There’s plenty of things to do in Sandwich, MA. I have compiled a list of the best things to do in Sandwich MA a fun getaway.
No trip to Cape Cod would be complete without drinking in the sights and sounds of Sandwich, Massachusetts.
With a quaint name (just think of the Instagram shots, folks) and the honor of being the oldest town in Cape Cod, there’s a lot waiting for you.
Think mornings spent shopping ‘til you drop, lunchtimes dipping in and out of delectable restaurants, and afternoons exploring heart-stopping gorgeous gardens.
Where is Sandwich, MA?
Sandwich is a town in Barnstaple country, Massachusetts. It’s one of the oldest towns in the entire Cape Cod area, in fact. It has the fun (but, let’s admit it, also slightly sinister) town motto of Post tot Naufracia Portus.
In English, that’s after so many shipwrecks, a haven. It’s a seaside community, as you probably guessed from the reference to shipwrecks, and was incorporated as a town in 1639.
Its history stretches back into the mists of time, however, as it was originally the home of the Eastern Algonquian-speaking Wampanoag First Nation. Sandwich is a pretty place to visit, and a fun place to live, packed with seaside charm and the romance of history.
When should I visit Sandwich, MA?
The peak tourist season for the Cape Cod area is July and August, but smart Travelcroc travelers know that doesn’t mean you need to rush and book for those months!
We actually recommend May/June, or September/October. These are called ‘shoulder months’ in the industry, as they sit right outside peak season. What does that mean for you? Fewer crowds, lower room costs, and pleasant temperatures that will have you outdoors from dawn ‘till dusk.
That’s not to say a visit in the December-March off-season will be wasted, but the entire Cape Cod area is very quiet in the off-season. You may find some attractions and hotels closed. On the plus side, there’s great discounts to be had.
So if you’re all about snowy beauty and quiet solitude, you may like it at this time of year.
On the other hand, if you want the absolute best beach weather, you’re going to have to suck it up and head out in peak season. At least the vibes will be worth it!
What Sandwich, MA attractions can I not miss?
Before we even talk about things to see in Sandwich, MA, we’re sending you on a road trip! To really get into the spirit of the Cape Cod area, you should head down the Old King’s Highway, aka Route 6A.
This picturesque, winding route will take you through many of America’s oldest villages, including Sandwich, of course! It’s tree-shaded and heartbreakingly picturesque, and many of the churches, homes, and older buildings along the way are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
It’s like taking a drive back in time, or onto the set of a movie, and gives you a glimpse at a New England that only exists in romantic memory. What better way to start your road trip than with one of the most iconic things to do in Massachusetts?
Landmark things to see in Sandwich, MA
Now you’ve set the mood for your holiday, it’s time to take in some attractions in Sandwich you can’t miss.
Walk the Boardwalk
Who doesn’t love a good boardwalk? This one is especially picturesque. It rises above marshy ground painted in Fall colors, and ends cresting over dunes onto the beach.
If it’s the right sort of weather, you might even see seals at play! Most of the area it runs through is protected, so if you’re here to drink in nature’s beauty and watch her critters at play, this is a can’t-miss.
Boyden Farm Conservation Lands
Here’s another exquisite piece of nature to enjoy. This is a fantastic, family-friendly and fun thing to do while in town. With easy paths, rolling hills, and plenty to keep the little ones busy, it’s a half-day trip into nature everyone can enjoy.
It’s beautiful through winter and summer both, too, so keep it on your list of attractions year-round.
No list of things to do in Sandwich, MA, would be complete without mentioning the many historic mills that dot the area. The Thomas Dexter Grist Mill dates from the 17th century, but it’s still in full operation today.
So be sure to grab a bag of fresh-ground cornmeal on the way out. The views are exquisite, and you’re sure to learn a lot too.
Old East Mill brings you a historic windmill that was brought in from New Orleans. It’s nestled in the grounds of the Heritage Museum (more on this in a moment). It’s no longer operational, but it makes for a strikingly picturesque location that looks like a fairytale come true.
Visit historic homes
Along with mills, there’s plenty of historic homes that need to be on your list of things to do in Sandwich, MA. Hoxie House, built in 1637, is believed to be the oldest home still standing in the area, and even predates the official consolidation of the town.
The Wing Fort House, on the other hand, is slightly younger (built in 1641). But it holds the record as the oldest home in New England to be continuously owned by one family. It was inhabited right through until 1942!
The tours are marvelous, and you’ll get a wonderful feeling of what the settlement was like in its early days. It often ranks among the best things to do in Sandwich, MA.
Explore historic town sites
There’s a lot of exciting landmarks which make the list of things to see in Sandwich, MA. We suggest you take a whole day to just poke around the town, see beautiful things, and enjoy.
You can start at the Sandwich Town Hall, which was built in 1834 and recently restored. There’s a heart-stopping romantic ballroom and theater in the complex, too. Enjoy a silent film just as townspeople once did!
Make a spooky turn at the Old Town Burial Ground. Not only are there fascinating old graves to explore, but the view down to the lake is calming and serene.
The Old Quakerfriends Meetinghouse offers another fascinating slice of history- and a slice of something delicious, too, so it makes an ideal lunch stop.
Fun things to do in Sandwich, MA at the beach
If you’d like a little break from the romance of history, then pack up your beach towels and get ready for sun and sand. While there’s only a short season in Cape Cod for actual beach basking, the beaches make a wonderful, wild walk at any time of year.
Between the soft lapping of the sea and the cries of the gulls, it’s a little slice of tranquility no one should miss. So even if your biking body didn’t get packed for the trip, be sure to spend some time enjoying the outdoors.
Bask at Ocean Beaches
Sandwich has five saltwater and three freshwater beaches for you to enjoy. You will need a daily or weekly pass for them all, so be sure to plan accordingly.
Of the saltwater/ocean beaches, First Beach is fully accessible, with beach wheelchairs available for rent and beach mats typically in play between Memorial and Labor Day.
Along with First Beach, you can explore Town Neck Beach (near the Boardwalk), East Sandwich Beach, and Sandy Neck Beach. Sandy Neck Beach offers spectacular vistas as well as great birdwatching and lovely walking trails.
Many of the beaches are also spectacular for whale-watching in season, so keep your eyes peeled!
There’s also Scusset Beach State Reservation. Don’t come here expecting a traditional beach vista, however. It’s a rocky beach, and the ocean can be tumultuous, so keep a careful eye on little ones and don’t go alone. You can also camp here, including with trailers and RVs.
Walk along Freshwater Beaches
Snake Pond Beach, Wakeby Lake in the Ryder Conservation, and Peter’s Pond/Oakcrest Cove all offer lovely freshwater beaches.
Fantastic educational things to do in Sandwich, MA
You’re on holiday, so we don’t want to overdo it on education! All the same, Sandwich has some super-fun things to do that will let a little learning seep in, too,. Their museums are super fun.
The Heritage Museums and Gardens
There’s a reason thousands of visitors swing by here every year. The landscape is truly enchanting, and you’ll likely be tempted to stay outside.
The galleries are just as stunning, however, so do come in! Some of the art collections will take your breath away, so leave yourself plenty of time to explore. Car lovers have to swing by the historic car exhibit, too, and the cafe is a great place to recharge and refuel.
Sandwich Glass Museum
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Ok, we admit it, the name reads a little funny! But this should be on every Sandwich, MA, Things to Do list. The live glass blowing alone will wow you. Sandwich has a long history in the glass-making industry.
You can actually visit McDermott Glass Studio and Glass Studio on Cape Cod if you’d like to see or buy modern pieces. But the glass museum itself will walk you artfully through the history of the craft, and the pieces on display are dazzling.
Staying active in Sandwich
You’ve probably packed in a lot of steps for your FitBit already, but if you’re an active family and you prefer to get hands-on, what should be on your list of things to do in Sandwich, MA?
Parasail and play in the water
We’ve mentioned the beautiful beaches already, but if you’re less about views and more about pumping adrenaline, there’s watersport play to be had in the area. The parasailing and jet skiing are particularly good.
Putter around the greens
Cape Cod has something of a reputation for golfing, and Sandwich is no different. There’s some superlative greens to enjoy in the area. With the beautiful natural surroundings around you, it’s a perfect way to spend the day.
Bike the trails
We’ve spoken at length about the many beautiful sights in Sandwich. If you’d rather stay active while you explore, many areas of the town are set up for biking. Some of the walking trails are also cyclist-friendly, and it’s a gorgeous alternative to walking.
Just bring your bike chain- you’re going to want to stop and explore the sights as you go!
Learn to dive
The Aqua Center in Sandwich offers you a unique opportunity to learn to scuba dive. So if this one has been cluttering up your bucket list, this could be the holiday to tick it off!
Where to stay in Sandwich, MA?
As with the general Cape Cod area, Sandwich is a destination that relies on tourism. This means that there’s tons of great places to stay, across a wide range of budgets.
You’re going to pay a lot more in-season for a beach cottage than out-of-season in a rural area, so bear that in mind if you have a tight budget to manage.
There’s honestly too many lovely destinations to go into detail, but feel free to explore. We guarantee you’ll find the perfect spot to call home during your stay.
What is the food like in Sandwich, MA?
No list of things to do in Sandwich, MA would be complete without looking at the places to eat! While it’s not purely a city for foodies, you’ll eat well here, and there’s bound to be something you enjoy. We’ve already mentioned a few excellent places. The good news is that there’s tons more!
Beth’s Bakery and Cafe remains a local favorite for scones and sweet treats. Tree House Brewery offers tours and delicious beers to enjoy, or head to CW’s Cocktails and Wine Bar for some adults-only beverages.
Cafe Chew is a beloved local institution, and makes for a perfect lunch spot as you explore the town. There’s honestly so many places to enjoy that you’re likely to pile back on the calories you expend exploring!
The Jam Kitchen at Green Briar Nature Center
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the natural beauties of Green Briar Nature Center. Indulge some childhood whimsy and learn more about Thornton Burgess, creator of beloved childhood books Peter Rabbit and Friends. You can even see their briar patch in the reserve!
Add gorgeous wildflower gardens and walking trails to the list. But, most importantly of all, there’s also the ‘living museum’ of The Jam Kitchen, making fruit jams using traditional methods for you to try.
Bonus: A hidden Sandwich Secret
We’re sure we’ve given you plenty of things to do in Sandwich, MA to look forward to. But we’re going to let you in on one last TravelCroc secret before you go. Nestling in the grounds of the Heritage Museum is a treat for mom you need to see to believe.
Visit the Bulb River
Why mom? Well, the stunning flowers that make up this visual spectacle typically reach their peak bloom in May around Mother’s Day. Thirty-five thousand (you read that right) grape hyacinths spill down the hill, with 15,000 bright yellow daffodils picking their way through the stream.
It’s a sight-and-scent haven that has to be seen to be believed, and you absolutely have to see it at least once in your life. It only blooms for about a week, so don’t miss out!
The second you step foot in Sandwich, you are surrounded by nature and history at their best. Beautifully preserved homes dot each street. Historic buildings beckon you to explore. Outside of town, cranberry bogs, salt marshes, and soaring hills display spectacular nature in all its glory. It seems like every turn holds a secret and every corner a spectacular view.
No matter what you enjoy, the list of things to do in Sandwich, MA, is miles long. There’s something for everyone, from adrenaline junkies and beach babies to historians and nature lovers. It’s a town that’s beautiful year-round, even out of season,
And the love and nurturing care of the townsfolk for their beautiful slice of the world is apparent. We’d encourage everyone who’s ever wanted to explore Cape Cod to make this historic town a key part of the journey. You won’t be sorry!
For more travel ideas of short getaways be sure to visit our website TravelCroc.com