Cape Cod Travel

A ‘charming’ small town in Mass. just ranked among the 15 best to visit in 2022

You'll find it on the Cape.

Chatham Light in Chatham. Dina Rudick/Globe Staff

A seaside destination in Massachusetts favored by shark lovers is one of the top small towns in America, according to Smithsonian magazine.

The publication recently released a list of the 15 best small towns to visit in 2022 and included “charming” Chatham.

“This year’s 15 small towns inspire our hearts and minds, and encourage us to get out and explore,” the magazine wrote.

Chatham is “a shark lover’s small town,” wrote the magazine, noting the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy and Chatham Shark Center.

Other Chatham gems highlighted by the publication include the Chatham Marconi Maritime Center, Chatham Pier Fish Market, Cuvée at Chatham Inn, and the town’s “bustling Main Street brimming with fun stores.” Oh, and its annual History Week, taking place June 17-19.


“The 48-foot-tall Chatham Light is part of an active-duty Coast Guard Station that helps protect the town’s 66 miles of shoreline,” the publication wrote. “Tours of the lighthouse, as well as seal tours highlighting the playful marine mammals who frolic in the waters off Chatham Light Beach, are available each summer.” 

Another New England destination made the list: Newport, R.I., famous for its sailing, Gilded Age mansions, Newport Jazz Festival, and more.

The 15 best small towns all have a population of 25,000 or under and lots of cultural offerings and natural beauty, as well as a compelling reason to visit this year, according to the magazine.

View the entire list of 15 best small towns to visit in 2022.


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