Canal Traffic

· As you sit on the front porch you are looking out onto Phinney’s Harbor. Across from you is Mashnee Island (with houses) and Hog Island (without houses to the right) and then the dike which connects Mashnee to the mainland. On the far side is the Cape Cod Canal – a 7 mile artificial waterway connecting Buzzards Bay to Cape Cod Bay. You will be able to see (there are binoculars) large ships approaching from the left (south) as well as all traffic moving through the canal.

· There are a number of applications for your smartphone, iPad or computer which allow you to see information about both commercial and pleasure craft in or approaching the canal. We use Ship Finder and Marine Traffic.

· If you see an interesting boat entering the canal from the left you have plenty of time to get in the car and drive to the train bridge on Bell Road to see it up close. Directions are below.

· There are boat tours of the canal that depart from Onset many times each day.

· If you are curious as to how the canal is managed, the Corps of Engineers (part of the US Army) runs it and there is more information here. They have an interesting visitor’s center at 60 Ed Moffitt Drive in Sandwich. The center is open 7 days a week and it’s free.

This photo is from the south end of the canal showing the Massachusetts Maritime Academy (on the mainland side), the train bridge, and the Bourne Bridge and then the Sagamore Bridge and Cape Cod Bay in the distance. The canal service road on the right is just a few miles from the house and is a great spot for a walk, run, or bike ride.

Bourne Braves Baseball

· The Bourne Braves are the local team that is part of the Cape Cod Baseball League – the premier college baseball league in the US. These are really fun, very low key games. You never know until much later what rising star you may see for the first time.

· The Braves play home games at Doran Park on Sandwich Road just a few miles away at the Bourne Bridge on the campus of Upper Cape Tech. Check the schedule on their site.

Using a boat at Monument Beach

· A boat is a great way to enjoy our rental home on Phinney's Harbor, which is spectacular for fishing, touring, water skiing, and tubing. The Monument Beach Marina has two ways to store your boat. First, when slips at this marina are not in use by their owner, they can be rented out by members of the public. Since the supply of such slips can be a bit uneven, "transit moorings" can be a better way to store your boat. The Marina has a number of transit moorings which can be rented for $25 per day (call for current pricing); they also rent for a seven-day period for the cost of six. Demand for such moorings can fluctuate, but the marina can set one aside for you with enough notice, so we suggest contacting them ahead of time. The number for the marina is: 508-759-3105.

Renting a Kayak or SUP in Monument Beach

· A kayak or paddleboard rental from Rivendell Marine (508) 759-0330 would be a fun and safe way to get to your boat or just to see the harbor from a different vantage point. Don't be scared off by the boat-building emphasis of the Web site, they really do rent kayaks, click on the link to Paddler’s Shop. They are located right around the corner from the Whistle Stop, their e-mail address is and they are super friendly and helpful. A rental will include a great beginner lesson – they won’t let go of you until you are confident.

· Stand up Paddleboard YogaSailworld in Buzzards Bay holds sessions on Monday evenings at the Monument Beach marina (public beach). Number is above. In 2017 it costs $35 or $15 if you bring your own board. Rivendell Marine/Paddlers’ Shop does the same on Saturdays and Sundays in July and August. Call 508-759-0330.

Fishing and Shellfishing Require Permits

  • Please see this site for information on permits, which are required:
  • You can purchase on line here: There is also a walkin office in Buzzards Bay. Neither fishing nor Shellfishing is allowed without a permit and our wonderful and friendly Department of Natural Resources folks do enforce.

Other Activities

Things to Do in the Bourne Area
  1. Take a walk/bike/skate/run along the canal: Take a left onto Shore Road, pass the Gray Gables market and take a left onto Bell Road to the parking area by the train bridge. Cross the tracks and you will see the walkway which runs for about 7 miles along the canal. This canal road does not allow cars and is a wonderful place for biking, jogging, walking, rollerblading, etc. Also, if you see a cool boat entering the canal while you are sitting on the porch (if the boat is moving from left to right) then you have about 15 minutes or so to get to the canal to see it up close, depending on the tide, size and speed of the boat. If you see a big cruise liner coming through it’s definitely worth the trip.
  2. Visit the Cape Cod Canal Visitor’s Center (508) 833-9678 and take a tour. You can see their schedule at
  3. Go to Martha’s Vineyard for the afternoon – have ice cream! Drive toward Falmouth on Route 28, park where the signs indicate for Woods Hole (these change based on load), and take a 45 minute (each way) ferry ride.
  4. Explore Woods Hole – especially during the week when it is a little quieter. Check out They have a great little aquarium. It will take you about 25 minutes to get to Woods Hole. Parking is the hard part.
  5. Visit the Cape Cod National Seashore – take the canal road to Sagamore then on Route 6 East. You will drive about an hour until you enter Eastham and the Salt Pond Visitors Center will be on your right. You might want to have dinner in Provincetown or take a dune tour. You can combine this with a visit to 2 beaches – one on the ocean and the other on Cape Cod Bay. Here is a blog post that might help. Continue on to Provincetown and do a Dune Tour or visit the Pilgrim Monument.
  6. If you are not from Massachusetts and never did it in elementary school, you might visit Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth. . We warn you the rock is truly nothing special.
  7. Take a ride to Sandwich, walk through downtown, then park by the beach which will have a fee during the summer. Then you can walk out to the beach on the boardwalk. Or take route 6A bit further to Sandy Neck beach. The water at both these beaches, on Cape Cod Bay, is colder than the water at the house. The cost there is $15- 20 to park.
  8. Driving further up 6A you can visit Brewster and the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, and walk out to the tidal flats and see the osprey nests.
  9. Rent bikes in Falmouth and ride the Shining Sea Rail Trail to Woods Hole.
  10. Biking: The Shining Sea Bikeway trail is fantastic: shows you a great map. The Bikeway’s name honors Katharine Lee Bates, born in Falmouth in 1859, who penned “America the Beautiful,” with its line, “And crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea!” It is almost 11 miles long and there are numerous places to park if you want to walk/ ride only a piece of it. will give you more information. From that site: The Shining Sea Bikeway is the only bikeway on Cape Cod that runs alongside the sea, providing views across salt marshes, barrier beaches, and open water. And with almost 25% of the Bikeway abutting conservation land along at least one side, the Bikeway brings you close to a variety of wooded uplands, cedar swamps, and ponds. To get to the northern terminus: Exit Route 28 at Rt. 151 and turn left (west). Pass through the traffic light at Rt. 28A and continue straight ahead (name changes to County Road). Cross RR tracks and turn right to enter County Road parking lot. Bikeway begins directly across County Rd.
  11. Take the Canal Cruise out of Onset.
  12. Pick your own of whatever is ready to harvest at Coonamessett Farm in Falmouth.
  13. Go whale watching out of Hyannis -
  14. Take the Hy-Line to Nantucket out of Hyannis. They have a fast ferry option on this line. Cars are not allowed on this boat but you’ll get to Nantucket in one hour and you can explore the island on foot or bicycle. You can also take a traditional ferry, which takes just under 2 hours each way, and bring your car. They also offer a cruise that visits both islands and a water tour around Hyannis Port.
  15. One of our renters took their young kids on the Pirate Adventure in Hyannis and said the kids loved it:
  16. We recently visited the Thornton Burgess Society in Sandwich and did a jam making workshop. There are beautiful gardens, a museum, and a Jam Kitchen.
  17. The Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich house not only beautiful gardens but also an Automobile Gallery full of antique and concept cars housed in a fascinating round barn building.
  18. Check the Cape Cod Melody Tent to see who is performing.
  19. Do a day trip to nearby Old Silver Beach ($20/day parking) but get there early to get a space. This beach has more waves than in our harbor and the water is warm.
  20. Highfield Hall and Gardens, a classic, old estate now open to the public; located in Falmouth it’s a nice place to tour. They hold a hydrangea festival and in the summer there will be many “fairy houses” on display outside on the grounds. They also host wonderful lectures and also concerts on some Sunday afternoons.
  21. Beebe Woods, adjacent to Highfield Hall, 383 acres of woodland with hiking trails, is a great place to experience the Cape forest and pond environment, close to parking and main roads.
  22. Cape Cod Lavender Farm in Harwich has 20 acres overlooking a pond. The lavender is in bloom from late June until early July.
  23. One of our repeat renters highly recommends Mayflower Beach in Dennis. It’s a great family beach on the 6A side with lots of flats to walk and tidal pools that form as the tide goes out. You will have to pay for parking ($20-$25) and should get there early as there are limited spots. Corporation Beach is close to Mayflower and seems to be a little less busy.

To see a Google map of some of these locations please click here:

Some links for lists of current events:

Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce:

Cape Cod Today:

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