Chatham: 2016 town profile
Tucked in Cape Cod’s southeastern corner, Chatham is a popular spot for many reasons: from stunning scenery and great locally caught seafood to a charming downtown area and the luxurious Chatham Bars Inn, this town has it all!
Most visitors head straight to Chatham Light, which overlooks North Beach, Lighthouse Beach and the Atlantic beyond. First constructed in 1808, Chatham Light has seen a lot of change over the years; first, the original light towers were replaced twice in the 19th century and moved back from an eroding cliff; then in 1923 Chatham’s Twin Light—yup, for more than a century there were two!—was moved to Eastham to become Nauset Light. Today, the area is popular year-round, and coin-operated telescopes offer great views of the local seal population.
For an up-close look at the lives of Cape Cod fishermen, head north to the Chatham Fish Pier to watch dozens of local boats bring in the day’s catch of haddock, halibut and lobster. The seafood is distributed to local businesses, including the nautically themed Chatham Squire on Main Street. The cozy restaurant offers a seafood menu to savor, and for those who can’t decide, the Chatham Cioppino is chock full of fish, scallops, mussels and more.
Main Street offers several blocks of specialty shops and cafes; it is a great place for a walk any time of day. Be sure to pop in to Chatham Candy Manor for chocolate-covered cranberries and other sweets; Yankee Ingenuity, which offers a one-of-a-kind collection of gifts; and Blue Water Fish Rubbings, a unique boutique that utilizes real fish and shellfish—and the Japanese technique of gyotaku—to create printed t-shirts, blankets and more.
The art scene in Chatham is one of the most predominant on the Cape, and galleries abound on Main Street. Chatham Fine Art, The Hearle Gallery, the Nickerson Art Gallery and others display the work of creative masters and local artists. For a lasting image of this coastal community, drive along Shore Road to see the world famous Chatham Bars Inn, an architectural wonder overlooking the ocean.