Harwich is located in Barnstable County 15 miles W of Hyannis along Highway 28. Harwich was named after the English village called "Happy-go-lucky Harwich" by Queen Elizabeth. At the elbow of Cape Cod, it is surrounded by the communites of North, South, East and West Harwich, Harwich Port, and Pleasant Lake, all of which are known collectively as the Harwiches. Once a whaling and shipbuilding center, Harwich is now supported by the cranberry and tourism industries.
The town's population triples during the summer, as visitors arrive to enjoy nearby freshwater and saltwater beaches, fishing, scuba diving, sailing and bird watching. A 23-mile bicycle trail winds through woodlands and beaches. Harwich is part of the Barnstable-Yarmouth, Massachusetts metro area.