When we have some extra time but not a full day we love exploring route 6A or “Old Kings Highway” a wonderful rural country road along the northern part of the cape. This Native American trail became the major east-west connection and trading route between Plymouth Colony and Provincetown in the late 17th century. The route is filled with mature growth trees planted in the late 1800’s, historic buildings and views of salt marshes and farmland. On a recent winter day just after a light snowfall the road was particularly nice with the sparkle of the new snow on the branches of trees. Certainly a winter wonderland.
From The Carriage House Inn we usually start in Brewster with a stop at the Brewster General Store. Your typical general store from a bygone era is filled with knick knacks, candy, food items and supplies is fun to browse and think about a day before strip malls and monster shopping plazas.
Proceeding west you encounter colonial and old sea captains houses, artisan craft and antique stores all along the way. A few other points of interest are the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster. Besides a small museum there are hiking trails across the marsh and out to the beach on Cape Cod Bay.
We then like to stop at the Cape Museum of Fine Arts in Dennis where they offer exhibits of art works by fabulous artists who have a Cape Cod connection as well as independent films and events with live music.
We love ending up in Sandwich for a visit to the Dunbar Tea House to get some tasty scones and tea sandwiches in an authentic atmosphere. After our fill of the delicious treats, we head over to The Sandwich Glass Museum. The Sandwich Glass factory was in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s was one of the largest and most successful manufacturers of fine glass. The museum has displays of over 5,000 pieces from 18th and 19th centuries. You can even get your own glass pieces dated.
There is so much to see right along Route 6A but don’t hesitate to explore a little of the the main route to see the beautiful harbors and beaches such as Sesuit Harbor in East Dennis and Barnstable Harbor and Sandy Neck to name just a few. These small side trips complete a day full of stunning natural beauty, cultural and artistic wonders and historic times gone by that are too easy to forget in today’s rushed world.