Anne's Cape Cod Favorites

Intro | Tours | Maps | Restaurants
Walking | Bicycling | Boating | Sightseeing | Beaches
Brewster | Chatham | Orleans | Eastham | Wellfleet | Truro | Provincetown


Chatham is surrounded by water. Things to do divide into three sections. The things to do Around Town are all in fairly close proximity. A little further south, but not too far for a bike ride, are Nantucket Sound attractions. The boating and beaches destinations on Pleasant Bay are more easily reached by car.

See the Chatham overview and Chamber of Commerce sites, and check out Chatham restaurants.

Chatham Lighthouse

Chatham Lighthouse

top Around Town

sightseeingThe Chatham Light

The Chatham Light is on Main Street overlooking South Beach. Day and night, the light sends out two flashes every ten seconds. This is a good place to go after dinner and be hypnotized by the light flashes and the surf on the beach. It's most dramatic on a foggy night with a full moon rising. For a nice photo of the Light, see Jay Pulli' s web site.

beachesSouth Beach

In front of the Chatham Light, South Beach faces the Atlantic. It extends a long tail south that invites you to keep walking on and on with bare feet in the cool surf. Most of South Beach was an island until a few years ago, when the shifting sands reconnected it with the mainland near the Chatham Light. If you want to get out to the end the easy way, Outermost Harbor Marine offers shuttles to South Beach from Seagull Road (945-2030).

Morris Island and Monomoy Wildlife Refuge

walkingMorris Island, now a scenic penninsula, houses the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge headquarters. A charming nature trail of a little over a mile leads out to a long flight of steps down to a beach. The refuge includes North and South Monomoy Islands and part of Morris Island. To get there from the Chatham Light, follow Main St south to Morris Island Rd.

Stage Harbor View from The Neck

Be sure to bicycle, drive or walk out Stage Harbor Rd to "The Neck" for wonderful views of Stage Harbor.

walkingMain Street

Chatham has a vibrant Main Street for walking and gawking. At the opposite end of the spectrum from Provincetown, Chatham's Main Street exudes conservative good taste. Everything is pretty and the stores offer art, books, handcrafted gifts, fine clothes, and much more. I counted five ice-cream stores, but my favorite lunch is fresh seafood in the cool pub atmosphere of the Chatham Squire.

sightseeingChatham's Old Grist Mill

This mill is near Chase Park, off Shattuck Place, high on a hill. It normally is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the summer

beachesOyster Pond

Oyster Pond is a salt-water pond at the end of a deep inlet connecting to Stage Harbor. The public beach is a good place for a swim. At Queen Anne Rd and Pond Rd.

bicyclingChatham Bicycle Ride

Chatham is one of my favorite places for a bicycle ride. The rail trail bypasses Chatham. However, if you can put up with some traffic, hills, and Chatham's ubiquitous wind, you'll ride into striking picture postcard views around every corner. The route, described in Short Bike Rides, follows the coast around Chatham's beaches, harbors, and inlets. In addition, Fox Hill Road to Nickerson Neck gives some great views of Pleasant Bay and a fine golf course overlooking the bay.

topAround Nantucket Sound

beacheswalkingStage Harbor Light and Hardings Beach

Stage Harbor LighthouseStage Harbor Light stands alone on a sand penninsula, surrounded by Nantucket Sound, the entrance to Stage Harbor, and the Oyster River inlet. On the flat, sandy trail out to the lighthouse from Hardings Beach, you see birds and grasses and beach plum, and the water off to your right. As you approach the building, you may glimpse sailboats behind it on Oyster River. It's two miles round trip through the sand, described in the Short Nature Walks book. Start at Hardings Beach, at the end of Hardings Road, and return to the beach to relax.

beachesboatingBoating Nantucket Sound at Ridgevale Beach

If you want to go boating in the open waters, Cape Water Sports rents sailboats, power boats, and surfbikes and kayaks at Ridgevale Beach on Nantucket Sound (432-4339). It's just west of Hardings Beach, and you can sail up to the Stage Harbor light that you may have visited on foot. To get there, heading west on Rte 28, turn left onto Ridgevale Beach. It's a good place to spend the day on the beach, too.

boatingwalkingMonomoy Island Tours

North and South Monomoy Islands are part of the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge. Boat tours to the islands are offered by Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary and the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History. The half-day trips to North Monomoy give you a chance to beachcomb and see the birds and the seals. Cape Cod Museum also offers a 1-hour cruise around North Monomoy just to view the seals.

South Monomoy is six miles out into Nantucket Sound and the Atlantic. I've taken the all-day tour. We walked through tidal pools and marshes and grasses for a mile and a half to the Monomoy Lighthouse, learning from the guide about the birds and wildlife, nature, and history. Cape Cod Museum also offers a trip where you stay overnight at the lighthouse keeper's house

topAround Pleasant Bay

Boating on Pleasant Bay

Pleasant Bay SunriseThe protected waters of Pleasant Bay are a great place for boating. You can rent a boat and explore on your own, or take part in a sponsored canoe or cruise trip. Both the National Seashore and Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary sponsor canoe trips. The Wildlife Sanctuary and Cape Cod Museum of Natural History sponsor guided cruises to learn about the birds and wildlife, and trek around on the beaches of the Bay's islands.

At the elegant Wequassett Inn, Cape Water Sports rents sailboats, power boats, surfbikes and kayaks. Call 432-5400, x530. Sailboats include the very simple little Escape sailboat or the fast Hobie Cat Wave, as well as larger Daysailers. You can rent for an hour or up to a day. Park at the lower level lot at the Wequassett Inn and walk through their resort pool area to the boat rentals. Combine a sail with a perfect lunch on the inn's dining room patio overlooking the Bay. The Wequassett is at the intersection of Rte 28 and Pleasant Bay Road.

Pleasant Bay Beach

Salt water to swim in as warm as a pond is the appeal of Pleasant Bay beaches. There's a nice beach on Pleasant Bay just off Rte 28, just a bit south of the Wequassett Inn. There also are are couple of town landings on Nickerson Neck (around Fox Hill Road) that look like they would be fine for swimming in Pleasant Bay