The oldest town and not to be missed (Upper Cape)

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Sandwich, the Cape’s oldest town, dates to 1637 and is calm, even in the height of summer. Many visitors whiz right by it, eager to get farther away from the “mainland.” Even people who know about delightful Sandwich Village often hop back onto Route 6 without poking around the rest of Sandwich — the back roads and historic houses off the beaten path. Those who take the time to explore will find that Sandwich is a real gem.

Antiques shops, attractive homes, and quiet, shady lanes are perfect for strolling. Shawme Pond, as idyllic as they come, is surrounded by historic houses (including one of the Cape’s oldest), an old cemetery on the opposite shore, a working gristmill, swans and ducks, and plenty of vantage points from which to take it all in.

Children and adults delight in the Green Briar Nature Center & Jam Kitchen down the road. It celebrates the naturalist Thornton W. Burgess, a town resident and the creator of Peter Cottontail.

Sandwich’s greatest attraction lies just beyond the town center: Heritage Museums & Gardens, a 76-acre horticulturist’s delight with superb collections of Americana and antique automobiles.

Beyond the town center, the Benjamin Nye Homestead is worth a visit; have a looksee, even if it’s closed, because it sits in a picturesque spot. East of town on Route 6A, past densely carpeted cranberry bogs (harvested in autumn), you’ll find a few farm stands, antiques shops, and artisans’ studios.

At the town line with Barnstable, you’ll find one of the Cape’s best beaches and protected areas: Sandy Neck Beach and Sandy Neck Great Salt Marsh Conservation Area. The marina, off Tupper Road, borders the Cape Cod Canal with a recreation area. The often overlooked town beach is nothing to sneeze at, either, and there are numerous conservation areas and ponds for walking and swimming.

Points of Interest in Town

1750 Inn at Sandwich Center
Belfry Bistro
Brown Jug
Cafe Chew
Cape Cod Central Railroad
Dexter Grist Mill
Giving Tree Gallery
Green Briar Nature Center and Jam Kitchen
Hoxie House
Heritage Museum and Garden
Isaiah Jones Homestead
Twin Acres Ice Cream
Titcomb’s Book ShopSandwich Boardwalk
Sandwich Glass Museum
Sandwich Town Neck Beach

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.

Stop into your local indie bookstore, or order on Amazon. Help keep the guide alive. Thanks!

Categories: Get Local |

At A Glance

Center of town is at Main St at Route 130

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