved out and a non-profit began working ‘round the clock to raise enough money to purchase the old building and bring Main Street movies back to town. Thanks to donations and government grants, crews

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orleans artist cottages

From stylish boutiques to gifts and crafts, Orleans Village offers a charming setting, filled with a unique blend of shops and restaurants to choose from. The quaint downtown shopping district is the perfect place to go for jewelry and home décor, plus dining and galleries.

This walk-able downtown area is ideal for sightseeing or simply taking a relaxing afternoon stroll, with one-of-a-kind items and locally produced artwork and keepsakes. With many options originating right on Cape Cod, the village is a great place to shop for regional crafts and clothing, whimsical toys and gourmet gifts.

To help ensure that the village stays that way, while still moving ahead to the future, efforts are underway to create more opportunity within the region. While

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be shark smart

From Michael Phelps racing sharks on TV to more shark sightings off the coast, it seems everyone is talking about sharks these days. Some publications suggest that great white shark sightings in the New England area are on the rise.

Already this season there have been at least a half-dozen local sightings, including one shark spotted just off Wellfleet back in early May. That’s led the National Park Service to send out alerts, dedicating a page just to shark safety

Many seem to think the perceived increase in the number of shark sightings has to do with an influx of gray seals. The sharks view the seals as food, and decades worth of efforts to help protect the gray seal population has therefore resulted in a larger number of white sharks being drawn to

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