SOUTH YARMOUTH – My family and I recently returned from our first trip to Cape Cod in six years. Based on previous experience I started the process of booking accommodations last January.

We began our journey with a four night stay at the Red Jacket Beach Resort (www.redjacketresorts.com) in beautiful South Yarmouth and what an excellent choice this was. We actually squeezed in an additional full day at the beach by packing our car up before checkout time, keeping our safety deposit box and requesting the front desk to place our cooler of perishables in their fridge.

Nothing can quite compare to this locale. Situated directly on the beach, we secured a spacious family room with a balcony overlooking the ocean and only seconds from the heated outdoor and indoor pools, the latter of which also has a whirlpool. You can practice your swing on the private tennis court or enjoy a quiet afternoon game of shuffleboard.

There is also a spa on the premises. Wireless internet is available throughout the complex and in each room. The resort has 150 guest rooms and 14 cottages totaling 164 total guest units.

The convenience of being able to go back and forth to your room cannot be understated. Upon entering the private beach you are provided with towels, beach chairs and umbrellas. Because this is the South Side of the Cape the water is exceptionally warm. The hotel is humming with different family activities. You can also choose from a variety of water sports offered by Gold Coast Parasail (www.goldcoastparasail.com). We opted in favour of the jet ski ($115 plus $15 per passenger) and banana boat ($25 per person for 20 minutes) options. Just a mile down the road from the Red Jacket are sister properties the Blue Water and Riviera Beach Resorts. The former is where we went for the banana boat ride, which I strongly recommend. You need to actually swim over to the boat, which I found kind of cool.

Staff here aims to please. Ken Smith, director of operations for the Red Jacket group, has been with the company for 25 years; while Red Jacket Beach general manager Thomas Moore – who married a Montrealer named Sylvie Trudeau – has been on board for a decade. As Moore explained, every effort is made to organize different activities for the kids. There are also evening buffets, with live music.

You can call 1-800-CAPECOD or email info@redjacketresorts.com.

Three villages make up the 17 square mile town of Yarmouth: West Yarmouth, Yarmouthport, and South Yarmouth. The large Cape Cod Mall in Hyannis is an easy 15 minute drive from the hotel.

When seeking out a dining spot in Yarmouth, the Skipper Restaurant and Chowder House (www.skipperrestaurant.com) came highly recommended. The Skipper was established in 1936, and it is one of Cape Cod’s oldest waterfront restaurants with the pristine views of Nantucket sound.

Owner Alan Delaney and his chefs work hard to present the finest and freshest fish you can find, Angus cuts of beef; and – their award winning clam chowder. All entrées are cooked to order and they have a great kids menu. Located at 152 South Shore Drive, the Skipper is open from mid-April until October 31 and only minutes from the Red Jacket. Delaney bought the restaurant in 1998 and has expanded the building’s size in recent years; and just added an ice cream bar. The night we went folks were lined up outside the door for tables. It is no wonder why. The chowder was superb. Ditto for the crispy calamari and my family’s selections of the skipper scampi, the seafood trio (shrimp, scallops and lobster sautéed in a saffron tomato cream sauce with rice or pasta) and a pound and a half lobster, which our waitress Miriam cut up nicely for us.

One final tip. If you are in the area towards the end of July you will not want to miss the Barnstable County Fair (www.BarnstableCountyFair.org) in Falmouth. Normally this is an easy 40 minute drive from Yarmouth. But at Fair time it can take considerably longer, so get a “very” early start!

Mike Cohen’s email address is info@mikecohen.ca.
Follow his travels at www.sandboxworld.com/travel and on twitter at www.twitter.com/mikecohencsl.