As the largest village in Barnstable County, Hyannis has it all. It has award-winning restaurants, humble and delicious fish shacks, hotels for business travelers, quaint bed and breakfasts, and some of the best beaches on Cape Cod. The island ferries take visitors to the nearby islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. Hyannis Harbor also offers a variety of outdoor opportunities as well as some of the best and most unique shopping in the region.
The climate for Hyannis Harbor is milder than nearby inland locations, but it has had extreme weather conditions like Hurricane Bob and the 2005 blizzard. Proximity to the Atlantic Ocean makes summers a little cooler and winters a little warmer than inland Cape Cod. The waters are influenced by the Canadian Labrador Current, so ocean temperatures seldom exceed 18°C (65°F). The cold ocean waters cause delayed springs but make autumns relatively mild. Temperatures in Hyannis Harbor range from an average high of 25°C (78°F) in July to an average low of -6°C (21°F) in January. December and January are the wettest months.
Founded in 1962 by Richard and Robert Scudder and E. Raymond Taylor, Hyannisport Harbor Cruises depart from the Ocean Street Dock in Hyannis Harbor. Their high-speed and traditional ferries carry passengers to both Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Islands. Accepting same-day reservations, on-site parking, and free Wi-Fi, offers no-hassles service and friendly staff to make trips to the islands more than a simple ferry ride.
Hyannis Harbor is just a 45-minute cruise from Nantucket Sound and some of the best bottom fishing on the East Coast. Fishers can find several charter services that offer personal service and fun while trying to land a great deep-water catch of scup, tautog, Summer Flounder, Black Sea Bass, or Bluefish.
Main Street Hyannis Harbor is the hot spot for visitors. The street is lined with shops selling unique and quaint items, restaurants and music spots, and some of the best homemade ice cream around.
Cape Code Maritime Museum covers five centuries of history between Hyannis Harbor and the sea. Included in its exhibits are artifacts from traditional Wampanoag fish harvesting, 19th Century whaling and fishing, natural history of the area, and the early 20th Century's resorts. On loan from the Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymouth, the Cape Cod Maritime Museum is proud to display the surviving remains of a 17th Century trans-Atlantic vessel, the Sparrow-Hawk. The ship was about 12.2 meters (40 feet long) and weighed about 36 tons, compared to the Mayflower, which was 180 tons. The Cape Cod Museum is open from mid-March to mid-December on Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10am to 4pm.
In addition to interesting exhibits, the Cape Cod Museum offers several attractive courses. The Introduction to Boat Building course is an entry-level exploration of lofting, layout, and terminology associated with building a 3-meter (10-foot) skiff. The course starts with building a scale model individually, then constructing a full-size skiff as a group. Check with the Museum for the schedule for this eight-day course which costs about $150 ($120 for members).