6 Things to Know About Living in Barnstable, MA

June 7, 2023

6 Things to Know About Living in Barnstable, MA

One of the best towns to live in Cape Cod, Barnstable is nestled between Cape Cod Bay to the north and Nantucket Sound to the south, making it a prime summer vacation destination. Permanent residents love the town for its endless entertainment, quality seafood, and expansive beaches. Here are six things to know about living in Barnstable, MA, before making a move.

1. Quintessential Cape Cod living

The energy and atmosphere across all of Barnstable’s seven villages truly capture the original Cape Cod environment. Areas like Centerville’s Main Street harken back to the area’s early days with its classic colonial homes and other historic sites. Barnstable itself is located about a third of the way down Cape Cod’s peninsula and situated 15 miles beyond the connecting bridge.

2. All seven villages have their charms

As Cape Cod’s largest town, Barnstable’s 60 square miles is made up of seven separate villages. Here’s an overview of each village’s distinct charms and amenities.
  • Hyannis: As the largest village in the town, Hyannis serves as an important transportation hub and vacation destination. Visitors flying into Cape Cod Gateway Airport can stroll the village’s Main Street for its exciting dining and shopping scene. Hyannisport is rich in history, known for the iconic seasonal resident John F. Kennedy.
  • Cotuit: This is Barnstable’s smallest village and is surrounded by water on three sides. Cotuit is full of historic architecture and cultural attractions like the Cotuit Center for the Arts.
  • Osterville: This village offers Cape Cod residents upscale living in its gated communities, high-end shopping, and two private country clubs.
  • Centerville: Residents love Centerville for its quieter residential atmosphere. Craigville Beach along Nantucket Sound is a popular vacation spot for its warm waters.
  • Marstons Mills: Like Centerville, Marstons Mills is also residential and features iconic Cape Cod views like cranberry bogs, shimmering waters, and kettle ponds.
  • Barnstable Village: This picturesque village is popular for its antique homes, galleries, beaches, and sightseeing voyages along the Cape’s bayside. Watch migrating whales or visit the Barnstable Village Cultural District.
  • West Barnstable: Home to Sandy Neck Beach, West Barnstable is prized for this top barrier beach along Cape Cod Bay. Residents can canoe the Great Marsh at high tide and visit other historic sites.

3. 100+ miles of shoreline

A main amenity available to residents living in Barnstable, MA, is the endless shoreline. Craigville Beach on the Vineyard Sound is a popular summer vacation destination for its warm waters and flat, sandy shore. Stroll along to the west for views of Centerville River, or head east to reach Halls Creek. Windsurfers and families love Kalmus Beach in Hyannis for its wide shores, consistent wind, and great swimming.

Another popular beach is Sandy Neck Beach in West Barnstable. Alongside water entertainment and a sandy shoreline, visitors can wander south to explore the dunes and maritime forests from designated trails. These paths also connect to the Great Marsh and Barnstable Harbor, where they can birdwatch or access historical sites like the Sandy Neck Lighthouse.

4. Families love Barnstable

Barnstable is a very family-friendly location offering many attractions and amenities all ages can enjoy. The Cape Cod National Seashore protects 40 miles of coastline and spans 44,600 acres full of beaches, walking trails, historic sites, and campground programs. Those living in Barnstable, MA, can bike along the flat Cape Cod Rail Trail, visit iconic lighthouses, and admire wildlife in their natural habitat.

Another major destination serving the residents of Barnstable is the Hyannis Youth & Community Center (HYCC). This center is outfitted with a premier sports complex, including a gym, twin rinks, an indoor walking track, and programs for all ages. Visitors can join for public skating hours or use the HYCC’s other amenities like its pro shop, computer lands, and meeting room spaces.

5. The seafood is unbeatable

Life on Cape Cod is incomplete without some great seafood, and Barnstable doesn’t disappoint. Tugboats at Hyannis Harbor are a long-standing favorite, offering guests prime deck seating looking out onto boats and sparkling waters. Try out the traditional New England seafood dishes and inventive takes on traditional plates. A raw bar, seafood entrees, and lobster by the bucket leave guests satisfied.

Another great seafood spot in Barnstable is Mattakeese Wharf off Route 6A. Visitors can get to the restaurant via boat and dock at Barnstable Harbor when dining at this seasonally open venue. The endless bay blooms in a wash of orange at sunset for spectacular views. Check out their offering of fresh clams, Cape Cod lobster dishes, and other seafood delicacies.

6. There are endless events

There’s always something to do and see when visiting or living in Barnstable, MA. The Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival in July celebrates the colorful bloom across the whole peninsula. Residents are invited to tour the private gardens of individual homeowners for a one-of-a-kind experience. Attendees can also sit in on workshops and lectures from leading horticulturalists across the globe.

Barnstable is home to great live entertainment venues as well. The Cape Cod Melody Tent offers prime acts in a historic setting, ranging from rock music sets to instrumental ensembles and everything in between. The Cape Symphony offers a season packed with shows suited to all tastes. Hear the Star Wars soundtrack come to life on stage, attend tributes to legends like Aretha Franklin, or buy a ticket to a more traditional orchestral performance.

Ready to live in Barnstable?

Cape Cod’s town Barnstable offers the best seaside living. All seven villages feature their own historic charms and attractive amenities, while the expansive shoreline is a coveted summer destination for vacationers and residents alike. Barnstable offers attractions for all ages in its outdoor recreation, historic sites, and annual events. The best way to explore this town is with the help of a local agent. When you’re ready to start a home search in this town, contact experienced local agent Sarah Rock to guide you through the process.

Work With Us

Our team will serve as your ultimate resource every step of the way, and they go above and beyond to foster a smooth, seamless, and stress-free experience. We are the negotiating experts, the marketing gurus, the advocators, the local insiders, and the professional agents you can trust to exceed your expectations.