In the flexing arm of Cape Cod, the town of Brewster, Massachusetts, and neighboring Dennis would be the biceps. Protected by the rest of the “arm,” Brewster’s Cape Cod Bay beaches offer water that is often calmer and warmer than on the ocean-facing side of the Cape. Settled in 1656, Brewster is today home to not just beautiful beaches but also classic old sea captains’ homes (many of which now serve as B&Bs or inns) and other historic structures, a bevy of antiques shops, and some of the best restaurants on the Cape. Here’s a look at some of our favorite things to do in Brewster, MA.
The coastline of Brewster includes a series of beautiful public beaches along Cape Cod Bay, starting with Crosby Landing to the east and proceeding through Linnell Landing, Ellis Landing, Point of Rocks Landing, Breakwater Beach, Saint’s Landing, Mant’s Landing (Robbins Hill Beach), and Paine’s Creek Beach to the west. A trip to any of these beaches at low tide is a great way to experience the Brewster Flats, as more than a mile of sandbars, clam beds, and tidal pools are revealed by the receding water. Although the Atlantic Ocean is the star of the show, the inland beaches and fresh waters of Long Pond, Sheep Pond, and Upper Mill Pond are rightfully popular as well.
Cape Cod Rail Trail
The Cape Cod Rail Trail is a popular bike path that follows a former railroad right-of-way for 22 miles through the towns of Dennis, Harwich, Brewster, Orleans, Eastham, and Wellfleet. The trail also accommodates horseback riders, walkers, and runners. The Brewster portion of the trail traverses Nickerson State Park (where there are public restrooms) and runs roughly parallel to Old King’s Highway (Rte. 6A) for a stretch. Bike rentals, food and drink, and beach access are available in multiple locations along the way.
Cape Cod Museum of Natural History
As a museum of natural history, nature education center, and steward of conservation land, the 17,000-square-foot Cape Cod Museum of Natural History hosts displays of local artifacts and traveling exhibits, offers classes and educational programs for children and adults, and conserves some 400-plus acres of natural habitat, including salt marshes, Wing’s Island, and the beach area between Quivett and Paine’s creeks. A full day could be well spent touring the museum’s whale and bird exhibits, walking the nature trails, and enjoying the wildflower garden.
Historic Homes, Buildings, and Districts
Brewster is home to some notable historic structures, many of which are open to the public. The Brewster Historical Society is a good place to start, since it is now housed in the 1799 Elijah Cobb House on Lower Road. The historical society also maintains the 1795 Higgins Farm Windmill, now located in Drummer Boy Park (where it was moved in 1974). The Brewster Old King’s Highway Historic District includes much of the territory immediately surrounding a 3-mile stretch of Route 6A (Old King’s Highway); among the highlights are the 1881 Old Town Hall, the 1868 Brewster Ladies Library (the first purpose-built library building on Cape Cod), and a cemetery dating back to 1707. The c. 1659 Dillingham House is one of the oldest buildings on Cape Cod, as well as one of its few remaining historic saltbox structures. The mill at the scenic Stony Brook Grist Mill and Museum still operates on summer weekends, when visitors watch the waterwheel turn and purchase fresh-ground corn meal.
Brewster Outdoor Fun
For water-based thrills and exercise, SUPfari Adventures offers instruction in stand-up paddling, swimming, floating yoga, and a lot more, as well as on-the-water eco-tours that entertain while they educate. If an afternoon on the links is more your speed, Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Club boasts the Cape’s only Nicklaus Design golf course, while the more accessible Captains Golf Course serves up two 18-hole courses that are open to the public. But if the big courses seem a bit daunting, you may opt instead to step up to the obstacles and hazards of Harbor Lights Mini Golf, where you can drown your sorrows in ice cream if you fail to make par. Hook the fish of a lifetime during a day on the seas with Coastal Charters Sportfishing, which specializes in small-group fishing excursions both inland and offshore.
Brewster has a lot to offer and it is truly a special place in all of our hearts on the Cape. Come experience and see why!