Ten Commandments of a true Cape Codder – Rules that locals live by during the summer months.
1. Thou shalt not leave Cape Cod on a Sunday.
The most brutal traffic going off Cape lies within the hours of Sunday from 11 a.m. through 6 p.m. at the earliest. Do not even attempt driving anywhere near the bridges, the scenic highway, or route 6A. Downtown Sandwich around the beaches and the Sagamore bridge will be backed up most of Sunday. Consider this my warning.
2. Thou shalt not attempt to come to Cape on a Friday Night.
That same traffic that is leaving the Cape on Sunday came on Friday night. Traffic is backed up miles before each bridge. Then the rotary on both sides of the Bourne Bridge is brutal. If you have to be off Cape on a Friday, it is best to go off early and come back early.
3. Thou shalt not attempt to take a left turn anywhere.
Traffic. The single most appropriate word to describe Cape Cod in the summer. Most people would expect the word that would best describe the Cape would be beach or vacation. Nope. To locals, when we think of summer all we see is the traffic from seasonal residents and tourists. Don’t get us wrong, we love the Cape; however, we dread the summer because of the influx of tourists.
4. Thou shalt go to the drive-in at least once a summer.
A favorite summer activity of most. The Wellfleet Drive-In is one of the few left in the state. You can always count on an amazing double-feature being shown. Many childhood memories are centered around that roundabout toy on the small playground, as well as sitting outside watching a movie with your family. Whether you’re lounging in the back of a pickup truck or sitting in lawn chairs, drive-in nights are always the best nights.
5. Thou shalt spend your summers on the beach.
The Cape is known for its beaches. From the Sandwich Boardwalk to the National Seashore, you can always find a new beach to explore. Whether you spend the day at the beach swimming and sunbathing or you come at dusk with your dinner to watch the sunset, you will always appreciate the natural beauty of the beach.
6. Thou shalt rarely wear shoes.
After spending the day barefoot at the beach, you are not going to come home and put on shoes. If you are in the yard or just going to get the mail, it is common to see many barefoot people. The summer shoe of the Cape is the flip flop. Chance are you have an innumerable amount of flip flops and a pair that matches each outfit.
7. Thou shalt live on a diet of seafood and ice cream.
The Cape is home to some amazing seafood restaurants including Seafood Sams and Kream N’ Kone. Chances are you will not find fresher seafood than that on the Cape. After a nice plate of clam strips, chances are you will be looking for dessert. Not to worry, there is just about an ice cream shop on every corner. My favorites have to be Polar Cave in Mashpee, Twin Acres in Sandwich, and Sundae School in Harwich. You can always find a new ice cream shop to try.
8. Thou shalt find sand everywhere.
After a long day off-roading on Sandy Neck or at Dowses Beach, chances are both you and your car will be covered in sand. You will have to go home and shower for a good half hour in order to remove all of the sand from your hair. You will then have sand on the floor of your car all summer and into the fall, no matter how many times you vacuum it. Your shoes will always be filled with sand.
9. Thou shalt cherish thy knowledge of the back roads.
When the summer traffic comes, your only chance of getting anywhere is through the backroads. The mid-Cape highway will always have traffic and when there is an accident, all of that traffic is at a standstill. Knowing shortcuts and backroads that you have discovered during your time living on Cape becomes your savior. If you try to take the highway, you can get off at any exit if the road does become enveloped in traffic and you will still find your way through the backroads. If it were not for these shortcuts, you would get nowhere in the summer.
10. Summer is both thy favorite and least favorite season.
Locals of any tourist destination dread the summer due to the influx of tourists. Traffic is heavier and it seems like none of the tourists know how to drive. Your favorite local coffee shops become bombarded with people and you have to wait in huge lines. Even with these inconveniences, you will always love where you live. You love those days where you just wake up, toss on a bathing suit, pack up the Jeep and head to the beach. Summer is a time to discover new places with your friends and just relax. There is no better place to do that than Cape Cod.
Thank you to Sarah Simmons
July 4th 2016