The Other Cape

ON THE RUGGED COAST NORTH OF BOSTON, FOUR TOWNS SHARE A LONG HISTORY OF MORTAL PERIL AND ENDURING BEAUTY.

Cape Cod and Cape Ann—two seashore vacation draws not far from Boston —might appear to be siblings. But in truth the two Massachusetts capes are as different as mustard and custard. South of the city, Cape Cod thrusts seaward from the mainland as a 75-mile arm, flexed and brawny, with Provincetown for a fist. North of it, Cape Ann is hardly more than a snub nose poking into the Atlantic.

 
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Thoreau Walks The Cape

In the blustery days of late fall, the traveler still can find the sparseness and solitude that so greatly pleased the Concord naturalist in 1849

One morning in early October 1849, Henry David Thoreau peered through the rainstreaked window of a stagecoach as it rolled along a sandy, rutted road on the north shore of Cape Cod. He found the landscape bleak and almost bare of trees, the houses poor and weather-beaten. Even the women’s faces were cheerless. “They had prominent chins and noses,” he wrote, “having lost all their teeth, and a sharp W would represent their profile.” Read more »