Established in 1639 by John Crowe, Antony Thatcher, and Thomas Howes, Dennis officially became an independent town in 1793. Reverend Josiah Dennis, the esteemed resident minister, lent his name to this municipality. While agriculture initially thrived, Dennis soon embraced the lucrative seafaring industry. Notably, the renowned Shiyerick Shipyard, situated near Sesuit Creek’s mouth, stood out as the sole shipyard on the Cape specializing in large clipper ships. Additionally, smaller shipyards crafted fishing vessels and merchant ships that utilized the Bass River for transporting goods. Embracing diversity, Dennis prospered as a major salt manufacturer with 24 salt works in operation by 1803. The town also excelled in cranberry cultivation, leaving a lasting mark on its agricultural heritage. Visitors to Dennis can explore the fascinating Cape Playhouse, one of America’s oldest professional summer theaters since its founding in 1927.
Boasting a total of 16 enticing beaches along the picturesque Nantucket Sound and Cape Cod Bay, this coastal town offers a haven for beach lovers. If you prefer freshwater adventures, numerous ponds and lakes, including the scenic Scargo Lake, dot the landscape, providing opportunities for relaxation and recreation. Nature enthusiasts will delight in the abundance of nature trails, while golf enthusiasts can tee off at the town’s golf courses. For those seeking retail therapy and delectable dining options, Dennis offers a wide range of shopping areas and restaurants. Furthermore, the town showcases picturesque historic districts that captivate with their charm and architectural beauty. Conveniently located in the heart of Cape Cod, Dennis is the perfect base for exploring the surrounding area and all its attractions.
SOURCE: US Census, American Community Survey Program, Estimates for July 2021.
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Where to Eat IN DENNIS, MA
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Things to do in dennis, MA
Discover coastal bliss at Mayflower Beach.
Experience the beauty of Mayflower Beach, a captivating destination in Dennis, MA. This stunning beach offers a pristine shoreline with soft, golden sand, creating the perfect backdrop for relaxation and rejuvenation. Whether you’re looking to bask in the sun, take a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear waters, or embark on a leisurely beach walk, Mayflower Beach has it all. With its serene atmosphere and picturesque vistas, it’s an ideal spot to unwind and soak up the coastal charm of Cape Cod. Plan your visit to Mayflower Beach today and discover a true coastal paradise in Dennis, MA.
Experience the magic of live Theater at Cape Playhouse.
Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of live theater at Cape Playhouse, one of the oldest summer theaters in the United States. Located in Dennis, MA, Cape Playhouse offers an unforgettable theatrical experience in a historic and picturesque setting. From captivating dramas to lighthearted comedies, their diverse repertoire caters to all theater enthusiasts. With a rich heritage spanning decades, Cape Playhouse continues to delight audiences with its exceptional performances and talented actors. Whether you’re a seasoned theatergoer or a first-time attendee, a visit to Cape Playhouse promises an evening filled with entertainment, laughter, and the magic of the stage. Plan your theater outing at Cape Playhouse in Dennis, MA, and indulge yourself in the captivating world of live performances.
Discover captivating panoramic views of Cape Cod’s Beauty in Scargo Tower.
Ascend to new heights at Scargo Tower and treat yourself to breathtaking panoramic views of Cape Cod and its picturesque surroundings. Standing tall as an iconic landmark, Scargo Tower offers an unparalleled vantage point to admire the natural beauty that graces the Cape. As you climb to the top of this historic tower, you’ll be rewarded with sweeping vistas that stretch across the coastline, lush green landscapes, and shimmering waters. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a photography enthusiast, or simply seeking a tranquil escape, Scargo Tower is a must-visit destination. Don’t miss the opportunity to capture the essence of Cape Cod’s splendor from this majestic vantage point.
Explore the Cape Cod Museum of Art.
Experience the captivating world of art at the Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis, MA. As you explore this esteemed museum, you’ll discover a remarkable collection of artwork inspired by the scenic beauty of Cape Cod. Delight in a diverse array of paintings, sculptures, and other captivating mediums that showcase the immense talent of local and regional artists. With rotating exhibitions and a vibrant calendar of engaging events, the Cape Cod Museum of Art offers a dynamic cultural experience suitable for art enthusiasts of all ages. Whether your taste leans towards traditional masterpieces or contemporary expressions, this museum is an essential destination to uncover the artistic treasures that await. Plan your visit today and be inspired by the extraordinary creations showcased within the walls of the Cape Cod Museum of Art.
Rent a bike and ride along the scenic Cape Cod Rail Trail.
Experience the breathtaking beauty of Dennis, MA, by exploring the scenic Cape Cod Rail Trail. Rent a bike and set off on a memorable journey along this picturesque trail, which meanders through captivating landscapes. As you pedal along the Cape Cod Rail Trail, be prepared to be captivated by the stunning views of the area, including charming towns, verdant woodlands, and peaceful ponds. The well-maintained paths and gentle terrain make it accessible for riders of all levels, making it an enjoyable activity for families, casual riders, and cycling enthusiasts. Discover the coastal charm of Cape Cod as you embrace the outdoor adventure offered by the Cape Cod Rail Trail. Rent a bike today and embark on a memorable ride through the scenic wonders of Dennis, MA.
Indulge in the natural beauty of Corporation Beach.
This lovely beach boasts serene surroundings, making it an ideal destination for swimming, sunbathing, or enjoying a delightful beach picnic. With its soft sandy shores and gentle waves, Corporation Beach offers a tranquil and inviting atmosphere for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re looking to take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters or simply relax under the warm sun, this beach provides a picturesque setting for your coastal retreat. Plan a visit to Corporation Beach in Dennis, MA, and immerse yourself in the idyllic ambiance of this hidden paradise.
ARTS in Dennis, MA
Dennis boasts the Cape Cod Museum of Art, a vibrant hub for year-round exhibitions, events, and classes showcasing the exceptional talents of Cape Cod’s finest artists. Nearby, the iconic Cape Playhouse, inaugurated in 1927, witnessed the acting debuts of legends like Basil Rathbone, Henry Fonda, and Bette Davis. This historic theater shares its grounds with the newly renovated Cape Cinema, a year-round destination screening independent films and Hollywood releases. Marvel at the ceiling mural by renowned artist Rockwell Kent as you immerse yourself in the world of cinema.
CULTURE in Dennis, MA
Embark on a cultural journey with the Dennis Historical Society, offering tours of the 1736 Josiah Dennis Manse, the saltbox home that inspired the town’s name. Explore the Jericho Historical Center and the 1801 Captain Baker House and Barn, each brimming with history. Liberty Hall, a cornerstone of a preserved 19th-century crossroads, has worn many hats, from stagecoach stop to post office, and it continues to host lectures, dances, and plays. Discover Dennis’s historic cemeteries, libraries, and the circa 1855 Bass River Light, now part of the Lighthouse Inn in West Dennis.
education in Dennis, MA
Dennis’s public school students benefit from the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District, shared with neighboring Yarmouth. Elementary education is provided by the Ezra H. Baker Innovation School, while fourth and fifth graders from both Dennis and Yarmouth attend the Nathaniel H. Wixon Innovation School. Mattacheese Middle School in Yarmouth serves sixth and seventh graders from both towns. High school students thrive at Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School in Yarmouth, known for its Dolphins, whose athletic teams consistently achieve high rankings in the state.
Dennis spans 22.3 square miles, stretching from Cape Cod Bay in the north to Nantucket Sound in the south. The Bass River forms the western border with Yarmouth, while Harwich lies to the east on the south side of town and Brewster to the north. With nearly eight percent of its land area consisting of water, Dennis is blessed with numerous ponds, lakes, and sandy beaches along both the bay and the sound. The town is divided into five distinct villages: Dennis, Dennis Port, East Dennis, South Dennis, and West Dennis.