What to do in Sandwich
As the first town settled on the Cape and with its proximity to the Sagamore Bridge, Sandwich is the place where Cape Cod’s legendary beauty and hospitality begin.
Get Outdoors & Play
For those who love fresh air and moving freely outdoors, Sandwich has miles of coastal marsh providing hiking and kayaking experiences like no other. Ride your bike along the Cape Cod Canal, the widest sea-level canal in the world, and enjoy the view of boats, ships and an active and colorful fishing community. Kayak the meandering salt marshes or hike to the top of the ridge in Maple Swamp. Visit the picturesque and historic Sandwich Boardwalk which stretches plank by plank out to the Bay.
Then there are the beaches and marina. Boating on Cape Cod Bay is exhilarating – face-to-face with the Atlantic Ocean is sure to leave you rosy-cheeked and invigorated. Or, shift gears towards a leisurely day at one of our beaches – low tide offers warm accessible tidal pools perfect for younger children to explore. All these ways to get out and play are family-friendly and make Sandwich a great destination for the nature-loving and active visitor.
Sandwich offers the New England village life the way it used to be.
This seaside community has retained its small town New England charm with a historic center. The heart of the Village is the 1834 Town Hall where residents still go to access town services. Next door is a working grist mill grinding corn since 1654 and nearby is the Hoxie House, a museum house showing what family life was like in the 1600s. A short stroll down Main and Jarves Streets leads to beautiful boutiques, gourmet food and wine, art galleries or a cup of tea in a quaint tea room or a meal in a one-of-a-kind restaurant.
Sandwich is rich with historical and working museums. Heritage Museums & Gardens offers lush and inspiring gardens, an antique car museum and an antique working carousel. The Wing Fort House and the 1678 Benjamin Nye Homestead & Museum pay tribute to the tenacity and hard work of our forbearers. The Green Briar Nature Center and Jam Kitchen take visitors back to the experience the simple pleasures of a life lived with reverence to nature (and a kitchen bubbling with wonderful smells!).
The Town that Glass Built
In 1825 Sandwich underwent it's most dramatic change when Deming Jarves built a glass factory down by the site of the current Boardwalk. The factory grew rapidly to be one of the largest producers in the country with over 500 workers producing over five million pieces of glass annually by the 1850s. By the 1880s however, the glass factory was closed due to the labor strikes, an economic depression, and new factories being built further closer to natural gas fuel sources.
Glass is still of great cultural significance to Sandwich and there are several opportunities to witness the drama and color of live glass blowing. The Sandwich Glass Museum houses original pieces created during the 1800's and provides demonstrations of glass blowing techniques. The museum's theater shows a great documentary of the history of Sandwich. Throughout the village there are several glass blowers and artists with open studios to visit, creating a dynamic center for contemporary glass art.
Vibrant and Unique Local Character(s)
Sandwich's local, independent businesses have created a thriving and unique shopping environment. From custom jewelry, to gifts, books and treasures for the home, you are guaranteed a relaxing day in the shops with friendly and personal attention. Because Sandwich has avoided strip-mall style development, it has retained its unique character, charm and sense of community. Shops and restaurants reflect the styles and passions of their owners and customers, not a corporate branding campaign. The Shop Sandwich First campaign is a good way to find the special places where the locals go by looking for the Shop Sandwich First logo.
From sea captain mansions to charming cottages
Historic homes with their own stories to tell populate the Village area. Notice the white oval plaques on many charming old homes in Sandwich, both grand and humble? These markers are part of a program by the Sandwich Historic Commission to highlight the depth of history in Sandwich and to recognize the original owners who built Sandwich and are an interwoven part of its history.
Spend a day, a week, or forever
A few years ago Sandwich was declared one of Coastal Magazine's best places to live – and that is saying a lot for a magazine that covers both coasts! While you can tour Sandwich in a few days – like other places with that inexplicable thing called "soul" – the longer you stay, the more layers of rich history you uncover, the more people you meet and hear their stories, the more you will appreciate the flavor of Sandwich as the place where Cape Cod magic begins.