Brewster

What You Should Know

Considered by some to be Cape Cod's most picturesque town, Brewster captures the heart of anyone who loves the quaint and the quiet. Known as the "sea captain's town", Brewster was once part of Harwich before it broke off on its own. Many of the beautiful old mansions built by sea captains are now inns.

Brewster (pop. 9,820) was settled in 1659 and named for the "pious Elder of Plymouth" William Brewster. It wasn't until 1803 that the wealthy citizens of Brewster decided to split from Harwich and incorporate as their own town. Many prosperous sea captains built their homes here. Shipping was a big industry, as was salt making which reached a high point in the mid-1800s with over 60 saltworks scattered throughout town.


Higgins Farm Windmill at Drummer Boy Park on Route 6A in Brewster. Photo by Jane Booth.

Why You Should Go 
 
Brewster has some wonderful conservation land set aside for your hiking enjoyment at the Punkhorn Parklands. Biking enthusiasts and walkers will love the Cape Cod Rail Trail. Maintained by the state's Dept. of Conservation and Recreation, the Cape Cod Rail Trail, a 22-mile former railroad, runs from Dennis to Wellfleet. As the trail makes its way through Brewster, it passes through Nickerson State Park. Operated by the state, Nickerson is a favorite spot for campers known for its crystal clean ponds, trails, and thick forest. All its saltwater beaches are on the Cape Cod Bay, where you can walk out for a mile at low tide.

Get your clubs out, golfers! Brewster is home to the Captains Golf Course. There are two championships, par 72 courses to choose from at this public club. And for baseball fans, like several of the Cape's other towns, Brewster is home to a Cape Cod Baseball League team—the Brewster Whitecaps.

Brewster is oozing with history. Just take a ride along Route 6A and you'll be surrounded by old sea captains' houses that are now private homes, B&Bs, inns, shops, and restaurants. The Brewster Historical Society operates a museum on Route 6A and offers summer walking tours, lectures and other special events throughout the year. The historical society also maintains the Higgins Farm Windmill, Harris-Black House, and Blacksmith Shop on the grounds of Drummer Boy Park.

The town-run Stony Brook Grist Mill and Herring Run is not to be missed. The working grist mill is open in the summer and the herring run bursts with spawning alewives and hungry gulls early each spring.


The Brewster herring run typically teems with spawning alewives in the early spring. Photo by Jane Booth.

    Learn all about the Cape's flora and fauna at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History. The Museum offers exhibits, lectures and workshops all year for adults and children. There's also an aquarium and three walking trails.

    Antique collectors will be overjoyed by the number of shops in town—Brewster is a collector's paradise.

    If you are into entertainment and the arts, check out the Cape Rep Theatre on Route 6A which features live plays and performances for adults year-round and for children in the summer.

    Brewster in Bloom, a weekend celebration of daffodils and all things Brewster, takes place around the first weekend in May.

    Travel Tips

    Town Information: Town of Brewster, Brewster Chamber of Commerce, Brewster Ladies' Library

    Churches: Our Lady of the Cape, Cape Cod Bible Alliance, Brewster Baptist Church, Northside United Methodist Church, Cape Cod Covenant Church, First Parish Brewster

    Staying in Brewster: Hotels, Motels & ResortsBed and Breakfasts & InnsVacation Rentals

    Beaches: Breakwater, Crosby Landing, Ellis Landing, Linnell Landing, Paines Creek, Robbins Hill, Saint’s Landing, Long Pond, Upper Mill Pond