About Chatham | Oyster Pond at Chatham
CHATHAM, Cape Cod is one of the most magical places in the world. With miles of ocean beaches, sandy dunes and quaint town centers these unspoiled places have escaped overdevelopment and serve as reminders of the way life used to be.
Located on the elbow of Cape Cod, the town of Chatham features a quaint and walkable Main Street with numerous family owned and operated shops, restaurants and businesses. Chatham has a rich seafaring history, a railroad museum, and summer concerts held in a gazebo on Main Street. Beloved by fishermen and sea captains for centuries, the charming coastal town of Chatham, Mass., came into its own as a resort destination in the 1870s when wealthy New Englanders discovered its vistas of sea and shore.
Chatham has long been recognized for its exquisite natural beauty. Picture-perfect streets are lined with 18th-century homes, Cape Cod cottages and glorious gardens. Anchored by the historic Chatham lighthouse, the village boasts a lively, architecturally rich Main Street where merchants cater to locals and strolling visitors from around the world. You won’t find any chain stores here!
The town celebrates its sense of place through well-loved summertime traditions such as free Friday night band concerts, Chatham A’s baseball games and a Fourth of July parade that is a Norman Rockwell painting come to life. In the winter months, Chatham hosts a performing arts festival that culminates with midnight fireworks over Oyster Pond. Nearly surrounded by water and dotted with ice-age “kettle ponds,” Chatham offers a number of beaches, varied water sports and a scenic 4.5-mile bike trail.
The Chatham Railroad Museum, housed in a beautifully restored 1887 depot, features a walk-through of a 1918 New York Central caboose, and there are three other local museums to explore as well as a wildlife refuge.
For these reasons, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the country’s largest private, nonprofit preservation organization, named Chatham, Mass. to its 2007 list of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations, an annual list of unique and lovingly preserved communities in the United States. Chatham was selected from 63 destinations in 27 states that were nominated by individuals, preservation organizations and local communities.
CHATHAM BAND CONCERT
Every Friday evening during the summer months at 8:00pm all roads on the Cape lead to the band concert in Kate Gould Park on Main Street in Chatham. As many as six thousand people attend these concerts, and it will be one of the highlights of your summer in Chatham.
Main Street, Chatham
Chatham, MA 02633
Link: Chatham Band Concert
Completely replaced in 2008, one structure is designed to resemble a ship, another a lighthouse. There is a ride-on shark and tuna, as well as swings. The ground around the equipment are covered in wood chips,with a walkway winding through the playground to enhance accessibility. Kids love it. Located off Depot Road
Across the street from the playground is the tiny Depot Train Station museum, and the Chatham Fire and Police station. If the fire crew is not busy, you can ask for a tour of the firehouse; if they are busy, you may get to see the trucks in action.
CHATHAM RAILROAD MUSEUM
Even if you’re not a railroad fanatic, it’s worth visiting this beautiful 1887 depot to imagine the sights that would greet a Victorian visitor. To begin, the building itself is a “Railroad Gothic” work of wooden art, topped by a tapering turret. Inside you’ll find volunteers dispensing lore and explaining the many displays. The museum’s major holding is lined up in back: a “walk-through” 1918 New York caboose. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is free.
153 Depot Rd, 1 block north of rotary
CHATHAM FISH PIER
Just down the road from the Chatham Light is theChatham fish pier, where there’s always a small crowd gathered on the visitors deck (best viewing is between 12 noon and 3pm, when the fishing fleet is returning). Not only does the pier offer a great view of Chatham’s harbor and outer beach with the Atlantic beyond, but when the fishing boats unload their catch, both children and adults get a fascinating glimpse of the Cape’s best-known but now disappearing industry. It is truly a working pier and the observation deck provides great top-down views of the fishermen and their boats in action.
CHATHAM LIGHTHOUSE TOUR
View historic lighthouse, 1-3:30, free, no reservations needed. Children must be 5+, proper footwear required. Note: involves 44 steps, + 8 on ladder, those not up to climbing can visit base to hear history. Shore Rd (end Main St, turn right), 508-945-5199
GODFREY WINDMILL, Chase Park
Old Godfrey Windmill, Off Shattuck Place (in Chase Park) was built in 1797 by Colonel Benjamin Godfrey, to grind corn. Before that, Chatham would haul its unground corn to Plymouth on wagons like the other Cape towns so these local structures were hardly the picturesque tourist sites that they are today. This wind-powered grist mill was originally built along Stage Harbor Road in and was in active commercial operation until 1898. Over the course of the 20th century it was twice damaged by storms and was closed until 1956 when it was given to the town. The mill was then moved to its current location at Chase Park. It is open every day except Tuesday throughout July and August and no admission is charged. Chase park is also a great place to enjoy the periodic arts and crafts fairs held here or on off-days there are grills and picnic sites for a great family break from shopping nearby downtown.
Cockle Cove Beach : off Route 28
Hardings Beach: off Route 28 & Barn Hill Rd
Oyster Pond Beach : off Stage Harbor Road
Ridgevale Beach: off Ridgevale Rd; off Rte 28
YELLOW UMBRELLA BOOKS
Check for special events, readings, and book signings
501 Main St, 508-945-0144
CHATHAM CANDY MANOR
A Chatham tradition for generations of visitors, wash-a-shores, and locals, the Chatham Candy Manor, established in 1955, continues to be an essential destination for chocolate lovers as we have become internationally known purveyors of exceptional hand-made chocolates.
484 Main Street
Chatham, MA 02633
(800) 221 – 6497
(508) 945 – 0825
Link: Chatham Candy Manor
For 51 years, the Ohio University Players have entertained residents and visitors to Chatham and Cape Cod with a tradition of excellent summer theatre. Combining extraordinarily talented students with visiting professional guest artists and faculty, the Monomoy Theatre is unique in scope and purpose. An evening at the Monomoy Theatre is live theatre at its best. Only 260 seats, every seat is a great seat, see every expression, hear every word, sit back, relax and enjoy the show. Summer Theatre at its best—June 24 through August 30.
776 Main Street
Chatham, MA 02633
Link: Monomoy Theater
CHATHAM HOOD BIKES AND CAPE COD BIKE TRAIL
Enjoy a long bike ride on the old Cape Cod rail line… now a bike path.
Rent bikes at Chatham Hood Bikes.
284 Commerce Park North
South Chatham, MA 02659
Link: Chatham Hood Bikes
Brewster Bike in Brewster, Massachusetts has a great selection of road
and mountain bikes, helmets, lights, bike bags, bicycle parts, and
bike repair services. For incredible family fun, you can contact
Brewster Bike for bicycle rentals today!
442 Underpass Road
Brewster, MA 02631
Link: Brewster Bike
CHATHAM DRAMA GUILD
Chatham Drama Guild
134 Crowell Rd
ELDREDGE PUBLIC LIBRARY
DROP IN STORY HOUR, Chatham
Songs, stories & themed activities for 3-5-yr-olds, 10:30am every Sat, Eldredge Public Library, 564 Main St, 508-945-5170
Cape Cod Children’s Museum brings portable StarLab planetarium, great way to learn about the stars! Discover night sky & learn about legends & connections, 1:30 & 2:30pm, registration required, Eldredge Public Library, 564 Main St, 508-945-5170
Outside of Chatham:
WHALE WATCHING (Providencetown)
CAPE COD CHILDREN’S MUSEUM (Mashpee)
FAMILY SUPPER TRAIN (Hyannis)
All aboard for a unique dining experience! Choo Choo Charley & friends amuse passengers with balloon-twisting, face-painting & music as the train makes its way thru lovely scenery to the Canal. Kids dine on “fun food” while adults enjoy more epicurean fare. 6:30pm Tues & Wed 6/30-8/26; + Mon from Buzzards Bay 7/20-8/24, reservations 508-771-3800
LIVE ANIMAL STORY TIME, Sandwich
Join naturalist for half-hour reading featuring “Peter Rabbit” & other animal friends from tales of Thornton W. Burgess; visit with live animal featured in day’s story. Suitable for ages 3+, no reservation needed, 10:30am Mon, Wed & Sat thru Aug, Green Briar Nature Center, 6 Discovery Hill Rd (off 6A), 508-888-6870
MODEL TRAINS, Orleans
Come see the trains! Nauset Model Railroad Club holds open house 7-9pm every Wed thru Aug, free, kids of all ages welcome! Hilltop Plaza, Rt 6A, 508-432-2287
MELODY TENT CHILDREN’S THEATRE, Hyannis
Kaleidoscope Children’s Theatre presents “Cinderella” 8/12, “Goldilocks & the Three Bears” 8/19, 11am, Cape Cod Melody Tent, 21 W Main St, box office open daily noon-6pm for in-person ticket sales; phone tickets 800-745-3000; info 508-775-5630
Peter Rabbit’s Animal Day, Sandwich
Day of outdoor fun for families featuring live animal exhibits, pet rabbit show, games for young children, animal story time & personal appearances by “Peter Rabbit” himself! Free, 10am-2pm, Thornton W Burgess Museum, Rt 130, Sandwich Village, 508-888-6870