20 miles E of Sandwich; 36 miles S of Provincetown

If Dennis looks like a jigsaw puzzle piece snapped around Yarmouth, that's because it didn't break away until 1793, when the community adopted the name of Rev. Josiah Dennis, who had ministered to Yarmouth's "East Parish" for close to 4 decades. His 1736 home has been restored and now serves as a local-history museum.

In Dennis a lot of the "Ye Olde Cape Cod" stuff -- pretty drives, inviting shops, and restaurants with real personality -- are in the north, along Route 6A. Route 28 is chockablock with more typical tourist attractions like minigolf, discount shopping, and family-oriented motels -- some with fairly sophisticated facilities but nonetheless relatively generic (some exceptions are noted below). What the south side does have are very fine beaches and several terrific restaurants and clubs. Also, there has been an effort in recent years to return Dennis Port -- along Route 28 on the south side -- to its former status as a quaint Cape Cod village. It is becoming a pleasant place to stroll, but be sure to leave enough time to explore Dennis Village on the north side. It's as stimulating and unspoiled today as it was when it welcomed the Cape Playhouse, the country's oldest surviving straw-hat theater, during the anything-goes 1920s.