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A visit to Chatham is not a visit to Chatham without a stop in downtown Chatham and a stop at one of the town's beaches.
Downtown Chatham is a pedestrian friendly mixed use town center which is on Main Street. Main Street is home to shops, restaurants, ice cream shops, hotels, art galleries, bakeries, offices, places of worship as well as the Chatham Town Hall. There is on street parallel parking and besides that all of the parking is located in designated off street parking area all of which are free of charge. Main Street has numerous crosswalks all of which force motorists to yield to pedestrians. Downtown Chatham is one of the few towns in the country that can say it has a succesful mixed use pedestrian friendly downtown that doesn't have a vacant storefront. Downtown is always bustling from when people head to town in the morning for their daily newspaper and coffee to when people come to town to shop and eat around lunch and dinner time.
Chatham sticks out into the water more then any other town in the country which means there are plenty of town and local beaches to visit, all of which have their views and selling points. In town there is the Chatham Light Beach in front of Chatham Light, Cockle Cove Beach off of Route 28 on Cockle Cove Road, Forest Beach off of Route 28 on Forest Beach Road, Hardings Beach off of Route 28 on Hardings Beach Road, Oyster Pond Beach which is right in back of downtown on Stage Harbor Road, Pleasant Bay, Pleasant Street Beach off of Rt. 28 on Pleasant Street, Ridgevale Beach and Schoolhouse Pond off of Rt 28 on Sam Ryder Road.
Chatham is home to some unique things such as a US Coast Guard Station which is housed on the grounds of the Chatham Light which sometimes is open for tours. Chatham Light has quite the history behind it. The first set of twin lighthouses were built in 1808. In 1841 a new set of brick lighthouses replaced the original ones which lasted unitl 1881 when the brick lighthouses were washed away. The lighthouses were soon replaced and in 1923 one of the lights was relocated up the beach and is now known as Nauset Light and the other light is the one that remains and is known as Chatham Light.
On the south side of town is the 7,600 acre Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge which opened back in 1944. The refuge provides assitance for migratory birds. There is a lot to do at the refuge which is located which is located south of Chatham Light. There are opportunities for hiking, fishing, photo taking, wildlife observation and guided tours. There is a visitors' center which has brochures, exhibits and a bookstore. The refuge's acreage is comprised of a maze of islands which include South and North Monomy Islands which are not accesible by car...one needs a boat. There are many companies that offer services such as ferries to take visitors to these areas.
Visitors must not forget to take a seal tour. Numerous companies offer seal tours (these are the same companies that offer ferries to North and South Monomoy). The seals are located around the Monomoy Islands and it is estimated that there are about 1200 grey seals. Companies that offer these tours include Outermost Adventures which departs from the Outermost Harbor Marina which is south of Chatham Light. They offer seal cruises, fishing cruises and a shuttle to South Beach or Monomoy Island. Monomoy Island Ferry aboard the Rip Ryder which is located at the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge. They offer seal cruises, fishing cruises, and a shuttle to South Monomoy. Beachcomber Tours depart from the Chatham Fish Pier off of Shore Road. They offer seal cruises as well as shuttles to both North and South Beach.