After being homebound in the city for over a year, we were itching for a change of scenery and a little bit of the outdoors, but I also wasn’t quite ready yet for the chaos of flying with two little ones! Cape Cod is less than a 2 hour drive from us, so we packed the car to the brim and headed out for a few days by the beach.
I naively thought if we timed it right both kids could nap the whole way, but the “are we there yet??s” started 5 minutes in and soon escalated into a medley of wails the entire drive. It was well worth it in the end, though! This was our first time staying in Hyannis, and we loved how family-friendly and peaceful it was before the busy summer season starts. I wanted to share a few spots we enjoyed in the area for anyone else planning a visit!
This is the same ribbed dress I showed in sage green in this blog post! I received it as a gift and actually had no idea it was sold as a maternity dress. There’s nothing that makes it specifically maternity (material is super soft, stretchy and on the thinner side), so I’d definitely recommend it for regular wear too. I wear it with shaper shorts and am able to nurse in it pretty easily by pulling the top part down with any of my Neiwai bras.
Since black midi dresses are a year round staple, here’s another very affordable option I found starting in size XS.
Staying in Barnstable / Hyannis
This was our first time staying in this part of the cape, and we’d definitely go back! We were about a mile from downtown Hyannis, right by the ocean, and found everything we needed to be very convenient. Our home rental at the end of Sea Street was part of a development of condos that might be available for rent on various sites. From our rental, Keyes Beach (a small, but nice and quiet beach) was just steps away, Kalmus Beach was very close by, and Main Street (the part of downtown Hyannis with all the restaurants, shops, and bars) was a 5 minute drive. Hyannis Port was also a short drive away for day trips to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket!
Finding last minute home rentals
Since a bunch of you asked, we booked this Airbnb unit only a week before traveling, and must’ve caught it after a last minute cancellation. Unfortunately most of the well-rated rentals, at least on Cape Cod, have been booked up for months now. But if your schedule is flexible, I just kept searching and refreshing for any rentals available the following week on short notice. Some vacation rental sites also let you check a box specifically to search for last minute cancellations on rentals within the next few weeks.
On the kids: Janie and Jack swimsuits, baby bucket hat, J+J girls sun hat
Play & ice cream at Centerville Playground
Traveling pre kids, we’d pore over Yelp for exciting bars and restaurants to try. Post kids, it’s all about the playground reviews ; ) One of the mornings, we drove 10 minutes to Centerville to check out this rustic playground with plenty of slides, an expansive wooden play structure, and a big enclosed area to run around in. After Nori got her wiggles out and Rio had plenty of swing time, we walked across the street to a charming country store with penny candy inside, a library, and Four Seas Ice Cream where we got some dairy free treats!
On our drive to Centerville, we passed by Craigville Beach which is a lot bigger than the one next to our condo and looked very nice, though I can see it getting busy in the summer. There is also a Star Market grocery store that’s pretty well stocked for the Cape, convenient for grabbing groceries to cook at our Airbnb.
Seeing this girl skip happily out our rental door to the beach each morning made my mama heart happy! We also enjoyed identifying tons of shellfish (crabs, mussels, snails, clams) which Nori wanted to bring home for dinner. After the kids were passed out, Nick and I relished a few moments of peace drinking on the porch at sunset.
Picnic and swings at Veterans Memorial Park
This is a small, rockier strip of sand on one side of the parking lot, and lots of picnic tables, metal grills (where you bring your own charcoal), and a small play area on the other side. The play area was mostly rope climbing structures and swings facing the bay, but Nori had fun nonetheless while the rest of us took our time enjoying dinner al fresco!
Delish Peruvian-Italian food at Tumi Ceviche
The prix fixe here is one of the best values you’ll find, but more importantly the food was delicious. For about $30 you get a drink (wine or beer), one of their 8 choices of ceviche, an appetizer, entree, AND dessert. Everything was a generous portion, and we’re still dreaming of their lamb osso bucco! Nori was feeling adventurous and gobbled up octopus ceviche alongside their complimentary homemade sourdough bread. And if you happen to swing by on a Wednesday afternoon, they have dollar oysters!
Drinks and Mexican plates at Anejo
The ambiance of this restaurant’s back patio was lovely – almost tropical and not what you’d expect on the Cape. If kid-free, definitely come here for cocktails, tacos or an enchilada platter! Sit in the back patio (not the front, where we almost ended up unknowingly) under the gorgeous, huge beech tree with lanterns strung up across it. The complimentary chips and salsa had a nice kick, and Nick got the taco variety platter with fish tacos. While not “traditional” it was very tasty (high praise from a native San Diegan whose had his share of tacos).
Next door was a more casual Mexican spot (El Mariachi Loco) with very yummy looking plates, that we would’ve loved to try if we had more time!
Katie’s ice cream
So many good, creative flavors with some dairy free options! Thursdays are $3 for a kid size. We shared their Cape Cod Mud (chocolate, fudge, almonds, chocolate sandwich cookies all in coffee ice cream) and Salted Caramel Oreo (yum!).
For other kid-friendly dining options right on Main Street, we saw a hot dog spot right next to Katie’s and a grilled cheese spot both with outdoor seating.