The Oregon Trail

Although it rides the ridge of Cape Cod’s glacial moraine, the forest-clad US-6 freeway (called Mid-Cape Highway) affords few good vistas. Traffic willing, you’ll sail between the Sagamore Bridge and the Outer Cape in about 30 minutes, surrounded by more green than blue. One preferred route is parallel Route 6A. Never more than a mile or two from US-6, this slower road is a good introduction to a part of the Cape that does its utmost to stay quaint without being too cute. Generally, it succeeds.

Take Sandwich, for example. When you reach the center of town, you’ll come across a small irregular green bordered by a tall white church, a stately carriage-stop inn, and the Historical Society’s Sandwich Glass Museum (129 Main St., 508/888-0251, daily Apr.-Dec., Wed.-Sun. Feb.-Mar., $9). Although the town’s various glassworks could and did produce consummate extravagant vases and other artistic pieces, they mostly created inexpensive mass-market stuff—such as 10-cent oil-lamp chimneys and pressed plates and saucers, hundreds of which are on display.

Nearby on Pine and Grove Streets (follow signs from Route 130) is a more diverse collection of Americana, the Heritage Museums and Gardens (508/888-3300, daily Apr.-Oct., $18). Here, 100 acres of landscaped gardens surround collections of Currier & Ives prints, military miniatures, antique cars, cigar store figures, American primitive portraiture—more unflattering likenesses of children have never been conceived—and even a working 1912 carousel.

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