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Sandwich, MA Area Attractions and Things to Do

Ahhh, the smell of the sea, walking on the beach, wonderful restaurants, an abundance of art galleries and antique shops, golf, walking and biking trails, whale watching, our tranquil marshes and dunes, and cranberry bogs are some of the things you will enjoy when you visit Sandwich on Cape Cod. Our hidden lanes, winding pathways, and quaint streets lead visitors to wonderful historical discoveries and new adventures. Whether you are searching for unique lodging for your vacation, some of the Cape's best local cuisine, recreation opportunities, or just want to relax and enjoy a good book on the beach, Sandwich has it all.

Founded in 1637 and incorporated in 1639, Sandwich is Cape Cod's oldest and most quaint seaside village. Often called the "museum town," it is rich in history, with ten museum and historic sites just waiting for your visit.

Historic Town Hall Square is the oldest part of the Village and features over 50 buildings dating from the 17th through the 19th century. The newly restored 1734 Town Hall is a classic expression of New England Civic Pride. Nearby is the soaring steeple of the nationally famous, 1847 First Church of Christ. Strolling along the residential streets here is a walk through living history.

Across the street from the Inn is the 17th-century Dexter Grist Mill, which dates back to 1654. Corn is still ground there using its centuries-old gears and the oak waterwheel driven by water flowing from Shawme Pond. You can even buy a bag of freshly ground corn to take home with you. We use corn meal ground at the mill in the Rosemary-Roasted Corn Muffins and Blueberry-Corn Muffins that we serve for breakfast at the Inn. The mill and its resident swans are perhaps the most photographed scene on the Cape, so bring your camera.

Visit the Hoxie House, the Cape's oldest completely restored house. Its saltbox design is typical of 17th-century post-and-beam construction. Listen as the docents take you through a day in the life of a 1640's settler.

On the way to the Hoxie House, you will pass the Thornton Burgess Museum. The museum pays homage to the renowned children's author, naturalist, and Sandwich native who wrote more than 170 books and 15,000 stories chronicling the tales of Peter Rabbit and his animal friends.

The Green Briar Nature Center, located in East Sandwich and adjacent to the famous "Briar Patch" of the Thornton Burgess stories, is 57 acres of natural beauty. The Center houses a 1903 Jam Kitchen where you can see and purchase jams made the old fashioned way. Plan ahead and you can attend a "Jam Session" where you can participate in the making of the jam. There are many popular events held here including an Annual Herb Festival featuring an herb sale, exhibits and lectures on the many uses of herbs, and wildflower garden walks.

The Sandwich Glass Museum houses the most important collection of Sandwich Glass in the world. On July 4, 1825, the Sandwich Manufacturing Company commenced blowing glass. Eventually renamed Boston and Sandwich Glass Company, it grew to be one of America's most important sources of pressed glass. The company operated from 1825 until 1888, when it could no longer effectively compete with new and cheaper methods of production.

A short walk from the Inn and on the shores of Shawme Pone, the Old Town Cemetery is a classic New England graveyard that traces the genealogy of old Sandwich. Join one of the Sandwich Glass Museum's narrated walking tours through town and hear colorful tales about some of the cemetery's more illustrious inhabitants.

Up the street from the Inn is Heritage Museums & Gardens. With its 100 acres of beautiful grounds, summer concerts, and antique shows, it is one of the crown jewels of Cape Cod. The horticultural garden is known for Dexter rhododendrons. Housed in a replica Hancock Village Shaker round barn is the Automobile Museum. Inside is a stunning collection of vintage automobiles, including Gary Cooper's 1930 Duesenberg and President Taft's white Steamer, the first presidential vehicle. The Art Museum features an extraordinary collection of New England folk art. A restored 1912 Charles I. D. Looff carousel, housed in a building built especially for its display, spins all day long for visitors young and old. Visit the Heritage Labyrinth, the Hart Family Maze Garden, and a working 1800 windmill. The newly opened Flume Fountain is a spectacular steel flume conveying a ribbon of water into a pool below in the Don Marvin Daylily Garden. New in 2010 is Hidden Hollow: A Nature Discovery Center. The spectacular 50,000 bulb garden blooms during April and their famous collection of Dexter rhododendrons will bloom in late May and early June, and in August, the grounds are ablaze with over 2,000 hybrid daylilies.

The Cape Cod Canal Visitors Center is a wonderful place to learn about the building of this important navigation channel. The widest sea-level canal in the world was completed by the Army Corps of Engineers in the early 1900s to expedite commerce between New York and Boston. Explore the history of the Canal through a variety of interactive displays. Captain a virtual boat ride through the Canal and view a retired 41-foot patrol boat.

It's just a short stroll through our village to the 1,000 foot-long Sandwich Boardwalk which spans Mill Creek and its' marshes. Each plank in the boardwalk is a memorial to someone who has ties to Sandwich; some were married here, some visited, others lived here, many pay homage to much loved pets. Whether at low or high tide, the view across the marsh grass to the sand dunes and beaches of Cape Cod Bay is breathtaking. At high tide, you will see kids, young and old, jumping from the bridge into the creek below. We are happy to provide you with beach towels or a couple of sand chairs.

The other villages of Cape Cod, Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, Boston, and Providence and Newport, RI are easy day trips from Sandwich. All of this is yours to enjoy during your holiday.

The beauty that is Sandwich village can be enjoyed throughout the year, from the beaches in summer to the spectacular color of the changing leaves in the fall, and a Christmas Stroll with a "Currier and Ives" feel. The hidden lanes, winding pathways, and quaint streets of Sandwich Village lead visitors to wonderful historical discoveries and new adventures. Whether you are searching for unique lodging for your vacation, some of the best local cuisine, recreation opportunities, or just want to relax and enjoy a good book on the beach, Sandwich has it all. Many distinctive boutiques, restaurants, taverns, museums, walking and biking trails, rivers to kayak, and museums and historic sites await your visit.

We had a wonderful time in your lovely Inn. Thank you very much for your hospitality. Hope to see you again. - Dirkje & Dennis, Hampshire, UK