We Bought a Farmhouse

stories of renovation, home decor inspiration & sprinkles of country life

Powered by Blogger.

Cape Cod At Christmas: Our Stay in Chatham

Years ago, Josh and I started a tradition of traveling during the first weekend of December for a festive, Christmasy getaway to kick off the holiday season. The past few years, we've traveled to New York City, but we found ourselves looking for something new to do this year. If you know me, you know my love for Nantucket runs deep, and I of course, follow quite a few Nantucket-based businesses and photographers on social media. For the past three years or so, I've found myself drooling over their photos of the island at Christmas time during their stroll, so we had a thought this year - let's go to Nantucket! So, we did.

We decided to stay on the mainland, which was mostly for financial reasons. Nantucket is just so expensive, even in the winter! We settled on staying in Chatham, a town we love to visit when we visit in the summer. I was looking for a cozy place to stay that looked like it could be on the set of a Hallmark Christmas movie, and we found it with the Chatham Gables Inn. Their off-peak rates were fairly priced, and the atmosphere seemed to be  nautical, while having that cozy, Christmasy feel. It looked perfect online, and I'm happy to report that it was once we arrived, too.

I'm going to recap the Nantucket Christmas Stroll in another post because I took so many photos, so in this post, I'll begin with our stay in Chatham, and a few other things we did while on the Cape during this time of the year. 

Nantucket isn't easy for us to do as a day trip since it's still about four hours from our home just to get to the ferry, so we made a weekend out of it. We arrived in Chatham on Friday early evening to check into the inn, and guys, this place was spectacular. I'm sure it's beyond lovely in the summer season as well, but the owners, a husband and wife team, did a fantastic job at making this place feel so welcoming and homey for the Christmas season. All the common rooms were decked out for Christmas, complete with garlands, trees, lights and all. It truly was magical. Their dining area was set with red and green plaid table clothes, burlap trees and beautiful dinnerware. Plus, everyday, there were always freshly-made cookies available to snack on, which is always a win in my book. Everything was such a wonderful mix of seaside and Christmas, and we adored it. 

Our room was also cozy, with a cute little added touch of a Christmas pillow on the bed (which totally warmed my heart). We even had a gas fireplace in our room, which was so nice to warm up next to after getting back from being outside all day.

Friday night, we drove into Chatham (which we could have walked to from the inn, but played it safe because it was so dark out). During the summers, it's so hard to find parking, so we kind of enjoyed having our pick of pretty much any spot we wanted. I was surprised to see that most stores were open, and they were decorated so beautifully. Almost all stores strung Christmas lights around their windows, and seeing the town lit up as the sun went down was so festive. We honestly spent most of our time just walking around looking at the lights - it was perfect weather at just below 40 degrees, so we totally lucked out.

We went to the Squire for dinner, which is usually where we go to lunch when we're here in the summer. It was a nice change of pace to eat off their dinner menu, and I was so impressed with their lobster ravioli. I'm still kind of thinking about it, actually.

When we drove back to the inn, it was lit up with so many lights, and we seriously felt like we were in story book land or something. It was so fun.

The next morning, we were up bright and early to catch our ferry to Nantucket, but since I'm doing a separate post on that, I'll skip ahead a bit.

Once we were back on the mainland, we stopped in Harwich Port for dinner at a restaurant called the Mad Minnow. We'd never eaten here, but read great things about it, and it's probably one of our new favorites placed to eat. I had my first ever Moscow Mule drink here, which I loved, and promptly went out to buy Moscow Mule mugs shortly after getting home. And I had the clam chowder and shrimp and crab cake po' boy sandwich, which was incredible. Josh had a veggie burger that he said was one of the best he's ever had.

We headed back to our inn to sit by the fire in the common room for a nightcap and some homemade cookies by the fire. The inn provided port and sherry in one of the common rooms for guests to enjoy, so Josh really enjoyed that. There weren't many other guests at the inn during our stay, so we always had the common rooms to ourselves each night.

On our last morning there, we took advantage of the breakfast at the inn, which is included in your room rate, and it was amazing. Like, seriously good. It started with baked bananas and oats with creme fraiche, and then french toast with scrambled eggs and fruit. We were so stuffed when we left, but awfully happy. 

We were so sad to leave the next morning (as per usual when we leave the Cape), so we decided to cheer ourselves up and took a last-minute walk on one of our favorite local beaches in Harwich Port. There was one other couple walking their dog in the distance, and other than that, no one else was there. We were only there for 20 minutes or so, but I soaked up every second. 

In another attempt to cheer ourselves up because our perfect weekend was coming to an end, we decided to swing by Boston on our way home for a few hours. I had recently read an article in Yankee Magazine about how the Boston Christmas tree is given as a gift from Nova Scotia each year as a thank you for Boston's efforts during a ship explosion off the coast of NS in 1917, which devastated the entire area. It left behind fatalities, and many without homes, and the Boston mayor, without question, sent train-fulls of medical help and aids to assist in rebuilding the town. They've sent Boston a Christmas tree as a thank you every year since. It's such a heart-warming tradition, so I really wanted to go see it. In comparison to size to the tree at Rockefeller, it doesn't seem like much, but it's meaning is so great that to me, it's just as good.

After seeing the tree, we walked around to a few shops, and got some Christmas cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake (because this is me we're talking about), and then we were on our way home.

Stay tuned for my recap of the Nantucket Christmas Stroll. 


  1. I love your travel posts Sam. Though I am a Southerner I have a love of New England. I even subscribed to Yankee Magazine for a while. And Savannah GA is in Chatham county ...my husband's hometown that is also iconic in travel circles. Cant wait to see the next post!!

    1. I can't wait to go to Savannah someday! It's been on my list for a while. So happy you enjoyed this :)

  2. Wow!!! Just amazing, you know I never really thought about spending some time in Cape Cod after the fall season....but I might reconsider. The Inn looks very cozy and festive. I am not sure how you are able to find these wonderful places but you are absolutely on point when it comes too making these trips magical. I look forward to seeing more pics on your next post. Have a good one.

    1. Oh, you're so sweet - thank you! I never really thought about visiting the Cape in the winter, either but honestly, now I want to go for a weekend every winter. It was just lovely.