?Nestled at the elbow of Cape Cod, the breezy beach town of Chatham muscles its way into the summer spotlight. By Lindsay Lambert
Baseball and apple pie notwithstanding, it’s tough to name anything that’s more classically American than summers on the Cape. From Bourne and Falmouth all the way up to P-Town, Cape Cod is a treasure trove of picture-perfect beaches, romantic B&Bs, and one-of-a-kind restaurants, bars, and shops. Along Route 28 at the Cape’s apex, or elbow, lies Chatham, a destination in and of itself.
Stay The Wequassett Resort and Golf Club is arguably Chatham’s best-kept secret. The AAA Four Diamond resort occupies 27 acres along Pleasant Bay and offers guests a choice of 120 rooms and suites. A single waterfront Round Cove Suite is the top slot, but Signature Water View rooms are a close second in terms of bay views and amenities. All told, more than a dozen room and suite types offer everything from extensive space and front-row water views to cozier cottage-style living with garden backdrops. Wequassett guests also enjoy two impeccable pools, two beaches, a meticulous tennis center, an 18-hole golf course, a kids’ center (complete with a pirate ship), boating and water sports, and four restaurants. Route 28, Pleasant Bay, 508-430-3000, wequassett.com.
Eat Main Street in Chatham is lined with rustic restaurants, pubs, and cafes. Slightly off the main thoroughfare, the Impudent Oyster is still heavily trafficked yet manages to avoid feeling too touristy. The low-key eatery offers a surf-and-turf menu and lighter items like salads and soups. 15 Chatham Bars Avenue, 508-945-3545. If you’re looking to sate a sweet tooth, head to the Chatham Candy Manor. The old-fashioned sweets shop is jam packed with confections, but its many flavors of homemade fudge steal the show. 484 Main Street, 508-945-0825, candymanor.com. The piÃ¨ce de resistance of our Chatham culinary experience was at the Wequassett’s own twenty-eight Atlantic. The elegant restaurant’s waterfront setting is outdone only by chef Bill Brodsky’s menu. Our feast commenced with a trio of tartare (spicy yellow fin tuna, gingered hamachi, and truffled salmon) and was followed by an entree of caramelized day boat scallops and mushroom ravioli with truffle cream sauce. A testament to Brodsky’s elegant, understated taste, the most unforgettable dish of our meal was, surprisingly, a simple side of buttery pumpkin polenta topped with dried cranberries and toasted almonds. If you’re celebrating a special occasion, ask for some bubbly and a table by the large picture windows. Route 28, Pleasant Bay, 508-430-3000, wequassett.com (online reservations are available).
See In July and August, the Wequassett hosts the annual Cape Cod Summer Jazz Festival, which features live entertainment. Route 28, Pleasant Bay, 508-430-3000, wequassett.com/jazz. Summertime is practically synonymous with baseball, and a visit to Chatham wouldn’t be complete without taking in a Chatham A’s home game at Veterans Field. Route 28, chathamas.com. Of course, Cape Cod is replete with gorgeous beaches, and Chatham is no exception. Pack an umbrella and some bocce balls and head to Chatham Lighthouse Beach. Occasionally, the functioning Chatham Light lighthouse is open to public for tours (free of charge). Otherwise, opt for a nature walk out to southern Monomoy Island, or just sit back and relax.