Cape Cod Day Trip: Brewster
Brewster straddles a narrow expanse of land midway along the length of the Cape, and is dotted with eight landings on its bayside (north). Grab a cup of Cape Cod Coffee Roasters coffee and a Brewster Bun, croissant dough wrapped in sugar and spice, at Eat Cake 4 Breakfast Bakery, before heading out for an early morning walk on the beach. Scallop shells pepper the sand and, if you are lucky, you may score some beach glass.
Hungry for more morning fare? Egg combos, pancakes, and locally roasted Beanstock coffee await you at the cozy Brewster Coffee Shop, where outdoor seating is an option in finer weather. Muffin seekers strike gold at the Hopkins House Bakery with flavors like strawberry rhubarb, morning glory, and lemon crumb. Javaphiles will enjoy Snowy Owl Coffee Roasters. Beans are freshly roasted and ground daily, moments before your brew is poured. The relaxed vibe and eclectic seating spots inside makes it a cozy retreat on a cold day, or a place to revive with an iced drink after a day in the sun.
Drive to the outermost end of Brewster to visit the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History on Route 6A. Exhibits include a moon jellyfish display and a touch tank, a honeybee observation hive, and artifacts from the Wampanoag tribe, which has lived on the Cape for thousands of generations. Visit when the tide is right to hike out to Wing Island via the loop trail, which takes you from salt marsh to woodland to beach and back. Lunch just down the road at Kate's Seafood, a seasonal takeout stand with picnic tables, serving chowder, fried fish, burgers, hot dogs with sides of fries, onion rings, even mushrooms and zucchini. Celebrate summer with a mountain of ice cream or frozen yogurt topped with fresh blueberries and whipped cream.
Swim it off at the Cape’s largest freshwater pond, Long Pond, off of Route 134, or cannonball into Cliff Pond at Nickerson Park. In fall, this, the Cape’s largest state park, is a great leaf stomping grounds, and the perfect spot to snowshoe come winter. And if you fancy yourself a fair owl caller, try here after dark.
On a rainy afternoon, explore The Brewster Book Store, the newly opened Tanzer weaving studio, or The Packet Galleries an eclectic gallery of antiques, textiles, contemporary photography and other fine arts in a funky barn.
Dinner spots abound. JT’s Seafood Restaurant and Guapo’s rock it for casual family eateries. JT’s serves up fresh fish—fried, baked and grilled—plus healthy sides like salads, pilaf, and fresh veggies. Guapo’s, with access from the bike trail, has indoor tables and a large deck. Sip a frozen margarita while your kids dip into salsa until the burritos arrive.
For a couple’s night out, The Bramble Inn leans toward classic entrees like bouillabaisse and rack of lamb, spiced up with a Moroccan rub. Interesting bites can be had at the bar including poutine and mussels Provincetown, with a list of specialty martinis that could double as dessert. Brewster Fish House offers superbly prepared fish, cleanly made, light and effervescent. In high season a table won’t come quickly (the restaurant does not take reservations), but after dining you’ll know why. Save for a few fish that are not local, in summer nearly every ingredient is sourced nearby. The menu changes year round to compliment what’s in season, and some preparations include seawater from the local beach, or a dash of Brewster-picked beach plum liqueur. The crab cakes and seared scallops are stunningly fresh, the bisque is loaded with succulent chucks of lobster meat, and the sesame crusted flounder with bok choy is an example of the clean Asian-inspired entrees at which Brewster Fish House excels.
Catch the sun setting then stop by the Brewster General Store. It’s quirky walk down memory lane with kitschy tourist gifts, vintage postcards, and retro lunchboxes. Kids of all ages will want to visit the penny candy section where you tally your stash on slips of paper. Nothing beats a bag of penny candy while you’re doing your summer reading in bed, unless a moonlight swim at the pond calls to you.
Bramble Inn, 2019 Main Street
Brewster Book Store, 2648 Main Street
Brewster Coffee Shop, 2149 Main Street
Brewster Fish House, 2208 Main Street
Brewster General Store, 1935 Main Street
Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, 869 Main Street
Eat Cake 4 Breakfast Bakery, 302 Underpass Road
Guapo’s, 239 Underpass Road
Hopkins House Bakery, 2727 Main Street
JT's Seafood, 2689 Main Street
Kate’s Seafood, 284 Paine’s Creek
Nickerson State Park, 3488 Main Street
Packet Galleries, 311 Stony Brook Road
JT’s Seafood, 2689 Main Street
Snowy Owl Coffee Roasters, 2624 Main Street
Tanzer Weaving Studio, 2623 Main Street