3 miles E of Sagamore; 16 miles NW of Hyannis
Sandwich is both the oldest town on the Cape and, arguably, the quaintest. Towering oak trees and historic houses line its winding Main Street. Two early-19th-century churches and the columned Greek Revival Town Hall, in service since 1834, surround the town square. A 1640 gristmill still grinds corn beside bucolic Shawme Pond, which is frequented by swans, geese, ducks, and canoeists. To the north, villagers have built a boardwalk over the extensive salt marsh. Farther east, Sandy Neck, one of the Cape's most beautiful beaches, reaches into Cape Cod Bay.
Sandwich was founded in 1637 by a contingent of Puritans looking for a quiet place to worship. There is still an element of peacefulness in this little town located just a few miles from the Sagamore Bridge.
Sandwich's claim to fame is its prominence as home to the nation's first glass factories in the early to mid-19th century. The famous Boston and Sandwich Glass Company and others employed more than 500 craftspeople in town. In fact, the town still supports a number of highly skilled glassmakers. Sandwich has two very well-endowed museums -- the Heritage Museums and Gardens and the Sandwich Glass Museum -- as well as quirkier sites, such as the Green Briar Nature Center & Jam Kitchen and the Thornton W. Burgess Museum.
Many historic homesteads have been converted into charming bed-and-breakfasts that welcome guests year-round. There are also excellent antiques shops in the area. The town is a convenient base for exploring other parts of the Cape that may offer more lively activities, like the nightlife of Hyannis or the ocean beaches of Wellfleet.