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Considering a Move to Chatham, MA?

Chatham, MA

Chatham, MA, is a small village in the southeastern area of Cape Cod. It’s about halfway along what’s called Cape Cod’s “elbow,” in the sharp turn of the peninsula. Chatham is surrounded by the towns of Harwich and Orleans, with the Atlantic Ocean to the east.

About Chatham

Chatham is a seaside town, and much of its historical importance is directly tied to its status as a maritime center. Covering just 16 square miles of Cape Cod, Chatham served as a coastal defense site during World War II. The Chatham Lighthouse is one of the most significant navigational aids on the Atlantic. Chatham is also known for the Monomoy Point Life-Saving Station, a crucial resource for rescuing shipwrecked sailors beginning in 1872. Today, Chatham remains one of the key areas for fishing on the entire New England coastline. Its population topped 6,125 after the 2020 census.

Buying a Home in Chatham

The Chatham real estate market is robust. In 2023, 169 Chatham, MA, homes for sale went for a median price of $1,238,000. Chatham homes for sale spend about 41 days on the market. Like most coastal towns, Chatham’s real estate market is seasonally driven. The warmer months see a lot of real estate and rental activity, with luxury-level waterfront and historic Chatham homes getting a lot of attention. Many smaller homes take after traditional Cape Cod architecture with simple wood-shingle designs. You can also find Colonial, Victorian, and cottage-style homes within Chatham.

Living in Chatham

Chatham is a quintessential small coastal town. Residents love the breathtaking scenery, stunning beaches, and the historic charm of downtown. As a popular vacation destination, summer life in Chatham is closely tied to the tourism trade. Chatham’s climate echoes that of other towns on the New England coastline. Summers are mild, with average high temperatures reaching about 69 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s lower than a lot of Massachusetts locales but typical of towns on the sea. During the cold season, temperatures reach an average low of 27 degrees Fahrenheit.

Chatham is served by the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority, which has multiple bus stops and depots all across the cape. On summer weekends, the CapeFLYER train offers transportation between Boston and the Cape. Employment in Chatham is heavily informed by its tourist industry, with many locals working in hotels, motels, resorts, and retail establishments. The fishing industry still has a considerable presence in Chatham, with many fishermen, boat operators, and seafood market workers earning their keep.

The shopping scene along Chatham’s Main Street is well-known for its unique downtown boutiques, antique shops, and specialty stores. Chatham has three schools within town limits. High schoolers in Chatham generally attend Monomoy Regional High School in nearby Harwich.

Things to Do in Chatham

Most of the activities and attractions in Chatham are oriented toward its maritime heritage and coastal character. Indeed, the natural landscape makes this area of Cape Cod one of the more significant maritime habitats in New England. The Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge is a barrier beach preserve that covers nine miles of Cape Cod beachfront. It supports many ecosystems, from saltwater marshes to dunes and tidal flats. Monomoy is especially well-known for catering to its bird population, with avian and migratory creatures finding a home in the refuge.

The Atwood House Museum includes over 3,000 items, including paintings, artifacts, historical documents, photographs, and more. The Chatham Railroad Museum spotlights the rail tradition of the area. The restaurant scene in Chatham is largely driven by its beachfront. Some of the more reputable places to eat in town include The Impudent Oyster, Cuvée at the Chatham Bars Inn, Del Mar Bar & Bistro, and Bluefins. Chatham residents also have the option to dine in neighboring communities with other great options, like Harwich and Dennis Port.

Chatham hosts a Fourth of July parade every summer. In December, you can enjoy the Chatham Christmas By the Sea Stroll and the First Night. Residents also look forward to the Dropping of the Cod on New Year’s Eve, which heralds the arrival of the new year.

Explore Life in Chatham

For many New Englanders, Chatham is the height of relaxed beach living and luxury. If you long for the tranquility of ocean beach life and simplicity, Chatham may be the perfect refuge for you.


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