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The Town of Bourne for Couples

The town of Bourne, often referred to as the “Gateway to Cape Cod” is perhaps the most overlooked town on the Cape. Bisected by the Cape Cod Canal, there are several historical and recreational sites that are worth a visit.

There are seven distinct villages - Bournedale, Buzzard’s Bay, Cataumet, Monument Beach, Pocasset, Sagamore and Sagamore Beach, some of them falling on the Cape side of the Cape Cod Canal, others on the "mainland” side.
Cape Cod Canal
Cape Cod Canal

Initially completed in 1917, The Cape Cod Canal was constructed not only to shorten the sailing distance between New York and Boston, but also to help ships avoid the treacherous waters off the Cape.

Yet the original builder, August Belmont, a wealthy New York businessman, failed to dig the canal deep and wide enough for adequate passage, and also charged too high a tarrif, so many captains continued to make the journey around the Cape.

The United States Government bought the canal in 1928 and enlarged it, providing valuable jobs during the great depression. The three bridges that span the canal, the Bourne Bridge, the Sagamore Bridge and the vertical lift railroad bridge, are all located within the town of Bourne and if you are a canal and bridge aficionado, be sure to visit the Canal Visitor Center in Sandwich at 60 Ed Moffitt Drive where you can learn the complete history of the Cape Cod Canal.

On the mainland side, Buzzard's Bay has a vibrant village association that is determined to breathe new life into what has been a pretty tired Main Street. It has a prime location across the street from the canal and rail bridge and is dotted with various types of antique shops, second-hand furniture stores and bric-a-brac, but some locals complain that the self described 'Antique Alley' is really beter described as "Debris Drive."

With perhaps a few cosmetic uplifts and stricter rules on outdoor displays, this small run of shops could be a major draw if combined with some funky restaurants and retail stores. A few times a year, we'll pop over and usually come back with some pretty interesting glass and sterling pieces.

Active Couples

Many people enjoy the Cape Cod Canal for recreational activities including biking, walking, rollerblading and jogging. There are really two trails, one running each side of the Canal from Sandwich to Bourne. Each is about seven miles in length and you can do a round trip journey by bike in roughly ninety minutes, going at a moderate pace. That still leaves plenty of time to explore the rest of the town. You can even stop along the way and just sit for a while watching the ships and tugs navigate through the canal.

Historical Couples

If you opt for the Cape Cod side of the canal, and make it all the way to the Railway Bridge area, you'll no doubt stumble upon the Aptucxet Trading Post Museum.

Town of Bourne
The Gray Gables Depot was Built for the Personal Use of President Grover Cleveland

Although the town of Bourne is now best known for the Cape Cod Canal, it hasn't always been that way.

Before the Canal, this area was the narrowest part of the Cape and, as such, became an important point of trade between Buzzards Bay in the south and Cape Cod Bay to the north.

The Pilgrims built the Aptucxet Trading Post here in 1627 to facilitate trade with the Wompanoag Indians on Cape Cod and the Dutch settlers of New York. The current museum was built in 1930 as an exact replica of the original 1627 building.

Adjacent to the trading post is the Gray Gables depot, which was built for the personal use of President Grover Cleveland, who used to vacation in Bourne, and the Joseph Jefferson Windmill, which served as a studio and a home for the acclaimed actor/artist, who was a hunting buddy of Cleveland's back in the day. The windmill now serves as the gift shop for the trading post museum.

Sporting Couples

Town of Bourne
Brookside Golf Course
Bourne has the distinction of hosting the Cape's first golf course after you cross the Canal. Barely a mile from the Bourne Bridge is the Brookside Golf Club, which offers not just a terrific 18 holes, but some splendid views of the canal and the bridges.

The town of Bourne is also home to the Bourne Braves of the Cape Cod Baseball League. They play their home games at Upper Cape Regional Technical School on Sandwich Road and are well worth a visit if their schedule has them playing at home during your stay.

Bourne is also home to one of Cape Cod's top ice arenas. High school hockey championships are played at the Gallo Arena, which also serves as "home ice" for local clubs and leagues.

Culinary Couples

If you're here in September, be sure to visit the Bourne Scallop Festival, a fete to the opaque beauty of Michael's absolute favorite shellfish. As with most festivals, there is plenty of ancillary entertainment to keep just about everyone happy, but above all, there is lots of food.

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