Apr 242017
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Daffodils at Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich

If you’re heading to Cape Cod and you’re looking for a great way to spend the day, you should definitely consider visiting Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich. I spent a good part of my childhood in Sandwich because my aunt and uncle used to rent a beach cottage on North Shore Blvd from a friend of theirs every summer. I fondly remember visiting the Heritage Plantation (what it was called back then) with my grandmother and aunt. These days it’s called the Heritage Museums & Gardens and it’s just as wonderful as I remember it being when I was younger.

More than 100,000 people visit the Heritage Museums & Gardens annually to spend time in the three gallery buildings that house special and permanent exhibitions, peruse the gardens, play in Hidden Hollow and more.  There is so much to see and do at the Heritage Museums & Gardens and it is safe to say that is something for everyone there.

Entrance to Heritage Museums and Gardens Sandwich MA

Let’s start by talking about the acres of beautiful gardens there.  If you love flowers, Heritage Museums & Gardens is sure to make your heart happy. Their world class rhododendrons alone are something to see, but in addition, Heritage showcases more than 100 acres of display gardens that feature flowers, trees and shrubs native to Cape Cod.

Flowers at Heritage Museums and Gardens

But there is so much more….

Old East Windmill
The Old East Windmill, built in 1800 in Orleans, Massachusetts, served that community for 93 years grinding wheat, rye, barley and salt from the local salt works. Now it makes its home at the Heritage Museums & Gardens.

Windmill Sandwich MA

Heritage Labyrinth
The Heritage Labyrinth was installed in 2002 and was designed by Marty Cain of Newport, NH. The labyrinth is made of crushed shells and pink granite and allows visitors to follow a single roundabout path to the center and use the same path to return, coming full circle and exiting where they entered.

crushed shells sandwich MA

The Hart Family Maze Garden
Opened in 2004, the maze is combination of evergreens, vines and hedges alternately create opaque walls. As the seasons progress, the maze will change and feature flowering vines such as wisteria, clematis, honeysuckle, silvervine fleeceflower, Japanese hydrangea vine and five-leaf akebia.

Hart Family Maze Sandwich MA

The Automobile Gallery
Heritage Museum & Gardens has a permanent collection of antique and classic automobiles and it’s a truly wonderful collection.

Automobile Gallery

There is a whole building full of classic beauties in the Heritage collection, including a 1910 Sears Model P Surrey, a 1915 Stutz Bearcat, a 1932 Auburn Boattail Speedster, and a 1909 White Steam Car Model M owned by President Taft. Plus the Collector’s Corner features autos on loan from private collectors.

Automobile gallery

If you’re a fan of classic cars, you won’t want to miss this!

Hidden Hollow
Kids can climb up and down the stepping stumps, navigate their way along log balance beams, construct forts, create nature-inspired art, build with blocks, dig in the sand, experiment with water, make music and engage in sensory investigation with plants.

Explore the outdoors in Sandwich MA

Hidden Hollow is a wonderful place for families to play, explore their natural world and enjoy the outdoors together.

Wooden toys Sandwich MA

There is even a big tree house for families to climb up into and enjoy the view from above.

Hidden Hollow Sandwich MA

Painted Landscapes: Contemporary Views Art Exhibit (there until 10/09/17)
This exhibit features American landscape paintings executed in a variety of media from 49 of the country’s best contemporary painters.

Temporary art exhibit sandwich MA

Painted Landscapes: Contemporary Views offers a range of styles, subjects and approaches which  come together to create a beautiful collection that addresses what landscape painting is today. The styles range from representational to abstract to non-objective and are all really interesting to look at.

American Art and Carousel Gallery
The Heritage Collection highlights art and artifacts from Heritage’s collection of 12,000+ items.

Child cups american art sandwich MA

Exhibit highlights include: beautiful paintings, rare objects, carved birds by A. Elmer Crowell, and famed military miniatures.

Army guys sandwich MA

The carousel is one of the most popular attractions at Heritage Museums & Gardens. Made by Charles Looff in 1908, the antique hand-carved carousel has been thrilling riders for a hundred years. As a guest, you can enjoy unlimited rides with admission.

Charles Loof Wooden Merry Go Round

Wear comfortable shoes and plan to do some walking while you are there as the attractions are a bit spread out. However there is a golf cart to help those that may need some assistance with walking. If you have little ones, consider bringing a stroller because little feet may get tired.

If you get hungry while you are there, the Magnolia Cafe is onsite for you to stop in to for lunch or just coffee. Outside food and drinks is permitted, so you can pack yourself a picnic and enjoy it on the beautiful grounds, perhaps next to the Flume fountain?

Waterfall sandwich ma

On Fridays in the summer there are concerts for children.

Picnic area and free children's concerts on Fridays

There are many programs and special events at Heritage Museums & Gardens going on throughout the year and my family is looking forward to going back later this year to see it all lit up for the holidays.

Heritage Museums & Gardens is located at 67 Grove Street, Sandwich, MA 02563. Be sure to check their website for hours and events before you head out for the day. There truly is something for everyone at Heritage Museum & Gardens and if you live in the area or are planning a trip to Cape Cod, make sure you set aside some time to visit.

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  81 Responses to “Why You Should Visit Heritage Museums and Gardens (formerly Heritage Plantation) in Sandwich, MA”

  1. You’re right, there are many fun reasons to visit & my favorite is the merry-go-round. When I get to Nantucket, I always visit the lighthouses too …

  2. I would love to go here! This place looks wonderful. My daughter would like those concerts.

  3. I’ve never really thought about visiting museums, but after reading your post. I see, that I should. There is so much history and so many beautiful things about museums. They are also peaceful. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Looks like a wonderful place to visit with the family.

  5. I’ve always wanted to explore the East Coast near Cape Cod! That labyrinth looks especially cool! Your photos are fantastic!

  6. I could spend hours at this place. That tree house looks so fun.

  7. I really wish I lived on that side of the country! Maybe some day 😉 And pack a backpack lunch for eating in the fort? yes!

  8. That looks like an absolutely amazing place to visit. I love all the outside stuff there is to do. In the UK i find it hard to find outside things for the kids and i to do that will hold their interest.

  9. This looks like a lovely place to take the whole family… If I am in the area will check it out!

  10. This is beautiful! I don’t think you need reasons to visit such a lovely place! Especially when the kids will have loads of fun exploring it as well.

  11. That’s a really nice place to spend the day in. I like the idea of taking the kids to museums and gardens. It’s a nice learning experience for them plus it’s totally fun!

  12. Cape Cod is one place I have always wanted to visit. These gardens are right up my things to do and see. Love the old buildings and mazes and gardens.

  13. I’ve been there! My dad and my son loved the cars! We had such a fun trip. Sadly it was the last trip before my husband died. I’m really glad we got to go as a family.

  14. This place looks incredible. I’m actually planning to visit USA next year and do a coast to coast road trip, I have a list of places to stop at along the way… now that list just got longer 🙂

  15. I love exploring places like this. They do such a good job of making it look awesome and it looks beautiful.

  16. It looks like so much fun. My kids would love the tree house and the maze and my husband would love the cars!

  17. I love places like this! So many interesting facts to learn about! I plan on taking my daughter to one near me!

  18. I love heritage museums! I always feel they are much more inclusive and engaged than their counterparts. Great photos, too!
    Katja xxx

  19. That looks like a really wonderful place to visit! I love how it combines fun, open space and culture!

  20. Hidden Hollow is so awesome! We have a house on the upper Cape, but we don’t experience enough of the other sections. I am definitely suggesting this over the summer!

  21. Those are some gorgeous views at the museum! I love going to places where I can learn about the history.

  22. There are so many neat things to see and do at the Heritage Museum Gardens. I would love to check this place out.

  23. I love visiting historical places and it looks like I need to add this one to my list! Everything looks so beautiful and it looks like they have something for everyone.

  24. I can see why you’d want to visit! Looks like a fun place and a mix of the indoors and outdoors.

  25. I like visiting heritage sites as you get to learn so many stories and appreciation of the past. The plantations and gardens can also be scenic.

  26. Wow what an amazing looking place to visit, I have to admit I adore anything historical and I’d love to look around here more.

  27. This is a beautiful place to visit. I’m interested to check out Hidden Hollow, it looks fun over there. Heritage sites are really cool to visit, they’re like not for contemplation but for action.

  28. I used to live around there but have not heard of this place! Looks like a pretty and calm place to visit. I especially like the Hidden Hollow.

  29. That looks like a gorgeous place to visit! I’ve been to quite a few places in MA (I lived in Maine for a year and we used to drive down), but I’ve never been to Cape Cod. It’s on my wish list of places to visit.

  30. This looks like a great museum and you are right, it looks like there’s something for everyone to do. Love those old cars inside as well as the artwork, museums are truly a great place to go and spend time with the family.

  31. This is a beautiful and picturesque place. I would so choose this place to have my wedding pictures. So many places to chose from.

  32. The labyrinth looks so pretty, something I would definitely love to see. As well as the maze, I think that would be fun to visit.

  33. There seems to be something for everyone in the family here. The labyrinth looks like something we would love to see. I would love to take my little one here.

  34. Hidden Hollow sounds like such a fun place for kids! It sounds like Heritage Museum and Gardens is a really family friendly destination.

  35. This looks like so much fun! I have a thing for old windmills, and the maze would be great to take the kids into!

  36. This place looks so stunning! Love how in-depth this post is with all the pictures. I feel like this place would be amazing for kids too!

  37. Yes I should! This heritage museum sounds like such a cool and fun place to visit. I love museum exhibitions. It looks so much fun!

  38. This seems like an amazing place! They have such variety of stuff to see and do which would be great for families since it seems like everyone likes different stuff. I’d be in the garden! I love that water feature. Thanks for sharing!

  39. Those cars look so awesome! I bet it was neat to see them in person along with all the other fun stuff there! Museums are some of my favorite travel destinations (I went to NYC just to visit museums!) and I think they are totally underrated!

  40. The Heritage Museums and Gardens is an amazing place to visit. This has so much to see and enjoy. I love the Hart Family Maze Garden and the big tree house too .Thanks for sharing your amazing experience and an awesome place..

  41. The museum looks beautiful! I can just imagine how it looks in the warmer months when flowers are blooming.

  42. I love the Labyrinth idea! That is totally what I want when I have a house! I love finding little places like this!

  43. This sounds like a fun trip. I am a big fan of labyrinths. Perfect way to end a hectic day.

  44. This is so pretty, I love all of the spring flowers! Those cars are awesome too, it seems like a great place to visit.

  45. It looks very beautiful and peaceful there with a lot of things to do and see. My daughter and I will have to visit if we get to come into the area at some point.

  46. My wife has been here before but I haven’t been, Someday I would love to take my family to visit all of the amazing sites around MA. This is going on our list.

  47. I love visiting places like these. I’ve visited the one in my hometown but would love to go visit the one up in the Cape.

  48. Awesome photos! That place is such a lovely place to visit. There’s a lot of things to see. Great post!

  49. The Heritage Museum and Gardens is a great place to take the family! I did not know there were so many activities you can do there! I hope to be able to take my kids there this summer.

  50. They both sound like must see places to visit. The pictures are beautiful. I love the automobile displays.

  51. WOW! I’ve always wanted to visit Cape Cod and those classic cars are just amazing. Looks like you had a wonderful trip

  52. I am from MA and I have never been here. I will have to check it out next time I am visiting family. It looks like a gorgeous place!

  53. Like you I have such fond memories of visiting this place during my family summers in Cape Cod as a kid! Thanks for the reminder about what a gorgeous and historically valuable place this is — need to make a trip up there soon!

  54. I have never been to MA but this looks like an amazing place to visit if i ever make it out that way!

  55. This kind of reminds me of Old Salem and Historic Bethabara near our home here in NC. They have similar things, at least. It is a lot of fun to explore these places. Definitely a great way to pass a day.

  56. Love that building with the classic cars. We have one here I’ve been meaning to get to (old car museum). Your pictures of everything are awesome here!

  57. WOW! It’s really beautiful out there and there are plenty of places to go to as well. It would be nice to see this in person.

  58. I should really think about planning a vacation soon and I’d love to go to a place as peaceful and beautiful as this. I’d love for my kids to see this!

  59. Such a variety of things to see! I’ve visited some plantations in the south, but didn’t know about this one. I’ll have to check it out!

  60. I was in Cape Cod a few years ago and visited Sandwich. We toured the Glass Museum but missed the Heritage. It looks like a perfect location to take the family so hopefully we will make it next time.

  61. This place will send you back in time and for good reason too. The sights are just so beautiful! It’s a tour that’s more relaxing than tiring.

  62. This looks so amazinggg! Though I’m from Boston I have never been to Cape Cod, and you’ve inspired me to change that! So much to do and see there! Definitely would be a great trip for me and my family!

  63. What a beautiful place to visit and full of interesting things too. I recall my mom talking about Cape Cod but I’ve never been there myself. I’d love to go though.

  64. I’ll have to keep this on my list of places to visit. I don’t frequent the East coast but I’m always looking for a reason to travel.


  65. Looks like a lovely place to go and visit. I’ve never been to a pretty place like this to explore. I wish I could visit MA! I think this would make it on my list of things to check out!

  66. This place looks amazing! I wish I would live closer, but it’s on my list if I will travel there!

  67. I love this. Looks like there’s something there for the whole family. My grandpa would love the cars and my grandma the gardens.

  68. I love this. Looks like there’s something there for the whole family. My grandpa would love the cars and my grandma the gardens.

  69. You are right! This place is fantastic! Next time I go to visit MA, I will have my friend take me to some of these locations!

  70. I love the focus on nature and how they make it an interesting experience for visitors, regardless of age. Our boys would be interested in an auto exhibit.

  71. This totally looks like my kind of place – love places that look beautiful PLUS have lots of history behind them x

  72. I really enjoy visiting historical places and this one looks as though there is something for the whole family. My boys would really love viewing the auto exhibit.

  73. we are very lucky where we live that we too have many of these museums and historical places to visit

  74. Wow! What an amazing place to visit! The gardens are so beautiful and I love daffodils! The Flume fountain looks so beautiful!

  75. This looks like a really cool museum. Whenever I go on family trips I like to find places like this so that us adults and the kids all enjoy ourselves and have things to see. This has a great variety.

  76. My family and I love visiting museums. This one looks pretty cool! My son loves antique cars too!

  77. Oh wow! The scenery is beautiful! I would love to take a family trip there.

  78. More time on the East coast is on my bucket list. This looks like a great trip!

  79. I”m a travel blogger and this is such a great idea for when I get down to this part of town! Love it!!

  80. This looks like a great place to take kids to have fun and learn something!

  81. Seems a perfect place for family to hangout during holidays 🙂
    Outdoor concert for kids and picnics are truly fun!