Mary Ellen Curran, who works in the gift shop at the Aptucxet Trading Post Museum, likes to watch the sunset from Monument Beach in Bourne. Andrea York, director of the Cataumet Arts Center, favors Chapoquoit Beach in West Falmouth. And at dusk residents and vacationers alike make the half-mile trek through the woods to watch the sun drop into the ocean from “the Knob,” which juts into Buzzards Bay at Quissett Harbor.
Sunsets are just one of the draws of Cape Cod’s west coast. The 20-mile stretch from just over the Bourne Bridge to Woods Hole follows the old railroad line, which established a series of whistle stops that York likens to “a string of pearls.” Tiny train depots sprang up, she said, followed by post offices, and eventually village centers. These villages, now parts of Bourne and Falmouth, retain their autonomy and character.