Best Towns of Cape Cod You Should NOT Miss Out On!

The towns of Cape Cod offer something for everyone. From upper Cape towns such as Bourne, Sandwich and Falmouth to mid-Cape towns such as Barnstable, Yarmouth and Dennis, there is plenty to explore. Lower Cape towns such as Brewster, Harwich and Orleans offer both a quaint New England charm and beautiful beaches. The outer Cape towns of Eastham, Truro, Wellfleet and Provincetown are popular for their picturesque lighthouses, dramatic cliffs and stunning sunsets. Finally, the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard are ideal for exploring with their white sandy beaches, whaling history and charming towns. No matter which town you choose to explore, you are sure to find something special in Cape Cod.

Where is Cape Cod?

Cape Cod is a peninsula located in the southeastern corner of Massachusetts. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Buzzards Bay to the west, and Cape Cod Bay to the north. The peninsula is approximately 70 miles long and ranges from 2 to 25 miles in width. Brief History of Cape Cod Cape Cod was originally inhabited by the Wampanoag people, who were a part of the larger Algonquin nation. The area was explored and settled by Europeans in the 1620s, with the town of Plymouth being established in 1620. The area has a rich history of fishing and whaling industries, and the Cape Cod National Seashore was established in 1961.

Regions of Cape Cod

Cape Cod is divided into four regions: Upper Cape, Mid Cape, Lower Cape and Outer Cape.

  • The Upper Cape towns and villages include Bourne, Sandwich, Falmouth and Mashpee.
  • The Mid Cape towns and villages include Barnstable, Yarmouth, Dennis and Brewster.
  • The Lower Cape towns and villages include Harwich and Orleans.
  • The Outer Cape towns and villages include Truro, Wellfleet and Provincetown.

The islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard are also part of Cape Cod.

Cape Cod Towns & Villages Upper Cape Towns & Villages

Bourne: A small town located on the western edge of the Cape, Bourne is home to the historic Gray Gables and Aptucxet Trading Post. The town also has a number of parks and beaches, including Monument Beach and Sagamore Beach. Sandwich: The oldest town on Cape Cod, Sandwich is known for its picturesque harbor, historic homes and colonial architecture. Popular attractions include the Sandwich Glass Museum and the Wing Fort House.

Falmouth: Known as the “Gem of the Cape,” Falmouth is home to beautiful beaches and a vibrant downtown. Popular attractions include the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Shining Sea Bikeway and Falmouth Heights Beach.

Mashpee: Located on the southern tip of the cape, Mashpee is a popular summer destination for beachgoers and nature lovers. Popular attractions include the Mashpee River and Mashpee Commons Shopping Center. Mid Cape Towns & Villages Barnstable: The largest town on the Cape, Barnstable is home to a number of villages, including Hyannis, Centerville and Osterville. Popular attractions include the JFK Hyannis Museum, Cape Cod Baseball League and Nantucket Sound.

Yarmouth: Located on the western edge of the cape, Yarmouth is home to some of the area’s best beaches, including Seagull Beach and Bass Hole Beach. Popular attractions include the Yarmouthport Village and the Cape Cod Rail Trail.

Dennis: Located on the northern side of the cape, Dennis is known for its quaint New England charm, sandy beaches and historic sites. Popular attractions include the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History and the Cape Cod Maritime Museum. Lower Cape Towns & Villages

Brewster: A small town located on the northern side of the cape, Brewster is known for its quaint downtown, sandy beaches and historic sites. Popular attractions include the Brewster Historical Society and the Brewster Fish House.

Harwich: Located on the southern side of the cape, Harwich is known for its antique shops, seafood restaurants and sandy beaches. Popular attractions include the Harwich 2nd Beach and the Cape Cod Rail Trail.

Orleans: Located on the eastern side of the cape, Orleans is known for its small-town charm, sandy beaches and nature preserves. Popular attractions include the Cape Cod National Seashore and the Nauset Marsh.

Chatham: Located on the southeastern tip of the cape, Chatham is known for its beautiful beaches, historic sites and vibrant downtown. Popular attractions include the Chatham Lighthouse and the Chatham Historical Society. Outer Cape Towns & Villages

Eastham: Located on the outermost edge of the cape, Eastham is known for its beautiful beaches, nature trails and charming downtown. Popular attractions include the Cape Cod National Seashore and the Eastham Windmill.

Truro: Located on the northern tip of the cape, Truro is known for its pristine beaches, nature reserves and historic sites. Popular attractions include the Truro Historical Society and the Old Harbor Life-Saving Station.

Wellfleet: Located on the eastern edge of the cape, Wellfleet is known for its beautiful beaches, nature preserves and historic sites. Popular attractions include the Wellfleet Harbor and the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.

Provincetown: Located on the very tip of the cape, Provincetown is known for its vibrant art scene, beautiful beaches and diverse culture. Popular attractions include the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Harbor. The Islands Towns & Villages

Nantucket: Located just off the southeastern tip of Cape Cod, Nantucket is known for its beautiful beaches, whaling history and charming downtown. Popular attractions include the Nantucket Historical Association and the Whaling Museum.

Martha’s Vineyard: Located just south of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard is known for its picturesque harbors, beautiful beaches and vibrant downtown. Popular attractions include the Martha’s Vineyard Museum and the Flying Horses Carousel.

Elizabethan Islands: Located in the outermost part of Cape Cod, the Elizabethan Islands are comprised of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, as well as the lesser-known islands of Tuckernuck and Muskeget. Popular attractions include the Martha’s Vineyard Museum and the Flying Horses Carousel.

Final Thoughts on Towns of Cape Cod

Cape Cod is an ideal destination for those looking to explore the rich history and culture of the region. From the upper Cape towns of Bourne, Sandwich and Falmouth to the mid-Cape towns of Barnstable, Yarmouth and Dennis, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The lower Cape towns of Brewster, Harwich and Orleans offer both a quaint New England charm and beautiful beaches. The outer Cape towns of Eastham, Truro, Wellfleet and Provincetown are popular for their picturesque lighthouses, dramatic cliffs and stunning sunsets. Finally, the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard are perfect for exploring with their white sandy beaches, whaling history and charming towns. No matter which town you choose to explore, you are sure to find something special in Cape Cod.