Cape Cod and the Islands refer to an area in the Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket counties, which includes Cape Cod, the island of Martha's Vineyard and the Island of Nantucket. This area is among the most popular destinations for vacation rentals and because of their proximity, there is a lot to do and explore, both indoors and outdoors. All of them have beautiful beaches, great shopping districts and various living communities that allow one to find just the perfect spot to either live or vacation in Cape Cod or one of the islands.
A cape is a large parcel of land that extends out over a body of water. As such, Cape Cod extends out into the Atlantic Ocean. It is home to numerous lighthouses. It is divided into three large sections called Upper Cape, Mid-Cape and Lower and Outer Cape. Cape Cod consists of 15 towns throughout these areas, which are Barnstable, Bourne, Brewster, Chatham, Dennis, Eastham, Falmouth, Harwich, Mashpee, Orleans, Provincetown, Sandwich, Truro, Wellfleet and Yarmouth. Cape Cod is a popular residential area among those who have reached retirement age; however, it is also a popular summer resort because of its more than 60 beaches. Because of this, the tourist population during the summer months greatly increases. Many people purchase second homes in Cape Cod as well. Aside from the beaches, those who love the outdoors can enjoy bike riding and miniature golf. Fishing enthusiasts often travel to the Cape Cod Canal to fish for striped bass. Each town in Cape Cod has a few elementary schools, one or more middle schools and one high school. Colleges include Cape Cod Community College, Massachusetts Maritime Academy and Bridgewater State University.
Finding a Home in Cape Cod
Each of Cape Cod's 15 towns feature lavish vacation rentals for those who want to escape the drudgery of everyday life and opt for an extended getaway. Cape Cod's offerings include oceanfront properties, tropical patios, Lewis Bay Homes, salt water cottages, classic Cape-style homes, waterfront homes, magnificent estates and mansions, townhomes, capes, condos and various apartment communities.
The Island of Martha's Vineyard
Martha's Vineyard, affectionately known as "The Vineyard," is an island located seven miles south of Cape Cod. It is the third largest Island on the East Coast. Known as a summer resort, about half of its population lives there year-round. Martha's Vineyard is divided into six towns: Aquinnah, Chilmark, Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Tisbury and West Tisbury. Many of the towns have their own elementary schools, except for Aquinnah, which shares a school with neighboring towns. There is one high school, Martha's Vineyard Regional High School, which serves the entire area.
Popular attractions include the Martha's Vineyard Film Center, the Flying Horses Carousel and several film festivals, which include the Martha's Vineyard Film Festival, an International Film Festival and an African-American Film Festival. The movie "Jaws" was filmed on Martha's Vineyard, with several island natives appearing in the film as main characters and extras. Scenes from "Jaws 2" and "Jaws: The Revenge" were filmed on the island as well. Popular residents include Carly Simon, Kate Taylor, Judy Blume, Shel Silverstein, James Cagney and Walter Cronkite. Many celebrities visit the island for a time of relaxation.
Finding a Home on the Island of Martha's Vineyard
The island of Martha's Vineyard features many vacation rentals, from simple cottages to magnificent oceanfront homes. Most of the summer rental homes are available in Oak Bluffs, Edgartown and Vineyard Haven, which is a community inside the town of Tisbury. Vineyard Haven features many striking and historic rental homes. Edgartown is a charming town where one can find quaint antique houses with white picket fences. Chappaquiddick is an island located just outside of Edgartown, and it offers an extra dose of privacy and serenity. Katama, which is south of Edgartown, offers contemporary beach houses, which are available to rent. In Oak Bluffs, a variety of summer rentals are available, including colorful Victorian Gingerbread houses, majestic Victorian houses and modest vacation homes. Those who love nature might enjoy rental properties in Aquinnah, Chilmark or West Tisbury, which feature remote properties set in the midst of farms and nature preserves.
The Island of Nantucket
The island of Nantucket is located 30 miles south of Cape Cod. The name "Nantucket" comes from a Wampanoag word that may mean "island" or "faraway land." Like the neighboring islands of Martha's Vineyard and Cape Cod, Nantucket is a popular tourist destination. The area consists of the island of Nantucket along with two other islands: Tuckernuck, which is privately owned by its summer residents, and Muskeget, which is the home of the grey seal and the great white shark.
Nantucket has one elementary school, one middle school, one high school, one community school and two private schools. Institutes of higher learning include the University of Massachusetts and the Nantucket Island School of Design & the Arts. Art lovers can enjoy the Maria Mitchell Association Museum and the Nantucket Whaling Museum. Points of interest include Brant Point Light Station, Jethro Coffin House and the lighthouse, Sankaty Head Light. Famous residents and recurring visitors of the island include former first lady Laura Bush, former president Bill Clinton, entrepreneur Bill Gates, figure skater Dorothy Hamill, clothing mogul Tommy Hilfiger and actress Sharon Stone.
In addition, the island of Nantucket is popular in literary works such as Moby Dick and a book by Edgar Allan Poe entitled The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. The TV comedy "Wings" depicted life on Nantucket, and a popular limerick begins with the words, "There once was a man from Nantucket."
Finding a Home on the Island of Nantucket
The island of Nantucket features a wide variety of summer rental homes in all sizes and in close proximity to its magnificent beaches. Those who want the benefits of a vacation home without the steeper rental prices can investigate the community of Naushop, which offers homes that are only a couple of miles away from the beaches, but still close enough to restaurants, shops and other attractions. In Siasconset, one can find rows upon rows of quaint little cottages adorned with roses. Larger summer home rentals are available as well.
Cape Cod and the Islands offer the best in vacation homes, whether one is looking for a short vacation or an extended stay.