Harwich is Seven Villages

  • Wequassett Inn, Harwich

Harwich is made up of seven wonderful, fun-filled villages that offer the beaches, boating, beauty and charm that make Cape Cod simply irresistible.  With outstanding shopping, dining, attractions, galleries and accommodations, no matter what the season – Harwich Has It All!!!

East Harwich

When leaving Route 6 at the old Exit 11, you drive along Route 137 into East Harwich and you find small businesses for all your home projects inside and outside. East Harwich is also known for a mix of home neighborhoods and commercial shops and restaurants.

Lovely Pleasant Bay forms part of East Harwich’s easternmost border and a drive along Route 28 provides marvelous scenic views as it hugs the bay on its way to Orleans. Nearby the Muddy River empties into Pleasant Bay and forms a portion of East Harwich’s border with Chatham. A cranberry bog sits close to Route 28 on the bay and often in the Fall during harvest season, drivers pull over to watch this very New England happening.

The picturesque Wequassett Inn, at the border of East Harwich and Chatham, stands overlooking Pleasant Bay.

To the west Hawksnest State Park, bordering Route 6, is comprised of 1300 acres of forests, kettle ponds and trails. Of its three ponds — Hawksnest, Oliver’s and Black — Hawksnest Pond offers the loveliest sandiest beach for swimming.

Harwich Center

Harwich Center is our Historic Center which recently has been designated as the Harwich Center Cultural District, the 52nd in the state of Massachusetts.

Between the stately Brooks Academy Museum and the handsome spired First Congregational Church, this village contains the most classically elegant architecture anywhere on the Cape. Indeed, the entire center of the village is on the National Historic Register.

A striking Greek revival building in the heart of Harwich Center, the Brooks Academy Museum, with its bright white facade and massive fluted doric columns, dates from 1844 and was built as a private school. It survived as a public school until 1963 when the new school opened nearby.

Currently under a major renovation as you see when driving by, when open the Brooks Academy building houses the Harwich Historical Society and within its walls can be found the history of Harwich in exhibits, books, programs and archives. Its friendly volunteers, many of whose families date back generations, are only too happy to share with visitors.

Most recently on permanent display is a comprehensive exhibit about the cranberry: its origins, cultivation and central role in the history of the town. Other exhibits have been the history of Captains Row in West Harwich as well as exhibits including a scale model working railroad depicting the old rail line between Hyannis and Orleans which takes up nearly an entire room. Train buffs of all ages have been flocking to see the model and give it rave reviews. Another display offers a new slant on the Civil War as seen through the eyes of Sidney Brooks who went to war as a member of the U.S. Christian Commission to minister to the spiritual needs of the men at the front. His letters home are riveting.

The First Congregational Church in its present form dates from 1854 and with its adjoining cemetery forms a stunning centerpiece of the village. The nearby Brooks Library offers a wealth of town history or “Harwichiana” in its Cahoon History Room, a fine Cape Verdean Collection, and a local author and painters section. Town offices are housed across the street in another historic and charming building, erected as a bank in 1914. An example of “colonial revivalism,” it is on the Register of the Massachusetts Historical Commission.
Behind the Congregational Church the Cape Cod bike trail intersects the village, while nearby Brooks Park features a bandstand, ball field, tennis courts and ample parking. In the Summer the park holds weekly concerts and outdoor craft fairs. Two restaurants and a charming boutique, art gallery and more add to the village’s growth.

Our scenic Cranberry Valley Golf Course has been named one of Golf Digest’s 50 Best Public Courses and rated “Excellent” by Zagat Golf Guide. The course is located in Harwich Center off Oak Street. A par 72, it’s a full-service course with pro shop, practice facility and a restaurant serving breakfast and lunch.

If you like good baseball and would like to see prospective major league players up close, be sure to check out the Harwich Mariners of the famous Cape Cod Baseball League. They play their home games at Whitehouse Field and have been League Champions numerous times over the years.