"Chatham, Cape Cod" Top 5 Page for this destination Chatham by ChristinaNest

Chatham Travel Guide: 24 reviews and 58 photos

I spent about 4 months there mostly working on a student work&travel program but had the chance to see a lot on the Cape and in the North East of the USA. I was surprised that there was no separate entry for Cape Cod so I will put some tips and impressions about the Cape on the Chatham page. The other thing that surpised me was that there weren't many pages of this supposedly so popular 'vacational' spot. So here you go, an Eastern European student who mostly waited on, sold stuff to and cleaned after American tourists, will be you guide to this area.

Before leaving for the Cape I searched for some information about Chatham and the area, and I read stuff like 'great beaches', 'historical places', 'one of America's favourite vacation spots', 'great culture, concerts, sea food '...etc. So when I got there I experienced a great disappointment: The beaches were indeed beautiful but warm enough for only a month (as to opposed to the 5 months of swimming I was used to) and then there wasn't much going on next to the beaches, you would be lucky if you could buy an icecream. Besides it's illegal to go there after 10 p.m. which is not good for night-swimmers of beach-parties. It's true that this part of the USA is 'historical' and has some of the oldest buildings provided that the USA is one of the youngest nations but everybody coming from Europe (and not only) wouldn't consider something particularly old if it's not at least 500 years old. As for culture, well... if you didn't reach Provincetown, you could only find some antique shops ( antique meaning from the 18c maybe), amateur theatre, and the band concerts ... As for night life, well, there was almost nothing for the 20-something students coming from big European cities: a few decent bars, one or two dance clubs on the whole Cape where I couldn't go with some of my friends since they were under 21. So basicly if you're planning a full-time vacation there wait till you retire :) . On the other hand, the Cape could be great to visit for a few days, especially if you're into fishing,boating/sailing, bird-, seal- and whale-watching!

I started with the things that disappointed me but I have to say that even though I had some very boring times, I also had great experiences too!! The Cape is crowded with foreign students working there (Eastern European, Dominican, Brasilian, Jamaican, etc.) so it's a unique mix of culture. So the lack of good clubs and the drinking age rules were easily solved by this international crowd and some very nice local guys and girls. So the solution mainly was: HOUSEPARTIES! This mix of culture was a great and funny way of learning and opening your mind. That's one of the things I greatly appreciated. Working for 2 summers and having 8 different jobs I had employers from both extremities: some were very friendly, hones,open-minded, supportive and others were narrow-minded, greedy, chauvinistic and not much different from slave masters.Luckily most were from the first type, so thank you all! As for the second type, I can only pity them because you cannot experience the beauty of the world if you keep you eyes shut and only open then to look at your wallet.
Another thing, on the Cape I not only met many people both American and foreigners, but I also made a lot of friends from different countries including my own. And last but not least, the main reason I love America and specifically the Cape is because there I met this great guy, a medicine student from the Dominican Republic, who later moved with me to Bulgaria and became my loving husband and father of our son! This is getting too personal so back to the facts. I started with the cons but here are some great pros about Chatham and the Cape:
Beautiful nature: beaches, state parks, lakes, ponds, sunsets
Whale watching, seal watching, bird watching
Great bike trails, sailing, boating, fishing
Provincetown - a unique place, not to be missed (page coming soon)
Cultural ( All-American & inter-cultural) experience, a lesson in diversity.

useful websites:
http://www.chathaminfo.com/
http://www.town.chatham.ma.us/Public_Documents/index
www.chatham-ma.gov
http://www.capecodchamber.org/
http://adserver1.harvestadsdepot.com/capecodeast/ss/045126/

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Great for nature lovers, diversity
  • Cons:Boring for clubbers, overcrowded in summer, dead in winter
  • In a nutshell:love it and hate it
  • Last visit to Chatham: Sep 2002
  • Intro Updated Apr 19, 2006
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Reviews (12)

Comments (14)

  • DAO's Profile Photo
    Sep 4, 2009 at 3:02 PM

    Great 4th of July photos!

  • 807Wheaton's Profile Photo
    Aug 29, 2009 at 4:59 PM

    I've started thinking about a trip to Cape Cod - thanks for your information. Greetings from Augusta, Georgia

  • margaretvn's Profile Photo
    Mar 20, 2009 at 2:34 AM

    I enjoyed your page and reading more about you.

  • glabah's Profile Photo
    Oct 9, 2008 at 12:45 AM

    Unfortunate you found Chatham so uninteresting, but I remember in school European students found life in the USA boring compared to what they do in Europe. Some places are starting to realize value in all-ages events.

  • Feb 7, 2008 at 1:33 PM

    They don't pay their bills! Not nice to take good products from hard working designers and then not pay them!

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Dec 5, 2007 at 5:12 AM

    Chatham looks like a very nice small town with alot of natural charm and peace. I really like the story of how you met your husband here!

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Oct 12, 2007 at 3:29 AM

    Lovely Chatham page Christina. Hans & I went many years ago and really liked the Cape Cod area.

  • loisl's Profile Photo
    May 30, 2007 at 2:53 PM

    Great tips here, I love the pic of the lighthouse, because I would like to live in one. Cheers, Peter

  • nixca316's Profile Photo
    Mar 13, 2007 at 7:45 AM

    Hi Christina! Chatham is beautiful...you made her even "look" better with your pictures and tips. =)

  • shutterlust's Profile Photo
    Dec 29, 2006 at 4:10 PM

    Fantastic Chatham page! Deserves to be #1, though it's a shame no one really writes about Chatham (& Cape Cod as a whole *should* be on VT) and very Sweet story about how you met your husband! :-) and I must agree with you about the house parties... haha!

ChristinaNest

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