Recognized as the entrance to the Cape Cod National Seashore, Eastham stands as a serene township with a population of under 6,000 year round residents. Boasting convenient access to both the Atlantic Ocean and Cape Cod Bay, the town offers extensive networks of walking and biking trails that weave through woodlands, meadows, and protected areas. Its charm is further enhanced by numerous freshwater kettle ponds and meandering tidal rivers and creeks, making Eastham a compelling destination for enthusiasts of the outdoors. The landscape is adorned with traditional saltbox residences harmonizing with modern custom capes, while the town’s commercial focal point centers mainly around Route 6. In close proximity, the maritime-themed Field of Dreams playground, constructed through funding from the Eastham Community Preservation Act, is just behind Town Hall. This recreational haven features attractions like rope climbing, baseball diamonds, basketball and pickleball courts, as well as soccer fields.
SOURCE: US Census, American Community Survey Program, Estimates for July 2021.
EASTHAM, MA Real Estate Trends for Single-Family Homes
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Places to stay in EASTHAM, MA
Where to Eat IN EASTHAM, MA
Things to do in Eastham, MA
Explore the Salt Pond Visitor Center and its natural wonders.
Located in Eastham, MA, the Salt Pond Visitor Center serves as the gateway to the Cape Cod National Seashore. This center is your starting point for exploring a network of picturesque walking and biking trails that wind through pristine woodlands and serene meadows. Positioned at the convergence of the Atlantic Ocean and Cape Cod Bay, the center provides a unique perspective to admire the natural beauty of the region. Moreover, the area boasts a variety of freshwater kettle ponds and intricate tidal rivers, making it an attractive destination for nature enthusiasts. Whether you’re in search of outdoor adventures or a deeper connection with Cape Cod’s ecosystems, the Salt Pond Visitor Center offers a captivating introduction to the natural treasures of Eastham.
Experience the natural beauty of Cape Cod’s Shoreline at Coast Guard Beach.
Coast Guard Beach is a renowned coastal destination. Part of the Cape Cod National Seashore, it boasts expansive sandy shores along the Atlantic Ocean. The beach is celebrated for its natural beauty and serves as a prime spot for beachcombing and relaxation. The picturesque landscape, characterized by dunes and maritime vegetation, contributes to its allure. As one of Cape Cod’s notable landmarks, Coast Guard Beach attracts visitors seeking a genuine seaside experience.
Visit the historic landmark Nauset Lighthouse.
Nauset Light, situated on Cape Cod’s picturesque coastline, is a historic lighthouse that has long served as a guiding presence. Perched atop the scenic cliffs of Eastham, MA, this iconic lighthouse has safeguarded seafarers for generations. Its distinct red and white tower stands as a testament to maritime history and offers panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. As a beloved landmark and a symbol of Cape Cod’s maritime heritage, Nauset Light continues to captivate visitors with its rich history and breathtaking surroundings.
Experience Cape Cod’s heritage at the Eastham Windmill.
The Eastham Windmill, an esteemed landmark gracing Cape Cod, stands as a tribute to the area’s storied legacy. This historical windmill offers a window into yesteryears, showcasing the craftsmanship and ingenuity of a bygone era. With its distinctive structure and picturesque environment, the Eastham Windmill captivates history aficionados and curious explorers alike. Its role in safeguarding Cape Cod’s historical essence renders it an essential stop for those seeking a tangible link to the region’s cultural heritage.
Explore the history and scenic beauty at the Three Sisters Lighthouses.
The Three Sisters Lighthouses in Eastham stand as a captivating blend of historical significance and picturesque allure. These iconic lighthouses, with their unique red and white structures, have guided seafarers along Cape Cod’s treacherous coastline for generations. The lights soon gained the nickname “The Three Sisters” because from the sea they looked like women in white dresses with black hats. Situated near Nauset Light Beach, these lighthouses offer a captivating backdrop for visitors, showcasing the charm of Cape Cod’s maritime heritage. Exploring the Three Sisters Lighthouses provides a window into the region’s storied past while immersing you in the breathtaking coastal landscape.
Visit the 1869 Schoolhouse Museum.
Explore the captivating narrative of the past as you engage with the 1869 Schoolhouse Museum, an intriguing historical attraction in Eastham, MA. This endearing museum beckons you to step into the past, offering a window into 19th-century educational practices through a meticulously preserved schoolhouse. With its authentic classroom arrangement and exhibits that echo the era, the museum presents a distinctive opportunity to intimately connect with the daily lives of students from eras long gone. Regardless of whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply harbor curiosity about the past, the 1869 Schoolhouse Museum guarantees an immersive and enlightening experience that seamlessly bridges the historical with the contemporary.
Experience seafaring history at the Captain Penniman House.
Step into the maritime past as you delve into the Captain Penniman House, a captivating historical site situated in Eastham, MA. This distinguished house offers a fascinating glimpse into the life of Captain Edward Penniman, a 19th-century whaling master. Preserved meticulously, the house showcases intricate details of Victorian architecture and provides an immersive experience into the seafaring lifestyle of the era. From the elegant interiors adorned with period furnishings to the lush gardens surrounding the property, the Captain Penniman House invites you to journey back in time and uncover the tales of Cape Cod’s seafaring legacy.
Step into Eastham’s past at the Swift-Daley Museum.
Nestled conveniently at 2375 Route 6, adjacent to the Eastham Post Office, the Swift-Daley Museum unveils the town’s rich history through its well-preserved artifacts and captivating stories. Constructed in 1741 by ship’s carpenter Joshua Knowles, its distinctive bowed roof is a hallmark of early houses crafted by maritime craftsmen. The interior boasts notable 18th-century features such as wide board floors, a deep fireplace in the keeping room, and a narrow stairway that harkens back to a bygone era.
The furnishings within span from the Colonial to the Victorian era, offering visitors a glimpse into the lives of generations who called this house home. In 1859, Nathaniel Swift, one of the occupants, would later go on to co-found the renowned Swift meat packing empire in Chicago alongside his brother Gustavus.
Adding to its legacy, Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Daley purchased the house in 1939, embarking on an effort to restore it to its original glory. Mrs. Daley’s generosity culminated in the house’s donation to the Eastham Historical Society in 1974, cementing its role as a historical centerpiece. Within its walls, a diverse array of period furniture, clothing, china, and quilts provide a tangible connection to Eastham’s past.
Recognizing its significance, the Swift-Daley House holds a prestigious spot on the National Register of Historic Places, serving as a cherished repository of Eastham’s collective memory and heritage.
Explore Red Maple Swamp Trail.
Embark on a journey into Eastham’s natural beauty with a visit to the Red Maple Swamp Trail. Nestled in the heart of this charming town, the trail offers an enchanting escape into the wilderness. Meandering through diverse landscapes, including enchanting woodlands and vibrant wetlands, the trail beckons nature enthusiasts and hikers alike. Its winding pathways unveil the captivating allure of Cape Cod’s ecosystems, inviting you to witness the serene elegance of a red maple swamp ecosystem. With every step, you’ll encounter the region’s distinctive flora and fauna, and perhaps even catch glimpses of resident wildlife. The Red Maple Swamp Trail serves as a peaceful retreat, where the rustling leaves and harmonious sounds of nature provide a soothing backdrop to your explorations.
HISTORY IN EASTHAM, MA
Eastham, a place steeped in history, bears witness to the momentous initial interaction in 1620 between a small Mayflower expedition and the local Nauset people at what is now known as First Encounter Beach. The town officially received its incorporation in 1651 and experienced a thriving early economy, driven by industries such as whaling, fishing, salt-making, and farming. Notably, writer Henry Beston found inspiration along its windswept coast, where he constructed a solitary beach shack to pen his beloved 1928 account, “The Outermost House,” recounting a year on Eastham’s untamed outer beach.
ARTS in EASTHAM, MA
The Hands on the Arts Festival, a cultural gem, graces Windmill Green every June. The town’s oldest windmill, erected in Plymouth in 1688 and relocated to Eastham in 1808, provides a scenic backdrop. Hosted by the Eastham Cultural Council, this two-day extravaganza features a juried arts and crafts show, along with engaging children’s hands-on art activities, music, dance, puppetry, and other captivating performances. The Cultural Council further champions excellence, education, and diversity in the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences, thanks to Mass Cultural Council grants.
Culture in EASTHAM, MA
Windmill Green becomes the epicenter of excitement during Windmill Weekend, a cherished annual event occurring on the Saturday and Sunday following Labor Day. Revel in road races, a sand art competition, band concerts, square dancing, a tricycle race, and the acknowledgment of local volunteers’ contributions. Eastham proudly houses several historic sites and museums, including the 1869 Schoolhouse Museum, the Swift-Daley House, the Captain Penniman House at Fort Hill, and the Dill Beach Camp dune shack. Additionally, Lower Cape Community Access Television, situated at Nauset Regional High School, empowers community members to explore TV production. Don’t miss the whimsical and popular Eastham Turnip Festival, a festive tribute to the locally grown tuber.
EDUCATION in EASTHAM, MA
Eastham is one of the four Lower Cape towns that constitute the Nauset Regional School District. Students in the district attend Nauset Regional Middle School in Orleans and Nauset Regional High School in North Eastham, nestled on the fringes of the Cape Cod National Seashore. High school students also have the option of enrolling at Cape Cod Regional Technical High School in Harwich. For elementary education, Eastham Elementary School is the community’s dedicated institution. While Eastham does not have private K-12 schools within its borders, neighboring towns offer alternative private educational choices.