24 Hours in Sandwich – What to Do

The oldest town on Cape Cod offers some of the richest regional history and gorgeous views of Cape Cod Bay and the canal.

Like most towns in the area, tourism is the most important element of Sandwich’s economy, but a few parts of its “living history” set it apart from the other towns.

Those include the Heritage Museums and Gardens, the Wing Fort House, the Sandwich Glass Museum, the Thornton Burgess Museum, and Hoxie House (the oldest house on Cape Cod).

So what should you focus on if you’re only here for a day?

We’ve assembled a handy guide for your 24 hours in Sandwich below.

8 a.m. to 9 a.m. – Breakfast
Beth’s Bakery and Café (16 Jarves Street) is a haven for sweet-toothed breakfast seekers. They offer the best New England selections, like Boston Cream Pie cupcakes, scones, spice cakes and muffins. They also make hearty breakfast sandwiches.

Serving up buttermilk pancakes and three varieties of eggs benedict, Marshland Restaurant (109 Route 6A, 315 Cotuit Road) is a townie favorite.

KA_Sandwich_Board Walk38_1117159 a.m. to Noon – To the Boardwalk
The infamous Sandwich Boardwalk (Boardwalk Road) is best walked in the morning rather than the evening (when half the town is liable to show up for sunset!). If you get there early, you may be treated to the sight of fog burning off from the wetlands and birds darting from the shoreline to the walkway railing, and back again. Nothing clears the mind more than a relaxing stroll which leads to some soft sand and peaceful shoreline.

If you’re looking to see some fish on anything but a lunch plate, check out the Sandwich State Fish Hatchery (165 Old Kings Hwy). The only cost associated is the price of food which you can use to feed a fish!

Another great walk can be had in the center of town at Shawme Lake (look for Town Hall, 145 Main Street. Look for swans, a variety of ducks and other birds, and fishermen bringing in a big one.

Sandwich’s age brings with it some excellent antiquing opportunities. The Sandwich Antiques Center (131 Route 6A) specializes in many eras, but has what may be the most impressive Nautical-themed selection on Cape Cod.

KA_Sandwich_Board Walk37_111715Noon to 1 p.m. – Lunchtime
Forget getting tea at the mall or a fast food chain: the Dunbar Tea Room (1 Water Street) has everything kind of Darjeeling, Jasmine, Rooibos and Herbal tea you need, on top of a sweet selection of cakes, pies and elegant desserts. Afternoon tea is served every day from 11 to 5, and includes finger sandwiches, a scone, dessert and a freshly-brewed tea of your choosing.

Café Chew (1 Merchants Road) will satisfy your lunchtime cravings with homemade granola, sandwiches inspired by worldwide locations (The Bavarian has ham, brie cheese and green apples), and a variety of coffee pick-me-ups.

1 to 5:30 p.m. – The Heritage
Locals will likely agree that Heritage Museum and Gardens (67 Grove Street) is THE place to experience on a quick trip to Sandwich. Its 100 acres hold a surprise at every corner, with galleries full of folk art, one of the last truly vintage carousels in the nation, the country’s largest collection of vintage automobiles and a variety of travelling exhibits.
Now, for the “gardens” bit. The gardens hold an historical treasure: a 1800s windmill built in Orleans, which was used later in that century to grind cornmeal for Union soldier rations. A relaxing, if a bit mesmerizing seven-layer circuit labyrinth of crushed shells and pink granite is another highlight; while the adventurous can try to make their way out of a maze garden adorned with a range of flowering plants and bushes.

For something a bit more fast-paced, try the new climb and zipline adventure park on Heritage grounds. This treetop adventure course requires adroit hands and an iron will (or, at the very least, a tightly-knotted safety rope!) and winds above an enchanting scene of forestry and hiking trails

KA_Jetty_Jetties_sandwich_sunset_cape cod canal_march_030816_0215:30 to 6:30 p.m. – Dinner
Even if you choose to take in some of the more historical aspects of Sandwich during the day, one excellent way to learn about the town’s history is to eat at the Dan’l Webster Inn (149 Main Street). The inn has offered accommodations for over 300 years. The dining room is upscale yet relaxing, featuring a fireplace and multi-period furnishings. Though the menu is primarily old school New England surf and turf, eaters of all kinds (including vegetarians, vegans and GF folks) will be offered scrumptious options.

Definitely a great place for date night.

Father’s Kitchen and Taphouse (406 MA-6A) is a bright and energetic alehouse with a mix of pub food and (somewhat) healthier options. Their little-bit-of-everything approach to the menu is complimented by their expansive tap list, featuring over 40 beers. You’re sure to find some excellent pairing combinations here.

After dinner, one must consider dessert and the ice cream at Twin Acres (21 MA-6A) is certainly worthy of consideration. The menu boasts such ingenious flavors as Bourbon Caramel Pistachio Brittle, Wild Berry Crumble and the must-try: White Thunder (featuring a mystery berry flavor and white chocolate chips).

By Adam Forziati


  1. http://Jan%20Waggoner says

    Shawme not Shawmee! And you left out the Sandwich Glass Museum and the grist mill! Both worthy of Anit of time if only 24 hours in Sandwich!

  2. http://Christine%20Hudanich says

    Why is the boardwalk infamous? Did someone get killed there?

    • http://Deb%20Walter says

      No, but it has crossed the creek for a long, long time! It has been taken down by hurricanes and built back by the towns people. My mother, brothers, sisters, and me and my kids have spent summer days at high tide jumping into the creek–so much fun! Now it carries my parents names along with my aunts and uncles and my sweet brothers names on the planks. So if you go go with an open mind and the beauty that the boardwalk crosses over the Sandwich creek.

  3. The article is from a year ago and the author no longer works for CapeCod.com. Don’t hold your breath for a reply.

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