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The calm before the crowds in Chatham

Photos by Ellen Albanese for the Boston Globe

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Known best for its beaches and lighthouse, this town at the elbow of Cape Cod is sleepy at this time of year. But the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge yields lovely views on a sunny winter day, restaurants offer creative and upscale cuisine, and there’s room to browse in the many shops and galleries. Be sure to check out the Orpheum Theater, the culmination of a two-year effort to bring movies back to Main Street in a restored a 1916 cinema that stands as a monument to the town’s artistic sensibilities and community spirit.

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