Pilgrim leader Miles Standish had a brilliant idea in 1623-- let's slice Cape Cod off the mainland so that merchant ships can sail up the Atlantic coast to our colony on the Upper Cape! If only he had the Army Corps of Engineers at his disposal, as they are the ones who eventually dug the Cape Cod Canal in 1914.
By turning a peninsula into an island, Cape Cod is today accessed via the Sagamore Bridge and Bourne Bridge, arriving in the towns of Sandwich and Bourne respectively. Falmouth, Mashpee and Woods Hole complete the area known as the Upper Cape and together boast a population of nearly 90,600.
Although more suburban than the other areas, the Upper Cape still evokes the land of sand and surf with its historic buildings, marine research centers, and beaches. Gothic mansions are typical of Upper Cape architecture and a casual stroll through the streets of Sandwich is a feast for any one hungry for history.
Alongside this historical backdrop stands the modern world of shops, golf courses, theaters and restaurants, nearly all nautical in theme. For the outdoor enthusiast, there are hiking trails, bike paths, skate parks, chartered fishing trips, and vineyard tours.
The Steamship Authority, located in Woods Hole, provides ferry service to Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, the Cape's neighboring islands.
- • Cape Cod Canal Visitor Center: 508-833-9678, www.nae.usace.army.mil/recreati/ccc/recreation/recreation.htm
- • Geologic History of Cape Cod: pubs.usgs.gov/gip/capecod