A Walk to the Beach…

The Lamb and Lion Inn’s 3.5 acres is surrounded by beautiful places to explore. Across Old King’s Highway (also known as historic Route 6A) from the inn’s driveway are hiking trails that curve and climb, loop and dip, separate, and then find each other again. The trails meander around miles of conservation land through thick wooded areas and cricket filled meadows. The trails connect to Old Jail Lane, which was given its name back when the country’s oldest wooden jail was located on it. The jail, which dates back to around 1690, was discovered to be a jail when the person who owned it, thinking it was an old shed, discovered that the carvings on its interior walls were the scribblings of pent up prisoners. The old jail was eventually relocated about 1 mile away to the property of the Coast Guard Heritage Museum, in the heart of Barnstable Village. The old jail is open to the public and is a high point of haunted ghost tours An old green barn door with a wreath Behind the Lamb and Lion property, just over the old train tracks, are lovely Mass Audubon Trails, which are loaded with wild life, and features an observation deck which looks out over Great Marsh, the largest marsh on Cape Cod (you can see a pictorial overview of these trails just a few blogs earlier on this site). But without a doubt the prettiest walk from the inn is to the beach, located at the end of Scudder’s Lane. The beach, which is part sandy, part rocky and part seagrass, is a relaxing stroll from the inn (about a half mile) and is a popular destination for Lamb and Lion Inn guests, whether for a brisk morning run, a romantic hand-in hand sunset stroll, or a relaxing dog walk, with a little extra salt watery treat for Fido at the end. To get down to the water, you simply take the path left at the bottom of the driveway and you’re on…your….way… A historic sign marks an old landmark From the moment you leave the inn’s driveway you’re surrounded by a sense of history. Old signs mark historic places–or the ghosts of places that used to be–and clapboard homes with smoke billowing from the chimneys  offer a sense of pride and peace. A horseshoe crab door knocker (Note: The white door with the horseshoe crab knocker marks the home of one of our old neighbors, the late writer, Kurt Vonnegut). A driveway lined with bamboo           Hydrangea bushes in a large yard           An old rock wall surrounds an oak tree The peaceful walk down Scudder’s Lane is lined with wild flower gardens, historic barns, old moss covered rock walls and plump, puffy blue hydrangea. As you get closer to the water, there’s even a forest of bamboo! A curvy section of Scudders Lane If you clear your head and take in your surroundings, you’ll no doubt be enchanted by little paths and long forgotten walkways that seem to lead to nowhere. It’s part of the magic of your short journey… A hidden path to a doorway                 A road sign is covered by bushes                 A grassy path to nowhere And then suddenly as you turn the corner, a white sail appears in the distance. The smell of salt air fills your walk and the echo of a clanging halyard and single seagull’s cry can be heard in the distance. Enjoy a peace-filled walk along the shoreline and take in all the surprises nature has to offer. Welcome to your vacation…and to Cape Cod. beach signs reads Oyster Harvest Prohibited                             A sail boat is anchored at sunset A pile of empty oyster shells                         Seagrass grows up from the water

The Cape Cod Scavenger Hunt: An experiment in “Social Deliciousing”

This blog is partially inspired by the idea of “social distancing”, but 100% inspired by an imaginary chocolate chip cookie that may or may not be sitting on a real counter at this very minute, and wrapped tightly in very real plastic–in a place true to an innkeeper’s heart called Savory & Sweet Escape, in Truro, Cape Cod. Sweet Escape is one of hundreds of small, locally owned businesses that are currently dotted throughout the Lamb and Lion Inn’s self-guided driving tours, and can be found just south of the driving tour’s must-stop Truro Vineyards (recommended for their gift shop, fun tastings and a luscious portfolio), which happens to be a hair north of the “spiciest” stop on the driving tour–Atlantic Spice Company–and is the perfect place to hit before stretching out on nearby Great Hollow Beach. And that just covers 1 mile of the inn’s free tours that take you from the fine-dining, dunes and divas of Provincetown, to historic Chatham, and way west through the quaint village of Sandwich, and even off Cape on a short “pilgrimage” to Main Street, Plymouth. parking signs at Truro Vineyards But let’s get back to that glorious chocolate chip cookie. We had to take it off the driving tour. Not Sweet Escape itself–that’s still on the tour–but the cookie had to go. When guests figured out (because it was obviously pointed out) that it was innkeeper Tom’s favorite treat along the route, they would inevitably bring a cookie back to the inn as a “thank you” for all the driving tour recommendations. The issue is, the cookie at the time (it might still be) was just a tad smaller than a VW Beetle hub cap (a unit of measure also used to describe another recommended stop on the tour–Susie’s Homemade Stuffed Clam at Arnold’s Lobster & Clam Bar in Eastham, but we digress), and as the giant cookies kept rolling into the inn, Tom’s bathing suit string started feeling the strain. Boardwalk through a cedar swamp They say with every cloud comes a silver lining, and as Ben Franklin further points out, that with necessity comes invention. With the new way of life that comes with the scare of Covid-19, social distancing became the necessity, and that cookie gave inspiration to the Lamb and Lion Inn’s newest invention. The Cape Cod Scavenger Hunt. Through use of the inn’s tours, guests can now have the option of receiving a check list of stops to hit up and down the coast, specific to each guests loves and passions. Some stops might be an ice cream shop or a fried clam joint, while others could be a rugged walk to a remote beach or a tucked away scene only to be found by way of the inn’s tours. The tours are naturally conducive to social distancing because it’s just you in a car, A picnic table on the beach alone or with your partner-in-crime, taking in the natural beauty, best eateries and most interesting shops and historical sites that Cape cod has to offer. Only now you can win prizes as you explore! And with the addition of Tom’s “new” decadent desire (shhh, it’s a secret, don’t tell Ali), you should plan on getting outdoors this season and really enjoy the social distancing, as well as partaking in some “Social Deliciousing”. Hope to see you all soon, be safe, and keep smiling. For more details on our free self-guided driving tours/scavenger hunt check out www.LambandLion.com

“A Walk in the Woods”

The dirt trail is ligned with thin pine trees I know, it’s not an original title, but that’s exactly what the day called for, so that’s exactly what we did. We took a nice, long walk in the woods behind the Lamb and Lion Inn. For those of you not familiar with all of the amazing Mass Audubon trails on Cape Cod (and don’t worry, you’re not alone, there are many!), there is a very special set of trails just off of historic route 6A across for the Barnstable-West Barnstable Elementary School called the Barnstable Great Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary. For us, the Lamb and Lion innkeepers, it’s just a right out of our door and a 1 minute sidewalk stroll to reach. On a perfectly crisp, clear and wind-free March morning, the trails beckoned. A sign directs drivers to #2444, the Great Marsh trail With all of this free time we’re having (thanks, COVID-19 virus), it’s a great time to get out into the fresh air and take advantage of Cape Cod’s #1 resource, it’s natural beauty. If you find yourself driving through Barnstable Village and West Barnstable Village, keep an eye open for the small Mass Audubon “2444” sign that directs you to the sanctuary. If you’re heading west you’ll see it just after the Lamb and Lion Inn on the right, or if heading east, look for it on the left just after the elementary school entrance. Once you head down the tiny road that the sign points to, you’ll find a small parking area just over the train tracks. Park your car, step out and take in the swirling blend of pine and salt air. There’s a helpful trail map at the parking area, as well as information on the nature that awaits, and to-go maps to take on your adventure!
A cow tunnel
Speaking of train tracks, apparently you’re not suppose to walk on them. Our friend Amanda worked for the Cape Cod Railroad and she use to yell at us all the time for doing just that. So for Amanda I will say “stay off the tracks”, but for the sake of the blog, well…sorry Amanda! One thing worth mentioning about the train tracks is they were built when the entire area was all farm land, and with the realization that cows are as dumb as trains are fast, cow tunnels were built under the tracks to keep your burgers on the table, and not on the rails. Once on the trails, it’s hard to get lost. The trails are short and although they loop around from one to another, they are well marked. You’ll also see train tracks on one side from time to time, with glimpses of the Great Marsh on the other, so you pretty much always know where you are. February and March are the perfect time for otter spotting, so keep your eye’s pealed as you stroll down “Otter Trail”. But if you don’t spot much wildlife yet, the best view awaits! Bamboo grows nest to the train tracks Follow the sign for “Sandy’s Trail” to the Great Marsh observation deck. The Great Marsh is the largest marsh on cape cod and the expansive view is stunning. There at the observation deck clearing you will also find the remnants of a historic hunting cabin, and if you look really closely into the woods behind the cabin you might spot the old out-house, with the signature quarter moon on the door and all! Continuing on you will follow “Cow Path” which takes you to a resting bench overlooking a still pond. Sit and enjoy the serenity. If for no other reason to follow the suggestion of the Furguson family, who donated the bench–and their bench smartly suggests just that. Take a moment. Take it all in. The pond is quiet today, save for the blowing pines and gently clicking sea grass. In the warmer months a chorus of croaking bullfrogs are usually singing along to the Great Marsh’s melody. Continuing on our walk you will hit “Cooper Pond Loop”, which is not only amusing to say aloud, but if you want to pick up your pace a tad, Cooper Pond Loop is a good pace setter. Just time your steps to “Cooper Pond Loop…Cooper Pond Loop…Cooper Pond Loop” (left foot hits on coop, right down on loop – I don’t know, it worked for me!). There is another elevated lookout point on Cooper Pond Loop (is it me or is it even fun to type?) where you can really hear and see the tall sea grass swaying in the breeze, and if it’s a clear day spot the distant dunes of Sandy Neck. After the loop you have a choice, you can keep looping A marble bench sits in front of a small pond around and go back to one of the observation areas to get another A trail sign that reads "Cooper Pond Loop" chance at spotting a sunning Snowy Egret or a Great Blue Heron, or any other of the many birds of Cape Cod, or head back to the car as the trail cuts through the proud remains of past stone walls along the Cedar Trail. Now that’s a great afternoon! But why end it here? On to the next adventure. Happy Trails!!! A marble bench with the inscription "Enjoy the Serenity"
A panoramic photo of Cape Cod's Great Marsh
View of Great Marsh from the observation deck.

A trail map laying out the various Great Marsh trails


The Melody Tent: A Rockin’ Way to Roll Into a Cape Cod Summer!

About 15 minutes from the Lamb and Lion Inn office door is a Cape Cod icon, The Melody Tent, which opened as the “Cape Cod Music Circus” is December of 1950. Now known as the Cape Cod Melody Tent, a night out under the tent is one of the most fun evenings both visitors and locals can have on a  summer evening. Every year we get guests who make a night at “The Tent” their getaway highlight. Most times they’ll show up with emailed tickets in hand, but often they will already be here at the inn, see the Tent’s schedule of events in our brochure rack, and book something on the spot.
Innkeeper’s are always looking to sneak away from their business for a night during the summer, and we here at the Lamb and Lion always keep our eyes and emails peeled for new show announcements throughout the winter and spring. Some of the most memorable shows we’ve attended over the years include Elvis Costello, Janis Ian, George Carlin, ZZ Top, Chicago, Huey Lewis and the News, Straight No Chaser, Gavin McGraw and of course–a summer tradition–The Beach Boys. One special event not to be forgotten was “A Walk Down Abbey Road” which featured The Beatles music performed by an all-star band consisting of Ann Wilson from Heart, Todd Rundgren, Alan Parsons and John Entwistle from The Who. Every year the Tent hosts the nations best tribute bands including “mop top” look-and-sound-a-likes Rain or The Fab Four, as well as bands like Get The Led Out, for a night of blistering Zeppelin tunes. This year we are looking forward to seeing Gary Mullen and The Works, one of the world’s best tributes to Queen. The Melody tent is also a good place to rub elbows with your heroes. Often times you’ll get to attend an impromptu “meet and greet” at the merchandise booth, or you can simply hang around the dressing room entrance for a quick handshake or a photo, if that’s your thing.
Joe Banamassa burnin’ up the blues at The Tent
The location of the Melody Tent can’t be beat. It sits just off the West Main Street rotary in Hyannis, making it an easy walk after a pre-show dinner on Main Street, or some sunset shopping and plans on a late bite after the show. Our favorites are the always lively Columbo’s Cafe & Pastries for its delicious Italian food, desserts and bar scene, or the classically beautiful yet cozy atmosphere at The Roadhouse Cafe. Other dining options before or after a show is surrounding your table with tapas and killer cocktails at EmBargo, fine fare with a French flair (and some of the Cape’s freshest oysters) at The Naked Oyster, mouth-watering Peruvian at Tumi Ceviche Bar & Restaurante, or a “crispy-in-the-right-places-and-gooey-in-the-right-places” wood-fired pizza at Pizza Barbone. Next door to The Melody Tent is a Cape Cod favorite, The West End restaurant, with its stunning Great Gatsby-like interior and a menu few mid-Cape restaurants can parallel. Perhaps you’d just like to keep things simple with a hot dog and a cold beer? The Melody Tent has plenty of options, from hot pretzels and icy cocktails to warm nachos or ice cream, all perfect for people watching or a picnic table party.
Pre-show perusing with a pint
Besides the location, we love the tent because there isn’t a bad seat in the house. Even if you come late to the party and get tickets in the “nose bleeds” you’re only in row 21! Having only 2,300 seats, the Tent is big enough to draw respectable names, but intimate enough to guarantee you a great view. The only thing we don’t love about the Melody Tent is their parking lot, which takes too long to get out of after a show, so we are always quick to tell our guests the best (and free) nearby alternative parking spots. Sounds like the Lamb and Lion Inn has the insider’s scoop on a night at the tent? You’re right! From dining ideas to free, easy access parking, we’ve got your back, and your binoculars! And having hosted some of the visiting talent over the years like Ritchie Havens, Joan Rivers and members of Sha Na Na, who knows? Perhaps you’ll enjoy a poolside breakfast with the star of the evening’s show!

Thinking about a show this summer??

A Liberace poster sets the tone for a fun getaway at the Lamb and Lion’s                 office (circa 1978)


Off the Beaten Path Adventures: Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary Adventures!

“Eyes to the skies” kayaking: A unique and adventurous day out! The beach, whale watching, miniature golf and tarter sauce stains on our shirt (or was that ice cream?)…these are the images that visitors conjure up when they think of a Cape Cod getaway. But did you ever consider bird watching? How about kayaking? How about “bird-yaking”? This blog is for the adventurous multitasker in you…Bird watching on a guided kayak tour! 
The boardwalk at Grays Beach
Grays Beach boardwalk.
The unspoiled marshes of Grays Beach in Yarmouth Port (known to many as “Bass Hole”) are chock full of wildlife and are home to a number of osprey poles that typically house massive osprey nests. Learn all about this fascinating summer resident with Mass Audubon naturalists on a guided excursion through the wetlands. You’ll visit the nests by kayak for a stunning and unique waterside view, and track any updates on nesting, eggs and fledglings to add to a citizen science animal tracking database. You’ll also learn more about salt marsh ecology, local history, oysters, aquaculture and local shorebirds.  
Kayaking Grays Beach
Kayaking with the birds through Bass Hole
The Lamb and Lion Inn will set you on your adventure! The Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary is a valued member of Mass Audubon and is located in the heart of Cape Cod’s historic district, less than 5 miles from the Lamb and Lion Inn. Several times this summer they will be leading these incredibly unique and beautiful tours. Book your room at the Lamb and Lion Inn and we’ll throw in a ticket to a tour with a 2 night stay, or 2 tickets for a 3 night stay!* Bird watching kayak tours will be happening on specific days during the summer months. Feel free to contact the Lamb and Lion Inn or the Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary for more details!  
A family looking at marine life
Beautiful office space…
Become a marine biologist for the day! Prefer looking down then up? Join the Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary and dive into marine science (not literally) with Mass Audubon Naturalists on one of their 2-hour, guided boat cruise aboard Hy-Line’s Sea Swan! Learn about the creatures that live in Cape Cod waters, examine the contents of the plankton nets, touch and hold the animals hauled up by a dredge and a lobster trap! Closely observe sharks, porgies and sometimes black sea bass. This is a wonderful way to explore the beauty of historic Hyannis, bustling Lewis Bay and Nantucket Sound!  
Gosnold Monument, Cuttyhunk Island
Touring The Elizabeth Islands Discovered in 1602, The Elizabeth Islands are a chain of small islands extending southwest from the southern coast of  Cape Cod. They are located at the outer edge of Buzzards Bay, North of Martha’s Vineyard, which separates the islands from Vineyard Sound. The Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary explores the Penikese Island and Cuttyhunk Island. Penikese Island is not only home to colonies of rare tern species, it’s also the site of the state’s only leper colony. The  quaint village and harbor of Cuttyhunk Island is something you’ll never forget! Explore the island, listen to the migratory songbirds and watch from Lookout Hill for passing raptors. Participants will have a choice of a short or long guided walk. The long hike focuses more on birds and natural history, while the short hike highlights island history and landmarks. Afterwards, you’ll have time to visit a gift shop and swim or explore on your own.
Lots to see on on Cape Cod!
Stay with us and we’ll include a tour! Stay at the inn 2 nights and we’ll provide you with a ticket on the boat, stay 3 nights and receive 2 tickets!* There will be many more adventures and explorations coming up, so if you keep your eye on the Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary calendar of events and see something you’d like to enjoy, please give us a call at the inn at 508-362-6823, or email the inn at info@lambandlion.com and we’ll hook you up!   * Your 2 or 3 night stay must be booked directly with the Lamb and Lion Inn through our site www.Lambandlion.com or by calling 508-362-6823. Room rates must be the inn’s listed rates and cannot be combined with any other discounts or promotions. 2-3 night stays must be consecutive.    

We’ve got yer Beach Bucket List. Book your summer NOW for huge discounts!

The clock on the wall reads 3:06am, and I can’t sleep. But it’s not because of the usual middle-of-the-night jitters.You know the ones. Worrying about the mortgage and the truck payments getting covered, the price of health insurance going up, the fear that some silly wall is being constructed in the dark of night. Wondering with one eye open if my 16 year old dog is still breathing…No, tonight I am awake with excitement! We are embarking on our 20th season at the Lamb and Lion Inn and for 20 years we are able to show our guests a good time. We are in the unique position of creating memories that will last a lifetime. We offer a place of peace for someone who greatly needs it. It is truly a great job to have. Tell you what I mean… At any given morning at breakfast our Lamb and Lion Inn guests come to us with a very simple question. “What should we do today?” That might seem like a loaded question. Sometimes, given the audience, I’ll playfully ask back “Well, what do you LIKE to do?” But having done this for well OVER 20 years (we had a property previous to the Lamb and Lion) I’ve figured out that not only do we all worry about the same stuff…we all love to do the same stuff too! So, because it’s the middle of the night, and because I am filled with wonderful thoughts of the summer ahead, here is a very abbreviated list of my go-to “what should we do?” ideas… ~ Take a ride to Mayflower Beach to feel the softest sand on Cape Cod. ~ Enjoy the bumpy ride through Crow’s Pasture Conservation, then take a long beach walk, and maybe talk an oyster farmer into cranking open a sample. ~ Pop into the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History and walk their incredible trails.~ Speaking of sampling, hit Truro Vineyards Winery for a tour and a wine tasting. Yum! ~ Walk from the inn past the Vonnegut house to Scudder’s Lane beach for an amazing sunset. ~ Go to a show at the nearby Cape Cod Melody Tent (hint: why not check out their calendar and book your stay around the show?)
Show time at the Melody Tent in Hyannis!
~ Climb to the top of the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown, then reward yourself with some piano sing-a-longs, apps and a cocktail at Tin Pan Alley. ~ Walk the trails and make friends with a goat at Mass Audubon Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary. ~ Stop for sweets at PB Boulangerie and Bakery in Wellfleet (and don’t forget to bring something back for the innkeepers). ~ Poke around Main Street, Hyannis at dusk, then walk to The Black Cat for their raw bar or people watch from the patio at EmBargo.
One of Cape Cod’s many wonderful “Main Streets”…Hyannis!
~ See Barnstable Harbor like you’ve never seen it…from the eco-tour boat “The Horseshoe Crab”. ~ OK, it’s a Cape Cod cliche, but should not be missed: Whale Watching! The best in the world, and the boat leaves 3 minutes from the inn (and we have your discount tickets!). So as I said, this is a VERY abbreviated list. We left out kayaking, Chatham’s Main Street, seal watching, “stuffies” at Tugboats or Arnold’s, ice cream joints, golf (miniature and not-so miniature) beach yoga…the list is as long as, well, Cape Cod! The thing is, the clock now reads 4:03am and I should check on my 16 year old dog. But if you are up with those late night jitters why not have something to look forward to? The Lamb and Lion Inn is open right now and taking reservations right now (or after 9am, please). We are offering greatly discounted rates for the summer BUT they are only offered if you book this winter! It’s a great reason to get back to sleep, but this time with visions of Cape Cod swirling around your bed.  Nighty night!

Holiday Events on Cape Cod (and Something Under the Tree for You)

Do you ski?  At any point have you find yourself on top of a wind-whipped, frozen mountain wondering what in the world you were doing up there? Sure, you’d try to rationalize “The view! The fresh air! The exhilaration! The exercise!” But once Frosty got a strangle hold on your toes, visions of the lodge bar, hot bourbon drinks and the hotel room Jacuzzi inevitably dance around your head like sugar plums. Why do we do this to ourselves?? As an EX-skier I have come to a very simple conclusion: It’s something to do while we’re waiting for nicer weather. Here then (thanks to this enlightened EX-skiier’s research), are some other, perhaps more enjoyable cold weather alternatives not too far from the Lamb and Lion Inn.  
Scroll down further for the Inn’s holiday special!
The Hyannis Village Christmas Stroll is way more than just shopping, caroling and eggnog. There is also a colorful boat parade and for the kids, breakfast with Santa. This all day event is a Cape Cod favorite and is put on by the Greater Hyannis Chamber of Commerce. They don’t mess around–they even get the REAL Santa!  Saturday, December 1, 2018  
Shopping deals, breakfast with Santa and a boat parade!
Throughout December Cape Cod Beer hosts all kinds of holiday events including Crafts and Drafts, recurring Pop-Up Merry Markets and our favorite, “Yappy Hour with Santa!” Yes, the brewery will welcome your pooch with open arms, just as the “pet friendly” Lamb and Lion Inn does, oh, and Cape Cod Beer is located just 5 minutes from the inn! Their list of events is more packed than Santa’s sleigh!
This December get your dog photo with Santa!
Want to feel like you’ve been dropped into a Norman Rockwell painting? Just 2 miles from the inn is the annual Barnstable Village Christmas Stroll on Wednesday, December 5, 2018 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. Stop in to the local restaurants and shops for eggnog, cider and treats. Stroll our historic village, listen to carolers and make new friends. Check out the link to find out what you can bring to donate for our troops–and make sure you try the chili at the firehouse!
Put some “fire” in your belly at the firehouse!
The amazing folks at LiveLoveLocal never seem to rest, and on Saturday and Sunday, December 1st & 2nd is their LoveLocalFest; Holiday Edition! A “pop-up” wonderland will take place at the Capetown Plaza (inside the Former Sports Authority) in nearby Hyannis. Wonderfully unique shopping features local artists, artisans, designers and makers, including LoveLocal Fest favorites and some new additions! Bring your shopping list and fill it up with stuff you won’t find at the big box stores! Saturday goes 5-9pm, Sunday is 11am-5pm.  
Unique crafts you will ONLY find on Cape Cod!
Every year we enjoy the nearby Dennis Village Christmas Stroll. This year on Sunday, December 9 from noon – 4pm enjoy hayrides & trolley rides, the Christmas tree lighting, face painting, shopping, silent auctions, toys and food donations. Enjoy music at the Village Green Bandstand and put your under-the-tree requests in with Santa and Mrs. Claus! Stay tuned for MORE holiday updates and cold weather adventures!!  
If you decide to head to Cape Cod for a holiday getaway, keep in mind that we at the Lamb and Lion Inn, located in the heart of the Cape’s historic district, are offering discounted rates at the inn over the holidays and for a short time only a daily “gourmet beachfront brunch” served in a luxurious setting overlooking Barnstable Harbor (with mimosas, of course)! The innkeepers beachfront home is less than 2 miles from the inn, so wake up, put your cozy PJ’s on and head down to the water for a brunch you will never forget! Call the inn directly for more information! 508-362-6823
Seal catching a water taxi (photo taken from a previous beachfront brunch!)
Panoramic water views, a fireplace & tree at your private Beachfront Brunch!
Lamb and Lion Inn’s back yard (ski lift not necessary)

“Big fish…swallow y’whole!!: Make the Inn Your Launching Dock to all Things JAWS.

So my brother CD was visiting me recently from Raleigh, North Carolina, and some how on our first day together we found ourselves sitting on the waterfront deck of Baxter’s Boat House. I was enjoying a much welcomed day away from the Lamb and Lion Inn, sipping cocktails and eating fried clams, while CD gorged on a lazy man’s lobster, much like a ravenous monkey on a Whoopie Pie. Being land-locked in Raleigh, eating really good seafood while watching boats sail by is a treat for CD like no other. It was a perfect afternoon and then the Lady Martha sailed by our little table. “Does that boat go the Martha’s Vineyard?” he asked. I was having a religious experience with my cup of tarter sauce and missed it the first time. “Does that boat go to Martha’s Vineyard?” he repeated slower. “Yep, it’s the Hyline fast ferry to Oak Bluffs“, I gargled back. “Dock to dock in an hour.” Coming from a family of JAWS fanatics, I could already see his wheels turning. “Have you ever checked out some of the scenes from JAWS over there?” he asked (there it was). Of course I had, but being an innkeeper never really offered me much time to spend on the islands in the summer, so I hadn’t experienced the “official” JAWS tour, but felt content in the knowledge I had seen the little JAWS car ferries and familiar looking intersections of Edgartown, as well as the exterior of the Town Hall (where Captain Quint scraped the chalkboard while menacingly munching a Saltine) and of course I had crossed the famous JAWS bridge (“It’s going into the pond!”) several times–which was almost as monumental as the time I walked across the famous crosswalk of London’s Abbey Road–about 26 times. Back and forth, back and forth, filming my feet hitting the pavement every other turn (I still feel like I should have crossed a couple more times). Anyway, that night we watched JAWS in the inn’s movie room (not open to the public–but always open to JAWS fans). Tucking myself in that night I re-read parts of my beat up “Making of JAWS” paperback and enjoyed dreams full of chum buckets, barrel beacons and murky waters. The next day we were on the Lady Martha to explore “Amity”!
The famous bridge to the pond
The center of “Amity” (Edgartown)
Getting off at Oak Bluffs is a hoot, and you can easily spend your entire afternoon there, checking out the Gingerbread cottages, eating ice cream, digging into some amazing chowder at the Martha’s Vineyard Chowder House or slamming down fried oyster sliders at Lobsterville Bar & Grill (I don’t know why I typed “or”–this is usually an “and” situation for me). BUT, we were on a mission, so we hastily hopped on the #13 bus to Amity...er...Edgartown! If you have never been to Edgartown, look at your reflection in the bus glass window as you pier out. Yes, that’s your jaw dropping. Edgartown is a magnificent, almost perfect feast for your eyes in the summer. Massive, bulbous hydrangea, tucked away gardens behind perfectly painted picket fences and magnificently manicured lawns that redefine the color green. The historic houses range from modest to handsome to regal, but rarely ostentatious. But forget all that. We have bigger fish to catch…let’s get on that JAWS tour! The JAWS tour meets in the center of town–which happens to be the focal point of the on-land part of JAWS. You’ll instantly recognize the main intersection which is predominantly shown in the downtown scenes. The tour meets at the Paper Store on that very corner. It should be noted that the front door of the Paper Store is where Chief Brody enters to buy wood to make “Beach Closed” signs, but as he enters he actually walks into a different building, which becomes the hardware store (that building is just a few doors up. At the time it was a bait & tackle shop–the only shop open that early in the morning during filming. It’s now a restaurant). Just up the block is the “Amity police station”, which is actually a house, as well as many other familiar fences and doorways from the movie. On the other side of the main intersection the tour will take you down to the waterfront where you can still watch those little car ferries going back and forth from Edgartown to Chappaquiddick (it’s all worth noting than when you watch the movie the ferry doesn’t cross, it simply turns around as soon as they take off–but you didn’t notice because
The “Amity Police Station” then and now
you were fixated on Mayor Vaughn’s blue anchor pattern jacket). Interestingly enough Town Hall is not part of the tour, which was the part I wanted to see the most. I had seen the exterior plenty of times but they don’t even show the outside of Town hall in the movie–the scene opens with people walking down that little hallway and into the town meeting room. Rumor had it that the distinctively looking curved wooden table the committee was sitting at in the movie, as well as the mini grandfather clock hanging on the wall, were still both there to this day. I had to see for myself…
CD in front of the famous car ferries.
The Town Hall hallway
I was just a little apprehensive as I laid my hands on the door handle. I’m sure they omitted Town Hall from the tour because the people working inside didn’t need crazy JAWS fanatics walking up and down that hall all day long, but CD and I didn’t care. We were going in for a look. If we ended up on page four of the Vineyard Gazette, so be it. We made it all the way to “Amity”! In for a penny, in for a pound! We smelled blood in the water and nothing, and nobody, was stopping us from getting into that meeting room. “Can I help you?” was the question as soon as we walked in. CD turned to stare at the wall, I chose my sneakers to focus on. I was unprepared for the fight. “Um…uh…” I cut bait. We were going to get thrown out. “Um, no, we’re just, uh, looking around.” Suddenly and unexpectedly we received a warm smile (and from a town office worker no less!). “You JAWS guys?” she asked. “Uh-huh”, I eloquently answered. “Meeting room’s open–help yourselves!” she said. We were in! Walking through that cramped hallway I hadn’t felt that giddy since they sat Peter Benchley at the table next to Ali and me at the old Judson Grill in Manhattan. As we walked into the meeting room we were met by two very large, and very serious security type looking dudes. I opened my mouth to say something that I assume would have been stunningly nonsensical when the bigger of the two said “JAWS?” I again answered “Uh-huh”. “Help yourselves,” he smiled. And there…it…was…that same curved wooden table, almost 45 years later. CD was staring at the wall again, but this time with total elation. On the wall was the same grandfather clock, hanging proudly, keeping perfect time–but at the same time looking like it’s time had stood still.  
We’ve reached Mecca! The meeting room with original table and clock!
After Town Hall we decided to hop the bus and head back to the ferry, stopping at another waterfront favorite for a couple of beers to celebrate our victory. I was thrilled to finally have taken the JAWS tour, even happier that my brother was there to experience it with me, and tickled that the whole afternoon took place practically in my own backyard. Martha’s Vineyard is a lovely place and a great escape for an afternoon, which we do a few times a year, but it’s a little more bustling and crowded for my taste, so the ferry ride home to nearby Cape Cod was a welcomed one.
Chief Brody walking to town
I feel like I’ve been here before…
It should be noted that if you want to see other scenes outside of the Edgartown JAWS tour you’ll need your own transportation, which you can rent very easily as you get off the boat. Menemsha is a little fishing village, and looks very much the same as it did when Captain Quint tied the Orka up there. If you’d like to see Chief Brodie’s house you’ll have to drive over to nearby Vineyard Haven, or if you’d like to sit on the same stone that Hooper sat on in front of the graffiti painted billboard then you’ll have to head over to the farthest point west o the Vineyard, to Aquinnah. But most importantly, if you’re planning a Cape Cod getaway and you’re interested in having an adventurous JAWS afternoon–from watching the film on the big screen to purchasing discounted ferry and JAWS tour tickets–find an innkeeper who shares your passion for JAWS–which beckons this innkeeper to finish the story up with a Quint quote: “You all know me…you know how I earn a livin!” Make the Lamb and Lion Inn your launching dock to all things JAWS.  

Golf: A Historic Cape Cod Pastime? You Bet Yer Big Bertha!

Did you know that Cape Cod has more golf courses than beaches? OK, that’s not true. That’s ACTUALLY fake news, but what IS true is that we have LOTS and LOTS of beautiful courses throughout every area of Cape Cod and the islands–close to 50 in all. Now, if you are staying here at the Lamb and Lion Inn, you won’t be able to “talk golf” to us innkeepers. The last time I was on a course was 6 years ago in Myrtle Beach when my younger brother was jettisoned from the cart as it careened sideways into a sand trap, my older brother sustained several cuts from a second incident (I STILL don’t understand what happened there), and the game ended abruptly with a phone call that my youngest brother’s kid was stuck in an elevator. The problem for me is that golf is too long, and if you don’t have the patience–or if you’re more accustomed to living at a slightly faster pace–things can happen. Recently Ali and I decided to throw our black-n-blue, beaten and embarrassed golf clubs away and traded them in for croquet mallets. We are now proud members of the Sandwich Croquet Club, but that’s a whole other blog (if anyone from the croquet club is reading this please note that all stories about me and other incidents on a golf course mentioned here are simply the result of that specific sport). All that aside, if you are a serious golfer, love the game and appreciate the game’s history, Cape Cod is clearly a destination for you. The closest course to the Lamb and Lion is less than 2 miles away. The Hyannis Golf Course is a public, 18 hole golf course and is home to the Cape Cod Open, hosted the 2015 Cape Cod PGA Championship, has a 55 station driving range and has a fully stocked and very organized first-aid kit. Just another mile or two away is the Olde Barnstable Fairgrounds course, which is considered one of the “top 25” courses in New England. This course is a Mark Mungeam designed course, and although it’s not open to the public, if you are a regular visitor to Cape Cod the yearly membership is priced pretty reasonably (and might make for a good reason to keep coming back to the Lamb and Lion Inn). Although it’s a mystery what the Olde Barnstable Fairgrounds property use to be before it became a golf course, the gorgeous landscaping and spacious club area make this a very popular destination.
Of course Cape Cod is steeped in history and its gold courses are no exception. Going back to the days of Camelot, President John F. Kennedy called the Hyannisport Club home, where you might spot familiar faces like Martin Sheen, Dan Aykroyd or Bill Murray, who have all golfed rounds with Ethel Kennedy, the organizer of the annual RFK Human Rights Golf Tournament. And other world leaders have graced our local courses, including past Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama who have both played on Martha’s Vineyard during their vacations from the White House.
Hyannisport Golf Club (a “Camelotta money” to join)
If you want to go way-way back in history, the gone-but-not-forgotten Cedar Banks Links in Eastham–which is now part of the Cape Cod National Seashore–was once an exclusive 18-hole course in the 1920’s and 1930’s that once hosted golf legends like Francis Ouimet and Bobby Jones. Speaking of famous people, Hockey Hall of Famer (and local Cape Codder), Bobby Orr is part owner of The Ridge Club in Sandwich (private), so if you have a friend who can get you on the course there’s a good change you might run into Big-D Bobby, who is always generous with his time for a handshake and a quick story.
Francis Ouimet and Bobby Jones playing Cedar Bank Links
If you’re like me and find golf a little too time consuming–or perhaps you want to get in a quick 9-holes before packing up the family for a day on the beach or a whale watch–check out Highland Links in North Truro. Highland Links is a historic 9-hole course that dates back to 1892. Golf the well manicured course that highlights breezes of fresh, salt air and Cape Cod Light, which keeps a watchful eye over the 9th hole.
The beautiful 9th hole setting at Highland Links
If you’re reading this and planning your visit to the mid-Cape area you should know that 6 towns have 2 courses for public play (the furthest being only 20 minutes from our inn): Brewster (Captains Golf Course and Starboard), Yarmouth (Bass River and Bayberry Hills), Barnstable (Hyannis Golf Course and Olde Barnstable Fairgrounds–both mentioned above), Sandwich (Holly Ridge and Sandwich Hollows), Dennis (Highlands and Pines) and Harwich (Cranberry Valley and Harwich Port Golf Club). Hope you can “swing” a Cape Cod getaway soon!

Take a Short Ride to Long Pasture (or Just Visit Your Favorite BARS) and Get To Know Your Beach Creatures!

I remember taking our nieces out to find razor clams with the Barnstable Association of Recreational Shellfishing (thankfully shortened to B.A.R.S) several years ago. BARS are a group of spirited and passionate mid-Cape volunteers who do everything from protecting the Cape’s clean water (and establishing new and valuable “ways to water”), to awarding scholarships and grants in support of restoring and sustaining local shellfishing, teaching kids how to fish, and on this particular afternoon, showing us how to find those strange razor clams! Finding razor clams is as fun as it is, well, kinda cruel–but the fun part totally wins out. How do you find this long and thin razory beast? Look for small round holes in the sand. When you find one you take your liter soda bottle full of salt water and sqeeeeeeze the salt water into the hole. The clam thinks “Tide’s in, let’s eat!” and when the clam gets tricked into launching itself out of the hole, you’ve got a clam for your chowder–if you’re quick enough!
Sucker!!! The long, sharp shell of a razor clam who fell for the oldest trick in the book.
We here at the Lamb and Lion Inn love to dole out discounted whale watch and island ferry tickets to our guests, help them with how to find our favorite fried clams and tucked away beaches, get them tickets to the latest shows in town, and assist with all the other things Cape Cod is known for. But what WE really love to do is get our guests “out there”. Get off the beaten path and see what the Cape is REALLY all about! Before you head this way check out what BARS is up to on their website. Mass Audubon’s Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary is located just a few minutes from the inn’s driveway and they have quite an extensive schedule of events. We’ve hiked and explored many areas of Cape Cod with their naturalists and even learned how to paddle board with them, but we think Long Pasture really shines when they take people out on tidal flat explorations. One of my favorite moments here at the inn was when I brought home the shell of a horseshoe crab and showed it to a European guest who had never heard of one. If you’ve never seen a horseshoe crab shell you might think that the beach you’re walking on is the starting point of some sort of weird alien pod take-over, and if you’re brave enough to flip the crab over, well, good luck sleeping that night! If you’ve never seen one, here’s a photo, and if you haven’t decided to hide in the basement after viewing, why not join these folks on a tidal flat exploration? Cape Cod is home to thousands of these prehistoric sea creatures, who are actually very docile, and take it from me, you get used to them (sort of).  
Horseshoe crab (no, we are NOT checking out the creepy under carriage)
The Lamb and Lion Inn is proud to be ahead of the curve when it comes to getting their guests involved in culinary tours and “agri-adventures” but if EATING some of your favorite sea creatures is your thing you can now take an adventure with Long Pasture and tour an oyster farm! Join naturalists for a walking tour of Barnstable Sea Farms at low tide! This working oyster farm is right off the beach at Long Pasture. Enjoy a fun trip out onto the mudflats to learn about these amazing shellfish and find out what goes into growing a Sandy Neck oyster. Check out some dates here! Want to find out more about beach tours or mudflat walks and talks? Just give us a call at the Lamb and Lion Inn at 508-362-6823 or email us!