Recapture That Playful Spirit At Cape Cod's Ocean Edge Resort And Golf Club

Pack the pickleball racquet and bring an appetite for oysters, as this New England property combines modern perks with classic family vacation vibes.

When you enter the grounds of Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Club on Cape Cod, you'll find yourself deliciously transported to a different era. A member of the prestigious Historic Hotels of America, the stately structure dubbed "The Mansion" sits on the lush 429-acre property, originally the family home to generations of the Nickerson family starting in the 1890s. 

With regal fireplaces, stained glass windows, an intricately carved banister, wood-paneled walls and floors, the sprawling multi-storied property evokes old-world elegance while also making you feel right at home. Back in the day, after all, the sounds of the Nickerson children and pets, games and parties filled the air—an authentic family vibe continuing today, sure to persuade you to get out and play.

Depending on the size of your group and what's important to you, choose the perfect home-away-from-home at this amenity-rich resort at The Mansion, which includes the Presidential Bay Collection Villas, adjacent to the beach. Or, a few minutes away and connected by shuttle lies The Villages, an expansive community surrounding the area's only Nicklaus Design golf course. This pet-friendly area is an obvious fit for multigenerational families, not just golfers. It provides myriad perks such as access to the Cape Cod Rail Trail, restaurants, sports facility, and several swimming pools—one of which hosts "Dive-In" movie nights.

Arbor Pool
Unsurprisingly, the Arbor Pool is a favorite attraction for many guests. | Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Club

No matter which area of the resort you choose for your stay, however, the stimulating wide-ranging menu of activities may entice you—like it did me—to get out and try something new, resulting in a memorable time shaped by firsts.

In preparation for an afternoon pickleball lesson (my group were all first-timers, in fact), we fueled up at the golf course clubhouse restaurant Linx Tavern, a popular gathering place under the leadership of Executive Chef Philip Flath, known for his fresh innovative culinary experiences centered around seafood. Lunching under dappled sunlight on the terrace overlooking the first tee, I tucked into spring greens with a generous dollop of lobster salad.

Nearby at Blueberry Pond Recreation Center, our pickleball instructor explained America's fastest growing sport—a mashup of ping-pong, tennis and badminton. It's a fun, easy group sport to learn and we were sending zingers over the net in no time. Even more quickly, we appreciated that it's a super social game, sure to fire up the relationships. We laughed harder than we played—perhaps in part because we were all beginners having a good time.

Blueberry Pond
From Blueberry Pond to the recreation center sharing the name, guests will discover a wide array of activities here. | Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Club

During the evenings, the indoor-outdoor restaurant Ocean Terrace at The Mansion serves signature New England classics in a warm, colorful setting with casual seating around dancing firepits or upscale dining under the stars. I enjoyed my first Cape Cod Cranberry Mojito—a beautifully balanced cocktail, generously garnished with cranberries and fresh mint. Poking around on the menu, I made note to order the lobster frittata for brunch during my stay, apparently a guest favorite. While waiting for my halibut, I laid aside all apprehension and ate my very first oyster—harvested locally from the Brewster flats, literally a couple hundred feet offshore from where I sat.

It especially seemed like a must to try my first oyster here because earlier in the day around low tide, we'd met our affable guide Bud for an unforgettable Oyster Bed Tour. Wearing water-shoes and shorts, we waded together through water up to our knees and Bud explained the life cycle of an oyster, pointing out wild oysters attached to rock clusters before taking us over to oyster cages on the farm, patiently answering our rain of questions along the way. A wealth of information, Bud offered a fun fact for oyster-lovers: the best and safest time to eat oysters are in months which include the letter R.

Oyster Bed Tour
The Oyster Bed Tour is a must for anyone who loves this seafood snack. | Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Club

With temperatures hovering at a heavenly 70 degrees, the Cape seemed like the perfect place to check another box and take my first-ever golf lesson. I thought I may test the patience of my instructor Shayne Sakson, Director of Golf at the Golf Club, to the breaking-point, but he worked tirelessly to introduce me to the historic game. A sweaty nervous mess, I worked the pitching wedge, celebrating when I made contact with the ball before graduating to a driver to tee off—producing a satisfying cracking sound. 

The 26-mile scenic Cape Cod Rail Trail winds through Ocean Edge's property and we hopped on comfy resort bikes. A huge boon for outdoor-enthusiasts, the dedicated walk-run-bike trail connects a large swath of the Cape, offering a safe serene path for long rides. Unfortunately, we had time for just a teaser-of-a-ride, returning within eyeshot of the resort's Beach House Spa, a peaceful sanctuary known for sumptuous treatments and an idyllic porch with colorful Adirondack chairs.

Along the boardwalk leading to the resort's private beach is the hidden-gem Beach Bar, the area's best kept secret. Though open to the public, it flies under the radar, making it an irresistible place to linger—day or night. The view can't be rivaled, inviting you to drink in the enchanting blues of the Cape—beverage in hand—and on the clearest of days, offering glimpses of Provincetown. It's the place to be when the sun sets, unless you opt instead for making s'mores on the beach to witness day to turn night. Expect a private, flickering bonfire, drinks from the bar and all the fixings for s'mores against the backdrop of a painted sky.

Beach Bar
When guests find a seat at the Beach Bar, it'll be hard for them to eventually give it up. | Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Club

Luckily, we practiced self-restraint with the s'mores because dinner was at La Bella Vita. Stepping into the restaurant, the ambiance pulls you in with its charmingly rustic interior sure to produce a full-throated Italian culinary experience. A sucker for pizza, I selected The Bee Sting while my group tucked into pastas—Bolognese, alfredo and chicken parmesan. 

Late afternoons, the resort green space is transformed in warm months to host the festive Front Lawn Games offering food such as wood-fired pizza and games to satisfy every taste, including bocce ball, horseshoes and croquet. Of course, I tried archery to expand my string of firsts. Retire afterwards to Bayzo's Pub, a hangout with speakeasy vibes in the oldest part of the property etched with history and personality. Listen to live music with a drink and if the fun and games have your stomach growling, a bowl of their delicious New England clam chowder will set you right. 

Rain was falling hard the morning of my departure and with coffee in hand, I waited in the cozy library, my favorite room in The Mansion. A cheery crackling fire greeted me and sinking heavily into a leather chair, it was easy to imagine just how charming a winter stay at this year-round New England resort would be.