Exploring the 7 villages of Barnstable is one of the best ways to spend the day or even a full weekend on Cape Cod. While close in proximity, each village has its own unique feel and culture to share.
The 7 villages of Barnstable are:
- Barnstable Village
- Marstons Mills
- West Barnstable
In this article, we take a look at each village and what makes them so unique. In addition, we will give you tips on the best things to do and places to visit.
When exploring the 7 villages of Barnstable, perhaps the most iconic of the 7 is Barnstable village. Located on the northside of Barnstable, this village is the perfect intersection of historical intrigue and quaint New England town.
At Barnstable Harbor, you can see gorgeous views of Sandy Neck Beach and Lighthouse from the land or hope on a boat for one of the famed whale watching tours.
If you’re more of a history buff head over to the old jail and U.S. customs house. There you can meet a working blacksmith who will share stories about the old inmates or you can check out the new home of the U.S. customs house.
Some of the more notable attractions in Barnstable Village include:
- Coast Guard Heritage Museum
- Cape Cod Art Center
- Cape Cod Organic Farm
- Tales of Cape Cod
- Barnstable Historical Society Museum
If you are just driving through, make sure to at least drive by the Barnstable County Court House, which is a work of art in itself.
Marston Mills is a residential village of Barnstable and as a result much more rural in comparison. However, if you are looking to get some fresh air and explore the nature of Cape Cod, Marston Mills is a great village to visit.
One of the most visited locations in Marstons Mills is Burgess Park. Here you can go to the beach, head over to the skate park, or have an afternoon picnic.
If you’re looking for something on the wild side, head over to the Cape Cod Airfield. This historic airfield dates back to the 1920s and allows you the opportunity to take a ride in a biplane.
Some of the most notable locations in Marston Mills include:
- Burgess Park
- Marston Mills Public Library
- Cape Cod Airfield
Cotuit only covers approximately 5 square miles, making it the smallest of the 7 Barnstable villages. However, what it lacks in size it makes up in charm.
Cotuit is surrounded by three bodies of water: Popponesset Bay, Cotuit bay, and Santuit River, making it a popular destination for boaters.
While most of the village is occupied by historic homes, you can pack a picnic from the historic Cotuit Market and head out on the water to Sampson’s Island, a wildlife preserve, to take in the sights and sounds of the Cape Cod wildlife.
Some of the most notable locations in Cotuit include:
- Sampson’s Island
- Eagle Pond
- Historical Society of Santuit & Cotuit
- Cahoon Museum of American Art
- Cotuit Center for the Arts
Hyannis is the most recognizable village in Barnstable and perhaps on all of Cape Cod. Known as Cape Cod’s downtown, Hyannis is a center of cultural and social life in Barnstable.
If you take a stroll down the main street, you’ll find several shops and restaurants to explore. If it’s a nice day, you can head over to Kalmus Beach for a beautiful day at the beach.
Hyannis is also the location where John F. Kennedy spent his summers on the cape. There’s a museum dedicated to the 35th president of the United States of America and a 1.6-mile walking trail.
Some of the most notable attractions in Hyannis include:
- John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum
- Main Street
- Cape Cod Beer
- Kennedy Legacy Trail
- Veterans Memorial Park
Located on the Southside of Barnstable, Osterville is a seaside village filled with bays, ponds, a lake, and beaches. There’s even a business district with small shops, a pizza place, and of course an ice cream parlor.
Fancy’s Market is one of the hallmarks of Osterville and is actually on the National Register of Historic Places. One of the most popular things to do in Osterville is to pick up a meal at Fancy’s Market and head over to Craigsville Beach for an afternoon picnic.
Some of the more notable attractions in Osterville include:
- Fancy’s Market
- Osterville Historical Museum
- Osterville Art Gallery
Centerville is most known for housing Craigville Beach. This beautiful beach is located on the Nantucket Sound and is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
Craigville does have a mile and a half long Mainstreet that has some beautiful historical homes, including a few sea captain’s homes that have made it on the Nation Register of Historic Places.
Some of the most notable locations in Centerville include:
- Craigville Beach
- Craigville Village
- Centerville Historical Museum
West Barnstable is known as “Finn Town”, not because of sharks, but because of the number of Finnish immigrants that settled there in the late 19th century. Ironically, the West Barnstable Train Station is known as “Shark City” because of the card sharks that used to spend a lot of time there.
West Barnstable is also home to the largest beach in Barnstable, Sandy Neck Beach. There you can find a beautiful lighthouse and plenty of room to layout and enjoy the sun.
Aside from the beach, West Barnstable is also the location of several historical locations including Meetinghouse Farm, the 1717 Meetinghouse, Whelden Library, and the train station itself.
Some of the more notable locations in West Barnstable include:
- Sandy Neck Beach
- Sandy Neck Lighthouse
- Whelden Library
- Meetinghouse Farm
- West Barnstable Train Station & Museum
- 1717 Meeting House
Exploring the 7 Villages of Barnstable
As you can see, each of the 7 villages of Barnstable offers a unique experience. While the entire town can be explored in a day, it’s best experienced by spending quality time in each village.
We recommend spending a few nights in Hyannis, allowing for time to take a half-day trip to each of the 7 unique villages of Barnstable.