Who doesn’t love spending summer days and nights on Cape Cod? It’s not getting any better than in the Lower Cape – and I’ll tell you why in a moment.
When you get to hotel / motel accommodation, when you go to the Lower Cape Cod area, be prepared. Most of the accommodations there are small mom-and-pop operations that have not been renovated since the Kennedy administration. President Kennedy, if you did not already know, was responsible for signing the law that created the Cape Cod National Seashore. This is why the area is famous for pristine, stunning beaches without the permission of overdevelopment on this nearly 30-mile stretch of Lower Cape Cod. No big hotels; no chain hotels; no big-box stores no franchise (except a Dunkin Donuts in Wellfleet, which has disgruntled more than a few area residents). By design, there is nothing ritzy and glitzy about this area – just rugged natural beauty. Including beautiful, clean, clear boiler ponds that are perfect for swimming in to rinse off the salt water.
What you want here is simply a good, high-quality hotel where you can sleep and shower – and take advantage of the fantastic beaches.
My husband Bill and I have enjoyed this area for the past 25 years and it is always a treat. During this time we have become very familiar with the area’s accommodation. One of our favorite properties that stands out as very appealing for its cleanliness, friendly atmosphere and value is the Viking Shores Motel in Eastham, which Hotels.com rated as a “Very Good” property. We have stayed here countless times over the last five years and I call it our little honeymoon port. It’s definitely our favorite – and believe me, we’ve lived here virtually all motels on the Lower Cape, during our 25 years of going there regularly in the summer.
A hallmark of Viking Shores is that your room rate includes continental breakfast – you can get your fill of croissants, banana bread, fresh fruit, milk and cereals as well as coffee and tea to your heart’s content. While there are some competing properties on the Lower Cape that offer a continental breakfast, most do not offer the wide selection that Viking Shores does as an inviting environment. The property has 40 rooms; in-season rack rates start at $ 162 per night and there is a 20% discount with AAA, AARP, or if you are in the military. Managers Alan Carrier and Kate Krapivina take great care of you and offer a personal touch to make the most of your stay. The rooms themselves are quite clean with refrigerators and hair dryers included. The location is superior – just off Route 6 in Eastham, just five minutes from the stunning sandy Nauset Light Beach and Coast Guard Beach. In fact, Coast Guard Beach is rated among world-famous Dr. Beaches ten largest beaches in America. If you love Hawaiian beaches, Coast Guard Beach is the next best thing.
The location of Viking Shores is easily accessible for all the sun and fun that the Lower Cape has to offer. In the next town of Wellfleet, for example, you can dine at Moby Dick’s Restaurant on Route 6 (to borrow their signature, you really get an excellent “whale of a meal”). On one of the beaches on the Cape Cod National Seashore you will admire their beautiful natural cliffs and their spectacular beauty. People come from all over the world to be here in the summer, it’s so great (although you might occasionally need a wetsuit as the summer water can sometimes be cool). You will also be close to dozens of mussels, locally owned shops, ice cream shops, miniature golf and the famous Wellfleet Drive-In Theater, one of the oldest in the country (its flea market is also a lot of fun). Viking Shores is also located directly on the Cape Cod Rail Trail – a 25 km stretch where you can cycle or just walk and get your workout. I can not say enough good things about it.
To end a beautiful day on any of the area’s beaches, I love lazing in the newly renovated swimming pool at Viking Shores, which is a wonderful little getaway where I always do my water aerobics. In the evening you can go right next door to Poit’s Ice Cream for a soft serving. Or head over to Nauset Ice Cream, an award-winning, locally owned business where the owner told me she’s proud that a family of four can get four cones for around $ 20. The Oreo cookie is especially delicious – and even better enjoyed in July, which is National Ice Cream Month. Get your licks in! That’s what Cape is all about.
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