1. Home
  2. Towns
  3. Chatham

FTC Disclosure: If you make a purchase via a link on this site, I may receive a small commission on the transaction - at no added cost to you. Thank you!

Visiting Chatham MA
A Distinctive Destination on Cape Cod 

Updated: February 18, 2024

The beautiful seaside town of Chatham MA is rich in history. In 2007 the town was named by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as a "Distinctive Destination".

It's a well-deserved honor, for sure!  

Chatham Inn
Chatham Inn

Wherever you go in Chatham, you'll see lovingly restored homes, inns, shops, and historic sites - some dating back to the town's founding more than 300 years ago.

And everywhere along Chatham's scenic shoreline, the picture-postcard scenery will take your breath away. 

Peek of the oceanEarly Summer Along Shore Road in Chatham


About Chatham, MA

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, vacationers began coming to  Chatham to escape the city heat. They found luxury lodgings, incredible scenery and so many natural resources to enjoy.

Now, more than a century later, visitors still choose Chatham for the same reasons!

Where on Cape Cod is Chatham?

If you picture Cape Cod as a curled arm, Chatham is at the point of the elbow. (Zoom out [-] on the map below to see the "arm" shape.)

The town's southern coastline is along Nantucket Sound, and to the east is the Atlantic Ocean.

View Chatham MA in a larger map

How to Get to Chatham, MA

By Car

Driving distance to Chatham is approximately:

  • 85 miles from Boston MA
  • 95 miles from Providence RI
  • 178 miles from Hartford CT
  • 275 miles from New York City.

Directions from the Bourne Bridge: take the 3rd exit off the Bourne rotary (traffic circle) onto Sandwich Road. Continue on Sandwich Road for about 3 miles, then follow the signs for a right turn to US-6 East. Take US-6 East to Exit 85 for MA-137 South. Follow MA-137 South to Old Queen Anne Road. Old Queen Anne Road will bring you to Main Street in Chatham.

Directions from the Sagamore Bridge: take US-6 East to Exit 85 for MA-137 South. Take MA-137 South to Old Queen Anne Road to  Main Street in Chatham.

Miles to/from downtown Chatham (approx.):

  • Harwich - 7
  • Orleans - 9
  • Brewster - 10
  • Eastham - 13
  • Dennis - 14
  • Yarmouth - 16
  • Hyannis/Barnstable - 20
  • Wellfleet - 22
  • Truro - 26
  • Mashpee - 31
  • Sandwich - 32
  • Provincetown - 36
  • Bourne - 37
  • Falmouth - 40

By Air

Major airports nearest to Chatham are: Logan International Airport in Boston and T.F. Green International Airport in Providence, RI.

Local airports nearest to Chatham are: Cape Cod Gateway Airport in Hyannis and Provincetown Municipal Airport in Provincetown.

*Note: Chatham Municipal Airport in Chatham serves private and charter flights only.

By Bus

Buses come to Hyannis from Boston and other major cities in the northeast on a regular, daily schedule all year round.

When you arrive in Hyannis, you can pick up a rental car or take a taxi or rideshare to your final destination in Chatham.

Check these bus companies to see which one best suits your preferred route and schedule:

Activities & Attractions in Chatham

Here are just a few examples of what you'll find around town ...

Chatham Lighthouse

37 Main Street
Chatham, MA

tall white lighthouse with black dome, adjacent to a large white building with red roof and brick chimneysChatham Light and Coast Guard Station

This iconic lighthouse is open for touring Wednesday afternoon in July and August, every other Wednesday in September, and on select days other times of year.

Tours are free, and no reservations are necessary.

*See: Cape Cod Lighthouses: Tours, Overnight Stays & More

Chatham Town Pier (a/k/a "Chatham Fish Pier")

50 Barcliff Avenue
Chatham, MA

Close-up of a seal with its head out of the water

What's here? 

Seal spotting, watching the fishing fleet unload their catch, water shuttles to the beach, a fishing charter service, and the locals' favorite fish market serving up the freshest catches of the day.

A vacation in Chatham isn't complete without a visit to the Fish Pier!

*Read: All About Chatham Fish Pier

Chatham Railroad Museum

153 Depot Road
Chatham, MA

Railroad Gothic-style train museum with railroad car out front

This train station served the town for half a century, from 1887-1937.

Touring the 100+ year-old depot building and the fully restored caboose on site gives a fascinating glimpse of rail travel to Cape Cod in days gone by.

Admission is free. Donations are greatly appreciated.

*Go to: Chatham Railroad Museum website

Bicycling Trails

All around the town
Chatham, MA

Paved bicycle trail shaded by green, leafy trees

Ride the Old Colony Rail Trail to Harwich, or pedal the Scenic Bike Route to the Fish Pier, the lighthouse, and Oyster Pond Beach. 

Biking is a great way to get around town, see the sights, and avoid sitting in summer traffic.

*See: Chatham bike trail map

Chatham Beaches

Multiple locations in town
Chatham, MA

View of a large expanse of beach and ocean

From the expansive stretch of Lighthouse and South Beach on the town's Atlantic Ocean coast, to family-friendly Ridgevale, Cockle Cove and other warm-water beaches on Nantucket Sound, there's a perfect beach for every visitor.

*Read: About Chatham's best beaches

Chatham's Main Street

Main Street
Chatham, MA

Quaint shop decorated for the Holidays with white lights

Lodgings, shopping, restaurants and pubs, a beautifully restored vintage movie theater, a bandstand for outdoor concerts ... and Oyster Pond beach just a short walk away.

From one end to the other, Chatham's charming, very walkable Main Street has it all!

Chatham MA Lodging

Vacation accommodations in Chatham cover a wide range from charming guest houses and B&Bs, to seaside hotels and motels, and a great selection of vacation rentals. 

For a special stay, Chatham is home to the grand, historic Chatham Bars Inn. "CBI" has all the amenities you can imagine, in a spectacular oceanview location!

Front entry and facade of Chatham Bars Inn

Chatham Bars Inn & Spa

Looking for something a little easier on the budget? These are just a few of the more moderately priced lodgings in Chatham:

See Other Lodgings in Chatham

"Entering Chatham" white street sign with black trim

 Enjoy your visit to Chatham, MA!


  1. Home
  2. Towns
  3. Chatham


Photo Credits: Some lodging photos courtesy of Trip Advisor. All others are copyright CapeDays.com.