Day Trip: Chatham Pier and Fish Market
Chatham is located in the southeast corner, or “elbow,” of Cape Cod. Due to its strategic geographical location, the town became a busy shipping, fishing, and whaling center during the eighteenth century. Today, Chatham is still dotted with charming historical buildings from this prosperous period in its history. These buildings, plus the town’s beaches and nature areas, have made Chatham one of the Cape’s most popular summer destinations.
Chatham Lighthouse and Chatham Beach
Chatham Light in Chatham, Massachusetts is a very popular Lighthouse; through the years, Chatham Light has played an integral role in keeping Chatham Harbor safe. In 1952, for example, Coast Guard personnel stationed at the lighthouse successfully rescued crew members from the SS Pendleton, a tanker that broke in two during a gale off the Cape. The rescue, which is depicted in the movie The Finest Hours, is one of the most daring in Coast Guard history.
The Cape Cod National Seashore consists of nearly 45,000 acres of protected land along the eastern shore of Cape Cod. The preserve spans woodlands, ponds, and beaches in Chatham, Eastham, Orleans, Provincetown, Truro, and Wellfleet, and covers much of the area that the Pilgrims explored in 1620 and 1621 after anchoring the Mayflower in Provincetown Harbor.
The Chatham Marconi Maritime Center is located on the site of the former Marconi-RCA Wireless Receiving Station in Chatham. This receiving station was part of WCC, a short-wave radio station that exchanged messages with ships, planes, and zeppelins. For most of the twentieth century, WCC was the busiest public ship-to-shore radio station in the world.
The Monomoy Island Ferry specializes in boat tours around Monomoy for whale watching, seal spotting and sport fishing. They are also one of the few boats operators permitted to let visitors disembark on the offshore Monomoy Island. Their guided tours led by knowledgeable naturalists gives you the opportunity to see Monomoy Lighthouse up close and explore the raw, untouched beauty of the Monomoy shores, ponds, marshland, and beaches.
The Atwood House and Museum. At the Atwood House & Museum, visitors can learn about eighteenth-century Chatham by exploring the historic home of a local sea captain. The home, which dates back to 1752, features furniture, documents, and other artifacts from eighteenth-century Cape Cod. The museum is a fascinating look at one of Chatham’s most important historical periods.
Visit the Chatham Pier and Fish Market
A day trip to Chatham would be considered incomplete without a visit to the Chatham Pier and Fish Market located at 53 Barcliff Avenue Ext in Chatham, Massachusetts. The pier gives visitors and tourists an overview of the arrival of fishing boats, the unloading of hundreds of crates of various types of fish that include cod, seabass, bluefish, and mackerels. From the top of the pier, visitors can view the unloading and also see gray seals eat any fish that may slip off the boat into the surrounding waters. Watch out for seagulls in wait for fish scraps.
Next to the pier is a fish market that sells fresh and fried seafood that can be eaten on site at picnic tables located next to the fish market. Visitors will also get to see numerous delivery trucks that are there to purchase crates of fish for delivery to fish markets and restaurants in the greater Boston area. This can be a great fun time for the whole family!