Windmills and Gardens of Cape Cod

August 4, 2014, 3:25 am


Wildflowers, windmills, arboretums and roses… there is so much historic and natural beauty on Cape Cod and La Mer Concierge has picked out a few favorites worth visiting in the month of August.


If you haven’t already been to Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich, this sanctuary of more than 100 acres of display gardens, a windmill built in 1800, antique car museum and a maze garden, should be at the top of your list.  If you have been earlier in the season there is always something new and you can visit their website for a current list of what’s in bloom.  Every Friday in August they are hosting Family Fun Friday – featuring special outdoor activities, a musical performance and lawn games. For a list of all current exhibits you can click here.

Summer Hours 10am – 6pm

Adult $18, ages 3-12 $8


If you have an interest in wildflowers, the Green Briar Nature Center (also in Sandwich) offers informal guided wildflower tours of the award-winning Shirley G. Cross Wildflower Garden each Tuesday at 10am.

Members $3; Non-members: $5

All proceeds help to support the upkeep of this very special garden.


A horticultural and botanical landmark in Martha’s Vineyard, The Polly Hill Arboretum, was developed in 1958. The 20-acre arboretum is devoted to the cultivation and study of plants and the preservation of the character of this tranquil landscape.

Rare trees and shrubs from around the world are set among stone walls, meadows, and fields. The list of what’s in bloom on the arboretum website is updated regularly.

Grounds open every day from sunrise to sunset, with Tours scheduled every day at 10am



If you are inspired by these beautiful gardens and thinking about starting or expanding your garden – Irwin Ehrenreich, the Rose Man, and his wife Cindy,  the Cape’s experts on roses, can help you design a rose garden for your home. Their personal garden in Barnstable, with more than 700 roses, was featured on the New England Cable News show New England Dream House. 


Chatham Windmill {Photo Credit: Chris Seufert}


The first windmills were being built on Cape Cod in the 1700s for grinding corn and pumping sea water for the production of salt. By the mid-1800s most of the 880 saltworks scattered throughout the Cape each had a windmill. Very few remain today, but the fascination with windmills continues.

We have highlighted 4 that are open for viewing in the summer months, and included a list of all the towns with windmills on the Cape.

1.  Windmill Park (1680), Eastham

Distinction:  The oldest windmill and the last working grist mill on Cape Cod.  Originally built in Plymouth in 1680, and moved to its current location in 1808.

Monday through Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday 1pm-5pm

2.  Judah Baker Windmill (1791), Yarmouth

Distinction: Contains the original mechanical equipment.

Tues, Wed, and Thur 1pm-4pm (May 24 to October 13)

Originally built in Dennis and moved to its present location in 1866, the windmill was restored to its original condition in 1999.

3.  Higgins Farm Windmill (1795), Brewster

Distinction: Authentically restored and meticulously preserved. There are many features indicating the windmill was constructed by a ship builder, including the rare ship carvings (scrimshaw) on the feed bin.

Thur, Fri, and Sat 1pm-4pm (late June through August)

Also located in the Drummer Boy Park are two historic buildings; a blacksmith shop dating back to 1867 and the Harris-Black house (1795), one of the few remaining one-room houses on Cape Cod from that period.

4.  Godfrey Windmill (1797), Chatham

Distinction: One of the largest windmills on Cape Cod (30 ft tall) and one of the very few that has been in the same location since it was built. The Chatham Windmill operated continuously for 100 years.

Open Mon, Wed and Fri 11am-3pm (July 1 to August 29)  *There is a “Grinding Day” scheduled for August 16, wind permitting.

Towns with windmills on the Cape:

Bourne, Brewster, Cataumet, Chatham, Dennisport, Eastham, Hyannis, Orleans, Sandwich, Wellfleet, West Chatham, West Harwich, West Yarmouth, Yarmouth

La Mer Concierge is available to help you with all of your home and property management needs as well as your hosting and entertaining details to make your stay on the Cape memorable and relaxing.