Cape Cod Travel

5 things to do when visiting Sandwich

Check out a historic home, restaurants on the water, glass blowing, and more.

The Hoxie House in Sandwich is one of the oldest homes on the Cape. Sandwich Recreation Department

Sandwich is the oldest town on Cape Cod. It is also one of the largest, but it certainly doesn’t feel like it, according to Taylor White, town clerk since 2009.

“It’s like a little Mayberry,” White said. “We’re almost to 20,000 people, but you still have that small town feel.”

The town was founded in 1639.

“Sandwich is a great historic town,” White said. “It’s a bedroom community. There’s not a lot of industry here, but we have a lot of rich history. We have a lot of rich culture.”

Ahead, White offers his picks for what to see and do in Sandwich.

Check out a historic house

Sandwich is home to one of the oldest homes on the Cape, according to White: the 1675 Hoxie House.


The saltbox house on a hill overlooking Shawme Pond was built by Rev. John Smith, who lived there in the 17th century with his wife and 13 children. It was purchased by whaling captain Abraham Hoxie in the mid-19th century. 

The historic structure was acquired by the town of Sandwich in the 1950s, renovated, and turned into a museum. Though the house is currently closed, it typically opens seasonally for tours, White said.

“If you’re looking to experience a piece of history, it’s not often you get to walk into these homes that were built in the 1600s and get a tour of it,” White said. “For history buffs, it’s a great experience.”

Eat seafood — and also Italian

For an excellent seafood meal by the water, head to The Pilot House and Fishermen’s View, White said.

The Pilot House, with its outdoor seating, gazebo bar, and Adirondack chairs along the Cape Cod Canal, is “the place to be,” White said. Fishermen’s View, which is a little more upscale, offers beautiful views of the canal and Sandwich Marina, he said.

Though the area is known for its seafood, don’t overlook Tomatoes Italian Bar & Grill, which serves the best Italian food on the Cape, said White.


“It’s one of the most popular restaurants in town,” White said. “People come from all over. Celebrities have dined there.”

Glass blowing at the Sandwich Glass Museum. Sandwich Glass Museum

Witness glass blowing

Sandwich is known as “the glass town,” White said.

The Sandwich Glass Museum, which draws visitors from across the country, details the history of the Boston & Sandwich Glass Company, which opened in 1825.

“The Boston & Sandwich Glass Company was world renowned for its glass blowing,” White said. “It brought people to sandwich. Sandwich grew exponentially during that time period.”

The museum features its extensive glass collection as well as exhibitions by current glass blowing artists.

“It’s a neat place to see,” White said. “Glassblowers demonstrate the art of glass blowing.

Guests can watch experts blow glass drawn from the museum’s furnace and press it into shapes during a 20-minute demonstration every hour.

White noted that he serves on the museum’s board.

Explore nature

When White wants to spend time in nature, he enjoys strolling the East Sandwich Game Farm. The 133-acre site in East Sandwich borders Talbot’s Point Conservation Area, and together the two areas offer more than 245 acres of open space for exploring.

The former game farm, now used for recreation, is owned by the state and maintained by the Thornton W. Burgess Society, which has cleaned up the area over the years by demolishing buildings and pens, mowing fields, and adding walking trails.


Visitors will find foot bridges, wildlife, forest, salt marsh, fields, and fresh water ponds. The society hosts environmental education programs on the property throughout the year.

“It’s a great spot,” said White. “There’s some beautiful bridges. A lot of people bring their dogs out there.”

The property is open to the public from dawn to dusk.

Another place where White enjoys spending time is the town’s popular Sandwich Boardwalk, which is currently undergoing renovations and is not open.

East Sandwich Beach in Sandwich.  Photography by Anne-Marie / flickr

Reader recommendations

Food and beverage:

Cafe Chew@vaness6589, @noondaydreams, @jenrae_

Fishermen’s View @vaness6589, @kejahn

Marshland Restaurants & Bakeries@debahl

Off the Grid@vaness6589

Phatty’s Burrito Bar@kwilzie

Seafood Sam’s @meomollo, @debahl

Snowy Owl Coffee Roasters@jjmros, @acbrennan86, @amacattack12

The Brown Jug@caramaecapecod

The Pilot House@vaness6589, @noondaydreams, @daisyreh18

The Seal @caramaecapecod

Tree House Brewing Company@kejahn, @daisyreh18, @tollsky, @weaverzk, @_draxx

Twin Acres Ice Cream Shoppe@daisyreh18


Cape Cod Canal @meomollo

East Sandwich Beach@jenrae_, @samannferrari

Heritage Museums & Gardens@jjmros, @daisyreh18, @historiccapecod, @jmds1982

Modern Vintage @vaness6589, @dfougere, @daisyreh18

Peters Pond@kthayes12

Sandwich Boardwalk (under repair)— @katyakhazh, @caramaecapecod, @vaness6589, @dfougere

Sandwich Glass Museum @historiccapecod, @sri_osuri, @redsoxchickie, @debahl, @tschuliba

Talbot’s Point Conservation Lands@noondaydreams

Town Neck Beach @noondaydreams, @daisyreh18, @stutzz33


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