If you are going to live in Barnstable Town, you have to be sure you can make a living. Tourism is the area’s largest and most lucrative industry, so most of the businesses make the lion’s share of their annual income from May to September. However, there are still opportunities for those who want to stay year round, and in fact, Forbes magazine included Barnstable Town in its 100 Best Small Places for Business and Careers. The experts at Forbes predict that Barnstable Town will enjoy a 2.4 percent rate of job growth annually.
Barnstable/West Barnstable: This village is the portion of Barnstable Town located right next to Cape Cod Bay. Because of the idyllic location, rental properties are a little pricier here. Of course, there is a dramatic difference between summer rentals, which typically go by the week, and winter or year-round rental homes. There are a variety to choose from, including small apartment buildings and houses that range from three bedrooms to five or more. Most of the homes are owner occupied, and at least a quarter are vacant during the off-season.
Cotuit/Marstons Mills: Many of the homes in the Cotuit and Marstons Mills section of Barnstable Town offer easy access to Atlantic beaches, because the community is very close to the water. In the summer months, the area has a suburban feel, though it is more like a rural neighborhood in the winter. Many of the permanent residents look forward to having the village to themselves, enjoying long walks on the uncrowded beaches in the late fall and early spring. It is interesting to note that the folks who stick around have lived in the area for many years, giving the community a small-town feel when seeing friends and neighbors at the market or the post office.
Centerville: The Centerville Harbor on the Atlantic side of Barnstable Town means access to a wide variety of nautical activities. There are endless opportunities for fishing, swimming, and boating, making this a particularly popular area. Fortunately, your apartment search won’t be difficult, as there are a number of apartment complexes and small apartment buildings that offer options in every size. Many Centerville residents work in the hospitality industry, enjoying a well-deserved rest during the off-season.
Falmouth Road/Pitchers Way: For those who prefer a little more action, the area around Falmouth Road and Pitchers Way is about as close to urban as you can get on the Cape. The price for an apartment rental is lower than the average cost of living on Cape Cod, which is awfully attractive if you want to save your money for other things.
Hyannis Port/West Hyannisport: The beauty of Hyannis, Barnstable Towns crown jewel, is that there is something for everyone. It is right on the Atlantic, so there is easy access to the beach, along with cute shops, historical sites, romantic inns, and delicious restaurants. Living in Hyannis is like being on vacation permanently. Rent is reasonable, putting Hyannis in reach of just about everyone, though only about half of the neighborhoods residents live here 12 months out of the year.
Iyannough/Bearses Way: People looking for reasonably priced apartment rentals in Barnstable Town are often drawn to the area around Iyannough and Bearses Way. Studio apartments are common, though there are also a variety of other sizes, and generally speaking, vacancies are easy to come by. Most folks in this neighborhood work nearby, with many even walking to work each day.
Newtown/Pondsville: The area around Newtown and Pondsville is primarily owner occupied, and residents tend to live here all year long. This makes it tough for people looking to rent for more than a week or two. The neighborhood is made up of single family houses, most of which are 3 bedrooms or larger. Unfortunately, most people have to drive to work, as this area is less walkable than its neighbors.
Old Stage Road/Skunknet Road: The area around Old Stage Road and Skunknet Road is popular for those who live and work on the Cape year round, because prices are reasonable and rental homes are available in every shape and size. There are plenty of vacancies, making an apartment search easy, yet there arent so many that the place feels deserted in the winter. Unlike the rest of Barnstable Town, most of the homes in the Old Stage Road and Skunknet Road neighborhood are fairly new, built in the last few decades of the 20th century.
Osterville:The Barnstable Town Village of Osterville has spectacular Atlantic Ocean views, as it is nested right on the edge of the water. The coastal location commands higher rent, but it is worth every penny to those lucky enough to find a place. Fortunately, a large number of apartment complexes makes that easy, and for those that prefer, there are plenty of spacious rental homes to fit the friends and family that are sure to visit. Nearly half of these are unoccupied in the winter months, so it is nice and quiet for the year round residents once the tourist season ends.
Shootflying Hill Road/Iyannough Road:Many of the Barnstable Towns year round residents choose to make their home in the Shootflying Hill Road/Iyannough Road area. Prices are reasonable, and there are a variety of choices, from studio apartments to 3 bedroom rental homes. Because there are more residents in the summer months, there are more local job opportunities during that period as well, though some do choose to commute to locations away from the Cape altogether.
Colonists first settled in Barnstable in 1637, not long after the Mayflower landed in nearby Plymouth, MA. No doubt they were attracted by cozy, calm Cape Cod Bay with its vast array of seafood possibilities, not to mention easy access to the Atlantic Ocean a gateway to the rest of the East Coast. Today, there are just over 45,000 residents, though most do not stay through the harsh winters. Those that do winter in Barnstable enjoy having the community to themselves once all of the tourists and summer residents leave.
Living in Barnstable Town means the perfect balance between a quiet, relaxed daily lifestyle and easy access to the hustle and bustle of the rest of the East Coast. It is a quick 70 mile drive north to Boston, where Amtrak opens up travel possibilities nationwide. Logan Airport in Boston offers international travel options, but for more local excursions, residents rely on Barnstables own Barnstable Municipal Airport and Cape Cod Airfield. The Barnstable village of Hyannis is considered the gateway to the islands of Marthas Vineyard (President Obama’s favorite vacation spot) and Nantucket, as the primary ferries depart from this port.
If there is one thing you can count on when you live in Barnstable, it is that you will have plenty of visitors. Friends and family you haven’t spoken to in years will turn up in your email box hinting or outright pleading for an invitation. When they come, you can start by taking them to the calm beaches of Cape Cod Bay or the bigger waves on the Atlantic Ocean side. Don’t worry. Despite the recent press about Great White Sharks off the coast of the Cape, there is minimal danger. Ocean scientists are carefully monitoring the few sharks spotted in the area, which have mainly started spending the summers up north because of the increased seal population. On the rare occasion that one of these guys gets too close, the lifeguard staff notifies swimmers to relax on the beach instead of playing in the water.
For historians, there is nothing better than the John F. Kennedy Museum in Hyannis. Exhibits explore the President’s relationship with Barnstable Town, including major family and national events with links to the area. Families enjoy activities like the Duck Boats, which boast a land and sea tour of the area. Cape Cod is nothing if not a maritime community, and Barnstable is no exception. Once you have had your fill of the seafood, you can learn more about where it came from at the Cape Cod Maritime Museum.