Cape Cod, one of North America’s most popular resort areas, features charming fishing villages, beautiful seascapes, 275 miles of white-sand beaches and many miles of flat, paved cycling paths.
Hundreds of thousands of people visit the Massachusetts resort each year, and also its neighboring islands--Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. To avoid these large crowds, however, the ideal time to visit is spring and autumn. For next year, start planning now.
There are five youth hostels in the area that provide accommodations for all visitors, and a new telephone reservations system enables anyone to reserve a bed for $10 per night ($3 extra for nonmembers), using a Visa or MasterCard.
Accommodations are dormitory-style rooms, with separate rooms for men and women and some small family units.
Hyland AYH-Hostel, 465 Falmouth Road, Hyannis, Mass. 02601, (508) 775-2970, will close Nov. 30, but will reopen March 1, 1992. This 42-bed hostel also has a barbecue, a kitchen, picnic tables and a volleyball court, and bikes can be rented for $8.50 per day. Guests often use it as a base for a visit to the “living museum” of Plimouth Plantation, a 40-minute drive away. There, people live in a 1627 village, dress in period costumes and speak Old English. From Hyannis, visitors can also take a ferry to Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket Island for $20 per person, one way.
Mid-Cape AYH-Hostel, 75 Goody Hallet Drive, Eastham, Mass. 02642, (508) 255-2785, is the most centrally located to both bay and ocean. Although it is now closed, the hostel will open again May 15, 1992. Accommodations for 60 guests are in eight cabins. Some are with one double and two single beds, suitable for families.
For cyclists, the hostel is close to the Cape Cod Rail Trail, which is eight feet wide and about 20 miles long, and runs past marshes, ponds and forests along the old Penn Central Railroad track.
Four miles from the hostel is the Salt Pond Visitors Center for the Cape Cod National Seashore. Cape Cod National Seashore is a 27,000-acre reserve known for its 60-foot sand dunes, beaches, woodlands and hiking and biking trails.
Little America AYH-Hostel is in a former Coast Guard station, P.O. Box 402, Truro, Mass. 02666, (508) 349-3889, on top of a sand dune within the Cape Cod National Seashore. Now closed, it will reopen June 15. Guests staying here can visit nearby Provincetown, where the Pilgrims disembarked from the Mayflower before settling in Plymouth.
Nantucket’s Robert B. Johnson Memorial AYH-Hostel, Surfside Beach, Surfside, Mass. 02554, (5O8) 228-0433, is going through some changes. The 64-bed hostel has only large dormitory-style rooms and will close Oct. 14. However, when it reopens April 28, it will also offer several smaller rooms with three beds, for families.
The only way to get to the Robert B. Johnson Hostel, which was erected in 1874 as Nantucket’s first lifesaving station, is by taxi, which runs throughout the year, or by a private bus, which runs only during the peak summer periods. However, on arrival at Nantucket Town, where the ferry docks on the island, bikes can be rented (cost: $12 to $15 per day) to make the three-mile journey to the hostel.
Manter Memorial AYH-Hostel on Edgartown Road, West Tisbury, Mass. 02575, (508) 693-2665, on Martha’s Vineyard, is open until Nov. 30, then starts up again April 1. The hostel is next door to the Audubon Sanctuary.
For more information, call the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, Junction Routes 6 and 132, Hyannis, Mass. 02601, (508) 362-3225.
An excellent source of information for teens is the 1991-92 edition of the “Teen-ager’s Guide to Study, Travel and Adventure Abroad,” compiled by the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) and printed by St. Martin’s Press.
The book covers study and home-stays abroad, plus opportunities for social and scientific projects, and offers advice on such topics as choosing educational programs and adapting to different cultures.
Copies may be available in public libraries, or can be ordered from CIEE, Dept. ISS-54, 205 East 42nd St., New York 10017, or through retail bookstores. Cost is $11.95, plus $1 postage for CIEE.