A guest post by blogger Megan Jensen
If most visitors to Cape Cod are anything like me, then they probably get a kick out of hearing there is town in the area called Sandwich. Looking at a map when I first arrived I had to laugh, and subsequently make a few bad jokes, “I wonder if they have a good BLT,” “that town sounds delicious, and “lett-uce go to Sandwich!”
When I visited Sandwich I found there was much more to this village than an interesting name – this town is full of great places to visit, explore, spend time outside, shop and grab a sandwich.
Here is what I saw, did, ate…and highly recommend.
1. Visit the Boardwalk
By far my favorite thing about Sandwich is the boardwalk fording Mill Creek across Sandwich harbor. At 1350 feet long, located in the heart of Sandwich this is an attraction you can’t miss. This boardwalk is actually a replacement of the original that was destroyed in the early 1990’s by a hurricane. When walking the boardwalk pay special attention to the engravings on the planks, which helped pay for the new boardwalk. Messages range from heartfelt to funny, to mysterious. You can park in the boardwalk parking lot (10$), but there is also parking available in town (free) and the distance is easily walk-able.
2. Grab a Bite to Eat
This town has lots of great places to stop and have a meal or just grab a bite to go.
Café Chew – Called Sandwich’s Sandwichery this organic café has delicious and healthy options on their extensive breakfast and lunch menus. Café Chew is more than just sandwiches; they have all your breakfast basics and a good selection of soups and salads as well. I tried “The Bavarian,” and the brie was amazing!
The Marshland – This Bakery/ Restaurant/ Diner has something for everyone and offers great casual dining on the upper cape. The Marshland’s Stuffed Quahog was featured on the Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.” When I stopped by around 2 pm they were still very busy and the woman working at the bakery knew most of the customers by name. She was incredibly friendly and gave me a day – old bakery muffin for free, it was so good!
The Roost – Located near the boardwalk on the corner of Rt. 6A and Jarves, this café has a wide selection of locally brewed coffee’s as well as sandwiches. I got the special of the day to go and brought it with me to the boardwalk to eat on the beach.
3. Heritage Museums and Gardens – Beware – you could easily spend an entire day here. “Comprised of three galleries and expansive gardens located in historic Sandwich, Massachusetts” Heritage Museums and Gardens, “includes galleries for American Folk Art, a vintage carousel, automobiles and traveling exhibitions.” This is a great place for families with children to visit, and it has something for all ages. Don’t miss the Hidden Hollow: an outdoor play complex, that was featured as part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative. When I visited the special exhibition was on Norman Rockwell. Running until September 3rd, I highly recommend seeing it if you get the chance.
4. The Glass Museum – This was my first stop when I visited Sandwich and besides the several rooms and exhibits filled with amazing glass works I found this museum to give a detailed account of this historic towns history. It’s interesting how the history of glass works in Sandwich is closely tied to the founding, expansion and economic success of Sandwich. References to many of the great glassmakers can still be seen today, Jarves Street is named after Demming Jarves – the founder and manager of the Boston and Sandwich Glass Company. Make sure to see live glass blowing demonstrations every hour on the hour. Also a secret tip, when the glass blower asks for volunteers, raise your hand, you might get a souvenir!
5. Twin Acres Ice Cream – Don’t forget the ice cream! This local favorite is easy to spot by the crowd usually present outside its serving window. I stopped for ginger ice cream and it was delicious!
6. Jarves Street – Located near the Sandwich Boardwalk and intersecting 6A this street has several cute shops, café’s and is a great place to park and relax.
7. Burgress House – When in Sandwich stop by the Burgress House, the home of the author of the famous Peter Rabbit Tales. Thornton W. Burgress grew up and lived in Sandwich and his stories focus on the wildlife he loved around him. “Over 170 books and 15,000 stories by Burgess chronicle the tales of Peter Rabbit and his animal friends, including Jimmy Skunk, Grandfather Frog, Johnny Chuck, Sammy Jay, Reddy Fox, Hooty Owl and many others.”
Don’t miss these upcoming events at the Burgress House:
August 4: BLUEBERRY FESTIVAL
August 15: PETER RABBIT’S ANIMAL DAY
This is the route I drove from the Woods Hole Inn to Sandwich. Enjoy!
Remember the story of the red chair? You know, the image I put on Facebook that inspired a visit from a Californian photographer who then sent me the most amazing photograph she had taken of the chair? I wrote all about this last spring, and told everyone I ever met all about it, and you can catch up with the story here.
Well, now the red chair is headed on a very unique trip. I have reached out to innkeepers all over Cape Cod. This chair is going to have the most amazing spring visiting the very best places to stay on the Cape and Islands.
Having checked in on the phone with these fabulous hoteliers, I can genuinely say I am jealous of the chair’s journey. I too want to spend five weeks crisscrossing the Cape, exploring every nook and cranny from the dunes of Race Point to the shops of Nantucket, from the farms of Martha’s Vineyard to the sand flats of Barnstable Harbor. I too want to try a growler of Cape Cod beer in Hyannis, or see the whales and dolphins off Provincetown, or chow on steamers in Truro, or skip the boardwalk in Sandwich.
Why send a chair on a journey like this? Because, like the surrealists used to say, this chair is not just a chair. It is a metaphor, an invitation to come explore yourself in a quiet and beautiful place. It is an open seat at the table of relaxation. It is the beckoning hand of civilization, marking the edge of the wildness of nature where you can lose and find yourself at the same time. It is the dialogue between artists and innkeepers, dreamers and shop-girls, lost travelers and those that welcome them into warm beds.
And that, my friends, is why the chair needs to travel!
Today I prepared my heart, then drove the chair to thirty minutes up the road to the lovely village of Sandwich where the chair will be hosted by the Belfry Inn and Bistro for a few days. This is a really cool place — a converted church with all the stained glass still intact. I must admit, I felt a bit like a mother taking their child to overnight camp for the first time! I mean, all the preparation I have put into this trip, and when it came down to it I really did not want to let that chair out of my hot little hands. I was feeling anxious and worried, wrote a long note to my fellow innkeepers about it’s care and safekeeping, even fretted a little about leaving it on side deck rather than handing it directly to the next innkeeper.
But I have to remember, the soul of this chair was meant to be shared. I found it at the swap shop, and so much joy has come already from sharing it. I have to believe more joy, laughs, curiosity will come as others are touched by it too.
Some nostalgic images of the chair at the Woods Hole Inn before it headed out:
Oooh, that Cape light.
On a foggy day:
Then getting ready to head out today, with a little note that says “Read Me!” filled with instructions and well-wishes.
Here we are all loaded up in the car:
Arriving at the Belfry Inn in Sandwich MA, a lovely 30 minute drive on a windy bright day:
Isn’t everything better when shared?
More to come on this story, plus read about it directly in a new blog called RedChairTravels.com.