Barnstable is the Cape’s largest town and extends from Cape Cod Bay to Nantucket Sound. This is the Cape’s second oldest town (1639) after Sandwich and seat to Barnstable County, which encompasses the entire Cape.
On the Bay side (North side), the Old King’s Highway (Route 6A) winds through West Barnstable and historic Barnstable Village lined with stately Sea Captain’s homes, cafes and shops. Just north of Route 6A are the marshes and beaches of Cape Cod Bay, including Sandy Neck, one of the Cape’s largest beaches.
To the South side there are the villages of Cotuit, Marston Mills, Osterville and Centerville which boast handsome homes and beautiful Nantucket Sound beaches . Barnstable also includes bustling Hyannis, the commercial “big city” spot on the Cape and the place to catch ferries to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Main Street in Hyannis is lined with shops, galleries, fine restaurants, nightspots and entertainment venues. Worldwide yachting enthusiasts flock to Lewis Bay, and, of course, quaint Hyannisport is renowned as the summer home of the Kennedys (to see the compound take a boat tour as access is restricted).
Villages of Barnstable
North along Route 6A: West Barnstable / Barnstable Village
South along Route 28: Cotuit / Marston Mills / Osterville / Centerville / Hyannis
TOP THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN BARNSTABLE
Cape Cod Bay side (Route 6A)
West Parish Meetinghouse
Barnstable County Courthouse (colonial courthouse)
Sandy Neck Beach
Sturgis Library (the country’s oldest public library)
Barnstable Harbor (whale watching and fishing)
Coastguard Heritage Museum
Nantucket Sound side (Route 28)
Cahoon Museum of American Art
Hyannis Harbor, JFK Museum
Kennedy Family Compound
Osterville Historical Society
Santuit—Cotuit Historical Society
1856 General Store, Centerville
Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary
Cape Cod Melody Tent (concerts)