We just returned from the most heavenly week in Brewster, MA. It is officially my new favorite place in Cape Cod. It is a peaceful and scenic area off the main drag which means less crowds and less traffic. There is tons of beautiful conservation land to explore. And the flats. Ahhh the flats. We spent hours each day just searching for sea creatures and marveling at this natural phenomenon. There is so much to do in this area that is just as classic a piece of Cape Cod as you can get. Here is our list of the best things to do in Brewster, MA as well as our favorite places to eat.
The Museum offers collections-based exhibits, including whales and birds, live marine science exhibits, educational and environmental educational programs and a wildflower garden.
The real gem of the museum is the nature trail that leads through a salt marsh to Wing’s Island. It is a great trail for kids because they can explore the varied Cape Cod landscape ending up at the tidal flats where they can watch the fiddler crabs scurry to their underground homes.
Ride, walk or run through 6 Cape Cod towns as you follow the Cape Cod Rail Trail. There’s plenty to see along the 22-mile trail with national parks to visit as you please. There is free parking at 500 Long Pond Rd in Brewster or you can pay to park at Nickerson State Park (3488 Main St, Brewster, MA).
Our favorite routes were going from Brewster center to Guapos, because… tacos. If you continue south and cross over to the town of Harwich, you will arrive at Seymour Pond. There is a nice beach and swimming area with portable toilets. Or go a tiny bit further to Long Pond. If you get lucky and nobody beats you there, you will have you own little private beach.
Click here to download a trail map.
You could spend days exploring the 1,900 acres of wooded trails and ponds. We just day-tripped to the park to hike the Cliff Pond trail. This scenic 2.7 mile long hike that is good for all skill levels. If you want to extend your stay in the park, there are 400 campsites available.
No visit to Brewster would be complete without experiencing the largest tidal flats in North America. When the tide recedes, a mile long sandbar is exposed. It was truly mind boggling that we could be looking out over the ocean and then within a matter of hours, we could be walking across the sand where the water just was… the boats that had been bobbing in the water now resting on their sides. The rippled pattern of the waves still molded in the sand as if the ocean sprang a leak and drained.
It is like a natural playground for kids. They loved searching for hermit crabs and splashing through the shallow water. Then just as quickly as it disappeared, it returned. Be conscious of the tides, as there were days we were swimming home.
Brewster’s Beaches from East to West are: Crosby Landing, Linnell Landing, Ellis Landing, Breakwater Beach, Saint’s Landing, Mant’s Landing and Paine’s Creek. Parking passes are required.
This is such a classic general store that takes you back in time. The kids loved getting penny candy and playing with the old fashion toys. I bought my new live-in tee shirt there as well as some great gifts to bring home. When you’re done perusing, head over to the Brewster Scoop for an ice cream cone.
Adults and children alike with be entertained by the wide range of theater performances offered in the indoor or outdoor theaters. My kids loved show Pitter Patter Puppets and giggled for 40 minutes straight. Just walking through the wooded trail to the outdoor theater was an adventure in itself.
(Note: Currently closed due to Covid).
This is such a great book store. The staff was really helpful and ready to offer suggestions. The children section is fabulous. We found cute travel journals and specialty stickers to decorate them with.
This hike was one mile round trip making it easy for the kids. The path ends at the highest bluff in Brewster overlooking the Cape Cod Bay.
This acclaimed puppet show has performances during July and August in the First Parish Brewster Unitarian Universalist Church. From classics like Hansel and Gretel to fairy tales such a Cinderella, children will be enchanted by these beautifully hand-crafted marionettes. Shows are gears toward children in grades K-6.
(Note: Currently closed due to Covid).
This water-powered grist mill is a picturesque place with a historic background. The restored mill is open every Saturday in the summer. Visitors can see the water wheel in motion and purchase fresh ground corn meal. Watch the alewife attempt their way up the fish ladder during the spring migration.
The best Brewster restaurants:
Best coffee & breakfast sandwiches: Cafe Alfresco
Best espresso: Snowy Owl Coffee Roasters
Best bakery: Eat Cake 4 Breakfast
Best pizza: Stone L’oven Pizza Co.
Best place for a date night: The Brewster Fish House
Best tacos: Guapo’s Tortilla Shack
Best ice cream: Brewster Scoop
Best place to have a beer with live music: The Woodshed
I hope you enjoyed this list of the best things to do in Brewster, MA. If I missed anything, please let me know in the comments below. We plan to return every summer and will continue to add to the list as we find more favorites! Click here for a free printable beach packing list.