Things to do
To find fishermen—and hungry, acrobatic seals—in action, stop by the Chatham Fish Pier off Shore Road in the late afternoon. That’s when the day’s catch is being off-loaded and the local sea dogs are milling around for morsels. On weekends in the summer, pier hosts from the Cape Cod Hook Fishermen’s Association are on hand to answer questions about the catch, the surrounding landscape, and the fishermen’s experience.
For a taste that’s more sweet than fishy, stop by the Chatham Candy Manor (www.candymanor.com, 508-945-0825), which has been making luscious hand-dipped chocolates, fudge, and candy canes since 1955.
After your fill of sugar, cross Main Street and head to Yellow Umbrella Books (www.yellowumbrellabooks.net, 508-945-0144), where the bibliophile quotient is high and the selection of local authors’ work is extensive.
Because of Chatham’s location on the outer ocean, the waters off its beaches can be downright chilly. For warmer saltwater swimming, go to Oyster Pond Beach off Stage Harbor Road. The saltwater pond, within walking distance from town, connects to Nantucket Sound via Stage Harbor and Oyster Creek, and offers calmer waters that don’t bite. Added bonus: a picnic area with tables, benches, and charcoal grills to accommodate four parties.