This walk starts at the Sandwich Glass Museum, ends at the Dunbar Tea Shop, and takes 2 to 4 hours, depending on the number of stops you make; you'll cover about 1 1/4 miles. Your best bet is to explore the village on any midsummer day between 10am and 4pm, except Sunday, when some spots are closed.
You may park (free with admission) at the Sandwich Glass Museum, 129 Main St. (tel. 508/888-0251; www.sandwichglassmuseum.org), a well-curated collection tracing the town's history with an emphasis on glass made from 1825 to 1888.
Farther down Grove Street is Old Cemetery Point, overlooking peaceful Shawme Pond, about one-third mile down the road. Read the historic headstones, and keep an eye out for box turtles. Head back through the center of town and observe the exterior of Old Town Hall, on Main Street -- a magnificent Greek Revival edifice, complete with Doric columns. It still houses some town offices. Continue down Main Street, past the First Church of Christ, which is topped by an impressive spire. Built by a colleague of renowned Boston architect Charles Bulfinch in 1847, it was reportedly modeled on Sir Christopher Wren's St. Mary-le-Bow, in London. The next church you'll pass, to your left, is an 1833 meetinghouse, now privately owned, which has been used in years past as a doll museum and a bed-and-breakfast.
Make a left-right zigzag along Main and School streets to reach Water Street, which skirts the eastern edge of Shawme Pond. Directly opposite, on the shore side of Water Street, you'll spot the Hoxie House, at 18 Water St. (tel. 508/888-1173), one of the oldest houses on the Cape. The interior is spare because resources were hard to come by in Colonial New England; settlers didn't have closets, for example, as they would have been taxed as additional rooms, and windows were tiny to avoid the tax on glass. Docents explain all the details in tours, which run frequently.
After the Hoxie House tour, head northward along Water Street, passing (on the same side) the Thornton W. Burgess Museum, 4 Water St. (tel. 508/888-4668; www.thorntonburgess.org), which celebrates the life and work of native son Burgess (1874-1965). He was a highly successful author of children's books and creator of such still-beloved characters as Jimmy Skunk and Grandfather Frog. Just past the Burgess Museum is the Dexter Grist Mill (tel. 508/888-4910; www.dexterhistoricalsociety.com/gristmill.html), a lovingly restored water mill (ca. 1640). The millstones still grind corn; the meal doesn't keep well, but if you know you'll have the chance to make use of it later in the day, consider buying a bag to go. The center of town is a good place to pause for a spot of tea. The Dunbar Tea Shop, 1 Water St. (tel. 508/833-2485; www.dunbartea.com), serves hearty lunches, teas, and breakfasts. The attached shop features British imports and antiques, including vintage books. It's a pleasant place to while away a good portion of the afternoon.
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.