5 things to do when visiting Brewster

From golfing to touring historic buildings to soaking in beach sunsets.

Sunset at Crosby Landing Beach in Brewster. Colette Williams

The Cape Cod town of Brewster is known as the “sea captain’s town” because more than 50 sea captains resided there in the 18th and 19th centuries, according to Colette Williams, town clerk for 12 years.

“It’s a beautiful little town with a lot to do,” Williams said. “There’s always something to enjoy or get out and see, whether you’re a pond person or an ocean person or a walking-through-a trail person.”

The Lower Cape town of about 10,000 residents balloons to about 30,000 people during the summer months, she said.

Ahead, Williams gives her picks for things to see and do in Brewster.

The Cobb House Museum in Brewster. Brewster Historical Society

Explore a sea captain’s home.

Brewster is proud of its sea captain history, and many of the homes once lived in by the captains have been restored and now serve as museums and bed-and-breakfasts.


“The mansions are spread around throughout the town,” she said.

For example, visitors can tour the 1799 Cobb House Museum, the former home of sea captain Elijah Cobb (1768-1848) and check out exhibits detailing the town’s history and sea-faring days. Those looking for overnight accommodations can book a stay at The Captain Freeman Inn, the 1866 former home of Captain William Freeman (1820-1911). The restored sea captain’s mansion is now a year-round bed and breakfast within walking distance of Breakwater Beach.

Some of the historic homes are on Brewster’s Cultural Trail, part of the town’s annual Brewster in Bloom celebration.

Play a round of golf.

Golfers enjoy The Captains Golf Course, Williams said. It offers two championship courses in one location: the par-72 Port Course and the par-72 Starboard Course.

“Each one of the holes is named after a sea captain,” Williams said.

You’re more likely to find Williams inside the clubhouse at Freeman’s Grill, one of her favorite restaurants in town. Her go-to menu item? The Cobb salad. Another restaurant she loves in town: Cafe Alfresco, which serves breakfast and lunch.

Bikers ride the Cape Cod Rail Trail. – Barry Chin / The Boston Globe

Spend time on a rail trail.

It’s worth hiking or biking the Cape Cod Rail Trail, a beautiful 25-mile trail through six Cape Cod towns including Brewster, Williams said.


“It’s pretty, it’s calming, it’s quiet,” Williams said.

Frommer’s named the Cape Cod Rail Trail one of the country’s best for family-friendly biking vacations.

Visitors can check out Nickerson State Park, located on the trail, a 1,900-acre park with wooded trails, ponds, and more than 400 campsites. Williams enjoys biking there with friends.

Brewster has plenty of freshwater ponds and some have public beaches, such as Fisherman’s Landing at the 152-acre Sheep Pond, which she accesses off the trail. It is one of the best trout ponds in the state.

“It’s the best pond in Brewster,” she said. “It’s beautiful. The water is so clear.”

Hit the beach.

Brewster is full of beaches, but Williams said her favorite sandy spot is the “beautiful” Saint’s Landing Beach. During warm-weather months, she enjoys lounging on the beach with friends and a picnic lunch.

Crosby Landing Beach is a great place to enjoy the Brewster Flats, Williams said. The tidal flats on the coastline of Cape Cod Bay, which stretch nearly 10 miles from Brewster to North Eastham, measure about 12,000 acres at low tide and are the largest flats in North America, according to

“If it’s low tide, the flats go out for ever,” she said, and the kids “have a grand old time” playing in the tidal pools, catching hermit crabs and periwinkles.


“In the summertime, you can sit on the beach all day and then at 4 o’clock you can head over to a [Brewster] Whitecaps game,” Williams said. “There’s something to do with your kids from morning until night.”

Monkfish served at The Brewster Fish House. – The Brewster Fish House

Readers recommended the following Brewster spots:

“Quaint town — has it all!” wrote @tczyz1.

“Sunset on the flats = the best in New England,” wrote @c_hawkinson.

For food and beverage:

Brewster Fish House@patticakez49, @diamonddave73

Cafe Alfresco@goldstein_dg

Cobies @labellavitacapecod

Eat Cake 4 Breakfast Bakery @z_couz14, @bec2841

Fare & Just Kitchen@kgwgram

Hopkins House Bakery & Gift Shop@realtimetierney

JT’s Seafood@patticakez49, @lil_kat_hill

Kate’s Seafood@goldstein_dg, @anitamcgahan, @gis4gucci

Laurino’s Tavern@kleegs

Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club@kleegs, @jennifergreene8877, @reycroft, @caraboston, @janehoward10, @mwilliamsreno, @edwardstori, @megeliz3190

Snowy Owl Coffee Roasters@lil_kat_hill, @goldstein_dg, @cathy_theresa, @labellavitacapecod, @bec2841, @brodskylauren

Spinnaker Restaurant @mwilliamsreno, @roger_canestrari

The Woodshed @goldstein_dg, @ericmbyers, @haleydegnan, @robthowes, @megeliz3190, @akeenan11, @robertmcauliffe

Sunset at Saint’s Landing Beach. Colette Williams

For retail and attractions:

The beaches — @bobbua

Brewster Baptist Church@reycroft

Breakwater Beach@kmbman, @patticakez49, @goldstein_dg, @gis4gucci

Brewster Book Store@patticakez49

Brewster Flats@reesey4848, @bec2841, @c_hawkinson, @jess_lutzker, @jmds1982

Brewster General Store@sarahkoessel, @z_couz14, @anitamcgahan, @bobbua, @paulgagliardi7402, @debahl

Brewster Herring Run@copperstacks, @anitamcgahan

Brewster Ladies’ Library@reycroft

Brewster Ponds Coalition@z_couz14

Brewster Whitecaps@bobbua, @chloeg104

Candelberry Inn @ber7718

Cape Cod Museum of Natural History@reycroft, @townenarrator

Cape Cod Rail Trail@cathy_theresa, @goldstein_dg, @reycroft, @kgwgram, @michellesylvesterr


Crocker Nurseries @ackhowe4

Crosby Landing Beach@lil_kat_hill

Crosby Mansion@goldstein_dg

Feretti’s Market @goldstein_dg

Great Cape Herbs @tcinco10, @gis4gucci

Linnell Landing Beach@reycroft

Long Pond @anitamcgahan

Millstone Liquors@reycroft

Nickerson State Park @patticakez49, @anitamcgahan, @reycroft , @lynchjf, @brodskylauren

Paine’s Creek Beach@eshaps44

Sunrises — @sidthekidnotthesloth

Sunsets — @slocke0117, @lydiaherlihy

Sydenstricker Glass@reycroft

The Captain Freeman Inn@lulicampbell

The Captains Golf Course@robthowes

The Woodshed @goldstein_dg, @ericmbyers, @haleydegnan, @robthowes, @megeliz3190, @akeenan11, @robertmcauliffe

Wing Island@sheilaepp

Visiting Mass. Guides:


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