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“What a surprise”

Heritage Museums & Gardens
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Small-Group Day Trip to Plymouth and Cape Cod from Boston
Ranked #1 of 46 things to do in Sandwich
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: You can enjoy more than 70 acres of gardens after visiting the art and history museums at the Heritage.
Reviewed September 25, 2013

We went here expecting to maybe pass an hour or so and found it such a peaceful place (a Friday 13 September) and interesting we stayed much longer. From classic cars, to a carousel ride, a tree house and gardens. I would recommend a visit.

Thank Joseph05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 12, 2013

One day not long ago I was chatting with a colleague at work about things to see and do in our corner of the planet and having grown up on Cape Cod he is, of course, rather keen on the cape's attractions.

At one point, he started waxing enthusiastic about the Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich, which just happens to be his hometown. The more he spoke about the place, the expansive gardens, the unique collections of old cars, cool stuff for kids to explore outside, the more I was determined to scoot over there while our world is still green.

This last Sunday dawned overcast, but the sun finally broke free by mid-morning and as the temps climbed warmward we squeezed into the Mini, pulled out of the drive and headed east on I-195 in the direction of the the Cape Cod Canal.

Of course we knew what we were getting ourselves into, that by the time we finished our sojourn in Sandwich we would be vying for a very small bit of asphalt with thousands of other like-minded travelers shuffling off of "the cape" on Sunday afternoon, but so be it.

We had little difficulty finding the place -- getting turned around only once. Although we missed the blooming of the hydrangea and rhody gardens -- we'll return next spring to be sure -- the space was warm and welcoming. We parked, paid and moved off into the gardens.

Our first stop was right near the entrance, the car collection building.

Now as I understand it the permanent collection is made up of old cars, but right now there is one incredible car exhibition underway in the building -- a two-level round barn affair -- called "Imagination in Motion," and features some of the coolest concept cars from the 1950s as well as the solar-powered car from University of Michigan and, get this, a 2009 car that actually flies along with several Chevy Corvette concept cars.

After a leisurely browse among those wondrous figments of car designers' imaginations we broke back outside into the sun. We planned to walk the nearly quarter of a mile to the end of the gardens, although you can hail any one of the electric "taxis" is you tire of the undulating hills or heat.

Along the way we found some curious sculpture out in the middle of nowhere, among moving fronds of metal, mobiles and a maze cut out of garden plants. We then walked past a windmill (original from Cape Cod the signage informed us), and then cut into a small dell where we found a waterfall made from a long over-hanging metal slough, and a fascinating sundial.

Leading up to the windmill was a pavement made of memorial bricks -- and the one dedicated to Raymond Miles Urquhart immediately caught our eye: "We will meet you in the morning by the riverside." What a lifetime of stories is encapsulated in that one simple sentence.

A little farther on we came across Hidden Hollow, a spectacular valley designed for young people to make things, build things and just enjoy stretching their own imaginations.

In the nearby small but very well laid out Heritage Museum, at the end of the walk, are unique folk art paintings, scrimshaw, cigar store indians, figureheads and other characters once used as marketing tools in front of various shops and buildings around New England in days long gone. And of course there was the carousel. . . which we had to ride.

On our way back we stopped at the Magnolia Cafe, located just before you exit the gardens. Our wraps were delicious and and we sipped cold beer sitting outside in the shade watching the world quietly slip by.

They also host events throughout the year -- and winter is supposedly a prime time to visit this incredible open space.

6  Thank Paris-Cemeteries
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2013

The gardens and grounds are magnificent. There are wonderful displays of Hydrangeas, Mountain Laurel, Rhododendrons and many other plants. The restored windmill is wonderful and there are magnificent trees throughout the gardens. Most of the specimens are labeled. There was a section with wind driven metalic sculptures that was very impressive. The museum itself has a wonderful display of antique automobiles, ranging from early twentieth century on. Most have been restored to pristine condition and there is enough information at each car to make it extremely interesting. Definitly worth a visit for adults and teenagers and maybe even pre-teens

1  Thank Stephen G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2013

The Heritage Museums & Gardens ended up being one of the highlights of our most recent trip to Cape Cod. The grounds themselves were well worth the entrance fee ($15 for adults, $7 for children, and free for military as part of the Blue Star program). There is a small cafe in the middle of the grounds with sandwiches and salads. There is also a great children's area, complete with massive treehouse and stage, and even has costumes and activities for the children to use/do.

Currently on display is an exhibit on cars, including some classics and some modern. The exhibit is very well done, and great for the whole family.

Thank 34AnneK34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 8, 2013

A large well maintained park with many activities options: hiking or just rest and travel with a driven shuttle, enjoy the flowers the trees and the plants. A nice artificial waterfall and many indoor atractions such as riding the carousell.
Beside all, there is a museum with a nice collection of special cars historical and modern.

Thank ShragaBar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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