Making the perfect Cape Cod hotel is not for the faint of heart. As we at Treehouse Lodge approach our April open date (April 6, in case you are curious), the long laundry lists of "to-do's" become slightly overwhelming.
But our new Canopy Deluxe rooms are finally coming together: Crisp new mattresses? Check. Awesome new lighting? Check. Microwaves? Check. New "green" pod coffee makers? Check. Amazing raw wood framed mirrors? Check. Soft new sheets, pillows and towels? Check. Check. Check.
We took some risks on this batch of five rooms, completed winter 2017-18. We heard from some customers that our excellent wifi was maybe not quite enough, so we added TV's (in these Canopy Deluxe rooms only). We decided the couch should be extra comfy and appropriate for easy conversion to another bed, so we designed a case study platform that we hope is going to WOW you - and then we made them ourselves!
We heard from our business & science guests that a desk would be nice, so we found a way to tuck a mini work station into these rooms. We wanted to upgrade the heat and cooling systems (the originals were installed in the 1950's so it was about time) so we added these sweet little mini splits that will allow you to control your room temperature to perfection.
How about artwork that will inspire a restful nights sleep and make you feel happy come morning? We looked far and wide for the right tone and think we have found something inspirational and authentic that we hope you will really like.
So much thought goes into the details of these Cape Cod hotel rooms, but they do not come alive until you are here to enjoy them. A spring night like tonight, with the peepers chirping from the marshes, we pause to admire the golden sun setting while a blue moon rises over the bay. A stroll through the village of Woods Hole is like a step back to a simpler time. Join us this season for the perfect Cape Cod getaway in Woods Hole.
March is supposed to come in like a lion and out like a lamb, but here in Woods Hole, the month has proved to be consistently ferocious! This season, we’ve earned some serious storm cred, having weathered three Nor’Easters in less than two weeks, with a potential “Four’Easter” heading our way. While we appreciate the extra effort by the weather folks for coming up with a catchy name, this is getting a little out of hand. In the late evening hours of Monday, March 12, Winter Storm Skylar decided to join the party that began recently with Riley and Quinn. Local resident David Canty, who tends the Eel Pond drawbridge, captured the above scene of Woods Hole Inn and Coffee Obsession from the vantage point of the bridge’s video screen on Tuesday morning. By 10 AM, the picturesque scene of swirling snowflakes had shifted into whiteout conditions with increasing intensity.
Due to our coastal location, the heavy snow and unyielding winds resulted in countless downed trees, knocking out power to Woods Hole village and all over town. More than 16,000 Falmouth residents were left in the dark, equaling more than 60% of the population, forcing us to once again shift into hardy New England mode and get out the camp stoves and head lamps. Meanwhile locations such as Falmouth High School and Waquoit Congregational Church opened their doors to serve as warming stations, which also provided a place to charge up cell phones and other devices.
With peak gusts at more than 80 MPH, Mother Nature forced the Steamship Authority to suspend ferry service and also halted work on the debris removal of the former terminal, which was recently demolished to make way for a shoreside restoration project. With school out of session and calls to stay off the roads, Falmouth’s Department of Public Works and local contractors took to the streets to begin the thankless job of snow and tree removal.
Crews from Eversource and other power companies called in reinforcements from as far away as Arizona to work around the clock all over New England. For the third time in as many weeks! We greeted those glowing yellow trucks from New Hampshire Power like returning champions from an unseen war.
By Thursday, their tireless efforts resulted in power restoration for Woods Hole and the majority greater of Falmouth, and with the flick of a switch, life was back to normal with the sun shining over icy footsteps.
It's the darkness of winter, especially her storms, that makes spring so sweet. At the end of each season, we are gasping for breath with the beauty of life at the edge of the sea. Join us this spring and summer at Treehouse Lodge, the best new place to stay in Falmouth. Booking online is easy, or call us at 508-548-1986.
Spring is a great time to step away from everyday life and travel to Cape Cod. With the lengthening days come bright green grass, a magical pop of color from the cherry trees and the distinctive sound of peepers croaking from the bogs.
Spring is a well kept secret in Woods Hole, where there are so many fun things to do when you escape the city with your kids. Here is our countdown to the top five!
5. Study nature, not books
Scientist Louis Agassiz's famous quote ("study nature, not books") is a great place to start when traveling with kids. Legions of young scientists have convened here in Woods Hole to investigate the dunes, chase butterflies across the marsh or corral hermit crabs into imaginary cages on the tidal flats.
Lean back against a warm rock and watch your child glow from within as they experience the freedom of a day of Cape Cod scampering. Enjoy their confidant smile as they climb a broad limb tree? We recommend the lawn in front of Pie in the Sky Bakery (best popovers in town) or Waterfront Park for meeting up with playmates and identifying specimen, both a short walk from Treehouse Lodge in Woods Hole.
I know what your thinking -- my kids need more structure than that! Read on.
4. Bike the Shining Sea bike path
OK you've had enough tree climbing. Toss the bikes in the trunk and hop on the rail-trail Shining Sea Bike Path, one of Falmouth's treasures. Leaving Woods Hole, even the littlest ones will enjoy meandering along the beach on this safe path, far from the road, plenty of room for that "I just learned to ride" wobble. And if you are feeling ambitious, the Shining Sea Bike Path goes eleven miles from Woods Hole to North Falmouth, the perfect place to run that eight year old energy right into an early bedtime.
Want to swim? No problem -- stop along Surf Drive for a quick dip then air dry to Main Street Falmouth for lunch. We recommend the Bog Salad at the Pickle Jar (best salads Falmouth), or the "CAB" (chicken, avocado & bacon) sandwich at Parkside Market before winding your way home as the sun sets.
An adventure like this one makes memories for a lifetime. But if biking is not really your thing, well how about boating?
3. Ferry to the Vineyard
Everyone dreams of a great boat ride, maybe one day on your very own vessel. But why wait when the deck of the ferry to Martha's Vineyard is a stroll away? Walk down the hill from Treehouse Lodge to the Steamship Authority ferry terminal.
Watch the other suckers struggle on shuttle buses from satellite parking, while you get your freshly roasted hot coffee from Pie in the Sky Bakery Cafe (our favorite Cape Cod bakery) before ambling aboard.
Kids love the views from the outer decks, and that scrap of leftover bear claw will delight the seagulls following the ferry. It's a forty five minute ride over to Vineyard Haven, where you might hop the bus to explore the Island Alpaca Company (an easy ten minute ride from town and the best kid friendly attraction on Martha's Vineyard). Who doesn't want a selfie with an Alpaca?
Hungry yet? Ditch the stale diaper bag crackers and visit Vineyard Haven for lunch. If you are feeling healthy, check out the curried chickpeas and fresh island salads at Waterside Market (top ratings on TripAdvisor).
You've been so good so far, diet be damned. Do not get back on the ferry without a visit to Mad Martha's ice cream, a great way to get the littles to nap on the ferry ride home.
But the day is not over yet, there is still time to eat out on the waterfront back in Woods Hole.
2. Dine on the water
There are twelve waterfront restaurants to choose from in Woods Hole. Want a fresh squeezed juice cocktail dockside? Try the Landfall -- owned by the same family for 75 years, the Estes brothers really know how to make a great Cape Cod cocktail.
Or perhaps you prefer sitting out on a dock where the kids can scamper a bit while you all enjoy a traditional Cape Cod lobster boil? Shuckers World Famous Raw Bar offers two for one lobster night on Tuesdays. Guy Fiore of Diners, Drive Ins and Dives was here last year, so it really is world famous.
Thinking about something quick with the kids? How about lobster tacos and a pitcher of sangria? Try Quicks Hole Taqueria, or for a more upscale farm-to-table vibe, grab a table at Quicks Hole Tavern where you will try the Pig Candy along with one of twelve local beers on tap.
It's been a long day, but there is always tomorrow where you will ...
1. Jump in
That's right. Jump in a pond, leap off a pier, scramble across the sand, or dash into the water to make your Cape Cod weekend complete.
With the fresh spring air in your face, you and the kids will not leave Cape Cod without a real chillax -- a few hours with the salt, sand and sea. With the whoosh of the waves, the whiff of beach plum in the air, perhaps a chilled beverage buried under ice in the cooler, you will lean back into your beach chair and take several deep, deep breaths.
Yes, this is called being in the moment. You deserve the chance to renew your spirit, and Cape Cod is here for you.
What a great opportunity to teach your mini me to appreciate down time, and to share your love of the sea.
First there was winter storm Riley, then came winter storm Quinn. If you are glued like me to the Weather Channel, you might be wondering about storm impact here in Woods Hole. Well, have we got the photo blog for you!
Bomb Cyclone Riley arrived in our region on Friday March 2nd. By late afternoon, we were getting serious gusts, clocked at 88 miles per hour out at Nobska Light. About 5.30 pm the power went out all over Woods Hole. We hunkered down in candlelight for a long evening of howling wind with lots of rain.
By morning, the inside of the house felt about as cool as outside. I bundled up and wandered about Woods Hole to see the impact and warm up. The Nor'easter was still blowing with a moon high tide causing significant flooding everywhere I went.
Surf was crashing over the sea wall at Stoney Beach, and I was not able to get closer than this to see the significant flooding on Gardiner Road.
Picnic anyone? The access to many docks along this Eel Pond row was swamped with sea water, but the tide did not rise high enough to flood Millfield Street as it did in Hurricane Bob (1991).
Still no power all day Saturday. After my walk, I hopped back in bed to warm up then cooked another candlelight dinner wearing my wool Patriots hat.
On Sunday, the high tides continued to cause coastal flooding and overwhelm docks and seawalls. This is the view towards Nonamessett Island out over the Woods Hole Yacht Club on Sunday. Lower than the day before, but still!
I got closer to Stoney Beach on Sunday, but there were remnant of flooding as well as tons of sand on the old MBL tennis courts. Looked like the surf was pounding this area over both nights.
On the other side of Eel Pond, Shuckers Raw Bar & Cafe was flooded pretty significantly Sunday morning, although given their low ground floor elevation, this can not be the first time.
The sea water was up over the cobblestone terrace there, and into the bar area of this popular spot featured on Diners Drive Ins and Dives last season. Note how much higher the level of the floats are compared to the brick terrace. The access ramp is going up, not down!
The buzz of chain saws punctuated the air for the next few days, but out on Gansett Road a tree remained down with stray wiring tangled within. Nobody likes to chain saw around wires!
Power was restored to Woods Hole mid day Sunday, and by evening the sun broke out for a moment, long enough for my neighbor to row out to empty water from his kayaks lashed to a winter float.
It was Henry David Thoreau who wrote of Cape Cod in 1865: "What are springs and waterfalls? Here is the spring of springs, the waterfall of waterfalls. A storm in the fall or winter is the time to visit it; a lighthouse or a fisherman’s hut the true hotel. A man may stand there and put all America behind him."
Grey on grey on shades of more grey. It's been especially foggy this unseasonably warm winter on Cape Cod, where warm air met cold water and created a steamy cloud suitable for swimming through days at a time.
And yet, the beauty of the Cape is everywhere you look, shrouded but more exquisite sometimes. Forcing you to look deeper, the fog covers contrasts, simplifies composition, hides flaws, surrounds your senses, makes you dream of summer.
Walking around town, you find pops of color -- a bright blue trim or the green lichen that grows in the damp air. These moments populate your memory, filling your Instagram feed and the day with an extra sense of peace, quiet, calm. Woods Hole is a place to gather your thoughts. To reflect and go deeper. To get lost, and find yourself at the same time.
In the winter wet at Treehouse Lodge, our Fireball waits for spring, ready to jump into action with her warm flickering night light, the perfect way to end your day of exploring on Cape Cod.
As we approach our second season operating the new Treehouse Lodge, we are pleased to announce that we are renovating five additional rooms this year which will be unveiled soon as Canopy Deluxe, a delightful option for your next visit to Woods Hole.
Yes, it still looks like a big mess in here ... but let me tell you a little bit about what we have accomplished in these five rooms over the winter: new energy efficient heat & A/C system, new barn wood style floors, all new wall coverings, new paint, new built ins with desks and microwaves, new wall mounted televisions, all new furniture and light fixtures! Phew. Expect to see these new rooms online when we reopen in April 2018 for the season.
What makes these rooms deluxe? Well, the devil is in the details but these rooms will have mini fridges, desks, microwaves and room to spread out with the kids (if they are in tow) on comfy Case Study inspired couch-beds.
As we bustle about getting ready for your return, there is lots of news regarding the property next door to us formerly known as the Nautilus Motor Inn. Purchased in winter 2017 by Longfellow Design Build, this will be redeveloped starting late this year as new condos for the 55+ crowd. And what will happen to the Buckminster Fuller Dome that used to be the "Dome Restaurant" which we can see from the massive Copper Beach tree on our property? Only time will tell. Stay tuned!
At The Treehouse Lodge we have our very own "beach buggy" to drive guests either to Nobska, the Knob, or Stoney Beach. The buggy runs from 10am-4pm and only needs a 20 minute notice before pick up and drop off. All three beaches are within a 10 minute drive and are absolutely beautiful.
Nobska Beach is home to Nobska Point Lighthouse, a famous Falmouth landmark dividing Buzzards Bay and Vineyard Sound. The current tower was built back in 1876 and has been operating ever since. The lighthouse is only a short walk from the beach and can be toured on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the summer months. Nobska beach stretches down the coast line off of Church Street, looking out across Vineyard and Nantucket Sound. It's a perfect beach to take a long walk down, go for a swim, and check out a piece of historic Falmouth. For more information about visiting the Nobska Light, check out the Friends of Nobska Light website. Nobska Beach is the closest to Treehouse Lodge, about a ten minute walk down Church Street or two minute drive in our Beach Buggy.
The Knob is one of the best walking paths around Falmouth. The spit of land juts out into the water, protecting Quissett Harbor. There are two main trails each about a mile long. One leads you along the harbor and the other through the woods that are home to dozens of birds species. The paths will bring you out to Crescent beach which spans along the north side of the Knob. If you continue walking to The Knob overlook, you'll find a few steps that transcend you onto a platform surrounded by water, overlooking the Elizabeth Islands to the south west and New Bedford to the west. The Knob walk alone is a wonderful slice of Falmouth. There are several beaches to choose from here -- one that sits at the harbor before the walk and Crescent beach (facing Buzzards Bay) are both wonderful places to spend the day by the water.
Stoney Beach is a local favorite. It’s only a few minute walk or bike ride from downtown Woods Hole, so its easy to grab lunch and a coffee after soaking up the sun. While Stoney Beach is fairly small in size, it is a hub of action - swimmers making laps around the buoy, kids taking swim lessons, yogis on their paddle boards, and of course tons of people just relaxing in their beach chairs. At sunset, Stoney Beach is a great place to bring some dinner and have a beach picnic as the sun fades down over the water. Stoney Beach is a fifteen minute walk from Treehouse Lodge, or a short jaunt in our new Beach Buggy.
The Tree House Lodge may not actually sit up in a tree, but nestled next to the Fire Ball (our iconic fire pit made from a marine ball) stands a beautiful Copper Beech tree.
Woods Hole’s first summer resident Joseph Story Fay planted many of these Copper Beech trees back in the 1850s when the area was cleared of trees for lumber and farming. Born in Cambridge Mass, Fay was a very successful businessman as well as a horticulturalist.
After his first trip to Falmouth with his wife in 1850, Fay purchased a summer home and multiple other plots of land -- one of which is said to be the Tree House Lodge property. To restore some of Falmouth’s greenery, Fay and his famous gardener Michael Walsh planted around twenty thousand seeds. Among the many trees planted, the Copper Beech trees still grow strong along Challenger Drive (on WHOI property nearby) and among other areas in Falmouth.
The Copper Beach has a distinctive brown leaf that shimmers like copper in the mid day sun. It is prized for it's thick shade and broad high cover, perfect for hot summer days and picnics by the beach. This Copper Beach is part of the magic of Treehouse Lodge, and you need to see it for yourself to fully appreciate it.
The trunks can grow wider than you can circle with your hands and there are many Copper Beaches planted on this hill. If you want to read about the sad demise of a sister tree to this one check out our Earth Day blog here. Perhaps our Copper Beech is still mourning the loss.
Information from the Woods Hole Museum
As evening comes to Woods Hole each night, you gather around the Fire Ball at Treehouse Lodge for fun times with old friends and new.
Under the Copper Beech tree, the last light of day washes cares away as you share a cold craft brew, struggle to beat your new found friends at Corn Hole and listen to the crickets singing their summer songs.
Fire flies gather here, while the youngest enjoy that special roasty S'More then head towards sweet bedtime, all within earshot so you can continue to enjoy the nightfall.
Little ones gathered by the fire enjoy the opportunity to roast marshmallows for themselves and others. Sweet summer nights spent with the smell of woodsmoke and a cold brew. Perfection on Cape Cod.
Summer is in full season here in Falmouth with hydrangea in bloom, southwest breeze on max and the strong likelihood of a lovely dense fog that will roll in and out like a cool cloud. At Treehouse Lodge, we are happily feathering our nest and finding our groove with guests new and old.
New picnic tables have arrived, just in time for hot beach days and the full hydrangea and geranium bloom on our fabulous new gardens. We are pleased to discover how nicely the tables look with umbrellas left over from "Sleepy Hollow Motor Inn" days. Hello old meets new!
This was an important week, as photographer Christian Gianelli drove up from Philadelphia for two days to capture the vibe of our new place in still photographs. He is a genius with the camera and travels with his delightful dad as assistant. You can sneak a peek of Christian working his magic in the reflection above, but you will have to hold your breath for his fabulous photos coming soon.
In the meantime, as captured on the simple iPhone, check out how things are looking in the new rooms at Treehouse Lodge here on Cape Cod.
It's time to grab that stack of New Yorker magazines and settle in a quiet spot where you can actually read them! Catching up on yesterdays news is a time honored tradition for vacationers here in Woods Hole, and we still have plenty of room for you here this summer.
Explore our local beaches then come home to a real summer porch looking out over the gardens and our Fire Ball. As the wind whistles through the Copper Beech Tree, you can feel your blood pressure dropping. It's vacation time!
We hope to see you soon at Treehouse Lodge in Falmouth Mass on Cape Cod.