Whether you enjoy countless pristine beaches, world-class creative venues, legendary restaurants, distinctive architecture or phenomenal recreational choices, historic Cape Cod will not disappoint!
Upper Cape boasts the towns of Bourne, Falmouth, Mashpee, and Sandwich. The lifestyle is decidedly slower than on the mainland with “Gateway to the Cape” is the town of Bourne which was physically separated in 1914 from the “mainland” of Massachusetts when the Cape Cod Canal was completed. The “canal” is 7.8 miles long, 160-yards wide and was built a nautical short cut and safer route for commercial and recreational watercraft. There is no swimming allowed in such a narrow cut but it affords great seasonal fishing from the rocks on each side as well as scenic paved bike paths and picnic areas.
The Sagamore bridge connects with Route 6 and 6A and the Bourne bridge connects with Route 28. Both bridges are located in Bourne, the name is derived from a New Bedford whaling magnate and philanthropist. President Grover Cleveland had a summer home here in Gray Gables with his own train station that you can still see preserved in a local museum.
The waters of the Buzzards Bay beaches are decidedly warmer than those of the Atlantic Ocean or Nantucket Sound so it is a favorite for beach lovers who want to also swim! Bourne villages are named Bournedale, Buzzards Bay, Cataumet, Gray Gables, Monument Beach, Pocasset, Sagamore and Sagamore Beach. Each one is unique and charming appealing to fishing, biking, and enthusiasts as well as those seeking a more rural existence. Because Bourne is the “first stop” after you cross the bridges, it is a favorite lifestyle choice for commuters to Boston and Providence.
Located in the southwest corner of Cape Cod, Falmouth is well known for its varied beaches and inlets, golf courses, museums, charming downtown area, proximity to Martha’s Vineyard and the annual Falmouth Road Race. Falmouth center is a choice spot to stroll the sidewalks, sample the variety of cuisine offered at the restaurants, shop the boutiques or just sit on a park bench at the library’s edge and enjoy the views. The Shining Sea bikeway starts in North Falmouth and traverses 10.7 miles through cranberry bogs, marshlands and beaches along West Falmouth and Falmouth before it ends triumphantly at the Steamship Authority in Woods Hole where you can take your bike on a ferry to Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket. It is easily accessed for walkers, too, and there are several entrances with parking. Woods Hole maintains a well preserved fishing village feel with a working draw bridge to allow boats to pass through Main Street as well as the Nobska Lighthouse.
Mashpee is home of the Wampanoag tribe, Native Americans, who were the first Cape Codders long before the Pilgrims arrived. Come experience the annual Pow-Wow celebration in July.
Fast forward to the present to experience Mashpee Commons, an open-air shopping mecca complete with national chain stores, cinema, public library, dining and unique local boutiques.
Noted for its conscious conservation, Mashpee offers thousands of acres of conservation land for ocean and freshwater pond options for fishing and recreation.
Sandwich, founded in 1637, is the oldest town on Cape Cod, with 42 square miles of broad marshes bordering the ocean and abundant historic places of interest. Town Hall Square’s National Historic designation boasts over 200 buildings to browse including the 1847 First Church and a mill dating back to 1654 that still grinds corn. Other attractions include the Sandwich Glass Museum and the Heritage Museums & Gardens, the Sandwich Marina with plenty of outdoor picnic tables for viewing the canal passages or fishing or biking along the canal.
It's difficult to characterize the Upper Cape lifestyle because it has a little bit of everything! Maybe that’s it, if you want to live reasonably close to the mainland but still experience the Cape Cod sea breezes and sense of calm, then consider owning property on Upper Cape.