The Almost Complete Guide to Hyannis
Aug 3, 2022 at 8:00 AM in Things to Do by
To many, Hyannis, Massachusetts is very much the epicenter of Cape Cod. Situated on the “tricep part” of this peninsula that resembles a flexed arm, Hyannis is indeed a great locale for a variety of reasons.
It’s your gateway to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard
Hyannis harbor, which is well illustrated on your Hyannis Discovery Map, serves as the perfect port for ferries that connect Hyannis to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, the two beloved islands off the coast that people love to visit either for a day trip or an extended stay. All kinds of other boats and sailing vessels offer a variety of excursions in Hyannis Harbor and beyond depart from here as well, affording folks the opportunity to go deep sea fishing, whale watching, lighthouse touring or simply to take a nice sunset cruise around the harbor. Companies such as Hy-Line Cruises, The Steamship Authority and Bay Spirit Tours rank among the best known on the Cape. The large natural harbor of Hyannis has helped to establish this Mid-Cape destination as one of the most important recreational boating destinations and commercial fishing ports on the Cape.
The Cape Cod Gateway Airport, located in Hyannis, also provides flights to and from Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard as well as to and from metropolitan centers such as Boston and New York. Some bus services connect the world to this favorite New England destination as well. You can find at least one of them–along with rail travel–at the Hyannis Transportation Center (HTC).
Whether Hyannis serves as the gateway to other lesser-known destinations on the Cape or you decide to park it here for a solid week or more, there’s plenty to do in this town that is sometimes referred to as the “Capital of the Cape.” You can shop and dine on its historic Main Street or head out to the commercial district on Route 132 for more retail and culinary fun.
A visit to the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum on Main Street showcases the legacy of President Kennedy and his deep love of Cape Cod.
In terms of the Kennedy Compound, the renowned vacation home of “America’s Royal Family,” which consists of three houses on six acres of spectacular waterfront property in Hyannis Port, there’s not a whole lot of ogling you can do there. No tours are conducted at this extremely private residence but you can still drive by 50 Marchant Avenue and take in the beauty of this stately residence and the surrounding neighborhood.
Photo courtesy of https://jfkhyannismuseum.org/
Learn about the rich maritime history and traditions of Cape Cod and the Islands at the Cape Cod Maritime Museum, an enjoyable place to visit on the harbor for young and old alike.
In addition to exhibits, the museum also offers all kinds of events and programs, including one that has you rowing around scenic Lewis Bay to learn about Cape Cod’s heritage from the water.
Photo courtesy of https://www.capecodmaritimemuseum.org/boat-buildin...
Of course no matter the season, you’ll want to spend some time on one of the delightful sandy beaches of Hyannis.
Craigville Beach, just down the coast from Hyannis in Centerville, is one of the largest in the area. Best of all, here you can find public parking, somewhat of a rarity on the Cape, since many beaches require private parking passes. Kalmus Beach, located at the entrance to Hyannis Inner Harbor, is not only delightful but it’s also a good place to collect shells, beach glass and other sea treasures that have washed ashore.
As throughout much of the Cape, the art and cultural scene here expands with the seasons. You can find out about this and much more at the Hyannis Area Chamber of Commerce in the town center. Gather up some information there and mull it over at one of the popular breweries of Hyannis such as Cape Cod Beer or Barnstable Brewing. Both serve as pretty cool places to hang out. Or, you could go to one of the many restaurants that offer a view of the Hyannis Inner Harbor. Of course there you’ll want to order a chow-dah and perhaps something tasty from the raw bar. Kick back and relax and watch the world go by–or at least a few boats. Cape Cod living reigns supreme here all year long.
Photo courtesy of https://capecodbeer.com/megan-hart/