Q: Having lived all my life on the west coast, what should I see on a one week trip to the Boston & Cape Cod area this summer?
A: No summer trip to Boston would be complete without a stop at Fenway Park (4 Yawkey Way, Boston, MA 02215; 617-267-9440), the nation’s oldest and most beautiful major league baseball stadium.
With its cozy size, huge left-field wall known as the Green Monster, and 88 years’ worth of baseball history and lore, Fenway is the classic American ballpark. Even non-baseball fans have been known to become enchanted by its splendor. The bleacher seats cost $12 (this is what passes for “cheap” in today’s baseball market). Tours, which cost $5, take place hourly from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday, from May 15 through September 15. Full tour info is available by calling 617-236-6666.
As you head down from Boston toward Cape Cod, the main road is Rt. 3. This road becomes U.S. 6 about 55 miles south of Boston, and then continues all the way to Provincetown at the Cape’s tip. The following stops, listed from west to east, are all located within a few miles of U.S. 6:
Sandwich Glass Museum (109 Main St., Sandwich, MA 02563; 508-888-0251): Sandwich was a glassworks center in the mid-19th century, and this fine museum’s 14 galleries feature over 5,000 pieces of blown, pressed, cut, and engraved glass created in the region. A good overview of a little-known chapter in America’s industrial history.
Four Seas Ice Cream (360 S. Main St., Centerville, MA 02632; 508-775-1394): Dating back to the early 1930s and housed in a small white cottage, the Four Seas serves delicious homemade ice cream in a setting that’s relatively untarnished by the aura of touristy quaintness that drips off of so much of the Cape. Even better, the place is a bona-fide civic treasure. It’s run by Richard Warren, a retired teacher and guidance counselor who hires local teenagers based on the recommendations of the local school faculty. (You can’t apply for a job at the Four Seas, you can only be approached.) He’s also established scholarship funds for his staffers, so you can consume quantities of ice cream without guilt because it’s for a good cause.
Pilgrim Monument (High Pole Hill Road, Provincetown, MA 02657; 508-487-1310): The tallest all-granite structure in America, the Pilgrim Monument commemorates the arrival of the Pilgrims in Provincetown in 1620. Work on the monument began in 1907 (Teddy Roosevelt laid the cornerstone) and was completed in 1910. The tower, built in the style of Italian Renaissance architecture, is 252 feet high, and the panoramic view from the top is nothing short of spectacular; on clear days, you can see the entire Cape Cod peninsula.