Hotel At a Glance: Inn at Swan River
With its red siding, black shutters, and white bannisters, The Inn at Swan River has the charm of a country house. This Cape Cod inn is set in the middle of the historic village of West Dennis, close to several beaches, shopping, and restaurants. Rooms here continue the red and white motif.
- Walk to the water: The Inn at Swan River is a quarter-mile from its namesake, Swan River, where canoeing, biking, and kayaking are popular.
- Take a day trip to the islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard—the ferry port is 8 miles away, and the eclectic Provincetown is an hour's drive northeast.
- Cape Cod's beaches are anywhere from 1.5–3 miles away; enjoy the warm water and white sand of Nantucket Sound
- A big backyard behind the inn features a patio with a fire pit and ample seating, along with wooded grounds you can walk through
- Family-friendly: There's a playground across the street, as well as two BBQ grills if you want to cook a big family feast.
West Dennis, MA: Quaint Cape Cod Village amid White-Sand Beaches
West Dennis is in the very heart of Cape Cod, the peninsula of Massachusetts that curls out into the Atlantic Ocean. This quaint little village is home to just 2,500 people year-round but, like all Cape Cod towns, there's a boom in the summertime. Visitors from Boston and New York come down to splash at the 60 public Cape Cod beaches, known for their white sand.
There's more to do on the Cape than just sand and surf, and if you come into town a little after the summer season you can enjoy the area without the crowds. West Dennis is a 15-minute drive from Hyannis, where you can hope on the Cape Cod Central Railroad for a narrated scenic train ride or a suppertime murder-mystery train outing. The fascinating Duckmobiles—amphibious buses that travel both by land and sea—take people on a tour around downtown Hyannis, past a lighthouse, and to the site where J.F.K. gave his acceptance speech. Afterwards, stop by the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum to see rare personal artifacts and photos of J.F.K.'s life.
From West Dennis, you're only an hour from famous Provincetown, an eclectic arts community at the very tip of Cape Cod. Stroll the pedestrian-friendly streets and pop into galleries, handicraft stores, and colorful cafes on a day trip to this ocean outpost. Provincetown has long attracted writers and artists; Tennessee Williams and Eugene O'Neill are former residents.