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Traveling Massachusetts: Sandwich – A Good Base for Exploring Cape Cod

This is one in a series about touring Massachusetts and Newport, Rhode Island. My husband and I spent three weeks there in October, 2021. This Travelogue is a journal of our trip, done for my own sake and to show readers why you should visit Massachusetts.

We explored Cape Cod from its oldest settled town – Sandwich, established by pilgrims in 1639.

The Earl of Sandwich Motel

There is so much to explore in Sandwich County and of course in Cape Cod. We saw some wonderful places, but not nearly all there is. We’ll just have to go back! Anyway, for this leg of our Massachusetts trip, we stayed at a budget accommodation called the Earl of Sandwich Motel. It’s located at 378 Route 6A, East Sandwich. At the time we stayed there (Oct. 2021) it was only $100 a night! And though the walls were thin (like most motels), the white-noise from our room fan enabled us to sleep well.

The Earl of Sandwich Motel is furnished with antiques and has good internet service.

I loved walking around the grounds of the motel. There is a pond with white geese who honk like crazy when you approach, and at night we could hear tree-frogs and crickets. Lovely!

A safety fence surrounds the pond.

Downtown Sandwich

We really liked the town of Sandwich. The main street is lined with colorful buildings, a restored mill, an old church, and good restaurants.

My husband bought a good quiche and coffee from the downstairs deli of the Brown Jug (dog not included).
The Sandwich Public Library was originally built in 1910, and modernized in the 1980’s.
I loved this pink-clapboard house!
The working Dexter Grist Mill is open from mid-May to early September.
A view of the Sandwich Town Hall and 1847 First Church. Too bad the telephone lines aren’t underground.

Cafe Chew

I have to give a shout-out to our favorite breakfast/lunch cafe – Cafe Chew at 4 Merchants Road. We ate breakfast there three mornings in a row! Their food is locally-sourced, healthy, and delicious. Plus they have terrific sandwiches. We bought them to-go for our afternoon outings. The managers at Cafe Chew are a delight, and we appreciated the hard-working staff and atmosphere.

There is indoor and outdoor seating at Cafe Chew in Sandwich, MA
Manager Tobin Wirt at the Cafe Chew

An Afternoon at The Boardwalk and Town Neck Beach

We took our sandwiches and parked at the Sandwich Boardwalk. The boardwalk takes you on a short but sweet stroll across Mill Creek, ending at Town Neck Beach.

The Boardwalk to Town Neck Beach
Looking Across Mill Creek

Town Neck beach is on the bay side of Cape Cod, so it is fairly calm and good for swimming. But we were there in October – too cold to swim! Even if it had been warm enough, I’m not sure I would have gone in. On our way to the boardwalk, we stopped for a moment to check out the western end of the beach on Town Neck Road. We were greeted by this sign:

Sign at Western Entrance to Town Neck Beach

Actually, these types of signs greeted us at most Cape Cod beaches. It turns out there is a sizable population of great whites who like to hang out in the bay, feeding on gray seals. There’s a good article about that here. Now don’t get me wrong, I love sharks, and swimming in the ocean. But when I see a sign like this–let’s just say I’ve watched Jaws one too many times.

Even without swimming, we really enjoyed walking down the boardwalk and hanging out at Town Neck Beach. We both sat on the sand, and while my husband listened to a podcast, I leaned back against my day pack and closed my eyes. Listening to the water lapping on the shore, the distant cry of seagulls, and the occasional ringing of buoy bells made me feel like I was on the set of Jaws. It felt eerily peaceful, and I dozed off.

Town Neck Beach At The End Of The Boardwalk

Dinner at the Belfry Inn

That evening we had dinner at the Belfry Inn & Bistro at 6 Jarves Street, Sandwich. The bistro is in a converted 1901 church with beautiful stained-glass windows. I have to say, some of the interior felt a little chopped up, but it is picturesque. Most importantly, the food is delicious.

Crispy Hudson Valley Duck Confit
Mongolian Glazed Norwegian Salmon

Stay tuned for the next blog with more on Sandwich and Cape Cod. And if you missed my last blog about people, places, and things in Plymouth, you can view it here.





  1. Anonymous Anonymous

    Thank you for sharing your Sandwich journey with us! Although I live only 30 minutes away from Sandwich, i have only experienced most of these particular sites from afar, except for Cafe Chew. I’ve enjoyed lunches there on several occasions but have never had the pleasure of meeting Tobin Wirt. At lunchtime Cafe Chew is very bustling. Their Asian Chicken Salad with mandarin oranges and ginger dressing is my favorite.
    I just loved your “Doggy in the Window” picture! And the picture of your husband in your motel room conjured up a picture in my mind of what Benjamin Franklin might have looked like as he traveled. (Not that your husband looks like Benjamin Franklin, just the period surroundings.)
    Please revisit Sandwich, MA again soon so I can see what else it has to offer! (Just kidding. Your blog posts inspire me to get out and visit more of these local treasures! There really are so many interesting places to see in and near Sandwich. (Example: Sandwich Glass Museum, Pairpointe Glass where you can see glass blowers in action, Cape Cod Central Railroad, the Cape Cod Canal, etc.)
    I look forward to your next post!!!

    • KarenGough KarenGough

      Thank you so much for sharing your Sandwich tips with us! I’m glad you appreciate the blog and like the pictures. Stay tuned for the next blog where I will be talking about the glass factory. Thanks so much for commenting!

      • Anonymous Anonymous

        My pleasure!

  2. Anonymous Anonymous

    Awesome! Such great content. Now I must visit that area of Mass! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • KarenGough KarenGough

      Hooray! I’m glad to hear my blog is helpful. Thanks so much for commenting!

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