15 Romantic Things to do in Sandwich MA Cape Cod

WHY GO: While many visitors rush through the first town over the Cape Cod Sagamore Bridge, there are plenty of things to do in Sandwich MA. So, if you want to be on “The Cape” but can’t see driving another mile, bed down here. 

You can learn firsthand about the Canal you just crossed, taste and buy jam the way it was made 110 years ago, and revel in the rich history of the local glass production. Stay in a charming B&B or even cooler – in a former Church turned luxury inn.

We set it all up for you below!

Looking for a longer love-centric trip in the State? Check out Getaway Mavens Best Romantic Massachusetts Getaways.

Things To Do In Sandwich MA

Jam Kitchen at Greenbriar Nature Center and Jam Kitchen Sandwich MA

VISIT/SHOP: Green Briar Nature Center and Jam Kitchen

Just outside of town in East Sandwich, stop in for a one-of-a-kind treat and pick up some jam made the traditional way at the Green Briar Nature Center and Jam Kitchen (Thornton Burgess).

Spend some moments walking the paths where Peter Rabbit (the American version – Peter Cottontail – not the Beatrix Potter character) outwitted Reddy Fox.  Remember the “Briar Patch?” It’s right outside a still-operating, old-fashioned jam kitchen. 

This place has been delighting Cape Cod vacationers since 1903, when Ida Putnam began selling her jams and jellies to travelers on “the only highway that went all the way to the end of the Cape – Route 6A.”  Preserves are still cooked in Ida’s kettles over original burners. 

View of Cape Cod Canal from Visitors Center Sandwich MA

VISIT: Cape Cod Canal Visitor’s Center

Prior to the opening of the Cape Cod Canal in 1914, Cape Cod was a peninsula, not an island. Cape Cod Canal Visitor’s Center explores the history and operation of this feat of engineering with live camera and real-time images of the working canal.

Over 1,400 people were employed during the Great Depression to dredge and widen the 17 miles long Canal – initially carved a narrow 100 feet wide – to its present 500 foot width. Before the Canal opened, ships sailing from Boston south or from the south to Boston would have to travel 60 miles to the tip of Cape Cod and another 60 miles back.

The canal saved time and lives; going around the Cape was treacherous business. Open May-October, free

Sandwich Glass Museum on Cape Cod MA

VISIT: Sandwich Glass Museum

To understand the industry that put Sandwich on the map, go to the Sandwich Glass Museum. Talking paintings, drawers opening and closing on their own, hologram presentations; this is not your mother’s stuffy cluttered museum.

Observing glass blowing at Sandwich Glass Museum MA

Throughout the 1800’s Sandwich, MA served as our nation’s pressed glass manufacturing center, and in this clever, engaging museum you’ll be privy to glass-blowing demonstrations, an ingenious holographic depiction of a colonist’s use of glass in her home, and glass shelves brimming with the colorful crystal that made this town famous.

Waterfall art at Heritage Museums and Gardens Sandwich MA

VISIT: Heritage Museums and Gardens

Encompassing a rare mix of compelling attractions, the Heritage Museums and Gardens will keep everyone happy for many, many hours.

Entry to Heritage Museums and Gardens Sandwich MA

Gardening and flower fans will thrill at the copious collection of rhododendrons and other fauna and flora, car buffs will adore the Shaker-style Round Barn that houses 40 antique autos, and kids will make a beeline to both the ride-it-as-much-as-you-want indoor carousel and the children’s outdoor discovery center, “Hidden Hollow,” where getting dirty is the whole point.

You can easily spend dusk till dawn on all 100 acres, 3 museums and miles of rustic (and paved) pathways. 

1675 Hoxie House, Sandwich MA

PHOTO OP: Hoxie House

Incorporated in 1639, Sandwich Massachusetts is the oldest town on the Cape. So, it’s no surprise that Sandwich is home to the seventeenth century Hoxie House. The Cape Cod Saltbox style house, built in 1675, has been preserved and restored by the town of Sandwich. In private hands until the 1950’s it is presumed to be the oldest Saltbox on the Cape.

WALK: Sandwich Boardwalk

Beaten up by rising seas and stormy weather – the old and beloved 1,200 ft long Sandwich Boardwalk has just been replaced (in 2023) by a higher, wider, safer version: reopening anew for the ’23 summer season. The boardwalk hovers over an expanse of salt marsh and ribbonlike inlets – a bucolic scene that inspires marriage proposals, wedding plans, and an upwelling of life-is-good vibes.

WATER FUN: Beaches

Scusset Beach State Reservation

Savvy travelers know about a terrific, and usually uncrowded state-owned beach located on the mainland side of Sandwich MA (read; before even crossing a bridge): Scusset Beach State Reservation. There’s a half-mile sandy beach and dunes on Cape Cod Bay – and coveted camp sites.

Sandy Neck Beach

The six mile long, pebbly Sandy Neck Beach is located just out of town on Route 6A (aka, Kings Highway). Due to its length, its one of the least crowded beaches on the Cape.

WATER FUN: Fishing Charters

Both Captain Joe P Charters and Laura Jay Charters operate out of Sandwich Marina (on the Canal). Both come highly recommended by happy patrons.

Restaurants In Sandwich MA

The Dunbar House Sandwich MA

EAT/TEA: The Dunbar House

The former Dunbar Tea Room and Wine Bar is now The Dunbar House, thanks to Cape Cod born and raised owner (as of 2020), Kathryn Wolstenholme. With the addition of Executive Chef Patrick Hurley, another Cape Cod native, the Dunbar House has upped its game, both in cuisine and brightened decor. It’s more than ever a “must go” place for lunch and a spot of tea.

If the day is dreary, or you want to meet friends for High Tea with cucumber sandwiches and sinful baked goods, plan on an hour or so at the Dunbar House one of the few places the Cape where you can still enjoy scones with clotted cream.

EAT/LUNCH: Cafe Chew

It’s Sandwich’s favorite Sandwich (and salad) spot, open only for breakfast and lunch.  Munch local and go for the “Cape Cranberry” Salad with baby spinach and ginger-sesame dressing, or perhaps The Pilgrim Sandwich with roast turkey, sage stuffing and cranberry mayo.

EAT: Marshland Restaurant

Featured on the Food Network, this diner-like place piles huge amounts of homemade goodness on each plate for a pittance.  Try the signatures – Stuffed Quahogs with Drawn Butter, Yankee Pot Roast with Gravy, and other comfort shore-foods.  Your bank account will thank you.

EAT: Belfry Bistro (See Below Under Where to Stay

Where To Stay In Sandwich MA


Belfry Inn and Bistro exterior Sandwich MA

EAT/STAY: Belfry Inn and Bistro

There are no bats at the superb Belfry Inn and Bistro. What you will find are opulent Jacuzzi guest rooms – soaring ceilings, beds topped with high- thread-count sheets, and morning sun streaming through stained-glass windows – in a former Catholic Church. 

Gracious proprietor, Chris Wilson completely remodeled the interior of The Abbey, carving out a world-class white-linen, locally sourced restaurant- the bustling Belfry Bistro (rated “Excellent” by Zagats)- in what used to be the sanctuary and alter space and, above, installing six guest rooms named after the days of the week. 

Belfry Bistro Sandwich MA

Wilson demonstrates a bit of wit by assigning the “Lord’s Day” – Sunday – to the fire escape door.  Guest room doors open onto an interior balcony that overlooks the restaurant below. 

Just sitting down to dinner in the former sanctuary of a Gothic church – beneath its towering arched ceiling – is a lofty enough experience, but attentive wait staff and sumptuous farm-to-table cuisine live up to the surroundings.  

STAY: Isaiah Jones Homestead B&B

Fresh flowers grace each of seven richly appointed guestrooms, and the outstanding breakfast has been compared to “fine dining:” reasons this Bed and Breakfast wins consistent raves from repeat guests.

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Weekend Getaways In Cape Cod (And Nearby)


  • Malerie Yolen-Cohen

    Malerie Yolen-Cohen is the Author of the cross-country travel guide, Stay On Route 6; Your Guide to All 3562 Miles of Transcontinental Route 6. She contributes frequently to Newsday, with credits in National Geographic Traveler, Ladies Home Journal, Yankee Magazine, Shape.com, Sierra Magazine, Porthole, Paddler, New England Boating, Huffington Post, and dozens of other publications. Malerie’s focus and specialty is Northeastern US, and she is constantly amazed by the caliber of restaurants and lodging in the unlikeliest places.

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