Cape Cod Museum Trail

Cape Cod Museum Trail: Gray Gables

The Cape Cod Museum Trail

By Mary Moran

Cape Cod Museum Trail: Aptucxet Trading Post Windmill
Aptucxet Trading Post Windmill

Talk about convenience, if you are planning a Cape Cod vacation and are interested in history, science and/or art, your new ‘one‐stop shop’ will be on the Cape Cod Museum Trail (link). This new and innovative website was formed in 2014 and gives you an easy way to plan your day trips to all corners of the Cape. The website is an interactive virtual tour of all the museums and is available on any ‘smart phone’, tablet, or computer. While you are staying at the Palmer House Inn your day trips to many other Cape Cod towns can include a visit to the local museums. In addition to finding general information without having to leave the home page, one can get a constantly updated calendar of upcoming events, classes and activities that are offered at each of the members’ locations. There is also a gallery of photos and videos, in addition, there are stories and tours of each of the thirty-two museums on the trail.

Falmouth Museums on the Green

The Cape Cod Museum Trail was created by the museum directors who wanted to share and promote their priceless resources. Their goal is to inspire and educate visitors of all ages and walks of life. The trail is sponsored by First Union Credit Union.

New members are added monthly. They continue to contribute to the amazing fun and educational resources available on the trail. One can also subscribe to the trail’s informative email newsletter. What a great way to plan your visit using the the Palmer House Inn as the hub for your travels.

Cape Cod Museum Trail member museums are:


Cape Cod's Stowe Room, A
Harriet Beecher Stowe room
Cape Cod's Roosevelt Room, B
Cape Cod’s Roosevelt Room, B

While all of the bedchambers at the Palmer House have their own romantic charm suitable for relaxation after the most wonderful day of museum seeing adventures on Cape Cod, we recommend the Harriet Beecher Stowe room, the Theodore Roosevelt room or the Emily Dickinson room. These rooms feature comfortable king beds, fireplaces, jacuzzi-style tubs for a relaxing stay before and after your day.

Mary Moran is a Falmouth native and knowledgeable about Cape Cod. In addition to writing for the Palmer House Inn, she’s also frequently at the inn and available  to answer quest’s questions. She enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time exploring Falmouth’s coastal waterways.

Daytrip to Sandwich

By Mary Moran

Photography by P. L. O’Connell

When visiting the Cape, no matter what season, the town of Sandwich has something to offer for a day of fun that will excite the entire family. From the beaches to the museums, there are plenty of activities and learning experiences to explore in Sandwich. However, if you want to avoid the crowds we recommend staying in Falmouth (just 30 minutes away), and take a daytrip to Sandwich.

Waterfall at the Heritage Museums & Gardens, Sandwich.
Waterfall at the Heritage Museums & Gardens, Sandwich.

Heritage Museums and Gardens

Heritage Museums and Gardens is an excellent location to visit. There you will find numerous exhibitions ranging from meticulously maintained antique cars to a variety of artists’ collections, to aerial trails and zip-lines (new this year). In the gardens, there are one hundred acres of beautiful flowers, shrubs and trees that are unique to each season. Be sure to check out Heritage’s website to find lectures, workshops, and activities that are offered. There is something for everyone! Be sure to also check out the antique carousel that will have you reminiscing about a simpler and more carefree time. If you are bringing the kids, take them to Hidden Hollow. There they can explore the land and participate in exciting activities all while learning about nature and what it has to offer. Heritage Museums and Gardens is open year-round with ever changing offerings for learning science, enjoying beauty, and experiencing adventure.

Historic Sandwich Glass Museum on Your Daytrip to Sandwich

For a more historic view of Sandwich, take a trip to the Sandwich Glass Museum. In this museum you can learn about the unique history of the town and the important ways that the glass industry contributed to the local communities and nation. In addition to viewing beautiful, one of a kind 19th century glasswork, the museum offers a variety of exhibitions to view and even holds shows and events where one can watch the fine art of glass-blowing and sculpting created by local artisans. To remember this trip forever and the beautiful works of art you have admired in the museum, you can stop in at the gift shop and purchase some glass art for yourself or others (great gift idea)!

While in Sandwich, take a walk on the Boardwalk and enjoy the beauty and serenity that the ocean coast has to offer. Located at Town Beach, the Boardwalk is a 1,350 foot walkway right over and along the water’s edge. This walkway was destroyed in 1991 by Hurricane Bob, but the community rebuilt the beautiful boardwalk for people to enjoy for years to come. At the end of the walk, on a clear day, you can even see all the way to the tip of Provincetown, across Cape Cod Bay, Cape Cod’s most easterly town at the tip of the peninsula. When you aren’t soaking up this breath-taking  view, be sure to explore the beach and check out the wildlife, including several endangered species of birds that thrive on the coastal land. Parking is available at the beach year-round and non-residents permits are available.

Sandwich, Massachusettes

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Heritage Museums & Gardens: 41.749446, -70.507567
Sandwich Glass Museum: 41.758657, -70.500466
Palmer House Inn: 41.555639, -70.620020
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Heritage Museums & Gardens
67 Grove Street, Sandwich, MA, United States
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Sandwich Glass Museum
129 Main Street, Sandwich, MA 02563, United States
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Palmer House Inn
81 Palmer Avenue, Falmouth, MA, United States

Next time you are visiting us at at our Cape Cod bed and breakfast inn and are looking for something new or old to explore, be sure to take the pleasant day trip to historic Sandwich, Cape Cod’s oldest town. The staff, and Bill and Pat, at the Palmer House Inn are happy to answer any questions you may have about planning the day, just pop right in at the front desk!

Cape Cod's Stowe Room, A
Harriet Beecher Stowe room
Cape Cod's Roosevelt Room, B
Cape Cod’s Roosevelt Room, B

While all of our rooms have their own individual charm suitable for relaxation after the most wonderful day of adventures exploring Sandwich and Cape Cod, we recommend the Harriet Beecher Stowe room, the Theodore Roosevelt room or the Emily Dickinson room. These rooms feature comfortable king beds, fireplaces, jacuzzi-style tubs and a relaxing stay before and after your day.

Cape Cod Activities: Falmouth During WW II

Cape Cod Activities: WWII Uniform at Falmouth Museums

United for Victory / The Home Front

Cape Cod Activities: Women's WWII Uniforms
Women’s WWII Uniforms

For the first time in recorded history one series of events touched the life virtually everyone on this earth. Falmouth’s Museums on the Green is presenting an exhibit about what Falmouth was like during the World War II years from 1941 to 1945. Three rooms in the Conant House have been devoted to memorabilia from the WW II era in addition to videos of oral history interviews. There has been much history written about the theaters of war, however, this exhibit focuses on what was going on, on the home front in Falmouth.

Cape Cod Activities: WWII Pamphlet
WWII Pamphlet

One of the things that the museum has been doing this summer, and a fantastic small town Cape Cod activity, was to give the public an idea of what people were thinking and feeling in the 1940’s, is to have a series of movies that were in the local theatre at that time, they call it “Movie Mondays”. The museum’s directors decided to make the showing on Monday evenings at 7:00. That was ideal for us because Bill and I usually go to dinner at one of the restaurants on Main Street around, we are frequently strolling past the museum on our way back to the Inn. While Bill continues on to the Inn to check the office and refresh the iced tea and pastries in the old dining room before I stop in to see the film.

The movies are free and are shown on the big screen in the new education center. For atmosphere and pleasure one can purchase fresh pop corn that is served in little red and white paper bags, Coke in bottles, water and a few other snacks. Each showing starts with cartoons that would have been playing at that time and then on to the show. The first movie was “Casablanca” with Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart. “Casablanca” was released in 1942. Marc Schmidt, the Museums director, always tells us a bit of trivia as we are departing. That night’s trivia was that the first actor who was considered for the role that Bogart played was Ronald Reagan.

Cape Cod Activities: WWII Uniform at Falmouth Museums
WWII Uniform.

The second movie was “Yankee Doodle Dandy”, with James Cagney. It was also released in 1942. It is about the life of George M. Cohan. Cohan died before the film was released but it is believed that he was able to see it before his passing.

Movie number three was “Arsenic and Old Lace”. It starred Cary Grant and it was also released in 1942. Marc’s trivia contribution was that Cary Grant donated, his entire earnings from the film, to the war effort.

Cape Cod Activities: WWII Letters and Photos
WWII Letters and Photos

Another Monday  film was “Meet Me in Saint Louis”, staring Judy Garland. It was the first one in color. The trivia about this one, was that Judy Garland refused to sing the song, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, until the lyrics were changed. The original wording was: “Have yourself a merry little Christmas, it might be your last.” To her credit,  Garland thought, that those words conveyed  the wrong sentiment during difficult times.

On July 29th we saw “Sergeant York”. It was released in 1941 before the US joined the war. Marc has already told the trivia about this one. It was on December 7, 1941 the manager of the local  theatre stopped the showing to announce that Pearl Harbor had been bombed. Three Falmouth men got up left the theatre and went to the Army recruitment office to sign up.

Cape Cod Activities: Garden for Victory
Garden for Victory

The Falmouth Museums on the Green is located just a few steps from the Palmer House Inn. The exhibit will be on display through October 12th.

Falmouth Museums on the Green:

Cape Cod Bedroom 12 Model Boat
Pride of Baltimore II in the Richard Henry Dana Room

While all of our rooms have their own historic charm, we recommend the Theodore Roosevelt Room for its Victorian flourishes, the Emily Dickinson Room for its New England charm, and the Richard Henry Dana Room for its nautical theme. All of three of these rooms feature king beds and jacuzzi-style tubs for complete relaxation after a wonderful day of museum going and Cape Cod activities.