Barnstable, Cape Cod’s most populous town, is a captivating destination comprising seven charming villages: Barnstable, Centerville, Cotuit, Hyannis, Marstons Mills, Osterville, and West Barnstable. This picturesque town extends from the stunning Cape Cod Bay in the north to the idyllic Nantucket Sound in the south, graced with harbors on both sides. Yarmouth borders Barnstable to the east, while Sandwich and Mashpee encompass its western boundaries. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Barnstable, which boasts numerous scenic ponds and pristine beaches scattered across its villages.

In 1602, Bartholomew Gosnold, a notable English barrister, explorer, and privateer, led the first documented European expedition to Cape Cod, thoroughly exploring the region that would eventually become modern-day Barnstable. Once settled, the town was aptly named after Barnstable, England, and officially incorporated in 1639, alongside its neighboring towns of Yarmouth and Sandwich. Experience the rich historical heritage and captivating landscapes that make Barnstable a cherished gem on Cape Cod.


SOURCE: US Census, American Community Survey Program, Estimates for July 2021.

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Things to do in BARNSTABLE, MA

Embark on an unforgettable journey with Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruises.

Experience the ultimate whale watching adventure with Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruises. Their seasonal cruises operate from mid-April to October, departing from the scenic Barnstable Harbor. Set sail to the renowned Stellwagen Bank, recognized as one of the world’s top 10 destinations for whale watching. Onboard, you’ll find spacious outside viewing decks, perfect for relaxation and optimal whale observation. The climate-controlled cabins ensure your comfort throughout the journey, and our full-service galley keeps you refreshed.

Based on valuable feedback from their customers, Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruises recommends dressing warmly or bringing a jacket to stay cozy during the excursion. Arriving early is also advised, as it allows you to secure a seat on the outside near the front of the boat or in the upper deck, providing an awe-inspiring and unobstructed view. Embark on an extraordinary adventure with Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruises, where memories of encountering these majestic creatures will last a lifetime.

Discover the legacy of John F. Kennedy at the Hyannis Museum.

The museum is located on bustling Main Street in downtown Hyannis and offers a unique glimpse into the life of President Kennedy, and the accomplishments of other prominent Kennedys such as Joseph P. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy.

Immerse yourself in captivating exhibits that showcase the Kennedys’ unwavering civic commitment, their pivotal role in advancing civil rights, and their influential contributions to the political landscape. These exhibits beautifully depict the deep connection between the Kennedys and their life on the Cape, providing a profound understanding of their enduring impact. Delve into the history and significance of the Kennedy family at the John F. Kennedy Museum, a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and admirers of this iconic American dynasty.

Discover the enchanting beauty of Hyannis Harbor.

As you explore the bustling village of Hyannis, make sure to include a visit to its captivating harbor. The harbor presents a picturesque setting where you can marvel at ships gracefully arriving and departing. Enhancing your maritime adventure, Hyannis Harbor cruises are available, offering delightful 1-hour trips throughout the day. Take advantage of the special offer for the first two morning trips, as children can enjoy a complimentary ride.

During your cruise, delve into the rich history of Hyannis as knowledgeable guides share fascinating insights about iconic landmarks like Great Island, the Kennedy Memorial, Squaw Island, and other significant sites. Immerse yourself in the captivating tales and scenic beauty that make Hyannis Harbor an unforgettable destination.

Experience the waves at Sandy Neck Beach.

Discover endless fun at Sandy Neck Beach: Barnstable’s longest and unspoiled coastal paradise. Sandy Neck Beach, stretching an impressive 6 miles along Barnstable’s coastline, offers a plethora of exciting activities to keep you entertained. With its towering dunes and crystal-clear ocean waters, this pristine beach is a haven for sunbathers, leisurely strollers, and those seeking refreshing dips in the sea.

Rest assured, a vigilant lifeguard is always on duty, ensuring your safety while you make the most of your beach experience. To enhance your visit, Sandy Neck Beach provides convenient amenities such as a snack bar and well-maintained restrooms, allowing you to fully indulge in relaxation.

For those seeking a little adventure, why not rent a boat and try your hand at fishing? Explore the bountiful waters just off the coast and reel in the catch of the day.

Discover the rich Maritime Legacy at the Coast Guard Heritage Museum.

Step into history at the Coast Guard Heritage Museum, housed within the iconic Customs House at the intersection of Main Street and Millway in Barnstable Village. This remarkable museum showcases the exceptional preservation of the United States Coast Guard and its extensive collection of artifacts.

With its affordable admission price, the Coast Guard Heritage Museum offers a captivating journey through military history and nautical heritage. Take advantage of the highly informative audio tour, which provides valuable insights into the exhibits. According to rave reviews, this museum is a must-visit for enthusiasts of military history and those seeking in-depth knowledge of maritime affairs.

Immerse yourself in the captivating world of the United States Coast Guard as you explore the Coast Guard Heritage Museum. Uncover the stories of bravery, service, and maritime excellence that have shaped our nation’s coastal defense. Visit today and experience the educational and immersive wonders that await at this extraordinary museum.

Experience endless laughter at Barnstable Comedy Club.

For those seeking laughter and entertainment in Barnstable, look no further than one of Cape Cod’s most beloved and sought-after venues. Renowned for its rich history and vibrant performances, this comedy club stands as one of the oldest and most esteemed in both Cape Cod and the United States. Enthusiastic theatergoers flock to this iconic establishment, eager to immerse themselves in the world of comedy.

Prepare to be amazed by stellar performances delivered by exceptionally talented comedians. As praised by enthusiastic reviewers, the comedic acts are nothing short of extraordinary. The venue offers ample parking facilities, ensuring a hassle-free experience for all visitors. With an easy reservation system in place, securing your spot for a night of laughter is a breeze.

Indulge in an unforgettable evening of comedy and mirth at Barnstable’s premier comedy club. Immerse yourself in the electric atmosphere and be prepared to laugh until your sides ache. Don’t miss this opportunity to create memories that will have you smiling for years to come.

Experience hair-raising thrills on the Barnstable Ghost Hunters Tour.

Prepare to be spooked on the Barnstable Ghost Hunters Tour, an unforgettable adventure that will send chills down your spine. Tours in the past have started at 7:00PM in the heart of town, this tour offers a range of options catering to both large groups and couples. Check availability around the Halloween season.

Embark on the Ghost Hunters Tour, where professional ghost hunters will guide you on a three-hour exploration of eerie sites. Traverse the local cemetery, the haunted Crocker Tavern House, Barnstable Courthouse, and “The House of 11 Ghosts.” Witness firsthand how ghost hunters utilize cutting-edge sensory equipment to detect paranormal activity. Brace yourself for genuine terror as you delve into haunted locations, with some participants even opting to leave the tour before venturing into the notorious Old Jail, considered one of the most haunted places in the country.

For a different experience, try the Haunted & History Tour. While not focused on ghost hunting, this tour delves into the intriguing histories behind Barnstable’s haunting legends. Visit 10 fascinating locations, including the historic Cobb’s Hill Cemetery, as you unravel the secrets and stories that linger in the shadows.

Couples seeking a unique and intimate experience can indulge in the Love You to Death Tour. Designed exclusively for partners, this private 90-minute adventure delves into tales of lost love from the Revolutionary War period. Immerse yourself in the romantic yet haunting narratives that intertwine with Barnstable’s past.

Prepare for an adrenaline-pumping excursion on the Barnstable Ghost Hunters Tour, where history, mystery, and the supernatural collide. Book your spot now and brace yourself for a hauntingly thrilling encounter you won’t soon forget.

Discover Barnstable’s rich heritage aboard the Cape Cod Central railroad.

Uncover the charms of a historic town from the vantage point of a bygone era with the Cape Cod Central Railroad. Experience the thrill of stepping back in time as you embark on a scenic journey through Barnstable’s captivating landscapes aboard this iconic train.

Immerse yourself in the enchanting atmosphere as the train meanders through a two-hour expedition, offering panoramic views of the breathtaking dunes, picturesque marshes, and scenic cranberry bogs that define Cape Cod’s natural beauty. With detailed narration from knowledgeable guides, you’ll gain fascinating insights into the town’s history and landmarks. Marvel at the stunning vistas that can only be witnessed from the train’s window, allowing you to capture unique perspectives of Barnstable’s diverse landscapes.

Indulge in the exceptional dining experiences offered by the Cape Cod Central Railroad. Treat yourself to their renowned award-winning dinner specials, tantalizing your taste buds with gourmet delights. For a delightful Sunday morning excursion, savor their delectable brunch. Alternatively, relish a gourmet luncheon or a memorable family supper as you revel in the nostalgic ambiance of the train.

Embark on a captivating journey through time with the Cape Cod Central Railroad and delve into the rich heritage of Barnstable. Book your unforgettable train adventure today and create cherished memories as you immerse yourself in the magic of this remarkable town.

Experience unforgettable family fishing adventures with a fishing charter

Indulge in thrilling fishing adventures with one of the local reputable fishing charters, like Cape Cod Family Fishing Charters. Ideal for families and large groups, these charters offer hourly fishing trips that promise excitement and fun in the waters of Cape Cod.

With an experienced and licensed captain at the helm, you can trust in their expertise as they guide you to the best fishing spots. Reviews from satisfied customers highlight the success and informative nature of these fishing trips. It’s no wonder that fishing with a fishing charter is considered one of the top things to do in Barnstable for water enthusiasts and fishing enthusiasts alike.

In addition to fishing, Cape Cod Family Fishing Charters also offers scenic sunset cruises. Immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of Cape Cod’s coastline as you witness the stunning colors of the setting sun. These cruises provide the perfect backdrop for relaxation and creating unforgettable memories.

Convenient Ferry Service to the Islands in Barnstable.

Experience a seamless island adventure with the ferry service available in Hyannis. This convenient transportation option serves as your gateway to the nearby islands, providing easy access to unforgettable island experiences.

Whether you’re longing to explore the captivating beauty of Martha’s Vineyard or the picturesque charm of Nantucket, the ferry service in Barnstable ensures a smooth and enjoyable journey. With regular departures and reliable schedules, planning your island getaway becomes effortless, allowing you to make the most of your time.

Relax and enjoy the scenic views as you cruise across the sparkling waters. The ferry offers a comfortable voyage, allowing you to appreciate the anticipation of arriving at your island destination.

Don’t miss out on the chance to discover the unique allure of the islands near Barnstable. Secure your ferry tickets today and embark on an exceptional island adventure that will create lasting memories.

Embark on a nature exploration at Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary.

Experience the natural splendor of Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary, nestled in the charming village of Cummquid. This 110-acre sanctuary offers a captivating retreat for nature lovers and tourists seeking a closer connection to the region’s trees and wildlife.

Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary boasts an array of attractions, including pristine beaches, lush meadows, winding woodland trails, and even a delightful collection of farm animals. It’s the perfect destination to immerse yourself in the authentic essence of Cape Cod and create unforgettable memories.

Embark on a scenic hike along the sanctuary’s well-maintained trails, leading you to the breathtaking Barnstable Harbor. As you wander through the trails, you’ll be surrounded by the natural beauty of Sandy Neck Barrier Beach’s majestic dunes, creating a picturesque backdrop for your adventure.

Located on Barnstable Harbor, the sanctuary provides ample opportunities for further exploration. Paddle through the tranquil waterways with a kayak excursion or join a captivating cruise, allowing you to discover the hidden gems of the area’s coastal landscape.

Uncover the enchanting allure of Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary and embrace the serenity of Cape Cod’s natural wonders. Plan your visit today to witness the captivating beauty of this remarkable sanctuary.

ARTS in Barnstable, MA

Art thrives throughout the picturesque villages of Barnstable. Discover the charming art shanties in the HyArts Cultural District in Hyannis, the acclaimed Cotuit Center for the Arts, and the mesmerizing performances by the Cape Symphony Orchestra at the Barnstable Performing Arts Center, hosted at Barnstable High School. Explore fine art galleries along Route 6A in Barnstable Village and West Barnstable. Keep up with the vibrant local arts scene, as Arts Barnstable, the town’s arts and culture division, coordinates and promotes numerous exhibits and events. Barnstable proudly contributes to the Mid-Cape Cultural Council, providing vital funding for a wide range of local artistic endeavors.

Culture in Barnstable, MA

Delve into Barnstable’s rich cultural tapestry by visiting its diverse museums. Experience the John F. Kennedy Museum in downtown Hyannis, uncover maritime history at the Cape Cod Maritime Museum on Hyannis Harbor, and admire American art at The Cahoon Museum of American Art in Cotuit. Explore the heritage of the US Coast Guard at the US Coast Guard Heritage Museum in Barnstable Village, and step back in time at the Osterville and Centerville Historical Museums. Tales of Cape Cod, based in the historic Old Colonial Courthouse on Route 6A, passionately preserves and shares Cape Cod’s unique history. Each of Barnstable’s seven villages boasts its own public library, and baseball enthusiasts can catch the action with two Cape Cod Baseball League teams, the Hyannis Harbor Hawks and the Cotuit Kettleers.

EDUCATION in Barnstable, MA

Barnstable offers a diverse range of educational opportunities. Enoch Cobb Early Learning Center caters to preschool children, while five elementary schools serve kindergarten through third-grade students: Barnstable/West Barnstable Elementary, Centerville Elementary School, Barnstable Community Innovation School, Hyannis West Elementary, and West Villages Elementary. Barnstable United Elementary covers grades four and five, followed by Barnstable Intermediate School for students in grades six and seven. High school education is provided by Barnstable High School in Hyannis. Sturgis Charter Public School, located in Hyannis, offers the prestigious International Baccalaureate Diploma Program through a lottery admission process. Private schooling options include St. John Paul II School (grades five through twelve), Trinity Christian Academy (pre-kindergarten through high school), and the esteemed Cape Cod Academy (kindergarten through grade twelve). Barnstable is also home to Cape Cod Community College, a two-year community college situated in West Barnstable.

Barnstable’S GEOGRAPHY

Situated approximately 70 miles southeast of Boston, Barnstable is a captivating destination within the Mid-Cape region. Covering just over 76 square miles, the town boasts a remarkable 22 percent of its land area as water. Barnstable is renowned for its 182 freshwater ponds, with 93 exceeding one acre in size and 25 classified as “great ponds” with more than 10 acres each. Among these, Wequaquet Lake in Centerville stands out, feeding the Centerville River. The central part of town features lush pitch pine and oak woodlands, while the northern boundary is defined by the picturesque dunes of Sandy Neck along Barnstable Harbor. Explore the natural wonders of this remarkable town.