Summer Guide Cape Cod

Summer Guide Cape Cod 2019

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Page 73 of 147 72 Cape Cod Bay over one mile to reveal sandbars, clam beds and tidal pools," said Hinkle. "At high tide, the water is warm and waves are gentle. There are seven town-run bayside beaches. " From the beach, be sure to visit Nicker- son State Park for camping, fishing, hiking and much more. With more than 1,900 acres of green land, the park offers wooden trails, eight freshwater ponds and more than 400 camp- sites. There is also an eight mile bike path that connects to the Cape Cod Rail Trail for cyclists interested in riding a portion of the 22 miles connecting the Cape towns. Harwich, the Birthplace of Cranberry Cultivation Driving south from Brewster, visitors will arrive in the vibrant community of Harwich. While whaling and fishing were booming in other ar- eas of the Cape and New England during the 19th century, Harwich had to turn its focus to a different type of industry due to its shallow ports, resulting in the town's roots in cranber- ry cultivation. Today, Harwich is known as the birthplace of commercial cranberry cultivation, and cranberries continue to be one of the top agricultural products in Massachusetts. The cranberry harvest season typically begins in Sep- tember and, during the early fall, visitors can enjoy a guided cranberry bog tour at the Cape Farm and Cranberry Company. The Harwich Historical Society Museum at Brooks Academy is another excellent resource to learn more about the history, as it features one of the largest exhibits on the cranberry culture of Cape Cod. While there, learn about how the Native Americans once used the berry, and how the English settlers adapted to learn how to best leverage the crop. The Harwich Historical Society Museum stands on promi- nent grounds, occupying a former two-room school for both young boys and girls. The his- toric schoolhouse,where the curriculum once included navigation, now chronicles several hundred years of history, with ancient artifacts, photographs and interactive exhibits. Several events throughout the summer commemorate Harwich's historic roots. The most popular event in town is the Harwich Cranberry Arts & Music Festival, a free two- day event held behind the Harwich Community Center. The celebration features over 150 local vendors selling handmade goods, live music, food trucks, games and more. Don't miss the fun this year on September 14-15. Throughout the summer, visitors can also take a stroll through Main Street in the village of Harwich Port and stop by several local gift shops, bakeries, restaurants and more. While on Main Street, be sure to catch "Music in the Port," free live concerts by local musicians every other Wednesday. Combining rich history, deep cranberry culture and summertime fun, Harwich is not to be missed. Chatham, a Fisherman's Town Nestled to the right of Harwich is Chatham, which is also the halfway point between Fal- mouth and Provincetown. With access to Nan- tucket Sound, Pleasant Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, Chatham is one of only two towns on the Cape that support large commercial fish- ing fleets. Learn more about the town's fishing indus- try at the Chatham Fish Pier where fishermen can be seen daily unloading their catch. A visi- tor's balcony provides a front row seat for those looking to watch the action. While at the pier, be sure to see a monument tribute to fisher- men, "The Provider." The sculpture depicts a strong hand pulling a fishing net from the sea, and was created by a local artist from Woods Hole. "The Provider" was dedicated in June 1992 and, today serves as a symbol of pride in the fishermen of Chatham. Where there is water, there are also beaches and Chatham has six saltwater beach- es from which to choose. One of the most popular beaches within the town is Chatham Lighthouse Beach, which features views of Cha- tham Light, an active lighthouse that aids boats in navigation. Chatham Lighthouse Beach also Cranberry Bog, Harwich Photo: Ben Nugent

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