Monomoy, a Wildlife Reserve
The uninhabited nature reserve known as Monomoy encompasses 2,750 acres of brush-covered sand favored by some 285 species of migrating birds. Monomoy stretches south from Chatham with Nantucket Sound on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other; annual shoaling, when tides break up the sand, determines whether there are one or two islands. The summer and fall are the best times to watch the birds as they embark on their migration. Monomoy Island Ferry (tel. 508/237-0420; www.monomoyislandferry.com) offers cruises to Monomoy from the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters on Morris Island. The price for a 90-minute cruise is $30 for adults, $25 for children.
Massachusetts Audubon Society's Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary conducts guided natural history tours of Monomoy throughout the year (tel. 508/349-2615 for information or reservations). Cape Cod Museum of Natural History also runs guided tours to Monomoy Island, including overnight stays at the restored lighthouse on South Monomoy. To reach Monomoy headquarters on Morris Island, take Route 6 east to Route 137 south to Route 28. A left turn takes you through downtown Chatham (about 3 miles). Turn right at the stop sign, to the Chatham Lighthouse and Coast Guard Station. Take the first left after the lighthouse, then the first right. Follow Morris Island Road to signs for the Refuge on the left.
The Play-a-Round Park, on Depot Street, will keep kids entertained for hours on end. The weekly band concerts (tel. 508/945-5199), at Kate Gould Park, held Friday nights in summer, are perfectly gauged for underage enjoyment: There's usually a bunny-hop at some point in the evening. Junior connoisseurs get a chance, once a year in late July, to enjoy some really fine music, when the Monomoy Chamber Ensemble puts on a free morning children's performance at the Monomoy Theatre (tel. 508/945-1589; www.monomoytheatre.org), and musicals there are always fun.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.