Barnstable, MA

From the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce (

The town of Barnstable, the Cape’s largest town, comprises 60 square miles. Bordered by Cape Cod Bay on the north and Nantucket Sound on the south, Barnstable has seven charming villages, each with its own distinct persona.

Hyannis is Barnstable’s largest village, and the commercial and transportation hub of Cape Cod—welcoming planes, trains, buses and ferries to the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Both the Cape Cod Gateway Airport and the Hyannis Transportation Center can be found here. From the inspiring JFK Memorial to the lively waterfront on Lewis Bay, Hyannis is the official “hub” of the Cape. The strollable Hyannis Main Street is a thriving downtown area lined with shops, galleries, restaurants, cafes, nightspots, ice cream parlors and entertainment venues. Visitors will invariably find themselves reading menus in Hyannis eatery windows; downtown dining includes everything from Italian and Brazilian to Thai and French. There’s plenty of fresh seafood too, taken from boats in the harbor right to your table. Just steps from Main Street is a maritime museum and a tent theater attracting world-class entertainment in season.

Hyannisport is renowned as the summer home of President John F. Kennedy and his family. Many visitors, drawn by the Kennedy mystique or seeking to pay homage to a global icon, are drawn to this tiny, seaside enclave. The Kennedy family’s longstanding connection to this area of the Cape can be explored at the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum on Main Street, along a walking legacy trail, and aboard sightseeing boat tours that cruise right by the compound. Also in Hyannis is The Zion Union Heritage Museum, which celebrates the contributions that area African Americans and Cape Verdeans have made to Cape Cod, including their role in the local whaling and cranberry industries, arts and sciences, and the civil rights movement.While Hyannis may be the most well-known of Barnstable’s seven villages, the other six define the quintessential essence of Cape Cod life – their shady byways, beach roses, stalwart scrub pines and weathered shingles taken almost for granted by those who see them daily. Along Barnstable’s southerly coast are the villages of Cotuit, Osterville and Centerville – with handsome homes and beautiful Nantucket Sound beaches. To the north are Marstons Mills, West Barnstable and Barnstable Village, bucolic spots that are reminiscent of horse-and-buggy days.

When it comes to recreation, Barnstable has over 100 miles of beautiful beaches, including tourist hotspot Craigville Beach, Sandy Neck Beach with its nationally renowned hiking trails, and Kalmus Beach, a mecca for windsurfers. It is home to three public golf courses, two of which are town-owned. The town’s Hyannis Youth & Community Center is Barnstable’s recreational hub. This 105,000 square foot, full-service community center offers twin NHL regulation rinks, a 12,500 square foot gymnasium and an expansive youth center with a café, computer lab and function rooms. It has played host to the international 2nd Nations Cup (the first of its kind to take place in the US) and US Figure Skating Theatre on Ice Nationals, which brought thousands of skaters from all over the world.

Find more information on Barnstable through the Greater Hyannis Chamber of Commerce.