Going Ashore

The area immediately around the Boat Basin has developed into a kind of destination in its own right. The paths along the Canal attract runners, bikers and 'bladers. The marina and launch ramp draw boaters. And fishermen ply the banks of the Canal and the waters of Cape Cod Bay whenever the weather allows. So the foot traffic, boat traffic, and easy parking, along with the oddly compelling scenery of the Canal, have begotten among other things a little playground at the head of the Basin and the reliably good Aqua Grill -- a sports bar-cum-seafood restaurant -- next to the Marina.

Sandwich proper, however, grew up and prospered before the existence of the Canal, so the actual town is built around former stagecoach roads and rail lines, not the Boat Basin. It's about a mile on foot from the marina to town, and the way isn't obvious, neither from the ground nor the chart. Some directions and the local tourist map can prevent aimless wandering through the commercial zones outside of town.

Once in town, though, aimless wandering can be just the thing. Sandwich is compact, full of old houses, pretty streets and galleries, with the occasional pond or park.

East of town, a causeway and boardwalk cross Mill Creek to the beach on Town Neck. Acres of tidal creeks and salt marshes on either side are a nice complement to the industrial Canal and manicured village.

sandwich boardwalk
Geoff Rand
Thousands of residents and local businesses bought inscribed planks to help fund the reconstruction of the Sandwich Boardwalk following Hurricane Bob in 1991.
antique saltbox
Geoff Rand

One Hour Ashore

The Boat Basin is pretty isolated; you'll spend most of an hour crossing vast parking lots or walking busy roads to get inland. Instead, take a quick walk along the Canal to the entrance. It's an effective way to check conditions outside. And watching a few boats go by will build appreciation for the current.

Off the Beaten Path

The boardwalk through the marshes east of town is popular with residents, but it's a world away from the Canal.

Maritime History

The Cape Cod Canal Visitor Center, run by the Corps of Engineers, has nice exhibits on building the Canal a century ago and operating it today. The low, red-roofed building is just east of the marina. Free.

Rainy Day

Take your pick of historic houses, the Sandwich Glass Museum, or the Thornton W. Burgess ("Peter Rabbit") Museum.

Facilities

  • Dinghy
  • Showers
  • Restrooms
  • Trash
  • Info

Showers and restrooms are in a separate building, by the launch ramp at the head of the basin. Available 24 hours; get the combination from the dockmaster at check-in.

Dumpsters are across from the dock office, on the road to the showers.

The pamphlet "Walking Guide of Historic Sandwich Village" , available from the Marina Office, is helpful.