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Local Betty Field Trip: Chatham, MA Like a Local

We’ve asked Hingham locals that spend their summers in Chatham for some of their secrets to enjoying a day, a week, or a summer on the Cape in this wonderful town.

Food:

Monomoy Coffee advertises “best lattes around” for those latte fanatics, and they have good coffee too, but the best place for coffee is the Chatham Coffee Company on route 28 in North Chatham. A real coffee house with open mic on Sundays 2-5pm where you can hear local musicians play and poets read. Head to their famous cupcake bar or sample some of their homemade ice cream – go ahead, its vacation! des ert for breakfast is allowed.

Chatham Cookware on Main Street – best breakfast and lunch sandwiches in town. Try the Sandpiper or No Wake for lunch. Best of all they’ll make box lunches for beach days!

The Squire – yes, some know The Squire from college nights way back when but by day and into the early evening it’s a great place to dine with kids. Video games and foosball keep the kids entertained while you have an actual conversation with another adult. How novel.

Carmines Pizza on Route 28 has the best pizza in town, old world flair with California-style toppings.

Chatham Village Café on Main Street has a great selection of sandwiches from PB&J to the Green Monster Wrap.

A hidden gem privy to only the locals, try the Corner Store on Queen Anne Road. Best burritos in town [breakfast, lunch and dinner]. On Friday only they serve blackened fish tacos -nothing beats them!

Beaches:

Oyster Pond Beach is great for young kids as there aren’t any waves, there is a lifeguard on duty and most importantly, there are bathrooms and outdoor showers. Located near town and parking is available for no fee.

Schoolhouse Pond on Schoolhouse Road is a great fresh water option. A swimming beach popular with children and young families, it’s also great for kayaking, fishing and catching frogs. Resident parking only, so if you are renting a house be sure to ask about resident stickers.

Jackknife Beach at Pleasant bay off Route 28 is also good for kayaking, swimming and catching crabs, horseshoe crabs, and minnows. It’s a sheltered cove with shallower water, good for the toddlers –but no lifeguards or restrooms. There is ample parking [no fee] with fewer crowds.

Harding’s Beach. Another great town beach with lifeguards on duty, restrooms, and plenty of parking [although you do have to pay for parking here]. Harding’s Beach faces Nantucket Sound so the waves are small and the water is warm. Great for long walks, beach games and sandcastle building.

Clafin Landing next to the Chatham Bars Inn on Shore Road has a good beach with good sand. There isn’t a lifeguard so this might be the spot to go with your honey and relax on a beautiful beach sans kids. Parking is limited so get there early.

Lighthouse Beach is good for older kids as well as the younger set. Just be aware it’s a large beach with more of an undertow and larger waves. Pay attention to “no swim area” signs posted. This beach is not monitored by lifeguards. It’s good for walking, kite flying and seal spotting.

Kid's Activities:

Friday Night Band Concerts - in the center of town at Kate Gould Park on Main Street -get a chair or a towel out early to get a spot and sit back and enjoy the music. Friday night band concerts start at 8pm.

Cape Code League Baseball – the Chatham A’s baseball team play night games as well as hold camps that are available to kids. The games are free and the Veterans Field playground is right there for those moments of squirminess. Join the pack of kids chasing foul balls.

Mini Golf - Right over the border into Orleans is the best mini-golf in town, fun for all ages. You must stop at the store across the street where you’ll find every souvenir trinket you want but don’t need [kids love it].

Candy Manor on Main Street in Chatham. Good ole’ penny candy approach - selecting from bins of candy. Fun, fun, fun, need we say more.

Ben Franklin’s on Main Street – a classic 5 & Dime with good beach goodies and toys. It can get crowded so leave the stroller outside if you can.

Ice Cream – according to locals there are only two places to go: Emack & Bolios on Kent place, or Buffy’s on Main Street. Charm factor? Buffy’s is quaint and charming, even the sign is oh so Chatham and it’s homemade ice cream too. Emack and Bolios is a chain and perhaps lacks the charm of Buffy’s but the ice cream merits a special trip into town.

Tours of Chatham Lights on Wednesdays at 1pm for kids over 5. Free Admission.

Rent Another Form of Transportation
The Rail Trail Bike and Kayak
Chatham Cycle

Watch a Cape Cod Baseball Game - It's laid back old fashioned fun, a no fidgeting 9 innings as the kids have plenty of room to roam.

Fishing. Great fishing for kids from the wooden bridge on Bridge Street. Get your bait and bobber and hook into some snapper, blue fish, or stripers.There is a great kid’s party fishing boat in Harwich, Cap’n Kid Fishing Adventures. It’s a 2-hour trip and everyone catches fish.

Fish Pier. Chatham is an active, year round fishing port. Hit the Pier on shore Road in the afternoons to watch the fresh catch arrive [and seals who want the leftovers] It’s set up with an observation deck so visitors can easily watch the boats unload. On your way out, stop in Nickerson’s Fish and Lobster for some fresh seafood or come back later and pick up take out lobster…they’ll cook it for you.

Seal Tours. Chatham is home to thousands of grey and harbor seals. Go here for seal tours.

Monomoy Wildlife Refuge. Located on Morris Island, there are walking trails on the beach and through the marsh with educational materials along the way. Great for an early morning walk with a cup of coffee.

There you have it, now you too can do Chatham like a Cape insider- embroidered shorts and all.

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