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Hyannis Harbor, Hyannis
Hyannis Harbor at Night.

Hyannis is the largest of seven villages in the Town of Barnstable, Massachusettsmarker, on Cape Codmarker. Also it is the commercial and transportation hub of Cape Cod and was designated an urban area as a result of the 1990 census. Because of this, many refer to Hyannis as the "Capital of the Cape." It contains the Barnstable city offices and two important shopping districts, the historic downtown Main Street and the Route 132 commercial district, including Cape Cod Mallmarker and Cape Cod Potato Chipsmarker.

Hyannis is an important tourist destination and the primary ferry boat and general aviation link for passengers and freight to Nantucket Islandmarker. Hyannis provides secondary passenger access to the island of Martha's Vineyardmarker. Due to its large natural harbor, Hyannis is the largest recreational boating and second largest commercial fishing port on Cape Cod.

The JFK Hyannis Museum in the old Town Hall on Main St. focuses on John F. Kennedy's time spent in the town. There is a memorial to President Kennedy on the Lewis Bay waterfront that was erected by Barnstable citizens in 1966. The memorial includes a fountain and a field-stone monument with the presidential seal and JFK inscription: "I believe it is important that this country sail and not sit still in the harbor." President-elect John F. Kennedy gave his victory speech on Nov. 9, 1960 at the former Hyannis Armorymarker, which is in the National Register of Historic Places.

Hyannis Port

Hyannis Port is a small residential village and affluent summer community on Hyannis Harbor 1.4 miles to the south-southwest of Hyannis. Central location: . It has a small U.S. Post Office (zip code 02647) next door to a small seasonal convenience store, The News Shop and Gallery. It is the location of the Kennedy Compoundmarker and other Kennedy family residences and is included in the National Register of Historic Places. It has one of the premier golf courses on Cape Cod, the Hyannisport Club, and is also home to the West Beach Club and the Hyannis Port Yacht Club. Hyannis Port was the home of Senator Ted Kennedy and the place where he died.

According to the 2000 U.S. Census on April 1, it had 193 housing units with a resident population of 115 persons living in 46 housing units. There were 147 vacant housing units (76%), 144 of which were for seasonal, recreational, or occasional use. Based on the average family size of 2.97 persons, summer population is at least 573.


Hyannis is home to Barnstable High Schoolmarker, which is the largest high school on Cape Cod. Other high schools include Sturgis Charter Public School, a charter school featuring the International Baccalaureate program, and Pope John Paul II High Schoolmarker, the first and only college preparatory Catholic high school on Cape Cod. Trinity Christian Academy, which recently opened a high school, is located in Hyannis. Saint Francis Xavier Preparatory School, SFXP for short, is a prep middle school. Cape Cod Community Collegemarker, in nearby West Barnstable, is a two-year community college, known locally as "4-Cs."


Hyannis is the main point of origin for ferry service to Nantucketmarker. The Steamship Authority runs a year-round two and a half hour auto ferry service to Nantucket. The island can also be reached by a passenger-only, one hour catamaran trip run by both the Steamship Authority (seasonal) and Hy-Line Cruises (year-round). Additionally, Hy-Line also runs a catamaran to Martha's Vineyardmarker in season.

Barnstable Municipal Airportmarker (HYA) is the main air transportation hub for Cape Cod, with daily flights to both islands, Bostonmarker, Provincetownmarker, and New Yorkmarker, served by Cape Air as well as several regional carriers.

Hyannis is also the hub of the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority, which operates the only public-transit bus system on Cape Cod.

Freight rail service is provided by the Massachusetts Coastal Railroad. The Cape Cod Central Railroad operates seasonal tourist excursions from Hyannis (252 Main Street) to Sandwichmarker and Sagamoremarker, with some scheduled weekend stops at the West Barnstablemarker depot on Route 149 near Route 6A. The nearest inter-city (Amtrak) passenger rail stations are Boston's South Stationmarker and Providencemarker. The Kingston/Route 3marker and Middleborough/Lakevillemarker stations of the MBTA's commuter rail system provide the closest direct service to Boston. The MBTA is considering the extension of commuter rail service to Hyannis by 2010.


Cape Air, an area regional airline, is headquartered at the airport serving Hyannis. Island Air and Nantucket Shuttle also service the Cape and Islands.

A 2002 inventory of eating/drinking and lodging properties, indicated 64 restaurant/bars and 312 lodging accommodations including: 19 motels, 8 bed & breakfasts, 5 hotels, 125 motel/condo units and 1 Inn/tourist home.

A 2002 inventory of retail properties, excluding eating/drinking and lodging properties, indicated 249 retail properties in the town. This included 110 individual retail store properties but was dominated by over of space in 10 shopping centers. There were also: 45 retail condo units, 38 discount stores, 36 mixed-retail/residential units, 9 hardware stores and one supermarket.


In 2000 Hyannis had a total population of 20,097, living in 8,406 households. 19.80% of Hyannis total 10,922 housing units were seasonally vacant. Hyannis had a disproportionate share of multi-family properties in comparison to the town and the county. Hyannis had an owner-occupancy rate of 58.3%, which was nearly 20 percentage points lower than that indicated for the Town or the County. This difference is associated primarily with the amount of apartment properties in the Village. A decline in younger, family formation households was attributed to the lack of suitable employment opportunities and “affordable” housing. The median value of owner-occupied housing units in Hyannis in 2000 was $149,720. The gross median rent in Hyannis was $718/month. In 2002, the median price for a single family home in Hyannis was $196,000.

Median head of household income was $38,467. 15.9 % of households earned more than $75,000. 14.6% of Hyannis population lived below the poverty line. 18.74% were over 65 years old. Unemployment in Hyannis was 3.8% of the labor force. Hyannis is growing at the upper end and the lower end of the age cohorts, and although there has been an increase in persons 25 to 44 years of age this has not necessarily been reflected in income change as Hyannis witnessed an increase in the number of households earning $10,000 to $15,000 and a gain in the number of persons and families below the poverty level.


The Hyannis Mets of the Cape Cod Baseball League play at McKeon Park from mid-June to early August.


  1. City of Barnstable (1997) Comprehensive Plan, Section 4.0 - Community Facilities and Services, retrieved 4/17/2007[1]
  2. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Federal Register (May 1, 2002) Volume 67, Number 84, Page 21964, from the Federal Register Online via GPO Access,, DOCID:fr01my02-148, retrieved 5/29/2007
  3. " We want to help." Cape Air. Retrieved on May 21, 2009.
  4. RKG Associates Inc. (February 2003) "Market Analysis for Hyannis, MA", The Town of Barnstable, Massachusetts, Hyannis, MA 02601, retrieved 4/17/2007 Market Analysis for Hyannis

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