While our two Harwich hotels are sister properties, sharing a website, and the same ownership and management team, each has its own distinctive features. Here is some information that might help you decide where to spend your Cape Cod vacation.
As our tagline says, our Cape Cod inns offer “Elegance In Town and By The Sea.” Our “in town” property is the Winstead Inn, which is located on Parallel Street in Harwich Center. It is a bucolic setting; a quiet street lined with historic homes, just a few steps from Main Street’s village center.
While it is relatively new, at least by Cape Cod’s historic standards, Winstead Inn has the sophisticated style of an old sea captain’s home, complete with a grand veranda lined with rocking chairs and a turret (yes, turret!). It is the newer of the inns, as well as being larger and offering more amenities, the most notable of which is the spectacular swimming pool.
Guests of Winstead Inn are welcome to use the private beach at the Beach Resort, our “by the sea” property, but the swimming pool is reserved for only for guests at the Winstead, so even if the inn is full, the spacious terrace surrounding the pool never feels crowded.
Many of the larger rooms offer a wet bar or kitchenette – or both – and a dining area or sitting and, perhaps, even a private terrace or balcony. And with a massive fieldstone fireplace surrounded by plush seating, the great room at Winstead is truly worthy of its name.
Within walking distance of Winstead Inn is the renowned Cape Cod Rail Trail. Whether you are biking it or hiking it, the rail trail, which meanders through wooded conservation land and past working cranberry bogs, is not to be missed. For those looking to get off the beaten path, foot trails wind through the woods adjacent to the paved bikeway. Also within walking distance are the shops and restaurants on Main Street, including The Seal Pub & Café, offering great food mixed with a good dose of “local color.” From fresh-baked pastries and avocado toast in the morning, to decadent pizzas and out-of-this-world sliders, The Seal never disappoints. Another option is Ruggie’s, which serves breakfast and lunch. In the summer season, free Harwich Town Band concerts on Tuesday nights at Brooks Park – so close to the Winstead, you can hear the music from our lawn – are straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. On Thursday afternoons, the Harwich Farmers’ Market sets up behind the historic Brooks Academy. Also on the grounds of Brooks Academy is the restored barn of Elmer Crowell, the famed carver of duck decoys who called Harwich home.
A bit further out, but still within walking distance of the Winstead, is Whitehouse Field, home of the Harwich Mariners, one of the teams of the world-renowned Cape Cod Baseball League. It is estimated that 18% of Major League Baseball’s players came up through this elite collegiate summer baseball league. And the Cape Cod Lavender farm, which grows its own lavender and then hand makes products using the deliciously scented herb, is an altogether different kind of outdoor experience just outside of Harwich Center.
Nestled literally in the dunes, the Beach Resort is the quintessential Cape Cod beach hotel. Here the veranda wraps around the back of the building, so that guests can savor the view from sun-up until sundown. Just off the veranda is a deck with tables and chairs and chaise lounges.
Like Winstead Inn, the Beach Resort has a regal great room with a fireplace. It’s the perfect place to have breakfast, or enjoy a glass of wine before walking in to the village for dinner. The guest rooms here have a decidedly beachy feel; some have the knotty pine paneling for which “old Cape Cod” was known that has been beautifully restored. Many rooms have ocean views, and some have private balconies or terraces.
Within walking distance of the Beach Resort is bustling downtown Harwich Port. Here you’ll find some of the best restaurants in Harwich, which range from laidback choices such 3 Monkeys Street Bar, Ember, the Hot Stove Saloon, and the Lanyard Bar & Grill, to date-night worthy options including Cape Sea Grille and The Port. For after-dinner ice cream, there is the Sundae School where every decadent flavor of ice cream is homemade.
For those who enjoy a little shopping (and really; who doesn’t?), there is an almost overwhelming selection of shops and galleries in Harwich Port. For beach-inspired home décor items, there are The Grey House, Shorebird Interiors and Sativa. Sativa also offers a lovely selection of jewelry, and indulgent bath products and scented candles. Next door is Sativa’s sister store, the whimsical Solis shop with fun things for beach and body. Galleries include The Nines and Cross Rip, both which feature the works of local artists.
Just a short drive from the Beach Resort is Saquatucket Harbor. With the Freedom ferry to Nantucket, seal watch tours, a charter fishing fleet and Brax Landing, a casual seafood restaurant, it is the busiest of Harwich Port’s three harbors. It is also one of the prettiest, although Wychmere Harbor (below) may edge it out…by just a little.