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Sandwich, Mass. Oldest Town on Cape Cod

Boating, dockage and reservations in Sandwich, MA

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The Town that Glass Built

Settled in 1637, incorporated in 1639 makes Sandwich the oldest town on Cape Cod. Its namesake derived from the seaport Sandwich, Kent, England based on the meaning “a trading center on sand” can be attributed in part to Sandwich’s sandy seacoast beaches and shallow protected harbor on Cape Cod Bay. During the 1800’s her port played an important role in exporting Sandwich glass. It was from Boston & Sandwich Glass Company’s prosperity that grew the town of Sandwich.

Today, Sandwich is a most welcoming historic seaside community surrounded by Cape Cod Bay, coastal marshes and bogs, and the Cape Cod Canal. Steeped in early American history Sandwich’s preserved heritage can be discovered in any one of 10 local museums. Many homes are National Landmark treasures dating back to the 1600s. Stroll along any of the sidewalks that lead through Sandwich village you will be taken back in time where you will find quaint colonial homes with blooming cottage gardens, steepled churches, and working glass and mill museums in Town Hall Square. Sandwich Town Hall of Greek Revival architecture with its massive columns was built in 1834 and recently restored back to its grandeur as was the adjacent outdoor spring fed drinking fountain.

For a brief history and a complete list of historical houses, landmarks and museums visit Sandwich Historical Commission.

Where to Dock

Sandwich Marina, once known as a harbor of refuge, makes an excellent stopping port to explore the Town of Sandwich. Mariners heading north to Maine or seeking a great Cape Cod summer destination, the town’s marina is located at the east-end of the Cape Cod Canal and is conveniently located to many of Sandwich’s historic attractions. It’s advisable to contact the marina ahead of voyage for available dockage.

Things to see and do

Sandwich Glass Museum, Dexter’s Grist Mill, Christopher Wren Church, Heritage Museum and Gardens, Cape Cod Canal Museum, Cape Cod Canal bike trail, Sandwich Boardwalk, Public Library Archives, Hoxie House, Thornton Burgess House, are high points of interest in Sandwich’s history all within easy walking/biking distance from Sandwich Marina. To extend your Cape Cod visit, hop aboard a Cape Cod Regional Transit bus from Stop & Shop Plaza to downtown Hyannis to board a train and ride the rails of Cape Cod.

To help with planning your voyage to Sandwich Marina visit Sandwich Chamber of Commerce for upcoming events and links to Sandwich attractions.

Restaurants, Provisions and Shops

All within the Marina’s compound, if you get hungry, Seafood Sams has the best fried clams and lobster bisque, Pilot House has great clam chowder and outdoor dining, cool off with an ice cream cone from The Shipwreck, and for the freshest catch of the day including live lobsters head to Joe’s Lobster Mart.

Just outside the Marina’s entrance you will find retail stores, more restaurants, pizza and deli shops, liquor stores for beer, wine, and stronger libations, Sandwich Ship Supply, a CVS, Aubuchon hardware, and a huge Stop &  Shop. Main Street Sandwich offers up a gourmet sandwich cafe, homemade bakery goods and pastries, a coffee house, fine dining, and an eclectic mix of retail boutiques. Regional banks include Bank of America, TD Bank North, Citizens, and Eastern.

Navigating Tips

The best time to transit the Cape Cod Canal is with the tide. An outgoing (low) tide the currents in the canal run east. An incoming (high) tide the currents in the canal run west. The US Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for the operations and maintenance of the canal. Visit their website for canal passage and up-to-date tide charts.


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