A summer favorite, Sandwich, with its history and natural beauty, retains its appeal to visitors all year round. This upper Cape town, which celebrates its 375th anniversary this year, offers abundant arts and cultural opportunities, beautiful beaches and natural treasures, abundant restaurants, and rich recreational opportunities for those beckoned by the call of the sea.
Being a vacation destination, Sandwich has a number of lodging options, all of which are attractively priced in the offseason. The Dan’l Webster Inn and Spa (149 Main St., 800-444-3566, www.danlwebsterinn
.com, rates from $115) has offered shelter to Cape Cod travelers for more than 300 years. The inn features rooms with fireplaces, balconies, and whirlpool tubs and is offering a package for one night that includes a bottle of champagne, chocolates, $50 toward a meal, and a discounted room starting at $171. The 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center (118 Tupper Road, 508-888-6958, www.innatsandwich.com, $149-$199 per night) has private bathrooms, fireplaces, and TV/DVR in most rooms. The picturesque New England bed and breakfast is within walking distance of the Sandwich boardwalk and is featuring a three-night special for $375 in honor of the town’s anniversary. The Country Acres Motel (187 Route 6A, 888-860-8650, www.countryacresmotel.com, $69-$79 through April 30) offers reasonable rates with an excellent location one block east of historic Main Street.
Start your day with a freshly brewed coffee or espresso at Cafe Chew (4 Merchants Road, 508-888-7717, www.cafechew.com, breakfast $1.50-$10.) The cafe boasts some of the best breakfast sandwiches in Sandwich, including the Hippie, with scrambled eggs, tomatoes, spinach, red onions, broccoli, and Vermont cheddar in a wheat wrap. The Cafe Riverview (451 Route 6A, 508-833-8365, www.caferiverview.org) serves up breakfast favorites such as a grilled Southwestern breakfast burrito with eggs, tomato, salsa, red onion, black beans, and cheddar cheese. The cafe is staffed by students from the Riverview School, which educates kids with cognitive disabilities. The Dunbar Tea Room (1 Water St., 508-833-2485, www.dunbartea.com, lunch $10-$15) offers the experience of an authentic English tea room right in the heart of Sandwich. The Cumberland Crumpet Melt combines flavors of England and Cape Cod with chicken salad and cranberry sauce blanketed by melted cheddar and two English crumpets. The Original Marshland (109 Route 6A, 508-888-9824, www.marshland
restaurant.com, lunch $6-$16) specializes in fresh seafood and comfort food favorites, including pot roast sandwiches, fried clams, and tasty stuffed quahogs. The Belfry Inne and Bistro
(6 Jarves St., 508-888-8550, www.belfryinn.com, entrees $18-$40) is perfect for special occasions, and the Nantucket Bay scallop seviche is the dish to try. Reservations are recommended. If you’re craving a taste of summer, Seafood Sam’s (6 Coast Guard Road, 508-888-4629, www.seafoodsams.com, entrees $6-$20) has daily specials including fried clams, fried haddock, and a fried popcorn shrimp platter. With most ice cream shops closed for the season, a delicious, fresh baked treat from Beth’s Bakery and Cafe (16 Jarves St., 508-888-7716, www.capecodteashop.com, open daily call for hours) will satisfy your sweet tooth.
DURING THE DAY
The Sandwich Boardwalk on Jarves Street is one of the most distinctive attractions on the Cape. The 1,000-foot-long wooden walkway crosses Mill Creek and protected salt marshes to a beautiful beach on Cape Cod Bay. The boardwalk was severely damaged in 1991 by Hurricane Bob, but residents helped defray costs of repairs by buying more than 1,700 personalized planks for the structure. It was voted among the top 10 boardwalks in the nation by National Geographic in 2011. The Cape Cod Canal bike paths (60 Ed Moffitt Drive, www.capecodcanal.us) on both sides of the canal are open all year and offer a total of 14 miles of trails and spectacular sunsets. The Sandwich Glass Museum (129 Main St., 508-888-0251, www.sandwichglassmuseum.org, $8 adults, $2 kids 6-14) offers glassblowing demonstrations and educates visitors on the importance of the Boston and Sandwich Glass Co. to the area’s history and economy. The Green Briar Nature Center and Jam Kitchen (6 Discovery Hill Road, 508-888-6870, www.thorntonburgess.org, admission by donation) leads guided walks of the bucolic grounds and the briar patch made famous in Thornton Burgess’s children’s books. Natural history programs are scheduled all year, and the historic jam kitchen lets visitors view the making of jams, jellies, relishes, and pickles. Pick up a jar of their beach plum jelly in the gift shop. Come in from the cold and explore the many distinctive, locally owned shops in town, including Titcomb’s Bookshop (432 Route 6A, 508-888-2331, www.titcombsbookshop.com). Selected by the International Booksellers Federation as one of the 50 unique bookstores in the world, and featured in its 2007 calendar, Titcomb’s is known for its large selection of children’s books and toys, old and rare books, books on Cape Cod, and the lifesize statue of the Colonial man at the entrance to the shop. Sandwich offers numerous options for those on the prowl for handcrafted items. The Collections Gallery (23A Jarves St., 508-833-0039, www
.collectionsgallery.com) features shell wreaths, blown glass, watercolor paintings, and photography from local artists. Splash Stationers (126 Route 6A, 774-413-8566, www.splashstationers.com) creates customized stationery, invitations, cards, and announcements. The shop also sells watercolor notecards of local landmarks. The Brown Jug (155 Main St., 508-888-4669, www.thebrownjug.com) features gourmet specialty foods, a wine shop, a cafe, and live jazz on Sunday afternoons.
Night life options are somewhat limited in Sandwich during the offseason, but the British Beer Company (46 Route 6A, 508-833-9590, www.britishbeer.com/sandwich) has live music on Fridays and Saturdays, and trivia on Wednesdays. The Pilot House Restaurant (14 Gallo Road, 508-888-8889, www.pilothousecapecod.com) features live piano music in the lounge on Fridays and Saturdays to accompany the scenic view of the canal and Sandwich marina.Matt Taylor can be reached at www.matthewgtaylor.com.