Chatham, MA

From the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce (

Encompassing a mere 16 square miles of high ground and surrounded on three sides by water, Chatham has a beauty that is unsurpassed. The town is a decidedly maritime place of pristine beaches, wild barrier islands, tidal shoals, fleeting sandbars, circular coves and miles of saltwater inlets.

Incorporated in 1712, Chatham remains remarkably old-fashioned, despite a well-deserved reputation for shopping. Chic boutiques reside in quaint storefronts along its winding Main Street lined with historic inns, white-steepled churches, trendy eateries and art galleries. Main Street’s dynamic energy is even more pronounced during the town’s annual 4th of July Parade, the Chatham Christmas Stroll and First Night, a family-friendly gathering that concludes with fireworks at Oyster Pond and the traditional “Dropping of the Cod” at midnight. On summer evenings, spread a blanket on the grass at the Chatham Band Concert, where the lamp-lit glow of Kate Gould Park and a sea of balloons will inspire you to bunny-hop.

A visit to Chatham’s busy commercial fishing pier reveals the thriving fishing village that co-exists with Chatham’s stylish façades. Watch local fishermen unload their day’s catch, as well as seals hoping to get a free meal. 

Just south of Chatham is Monomoy Natural Wildlife Refuge, a fragile nine-mile long barrier beach preserve that encompasses 2,750 acres, including the Monomoy Islands. These islands are home to dunes, beach grass and migrating birds, and hundreds of harbor seals carpet the coastline from November to May. 

Bike paths, nature trails, golf, kayaking, birdwatching, fishing and beautiful beaches make Chatham a natural favorite for outdoor enthusiasts. And no trip to Chatham is complete without a visit to its two lighthouses: Stage Harbor Light, located near Harding’s Beach, and scenic Chatham Light, which overlooks Lighthouse Beach and currently serves as an active U.S. Coast Guard station. The famous Chatham fogs make Chatham Light a coveted spot for photographers.

Find more information on Chatham through the Chatham Chamber of Commerce.