The town of Dennis, Massachusetts cuts across the Mid Cape, stretching from Cape Cod Bay to Nantucket Sound. It includes the villages of Dennis, Dennis Port, East Dennis, South Dennis, and West Dennis. For many years, much of the
town’s maritime industry revolved around the Shiverick Shipyard in East Dennis, which was the only shipyard to build clipper ships on Cape Cod. On the other end of Dennis, the Bass River separates West Dennis from South Yarmouth to its west. During the nineteenth century, this village was an important source of salt and small ships for the surrounding towns, including Nantucket. Many West Dennis residents made a living in maritime trade and, as Nantucket Sound grew in importance, so did the village. West Dennis Light, lit in 1855, sits at the mouth of the Bass River.
Like many early Cape Cod lighthouses
, West Dennis Light is simply a keeper’s house with a beacon placed on the roof. It’s one of the last lighthouses on the Cape to use this traditional design.Today, the lighthouse is the Lighthouse Inn, a seaside inn that hosts visitors throughout the summer months. In Dennis MA, visitors can tour the home of the town’s namesake, Reverend Josiah Dennis. For many years, the Reverend and his family lived in this early eighteenth-century saltbox house close to the center of town. Dennis, one of the area’s early settlers, was the minister of the East Yarmouth Parish for almost 40 years.
The Cape Cod Rail Trail
starts on Route 134 in South Dennis, just south of Exit 9A on US Route 6. This paved path connects Dennis with the Outer Cape, allowing cyclists and runners to travel from one end of the Cape to the other. In South Dennis, Cape Cod Rail Trail
runs along quaint tree-lined streets, paralleling the route of the Great Western Road. Many picturesque beaches line the coasts of Cape Cod Bay and Nantucket Sound in Dennis. Chapin Memorial Beach, in Dennis, is one of the most popular spots to watch the sunset on the Cape. At low tide, the beach’s wide tidal flats seem to stretch for miles. West Dennis Beach, on Nantucket Sound, is a popular destination for windsurfers, due to its strong winds.