Cape Cod invokes visions of pastoral hamlets, sweeping oceanic vistas, and New England charm. Visitors and residents alike revel in the beaches. And shoppers won't be disappointed by the variety of stores that populate the thoroughfares of downtown areas and off the beaten path.
In general, New England offers a wealth of fantastic shopping, from charming antique shops to the type of independent "Mom and Pop" stores that are disappearing across the country as big box stores take over. The Cape, standing out from the rest of Massachusetts, with its distinctive retail options – a veritable shopper's paradise.
The growing chain of Christmas Tree Shops has its roots on the Cape in Yarmouth Port and the chain has taken the region – and the country – by storm. Now located in 18 states, it's still the place to go for bargains, whether you're looking for specialty foods, household wares, or holiday decorations. Although the original store closed in 2007, the remaining Cape Cod locations, which still retain their smaller-scale appeal, are still a must-see for tourists and a staple for residents in search of a good deal.
But for those who are interested in a more singular experience, historic Route 6A (Old King's Highway) is lined with antique shops to rival those of anywhere else in the country. Not only is this bayside route a scenic drive, but you'll find quaint shops tucked into every nook of the tree-shaded road.
Beyond antiquing, residents and tourists need look no further than Main Street in Chatham, with its eclectic and tantalizing storefronts. Maps of Antiquity is home to a vast collection of reproduction and antique maps dating back to the 1600s. On Main Street, shops like Cabbages and Kings Bookstore, Fisherman's Daughter Eco Boutique, and Sea Fever Gear offer the kind of funky fare that you won't find at Target. Chatham Glass Company, with its artisans shaping unique glass creations on site, is not to be missed.
The Cape is known for its abundance of artistic talent, reflected by the many galleries that line the streets of places like Wellfleet, with its blocks of artistic wares. Wellfleet might be known for its beautiful marshes and succulent oysters, but these days, it's also known as the "Art Gallery Town" and it's an art lover's paradise. Aficionados are sure to find something special at galleries like The Blue Heron Gallery, Sandpiper Gallery, and Wellfleet Pottery.
Lesser-known Osterville Village is located south of Barnstable. With its picturesque main road, it is home to a wealth of boutique shopping. Gift shops and women's fashions abound, from Mulberry Corners women's fashions to Oyster Island Emporium with its extensive collection of Vera Bradley accessories.
If you're looking for home furnishings with a Cape Cod touch, there are several shops along Main Street and Wianno Avenue to help you outfit your home.
Falmouth, with its just-inside-the-Cape location, is an obvious choice for Cape shopping. Easily accessible to both residents and visitors alike, the spectrum of shopping prospects offers something for everyone. Whether it's art or antiques, gifts or fashions, Falmouth has a large variety to offer in another beautiful, dynamic downtown Cape setting.
Any of these wonderful communities is a great place to rent or buy, and your real estate agent can offer you a window into what best suits your shopping and living style. If you're thinking about relocating to or buying a second home on the Cape – or if you already live here – it's worth exploring a little to find the hidden gems and not-so-secret treasures that are available. Whether it's a long, lazy day spent antiquing or a spontaneous excursion to buy the latest hot fashion, the options are varied and practically limitless.
Bayside Realty Consultants
12 Bridge St, East Dennis, MA.