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Things to Do in Harwich, MA

Table of Contents

1. Must-See Sights

2. Top Activities

3. Family Adventures

4. Pet-Friendly

5. Culinary Scene

6. Travel Tips

In a region that is remarkable for its serene beauty, Harwich stands out as a picturesque gem. Its stunning cranberry bogs, historic villages, and storied maritime heritage are all set against a backdrop of shimmering waters and rolling hills that embody the quintessential Cape Cod experience. Further setting Harwich apart is its unique position on the Cape, offering beach encounters with calm Nantucket Sound waters as well as the Atlantic Ocean’s untamed beauty.

Harwich proper includes seven villages: Harwich, East Harwich, Harwich Port, North Harwich, Pleasant Lake, and South and West Harwich. 

In today’s travel guide, we'll delve into the heart of this coastal Massachusetts paradise, uncovering hidden gems, local secrets, and must-see landmarks that promise to make your getaway truly unforgettable.

Premier Attractions in Harwich

To visit Harwich is to experience one of New England’s truly rich tapestries of history, culture, and natural beauty. 

Harwich Port and its Main Street are full of charm, and boast artisan galleries, restaurants, coffee shops, gift shops, and boutique stores. 

The reopening of the Harwich Historical Society, housed in the Brooks Academy Museum, is one of the most anticipated Harwich events of 2024. Slated to reopen late in the year, the Harwich Historical Society is dedicated to showcasing several hundred years of the town's maritime heritage and colonial past. Here, visitors will be able to interact with exhibits featuring artifacts and photographs, and peer into Harwich's evolution from a bustling seaport to a beloved Cape Cod destination.

For an experience of sheer sensory delights, the Cape Cod Lavender Farm offers fragrant fields of purple blooms - a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of modern times.

And of course, no visit is complete without a sojourn to picturesque Harwich beaches, including  Bank Street Beach (just along the shore from the iconic Wychmere Harbor) and Red River Beach, which is a particularly calm and family-friendly location.

These pristine stretches of sand not only offer a reprieve for sun-seekers but also serve as a testament to Harwich's enduring connection to the sea, from which generations of Cape Cod residents have found inspiration as well as sustenance.


Beautiful Harwichport Above


The growing Harwich Center

Engaging Activities in Harwich

There are delights and perks for every visitor to Harwich, from exhilarating outdoor adventures to enriching cultural experiences. Nature lovers can immerse themselves in breathtaking landscapes by biking along the scenic Cape Cod Rail Trail, where miles of picturesque paths wind through lush forests and tranquil marshlands.

For aquatic thrills, kayaking along the meandering waters of the Herring River provides an intimate encounter with Harwich's natural wonders, allowing paddlers to explore hidden coves, winding channels, and serene estuaries teeming with marine life.

Adventurers can also embark on a journey through the Bell's Neck Conservation Lands, a sprawling wilderness sanctuary replete with hiking trails, birdwatching opportunities, and stunning salt marsh and cranberry bog vistas.

Cultural enthusiasts will find themselves captivated by Harwich's vibrant arts scene, where local galleries showcase a wealth of talent, from painters and sculptors to photographers, artisans, and performers. This includes the nationally recognized Harwich Junior Theatre, which offers a diverse array of performances and entertainment for audiences of all ages, ranging from musicals and plays to concerts and dance recitals.


Family-Friendly Fun in Harwich

Harwich is a true haven for family-friendly fun, with various activities catering to visitors of all ages. Families can spend a day splashing in the waves at the pristine shores of Earle Road Beach, where a gentle surf provides the perfect backdrop for a day of seaside explorations.

For higher energy entertainment, Grand Slam Entertainment offers bumper boats, ziplining, batting cages, and a rock wall for climbers of (almost) all ages.

For budding golfers, Bud's Mini Golf (adjacent to Bud’s Go-Karts) is an 18-hole nautical-themed mini golf course located in Harwich Port.

Sports enthusiasts can also catch the excitement of a Harwich Mariners baseball game, cheering on the local team as they compete against Cape Cod Baseball League rivals at picturesque Whitehouse Field in the historic village of Harwich Center.

Throughout the year, other family-friendly fun things include community events like the Harwich Cranberry Arts and Music Festival, where seasonal festivities and family-friendly activities abound.

Screenshot 2024-03-12 at 1.47.30 AM

Pet-Friendly Harwich

Harwich warmly welcomes four-legged companions, offering a plethora of pet-friendly activities and destinations. Off-season (and only off-season), you can enjoy strolls along pet-friendly beaches like Red River Beach and Bank Street Beach.

Other options include exploring Hawks Nest State Park, the trails of Bell's Neck Conservation Lands, or the scenic Cape Cod Rail Trail, where dogs are welcome to join you on outdoor excursions through picturesque landscapes and tranquil wilderness.

As for dining options, Harwich offers select pet-friendly dining spots with outdoor seating, such as Brax Landing Restaurant or The Port Restaurant.

Note that Del Mar’s Harwich vacation rentals include pet-friendly accommodations!


Exploring Harwich's Dining Scene

Harwich's dining scene offers a tapestry of flavors, from cozy cafes serving up freshly brewed coffee and homemade pastries to upscale seafood restaurants showcasing the finest catches from the sea.

For a quintessential Cape Cod dining experience, head to Brax Landing Restaurant, where you can indulge in mouthwatering seafood dishes while taking in panoramic views of Saquatucket Harbor. For a more refined affair in a 19th-century home, the Cape Sea Grille offers an elegant atmosphere and an exquisite menu featuring seasonal ingredients and creative, precision-crafted dishes.

Mad Minnow Bar & Kitchen is also a local favorite for classic Cape Cod fare and craft beer.

If you're craving something on the sweet side, don't miss out on Schoolhouse Ice Cream (in season), where you can savor creamy scoops of homemade ice cream in a charming setting that's reminiscent of days gone by.

Generally, consider visiting popular spots during off-peak hours to avoid crowds, but do seek out establishments with scenic views to take full advantage of the Harwich experience!


Travel Tips for Harwich Visitors

If you’re planning a visit to Harwich, timing is key. The best times to visit are often during the shoulder seasons of spring and fall when the weather is pleasant, and the crowds are thinner.

Regardless of the season you choose, plan, book, and reserve well ahead of time, starting with vacation rental accommodations. Del Mar Vacation Rentals is a favorite in the Cape Cod region and offers a rich catalog of Harwich vacation rentals, including private pools, beach access, and dog-friendly spaces.

Harwich is a great starting point from which to make daytrip visits to other popular Cape Cod destinations, including Chatham, Orleans, and Provincetown, as well as Brewster, Dennis, Yarmouth, and Falmouth – and of course Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket by ferry cruise.

Transportation options from Boston include driving, as Harwich is easily accessible by car, or by taking advantage of the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority's bus service for those without a vehicle.

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