The Town of Wellfleet is a historic seaside village on the Outer Cape, located between the Atlantic Ocean and Cape Cod Bay, consisting of South Wellfleet, Wellfleet Harbor and the downtown village (Main Street). Once an important port for both whaling and the early banana trade, the Town of Wellfleet remains today deeply connected to the sea through the local shellfishing and aquaculture industry. The famed Wellfleet Oyster is prized nationally and internationally.
Wellfleet’s natural landscape of moors, marshes, towering dunes and crystal clear fresh water ponds left by retreating glaciers centuries ago, has been protected since 1961 with the establishment of the Cape Cod National Seashore. Walking trails abound – Great Island, the Atlantic White Cedar Swamp, Duck Harbor, Bound Brook Island and the Audubon Society’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. The 23-mile long Cape Cod Rail Trail bike path ends in South Wellfleet at the Wellfleet Chamber of Commerce Information booth. Outlying cultural sites include the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater, the Harbor Stage Company, the newly restored Pond Hill School and the Atwood-Higgins house maintained by the National Park Service.
The Massachusetts Cultural Council designated Wellfleet’s town center and harbor as a Cultural District in 2017 in recognition of the concentration and vitality of its artistic, cultural and natural resources. The goal of the Wellfleet Cultural District is to link the Harbor and Town through a walkable loop that includes many of the town’s restaurants, galleries, fine clothing stores, theaters, gift shops, markets, and the marina, public library and community cultural center.
The established goals of the Wellfleet Cultural District are:
-Enhance what is special about life in Wellfleet for residents, property owners, and visitors alike.
-Promote economic activity in the District to build on and expand the existing arts, culture, and natural environment.
-Preserve the history environment and customs that reflect the community experience over time.
-Nurture the diversity of contributions in the visual, performing, literary arts, as well as marine and natural sciences.
-Celebrate our culture and arts while fostering stewardship of this unique natural environment that inspirers us.
-Encourage education concerning the significance of the Cultural District and welcome everyone to share in the historic, artistic, and scientific contributions of Wellfleet.
For more information or to become involved in the Wellfleet Cultural District, please contact Courtney Butler, Executive Assistant to the Town Administrator, at Courtney.Butler@wellfleet-ma.gov or 508-349-0300.