Check out these fun things to do in Sandwich, Massachusetts. Includes museums, outdoor activities, and the best restaurants in Sandwich!
*A big thank you to the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce for assisting us in our trip planning and to the Sandwich Glass Museum for providing us free entry in exchange for a review.*
Fun Things To Do In Sandwich, Massachusetts
The town of Sandwich, Massachusetts is located in the northwest corner of Cape Cod and can be reached by car or boat. It’s about an hour and a half drive from Boston and an hour drive from Providence, Rhode Island.
We feel like a lot of people might drive right by Sandwich on their way to bigger towns like Provincetown, but we think the town is a hidden gem on Cape Cod and deserves a further look. After a few visits, we found quite a few things to do, plus some great restaurants in Sandwich. Below are our recommendations…
Map of Things To Do In Sandwich, MA
Below is an interactive map listing our recommendations for things to do and restaurants in Sandwich…
Army Corps of Engineers Cape Cod Canal Visitor Center
Known as the gateway to Cape Cod, the Cape Cod Canal is an engineering marvel. At the Cape Cod Canal Visitor Center, you can learn about the canal’s history and also about the wildlife and recreational opportunities around the canal.
The visitor center is one of the best free things to do in Sandwich and if you’re traveling with kids you should definitely make a stop here. It’s a lot bigger than it looks from the outside and there are a lot of interactive displays and exhibits. There’s even a retired 40-foot US Army Corps of Engineers patrol boat that you can climb into!
Note: The Visitor Center is open from May to October.
Sandcatcher Recreation Area
Just a short walk from the Cape Cod Canal Visitor Center is the Sandcatcher Recreation Area. There are two gravel trails that run parallel to the canal (one is higher than the other) and we saw many people walking with their dogs and families.
At the end of the trails you get to a beach and the breakwater. We walked to the end of the breakwater (carefully) and sat there for awhile as we watched boats enter and leave the canal. We noticed people fishing and watched as the sun started to go down. It’s a very relaxing place.
Sandwich Glass Museum
One of the top things to do in Sandwich is visit the Sandwich Glass Museum. The town of Sandwich is what it is today because of it’s rich history of glass making. Settled in 1637, Sandwich is the oldest town on Cape Cod and was originally an agricultural community until Deming Jarves arrived in 1825 and started the Boston & Sandwich Glass Company.
Visitors to the museum can see how the landscape of the town changed quickly and how the glass business grew and boomed. There are exhibits that show how glass making evolved and every hour you can even see a live glass blowing presentation. Admission for adults is $12.
Note: The Sandwich Glass Museum is closed the month of January.
Fun Fact: We first became interested in glass blowing when we helped make glass ornaments in Western Massachusetts!
Boston & Sandwich Glass Company Historical Marker
Although the renowned Boston & Sandwich Glass Company buildings were eventually torn down in the early 1900s, a marker now stands in their place. The marker is on the northeast corner of Jarves Street and Factory Street, only a few minutes drive from the Sandwich Glass Museum.
It’s not a large marker, but we think it’s an important part of local history so it should be seen. Plus, it’s on the way to the Sandwich Boardwalk which is another popular Sandwich attraction.
Another of the fun things to do in Sandwich is to take a walk along the Sandwich Boardwalk. It crosses over Mill Creek and ends at Town Neck Beach. It’s not a long walk and the views of the marsh and beach are really nice. It’s also a good place to bird watch.
We have to point out that there no railings on the boardwalk, so just be cautious if you have kiddos. It does get pretty windy out there too, so we recommend having a good jacket on. And there is a small parking lot on Wood Ave that is closer to the beach itself, but we prefer the parking lot on Boardwalk Road as it’s where the boardwalk starts.
Sandwich Fish Hatchery
Another of the fun and free things to do in Sandwich, especially if you are traveling to Sandwich with kids, is the Sandwich Fish Hatchery. Inside the hatchery, you can take a self-guided tour and see Brook, Brown, Rainbow, and Tiger Trout in various stages of growth. Bring some quarters so you can feed the fishies.
There is plenty of parking and the hatchery is open daily from 9am to 3pm.
In the village of East Sandwich, is Titcomb’s Bookshop. In 2007, this charming family-owned bookstore was selected by the International Booksellers Federation as one of 50 unique bookstores in the world!
Outside the barn-style building, built by two of Titcomb’s sons, visitors will find an iconic wrought iron colonial man statue. Photos of visiting authors with the statue can be seen inside on the Authors’ Wall. The bookshop has three floors of books, toys, and games. We could have spent hours going through their collection.
Pairpoint Glass and Crystal
Although technically in Sagamore, we wanted to mention Pairpoint Glass and Crystal because most likely you’ll pass it as you drive along Sandwich Road.
Pairpoint was started in 1837, making it the oldest glass company in the US. Visitors can look down onto the manufacturing floor, where they create all of their pieces. If you’re lucky you’ll see the glass blowers in action. Their showroom is impressive as well with doorknobs, coasters, wine toppers, lamp bases, and custom pieces all made of beautiful glass.
Heritage Museums & Gardens
The Heritage Museums & Gardens were closed for the season, so we didn’t get to visit them ourselves. However we wanted to bring them to your attention because we’ve heard they’re lovely and really worth a visit. Hopefully we can see them the next time we’re in the area.
Best Restaurants In Sandwich, MA
While you’re exploring, you’re bound to get hungry. Below are some of the best restaurants in Sandwich…
If you want to be able to say you’ve eaten a sandwich in Sandwich, the best place to do that is Cafe Chew. They’ve received multiple awards over the years for their healthy and organic breakfast and lunch options.
During our visit we had the The European, one of their specialty sandwiches. It had ham, Italian salami, chopped marinated artichoke hearts, fire-roasted red pepper puree, goat cheese and olive tapenade on a soft Bavarian pretzel roll. It also came with Cape Cod Chips and a pickle spear. The sandwich was huge but it was so good that we still ate it all!
Pro Tip: Want to see the actual lighthouse that’s on the Cape Cod Chips bag? Check out the Best Lighthouses on the East Coast!
The Brown Jug
We’ve driven back to Sandwich just to eat at The Brown Jug again!
If you guys have followed our blog for awhile, you know we love pizza and eat a lot of it. Without a doubt, The Brown Jug has the best pizza on Cape Cod. The quality of their ingredients is fantastic their pizzas always have a perfect texture and crunch.
On our first visit we had a Cheese Pizza which had garlic olive oil, tomato sauce, mozzarella, provolone, parmesan, and romano cheese. Thinking about that garlic olive oil is making my mouth water as I type this.
On our second visit, we ordered a larger pizza and had half Cheese Pizza and half Porky Pig Pizza which had roasted fennel, pulled pork, BBQ and tomato sauce, mozzarella, caramelized onions, and a four cheese blend. We’re already planning a return visit…
Pilot House Restaurant and Lounge
Another of the best restaurants in Sandwich is the Pilot House Restaurant and Lounge. Their specialty is fresh seafood and when we say fresh, we mean it! The Pilot House is close to the Cape Cod Canal Visitor Center so it’s a nice place to have dinner after visiting the center and walking along the breakwater.
During our visit we had the Baked Stuffed Shrimp which were jumbo wild gulf shrimp with a seafood stuffing in a lemon butter sauce. It came with vegetables and a side; we chose mashed potatoes. It was really good! We liked the sauce and couldn’t believe how big the shrimp were.
Note: The Pilot House is closed during the winter season.
Dunbar House Restaurant & Tea Room
A really cozy place to have a meal is the Dunbar House Restaurant & Tea Room. They have a variety of salads, platters, and desserts but during our visit we stuck to tea and scones. We loved the tea room and the fireplace and thought the teapot cozies were really cute.
Beth’s Bakery & Cafe
Also voted one of the best restaurants in Sandwich, Beth’s Bakery & Cafe is a good place to stop for a yummy treat or hot cup of coffee. Inside what was originally built as a church nearly 175 years ago, Beth’s is all about warmth, comfort, and hospitality.
We were pretty full when we visited, so we didn’t get to try any of their sandwiches or paninis (which looked really good), but we did have enough room for a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter icing. 🙂
Where To Stay In Sandwich, MA
Because were were house sitting during our stay on Cape Cod, we didn’t stay in any hotels or B&Bs, but we recommend you check some of the rates below…
Final Thoughts On Things To Do In Sandwich
We really like the town of Sandwich and found a lot to do there, even during the winter months. Museums, outdoor areas, and great places to eat all make Sandwich a place worth visiting on Cape Cod.