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Chatham, MA

Updated on March 29, 2013

Things to do in Chatham: Photos, Videos, and More Information About Chatham, Cape Cod

Chatham is one of Cape Cod's busiest towns, both during peak summer months and off peak winter times. Chatham has a vibrant, quaint Main Street area, lined with shops, inns, and restaurants, as well as some of Cape Cod's best known art galleries. Known as the elbow of the Cape, Chatham, MA has had its own Chatham Lighthouse serving as a beacon to keep ships away from its sand banks since the 1840's. If you're looking for fun things to do on Cape Cod, and some of the best beaches in New England, look no further than Chatham. This page will provide you with some recommended things to do in Chatham, photos, videos, and a little history of the town.

Intro photo of Lighthouse Beach by wsh1266 on flickr licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.

Chatham is at the "elbow" of Cape Cod. It's directly north of Nantucket and Monomoy Islands, south of Orleans, and east of Harwich.

Right: Chatham Lighthouse Mousepad

(Click mousepad to purchase)

A Timeline of Chatham Lighthouse:

* 1841 The wood octagons were replaced with 40 ft (12m) brick towers

* 1857 Fourth order Fresnel lens installed.

* 1879 Current structures, of brick lined cast iron, were built.

* 1923 Northern tower of the pair was moved roughly 12 miles north to become Nauset Light.

* 1939 Chatham Light, which had been kerosene fueled since 1882, became electric.

* 1969 Fresnel lens was replaced with a Carlisle & Finch DCB-224 rotating light generating over 2.8 million candlepower.

* 1969 Lantern replaced

* 1982 Automated, now one of the few lights that operates 24 hours a day.

Chatham Lighthouse timeline courtesy Wikipedia.

How to Get to the Lighthouse:

It's very easy to get to Chatham Lighthouse and Lighthouse Beach from most parts of town. From Route 28, which becomes Main Street, follow this until its end. Take a right on Shore Road. The parking lot for the lighthouse will be on your left, the lighthouse on your right. Parking is hard to find during the summer months and on weekends, so plan your excursion during off peak times if possible. Or, if you're parking Chatham Center, you can take a walk to Chatham Light. This walk should only be about 1.4 miles round trip from the center.

Official (and Unofficial) Chatham Town Links - Find out more about this Cape Cod town through these other websites:

Here's more information about Chatham, MA here on these other websites:

The Five Best Restaurants in Chatham, MA

Some of Chatham's best restaurants of all types

You might think that Cape Cod is all seafood and turkey dinners, but that's not so. Chatham has a fairly diverse range of restaurants, particularly because they have a large tourist base that visits the town. Here, you'll find some of the best restaurants in Chatham, chosen for their delicious food and great atmosphere (or maybe just the good food).

1. Carmine's Pizza. When you're on Cape Cod, it can be tough to find a good pizza place. When it comes to the Cape, however, Carmine's is one of the best. With huge pizzas that are big enough to feed an army, the pizzas themselves have great sauce, crust, and cheese. No cheap ingredients here. The dough is especially tasty, and they offer a variety of different gourmet style pizzas. Don't expect to be waited on hand and foot, this is a true pizza parlor. Come and get it to go, or dine in and eat at a table, if you're lucky enough to come when one is available.

2. The Corner Store. They're only open from 6am-6pm, but they have the best burritos on Cape Cod. It's tough to find great Mexican food on the Cape, so enjoy this! Stop on by for breakfast, lunch, or dinner (if you're early).

3. Red Nun Bar & Grill. Great beers on tap, great bar food, this pub is one of Chatham's finest. Burgers, fries, fried seafood, sandwiches, onion rings, and typical pub food of New England can be found at this Chatham mainstay.

4. Lazy Lobster. Everyone says to try the lobster roll at the Lazy Lobster! The restaurant also has great chowder and breakfasts.

5. Chatham Bars Inn. This restaurant is upscale, not too cheap, and well worth it for the unmatched views of the Atlantic Ocean and sand bars that lie off the coast of Chatham. Like the name suggests, this is also an inn (one that's often jam packed full in the summer).

A Scenic Drive Along Shore Drive - From Chatham Lighthouse north along Shore Road

This is one of Chatham's most scenic drives, starting at the southeastern tip of town, heading north along Shore Road.

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Lighthouse Beach, Chatham - Located right near downtown Chatham adjacent to Chatham Lighthouse

Chatham Fireworks on New Year's Eve - Fireworks celebration in Chatham

Chatham: Images of America - The history of Chatham through photos and stories

Chatham   (MA)   (Images  of  America)
Chatham (MA) (Images of America)

From the description:

With vivid photographs, Chatham brings the town to life from the early 1800s to the 1960s. In these pages, see Chatham's lighthouse, which has warned of treacherous sandbars off the coast and has witnessed hundreds of shipwrecks since 1808, and the Mack Monument, which memorializes one valiant rescue"


Find Some of Cape Cod's Best Things to do - Fun things to do in Chatham on this video

Halfway between Falmouth and Provincetown lies Chatham, with a rich maritime history. It boasts great seafood restaurants along with fun and unique shops.

Sunset at Oyster Pond - Chatham, Cape Cod.

(Click to purchase print)

Thanks for stopping by! If you've had an experience you'd like to share about Chatham, from vacations to restaurants, to recommended galleries or beaches, we'd like to hear about it (and so would everyone else!).

Have You Ever Been to Chatham? - Live in Chatham? Visited here? Tell us about your vacation or visit to Chatham in this guestbook!

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    • profile image

      Nada 3 years ago

      Awesome pics, Lee!Just a question, what is the araevge number of pics you take on a 180 deg panorama and same for 360. Are you using the Sigma 8mm for your 180 rectangular panoramas as well just curious

    • judithcheng lm profile image

      judithcheng lm 6 years ago

      great me alot of time before my trip...THANKS

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Another great lens on another beautiful location in Cape Cod. Awesome work so far on this amazing place. I've never visited, but you've made me want to - very informational lens! : )