The Saratoga Traveler: Day Trips, Weekend Getaways & Hidden Gems

Long Weekend in Hyannis

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FIRST IMPRESSIONS



P7250184.JPGHyannis MA sits mid-cape on Cape Cod.  Made legendary by the Kennedys, Hyannis is a mecca for boating and ocean fishing and attracts thousands and thousands of tourists each summer.  Located on Lewis Bay, Hyannis offers limitless amounts of fishing, harbor tours and other water activities right from its harbor, or you can take one of the ferries to Nantucket Island or Martha's Vineyard.

HYANNIS HOLIDAY MOTEL

After hours of research on the best place to stay I decided on the Hyannis Harbor Motel, located directly across the street from the harbor.  This is a simple but unbelievably clean motel.  The rooms are large but basic (we had a double room) and do not offer amenities like ironing boards or hair dryers.  When I booked the room online it said that this room did not have a bay view but much to my surprise it had an amazing view, with a concrete patio and chairs to enjoy it.  

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The hotel feels old but is well kept and the staff is friendly and accommodating.  Check in time is 4 pm and we were early so we were shown to the "breakfast" room where we could have coffee, watch tv and use the bathroom until the room was ready.  We decided to take that extra time and go for a walk, so they took our cell phone number to let us know when the room was ready.  When we checked in we got a quick orientation on where things are and two coupons to save money on dinner or lunch for the two days we were there.
Hyannis Holiday Motel has two pools, one inside and one outside, free Wi-Fi with a password (one needed for each device you have) and  free pastries and coffee in the morning.
It kind of reminds me of the motels we used to stay at when I was kid on trips to the Ozarks or Florida, but with an amazing location.  We came to Hyannis to deep sea fish and the dock for the boat was a short walk away, saving us on having to find parking.  The one complaint I would have about the motel (and it's minor) is that it's two floors (we were on the first floor) and we could hear someone running back and forth upstairs.  I assume it was kids. 
For what we needed it just fit the bill: affordable (and they take AAA discount), clean and in a great location.  What more could you ask for?

HELEN H FLEET
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I loved the motel but the fishing.... not so much.  No fault of the Captain and crew of the Angler one of the many boats in the Helen H Fleet, it just wasn't a good fishing day for me or my husband.  It was the first time for both us deep sea fishing and really never got the hang of it.  Although we both caught a sea robin which kind of looks like an algae eater that you put in your aquarium.  Others on the boat did catch sea bass, and keepers too.  After the trip the crew cleaned and filleted their catches.  We didn't have any luck but it wasn't for lack of trying.  The captain changed our locations three times to give us all a chance.  All I seemed to catch was another fisherman's line.  Next time I think we will try a boat with fewer people so it will increase my odds.
When you book a trip on the Helen H (we took a four hour trip for sea bass and fluke) the price includes bait, rods, reels and the license.  All you have to do is show up and if you're optimistic you might want to bring a cooler to take your catch in with you.

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Just happy to be on the open sea, even if he didn't catch anything.

FOUND A FAVORITE RESTAURANT
Even though there was a restaurant right across the street from the motel (we ate there before the boat trip), we decided to check out a restaurant recommended by a Food Network Chef, Duff Goldman.  The Marshland is located in the town of Sandwich (Chef Goldman's hometown) and is an unassuming little shop with amazing food.  We had to try the stuffed quahog which is a clam that has a stuffing of bread, onions, green peppers and linguica.  It's served as an appetizer but my husband at the whole thing after sharing a bit with me.  I got the award winning clam chowder and I can see why.  The chowder was chunky and creamy, some of the creamiest chowder I've ever had. The potatoes and the clams were cooked perfectly -- amazing.  I followed my chowder with fish and chips, one of my weaknesses.  The fish was lightly battered and fried to perfection, the cole slaw and fries were delicious.  Mark followed his quahog with a lobster roll.  I've never seen a lobster roll that big before.  The lobster was tender and not chewy and seasoned with a little mayo.  Again-- perfect.  The bakery is next door to the restaurant and even though he ate the whole quahog and a huge lobster roll, Mark just couldn't pass up the Boston Creme Pie.
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If you're going to Hyannis:
Tip 1: Try to schedule it so that you stay on a Sunday, Monday and Tuesday since most hotels and motels even during peak season will lower room prices after the weekend.
Tip 2: If you are a AAA member be sure to ask about the discount.  Won't get it if you don't ask.
Tip 3: Use the expertise of the locals for restaurants and getting around.  Make friends with the staff at the hotel.  They live there, they know the area.
Tip 4:  Don't be afraid to go out and explore.  Do some research, use your GPS and go!  You might find an awesome beach or restaurant that you wouldn't have otherwise.
Tip 5:  Budget more that you think you will need.  This is true of any trip that you take.  There's nothing worse than running out of money or going into debt because you didn't plan ahead.
Tip 6:  Have fun!  Don't stress it.  Don't think you have to see everything. Pick an activity and do it.  After all it's a vacation enjoy yourself.  That's what you've worked for.

Been to Hyannis?  Share your tips.

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Kim Bernard

Moved to Saratoga from St Louis MO (home of The Gateway Arch, Baseball Cardinals and of course Anheuser-Busch) with my family for my husband's job. In the last 2 1/2 years we've had the opportunity to explore and discover day trips, hidden gems, along with some of the most beautiful, historic, interesting and curious places in New England. So come with me and look through a Midwesterner's eyes at Saratoga and beyond. I hope you enjoy your adventures and feel free to share yours and together we can feed our travel bug!