Harwich, MA: A piece of Provence by the sea
This isn't the land of Van Gogh and Matisse, but in late June, a patch of Cape Cod turns into something right out of their paintings: It's harvest time at the Cape Cod Lavender Farm.
Here, on a patch of land overlooking Island Pond on the lower Cape, owner Cynthia Sutphin planted 400 lavender plants in the early 1990s. Today, her family runs one of the largest lavender farms on the East Coast with more than 14,000 plants, in seemingly endless varieties, like Grosso (a French favorite for its strong scent), Hidcote pink (it smells like peaches) and Harwich Blue, a dark indigo hybrid developed right here on the farm.
You can buy individual potted plants, fresh-picked bouquets to dry, and all sorts of products sprung from the farm's bounty: Sachets, handmade skincare products and even edibles, like the ultra-popular Lavender-Lemon Marmalade. If no-one's manning the shop, there's an "honesty box" that operates on the honor system.
Or you can just stroll through the fields and take in the spectacular sight—alley after alley of blue-grey-purple mounds—and scent: The mingling of lavender and saltwater breeze makes for a fairly potent combination.