Woods Hole Things to Do
Nobska Beach and Light
A light station was established here in 1828, but the lighthouse dates from 1876. It is an active light with a white flash every 6 seconds day and night. The red sector covers dangerous shoals. It is a"Race Point" round cylindrical cast iron tower (brick lined) with lantern and gallery, attached to 1-1/2 story wood keeper's house. The buildings are floodlit at night. Fog horn (2 blasts every 30 seconds). 4° Fresnel lens (1888) in use. Buildings painted white, roofs red, lantern black. Oil house and utility buildings also preserved. The keeper's house is the residence of the commander of Coast Guard Group Woods Hole. After the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, the International Ice Patrol was established and was based at this station for many years. Today the lighthouse is a popular location for weddings.
It is located on Nobska Road, at the eastern entrance to Woods Hole Harbor and is visible from the Woods Hole-Martha's Vineyard ferries. The tower generally closed but the local Coast Guard Auxiliary offers several open-house opportunities each year
May 17 Saturday 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
June 7 Saturday 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
July 3 Thursday 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
July 17 Thursday 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
July 31 Thursday 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Aug. 7 Thursday 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Aug. 9 Saturday 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Aug. 21 Thursday 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Dec. 6 Saturday 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
- Children must be at least 6 years of age AND 45 inches tall to enter.
- Shoes and shirts required.
- No food or drink permitted in the lighthouse.
- No smoking permitted in the lighthouse.
- Backpacks, large purses, large camera bags not allowed in the light
- Infants in carrying pouches not allowed in the lighthouse.
- No liability is accepted for personal items left unattended in or on the
grounds of the lighthouse.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
Woods Hole Science Aquarium
When we visited in 1971, we went to the Aquarium. This is a very small aquarium and many of the tanks are actively used for research. When we were there there was a cute (rescued) seal playing outside and a blue lobster.
The aquarium features an outdoor seal pool, 20 tanks and 15 aquaria with fish and invertebrates, two touch tanks where children can gently touch marine animals, and a behind-the-scenes area where visitors can talk to the staff as they go about their daily tasks of caring for the animals.
The aquarium was established in Woods Hole in 1885 and is the country's oldest marine aquarium for public education and scientific research. It is owned by the federal government and run by NOAA Fisheries.
Fisheries Aquarium Summer hours are 11-4, Tuesday through Saturday.
School-year hours are 11-4, Monday through Friday.
The aquarium closes for federal holidays
Admission is free (donations are accepted)
Parking in Woods Hole is limited to metered spots on the street – consider using public transportation, especially in summerRelated to:
- Family Travel
When I was a child and teenager, we often summered at Woods Hole where my dad had a membership in the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL). There were two beaches in Woods Hole. Nobska Beach and Rocky Beach. Nobska was a sand beach named for the Nobska Lighthouse at one end. It was a little ways out of town. In the very old days they had a rule prohibiting topless bathing by both men and women at Nobska Beach.
This beach, however, is Rocky Beach. Some folks call this Stoney Beach or the MBL Beach, but we knew it as Rocky Beach. Rocky Beach could easily be walked to from town. It had large boulders along the edge of the parking lot, but the whole beach was covered with round rocks about the size of your fist. My friends and I are sitting on towels spread out on the rocks and you can see the boulders etc around the shore.
Except for the rocks, this was an ideal beach for children because it was so sheltered and there was a sand bar so it was shallow for a long way out. The rocks only went out about 100 yards. People used to make paths through the pebbly rocks so they could walk more easily. My dad taught me how to walk on the rocks barefoot, so that's what I did.
In the picture from the left is my friend Charlotte in black, then my dog Halo, then me in the orange shorts and sunglasses, then my friend Jane in the orange swimsuit and next to Jane was a cousin that she was babysitting for.
Rocky (or Stony) Beach is still one to go to in Woods Hole. No parking stickers are required to park there, but you can walk to this beach from the village for a swim at lunch..Related to:
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Woods Hole Hotels
527 Woods Hole Road, PO Box 743, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, 02543, United States
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Solo
549 Woods Hole Road, P.O. Box 106, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, 02543, United States
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Couples
When we went to Woods Hole, we usually stayed in dorms or rooming houses. We ate in the mess hall....more
28 Water Street, P O Box 4, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, 02543, United States
Good for: Families
320 Woods Hole Road, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, 02543, United States
539 Woods Hole Rd, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, 02543, United States
Po Box 238, , Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543
Woods Hole Restaurants
Shuckers Raw Bar: Most unpleasant dining experience of my...
If you are looking at visiting Shucker's, you should first do a search of the reviews online; there are MANY poor reviews regarding both food and management. We asked for a different table and you would have thought all heck broke loose. The dining experience was totally ruined by an overly aggressive manager with zero customer service skills. It seems that they crash with many customers on a regular basis...look at the reviews! We ended up leaving and contacting the Better Business Bureau AND the Chamber of Commerce. It was outrageous! If you dislike encountering bullies at meal-time, avoid this place like the plague.
Pie in the Sky Cafe: Best Coffee in the village, cheap &...
Pie in the Sky sits in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of one
of the Cape's most treasured summer destinations. With a picture
window overlooking Woods Hole Sound and the ferry terminal to Martha's
Vineyard just a stone's throw away, "Pie" never finds itself at a loss
for traffic in the summer. This funky bakery-cafe has mastered the
art of the popover, croissant and pain au levain (sourghdough in
laymen's terms). You can get lost in the artwork on the walls in this
tiny little bakery, and if the food itself doesn't satisfy you enough,
just about everything except the very table you eat on is for sale.
The staff are friendly and accomodating. Did I mention the
croissants? Owner Erik Gura provides a menu sure to satisfy any
palate. Grab a warm danish in the morning with some organic coffee;
sit down for a Vermonter sandwich and a latte for lunch, or grab a
bowl of their famous New England clam chowder or plum tomato bisque
for dinner. All homemade. If Pie in the Sky isn't already a stop on
your list, make sure to swing by and enjoy this not so hidden
treasure. Open 364 days a year, the courtyard is pleasant for
outdoor dining in the summer and the ovens which run 20 hours a day
will be sure to keep you warm indoors in the winter. Come early and
you just might get a fresh baked blueberry muffin hand deliverd
straight from the oven.
Favorite Dish: It all starts with a cup of Pie coffee....Related to:
- Food and Dining
- Family Travel
7 Hotels in Woods Hole
Woods Hole Local Customs
Children's School of Science
When I was younger, we always went to the Science School that was held in Woods Hole in the summers. The classes were generally taught by professors or grad students that were there for the summer. I loved the Science School and took as many classes as I could. One year a slightly older friend who was also interested in science came and lived at Woods Hole with us so she could take a class too. The school was held in the regular schoolhouse which backed up on the Eel Pond (on School Street). The classes went on field trips just like we did later in the college level classes.
Courses are organized into six-week sessions and three-week sessions. Classes meet daily Monday through Friday for ninety minutes. Attendance at every class is expected. CSS traditionally begins the week of July 4 and ends on the Thursday of the second week of August. The school day begins with classes at 8AM and ends at 2:45PM. Each class is 1 1/2 hours.
In the picture, I am the tall dark haired girl standing the second from the left, and I am showing something to my friend Janey.Related to:
- School Holidays
- Study Abroad
Marine Biological Laboratory
When I was a junior in college, I got to go to the Invertebrate Course given by the MBL (Marine BIological Laboratory). This was a college level course for five credits. In the picture, I am in the second row at the far right. We spent time on collecting trips in various environments and also time in the lab.
They still offer classes, but the summer classes now seem to be graduate level courses in embryology, physiology, neurobiology, microbiology, reproduction, and parasitology for six to nine weeks each summer and the undergraduate classes which are called SES (Semester in Environmental Science) and my college no longer participates.
The second picture was taken that summer when I was at the beach.Related to:
- Study Abroad
If your current health insurance doesn't cover you while your abroad, you should consider getting international travel insurance just in case something should go wrong.