Sandwich, MA, on Cape Cod not far from the mainland, welcomes your family with places of natural beauty and family exploration like nothing you’ve ever experienced.
Heritage Museums and Gardens is a vast property that spreads across woods, fields and hollows, with enchantment everywhere. First, of course, are the lavish gardens of Cape Cod native flowers, featuring enormous hydrangeas all summer. Kids can dive into Hidden Hollow, a sheltered play area in a dried-out kettle hole with lots of activities to learn about a nature.
Buildings on the property house gleaming antique cars from the early and most-extravagant days of auto design (you can ride for a small fee). Art collections are bolstered this summer with the special exhibit: “Painted Landscapes: Contemporary Views.” See contemporary painters present the traditional genre of landscape painting in compelling new ways.
The Hart Family Maze Garden captures the intrigue of a classical maze by using vines and hedges to create opaque walls and transparent windows with wisteria, clematis, honeysuckle, and Japanese hydrangea. Or you can cool your spirit in the labyrinth of crushed shells and pink granite.
Heritage can easily take up a full day, but don’t miss a chance to visit the Sandwich Boardwalk, a brilliant structures that arches across acres and acres of tidal marsh meadows to reach from land to the beach. The views of marshland and runnels of water on all sides and vast sky vaulting above is stunning.
The center of town is Water Street, marked by a sweet little park and gristmill. In town, enjoy manmade beauty at Sandwich Glass and take home a piece of the glassmaker’s art. For a quaint dining experience, go to the Dunbar House Restaurant and Tea Room and 1 Water Street, smack in the middle of Sandwich. Enjoy lunch and afternoon tea every day at the wine bar or English tavern, overlooking Shawme Pond. (This isn’t the choice for dusty or weary kids. For boisterous families, try Seafood Sam’s on Coast Guard Road.)