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Brewster, Cape Cod

In the mid-1800s, there were said to be more masters and mates of vessels roaming the globe belonging to Brewster than any other town in the country. Though those glory days of seafaring have long past, many of the historic sea captains’ mansions and estates lining Brewster's Route 6A have been beautifully restored into bed & breakfasts, art galleries, craft studios and antique shops.

There is no real village center to this rural town, but the 19th century Brewster General Store is a nostalgic gathering place at one of the town’s main crossroads. Its Main Street, Route 6A, is lined with fine eateries and boutique shops. Just off the main way, the herring still run upstream in spring to the 1660 Stony Brook Mill.

The centerpiece of Brewster’s Drummer Boy Park on Route 6A is Old Higgins Farm Windmill, built in 1795. Throughout the summer, the park hosts family-friendly events, from live concerts to craft fairs, which add to the small-town New England-feel of the public park. Brewster’s beaches all border calm, scenic Cape Cod Bay. What makes its coastline especially unique are the Brewster Flats, a naturally reoccurring phenomenon that takes place during low tide, revealing sandbars and tidal pools extending nearly a mile into the bay, which are filled with an abundance of sea life. The flats are said to represent the widest such stretch in all of North America.

The outdoor adventures don’t end there, thanks to Nickerson State Park, which comprises 400 acres of trails, camping areas and freshwater ponds, along with eight miles of bike path that's connected to the Cape Cod Rail Trail. Brewster’s 800-acre Punkhorn Parklands is a favorite of mountain bikers, and Brewster is home to two of the best golf courses in the region.

Not only can you connect with nature in Brewster, but the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History can help you better understand it. Featuring two floors of exhibit space, the museum also abuts 300 acres of town-owned conservation land with nature trails to explore, taking you through woodlands, salt marshes and the shores of Cape Cod Bay. It’s a perfect setting for birders, which explains why it’s also the meeting place for the Cape Cod Bird Club.

Some of Brewster’s rich history can be found in the circa 1770 First Parish Brewster Universalist Unitarian Church whose pews are marked with the names of 99 famous Brewster sea captains. The Crosby Mansion is another of the Cape’s historical gems, wrapped in a love story over a century old. In the late 1800s, Albert Crosby went west to make his fortune and returned to the Cape to build his bride this three-story, 35-room mansion with sweeping views of Cape Cod Bay. overlooking the Bay. Tours of the once neglected and now restored mansion are offered in season. Antiquing is popular in Brewster, and galleries in town offer everything from watercolor prints and photography to pottery and tapestry. Live theater is offered year-round at Cape Rep Theatre, a repertory troupe which stages productions in a 135-seat indoor theater, as well as outdoors in season in the tree-locked natural amphitheater.

Find more information on Brewster through the Brewster Chamber of Commerce.