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Author: Marlissa Briggett

8 Great Things: August on the South Coast

We’re in that sweet spot of summer…we’ve been swimming, kayaking, biking and clamming and there’s still a lot more of that ahead for us before Fall comes a’ calling. Here are 8 Great Things we’re looking forward to in August. They’ll help round out the summer and make those memories for you that you can pull out and polish by the fire in January. As always, many thanks to Anne Whiting Real Estate for sponsoring this monthly roundup!

1. Country Drives & Great Art

There are a couple of upcoming weekends where you can drive around the beautiful towns of Dartmouth, Westport, Tiverton & Little Compton, enjoying the scenery and visiting artists in their studios. The Art Drive weekend is August 6 through 8 and the South Coast Artists Open Studio Tour is August 21 through 22. Download the maps and get driving!

2. TGIF: Kayak & Poses

The Buzzards Bay Coalition offers two Friday evenings to kayak out to Wickets Island in the middle of Onset Bay and enjoy some island yoga away from the hustle and bustle. $15. 5:30 to 7:00 on August 6 (register here) and August 13 (register here).

3. They’re Gonna Need A Bigger Theater

The Z is showing Jaws on the big screen this month and there’s no better way to see it. Plus, it’s free! Reserve your tickets now so that you can experience Jaws just like in 1975 when it came out — in a dark theater surrounded by a gasping audience. 8 pm. August 13. 684 Purchase Street, New Bedford. More here. 

4. Chalk It Up

One of our favorite events of the year is the annual Chalk-Full-O-Fun Street Painting Fest. Usually held in Onset, it’s moved this year to outside the Wareham Town Hall. A nominal registration fee buys you a sidewalk square, some really vibrant chalk (that we use all year long) and the chance to compete for a prize in a variety of categories for young and old. There’s always a guest artist who knocks it out of the park with their art but the coolest thing is seeing the creativity of the regular folks and kids. Wander around and enjoy the chalk art, vendors and music. 9 to 4, August 21 (rain date: August 22). 54 Marion Road, Wareham. More here. 

5. Clamm’n with the Gnome Surf Clan

We have a soft spot in our heart for Gnome Surf after featuring them in our Fall issue last year. They bring surfing to young athletes of all abilities (follow them on Instagram and joy pops up in your feed whenever they post anything). They’re hosting a family clambake to help support their great work. Come see what it’s all about! 12 to 4, August 29. Little Compton Game Club, 80 John Dyer Road, Little Compton. $50/$15 kids tickets. Tickets here.

6. Walk Back in Time

Fairhaven’s outdoor walking tours are back this year! They were rated among the best walking tours in the Northeast by the Huffington Post. Join them on Tuesdays and Thursday mornings to see Fairhaven from the eyes of Standard Oil Executive Henry H. Rogers and on Friday mornings for their interactive Pirates and Privateers tour. It’s free! More here.

7. Time for a Scavenger Hunt

We love scavenger hunts and we love Dartmouth Natural Resource Trust properties. Put ’em together and it’s like peanut butter and chocolate. To celebrate their 50th birthday, you find and photograph 50 of the 70 items listed on their “Discover DNRT Scavenger Hunt” checklist. Complete the challenge and you’ll receive a special DNRT tote that isn’t otherwise available so people will know you’re the bees’ knees. $25 per entrant. Through October 31st. Learn more here. 

8. Feeling Crabby

Join the Mass. Department of Conservation in exploring the biodiversity of Fall River’s Quequechan River in this catch-and-release program. You can help pull up the traps and see what’s inside– you may see blue crabs, oyster drills, comb jellies, and other creatures. 11 to noon on Wednesdays through September. Meet at the footbridge at Fall River Heritage State Park.Visitor’s Center.

Again, many thanks to Anne Whiting Real Estate for sponsoring this monthly list!


Last Spring, our readers voted on their favorite picks, from shoes to Bloody Mary’s. See the winners in our issue that is rolling on the presses right now.

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Harris Provisions in Onset: The Definitive Breakfast Sandwich & Coffee Combo

Harris Provision breakfast sandwich

Surprenant & Beneski, P.C. is sending us around the area to their favorite food spots because it’s a law firm that is all about family and they know food is an integral part of family life. This month, we were picking up our mail in Onset when we smelled bacon…

Breakfast SandwichIf you’re expecting perfection, you’ve come to the right place.

You may miss the sign but you can’t miss the smell of bacon wafting through the air. Tucked in a charming little wooden trolley next to Onset’s post office is Harris Provisions, serving up breakfast sandwiches and coffee. They are breakfast sandwiches and coffee like you’ve never had them, made with a level of attentiveness that brings both art and science to the table.

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8 Great Things: July on the South Coast

Ka-bam!! The Fourth of July is right around the corner and we are ready for it! Our list this month has fireworks on it and quite a few other July treats. Thanks so much to Anne Whiting Real Estate for sponsoring our monthly 8 Great Things!

1. Fireworks

First things first! Where can you you get your fill of fireworks?

  • Middleboro: July 2 at 10 pm at Pierce Playground. More here.
  • New Bedford: July 3 off the State Pier on Saturday, July 3 at 9 pm. More here. 
  • Fall River: July 4 at 9 pm. Viewing at Bicentennial and Heritage State Parks. More here. 
  • Plymouth: July 5 at 9:30 at Town Wharf. More here. 

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Burgers & Community: The Marion General Store

Surprenant & Beneski, P.C. is sending us around town to their favorite food spots because it’s a law firm that is all about family and they know food is an integral part of family life. This month, we’re thinking about all those summer barbecues that lie ahead and so we drove over to Marion….

There’s something about a burger made with ground beef from the Marion General Store. It’s just better.

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Macarons, Macarons and More Macarons: Every Weekend in Westport

Surprenant & Beneski, P.C. is sending us around town to their favorite food spots because they know that after this past year, more than ever, our favorite businesses need a shout-out. This month, our photographer Liam Connor told us about some amazing macarons he’d had so we stopped in to visit Lauren Wingate at Wingate Cake Design in Westport….

Lauren Wingate didn’t bring macarons to the South Coast. The South Coast demanded macarons from her.

“People were obsessed…obsessed,” she says, “I never set out to become a macaron baker.” She was a cake designer, happily ensconced in her kitchen designing and building cakes that travel to weddings across the South Coast and beyond. But people were clamoring for macarons.  She now often sells 500 macarons a week — sometimes more — and she’s only open 2 days a week! Wingate’s Cake Design has become the go-to spot on the South Coast for macarons.

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8 Great Things: June on the South Coast

8 Great Things on the South Coast

It felt like just the other day when it was winter (probably because it was the other day!) But now the sun is breaking out and things are quite literally brightening up. We’re so excited to see June, heralding the arrival of summer wonderfulness. You want to know what to do this month? Here are 8 things we recommend to make the most of it!

8 Great Things on the South Coast1. Bed of Roses

Everything’s coming up roses! The hundreds of roses at the Rotch-Jones-Duff House & Garden Museum are set to bloom this month and they’re celebrating with a host of events. From lawn games, to chamber music to solstice poetry readings and garden tours, find something to celebrate the beauty of the RJD garden this month! Various dates and times. 396 County Street, New Bedford.  More here. 

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Top 10 Overnight Getaways!

If you are looking for a great place to stay while you are visiting the South Coast or a place for a quick overnight getaway, consider one of these intimate accommodations. 

This originally appeared here in our Early Summer 2020 issue. We reprint it here as a good accompaniment to our upcoming Early Summer 2021 issue’s feature: 24 Hours on the South Coast.  

1. Cottage 29, Tiverton

With great views across the bay to Portsmouth’s Hummock Point, this little cottage is an inspired take on classic coastal style. Open all the windows and doors out to the veranda and enjoy the salty air. It also includes a gourmet chef’s kitchen and a garden patio.

If the Cottage is taken, consider a couple other Moore House properties in Tiverton with the same waterfront feel: Dockside and Boat House (not to be confused with the exemplary restaurant of the same name in town).

Facts:  Bedrooms: 2 |  Sleeps: 4 | Bathrooms: 1 |

2. The Stone House, Little Compton

On 2.7 acres near the tip of Sakonnet Point, the Stone House recently underwent comprehensive  renovations of its rooms and was outfitted with a state-of-the-art geothermal heating and cooling system.

The original four-story building was constructed in 1854 as a private residence and was once home to David Sisson and his son, Henry Sisson, a civil war hero. The Stone House was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. The property features 14 spacious and well- appointed guest rooms and suites, beach access, and a fire pit.

Facts:  Bedrooms: 1- 2 |  Sleeps: 2 – 4  |

3. Silvershell Inn, Marion

The parsonage built in 1799 features a lovely garden and a side porch for al fresco breakfasts. Owners George and Jean Linzee are lovely hosts who will happily give you your privacy during your stay. But we suggest that you ask them lots of questions. Because chances are that the portrait you’re looking at or the antique table has a story connected with George’s family who prominently figured in many of the most important moments in American history. George calls it a “living history farm.” So pull up a (period antique) chair, and prepare to be entertained by the history behind Silvershell Inn.

Facts: Bedrooms: 1 (there are 3 bedrooms, 2 bedrooms have queen beds and the other has 2 queen beds) |  Sleeps 2 – 4 |

4. Inn on Shipyard Park, Mattapoisett

Built in 1799, the Inn has served as a blacksmith shop, a ship chandler and a speakeasy, among other things. Today, it’s a popular local spot for brunch, dinner and live music. Owner Nils Johnson says the Inn is best suited for guests who enjoy live music because it’s an old home with all the soundproofing that that suggests. No designated drivers required, you can spend the night socializing in their charming colonial- style tavern, walk upstairs to one of the 3 bedrooms, and wake up to a wonderful view overlooking Mattapoisett Harbor from the private balcony.

Facts: Bedrooms: 1 (there are 3 bedrooms, 2 bedrooms have queen beds and the other has 2 queen beds) | Sleeps 2-4 |

5. Mink Cove Treehouse, Wareham

Butch Ripley’s daughter sketched a dream treehouse when she was 6 years old and Butch set out to build it for her. In the nearly 10 years since, the treehouse has taken on a life of its own. Butch handcrafted almost everything with salvaged materials, some of which he saw in passing backyards while working on the commuter rail.

It’s three stories of magic, complete with a hard-to-find escape hatch, tower, spiral staircase, and a compostable toilet and now it’s available for adventurous visitors. Set in their backyard, you are sleeping in the trees, adjacent to over 100 acres of conservation land.

Facts: Bedrooms: 1 | Sleeps 3 |

6. The Whalehouse, New Bedford

The Whalehouse is a grand Victorian built in 1855 in historic downtown New Bedford. Home to Herman Melville’s sister, this is where he used to stay while visiting her. Laura Parrish, an independent design director, and her husband Nick, a financial advisor, were looking for a house outside of Boston. They stumbled upon this on Zillow during their honeymoon and did an historical renovation.

The Guest Suite, which they made over as well and started renting out in April 2019, is a fully separate two-floor apartment, which has its own private entrance and is stylishly decorated. There is also a small kitchenette, living room with a fold-out sofa bed, and a dining nook.

Facts: Bedrooms: 1 | Sleeps 2-4 |

7. Koselig Cabin, Westport

Near Horseneck Beach, Buzzards Bay Brewery and Westport Rivers Winery, this little cabin with an open concept is only a five-minute walk to the quiet little neighborhood beach.

Facts: Bedrooms: 2 | Sleeps 6 |

8. Captain John Henry Swift House, Fairhaven

A Greek Revival built for Captain James Henry Swift in 1844, it became the residence of a close associate of Henry H. Rogers, Job C. Tripp, who resided here in the house through 1917.

The formal parlor features a black marble fireplace, custom draperies and French doors. A fireplace with rare Bennington tiles and a built-in china cabinet are located in the adjacent private dining room. Up the grand staircase to the second floor is your private bedroom and bath.

Facts: Bedrooms: 1 | Sleeps: 2 |

9. Cranberry Gardens Inn, Wareham

Owners Meg and David moved to Wareham from Needham, drawn to the beautiful property that has since become the Cranberry Gardens Inn. Previously owned by a local cranberry grower, the majestic home and carriage house is described by guests as “quintessentially New England.” Meg and David don’t think of hosting a B&B as work. “It’s like having friends over,” says Meg. They’re passionate about cooking and they don’t mind getting up early to prepare cooked-to-order breakfasts for their guest, many of whom become repeat visitors.

Facts: Bedrooms: 1 (3 in total: 1 with King bed, 1 with Queen bed and 1 with Full-sized bed) | Sleeps: 2 |

10. Quonset Hut, Tiverton

A Quonset hut is a lightweight prefabricated structure of galvanized steel made popular in World War II to store ammunition and named after Quonset Point on the other side of Rhode Island, where they were first made.

Only a handful are left in Rhode Island, and this one has been restored to include a sitting room with a baby grand piano and domed kitchen and dining area with a table that seats ten. When the weather’s nice, enjoy the deck, fire pit, and hot tub. The property also comes with bikes and kayaks.

Facts: Bedrooms: 4 | Sleeps: 10 |


Want some itineraries to go along with these great stays? Order our current issue with 73 things to do delivered straight to your door. Just $19.95 gives you 4 issues chock full of stories about the people and places of the South Coast.



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Family Nest: A Marion Home Transformed

Once an out-of-place stucco building that ignored its views of Sippican Harbor, this Marion home has transformed into an elegant retreat that embraces its inhabitants as well as its location.

As originally seen here in our Early Spring 2021 print issue. By Annie Sherman; Photography by Erik Kowalski

There was something missing when Tom and Denise bought their new waterfront home: a view of the water.

The glorious Sippican Harbor and Buzzards Bay beyond seemed like the obvious influence on the posh Marion home. But limited windows and obscuring stairways blocked the celebrated view from inside this 1907 former gardener’s cottage.

Tom and Denise changed that. With architect Anthi Frangiadis, builder Dave Crovello of Pimental Contractors, and John Engwer of Eastern Design and Landscaping, the former stucco-faced and awkwardly-placed abode transformed into a fresh and modern nesting place for the entire family.

“It was a really ugly-looking structure, no matter where you looked. But it had elements that could make a beautiful home, like high ceilings and strong dimensions of rooms,” explains Tom. “So, we figured that with an imaginative architect and builder, they could turn something really ugly into something that was beautiful.”

“I like to accommodate multi-generations of families to make sure there are spots for people to squirrel away, as well as spaces for everyone to be together,” says Frangiadis.

“We sat on the dock, and looked at the cottage, and back at the view,” added Denise, “and realized this was where we wanted to be.”Marion home Originally built as a supplement to the former primary property next door, this five-bedroom, four- bathroom, 3,825-square-foot home needed its own identity, says Frangiadis, principal of the eponymous design firm and the Drawing Room retail shop in New Bedford. It also needed to accommodate six people, since the couple’s three grown children and one of their parents were living under one roof. So, without changing the footprint, Frangiadis made a few tweaks that completely transformed the entire structure into a pandemic quarantine gathering place that took advantage of great views.

“From the bedrooms and the front door, you couldn’t see the water,” Frangiadis says. “So, we added a dormer and windows, reconfigured the stairs and the enlarged kitchen. Now, rather than looking at the fridge and sink, you look at the water, and it feels more open.”

In working with Denise and Tom, interior designer Clara Potash of CP Design says the goal was always clear. They wanted a home where they could relax with family and friends and share their love of good food, conversation, and music. “In each room we wanted comfortable seating, interesting color and texture, and a welcoming vibe. We worked to keep the colors consistent throughout the house, coastal in feel, but with enough warmth and sophistication to make it welcoming year-round,” she says.

Marion homeRearranging the problematic staircase seemed to be the solution to the restrictive house’s problems. Blocking the view from the front to the back of the house, it was cramped, dark, and too small for the family’s tall sons. Frangiadis actually widened the treads, removed a beam to accommodate more head room, and replaced a side wall with a banister, while adding a second-floor landing and dormer, to facilitate transparency, light and views. These seemingly slight changes opened up the entire building.

Marion homeSimilar adjustments in the great room turned it from a cold space to a warm and inviting family room, where the kids play keyboards, and everyone gathers on the fireside couches for a post-dinner board game. Additional windows and a commanding fieldstone fireplace allow the water view to decorate the room, though a few pieces of local art color the walls. Even the mantel was salvaged during demolition, when they surprisingly found an original 10’x10’ wood beam buried in the wall.

“No matter where you are, you’re looking at water,” Tom says. With six people in residence, considering space for storage and energy efficiency were critical too. The master suite received a closet refresh, with added office space for Tom, while the four bedrooms upstairs welcome tall closets in the spacious eaves. They added low-voltage accent lighting, energy efficient appliances inside and for the outdoor kitchen, and natural lighting reduces lighting demands, while solar panels on the metal and asphalt shingle roof reduce the carbon footprint.

New storage in the kitchen allowed a metamorphosis into a bright and accommodating mecca for food, so Denise, a nutritionist, could spread her culinary wings. She and Tom sit at the center island counter each morning for breakfast, and she spends countless hours here experimenting with recipes and cooking for family. All-white custom cabinetry complements a framed chalkboard painted on the wall, which is a central spot for shopping lists, reminders, and even the occasional love note.

Marion home“We added this floor-to-ceiling chalkboard with a walnut frame to match the stove hood. This was something I wanted because when we took a trip to France, we saw it in a little lunch place, and loved it,” Denise says.

“I feel as though we gave the house its own character, so it doesn’t feel like a leftover property from the main house,” says Frangiadis. “I like to accommodate multi-generations of families to make sure there are spots for people to squirrel away, as well as spaces for everyone to be together.”

The delights continue outside, too. Adjacent to the kitchen, board and batten siding on an expanded back porch add visual diversity to the cosmopolitan bright cedar shingles that now envelop the house. A new pool with a Sandy Point granite patio doesn’t burn underfoot in the summer, and an outdoor kitchen built of fieldstone, to match the fireplace inside, continues the playful family vibe in the al fresco environment.

“I feel like I’m in California when I’m out here,” says Denise.

Marion home“Bluestone caps on the fireplaces match the gas firepit and front steps, and chrome Kohler fixtures are modern and usable. Everything was here so we could use it and enjoy it, and it won’t be delicate. It was so nice to have this space during the pandemic.”

The property is in the flood zone and water surrounds them on almost all sides, so the team had to earn approval from the Marion Conservation Commission to do excavation for landscaping. It became a huge challenge, Denise says, because they wanted to resolve the flooded backyard but were limited with options for drainage. As a result, their reimagined landscape design considers water above all else. The team from Eastern Design and Landscaping in Wrentham regraded the entire site, encouraging water to drain away from the house, instead of toward it. They eliminated some of the expansive lawn, planting only drought-tolerant native species, like blue stem, switch grass, and other pollinator plants, around the pool and side yards. Now, they won’t need to continually water and fertilize in the hot summer months, which will lower costs for the long term.

More than 1,000 yards of topsoil provide support from underneath, while a new 10,000 square-foot recharge pond collects all of the property’s excess rain water and filters it through compost before draining to the harbor. The new cobblestone driveway also acts like a natural percolator, draining water to the pond.

“We’re taking grass away and putting native plants in to cut down on water and fertilizer use,” says Engwer. “Within two years, they’ll get their money back. So, it’s not just good for the environment, it’s good for their budget.”

Inspired by the family’s lifetime of traveling to Vermont, Maine, and abroad, this whole house now radiates New England and European charm.

“The reason for getting this place is to have a gathering place for the kids,” explains Tom.“We expect to see them a lot with their families as they get married and have kids. And that’s what we wanted: a place where they could come and hang out, and share their lives with us.”

See more photos from this story in our print issue on newsstands now! But you can also have it delivered…

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Cocktails-To-Go: Fun at Ella’s

Surprenant & Beneski, P.C. is sending us around town to their favorite food spots because they know that after this past year, more than ever, our favorite restaurants need a shout-out. We stopped in at Ella’s Wood Burning Oven Restaurant to find out the fun things they’re doing over in Wareham….

cocktails to goPerhaps it’s no surprise that it’s all about the cocktails for Bree Swierkowski when she goes out to dinner. She’s surrounded by great cuisine all week at Ella’s which she owns with her husband Chef Mark Swierkowski. So when she looks at someone else’s menu, she’s familiar with the flavor profiles of most everything there. But the cocktail menu? That’s always got something different and interesting for her to try.

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