By: Sara Beth Bowen, Senior Travel Consultant & CTA
Choosing a tour can be a fun experience. Trying to imagine what each tour will be like and wondering which one will be the best choice for you. My husband and I wanted to travel with Globus this time and find the right tour for us in the United States. Because I have so many customers that travel with Globus and always want to repeat their great experiences as past client travelers, I wanted to see for myself if we would feel the same.
We wanted to do a tour in the Northeast or Mid-Atlantic region as we hadn’t been in that area for a while, but did have some earlier ties to those regions. We narrowed our choice to the Cape Cod and The Islands with Globus tour.
Our adventure began in Boston. Upon arrival at Logan International, my husband and I went through baggage claim easily and walked a very short distance to our taxi transfer to make our way to the Sheraton. The hotel staff was great, very helpful and allowed us to check in early.
Conveniently located, we were within walking distance of excellent dining options. I have to say, I especially liked the mall being attached to the hotel.
We met Nancy, our Tour Director, at our Welcome Reception on Day 1. We could tell immediately that she was highly organized and had genuine concern about making sure the tour group had a wonderful time. This was a great way to start our vacation, with an introduction to others and a good overview of what’s to come. The very first evening, we started bonding with our fellow travelers mostly from the USA and some from Australia.
Our sightseeing in Boston was very focused and historically interesting as well as broad in scope. The local guide that we had was just the best! Seeing the Old North Church and the monument to Paul Revere was inspiring while listening to our guide make history come alive for us. We were able to see the harbor where the Boston Tea Party took place which contrasted with the beautiful modern skyline of Boston. Apart from the early history of Boston, we stopped to see the monument to the United States’ first all-African-American regiment, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry from the Civil War era. If you saw the movie, Glory, then you know what it felt like to see the tribute to these brave men of the time.
The cruise around the harbor was well worth it, learning about famous places we would probably never see if we had not taken it. We had the afternoon free to have lunch on our own and then be able to walk the Freedom Trail if we so desired. The heat that day was intense; and everywhere we went, we encountered large crowds of people and traffic. But the cool comfort of our motorcoach with excellent driver and the ocean breeze on the cruise helped us enjoy all of Boston that day.
One of the highlights of the trip was our stop at Plimoth Plantation after seeing Plymouth Rock. The living history museum gave us an alternative view of experiencing the arrival of the Pilgrims. We very much enjoyed interacting with the native Wampanoag, who spoke of their lives and everyday experiences of that time period. It was charming to speak with the “Pilgrims,” too, who conversed with us as though they were actually speaking in live time from the early days of existence in the “New World.”
The next highlight for me was our visit to Flax Pond Farms. This family-owned business portrayed the pride, hard work and determination of the family to keep their working cranberry blog operation going throughout many years–a truly inspiring “American Dream” story. At least 3 generations of the family spent time with us to tell us their story. I am sure that everyone on the tour enjoyed the samples of cranberry products just as much as I did!
Staying in Hyannis for four nights, at a resort hotel with oceanview rooms, was a real treat! It’s always nice when you don’t have to pack and unpack every night while traveling. We had day excursions from this location. Our trips to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard were enjoyable. However, our time in both places seemed so short.
While on our Cape Cod and The Islands with Globus tour, you always experience that feeling of knowing you must return to these places. The included sightseeing was very informative and provided a great chance to see more of the islands. Our driver/guide in Nantucket gave us a very detailed outline of the whaling industry which drove the economy and wealth of both of these islands in the early days of their American history.
On Martha’s Vineyard, our local guide was terrific! We drove to Edgartown after arriving on the ferry and saw several locations where Jaws was filmed. After driving around the area, we had a wonderful lunch in the marina at a restaurant with an outside terrace overlooking the water. We were right next to the ferry that connects to the island of Chappaquiddick, only a very short distance from where we were. We had about an hour on our own to explore Edgartown and then met back at the motorcoach.
Then, saving the best for last, we drove back to Oak Bluffs and went to the Victorian Gingerbread Cottages at the Martha’s Vineyard Methodist Camp Meeting Association which was established in 1835. In the late 1800’s, Methodists gathered in Oak Bluffs each summer for religious meetings. As the years passed, they began building these cottages to use instead of tents. Eventually, it became a contest to see who could outdo the others in how ornate the cottages could be. This architecture became known as “Carpenter’s Gothic.” There are 318 of these cottages closely built to each other in a beautiful park-like area and an open “tabernacle” that resembles a giant gazebo, where church services are held and other public meetings.
On different occasions, Japanese lanterns are hung around the circumference and also outside on the porches of the cottages. What an interesting insight to years gone by, which is very active today with many generations continuing the seasonal residence there, as well as rental to new families, including artists and writers.
Our other day excursion on Cape Cod was a great visit to Provincetown and the stop at Cape Cod National Seashore. The whale watching expedition was a blast! We felt like we met each whale and learned about their lives through the marine biologist who knew them all by name. After having lunch, there wasn’t too much time to explore the village and shops, but we managed to squeeze in a walk in the main part of town.
After departing Hyannis and the Cape, we had to exclude our stop in New Bedford, since the whaling museum was closed that day. However, that gave us more time in Newport, RI, which is one of our favorite places.
The Breakers mansion is so opulent; and every time you visit it, you learn more about the Vanderbilt’s and the mind-boggling wealth/society of this Newport community in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
As a pleasant surprise during our Cape Cod and The Islands with Globus tour, our Hotel Viking offered us an upgrade to help my husband and I celebrate our 33rd anniversary! We were also delightfully surprised to receive a card for well wishes signed by everybody on the tour!
We always enjoy spending time in the marina area, but on this trip we were able to see so much more while being on a tour. Nancy was great about making sure we could fit in as much as possible everywhere we went.
Our last day was returning to the Boston airport to make our connection home. While riding back and reflecting on the tour, I have to mention that the included meals were all excellent–especially offering lobster on two different ones! Although the motorcoach was unable to drop us off at our terminal (motorcoach overhead height restrictions), we were easily able to walk with our bags to the right terminal. We arrived in plenty of time to have a leisurely lunch and await our flight home.
I would highly recommend Cape Cod and The Islands with Globus tour to anybody that wants to discover more about our heritage and history in the USA from the inception of the Pilgrims and settlers arriving in the New England area. Walking in their footsteps and seeing where they lived and struggled gives you great pride in the development of our nation. Also, being able to “hear” from the tribal nation of the Wampanoag, you have a better understanding of the great people who were already here and showed the newcomers how to survive. And if you enjoy learning about regional agriculture and the industry of whaling, this is the place to experience that uniqueness! If your interest is piqued by the fascinating lives of the super wealthy in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, this is the place to be! If you enjoy art, then you will love visiting Provincetown, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and Newport, RI, and browsing the local shops and galleries! Book Cape Cod and The Islands with Globus today–it’s worth it!
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Sara Beth Bowen
Senior Travel Consultant & CTA
Toll Free: 1-800-935-2620 Ext: 614