The only -- only -- bad thing about my stay at the Sandpiper is that since the moment I left I've found myself frequently consumed with thinking about when I might be able to visit again.
I stayed here alone in early November. Here are some highlights:
1. The View: The cabin faces west, looking out at Cape Cod Bay, so there's a good chance you'll be treated to some of the most spectacular sunsets you've ever seen. I'm an early riser -- but, in my experience, the sunsets on the Cape far surpass the early morning light. And you've got options here: enjoying a glass of wine on the deck, sitting on a little platform on the stairs leading to the shore, or -- my favorite -- walking the shoreline with a mug of whiskey. You can also zone out standing right at the kitchen sink as you take it all in: this is what happened to me when I arrived. It took me a few minutes to snap into some sort of reality. Also cool: if you sleep with the bedroom door open, and you wake up real early, you can watch the folks who work the shellfish farms driving out over the mud flats to start their day's work.
2. The Cabin Itself: It's rustic and charming, all wood and high ceilings in the living room / kitchen area. The bedrooms are very small; not a ton of space to store your clothes, but that was fine by me. The kitchen was well-equipped, with one of those smaller stoves: totally adequate for the number of people who might stay here. I had some pretty chilly evenings, but the wood stove kept me plenty warm. And: the wood stove! That's a luxury I don't have at my apartment back in Western Mass. I loved it -- easy to operate and great for the ambiance. With a couple of heavy flannel shirts and a pair of binoculars hanging next to it, I felt like I was auditioning for a role in a short story by Jack London or Ernest Hemingway. One morning I sat on the deck and ate a whole pound of bacon and didn't even feel a wince of shame: the view and the cabin itself just made me feel giddy about the whole endeavor.
One of the early lessons we learn as kids is how to deal with the fact that over the course of your life you'll face countless situations in which reality doesn't meet your expectations. As you get older, the weight of that potential for disappointment grows heavier and heavier. But, the Sandpiper is not a place where you can build character by learning to deal with disappointment: it was better than I expected in every way.
3. The Location: You're minutes from excellent restaurants like the Wicked Oyster and PB Bistro (also fantastic spots for morning coffee / pastries / breakfast). You're under 10 min. from Marconi Beach and some other lovely, more secluded spots on the National Seashore like Maguire Landing. You're a very short drive from the Great Island Trail area and White Cedar Swamp -- nice spots for short or long hikes. Mass Audubon's stunning Wellfleet Bay Sanctuary is only about 10 min. away. And, you're a short drive from both Orleans (where a drink from the Hot Chocolate Sparrow and sunset at Rock Harbor is a must) and Provincetown. And -- and! -- without even getting in your car, the walk along the shoreline near the cabin is a treat. The path goes a long way in both directions, so there's a lot of landscape to explore.
4. The Owner: Hillel was fantastic to deal with. This was one of the easiest vacations I've ever arranged. He was extremely polite and responsive, and I really got the impression that if any problems arose -- and none did -- it'd be very easy to work with him toward a resolution.
Some final thoughts:
1. Stay here.
2. The cabin probably works best for a) a lone traveler or b) a couple or c) a couple with 1-2 kids.
3. Stay here.