Welcome to the town of Barnstable
Barnstable, MA is the largest town on Cape Cod, both in terms of land and population. The sprawling town encompasses a number of villages, including Barnstable, West Barnstable, Hyannis, and Hyannis Port. Reverend Joseph Hull founded Barnstable in 1939, after Governor John Winthrop ejected him from Plymouth Colony due to his “very contentious” liberal views.
Hyannis, the largest village in Barnstable, is one of the busiest transportations and tourist hubs on Cape Cod. Hyannis Harbor is naturally deep, which attracted many early settlers involved in the maritime shipping, fishing, and whaling industries. Today, Hyannis Harbor is the Cape’s largest recreational boating harbor and a ferry connection to Nantucket Island. Every year visitors, including members of the Kennedy family, spend their summers in this classic Cape Cod town.
The John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum, on Main Street in Hyannis, focuses on the Kennedy family’s deep personal connection to the town of Barnstable, as well as the legacies of family members like Joseph, JFK, Robert, and Ted. The museum, which hopes to inspire attendees to pursue civic commitment, features exhibits dedicated to politics, civil rights, and the “Camelot” legend of the Kennedy presidency.
Barnstable, which stretches across the Cape from north to south, has two beautiful coastlines: one on Cape Cod Bay and one on Nantucket Sound. On Cape Cod Bay, Sandy Neck Beach encompasses a long stretch of coastline between the Town of Barnstable Public Lands and the sparkling waters of the bay. Visitors come to this beach to drive off-road vehicles on the nearby public trails and to gather around warm campfires at dusk.
Sandy Neck Lighthouse, which marks the entrance to Barnstable Harbor, sits at the end of Beach Point near Sandy Neck Beach. Since 1826, this rugged lighthouse has guided ships around the dangerous shoals that lie just off Beach Point. Ships headed for Barnstable Harbor or Yarmouthport have depended on this light for safety for almost two centuries.
Craigville Beach is located on the banks of Nantucket Sound, opposite Sandy Neck. This long beach, tucked between Hyannisport and Osterville, attracts a lively mixture of families and young adults from both towns. During the summer season, this beach bustles with constant activity. Craigville Beach is an ideal spot for swimming and for gathering with friends or family.
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