What You Need To Know About Cape Cod

Cape Cod and Islands map

Cape Cod has many different facets.  Each town on the Cape has something unique to offer in the way of natural beauty, history, the arts and in entertainment.

The Cape (Barnstable County), about 70 miles in length with more than 500 miles of coastline, is often subdivided into four to regions: Upper-Cape, Mid-Cape, Lower-Cape and Outer-Cape.

The Upper-Cape – Includes FalmouthMashpeeSandwich and Bourne areas of Cape Cod. In this region the two bridges accessing Cape Cod (Over the Cape Cod Canal) are located. It is close to the historical settlement of Plymouth and about 55 miles from downtown Boston.

The Mid-Cape – This region includes DennisYarmouthBarnstable and its seven villages; Hyannis, Osterville, Centerville, Cotuit, West Barnstable, Barnstable Village andMarstons Mills. Hyannis is considered the “hub” of the Cape with nearly 70% of the population in this area. The downtown area of Hyannis is busy most of the year. it is the home of the JFK Museum and the Ocean Street Docks with ferries and tour boats to the Islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.

The Lower-Cape – Known as the Cape’s elbow and home of Nickerson State Park, this region includes the towns of BrewsterChathamHarwich and Orleans. The Lower-Cape boasts family-oriented summer communities and serves as the gateway to the Outer Cape, where all roads merge.

The Outer-Cape – Home of the Cape Cod National Seashore, this region includes the towns of EasthamWellfleetTruro and Provincetown. The Outer-Cape is a bit more secluded and well suited for summer tourists because of the miles of fine beaches in the Cape Cod National Seashore.

The Islands – The region includes Martha’s Vineyard (Dukes County) and Nantucket (Nantucket County). Each island has a distinctly different flavor. Nantucket, only three by nine miles, is about as quaint a New England seaside town as you will find. The downtown area includes fine shops, galleries and the famous Nantucket Whaling Museum. The cobblestone streets are busy with tourist in almost every season. The Christmas Stroll is a favorite winter attraction. Martha’s Vineyard, a favorite vacation spot of the Clinton’s, is well known for great beaches, ocean vistas and the seaside villages of Oaks Bluff, Chilmark, Edgartown and Tisbury.

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