You Only Have 24 Hours in Harwich – Here’s What to Do

KA_Earl Road Beach_Harwich_ Rainy_123015_Winter105Harwich – or, “the Warm Side of the Cape,” as it has been branded – is the birthplace of the commercial cranberry industry, and is also tenderly known as the “elbow” of the Cape.

Residents of the town would agree with that analogy: it acts as a pivoting joint between the hustle and bustle of the Mid-Cape and the natural grace of the Lower Cape.

In Harwich, you can shop and swim, walk through the busy hub of the town’s center or explore the beauty of its many parks, all in the same day.

So if you only have a day to spend in Harwich, check out our handy guide below.

8 to 9 a.m. – Breakfast
Two breakfast joints reign supreme in Harwich, but one of them is known for a unique baked good known as the “Meltaway.” Bonatt’s Bakery and Restaurant (537 MA-28) also offers plates known as skillets which feature favorite ingredients all hashed together into a glorious breakfast creation.

Then, there’s Ruggie’s (707 Main Street). They offer a fun and family-friendly environment with named breakfast sandwiches and omelette combos. They also offer a taste of flavors from around the world via the “melting pots:” breakfast casseroles, like the Swiss (roesti, fried eggs, ham and spinach topped with melted Swiss cheese) and the Polish (potatoes, fried eggs & kielbasa topped with melted muenster cheese & sour cream), delight all kinds of palates.

KA_Berries_Berry_Harwich_ Rainy_123015_Winter1659 a.m. to noon – Ruby Berries and Lavender Fields
A morning in Harwich could be spent shopping in downtown, but only doing so would be a shame, since there are also many opportunities to clear your mind and observe some of the Cape’s finest nature paths.

Begin at Thomson’s Field (off Chatham Road), where 57 acres of pristine woods and fields hold plenty of pathways ripe for exploration. It’s also a great place to bring the dog on his or her morning walk.

Saquatucket Harbor (off Route 28) is a great spot for sightseeing, providing passersby with another classic Harwich view. It’s not all cranberries and forests here; like most Cape towns, there’s a huge boating culture in Harwich, too. Locals love to watch the fishing boats come in and go out, a sight which is all the more beautiful if viewed under early morning light.

Harwich also has a couple of can’t-miss farms, and both of them exceed expectations. The Cape Cod Lavender Farm (41 Weston Woods Road) will expand your thoughts on just how many uses this plant has. Walking among the over 14,000 lavender plants spread over 12 acres is an experience in itself; but a stop inside the gift shop yields mind and body care products, home cooking accoutrements, essential oils and lavender-scented stuffed animals.

The other farm in town is almost like your average farm, with the addition of a cranberry bog. Cape Farm Supply and Cranberry Company (374 Main Street) offers tours of a functioning bog and the opportunity to become acquainted with one of their many farm animals.

Noon to 1 p.m. – Lunchtime
A stop at the A&W (297 MA-28) is widely considered a “must.” This classic burger shack, offering the famous root beer of the same name, also has addicting ice cream shakes and “polar swirls.” A favorite during the warm season.

George’s Pizza House (564 MA-28) is another local favorite for something quick yet satisfying. Their pizza and sub options are pretty standard but well-delivered. But most people rave about their calzones.

KA_Lavender Farm_Harwich_052616_0241 to 6 p.m. – Race to the Finish
You’ll need the carbs from lunch to get through an afternoon filled with high-octane racing, bobbing boats and bouncy trampolines.

Bud’s Go Karts (9 Sisson Road) is one of the most famous attractions on Cape Cod, probably because racing one their machines makes everyone feel giddy and almost childishly competitive. Not far away, the Trampoline Center (296 MA-28) is a safe way to get all of your pent up energy out, featuring a dozen large trampolines to perform all kinds of tricks on. To round out the day, try the bumper boats at 322 MA-28. A large, crystal clear pool is the bumper’s battleground, where you can expect some splashing and tons of fun.

If you’re in more of a bike riding mood, try the Cape Cod Rail Trail, which begins in Dennis and runs clear through Harwich. It offers what is arguably the most diverse range of scenery of all
Cape Cod bike paths. The first four miles are fairly busy, but riders will be treated to glacial ponds, wildlife sanctuaries and specialty stores throughout the rest of the journey.

6 to 7:30 p.m. – Dinner
One of the great seafood restaurants on Cape Cod, Brax’s Landing (705 Massachusetts 28) also is a heavy competitor for the title of “Best Lobster Roll.” Fish sandwiches, scallops and an extensive list of fried seafood selections cap off this frequented establishment’s menu.

The upscale eatery Ember Coal Fired Pizza (600 MA-28) flips normal pie on its head, so to speak. Specialty flavors like Blueberry (Wild Blueberry Puree, Goat Cheese, and Prosciutto), Grilled Portabella and the Garden (Zucchini, Scallion, Onions, Peppers, Broccoli, Oven Roasted Tomatoes, White Bean, 5 Cheese Blend) make for a unique meal each visit.

Finally, the Land Ho! and Jake Rooney’s, both in Harwich Port on Route 28, mix classic American pub fare with the area’s fresh seafood to create a welcoming, quintessential small-Cape Cod atmosphere. Land Ho’s specialty is the massive stuffed quahog, while Jake Rooney’s attracts diners with a perfect lobster stew. Both also offer a wide selection of domestic and imported beers.

By Adam Forziati



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