Cape Cod is a point on land that extends into the Atlantic Ocean at the southeastern corner in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. It is a popular tourist destination in summer because of its maritime culture and history. In 1602, Bartholomew Gosnold invented the name Cape Cod. It is the 9th oldest English place name in America. 
The law that made the Cape Cod Commission possible states that Cape Cod is the exact same as Barnstable County, Massachusetts.
It runs from Provincetown, in the northeast, to Woods Hole, in the southwest. It meets Plymouth in the northwest. The Cape is comprised of fifteen towns. Some towns may have more than one village. Cape Cod lies at the southern end of the Gulf of Maine. It extends all the way to Nova Scotia in Nova Scotia.
The Cape Cod Canal has kept most of Cape Cod isolated from the rest of America since 1914. The canal runs for approximately 7 miles (11km) along the bottom of Cape Cod, but parts of Bourne or Sandwich, Cape Cod’s two largest towns, are located on the mainland side. Two highway bridges cross the Cape Cod Canal: the Bourne Bridge and the Sagamore Bridge. The Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge transports freight by train, and small numbers of people to the Cape.
Cape Cod and the Islands in a Whole
Cape Town and the Islands
The islands south of Cape Cod have transformed from being home to whalers and traders to becoming places where celebrities, wealthy families and tourists relax. There are also large islands, such as Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Both islands can be reached via ferry from various locations on the cape. The entire area of Barnstable County and Dukes County (which also includes Martha’s Vineyard and the smaller Elizabeth Islands) and Nantucket County are often called “Cape Cod and the Islands” (“Cape Cod and the Islands”) or “The Cape and the Islands”.
Barnstable County also includes a few small islands just off Cape Cod. These islands include Monomoy Island and Monomoscoy Island as well as Popponesset Island and Seconsett Island.
John Murray Forbes was the first to purchase Naushon Island. The Forbes family now owns it. Naushon is the name of one of the Elizabeth Islands. Many Elizabeth Islands are privately owned. Cuttyhunk Island is the southernmost of the islands in the chain. It has 52 residents year round and is open for the public. Many wealthy families have established estates or compounds on larger islands. They are one of the most wealthy vacation spots in Northeast, despite the fact that they retain much of the whaling and merchant trading culture.
Cape Cod is a popular area to retire. Barnstable County is an example of this. 27.8% of its residents are 65 years or older.  This is the highest average age in New England.
[needs to citation] The majority of Cape Cod residents are Democrats, although not as many as the rest Massachusetts. 
The majority of the land is glacial terminal moaine. This is the southernmost point in northeast New England’s glacial coverage. These glacial formations can also be found on Long Island, New York, and Block Island, Rhode Island.
Partitions by geography or politics
Cities and towns
History map of Barnstable County, 1890
Cape Cod is all of Barnstable County. It has 15 towns: Bourne and Sandwich, Falmouth. Mashpee. Yarmouth. Harwich. Dennis, Brewster. Chatham. Orleans, Eastham. Wellfleet. Truro. Each town has its own village. Barnstable County has a complete list.
Barnstable is home to the largest population on Cape Cod. It is also the only town with a city-style government. The 13-member council is elected by the citizens.
 Barnstable retained its “Town Of Barnstable” title, as with other small cities in Massachusetts. Each town has a Board of Selectmen of five members that makes policy decisions and uses Town Meetings for making laws. 
The islands and Cape Cod
Nantucket Sound is located to the south of Cape Cod. It includes the large Nantucket Islands and Martha’s Vineyard islands, as well as the private Elizabeth Islands.
USA: Massachusetts, Cape Cod. Upper and Lower.
Outer Cape (occasionally Lower Cape).
Old Harbor Life Saving Station at Cape Cod National Seashore
For most of the 18th to 19th centuries, Cape Cod was believed to be divided into three parts (see map).
The Cape Cod region that is the closest to the rest, includes the towns of Bourne and Sandwich, Falmouth, Falmouth, Mashpee, and Falmouth. Falmouth is the home of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Marine Biological Laboratory, and many other research organizations. It’s also the most popular ferry link to Martha’s Vineyard. Falmouth is comprised of many villages such as East Falmouth Village and Falmouth Village, Hatchville and North Falmouth. Waquoit, West Falmouth and Woods Hole are all included. A few smaller hamlets are also part of larger neighboring hamlets (e.g. Davisville, Hatchville Falmouth Heights. Quissett. Sippewissett and others).  Bourne, which is located in Buzzards Bay along the canal, Joint Base Cape Cod and Aptucxet trading post, hosts the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. It also hosts the Bourne Scallop Festival in August. Sandwich was established in 1637 and is the oldest Cape Cod town. It is also home to the Dexter Grist Mill and Heritage Museums and Gardens as well as the Sandwich Glass Museum. Mashpee is home to the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, a Native American tribe of Native Americans.
The Mid-Cape region includes Dennis, Yarmouth, Barnstable and Yarmouth. The area has many beautiful beaches, including those that are warm and located along Nantucket Sound. Kalmus Beach, Hyannis, is named after Herbert Kalmus who was part of the team that invented Technicolor. Dr. Kalmus granted this popular spot for windsurfing to Barnstable under the condition that it not be built upon. This was the first time in America that open space was preserved. The Mid-Cape is the heart of the region’s industry and business. There are seven villages in Barnstable, including Centerville, Cotuit and Hyannis as well as Marstons Mills (Osterville), and West Barnstable. A few smaller hamlets are also part of larger neighboring hamlets (e.g. Craigville, Cummaquid Hyannis Port Santuit Wianno and Santuit).  Yarmouth Port, South Yarmouth and West Yarmouth are the three towns that make up Yarmouth. Dennis is made up of five villages: Dennis Port, Dennis Port (North Dennis), Dennis Port (East Dennis), Dennis Port (West Dennis), Dennis Port (South Dennis), and Dennis Port. 
The Outer Cape includes the towns of Harwich and Brewster as well as Chatham, Chatham and Eastham. Provincetown, Truro and Eastham are the five towns at the end of Cape Town. They are often called the Outer Cape. This area is home to the Cape Cod National Seashore. This national park covers large swathes of the Outer Cape from Orleans to Provincetown, as well as the entire east-facing coast. The Outer Cape is home to beaches like Nauset Light Beach, Coast Guard Beach, Eastham Beach, Race Point Beach, Truro Beach, Ballston Beach, Skaket Beach, Orleans, and Coast Guard Beach. Provincetown, although it is smaller than the rest of Cape Cod, can still feel like a big city in the summer. Provincetown is a popular destination for gay and lesbian vacationers. Provincetown is one of the most popular LGBT resort communities in America. Stellwagen Bank is just a few minutes north of Race Point, and is a popular spot to fish and see whales.
“East of America is the last remnant of a long-lost country. It lies in the middle Atlantic Ocean. It is still strong, despite being eroded by the rain and waves.
Henry Beston’s The Outermost House
Cape Cod was created when the glaciers receded.
Cape Cod’s geology
The majority of Cape Cod’s land is composed of outwash plains and terminal moraine, which were created by glaciers. This is the southernmost point at which glaciers have covered southeast New England. These glacial formations can also be found on Long Island, New York, and Block Island, Rhode Island. These land masses are known as the Outer Lands, or more clearly the “Isles of Stirling”. Cape Cod is relatively young from a geological perspective. It formed between 16,000 to 20,000 years ago.
The geological history of Cape Cod is mainly about how the Laurentide ice sheet moved and receded in the Pleistocene geological period, which caused sea level changes. Radiocarbon dating has shown that the ice sheet reached its southernmost point in North America approximately 23,000 years ago. The ice sheet then began to move north. Many kettle ponds were left behind by the glacier as it moved away from Cape Cod. These are clear, cold lakes. About 18,000 years ago, the ice sheet had passed Cape Cod. It had moved past southern New England about 15,000 years earlier. Because so much of the Earth’s water was trapped in massive ice sheets, the sea level was lower. The land around Truro’s bay was once a petrified forest before it was made into a beach.
Wave erosion of the coast (shown here in buff) causes growth elsewhere by moving sediment (shown here in blue).
When the ice began to melt, the sea level started rising. The sea level rose rapidly at first, rising by about 15m (49ft) every 1000 years. The rate of rise slowed after that. The sea level rose by about 3m (9.8ft) each thousand years between 6,000 and 2000 years ago on Cape Cod. It continued to rise at an average rate of 3.3 feet (1m) every thousand years. The sea level had reached a height of 6,000 years ago and was sufficient to begin removing the glacial deposits that were left on Cape Cod from the melting continental ice sheets. The water moved the eroded rock north and south along the outer Cape’s shoreline through a process known as “longshore drift”. The tip of Cape Cod was reached by the reworked sediments. The spit is located in Provincetown at the end of Cape Cod. It is mostly composed of marine sediment that has been eroded and transported from further south along the coast. The sediments that moved southward instead of north made the Monomoy islands and shoals. While some areas of the Cape may have shrunk due to the waves, others have grown as a result of sediment being deposited over the past 6,000 years.
This is still happening. Because they are so close to the ocean, coastal erosion has been a problem on both the Cape and islands. According to geologists, the Cape will soon be covered completely by the sea due to erosion. This erosion is what causes beaches to disappear and damages barrier islands. In 1991’s Hurricane Bob, for example, the ocean broke through Chatham’s barrier island, allowing storm surges and waves to hit the coast unassisted. The water is washing away the sediment and sand from the beaches and placing it elsewhere. It takes land from some areas, but it also creates land in others, especially marshes where sediment is deposited by moving water.
All the Cape Cod towns get their water supply from the aquifer. It is composed of six lenses (except Falmouth which drew 43.5 % of its water from Long Pond in 2015).
 It is possible for septic systems to pollute with pharmaceutical drugs and industrial chemicals. 
A view of Cape Cod from the ISS
Although Cape Cod’s weather can be more extreme than those in other places inland, it was still hard hit by hurricanes such as the Blizzard of 2005 or Hurricane Bob. The Atlantic Ocean means that temperatures are typically a little cooler on the islands than they are on the mainland. Many people believe that the Gulf Stream current is the greatest influence on climate. The warm Gulf Stream current winds east of Virginia and the cold Canadian Labrador Current exerts more influence on the waters around the Cape. The ocean temperature is rarely above 65 degrees F (18 degrees Celsius) except on the west coast of Cape Town and the southern coast (Nantucket Sound), which can see water temperatures reaching 70 degrees (21 degC).
Because the sea is still very cold in the winter, Cape Cod is known for its late spring. However, fall temperatures are kept lower by the summer heat that remains in the ocean. Provincetown had a temperature of 104 degrees (40 degrees Celsius), while Barnstable recorded a temperature of 12 degrees (24 degC). 
The majority of Cape Cod lies in USDA zone 7a. This keeps the winter temperatures below freezing. This prevents the humid subtropical climate area from exceeding its northern limit in eastern North America.
 Because indicator plants such as Camellias and Ilex opaca, Magnolia grandeiflora and Albizia jelbrissin are more common in the south, they are often grown here. The average temperature in Cape Cod’s warmest month is July. This is lower than the 72 degree F (22 degrees C) mark. The climate is either maritime or humid continental, especially on the north coast of the upper and middle capes, which are somewhat protected from the cool onshore winds to the south.
Cape Cod and Nantucket, which get less rain than most of New England, receive just under 40 inches (100cm) per year. The rest of the region receives between 42-46 inches (110-120 cm on average) Because of the sea, summer thunderstorms are not able to start and keep going. The area has more fog than the rest of the country, but it doesn’t have as many sunny days as places farther inland. This is because there are still plenty of cloudy days. A typical winter sees snowfall of about 27 inches (69cm), which is 17cm (43cm) more than Boston.
A tropical storm that can cause severe damage to the area and heavy rainfall will strike the region about once in five to six years. A hurricane can hit the area every 11 to 12 years with powerful winds and storm surges that cause severe damage. Since the beginning of records keeping, Cape Cod has been affected by many Category 3 storms. These include a hurricane in 1869 and a New England hurricane in 1938. Hurricane Carol was also recorded in 1954. Hurricane Bob, Hurricane Edna, and the Saxby Gale were all powerful Category 2 storms that caused a lot of destruction. Both the Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1944 and Hurricane Donna of 1960 are examples well-known Category 1 storms. Two other notable storms are the Gale of 1815 which would have been a powerful hurricane according to the Saffir-Simpson scale and the “Perfect Storm” of Oct 31, 1991. The nor’easter of February 2013 brought winds up to 80 MPH (130 Km/h) and deposited more than 24 Inches (61 cm) of snow in some areas of Cape Cod. The storm caused power outages for thousands of Cape Cod residents. Some were without power for as long as two weeks.
The Wampanoag lived on Cape Cod for hundreds years before the Europeans arrived. They grew their food from the sea, and were skilled at farming. They were able to manage forests in a way that was beneficial for the environment. They made sure that the Pilgrims, who arrived in Plymouth Colony in 1620, remained alive.
The Wampanoag lost their land slowly to Europeans during the European era. They were forced to sell their land and fight with white settlers. Julie Harris, an actress, narrates Natives of the Narrowland 1993 documentary about the history of the Wampanoag through archaeological sites on Cape Cod.
The Mashpee Wampanoag tribal council was established in 1974 to allow Native American people to voice their concerns. They asked the federal government in 1975 and 1990 to recognize Mashpee Wampanoag tribe. The federal government officially recognized Wampanoag as a tribe in May 2007. 
Cape Cod was a key point of entry for early explorers. It could have been the “Promontory of Vinland”, which Norse sailors (985-1025), talked about. Some believe that Leif Eiriksson visited the Manomet River region, which was taken over by the Cape Cod Canal’s western end in the early 1900s. Norse legends also mention that his younger brother Thorvald Eiriksson constructed a stone wall at Provincetown in 1007 AD when his ship’s keel was placed in the harbor. The wall was discovered in 1805. His body was said to have been brought back to this location to be buried. He later died on the same trip.  However, there is no evidence that Norse travellers were in Cape Cod, and most archaeologists disagree with this notion.  
Giovanni da Verrazzano, a 1524 native of the south, visited it in 1524. After Claude of France, Francis I of France’s wife he named the island Claudia.  Estevo Gomes, a Portuguese explorer, named the island Cabo de la Arenas in 1525. 
Bartholomew Gosnold named the point Cape Cod in 1602, which is still the ninth-oldest English name for a location in the United States.
 Samuel de Champlain created a map of the sandy harbors in 1606, and Henry Hudson made it his home in 1609. Captain John Smith had it marked on his map in 1614. The Pilgrims eventually reached the area on November 11, 1620. They entered “Cape Harbor” which, contrary to popular belief, is right next to Provincetown. They met Native Americans in Eastham, near their first encounter.
Europe’s new homes
Cape Cod was the first place in North America that Puritan colonists settled. The Cape’s 15 towns grew slowly (1639), Sandwich (1637), Yarmouth and Barnstable (1639). Bourne was the last Cape town built. It split from Sandwich in 1884.  Provincetown was a small group of huts before the 1800s. Southack’s 1717 map shows a channel running from Massachusetts Bay to Buzzards Bay. The Cape Cod Canal was slowly built from 1870 to 1914. The federal government purchased it in 1928.
Henry Thoreau visited Cape Cod four more times between 1849-1857. The land was heavily used, and there were few trees or plants left. This was due to the heavy use of the land by the colonists. To heat their homes, the first settlers used fires. To heat a home it took between 10 and 20 cords (40-80 m3) of wood. So they began cutting down all the trees on Cape Cod immediately. They tried to plant the same crops as they used to but couldn’t get it to grow in the Cape Cod’s thin, glacier-made soil. Eastham was a good source of wheat. To get nutrients back into soil, the settlers cut down trees. Bad farming practices and excessive farming caused erosion and loss of topsoil. The farmers let their cattle roam on the grassy dunes in coastal Massachusetts. But then, they watched “in horror” as the bare sandy sands “walked over” richer lands with buried fields and fences. Many harbors were filled with soils washed away from the water, while there were more dunes on the outer Cape. 
Around 1800, the majority of Cape Cod’s firewood was brought by boat from Maine. This was due to the fact that New England was at its peak in raising Merino sheep around 1840. While Rhode Island and Massachusetts were part of the industrial revolution’s early stages, Cape Cod was left behind because it didn’t have enough water power. The Cape was a major center for whaling and fishing due to its geographical location. The Cape was closed to farming after the American West was opened for settlement in 1860. The trees had returned to an 18-century level by 1950.
1906: Picking cranberries
The first summer vacations to Cape Cod were made by city dwellers at the end of 19th century. Because trains became more reliable, Bostonians could travel to the Upper Cape and Bourne. The wealthy Northeast businessmen built many large, shingled “cottages,” along Buzzards Bay, at the beginning of the 20th Century. Joseph C. Lincoln, a writer, wrote about Cape Cod’s laid-back summers. He published short stories and novels about Cape Codans in magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post, the Delineator, and The Saturday Evening Post.
Guglielmo Markini sent the first wireless communication across the Atlantic Ocean, from Wellfleet on Cape Cod. This is where it was received by the United States. Marconi Beach is the name of the beach that was home to his station. He built a transatlantic wireless receiver station and a transmitter station in Marion in 1914. The stations were purchased by RCA in 1920. In 1921 Chatham was established as a maritime radio station. It used the call sign WCC for communication with ships at sea. WCC was a way for Howard Hughes, Admiral Byrd and Amelia Earhart to stay in touch. Chatham was chosen by Marconi because of its great view over the Atlantic Ocean and three sides that were surrounded with water. Walter Cronkite, a 17-minute documentary maker, told the story about Chatham Station in 2005.
The vast majority of Cape Cod’s Atlantic coastline that faces east is composed of sandy beaches. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy added large portions of this coast to Cape Cod National Seashore. However, it was already being built on with homes. It was not built upon by private companies, and it was preserved for public use. The public can see large parts of the park, such as the Marconi Site at Wellfleet. This park was the location of the first radio transmission over the ocean from the United States. (Theodore Roosevelt used Marconi’s gear for this transmission.
The Kennedy Compound in Hyannis port was President Kennedy’s summer White House. It is still inhabited by the Kennedy family. The Gray Gables neighborhood in Bourne was where President Grover Cleveland lived. Actress Julie Harris, US Supreme Court justice Louis Brandeis and figure skater Todd Eldredge were just a few of the many people who have lived on Cape Cod. Kurt Vonnegut and Norman Mailer, among others, also lived there. All of these notable natives included James Otis, the Patriot, Mercy Otis Warren, Judge Lemuel Shaw and John Percival, historian and writer, and John Percival, naval officer.
Provincetown boasts a lighthouse known as Race Point (1876).
Cape Cod lighthouses
Sandy NeckHyannis Port HarborHyannis
HarborBishop & Clerks
Bishop & ClerksW. DennisW. DennisWood EndWood
End Long Pt. Long Pt. Race Point Race Point
NausetNausetThree sistersThree sisters
Monomoy Point Monomoy
PointStage HarborPointStage HarborPointStage HarborMayo Beach
Billingsgate Island Chatham Chatham London Ledge London Ledge
Cape Cod lighthouses
Since the dawn of time, lighthouses have fascinated people. A lit beacon is a symbol of trust and hope, which appeals to the best qualities in people.
Edward Rowe Snow
Lighthouses were built along Cape Cod in 1797 to assist people finding their way. The oldest and highest of these lighthouses is Highland Light. It is one of many lighthouses in Cape Cod and the Islands that remains active. The first Cape Cod lighthouses featured a light tower connected to the house of the keeper and centered on its roof. To reach the lantern room, one had to climb up the stairs to the top floor. This lighthouse was known as Cape Cod-style. The only one that remains today is on the West Coast of the United States.
The Nauset Light is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was constructed here in 1923, and moved to a safer location in 1996.
The U.S. Coast Guard manages most of Cape Cod’s lighthouses, but not the Nauset Light. It is part of the Cape Cod National Seashore (National Park Service), and has been managed by the National Park Service since 2004.
Because the sea was eroding their land, both the Nauset Light and Highland Light were removed from the shore in 1996. Highland Light, located at 34 meters from ocean, was moved 450m west. Nauset Light was moved 300m west. 
Some lighthouses on Cape Cod include:
Nobska Light and Wing’s Neck Light, which are both privately owned, as well as Cleveland Ledge Light, can all be found on the Upper Cape (also privately owned).
Sandy Neck Light and Hyannis Harbor Light, Lewis Bay Light or Hyannis Inner Harbor Light which are both private), Bishop and Clerks Light and West Dennis Light can all be found in the middle Cape (previously the Bass River Light).
Chatham Light and Monomoy Point Light as well as Stage Harbor Light can all be found on the Lower Cape.
Outer Cape: Long Point Light and Wood End Light. Race Point Light, Race Point Light. Highland Light. Nauset Light. Three Sisters of Nauset. Mayo Beach Light. Billingsgate Island Light.
The Bourne Bridge crosses the Cape Cod Canal. The Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge is visible in the background.
Two highway bridges, the Bourne Bridge and the Sagamore Bridge, were built in the 1930s to cross canals and link Cape Cod with the rest of the country. They replace a 1912 drawbridge. The Bourne Bridge can be found four miles west of the Cape, while the Sagamore Bridge can be found four miles east. Traffic can get backed up several miles during tourist season when people travel on and off the Cape at the beginning and ending of weekends.
U.S. Route 6 runs through the middle of Cape. It is commonly known as the Mid-Cape Highway by locals, but the official title is the Grand Army of the Republic Highway.
Water and air
Both Provincetown Municipal Airport and Cape Cod Gateway Airport offer flights to Cape Cod. These airports are for general aviation:
City of Chatham Airport
Cape Cod Airfield can be found in Barnstable and Marstons Mills.
One military airport is located at Otis Air National Guard Base.
There are ferry services that take you to the islands from Boston and Provincetown, Hyannis, Woods Hole, and Hyannis.
Three long-distance bus routes are operated by the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority, as well as a local bus that runs in Hyannis or Barnstable Village throughout the year. There are also more local bus routes between Falmouth and Provincetown, which runs from the middle of June through the end of October. CCRTA operates the ADA-required paratransit (dial a ride) service in Barnstable County under the name “BBus”.
Long-distance bus service is available from Plymouth and Brockton Street Railway. There are frequent trips to Boston and Logan International Airport, and less frequent trips into Provincetown. Peter Pan Bus Lines offers long-distance bus service to T.F. Green Airport in Providence, Rhode Island and New York City. Also, service between Logan Airport and Boston South Station and Woods Hole.
The main thing is Cape Cod Railroad.
A vertical-lift railroad bridge is the third bridge across Cape Cod Canal. It gives people another way of getting around on land. The track runs in two directions after the bridge. The track goes in two directions. One goes to Hyannis and the other to North Falmouth. Both freight and people use the track to Hyannis, while freight is carried on the track to Falmouth.
The CapeFlyer, a passenger train service between Boston and Hyannis that operates from Memorial Day through Labor Day, runs summer weekends. You can stop at Hyannis, Bourne and Buzzards Bay along the Cape.
The Cape Cod Central Railroad, a historic railroad, is located on Cape Cod. It is primarily for tourists and includes a dinner train. The scenic route takes approximately 2 1/2 hours round trip and runs between Hyannis, Cape Cod Canal and Hyannis. Some trains make stops in West Barnstable or Sandwich. Additional service is provided by the Buzzards Bay station, while a few trains depart from North Falmouth.
The Upper Cape still uses both the main line from Bourne-to Hyannis as well as the spur to North Falmouth for freight service. The most frequent operation is to take trash from the city and transport it to a Rochester waste-to-energy facility. Another common operation is to take trash and debris from Joint Base Cape Cod, Falmouth. The Cape’s only freight railroad is Massachusetts Coastal Railroad, as of 2007. It replaced Bay Colony Railroad.
The New Haven Railroad stopped transporting people daily from Boston to Cape Cod in June 1959. 1964 saw the New Haven stop taking Summer Day Cape Codders to Cape Cod from New York City. In 1978, the tracks east of South Dennis were removed from use and the Cape Cod Rail Trail was constructed in their place. The Shining Sea Bikeway, which was built on top of old railroad tracks that ran between Woods Hole & Falmouth in 1975, was constructed. The 7.4-mile (11.9 km), rail line connecting Falmouth and North Falmouth was demolished in 2008 and the right-of way was converted into an extension to the Shining Sea Bikeway.
Amtrak operated a service called “Cape Codder” from New York City to Hyannis in the summer 1986. Amtrak and Massachusetts Department of Transportation increased their service to once per day from 1988 to 1996. The gap was left until CapeFlyer began in 2013.