Stylish but not stuffy, this classic resort on lower Cape Cod has all the ingredients for a great beach vacation.
If you imagine Cape Cod as a flexed right arm, the town of Brewster sits on Cape Cod Bay, almost in the crook of its elbow. Built on the former summer estate of the prosperous Nickerson family, now a landmark listed in the National Register of Historic Places, Ocean Edge Resort and Club is set directly on a bluff overlooking the bay and is an outstanding setting for your family’s vacation.
The country manor’s grand mansion and nearby carriage house evoke elegance, but the resort’s facilities and accommodations are most welcoming to families. Set on 429 acres, the rambling property includes an 18-hole PGA championship golf course, a USPTA-certified tennis complex (which hosts the annual Adidas Tennis Smash, a celebrity charity event featuring top-ranked pros) and a fitness center. Swimming and waterplay are centered around six swimming pools and a spectacular 700-foot stretch of private beachfront.
The 334 accommodations range from comfortable hotel rooms and suites (some of which were recently renovated) to one, two-and three-bedroom villas. Suites and Villas come complete with kitchens, dining areas and laundry facilities, high-speed Internet access and are located either near the beach or overlooking the golf course.
Planning a family reunion? The flexibility of these units makes Ocean Edge a great choice.
On-property restaurants include two casual dining spots: Linx Tavern overlooking the golf course and the Reef CafÃ© (with a family-friendly menu) adjacent to one of the swimming pools. Located within the historic mansion are Bayzo’s Pub, an English-style tavern, and Ocean Grille, the main dining room serving excellent fresh seafood, meat and poultry, seasoned with herbs from the extensive herb garden adjacent to the mansion. While the Ocean Grille is elegant and the service is excellent, formal attire is not required.
When mom and dad want to hit the links, the courts or relax, the Ocean Edgeventures Program provides an active summer program for kids from age 4-12 in half or full day sessions. Junior golf and tennis clinics are available, too. Additionally, dinner, movies and activities are offered on a daily basis at the EdgeVenture Clubhouse. Babysitters are available through the concierge. Be sure to treat yourself to a “Parents Night Out” with a memorable meal at the Ocean Grille.
There are also many ways for families to have fun together at Ocean Edge. You can enjoy a clambake or beach bonfire, build sandcastles, attend an outdoor movie or family concert, or fly a kite along the beach. The Cape Cod Rail Trail (formerly the Old Colony Railroad) offers a 25-mile paved path between Dennis and Wellfleet for biking, rollerblading, jogging or strolling, and you can join the trail right on the resort’s property.
Be sure to spend some time exploring the unique environment of the Brewster Flats, the widest expanse of tidal flats in North America, accessible directly from the resort. During low tide, the water recedes over a mile, exposing a vast area of sand on which you can walk — into what seems like the middle of the ocean. The tidal pools that are revealed are treasure troves of fish, clams and crabs. Then, when the tide comes in, you can return to swimming in the mild water.
Off-property excursions include performances at the Cape Playhouse (877/385-3911, 508/385-3911) in nearby Dennis (check their Children’s Theatre schedule), whale-watching trips, horseback riding and boat rentals. Neighboring Nickerson State Park offers diverse activities not usually associated with a beach vacation. The 1,900 acres of woods provides for excellent hiking and biking, or you can swim, canoe or fish in fresh water ponds.
For a most unusual adventure, plan to take a tour of Cape Cod’s vast sand dunes, protected as part of the Cape Cod National Seashore established by President Kennedy in 1961. Created over time due to deforestation of the land by European settlers, the fierce winds on the exposed sand shaped this moonlike terrain, which is ever-changing. For an informative guided tour, contact Art’s Dune Tours (800/894-1951, 508/487-1950). The schedule of excursions runs from 10am to sunset, seven days a week. Options include the standard one-hour tour, or a two-hour sunset tour with a clambake or beach barbeque.
While on The Cape you can share some old-fashioned summer pleasures with your family. You can “take them out to a ballgame” at the Cape Cod Baseball League, which dates from 1885 and plays throughout The Cape everyday during the season. For a dose of nostalgia, don’t miss the Wellfleet Drive-In (508/349-7176) where there’s lots more to do than see a movie. Erected in 1957, the complex offers an 18-hole vintage mini golf course, playground, flea market, craft’s fair and a dairy bar serving burgers, chowder, fish and chips, milkshakes, rootbeer floats and more for lunch and dinner. The theater presents double features on the weekends, and don’t miss their home-made popcorn!
Resort Report Card
|Name:||Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club|
|Address:||2907 Main Street
|Seasonal Rates:||$$ – $$$$|
|Choice of Activities:||A|
|Quality of Amenities:||B+|
|Bonus:||The full-fledged â€œFamily Entertainmentâ€ Program offers a menu of activities with an emphasis on family together time.|
|Note:||Massage service is available in-room or at the resort’s small on-site spa.|
This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.