The Old King’s Highway, or more casually spoken of as 6A, is on the bay side of Cape Cod, which winds its way through some of the oldest villages in America, including Sandwich, Barnstable, Yarmouth, Dennis, Brewster and the Captain Freeman Inn. We often recommend to our guests staying at the inn that they take this route to reach us as it’s a picturesque drive that meanders by many historic homes, churches, interesting galleries and shops and it is also a wonderful way to relax your mind and to welcome you to Cape Cod! (it takes an extra hour to take this route. If you are in a hurry to reach us it’s best to take Highway 6)
From Sandwich to Brewster the total distance is about 26 miles. This blog highlights some of our favorite stops , some being right on 6A and some being a short drive away. Whether you just want to drive direct and to enjoy the scenery or is you want to stop for lunch or visit some of the many shops, museums and galleries, this route is a great way to enter Cape Cod and to reach the Captain Freeman Inn.
History Along the Way
The historic character of the Old King’s Highway makes it a unique experience for our guests, especially for those that love history. Look for these scenic and historic attractions as you drive to the inn:
Heritage Museum & Gardens-Located at 67 Grove Street, this property sprawls through rolling, wooded hills and is home to magnificent flower gardens, nature trails, a restored antique carousel, and museums of classic American cars and American art. The Flume Fountain conveys a wide ribbon of water down a dramatic waterfall into a pool in a daylily garden. There is an antique auto collection, a labyrinth, a maze garden, a café, and a museum store. 508-888-3300.
Sandwich Boardwalk-at Town Neck Beach. A simple walk through a place of stunning beauty. The Sandwich Boardwalk – more than 1,000 feet long – stretches above and across Mill Creek and acres of beautiful marshes and leads to the public Town Neck Beach. The walk places you in the center of fantastic vistas of dune in the distance, sky overhead, and marsh underfoot.
Sandwich Glass Museum-at 1129 Main Street is just a short walk from Dunbar’s. The museum displays art-quality glasswork by many artists. Watch a demonstration of molten glass being drawn from the furnace, blown and pressed into exquisite shapes. Open year-round except the month of January. Hours vary seasonally.
Thomas Dexter Grist Mill- One of the oldest water mill sites existing in the United States today
the Sandwich Antique Center– At 131 Route 6A, this antique seller has grown into one of the finest multi-dealer shops in New England. Voted best antiques store 11 years consecutively by Cape Cod Life magazine, this story has a reputation for high-quality art and antiques. 508-833-3600.
Green Briar Nature Center & Jam Kitchen at 6 Discovery Hill Road is a sanctuary of beauty in all seasons. On the shores of Smiling Pool, Green Briar offers a spectacular wild flower garden and interpreted nature trails. The nature center is adjacent to the 57-acre Briar Patch Conservation Area. Walking trails are open to the public. 508-888-6870.
Sandy Neck Beach Park, 425 Sandy Neck Rd, West Barnstable, Conservation area including Bodfish Public Beach & trails through maritime dunes, forests & marshes.
West Barnstable Train Station and Museum 2469 Meetinghouse Way (Route 149) West Barnstable The station building, which is owned by the Town of Barnstable and is the headquarters on the Cape Cod Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society (NRHS). The Cape Cod Chapter of the NRHS signed a twenty-year lease on the building in 2012. They have been restoring it as a historical railway station and museum since 2001 when they became the custodian of the building.
Edward Gorey House, 8 Strawberry Ln, Yarmouth Port The Edward Gorey House, also known as the Elephant House, is the home on Cape Cod in which Edward Gorey—author, illustrator, puppeteer, and playwright—lived and worked from 1986 until his death in 2000. The house currently serves as a museum celebrating Gorey’s life and work
Captain Bangs Hallet House 11 Strawberry Ln, Yarmouth Port 19th century sea captain’s home with period decor, plus a maritime exhibit, offering guided tours.
Winslow Crocker House 250 MA-6A, Yarmouth Port Built in 1780, this Georgian-style, historic home offers seasonal, bi-monthly tours with a guide.
Taylor Bray Farm 108 Bray Farm Rd N, Yarmouth Port The Taylor–Bray Farm is a farm in Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts, and was originally owned and settled by Richard “of the Rock” Taylor in 1639 while it was still part of Plymouth colony.
Antiques Center of Cape Cod– Located at 243 Route 6A, this huge retail store (warehouse-size) offering antiques of every description from hundreds of dealers. Open daily, year-round. 508-385-6400.
Cape Cod Museum of Art- his museum, at 60 Hope Lane, exhibits works by artists of Cape Cod and the Islands. For visitors, the museum offers exhibitions in seven galleries; strolling through a lovely sculpture garden; a museum shop for unique gifts by artists and artisans; independent films in The Screening Room; and a Kids Treasure Hunt in the Galleries. Open April through Columbus Day. 508-385-4477
Josiah Dennis Manse & Old West Schoolhouse 61 Whig St, Dennis Saltbox home of first minister and man for whom the town was named. Artifacts of early Dennis life, children’s room, spinning and weaving exhibit, gardens and Dennis maritime wing. 1745 one-room school house on the grounds. Listed on National Register of Historic Places.
Scargo Lake and Scargo Tower Scargo Hill Rd, South Dennis Scargo Tower is a 30-foot-tall cobblestone tower located atop Scargo Hill in Dennis, Massachusetts on Cape Cod.
Drummer Boy Park– 773 Main St, Brewster where you can picnic with beautiful vistas of Cape Cod Bay. Many craft fairs are held here in the summer months.
Cape Cod Museum of Natural History This museum at 869 Main Street is delightful for adults and children, but not overwhelming in size. Many exhibits explain the fascinating geology, flora, and animal life of the Cape, and the Salt Marsh Room offers a wonderful vista of the adjoining salt marsh. Just outside the back door is a self-guided walking trail of the marsh. Open year-round. 508-896-3867
Stony Brook Grist Mill 830 Stony Brook Road, Brewster A beautiful spot, featuring a sparkling brook and picturesque mill, is both scenic and historical. The Grist Mill is the only remaining structure from Brewster’s Factory Village, a bustling 19th Century industrial area. The restored mill is open every Saturday in the summer.
The Old King’s Highway is filled with many unique shops and galleries. Listed below are some of our favorites:
Main and Jarvis Street you’ll find many unique art galleries and gift shops including Snow Goose Shop, Brown Jug and the Spotted Cod.
Titcomb’s Bookstore- A wonderful mix of new and old books along with antique maps. 0045 432, MA-6A, East Sandwich, MA 02537 (508) 888-2331
Barnstable Pottery 3267 Main St, Barnstable, Pottery and art gallery by Kevin Nolan
Harvest of Barnstable- over 100 types of seashells and dozens of shell-embellished wreaths made by Cape Cod designers. Open year round. 89 Willow St. (off Rte. 6A), Yarmouth Port; 508-362-4595.
Design Works-shopping for unique vintage finds and inspiration for your home decor.
Salt Yarn Studio 620 Route 6A, Dennis 508-694-6189 A wonderful studio that sells fiber art and locally made products.
Elburne and Seaside Design Studio 744 Main Street Dennis Unique gift shop
Cape Abilities Farm 458 Route 6A Dennis 508-385-2538 We frequent this farm stand often which supports individuals into meaningful employment and has a wonderful impact on our local economy as well. A great stop for gardeners.
Sydenstricker Glass 490 Main St Route 6A, Brewster, makers of fine quality fused glass since 1968.
Dickerson Gallery 1050 Main St, Brewster modern art
Brewster General Store 1935 Main Street, Brewster 508-896-3744 an authentic American General Store opened in 1866 and just a few steps form the inn.
Lemon Tree Village Shops– This cheery complex on Route 6A is filled with many unusual stores. You can find garden statuary, top-of-the-line cooking implements, locally made arts and crafts, pottery, birding supplies, clothing, gifts, jewelry, and toys. The shopping experience here has been described as a “unique representation of artists from all over the United States, Europe, the Far East” and, of course, Cape Cod.
Spots to Dine
Dunbar Tea House- is loved for its homemade pastries, high-quality teas, British ales, and European wines. The building is a carriage house to the main house (1740) and the tea room is in a former billiards room. 508-833-2485.
The Next Door Burgar Bar 8 Jarves St, Sandwich,
Beth’s Bakery and Cafe 16 Jarves St, Sandwich, Quaint, homespun spot for coffee & sandwiches with front-porch seating & custom cakes.
Cafe Chew– 4 Merchants Rd, Sandwich, Counter-serve nook with gourmet breakfast & lunch bites, plus baked goods, coffee & outdoor seating.
Nirvana Coffee Company 3206 Main St, Barnstable, offering a full gourmet coffee bar and a wide selection of Mighty Leaf Teas along with delicious sandwiches, salads and fresh daily pastries. s!
Mattakeese Wharf 273 Millway, Barnstable, The harbor view draws fans to this enduring eatery, serving seafood classics in a casual setting.
Optimist Café– 134 MA-6A, Yarmouth Port, serving breakfast, lunch and high tea at the home of Capt. Frederick Howes, inventor of the Howe’s Sail. The 1849 Gothic Revival house is now a family-friendly restaurant with words of optimism and local art on its bright yellow walls.
Scargo Cafe 799 Main St, Dennis, American fare served alongside New & Old World wines in a Colonial setting with a fireplace.
Marshside 28 Bridge St, East Dennis Casual American-seafood spot with huge windows offering sweeping views of the marsh.
Sesuit Harbor Cafe 357 Sesuit Neck Rd, Dennis, Chill seafood shack, famed for its lobster rolls, offers raw bar eats & picnic tables by the water.
Underground Bakery 780 Main Street 6A, Dennis 508-385-4700 Delicious scrape baked muffins, scones, biscotti and cakes. Breakfast and lunch served daily. Cozy atmosphere and delicious sweets
Kender and Sisters Kitchen and coffee 593 Main St, Dennis Located in a historic old farmhouse on 6A in Dennis, Kender & Sisters Kitchen + Coffee plays host to a variety of childhood nostalgia and comfort inspired baked goods, sandwiches, and snacks. Serving New Harvest Coffee in a variety of hot and cold offerings, as well as MEM Tea. Firestarter Pizza is also housed under the same roof operating from 4pm-9pm.
Smugglers Ice Cream 1555 MA-6A, South Dennis Longtime counter-serve featuring homemade ice cream with vegan options, plus pies & cakes.
Cafe Alfresco 1097 Main St, Brewster, great breakfast and lunch spot in Brewster
Come Stay With Us
Fall is the absolute perfect time to visit Cape Cod and to stay at the Captain Freeman Inn.
Check out our boutique guest rooms here.
We were voted #7 Best Bed and Breakfast in the country. Come and experience what all the excitement is about and plan your entrance into Cape Cod via the Old King’s Highway. It’s the perfect way to begin your holiday.