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Facts about Cape Cod for Kids


Cape Cod, often referred to locally as simply the Cape, is a cape in the easternmost portion of the state of Massachusetts, in the Northeastern United States. Today it is co-extensive with Barnstable County, and is defined by the towns along the Cape Cod Canal, and those to the east on the peninsula all the way to Provincetown.

  • The Cape’s historic and maritime character and ample beaches attract heavy tourism during the summer months.
  • Cape Cod was formed as the recessional moraine of a glacier, resulting in a peninsula in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Cape Cod is one of the biggest barrier islands in the world, shielding much of the Massachusettscoastline from North Atlantic storm waves.
  • The two bridges are parallel some four miles apart, with the Bourne Bridge to the west, and the Sagamore to the east.
  • The elevation of Cape Cod ranges from 306 feet (93 m) at its highest point, at the top of Pine Hill, in the Bourne portion of the Massachusetts Military Reservation, down to sea level.
  • The Cape Cod Canal, completed in 1916, connects Buzzards Bay to Cape Cod Bay; this shortened the trade route between New York and Boston by 62 miles (100 km).
  • Cape Cod incorporates all of Barnstable County, which comprises 14 towns: Bourne, Sandwich, Falmouth, Mashpee, Yarmouth, Harwich, Dennis, Brewster, Chatham, Orleans, Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, and Provincetown; and one city: Barnstable.
  • Two of the county’s fifteen municipalities (Bourne and Sandwich) include land on the mainland side of the Cape Cod Canal.
  • For most of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, Cape Cod was considered to consist of three sections: The Upper Cape is the part of Cape Cod closest to the mainland, comprising the towns of Bourne, Sandwich, Falmouth, and Mashpee.
  • Falmouth is the home of the famous Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Marine Biological Laboratory as well as several other research organizations, and is also the most-used ferry connection to Martha’s Vineyard.
  • Dennis Port is considered to be a Lower Cape area.
  • The Lower Cape area includes the Cape Cod National Seashore, a national park comprising much of the outer Cape, including the entire east-facing coast, and is home to some of the most popular beaches in the United States, such as Coast Guard Beach and Nauset Light Beach in Eastham.
  • Cape Cod has a public transportation network comprising buses operated by three different companies, a rail line, taxis and paratransit services.
  • The Cape has nine amateur baseball franchises playing within Barnstable County in the Cape Cod Baseball League.
  • Along with the Cape Cod Baseball League and the new Junior Hockey League team, the Cape Cod Cubs, many high school players are being seriously recruited as well.