Chatham's tree-shaded Main Street, lined with specialty stores, offers a terrific opportunity to shop and stroll. The goods tend to be on the conservative side, but every so often, you'll happen upon a hedonistic delight.
Arts & Crafts
Headed for such prestigious outlets as Neiman Marcus, the hand-blown glassworks of James Holmes originate at Chatham Glass Company, 758 Main St., just west of the Chatham rotary (tel. 508/945-5547; www.chathamglass.com), where you can literally look over their shoulders as the pieces take shape. Luscious colors are their hallmark; the intense hues, combined with a purity of form at once traditional and cutting-edge contemporary, add up to objects that demand to be coveted.
At Chatham Pottery, 2058 Rte. 28, east of the intersection with Route 137 (tel. 508/430-2191; http://store.chathampottery.com), striking graphics characterize the collaborative work of Gill Wilson (potter) and Margaret Wilson-Grey (glazer). Their work consists primarily of blue block-print-style designs set against off-white stoneware. The most popular design may be the etched pair of swimming fish, based on sketches more than 100 years old. It's a look that's somewhat addictive. Luckily, it's available in everything from platters and bowls to lamps and tiles.
Yellow Umbrella Books, 501 Main St., in the center of town (tel. 508/945-0144), offers both new and used books (from rare volumes to paperbacks perfect for a disposable beach read). This full-service, all-ages bookstore invites protracted browsing.
Catering to fashionable parents and their kids, ages newborn well into the teens, the Children's Shop, 515 Main St., in the center of town (tel. 508/945-0234; www.chathamchildrenshop.com), is the best children's clothing store in a 100-mile radius. While according a nod to doting grannies with such classics as hand-smocked party dresses, Ginny Nickerson also stays up-to-speed on what kids themselves prefer.
The flagship store of Puritan Clothing Company is at 573 Main St., Chatham (tel. 508/945-0326; www.puritancapecod.com). This venerable institution, with stores all over the Cape, has updated its clothing considerably in the past 10 years. You'll find a wide range of quality men's and women's wear, including Polo, Nautica, Eileen Fisher, and Teva, at good prices.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.