Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Along 6A

Route 6A is considered to be Cape Cod's most historic and scenic highway. The highway is approximately 62 miles long and has many names; Old Kings Highway, Main Street, Sandwich Road, Shore Road, Commercial Street, and Cranberry Highway, depending on what town you're driving through. The present day 6A was once an Indian trade route, traveled on for thousands of years. When the pilgrims arrived, they used it for their carts and wagons, which widened the path. With the emergence of cars in the early 1900's, the trail changed again and is now a tourist attraction! It often follows along the coast and passes through seven Cape towns. I began my photo-journey of Route 6A in the Village of Barnstable, near Phinney's Lane.

TheCoast Guard Heritage Museum used to be a US Custom House and then a Post Office before becoming a museum.

This is the "Oldest Wooden Jail in America".

Across the street from the museum is the Barnstable Unitarian Church.

The church's history dates back to the 1700's but this structure was built in 1907.

The Bacon Farm dates back to the Boston Packet days,(1800-1875). It was owned by Isaac Bacon, a local farmer who sailed his crops of onions up to Boston in his own ship.

There are a lot of streets and lanes off of 6A that lead to the sea... My father used to bring us here to fish when we were kids.

The Post Office in Cummaquid is very small!

I had never been down Mill Lane before, so an adventure awaited! The road takes you by Hallett's Mill Pond.....

before bringing you to another section of Barnstable Harbor,called Mill Creek.

I found an old barn with a thatched roof.....

and Keveney Lane had a one lane bridge!

Here is just one of the many Cape Cod fashioned houses along 6A.

This is a restaurant called the "Gingerbread House", it was built by Captain Frederick Howes who became a famous clipper-ship captain, the master of the clipper-ship "Climax".

"Kitty-corner" across the street from the Gingerbread House, on the south side of the street, is a classic old fashioned Drug Store run by the Hallet-Clark family. They are direct descendants of the original Hallet who settled this area about 350 years ago. It is the only "authentic" ice cream parlor on Cape Cod. Upstairs is a museum containing lots of Hallet memorabilia, some of which belonged to their relative Captain Bangs Hallet.

The Old Yarmouth Inn was built in 1696!

This is the Kelley Chapel, built 1873, the building was intended to provide a place for families of the South Yarmouth fishing community to worship and learn scriptures.

It wasn't open so I peeked in the windows and took these through the thick-paned glass.

This place sits next to the chapel and is currently operational!

The Captain Bangs Hallet House is a must see on the 6A tour.

A ship's anchor, buried in ivy....

A handmade tomato plant cage.....

One of the largest magnolia trees on the Cape....

Beautiful flower gardens....

The back of the house, with the magnolia tree to the right. I believe they grow grapes back here as well.

Last, but not least, is the First Congregational Church,built in 1870.

You can also include my previous posts of Bass Holeand Bone Hillto this stretch of 6A, as well as a hundred more stops that I didn't make along the way. This particular stretch of 6A was merely 10 miles of the 62 miles that makes up The King's Highway on Cape Cod! I'll be doing more photo-journeys as the summer progresses and time allows... Hope you enjoyed this one!


  1. Nice looking scenic route there.

  2. Lots of pretty pictures.
    I love the country!

  3. You're trying to entice us to visit, aren't you?? Cause it's working...

    So, I've got to ask this. In your opinion, when is the best time to visit? Is there a tourist "season"? I much prefer the off season just to avoid the crowds.

  4. CS- thanks for stopping by! I'm just waiting on another sunny day to do another trek down 6A...
    Thanks Becky!
    Ky Woman- The summer is the best part of the year for visiting... only because the weather is generally good and most of the tourist attractions, museums, etc. are only open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Some do stay open until Columbus Day, but the tourists are here from April - October, the height of the season though is July-August.

  5. I very rarely go down The Cape anymore, but when I was a kid, my Great Uncle had a cottage in Yarmouthport, and we'd often (that is, my Mom, Dad, and me) spend a weekend there. Those were wonderful days. No TV, radio only (and for Sox games only!) and everyone just talked and went to the beach and we were never, ever bored. Great stuff.

    Thanks for bringing those memories back to me today!

  6. You live in one the country's most beautiful areas... and arguably THE most beautiful.

    New England is my least-visited area of these United States and it's obvious to me that I need to get back. The good news is I probably will. SN2 has held on to his house in Maine and is still making noises about retiring there when he's done with the Navy.

    Thanks for the photo tour, Alison. I most definitely enjoyed it.

  7. Jim, that's funny that you'd say that about coming to the Cape as a kid... when I was a kid, we'd (the family) would go up to Dighton and spend the weekend at my grandmothers cottage on the Dighton river... same thing... no tv, radio only and lots and lots of things to do....
    Buck, Maine is also very beautiful, but sometimes the winters can be much worse than what we get here! Still, I'd give my right arm to have a place up there... most of the folks that grew up here on the Cape have moved up there. Seems they still have the "rural" up there, as opposed to the Cape which is becoming over-developed.

  8. Pretty! I'm amazed at the stuff we miss when we fly in and fly out... sigh... Thanks for the virtual tour!

  9. Thanks Jim*2- sounds like you could do with an RV vacation? Great way to see the country!

  10. Thank you so much for the Cape tour. We are headed your way this summer - especially looking forward to some baseball. You have taken some terrific photos - very inspiring.

  11. Cape League started this weekend!!! Let me know when you're coming... perhaps we can meet at a game!

  12. I really like the personal touir and the pics are incredible!

    The history and the weather (in Summer!) are all I need to start making plans for a visit.

  13. Darryl - I think that's a marvelous idea... would you ever consider coming up by boat?

  14. I love the tour.. thank you so much!!! You have a talented eye!!

  15. Those photos were beautiful - almost a photo-overload. I saw some very paintable scenes. Now if I could just do some plein aire painting rather than from photos...