Cape Cod is a region packed with American history. From old time whaling practices to the industrial impact of railroads, Cape Cod has been pivotal in many periods of our nation’s development. When you visit our Chatham bed and breakfast, you will have ample opportunity to experience some of the best Cape Cod museums. We have chosen a few of our favorite Cape Cod museums you should be sure to visit during your time at Chatham Gables Inn.
The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History is located in Brewster. The museum’s mission is “to inspire appreciation, understanding and stewardship of our natural environment through discovery and learning.” A favorite of the Cape Cod museums due to its hands-on opportunities, the Museum of Natural History offers programs, classes, lectures, workshops, field trips, walks and more to both children and adults. The museum is a steward of more than 400 acres in Stony Brook Valley and Brewster, giving ample opportunity to view the area’s natural history in motion. Along with the interactive exhibits and classes, there is a collection of natural history artifacts and at times the museum exhibits traveling and loan collections that are relevant to Cape Cod’s natural history.
The Atwood House Museum is the home of the Chatham Historical Society. Its aim is to educate visitors about the historical and cultural significance of Chatham and the surrounding areas. Several galleries in the museum include important art and artifacts of historical interest. On the museum grounds you will find the Nickerson North Beach Camp, the Chatham School Bells display, a Wampanoag dugout canoe and the Chatham Light Display. The popular Light Display includes the lantern house from the historic twin light of Chatham with its original Fresnel lens.
Located at the railroad depot that served Chatham in the 1880s and beyond, the Chatham Railroad Museum is the perfect destination for fans of locomotives and the history of Cape Cod in general. The beautifully restored depot is a classic example of an architectural style referred to as “Railroad Gothic.” Hundreds of exhibits are on the premises, including New York Central model locomotives used at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. There is also a restored wood caboose from 1910 open for your exploration.
Are you curious about the history of whaling in New England? Then you definitely need to check out the New Bedford Whaling Museum. One of the best Cape Cod museums to learn about this important part of the area’s history, the New Bedford Whaling Museum has a large collection of artifacts, interactive exhibits, artwork and more. There are five whale skeletons on display, including rare blue and northern right skeletons. The museum is also home to the world’s largest whaling ship model, so you can get some firsthand insight into the whaling experience. Other items of interest include rare antiques and logbooks from whaling vessels.
One of the Cape Cod museums you should visit if you’re an art lover is the Cape Cod Museum of Art. This museum showcases works by artists associated with Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Southeastern Massachusetts. Other artworks are included in the museum’s collection to provide art history context for the regional artwork.
When planning your visits to these Cape Cod museums, don’t forget to book your stay at Chatham Gables Inn. Our Cape Cod bed and breakfast is set in a renovated Captain’s Manse from 1839, so you can experience the area’s history firsthand. Our luxurious rooms are the ideal place to unwind and recharge during your time in Cape Cod.
Photo courtesy Smart Destinations.