We bolt off the boat for Boston or beyond, or race for the last ferry, zooming past some real treasures. So we asked readers, Facebook friends, and experts on Cape Cod for their favorite Falmouth and Cape must-stops and escapes, from waiting-out-standby standbys to destinations worth a weekend or more.
1. “Off the record, my go-to place when early for a boat, probably along with 99 percent of the rest of the year-round Islanders, is the Leeside.” – Anonymous
2. “Pie In the Sky! Easy and obvious but so true. I say I’m gluten-free, but I’m writing this while I munch on a sample of blueberry muffin from Pie in the Sky.” -Nicki Galland, Vineyard Haven
“I echo what Nicki said. I never leave the Island in my car without stopping there for a BLT, or a popover breakfast sandwich.” – Laura Roosevelt, West TisburyPie in the Sky, 508-540-5475, 10 Water Street, Woods Hole.
3. “The Woods Hole Inn is so cute…Just one moat shy of a stay-cation. It was my refuge in the storm. The best part was breakfast: quiche, croissants, bread puddings, free trade coffee and a sunny view of Woods Hole Harbor.” – Shelley Christiansen, Oak BluffsThe Woods Hole Inn, 508-495-0248; 28 Water Street, Woods Hole; woodsholeinn.com
4. “My wife and I always try to allow time for a stop at Mezza Luna restaurant on Rt. 6 in Buzzards Bay, right off the traffic circle. It is a family style Italian restaurant where salad comes with the meal and the mussels in garlic cream sauce are so good that the last time we ate there I told the waiter I wanted to stand up and announce to all the other diners that they must order the mussels. I am sure he thought I was crazy, but they are that good. My favorite dish is the veal parm, less than $20.” –Nelson Sigelman, Vineyard HavenMezza Luna, 508-759-4667; 253 Main St., Buzzards Bay; mezzalunarestaurant.com
5. “Great for ethnic-starved Vineyarders: Stir Crazy, on the way to Bourne. Cambodian cuisine and right on the highway. We sometimes call our orders in from the road, and then take them home on the boat – great for those times you’re getting home too late to make dinner.” – Laura Roosevelt, West TisburyStir Crazy, 508-564-6464; 570 MacArthur Blvd., Pocasset
6. “Cape Cod has more lighthouses than any other region in the country. Nobska Light, a beacon for Woods Hole Harbor, stands on a hillock overlooking the water and was first built as a saltbox style keeper’s house with a lantern on the rooftop. The lighthouse is readily accessible, and the view from the grounds across Vineyard Sound to the Vineyard is breathtaking.” – William DeSousa-Mauk, Ostervillelighthouse.cc/nobska
7. “Naturally, my concern is to keep folks close to the SSA, so they can get home as soon as possible. But if you ever get delayed, the owners of Waterside Market have just opened a twin shop [Parkside Market] on Main Street in Falmouth, and there’s a new patisserie – Maison Villatte – on Main Street that makes the best cafe au lait and croque monsieur I’ve had this side of the Seine.” –Nancy Gardella, Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of CommerceParkside, 774-763-2066; 281 Main St.Maison Villatte: 774-255-1855; 267 Main St., Falmouth.
8. “Sea Crest Beach Hotel’s ‘hot’ rate and heated pool make a cool choice for a February break getaway.” –Lara West, Dennis Sea Crest Beach Hotel, 508-540-9400; 350 Quaker Road, Falmouth; seacrestbeachhotel.com
9. “The Holiday Inn in Falmouth has a heated saline pool! What a great place to ride out a blizzard…” –AnonymousHoliday Inn, 508-540-2000; 291 Jones Road. holidayinn.com
10. “We love the Falmouth Cinema Pub, in the same shopping center as Walmart. There are tables and comfy chairs. You can order food and drinks while you watch, and it’s free during Pats games – you only have to pay for your food.” – Sue Dawson, Oak BluffsFalmouth Cinema Pub, 508-548-0073; 137 Teaticket Hwy; falmouthcinemas.com
11. The Cape Cod Canal Visitors Center, re-opening in May, offers history, and background on Canal flora and fauna. From rocking chairs on the deck, you can enjoy the breeze and watch ships passing. – Cape Cod Chamber of CommerceCape Cod Canal Visitors Center, 508-833-9678; 60 Ed Moffitt Drive, Sandwich.
12. “The Heritage Gardens, Sandwich makes a great stop. They also have indoor and outdoor exhibitions – 100 acres of gardens, museums, and an antique automobile collection.”– Nancy Gardella, Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of CommerceHeritage Gardens, 508-888-3300, 67 Grove St., Sandwich; heritagemuseums.org
13. Daniel Webster Inn (508)888-3622; 149 Main St., Historic Sandwich Village; danlwebsterinn.com
14. “Chips! Is there a better way to celebrate our salty legacy than a self-guided tour of Cape Cod Potato Chips? We don’t think so, but we’ll let you know after we figure out the secret recipe for their Salt & Vinegar chips.” –Jamie Stringfellow, Oak Bluffs Cape Cod Potato Chips, 508-775-3358; 100 Breeds Hill Rd., Hyannis. capecodchips.com
15. “The Cranberry Inn, then dinner at the Impudent Oyster, a Chatham hotspot. I usually order the Devils on Horseback.” – Judy Klumick, EdgartownThe Cranberry Inn, 508-945-9232; 359 Main St., cranberryinn.comThe Impudent Oyster, 508-945-3545; 15 Chatham Bars Ave.
16. You, and your little dog, too: “Gabriels Inn in Provincetown is run by two women, each named Elizabeth. It has great rooms, views and jacuzzis, and they let you bring your dog. They’ll even give her special Gabriels’ treats!” –Hallie MacCormack, Oak Bluffs Gabriels Inn, 508-487-3232; 102 Bradford St. Gabriels.com