Chatham, Massachusetts has been picked by Southwest Airlines as one of the top ten vacation spots in the United States.
"Among this gathering of getaways are towns that, to the uninitiated, appear to be situated in appreciably cooler climates. The initiated know the ocean is the great moderator and that a lovely spring day on the beaches on the Cape can rival anything in summer (true, though, only the hardiest can stray into the ocean in spring). Cape Cod has many charming towns, but Chatham distinguishes itself on several fronts.
Plenty of pensive time, for one. Chatham is one of the few places in the country where you can see the sun come up (over the Atlantic) and go down (into Nantucket Sound) over the water. Make for the picturesque 1877 Chatham Lighthouse for sunrise; head to Harding’s Beach for sunset.
Located as it is on the Cape's outer elbow, Chatham is also quieter than the other towns on the Cape, a place where night life takes a backseat to genuine New England life. Join the old salts on the Chatham Fish Pier and watch the fishing boats come in around noon, then try a taste of the catch at Nickerson Fish & Lobster right on the pier. Since you won't be wearing a bathing suit, sample some of the world's best chocolate at Chatham Candy Manor.
Try Main Street for shopping and all the New England crafts you can imagine, from seascape paintings to hand-blown glass. Pop in (on Main Street) at the Chatham Squire, and rub elbows with locals who know good food, good beer and a good time. Clear your head with a tour of desolate Monomoy Island, accessible only by boat, as stunning a birding spot as you'll find." (Southwest Airlines Spirit, March 2004)
Chatham being on the elbow of the Cape Cod is really the center of the Cape. With Provincetown less than an hour drive to the north, Hyannis 30 minutes to the west and Woods Hole just over 60 minutes away, all the major attractions are an easy drive from the Hawthorne. It is easy to understand why the Hawthorne is Ranked #1 by TripAdvisor.