Cape Cod, often referred to as simply the Cape, is a peninsula in the easternmost portion of the state of Massachusetts, in the Northeastern United States. It is nearly coextensive with Barnstable County.
The Cape's small-town character and large beachfront attract heavy tourism during the summer months. It was formed as the terminal moraine of a glacier, resulting in a peninsula in the Atlantic Ocean.
- The Upper Cape is the section of Cape Cod closest to the mainland. This portion of the Cape includes the towns of Bourne, Sandwich, Falmouth, and Mashpee. While part of the town of Barnstable is located on the Upper Cape, it is more commonly considered to be in the Mid-Cape area. Falmouth is the home of the famous Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and several other research organizations, and is also the most-used ferry connection to Martha's Vineyard. Falmouth is composed of several separate villages, including East Falmouth, Falmouth Village, Hatchville, North Falmouth, Teaticket, Waquoit, West Falmouth, and Woods Hole, as well as several smaller hamlets that are incorporated into their larger neighbors (e.g., Davisville, Falmouth Heights, Quissett, Sippewissett, and others).
- The Mid-Cape includes the towns of Barnstable, Yarmouth and Dennis. The Mid-Cape area features many beautiful beaches, including warm-water beaches along Nantucket Sound. There are seven villages in Barnstable, including Barnstable Village, Centerville, Cotuit, Hyannis, Marstons Mills, Osterville, and West Barnstable, as well as several smaller hamlets that are incorporated into their larger neighbors (e.g., Craigville, Cummaquid, Hyannisport, Santuit, Wianno, and others). There are three villages in Yarmouth: South Yarmouth, West Yarmouth and Yarmouthport.
- The Lower Cape is the narrower portion of the cape, where it bends sharply to the north. This section includes the towns of Harwich, Brewster, Chatham, and Orleans.