I’m a born and raised Cape Codder. I’ve had sand in my shoes since I learned how to walk. I spent my childhood summers searching the ocean for mermaids, and my winters counting down the days until it was summer again. Flip flops and sunglasses are wardrobe staples.
It’s a unique place, but when it’s all you know you don’t realize how different it is. The quirkiness of the towns and the locals really is something special, but I didn’t know that until I moved away. When I finally did move, I found myself explaining a lot of things about the place where I grew up that I never thought twice about before.
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These are the answers to the questions I have most frequently been asked about Cape Cod.
- You know that arm sticking out into the Atlantic off of Massachusetts? THAT’S Cape Cod.
- Cape Cod itself is not a town. It’s actually made up of 15 towns, each with their own distinct character.
- The towns are split up into four regions: Upper Cape (Bourne, Sandwich, Falmouth, Mashpee); Mid Cape (Barnstable, Yarmouth, Dennis); Lower Cape (Brewster, Harwich, Orleans, Chatham); Outer Cape (Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, Provincetown).
- When you’re here, you are ON Cape Cod, not IN Cape Cod. I cringe when people say that.
- People from Cape Ann (located on the Northshore of MA) might challenge this, but Cape Cod locals call it “The Cape.”
- It’s not just a summer place. There are about 200,000 year-round residents, and that number more than doubles in the summer.
- I probably don’t know that one person that you met that one time who lives somewhere on Cape Cod — but actually, there’s a small chance that I do so ask anyway.
- There are only 3 main roads: the Mid-Cape Highway (Route 6), Route 28, and Route 6A. So, yes, there is a lot of TRAFFIC in the summer.
- The Cape is much larger than you would think. It can take over an hour to get from the Sagamore Bridge to downtown Provincetown at the very tip of the peninsula.
- No, there isn’t really a secret locals-only tunnel. Those bumper stickers are awesome, though!
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