You could spend a charmed week in Brewster with plenty to occupy you. While the 2,000-acre Nickerson State Park boasts facilities for a dozen outdoor activities, there is also Punkhorn Parklands, an undeveloped, 800-acre parcel of conservation land in town. Although Brewster has only 10,000 year-round residents, it has more than its share of attractions, including two good golf courses, horseback riding trails, an outstanding museum of natural history, and exceptional dining choices.
Brewster’s section of Route 6A is a vital link in the 80-square mile Old King’s Highway Historic District. Known for its selection of fine antiques shops, Brewster also attracts contemporary artists, who are drawn to a landscape more evocative of the countryside than the seaside — the land south of Route 6A is dotted with ponds, hills, and dales.
Brewster, settled in 1659 and named for Mayflower passenger Elder William Brewster, wasn’t incorporated until 1803, when it split from Harwich. By then the prosperous sea captains who’d built their homes on the bay side wanted to distance themselves from their less well-off neighbors to the south. Between 1780 and 1870, 99 sea captains called Brewster home (although they sailed their clipper ships out of Boston and New York), a fact that even Henry David Thoreau commented on during his 1849 trip. Many of these beautiful houses on Route 6A have been converted to B&Bs and inns.
Brewster Book Store
Brewster by the Sea Inn and Spa
Brewster Fish House
Brewster’s Route 6A for Shopping
Cape Cod Museum of Natural History
Cape Repertory Theatre
Captain Freeman Inn
Lemon Tree Shops
Nickerson State Park
Stony Brook Grist Mill
If you’ve fallen in love with the Cape and want to take a deeper dive with exploring, my Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard & Nantucket: An Explorer’s Guide has been the region’s travel bible since it was first published in 1995.
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