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Exploring Chatham, Massachusetts

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Of Cape Cod’s many exceptional ports, Chatham is a favorite destination among boaters for its charming village, beautiful beaches, and world-class fishing.

The area around Chatham is constantly being reshaped by powerful coastal storms, so boaters should get up-to-date local information before visiting. Boaters can reach the harbormaster at 508-945-5185 or on VHF 66.

The Chatham area has two harbors. Chatham Harbor provides access to Pleasant Bay, a well-protected and beautiful body of water. But while Chatham Harbor has a well-marked channel, it also has difficult turns and sometimes treacherous conditions. Chatham’s other harbor, Stage Harbor, is protected by Monomoy Island and is home to sheltered waters and several marinas.

Among the marinas boaters will find in Stage Harbor is Stage Harbor Marine (508-945-1860), which has slips, moorings and fuel. Oyster River Boatyard (508-945-0736) also has fuel, slips and moorings, as does Chatham Yacht Basin (508-945-0728). Outermost Harbor Marine (508-945-2030), which has a great marine store, is another dockage option. Boaters in Chatham Harbor can find slips, moorings and fuel at Ryders Cove Boat Yard (508-945-1064).

After docking, boaters will enjoy exploring Chatham village. Visitors can learn about the area’s history and culture at the Atwood House Museum (508=945-2493). The nearby Monomoy Island National Wildlife Refuge is one of the Northeast’s best birding areas, has large numbers of seals and boasts amazing scenery. Nature lovers can enjoy seal and bird-viewing tours with Beachcomber Tours (508-945-5265) or Outermost Adventures (508-945-5858).

Chatham is a great place to be when you get hungry. The area has many high-quality restaurants. Visitors who enjoy seafood can get their dinner prepared right at the pier at the Chatham Pier Fish Market (508-945-3474). The Chatham Squire (508-945-0945) has pub food, Italian dishes and seafood. The Wild Goose Tavern (508-945-5590) features elegant seafood and specialty dishes. And the Wequassett Inn (508-432-5400), in nearby Harwich, can be directly accessed by water.

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