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HOLIDAYS: Touched BY Cod; Join America’s rich and famous at their perfect summer playground.(Features)

Sunday Mirror (London, England) July 23, 2006 Byline: By RHIANNON VIVIAN IF you like your cocktails strong, your weather glorious and your seafood so fresh it might wink at you, Cape Cod is the place to be.

It’s a balmy evening and, thanks to the fact that my Cape Codder cocktail has been served the American way -almost all vodka and nothing else (mention standard UK measures, ~” here and they’ll laugh), the edges of this spectacular part of Massachusetts are getting nicely blurred.

Cape Cod is on the east coast of the States, an hour or so’s drive from Boston Logan Airport. It’s full of typically Yankee wooden houses covered in long wooden roof tiles.

Anyone who is anyone (that’s the rich, the very rich and assorted celebs) owns a holiday home here. And if you’re really rolling in it, you might just charter your own private jet to the local airport… like Microsoft gazillionaire Bill Gates does. site boston logan airport

It’s a hugely popular holiday destination with both Americans and foreigners. Everyone wants to escape the stresses and strains of life and head down to the captivating Cod.

WHERE TO STAY WE checked into the Cape Codder Resort and Spa. It’s a maze of more than 500 rooms built around a courtyard with a pretend beach and indoor water park. It’s very family-friendly. The Grand Cru Wine bar serves sandwiches bigger than your face (and doggy bags for the inevitable leftovers), plus deluxe margaritas and a large selection of wines. Two restaurants – VJ’s Grille and the Hearth and Kettle – provide good grub on site. Aside from the American penchant for cranking up the air-con to Siberian levels, it’s a very comfortable and welcoming stay.

WHAT TO DO OUR first port of call was the hugely popular Hyannis Whale Watch. It lasts around three hours, and with the expert commentary and plentiful ‘ sightings of humpbacks and minkys up close, there’s never a dull moment.

There’s a genuine awe and I excitement every time one of these grand creatures urfaces. And if you’re lucky nough, they might just flip over on to their backs and give you a wave with a flipper – this drew a massive cheer from our boat when it happened. Another must-see is Martha’s Vineyard. Seven miles from the mainland, this self contained little island is a long-established playground of the rich and famous. Take the Island Queen boat across the calm waters from Falmouth Harbour to the Vineyard. It takes just half an hour, allowing enough time to drink in the beautiful sparkly seascape.

The island is smaller and more isolated than you expect. See its quaint neighbourhoods courtesy of a narrated bus tour (no need to pre-book). Most impressive is historic Edgartown, and Oak Bluffs with its colourful toy-town homes with turrets.

Martha’s is an intriguing place. With just one school, one small hospital and bright, wooden shops and houses, it almost feels like stepping into a real-life version of the children’s TV classic Trumpton.

Cape Cod is synonymous with the Kennedy family. The John F. Kennedy memorial is located in Hyannis and you can take a boat trip which includes the Kennedy Compound and the John F. Kennedy Museum, which chronicles the assassinated president’s Cape years (1934-63) with lots of family photos. It’s worth taking a good look at the Kennedy family tree which takes up an entire wall.

WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK THERE’S fresh seafood everywhere and it’s practically criminal not to kit yourself out with a bib, claw-cracker and pick to try the local lobster. Following our Martha’s Vineyard excursion we had dinner at the Flying Bridge (220 Scranton Avenue, Falmouth) overlooking the harbour. The deep-fried calamari went down especially well.

It’s also a popular place for weddings, one of which we managed to crash, dance at, and get kicked out of in less than 10 minutes. Try dining at the Chart Room (1 Shipyard Lane, Cataumet) for fantastic mussels and clams. Good drink follows more good drink at Liam McGuire’s Irish Pub on the main street, which is a must-visit for the atmosphere.

WHAT TO SEE IN BOSTON JUST an hour’s drive from Cape Cod is Boston – a fantastic city that you simply must see while you’re so close. You can drive in and out for the day, or to get the most out of it, add a stay in the city at one end of your Cape Cod visit.

There’s so much to see, but start with a look at the Boston Public Garden on Charles Street – America’s oldest botanical gardens. The famous Swan Boats, operating since 1877, give it a unique charm.

The Museum of Science at Science Park is one for the kids, with more than 400 interactive exhibits, including a planetarium. If you’re there for more than a day try catch a Red Sox baseball game at the Fenway Park stadium – no experience is more American. Discover the history of beer-making in America at the Sam Adams Brewery in the Jamaica Plain district, or take a look at the bar that inspired Cheers – The Bull & Finch pub in the Beacon Hill District. However, what Boston is best for is a bargain. Make your own choice of all the boutiques and shops – but make sure you browse in Urban Outfitters, where prices are much cheaper than in UK branches. go to website boston logan airport

Beauty-wise, prices at the Kheils shop on Newbury Street are almost a pound for a dollar – definitely worth a bargain or five. And if you love to find a really good deal, you have to go to the infamous Filene’s basement at 426 Washington Street. It may look like a jumble sale, but dig deep and you could find a designer bargain.


A ROOM for two at Cape Codder Spa ( starts from around pounds 75 per night.

In Boston, rooms at the Fairmont Copley Plaza ( start at around pounds 225 in summer. Dinner for two averages pounds 70 a head.

AER LINGUS ( have daily flights from Dublin to Boston. See website for fare prices. Icelandair fly to Boston from London and Glasgow (via Iceland). Return fares from about pounds 455.

Hyannis Whale Watch trips average pounds 30 ( and for daytrips to Martha’s Vineyard, see For more info about the whole of Massachusetts, see the state’s tourist website at or call 0044 207 978 7429.


Blue heaven… picture-postcard houses around the cove at Cape Cod’ Stylish shore.. lapping up the sun on a Cape Cod Beach’ Bold glory… flags proudly flown at Edgartown’ Cheers beers… Sam’s Cafe at Boston’s Quincy Market’ Favourite son… JFK statue at Boston State House