Cape Cod Road Trip: Harwich
You won’t have to spend too long in Harwich to figure out why this quaint Lower Cape community has been named one of Coastal Living’s "Happiest Seaside Towns."
With its beautiful beaches, access to the Cape Cod Rail Trail, classic charm and small-town feel, your first to visit Harwich will likely not be your last.
No trip to Harwich is complete without a stop to the stunning and luxurious Wequassett Resort & Golf Club, the Cape’s only five-star resort on Forbes’ Travel Guide. Even non-guests can dine at Wequassett’s posh Twenty-Eight Atlantic or relaxing LiBAYtion and Outer Bar & Grille, all of which offer al fresco dining with awe-inspiring views of Pleasant Bay.
From the end of June through August, the resort hosts some of the top musicians in the country every Tuesday and Wednesday evening as part of its annual Cape Cod Jazz Festival. A light menu and cocktails are served during the performances on the resort's Garden Terrace.
For more entertainment, head on over to the Cape Cod Theatre Company (home of the Harwich Junior Theatre), where the stage has been set with a mix of mainstream fare, family-friendly productions, and thought-provoking plays.
History buffs should fit in a stop at the Harwich Historical Society, where you can learn everything you need to know about Harwich’s connection to the cranberry. These lessons will serve as a great precursor to Harwich’s annual Cranberry Arts & Crafts Festival, held every September. The festival is not only an ode to the tasty red fruit, it’s a celebration that features an old-fashioned CranJam with some of the region’s top artisans. During the summer, festival organizers host popular craft fairs at Brooks Park.
One town over from Chatham, Harwich shares something in common with its neighbor to the east – an abundance of seals. That makes its Monomoy Island Excursions a favorite sightseeing activity for spotting these ocean creatures in their natural habitat.
Ocean Runner Cape Cod Boat Tours also provides a fun opportunity to get out on the water. Their trips encompass everything from sunset tours and birdwatching trips to seal watching cruises and day trips to Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard or Cuttyhunk.
If you're looking to haul in the catch of the day, charter a private trip with Yankee Deep Sea Fishing. Owner Clem Kacergis is familiar with Cape waters and where the fish are hungriest, thanks to more than 37 years of experience as a boat captain.
After celebrating your catch, continue your Cape adventure with a round of golf at Cranberry Valley Golf Course, one of the region’s most challenging public courses with well-designed holes.
A favorite summer tradition on Cape Cod is a Cape Cod Baseball League game. Take part in that tradition at Whitehouse Field, home of the Harwich Mariners. The team has been the launching pad for several current MLB players, including Derek Fisher of the Houston Astros, Mike Wright of the Baltimore Orioles, and Alex Avila of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Grab a blanket, order some popcorn, and make a night of it.
All outdoor adventures on Cape Cod at some point involve our gorgeous beaches. And before you head to one of Harwich's (Red River Beach is a local favorite), snag a locally-made chair from the Cape Cod Beach Chair Company. The brand’s products have been featured on the Today Show, Men’s Journal and Coastal Living, and the durable, colorful chairs - designed by lifelong beach lover Justin Labdon - are a great keepsake of your Cape Cod trip.
Cap off your day in Harwich with dinner out! The Mad Minnow is a restaurant that more than lives up to its name, with its abundance of tasty seafood offerings, from its crab cake tater tots and tuna cannoli to its classic clam chowder. And 400 East Restaurant & Bar is a great find for grilled thin crust pizzas, charbroiled steaks & seafood, and Sunday brunch.
If all of that doesn't make you feel just a little happy, then take a visit for yourself!
Blogger's Note: This is part of a series of "Road Trip" blogs spotlighting each of Cape Cod's distinctive towns and villages!