Welcome to Harwich
With miles of rivers and a long coastline of sandy beaches as well as numerous inland marshes, Harwich is a perfect town for spending time on the water. In fact, this relaxed town of 12,000 had a historic maritime industry, with a significant cod fishing fleet throughout the 1800s. By the latter part of the century, local residents switched to cranberry farming, and Harwich is often cited as the birthplace of the commercial cranberry industry. The annual Harwich Cranberry Arts and Music Festival held every September celebrates this pleasing designation.
Eventually, the local economy turned toward hospitality and the development of resorts for increasing numbers of summer visitors. Today, Harwich is a popular and friendly destination, with many delightful residential neighborhoods. The town offers Cape Cod charm, stunning beaches, historic buildings, and a bustling main street with shops, restaurants, and galleries. Three main harbors provide ample opportunities for recreational boating, fishing excursions, waterside dining, and a convenient ferry to Nantucket.
From the fine art galleries in Harwich Port, to weekly summer concerts by the Town Band in Harwich Center, to the Cape Cod Theatre Company, home of the renowned Harwich Junior Theatre, Harwich fully embraces both visual and performing arts. Summertime events include the weekly “Art in the Park,” featuring works by local artists, Brooks Park Art and Crafts Festivals, TD Bank Monday Night Summer Concert Series at Brooks Park, and the popular Musical Stroll Nights along Route 28 in Harwich Port that take place weekly throughout July and August.
The Harwich Historical Society at Brooks Academy Museum features historic document collections and extensive photo archives, a reconstructed barn dedicated to Harwich bird carver A. Elmer Crowell, and Cape Cod’s largest exhibit on the history of cranberry farming. The historical society also hosts a seasonal weekly farmers’ market on its grounds. Brooks Free Library (739 Main St., Harwich) in Harwich Center offer special lectures, book clubs, and story times, while the Harwich Mariners of the Cape Cod Baseball League play each summer at the nearby Whitehouse Field (75 Oak St., Harwich).
After merging with neighboring Chatham in 2014 to create the Monomoy School District, Harwich’s public schools include its own Harwich Elementary School for children from pre-kindergarten through fourth grade, and the shared Monomoy Regional Middle School in Chatham, and Monomoy Regional High School, located in Harwich. Harwich is also home to the high-rated Lighthouse Charter School, a Commonwealth Charter school for grades six through eight, and the Cape Cod Regional Technical High School, which has recently completed construction on a new 220,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art building. There is also private Catholic early education available in Harwich at the Holy Trinity Regional.
Harwich is one of the four Lower Cape towns and it is situated on Nantucket Sound, on the southern side of Cape Cod. Harwich is bordered by Dennis to the west, Chatham to the east, and by Brewster to the north, with which it shares Long Pond, a large and popular freshwater pond with crystal clear water and a sandy bottom.
Points of Interest
Allen Harbor, Bank Street Beach, Brooks Academy Museum, Brooks Free Library, Brooks Park, Cape Cod Rail Trail, Cranberry Valley Golf Course, Harwich Conservation Trust lands, Harwich Junior Theater, Red River Beach, Saquatucket Harbor, Whitehouse Field, Wychmere Harbor.