Barnstable: 2016 town profile
Cape Cod Life / 2016 Annual / Art & Entertainment, Food & Dining, History, Nature, People & Businesses, Recreation & Activities
Writer: Caitlyn McGuire / Photographer: Ronald Wilson
Barnstable, Cape Cod’s largest town in both geographic size and population, offers a variety of unique attractions—and some fantastic dining options. Stretching from Cape Cod Bay to Nantucket Sound, the town is divided into eight villages, each with its own character and charm.
Beginning in Hyannis—the hub of the Cape—visitors will enjoy great shopping, restaurants and people-watching opportunities on Main Street. Bustling with shops and salons—there’s even a tattoo parlor—Main Street truly has something for every taste. Those in search of fine Italian cuisine often head to Alberto’s Ristorante, while across the street, The Beech Tree Cantina serves up fresh Mexican fare. In the summer, patrons can beat the heat beneath the Beech Tree’s signature attraction—a large English Weeping Beech Tree—while savoring guacamole and a mango margarita. To learn more about the area’s eateries, take in Cape Cod Foodie Tours’ “Hungry in Hyannis” outing, which makes stops at seven great restaurants.
The JFK-Hyannis Museum on Main Street is another unique local venue, displaying photos and exhibits of the Kennedys, the first family of Hyannisport. Nearby, the Cape Cod Melody Tent showcases live concerts and comedy all summer long. Of course, Hyannis is also known as the gateway to the islands because ferries to both Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket set off from Hyannis Harbor.
Staying local? Visitors 21 and older can get an inside look at local brewing techniques—and a complimentary cold one—on a tour of Cape Cod Beer on Phinney’s Lane. Nearby, the Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory also offers daily tours.
Just a few miles from Hyannis, visitors will find lovely Osterville and Dowses Beach. After a few hours of swimming, sunbathing or even stand-up paddleboard yoga, refuel with a tasty sandwich, salad or smoothie at Earthly Delights on West Bay Road.
Next, head to Centerville, the home of Four Seas Ice Cream, several ship captains’ homes and Craigville Beach. Be sure to stop in at the 1856 General Store to find penny candy favorites, toys and souvenirs—something sweet to commemorate your visit to Barnstable.
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