Home » 2000 Columbus Day in Provincetown

Sandwich, MA

Friday, October 13, 2000 - 2:00pm by Lolo
239 miles and 5 hours from our last stop - 1 night stay


We were still at that point in our RVing career, where we were not going to let any 3-day weekend pass us by, especially Columbus Day. October is usually a very nice month in the Northeast.

We picked up the kids from school in the motorhome, which they think is pretty cool, and headed towards Cape Cod. I had the following two nights booked at Coastal Acres Campground in Provincetown, but tonight we figured we would just stay somewhere near the Canal so we could bike ride there in the morning. For years now, we've been going to the Cape, and every time I go over the bridge onto the Cape, I look down at those cute little campgrounds along the Canal. That, I decided, is where I wanted to stay. We pulled into Scusset Beach State Park on the mainland side of the Canal around 8:00 that night, only to find that it was totally full. I must say we were quite surprised and not very happy. We were tired and hungry and weren't sure just where to go. The gentleman at Scusset recommended we go to Shawme-Crowell State Forest, just 6 miles further in Sandwich, where we should be able to find a site for the night.

Fortunately, he was right. We never really did get to see much of the campground, so I'm not sure just how good it was, but it seemed pretty nice--roomy sites nestled in a forest.

The next morning we headed over to the Canal to bike ride along the paved trail that runs the whole length of the Canal. There is also another path on the other side of the canal as well. We parked by a big fish market near the eastern end of the canal, almost where the canal flows out into Cape Cod Bay. From there we rode west along a very lovely paved trail that followed the contour of the canal. There were many boats to watch making their way through the canal. The current is so strong--6 or 7 knots--that at times the sailboats seemed to be standing still. We rode 12 miles that day, 6 miles out and 6 miles back, turning around we reached the second bridge over the canal in Bourne.

It was an absolutely beautiful Indian Summer day and quite warm. It would have been nice to explore Sandwich a bit more--there are an awful lot of things to do here--but it was time to move on to our campsite in Provincetown, at the very tip of the Cape.


Cape Cod is a 70 mile stretch of land that is separated from mainland Massachusetts by the Cape Cod Canal. The Cape is divided into two sections: the Upper Cape, which is more highly developed, is located closer to the mainland and the Lower Cape, which is much quieter and serene, lies to the east. There are 15 towns plus a number of villages on the cape.

Sandwich, which is located on the bay in the Upper Cape, is the first town on the Cape, just across the bridges over the Canal. It is the oldest town on the Cape, founded in 1639. Most people just pass through this charming town on their rush to other destinations on the Cape without realizing that, with the exception of Brewster, it has more sights than any other town on the Cape.

Here is a sampling of some of Sandwich's sights:

  • The Sandwich Glass Museum - Sandwich was a major glass-producing town in the 1800s. The museum's collection includes everything from jars, tableware, vases, and candlesticks. Much of the glass is displayed in front of large picture windows where the sun illuminates it and lights up the museum in a kaleidoscope of colors. There is also a glass-blowing demonstration area.
  • Heritage Plantation - Rather than specializing in one era, this museum houses exhibits from all periods of American history. There is an impressive antique car collection, a 1912 carousel, a military museum, an art museum, plus 76 acres of trails and beautiful gardens.
  • Yesteryears Doll and Miniature Museum - contains hundreds of fascinating antique dolls, dollhouses, toys, and other domestic articles from the past.
  • Dexter Mill - a restored mill (original 1654) at the end of a lovely mill pond just a short walk from the Yesteryears Doll and Miniature Museum
  • Green Briar Nature Center and Jam Kitchen - located in East Sandwich on the shores of a pond, this nature area offers interpreted nature trails and a spectacular wild flower garden. Adjacent to Green Briar is the 57-acre Briar Patch Conservation Area, home of Thornton Burgess's Peter Rabbit. Green Briar is also home to the Green Briar Jam Kitchen, begun by Ida Putnam in 1903. Today the Jam Kitchen is a living museum where visitors can watch some of Ida's recipes being prepared in this turn-of-the-century kitchen.
  • Town Beach - sheltered beach on the south side of Cape Cod Bay with a mild surf.
  • Cape Cod Canal Visitor Center and Bike Path - The canal is a man-made waterway built to connect Cape Cod Bay in the north to Buzzards Bay in the south, thereby eliminating the need for ships to go around the entire Cape. There is a walking/bike paths that runs the entire length of the canal.
  • Shawme-Crowell State Forest - This park provides year round camping (285 sites) in a lovely wooded setting.

Sandwich location map

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