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Things to Do in Brewster (MA)

Table of Contents

1. Must-visit Attractions

2. Best Activities

3. Family Friendly Activities

4. Pet-Friendly Activities

5.  Where to Eat

6. Travel Tips

To call Brewster (Massachusetts) “picturesque” doesn’t even begin to cover it. First settled in 1659, it’s known as a “Sea Captain’s Town,” thanks to its abundance of lovingly preserved 18th- and 19th-century captain’s homes. Those captains, having seen a good part of the world, made Brewster their home. Today, you can see why, with its pristine beaches looking out to Cape Cod Bay, and with the famous sandbars and tidal pools of the Brewster Flats revealing themselves at low tide.

Indeed, Brewster fully deserves its reputation as a quintessential Cape Cod town, with its rich history, scenic natural beauty, and activities for all ages. 

Today we’ll cover insights into Brewster’s key sights, top activities for families, pet owners, and food lovers, links to luxury Brewster vacation rentals, and essential travel tips for making the most of your visit to Brewster.

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Must-Visit Attractions in Brewster

Brewster's natural splendor and historical depth truly make this town a must-visit locale on Cape Cod.

For outdoor adventurists, Nickerson State Park offers 400 acres of trails and ponds, along with bike paths that connect to the Cape Cod Rail Trail. Hike or bike along scenic nature trails, explore the network of freshwater ponds, or visit the historic Flax Pond Recreation Area, remnants of a 19th-century cranberry bog operation.


Delve deeper into the fascinating world of Cape Cod's natural habitats at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, where interactive exhibits showcase the region's diverse ecosystems, from the vibrant salt marshes to the teeming marine life.

As for bringing yesteryear’s Cape Cod to life, Brewster is unparalleled. The town is notable for its lovingly preserved sea captain’s mansions and estates, in the form of museums and historical markers, as well as art galleries and antique shops. One of the most fascinating of these is the Crosby Mansion, which was the grandest home in Brester when its initial construction was completed in 1888. After falling into disrepair and neglect for decades, it has been restored by local residents to its former glory, complete with three stories of oak, mahogany, tiled fireplaces, and other handcrafted materials from around the world. 

The Stony Brook Gristmill and Museum is another popular historical destination, bursting with scenic beauty and significance. Nestled in a picturesque brook setting, the Gristmill stands as the sole remaining structure from Brewster's once-bustling 19th-century industrial area, known as Factory Village.

Today, the Brewster Historical Society continues to preserve the artifacts and history of Brewster, including the Cobb House Museum, which contains five permanent galleries and an extensive documents research area accessible by appointment. The Society also maintains a restored 18th-century windmill and a blacksmith shop at Windmill Village, at Drummer Boy Park. 

The town of Brewster is also where you’ll find some of the best golfing in Cape Cod, with the nationally acclaimed Captains Golf Courses. The Jack Nicklaus-designed Ocean Edge Golf Club is also highly rated by visitors.

And then of course there are the beaches. Brewster beaches include such gems as Breakwater Beach, notable for its gentle surf, and Paine's Creek Beach, a secluded and picturesque beach nestled amidst rolling dunes. Crosby Landing Beach is great for kayaking and paddleboarding, while Long Pond is a freshwater pond that’s perfect for picnicking and fishing.


Best Activities to Enjoy in Brewster

Brewster offers a host of activities for nature lovers and cultural enthusiasts alike.

The scenic Cape Cod Rail Trail offers a paved pathway through the heart of Brewster, and it's here that you can embark on an impossibly scenic hike or bike ride. For a unique perspective, rent a kayak and paddle the tranquil waters of Blueberry Pond, a haven for diverse birdlife. Bring binoculars!

The artistic spirit of Brewster is on full display at its many art galleries, as well as the renowned Sydenstricker Glass Gallery & Workshop, where you can explore the legendary Sydenstricker patterns and watch the artisans create each glassware design by hand. Throughout the year, the town also hosts various cultural events, including art walks, live music performances, and local theater productions.

For another unique experience, board a whale-watching expedition to witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. 


Family-Friendly Activities

Brewster offers a plethora of family activities designed to create lasting memories.  Here are the top 10:

  1. The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History offers interactive exhibits designed to ignite a love for learning through exploration of the region's diverse ecosystems. 
  2. At low tide along Brewster's many bay beaches, explore the famous tidal flats, teeming with crabs, sea stars, and more. 
  3. Explore the bike trails of Cape Cod Rail Trail. 
  4. Pack a picnic basket and find a spot for lunch in beautiful Nickerson State Park. 
  5. Challenge yourselves to a round of mini-golf Harbor Lights Mini Golf.
  6. Head to the Brewster General Store for a delightful selection of "penny candy" and nostalgic treats. 
  7. Explore the charming shops of Lemon Tree Village.
  8. Visit the renowned Cape Rep Theatre to indulge some of in its renowned productions. 
  9. Experience the vibrant Brewster in Bloom festival as it transforms the town into a colorful display of flowers. 
  10. Visit Brewster Public Library to explore its children's programs

.... and visit one of Brewster's ice cream shops for a sweet ending to a fun-filled day!


Breakwater Beach exposes some of the largest tidal flats in the United States

Activities If You Have Pets

Brewster welcomes furry companions, making it one of Cape Cod's desirable destinations for pet owners. 

With Nickerson State Park's extensive network of trails, as well as the Cape Cod Rail Trail, there are ample opportunities for scenic walks with your canine friend. Remember to carry waste bags and dispose of waste responsibly.

You can also head to the Brewster Dog Park, first opened in 2022, and where your pet can socialize and play freely. Note that dogs are prohibited from public ponds, landings, beaches, and tidal flats, from May 15 to September 15.

Some restaurants offer outdoor seating where well-behaved, leashed pets are welcome, but it's worth calling ahead to verify.

Del Mar Vacation Rentals' Brewster vacation rentals also offer a range of options to ensure a comfortable stay for both you and your pet. 

Where to Eat in Brewster

Brewster offers a diverse selection of dining options designed to cater to all preferences. 

JT's Seafood is popular with seafood enthusiasts, thanks to its lobster rolls and locally sourced dishes. For a refined experience, consider Spinnaker Restaurant, which boasts an elegant ambiance and panoramic harbor views. Brewster Fish House promises an unforgettable culinary journey with its innovative takes on the day's catch.

For a casual atmosphere, head to Brewster Scoop, where you can indulge in homemade ice cream and rich, flavorful sundaes. 

At popular restaurants like JT's Seafood and Spinnaker Restaurant, it’s best to check their websites or call ahead for reservations, particularly during peak season.

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Brewster Travel Tips

1 Consider visiting Brewster during the "shoulder seasons" (April-May and September-October) for comfortable weather and smaller crowds.

2 Regardless of when you visit, there are a number of options for getting around Brewster and the surrounding region, including bike rentals (particularly handy for exploring the Cape Cod Rail Trail, which stretches from Dennis to Wellfleet) and car rentals, which provides greater flexibility for exploring the surrounding areas.

3 Consider day trips to the nearby towns of Yarmouth, Harwich, Chatham, Orleans, Eastham, or Provincetown for more quintessential New England charm! The scenic Route 6A is Brewster’s Main Street, but also serves as the primary route connecting the various Cape Cod towns. Allow ample time for your journeys during peak season, as traffic can be heavy.

4 Do book your Brewster vacation rentals well in advance, especially during peak summer months (June-August), as popular options tend to get reserved quickly.


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