89 North Shore Boulevard
I couldn’t have been happier with the accommodations at this adorable two-bedroom cottage located on East Sandwich beach just steps from the ocean. Owners Tom and Ellen went out of their way to make sure I had everything I needed for an off-season weekend stay at their property, which has breathtaking views of the ocean. This space offers comfort, peace, and privacy, and is ideal as a beachy getaway for 1 to 6 people on- or off-season.
I’ve stayed at several cottages on East Sandwich beach over the last ten years because, in my opinion, the location can’t be beat. The quaint town of Sandwich is located a quick fifteen minutes over the Bourne Bridge, making it one of the nearest Cape destinations, as well as an excellent home base for those wishing to explore the Cape further.
East Sandwich Beach
The cottage is set back from the road and has ample parking space. A large area beside it filled by sand and seagrass offers additional privacy, a rare find along this road of cottages nestled together on prime beachfront real estate.
On arrival, everything was clean, fresh, and neat. The pictures shown on Airbnb.com were a good representation of the space. In fact, my expectations were exceeded the moment I walked through the cottage’s front door into the freshly painted dining room.
My Weekend Office
For three days, I enjoyed my morning coffee at the dining room table with a view to magical sunrises over the panoramic, unobstructed view of the horizon. As this was a working weekend for me, I felt fortunate to observe changes to the oceanthroughout the day and took inspiration from daily life at the shore.
I watched bufflehead ducks and gulls float in and above the water, the occasional dog-walker or jogger at the water’s edge, tug boats pulling cargo ships as they exited the Cape Cod Canal in the distance – all while enjoying an excellent Wi-Fi connection and the luxury of being steps from the water at break time.
Binoculars found on one of many convenient wall pegs made my viewing all the better. Natural light poured through the large picture windows of this room all day; it was a dream of a home-office.
A Cozy Cottage
The vintage kitchen beside the dining room was very clean and equipped with everything I needed for meal preparation, including a full-sized refrigerator and a newer gas range. A well-stocked wall of open shelving put cups, plates, mixing bowls, measuring cups, and other utilitarian items within easy reach. Small appliances, like a drip-coffee maker, toaster, microwave oven, toaster oven, and vacuum cleaner, came in handy. Each was spotless. I found plenty of counter space on which to work, and a shining kitchen sink (with dish soap and sponges) for food preparation and clean up. A pass-through counter between the kitchen and dining room made serving easy. Often forgotten essentials, like coffee filters, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and garbage bags, were conveniently on hand.
Although I travelled alone, I imagined the living room adjacent to the kitchen would provide ample space for socializing and family time. This room was clearly the heart of the home. Furnished with two easy chairs and a couch (which is also a fold-out bed), the room was accessorized with extra pillows, blankets, Yankee Candles, and a basket full of board games and playing cards. The rustic pine paneling, country accessories, and a large nautical map atop the mantel completed the classic old Cape Cod cottage décor. One corner held a large flat screen television with Cable service.
While the cottage was well-heated off-season, it was made all the cozier by a gas fireplace with real flames. One click of a switch, and voila! It offered deep heat and ambiance on a chilly afternoon while I read and napped to restore my creativity. Sliding glass doors led to a spacious deck suitable for al fresco dining and the same expansive view of the ocean beyond. I savored a peaceful pastel glow reflected in the water here by twilight one evening. On another night, a nor’easter came through, bringing wind-swept rain and gigantic waves at high-tide. I enjoyed a front row seat to the storm, safely ensconced within these solid cottage walls, which no doubt weathered many storms.
Off the living room, a small but efficient bathroom was well-stocked with plenty of toilet paper and soft, fluffy towels and hand cloths. The shower was good-and-hot with excellent water pressure. There was even an overhead heat lamp and bathroom night light.
Two lovely bedrooms flanked the bathroom. The one to the right was spacious, furnished with a comfortable full-sized bed, night stand with lamp, and a large bureau. Two windows let in lots of light (and I bet a summer cross-breeze), making this a cheerful space. The other bedroom, smaller and cozy, also offered a comfortable full-sized bed and night stand with lamp, along with a shelved cubby for hanging clothes and two windows. I chose to sleep in this one; it was like a little nest in which to cultivate my dreams and ideas. Both bedrooms were carpeted, decorated in pleasing colors against the same beautiful pine paneling so reminiscent of a traditional Cape Cod cottage. Each room included extra blankets and pillows to ensure ultimate comfort.
As I mentioned, this cottage is set directly on East Sandwich Beach in the gentle curve of what’s called the bay side of the Upper Cape. You might walk the shore for miles to collect shells, white stones, and driftwood keepsakes to treasure at home, as I have. You might just sit on the top step of the deck and purvey the beautiful view with wine in hand. Either way, one thing is for sure: you’ll find this stretch of beach is almost exclusively used by those in the string of picturesque cottages–big and small—which line North Shore Blvd. It is one Cape Cod beach that remains free from overcrowding throughout the season. It’s a testament to the beauty of our National Shore Line.
From the cottage, if you walk along the beach to the right, you’ll find Scorton Creek, an inlet from the Atlantic in which swimmers can body surf, effortlessly coasting along the tide currents. It’s also perfect for canoeing, as it meanders through marshlands, where I’ve caught glimpses of Great Herons and other water fowl. Young discoverers may find small crabs, periwinkles, and other wildlife in the tidal pools and along the banks of the marshland as my own children have in days gone by. It’s truly a treasured attraction (by me!) and a short walk from the cottage. (Some other of my favorite attractions close to the cottage include the Sandwich Boardwalk and Sandwich Glass Museum.)
Nearby Groceries & Shopping
Should you need supplies, you’ll find the Route 6A Convenient Store (which sells small grocery items, beer and wine, and convenience items) at the end of Ploughed Neck Road. A little further down Route 6A you will find Russell’s Corner and Sandwich’s town Center, which boasts a bakery, gourmet coffee shop, antique and gift shops, fine and casual dining within a few short (and very quaint!) blocks. My favorite place to shop is The Brown Jug, which offers wine, cheeses, sandwiches, and gourmet staples. Pizzerias, breakfast restaurants, and ice-cream shops are all nearby. Other shopping plazas in the vicinity offer larger grocery and other stores.
The icing on the cake: Tom and Ellen were super nice and helpful hosts. When I say they have thought of every detail, I mean it. One night, I came “home” after dark and was pleasantly surprised by a motion sensitive light that guided my way from car to front door. Such little details went a long way toward making me feel well cared for. While the Sandwich area–and the Cape in general–is very safe, sturdy locks on the front and screen door, newer windows with double locks, and a safety bar in the sliders further reassured me as a solo traveler.
Tom and Ellen provided flexible check-in and check-out times, responded quickly to emails and texts, even offered a bonus night at a reduced rate (to which I gladly agreed). No doubt as new owners they have plans to make updates to the cottage, but in my eyes, this place was perfect exactly as is; it’s classic Cape Cod…I would stay here again in a heartbeat.
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All content (c) Enjoy Travel Life and Jackie Gately, 2017