The town of Eastham—located on the “forearm” of the Cape Cod peninsula—has a fascinating history and over the years has been a community where fishing, farming and creative expression have flourished.
Eastham residents take pride in their history, and several local landmarks help tell the story. For starters, the town boasts several connections to the Pilgrims: First Encounter Beach on Cape Cod Bay is the site where the Mayflower passengers and Native Americans first met in 1620; also, three Pilgrims are buried in Eastham’s Cove Burying Ground. The 1869 Schoolhouse Museum offers a glimpse into the more recent past as local students were taught in this one-room school through 1936. View the original headmaster’s desk and other town treasures.
Nearby, Nauset Light, which is located within the Cape Cod National Seashore, is a hugely popular attraction. Tours, including a climb to the top, are offered on Sundays, from June to September. Located on the Cape’s Atlantic-facing coastline, Nauset Light Beach and Coast Guard Beach—beloved by writers Henry David Thoreau and Henry Beston—are wonderful spots for walking, swimming or simply to observe nature. Be on the lookout for seals frolicking in the surf.
For many, Eastham’s Fort Hill area is synonymous with nature and tranquility, and the Fort Hill Rural Historical District offers walking trails through 100 acres of former farmland. Consider staying at Fort Hill Bed & Breakfast, operated out of an 1864 farmhouse.
Open daily year-round, the Salt Pond Visitor Center at 50 Nauset Road offers information about the region’s geology including a large topographical map of the area’s glacial history. Displays also inform of the area’s Wampanoag history, whaling and the lifesaving service. Outside, a 1.5-mile trail offers scenic views of the Nauset Marsh.
Time for a snack? Visit The Hole in One Donut Shop on Route 6 for coffee and donuts in glazed, filled and dipped varieties. Later, enjoy a meal at Arnold’s Lobster and Clam Bar. The line is often out the door—but for good reason; the food is wonderful, and Arnold’s is a perennial winner in CAPE COD LIFE’s “Best of” contest for its succulent lobster rolls, fried clams and more!