Summer on the Cape at The Elegant Chatham Bars Inn

When you think of summers on the Cape what comes to mind? Cool breezes, tennis whites, docksiders and fine sandy beaches? So true, but the the Olde New England charm is amplified if you take a hard turn off Edgartown’s Main Street, dotted with shops, ice cream parlors, restaurants and tourists…and head into the quite, tree-lined neighborhoods. As you stroll away from the crazy streets packed with tourists, you’ll find lawns sweeping up toward historical mansions that will take your breath away.

You’ll also find a historical inn known as the Chatham Bars Inn or, CBI as the locals call it. Build in 1914, the CBI offered wealthy travelers from Boston and New York a luxurious setting.  Coming in by horseback or Buick B25s, they could escape the heat and find solace on the cool beaches that surrounded the resort. CBI history

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Today, you’ll find the charm of the inn, interlaced with the historical beauty  from the turn of the century, providing a relaxing break from the stresses of the world.  Away from the hustle and bustle of Main Street, where tourists crowd in and out of shops, the resort allows their guests to relax in peace while still being able to walk to town. As you enter the hotel you’re surrounded by subtle elegance.  A fire burns day and night bringing a warming touch to the large gathering room. 

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The reception area holds accents from the past and you’ll find the actual welcome desk used in the early 1900’s (at least I think it’s the original one).  Imagine the families arriving, hot and tired from the long ride from Boston…and there you stand in the same spot over 100 years later.

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IMG_5404The rooms are lovely and if you can get one with a balcony you’ll be delighted with comfortable chairs to take in the sweeping view. 

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As you leave the main hotel you’ll find exterior buildings along with an ocean-front restaurant. We ate at a table located by the beach and had a really delicious lunch.  Dinner in the tavern was equally good and the mussels were one of the best meals we had on the entire trip. 

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Continuing your walk along the winding paths, you’ll find the pool area and chairs nestled along the beach. It was a little overcast and cold when we were there, but the weather added to the relaxing ambiance of the hotel. Our visit was in late May so the spring flowers were in bloom and the air smelled of lilacs.

After a night of playing cards (Mom beat me almost every time!) we woke to fresh brewed coffee and a brisk morning walk. Below you’ll see Mom noting how high the snow must get by the markers found on the fire hydrants! Breakfast was amazing and included in the price of our room.  As you walk through the french doors you’re met with the smell of fresh baked pastries, dishes overflowing with fresh fruit, meats, cheeses, along with hot selections. 

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After breakfast we were off to catch the ferry to Martha’s Vineyards. Imagining what the inn looked like in the 1900’s I came across this image and found there was a dock you could stroll along to get out to the sandy beaches. Now, there is an elegant pathway that takes you along flower lined beds. Chatham Bars Inn – we truly loved our stay! Thank you!

Then….
And now!

To view the blog on Martha’s Vineyard please check back!

All historical photos were found on and are property of the Chatham Bars Inn website.

All other photos are copyright 2019 Shelley D Spray. Images can not be used, all rights reserved.

Getting to Martha’s Vineyard

It takes about an hour to get to Martha’s Vineyard by boat. In my humble opinion the week before Memorial Day is the best time to go. There are no crowds, and the island is pleasantly quiet. If you can take your car, take it. It gives you so much freedom and ends up being less expensive since you’re not paying for taxis and buses when you get there. It’s always good to make a reservation. I’ll add the link when I’m back by my computer. Here’s what it looks like when you’re getting ready to drive in the ship

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Once you’re on board there is a snack bar, seating inside and out.

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Next stop is the beautiful town of Edgertown!!