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15 miles E of Sagamore; 44 miles S of Provincetown

Hyannis, which has a bustling atmosphere, is the closest the Cape comes to a city. This is where you will find the Cape Cod Mall, the largest shopping plaza in the region, and other well-known chains. But Hyannis is also where you will find a vibrant Main Street just 1 block from the harbor. The two are connected by a Walkway to the Sea, so you can go from shopping and lunch at a sidewalk cafe to a sightseeing cruise or fishing trip without ever needing your car. (There is lots of free parking on North Street, 1 block north of Main Street.)

Thanks to the initiative of forward-looking town officials and business leaders, Main Street in Hyannis is the most hopping commercial center on the Cape, south of Provincetown. In the summer, there are about a dozen sidewalk cafes and musicians performing every half-block or so providing free entertainment. Full-scale free music concerts take place several nights a week at Aselton Park beside the harbor and at the Village Green in front of Town Hall. There are also artist shanties at the harbor, where strollers can see artists at work in what amounts to ministudios by the sea. There is also an arts district on Pearl Street, just off Main and a block from Town Hall, where there are several artist studios and the Guyer Art Barn, providing a revolving series of shows, as well as classes, year-round.

But it is easy to forget that Hyannis is actually a village in the town of Barnstable. The town of Barnstable has seven villages in all and each one is distinct. For shopping, once you have finished with the shops in Hyannis, you may want to head to Osterville, which has a charming Main Street and a number of exclusive and elegant shops. Centerville is best known for Craigville Beach, one of the Cape's most popular stretches of shoreline. Cotuit is the place to find the Cotuit Center for the Arts and the Cahoon Museum of Fine Arts.

On the north side of Barnstable, you can travel a particularly charming section of the Old King's Highway, through Barnstable Village and West Barnstable. It doesn't get any more "Old Cape Cod" than this.