At this time of year my mind always turns to holidays, and it has occurred to me that I haven’t shared much about my last trip. Last October I tried out Norwegian Airways flight route from Ireland to Providence. Mr C and I spent four nights exploring Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Newport. It was a really quick visit as we had left the children at home with Granny!
If you are thinking of a break this year I highly recommend this part of New England. I think the easiest way to share our experience is by taking you through our itinerary, as well as giving some tips and hints along the way!
Day 1: Belfast – Dublin airport – Providence Airport – Hyannis, Cape Cod
We started our trip by travelling on the Airport Express from Belfast to Dublin Airport. Norwegian also fly from Belfast to Providence, but the date suited us better from Dublin, plus we then had the added advantage of being able to pre-clear customs before flying.
The queues for pre-clearance were long, so leave plenty of time. The flight itself was comfortable, although, we had booked exit row seats giving extra leg room which helped. We had paid for LowFare plus meaning we also had hold luggage, allocated seats and a meal included. The meal was of industry standard, but it is worth noting all on board purchases, such as extra drinks, snacks etc, had to be paid by card. Landing at Providence was hassle free. It is a small airport and it did not take long to collect our bags and head off to the car rental building.
Car rental is by far the easiest way to explore New England, unless you are heading into Boston. One thing my research did discover was that you should book your rental car through a .co.uk website. We used Budget, and this meant that we had much better insurance cover, and it was cheaper anyway! Since we didn’t have the kids we decided to blow the budget and rented out a little convertible! Just for the fun of it – and it was fun!
Having never driven in America before, and with darkness creeping up upon us, we nervously set off. (Top tip – make sure that your SatNav isn’t set to avoid highways.) After a few false starts we found our way to the Hyannis Harbor Hotel. The hotel is located just across the street from the Hyannis Ferry terminal, and from there you can easily walk into the town. We picked this location as it meant that we didn’t need to take the car out at night if we ate in local restaurants.
The hotel has recently been renovated and they have added a new building. We stayed in the older part of the hotel, in a room overlooking the harbour. The room was very comfortable, and I loved the décor. I would say it had more of a motel feel to it, than hotel, but it didn’t matter; after a long day travelling we slept like logs!
Day 2 Hyannis – Cape Cod Lighthouse – Provincetown – Cape Cod Mall, Hyannis
As has become custom when I travel, I woke up before the crack of dawn, and then headed off to find the nearest sunrise. It was totally worth it! In Hyannis Harbor fishermen were bringing in early morning hauls of fresh seafood. Commuters were milling around waiting for Island ferries, and as the sky started to glow with the warmth of a new day, and little sailboats bobbed on the water, I found the views just breathtaking and I couldn’t wait to explore more. We then drove a sort distance to Kalmus beach which had the most glorious view over Lewis Bay. The beach there was amazing, so many shells! I couldn’t help but think how much the kids would have loved it.
The next stop on our adventure was the Cape Cod Lighthouse. This is one of the oldest lighthouses on the Cape and we enjoyed having a guided tour of the inner workings. It was an amazing building with even more amazing views from the top. I believe we were very lucky with the weather during our stay.
We then headed to the furthest point of the Cape, Provincetown. This area is known for its colourful flags, and it has a rich culture of diversity. It is also the first landing point of the pilgrims and there is a huge monument to climb in their honour. They totally trick you when they tell you how many steps it is to the top though, as they don’t tell you each step is about 8 metres wide! However , I guess I needed the exercise anyway, because the food on the Cape was delicious. Absolutely hands down the best food I have ever had, on any holiday ever!
The lobster roll is known to be a local delicacy, so naturally we tried one, which we shared with a quinoa salad. Yum!
Provincetown also has a plethora of cute little shops, with oddities and antiques, which you could spend hours browsing.
We decided to travel back via the Old Kings Highway, or Route 6a. My research had suggested that this was a great drive with lots of cool little stop off places, but to be honest, we didn’t find very much.
There was the fancy hotel we passed, which looked perfect for those looking for a little luxury…
And a little shopping complex which was adorable, it really felt quintessentially American.
However, you know how it is with us women, I had already told Mr C that we needed to spend a few hours at Cape Cod Mall, for some retail therapy. Honestly, my purse wasn’t much lighter when I left. If it is designer goods and sale rails you are after, Cape Cod is not the place for you. I should have went in search of another lighthouse instead! As it was quite late we did eat at the restaurant there. I had steak tips with mash and green beans while Mr C had scallops! I felt like some-one had invited us round to their mom’s for dinner! Fabulous!