If you come to Fairhaven in the summer, stay for the Sunday farmer’s market. You might see hula hoopers, local music groups, and henna tattoo artists all having fun in the sun, but most importantly, the farmer’s market has incredibly friendly people, and fresh, local food (see photo). What could be better? The farmer’s market is a metaphor for the town at large. Fairhaven is a small seaside village, but that’s just the start of the story. The diverse town is chock-full of all the fun found on Cape Cod, but without all the tourists and traffic. Fairhaven has oodles of character, and is easily navigable by car or on foot. Some might come to explore, and others might come to relax, but regardless, it’s the place I am proud to call home.
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One famous landmark is Fort Phoenix, and yes, the Revolutionary War-era cannons are still fired each year. If you’re lucky, you might visit on a demonstration day, where our very own Mr. History, Chris Richard will relate tons of town lore. Climb on the rock formations, relax on the lawns with a picnic lunch, or sail a kite on practically guaranteed favorable breezes. As well, be sure to check out the recently restored John Manjiro house, the former residence of the first known Japanese citizen to live in the United States. It’s crazy to think about the differences and similarities from the past to the present, but Fairhaven straddles the divide effortlessly.
Fort Phoenix also includes a beautiful beach, one of Fairhaven’s many. In fact, I would bet that one is never more than a fifteen minute drive (and it’s usually much less) from salt water and ocean air at any point in town. Sail along the shore, splash in the warm waves, or walk along the beach looking for shells, the choice is yours, no matter where you go, but it’s an integral part of the Fairhaven experience.
All that time on the water might make you hungry for seafood, and the best place in town is definitely Margaret’s. With food for fish aficionados and even for those who might not be a fan, the fare is incredibly good for the price. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Margaret’s gets rave reviews from Boston foodies to Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, who stopped by for breakfast one summer morning. My recommendations are to try the crab cakes, but don’t miss the strawberry-pecan salad. For dessert, get some homemade goodies from Dorothy Cox Chocolates, a landmark for chocoholics.
My favorite town feature is architecture; specifically our library. The striking edifices are perhaps the most unique in the area. The library is beautifully done in the gothic style, a great place to curl up for an hour or two in between tours of local landmarks. An insider tip from a frequent library visitor: if you’re into movies, make sure you talk to Rob, the resident buff. He has never led me astray. We also have a beautiful town hall and a high school (of which you can see in the picture) filled with gorgeous stained glass windows that is still used today. Taking self-guided tours of the buildings is a must.
All of these attractions and activities are fantastic, but what makes me proud of our town is the sense of community, and the comfort that comes from a strong sense of place. Fairhaven residents are happy to share the genuine local flavor and kinship with visitors, but the only way to know is to see it for yourself!
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