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The Unique Appeal of Woods Hole

It’s pretty safe to say there’s no other place quite like Woods Hole on Cape Cod, or probably anywhere else in New England for that matter.

On one hand, Woods Hole is a small, picturesque coastal village where you can walk or pedal a bike along quiet, narrow streets, and spend a leisurely day shopping and eating at local restaurants. On the other hand, this tiny seaside community is packed with multiple world-renowned scientific institutions, the caliber of which you’d expect to find around Boston on the campuses of MIT or Harvard. The result is a college-town-meets-fishing-village atmosphere in a place where you can enjoy beautiful scenery, eat great seafood, and learn about the latest in marine science all in a day.

While Woods Hole is a wonderful destination, navigating there can prove tricky. Boat traffic is heavy in the area, and includes large ships and ferries. The surrounding waters are also riddled with rocky ledges and powerful currents, so pay close attention to your cruising guide and channel markers. If it’s your first time boating to Woods Hole, make sure you have enough power and time your trip to coincide with slack tide.

For slips and moorings, a good bet is Eel Pond. There you’ll find Woods Hole Marine; (508-540-2402) and Pinky’s Marina; (508-540-2310). To access Eel Pond, you’ll need to contact the Eel Pond Bridge on Channel 13 and ask them to open the bridge. The bridge opens at the top of the hour and bottom of the hour as long as a request is made. Other dockage options include the Woods Hole Yacht Club; (508-548-9205), which sometimes has transient slips, and R&R Marine (508-548-6976). You can find gas and diesel two miles east in Falmouth Inner Harbor.

No trip to Woods Hole is complete without visiting its several amazing marine science facilities. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; (508-289-2252) is one of the world’s most respected marine science facilities, and a visit there is sure to provide you with at least one (but probably several) mind-blowing learning experience. The Marine Biological Laboratory; (508-548-3705) allows visitors to learn about the lab’s research into marine biology. The Woods Hole Science Aquarium; (508-495-2001) features local marine life than can be viewed and sometimes touched. And the Buzzards Bay Coalition Visitor’s Center; (508-540-6222) has interactive exhibits that will appeal to both children and adults.

With all that learning, you’re likely to work up an appetite. Luckily, Woods Hole is also home to several fantastic restaurants. Among them, the Landfall Restaurant (508-540-1758) is a popular restaurant overlooking the harbor. Shucker’s Raw Bar; (508-540-3850) is a casual dock-and-dine with a large menu. The Captain Kidd (508-548-8563) is a low-key restaurant on Eel Pond offering limited dockage to patrons.