Cape Cod: Eastham

With miles of sandy coastline, the Cape Cod towns of Eastham, Orleans and Wellfleet represent a haven for beachcombers and pail-toting youngsters. Only 25 miles up Route 6 from the bustle of shopping in Hyannis, this Gateway to the National Seashore is often referred to as the Cape’s little secret. If you are planning a holiday here, consider this area for your base.

The western border of Eastham is lined with six miles of beautiful beaches overlooking Cape Cod Bay. Just as magical as the National Seashore, Cape Cod Bay offers calmer and warmer waters, amazing flats at low tide and breathtaking sunsets. We enjoyed Coast Guard Beach, only a few blocks from our hotel. It is $15 to park your car and take a shuttle. Limited handicapped parking is available directly on the beach, where they also have beach wheelchairs. There is a free beach pass for those who are permanently disabled or legally blind.

The most notable and largest Eastham bay beach is First Encounter, the location where the native Indians first encountered the pilgrims in 1620. It’s great for kids, with its extraordinary low tides. Buy them a net and watch as they scoop up crabs of all shapes and sizes in water up to your ankles.

Eastham

Where to Stay: When we last visited this area six years ago we discovered the Four Points by Sheraton Eastham Cape Cod (http://www.starwoodhotels.com/fourpoints/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=786), a modern full-service hotel which just kind of appears before your very eyes as you travel on busy Route 6, which consists mainly of small motels. For summer trips, an early winter booking is highly recommended. Hyannis is only 45 minutes away. The hotel has beautiful indoor and outdoor swimming pools and is close to the beaches. Some rooms have balconies overlooking the indoor pool, which is beautifully heated and a fabulous place to go after returning from the beach. There is also a jacuzzi. This hotel has one of the most magnificent suites I have seen in a long time. The Nauset Suite has two separate bedrooms – one with a king bed and another with two twins. There is ample cupboard space. Each has a flat screen television The very large living room also has a flat screen, a couch, four comfortable cheers, two end tables, a large working desk, a dining room table for four, another clothing closet and a small kitchen with a full-sized fridge, a microwave, dishes and silverware. In the bathroom you will find a large shower with glass doors. Oh yes, let me tell you about the balcony. It is gigantic, with two lounge chairs, two picnic tables and 10 plastic chairs – ideal for entertaining friends or family. This is traditionally used for businessmen, as the hotel hosts a lot of conferences. But for a family seeking good space for everyone, this is a luxury.

The free wireless high speed internet is indeed “high speed” and faster than what most other hotels offer.

There is also great service from the front desk, starting with the printout of descriptions and directions to the local beaches.

This hotel also has a fitness facility, a game room, refrigerators and coffee makers in each standard room, an on-site restaurant (Bellamy’s) and five meeting rooms in case you want to hold a company conference here. The front desk will get you anything you need, be it a dining reservation, tickets to a show or a car rental. Check out the Cape Cod Rail Trail Bicycle Trail, only 100 feet away.

The hotel has two rooms with a roll in showers and five handicapped accessible rooms in all, located on the first floor. They have the wider doorways, raised commodes, hearing impaired smoke detectors and lowered thermostats etc. The hotel also has the TTY equipment and closed captions on all televisions. General Manager Jacqui Frost says all staff are required to watch a video on disabilities to have a better understanding of guests with disabilities and how best to accommodate them.