Life Annual Guide 2016

Harwich: 2016 town profile

Cape Cod Life  /  2016 Annual / , , , , ,

Writer: Caitlyn McGuire / Photographer: Elizabeth Menser and Jean Chisser 


Photography by Elizabeth Menser • Pleasant Lake

Located along Nantucket Sound and featuring a topography that includes ponds, harbors and flatlands, the town of Harwich is often referred to as the birthplace of the Cape’s cranberry industry. During the mid 19th-century, Alvin Cahoon established in Harwich the nation’s first commercial cranberry bog, and many bogs are still in operation today. The town celebrates this fruity connection every September with the annual Harwich Cranberry Arts & Music Festival in Brooks Park. Learn more by taking a Cape Farm and Cranberry Company bog tour—or play a round or two at the sweet Cranberry Valley Golf Course.

Harwich is also blessed with scoop after scoop of another tasty product: ice cream! The family-owned Sundae School Ice Cream offers homemade flavors including Bass River Mud and Crème de Menthe Chip. Just up the road, the similarly named SchoolHouse Ice Cream and Yogurt is another sweet spot for a cone, offering super premium flavors like Red Velvet Cupcake and Peanut Butter Madness.

Harwich has great dining options as well. L’Alouette, a quiet French bistro on Route 28, combines fresh Cape seafood with traditional French cooking. Another savory option on 28 is Land Ho! Harwichport. Enjoy the artwork on the walls, a beer at the bar and a selection of sandwiches, steaks and seafood entrees. To really treat yourself, reserve a table at Twenty- Eight Atlantic at the Wequassett Resort & Golf Club. The restaurant continually wins awards in CAPE COD LIFE’s annual “Best of” contest, and the view overlooking Pleasant Bay is spectacular.

Jean Chisser_Scene_Harwichport-Harbor copy

Photography by Jean Chisser • Wychmere Harbor

Now—for some exercise! Grab your bike or walking shoes and hop on the Cape Cod Rail Trail, which travels through Harwich from Dennis to Brewster; the Old Colony Rail Trail continues the fun all the way to Chatham. There are also many great hiking areas in town—more than 700 acres! The Harwich Conservation Trust has detailed trail maps and offers guided walks and other events during the year.

Want more? Harwich is home to two longtime performing groups: the players of the Cape Cod Theatre Company (formerly Harwich Junior Theatre), who put on colorful year-round performances; and on a different stage, the Harwich Mariners of the competitive Cape Cod Baseball League.