Cape Cod is known for being America’s playground, offering beautiful beaches, charming homes, and a lifestyle that makes the world wish they could move here permanently, but it also offers a history that is rich and full. Located just miles from Plymouth Rock and growing up as our country matured, when you have a vacation on Cape Cod, you are literally walking in the footsteps of our nation’s heroes. Sandwich on Cape Cod, one of our favorite towns, is its oldest settled town, becoming incorporated in 1639 and providing a history that delves deeper in time; settled in 1637, this part of the Cape was occupied before they were burning witches in Salem, if you can believe that! And when your vacation journey brings you to Sandwich in the winter, a stay in one of our New England Vacation Rentals classic cottages will add comfort and modern conveniences to a getaway filled with fun, beauty, and a living history lesson that is entertaining and fulfilling. Settle in as we paint a day by day picture of adventures you will wish could continue on forever and joys that will take root in your soul!

Why Sandwich On Cape Cod Should Be Your Next Vacation Destination

The first day of vacation is always a complicated blend of excitement, worries, and exhaustion, as you begin to look forward to all that lies ahead, fear that you really don’t know your way around, and fight jet lag. Jet lag is usually harder to handle on your return to real life, especially if you preempt any major issues by immediately jumping in and adhering to the new time, so an early breakfast on day one is of utmost importance. Now, this is a winter getaway, and not all restaurants are open during the season, but for a hearty breakfast that will give you a head start on your adventures, Café Chew will never let you down! Located at 4 Merchants Road and open for breakfast and lunch every day of the week, their menu is filled with pancakes, classic breakfast dishes, and our personal favorite, their Pain D’Avignon Brioche, French toast made from brioche bread. Lingering over a second cup of coffee and perhaps stealing a piece of bacon from your kiddos still full plate, (too excited to eat, we are sure!) soon enough it will be time to venture out into the cold for the first of your Sandwich adventures!

This first day may be more about getting your bearings, getting to know the lie of the town, but we think it will also involve a trip to the beach, even as Jack Frost is breathing his icy breath down the neck of your winter coat. Cape Cod doesn’t get anywhere near as cold as the rest of Massachusetts, however, tucked away in a warmer spot, but depending on when you arrive, you may still be able to experience the thrill of exploring a snow-covered beach. Keep your cameras on hand as you approach, noticing how the snow gives the beach the appearance of those warmer ones in Florida, appearing to be white sand instead of icy crystals. And if you really want a treat, First Beach is our local dog beach, giving visitors the opportunity to check our furriest of residents, or if you are staying in one of our pet friendly escapes, providing sweet Sadie the opportunity to frolic as well!

The rest of this first day may consist of enjoying a steaming bowl of creamy clam chowder (New England style, of course!) at Captain’s Scotts, located at 71 Tupper Road, and maybe purchasing groceries to stock your kitchen at home. Lambert’s Farm Market, found at 271 Cotuit Road, provides farm fresh foods and a deli that is always stocked with delicious sandwiches.

A Step Back in Time

Now that you are acclimatized to the time change, you can perhaps sleep in a little later on day two, staying in for a home-cooked breakfast (those farm fresh eggs from Lambert’s are such a treat on a cold and snowy day, as is the fresh brewed coffee you can keep brewing in your fully equipped kitchen) before bundling up to explore places that have been in existence for centuries! The Hoxie House Museum, located at 18 Water Street, is billed as the Cape’s oldest still standing home, having been constructed in 1675. Built in the classic Saltbox style and remarkably occupied without electricity, plumbing, or HVAC until the 1950s, this stunning structure presents an authentic peek at what life on Cape Cod must have been like for those early settlers. (Tours are not offered in the winter months, but exploring the grounds where those early settlers once walked is still an experience you will never forget.)

After lunch at the Next Door Burger Bar, 8 Jarves Street, you might want to make sure you have your walking shoes on because as the snow continues to fall, you will be exploring the aisles of the Sandwich Antiques Center, 131 MA-6A. Offering 5000 square feet of items that have stood the test of time, this peek into the past can actually be brought home when you find a battered pewter candle holder that may have graced the tables of the original pilgrims or a colorful woven rug from the 19th century, that although it may be too large to carry home in your luggage, could quite possibly be shipped!

For those who are still full after their burgers at lunch, but are still seeking a light meal, tea at the Dunbar House Tea Room & Wine Bar is always a good idea, adding yet another touch of authenticity to your Sandwich escape into the past. Located in a 19th century carriage house, history surrounds every sip you take and every bite you savor, and high tea here closely resembles those enjoyed in the old country, something we are sure the original pilgrims missed very much in those early and much harsher days in Sandwich!

Your Wild Card of a Day

Day three can go in a lot of different directions, and as always, remember, these are just a few suggestions as to how to fill your winter hours in Sandwich! Depending on whether this is your last full day on the Cape or it’s the center point of a luxe and wonderful getaway, you may want to take today to seek out souvenirs to help you remember your time in paradise! Breakfast at Cape Cod Donuts, 66 MA-6A, sounds like a delicious idea, and so fortified with sugar and caffeine, it’s time to move on to the shopping phase of your vacation!

Stores with whimsical names such as The Spotted Cod (153 Main Street), Painted Daisies (679 Old King’s Highway), and Salty Girl Studios (130 MA-6A) are all open and waiting for you to peruse through their wares. The last shop also offers an online presence, so if you see something that is too large to carry home with you, be sure to visit online and snatch that wonderful prize right up!

Today may be a great day to sample a Massachusetts favorite, the lobster roll, and heading to Captain Scotts for lunch could be an excellent idea! For those who are leaving tomorrow, (We are so sad to see you go, but safe travels and be sure to visit again!) today is the perfect day for a road trip, heading out and about for the opportunity to see your first lighthouse in the wild and maybe take a family photo in front of your favorite, destined to grace the front of your annual Christmas card. There are 14 lighthouses on Cape Cod—16 if you count the 3 Sisters separately, but as they are so close together, we tend to stick with the number 14! Again, during this winter visit, there won’t be any tours open. but being able to pose in front of the most photographed lighthouse on Cape Cod, Nauset Light in Eastham, which is also the lighthouse on the bag of Cape Cod Potato Chips, or simply scanning the views available from where any of the lighthouses are perched, is a life experience you would kick yourself for missing.

Holiday Adventures

If your winter escape to the Cape takes place during the holidays, you are in for such a treat, extending far beyond a white Christmas! Greet each morning with a sunrise walk on the chilly beaches, perhaps noticing that as beautiful as Sandwich is all decked out for Christmas, its light show simply does not compare to Mother Nature. However, you will probably spend your days visiting the shops we mentioned earlier, shopping for gifts for family that reflect the beauty of Cape Cod, but it is the nights where this holiday comes to life! Watch the lighting of the littlest Christmas tree, something that generally takes place on the first Sunday in December at the Thornton Burgess Museum, or be prepared to have your breath taken away by the sight of the Giants of Sandwich, massive light displays created from twisted metal and rebar. The Sandwich Glass Museum often offers a Light up the World display. A visit to the Heritage Museum and Gardens provides a peaceful walk through their Gardens Aglow exhibit, which may also offer your kiddos the chance to meet Santa! He is generally stationed in the antique car building, offering hot cocoa with marshmallows and the ability to make Christmas all that more magical for your children! The Charles Dicken Dinner, held in mid-December at Dunbar House Tea Room & Wine Bar, sells out early, but if you make your reservations months in advance you can enjoy a four-course English dinner that would be the pride of the newly reformed Ebenezer Scrooge and his new friend Tiny Tim! Ending with the traditional plum pudding and also offering Christmas caroling, this event is destined to make your holidays shine brighter.

Christmas Part 2

Sandwich isn’t the only game in town, and although you may spend a majority of time exploring all it has to offer during your winter getaway, there are enough Christmas activities taking place all over Cape Cod to warrant a part two, making your 5th and possibly final day in our winter wonderland even more special.

The Yarmouth Port Christmas Stroll, held the first Sunday in December, offers trolley rides, live music, entertainment and treats that make the holiday that much sweeter and ends with a caroling ceremony on the Village Green, beginning at 4:15. That first weekend in December is a busy one, with Brewster offering its Holiday Windmill Lighting, and Harwich sponsoring a Holiday Market and Open House with special live performances and over 20 vendors exhibiting their wares for sale. Mashpee’s Season of Celebration and Annual Mashpee Chamber Christmas Parade takes place the second weekend in December, and the Holidays at Highfield begin the end of November, generally lasting through the second week of December. This fun event is held at the Highfield Hall & Gardens and offers spectacular decorations, crafting opportunities, even a model train setup that never ceases to impress! And finally, the Cape Symphony presents a holiday extravaganza in Dennis every year, offering a soulful exploration of your favorite Christmas songs.

As you drive through the dark night, lit only by stars and Christmas lights, back into Sandwich, perhaps seeking one last dinner before it is time to wake up, start packing, and return back to reality, a seafood dinner that reflects the taste of Cape Cod is our final suggestion. Fisherman’s View Seafood Market & Restaurant, located at 20 Freezer Road, provides varying menus of the freshest seafood in town and with its views of the seas an occasional live entertainment, this night will reach a Cape Cod magic of surprising proportions!

Come Again Soon!

Now that you’ve experienced Sandwich, and Cape Cod, in the winter months, it is time to contact us and start planning many more return trips, perhaps in the fall or in the summer next time? Our New England Vacation Rentals seasonal sanctuaries will always be there to welcome you with warmth and comfort, no matter what the season. Reserve your favorite property with us today!