Town of Bourne
The town of Bourne is the first town you enter when you cross the bridges onto Cape Cod. Opened in 1914, the historic Cape Cod Canal is symbolic of Cape Cod itself. It was built to eliminate the dangerous voyage for seagoing vessels around the outer Cape and today carries boat traffic ranging from pleasure boats to merchant ships of all nations. Recreation paths along both sides of the canal provide the opportunity for bicycling, rollerblading, running, walking, amazingly good sport fishing, or sitting and watching the boats go by. Spanning the canal to connect Cape Cod with the mainland are the Bourne Bridge, Sagamore Bridge, and the Gothic style Railroad Bridge - all located in Bourne. The Canal cut Bourne in two so that some villages of the town are on the "Mainland" and some are on the "Cape side.
What sets Bourne apart from other Cape Cod towns is the diversity of its coastline, from Scusset Beach on the north side of the Canal, to harbors at Monument Beach and Red Brook, providing a richer variety of beaching and boating than one would expect in a medium sized, moderately rural town. Several necks jut out into the waters of Buzzards Bay, including Mashnee Island, Patuisset, Wings Neck, and Scraggy Neck. Since it is the Cape town that is closest to the mainland, it provides easiest access of all Cape town to Boston (about 57 miles away) and the other communities of Massachusetts.
Bourne is known for antique shops and fine dining; the Chart Room restaurant in the Bourne village of Cataumet draws visitors from around the world. There are two public golf courses. Bourne is home to the Bourne Braves of the Cape Cod Baseball League, commonly considered the best collegiate league in the country. The Mainland side community of Taylor's Point is the site of the Mass. Maritime Academy, the nation's oldest maritime college.
Bourne is also renowned for its shellfishing. The Bourne Scallop Festival, held in September each year in the Mainland-side village of Buzzards Bay, becomes more popular each year. A popular band concert is held weekly during the summer in Buzzards Bay Park in the shadow of the Railroad Bridge. There is a surprisingly high number of acres protected in their natural state, providing many opportunities for nature walks and bird watching. Bourne has a rich history dating back thousands of years to the first settlers, ancestors of today's Wampanoag community, as well as to the days of the Pilgrims when Plymouth Colony established its first trading post in what is now Bourne. At the same time Bourne is the newest town on Cape Cod, having split off from Sandwich and incorporated as a new town in 1884.
Bourne is bordered on the south by Falmouth, on the west by Wareham, on the north by Plymouth, and on the east by Sandwich.
Town of Wareham
In Wareham it's all about the water. The town has 57 miles of coastline and two protected harbors, Onset and Wareham Harbors. Wareham, known as the "Gateway to Cape Cod," offers Cape Cod style living without the hassles of the bridge traffic.
The town of Wareham is situated near the southwest entrance to the Cape Cod Canal on the mainland side. Wareham waterfront homes are available from $300,000 up to $4 million. The town's natural beauty is enhanced by beaches, estuaries, rivers and ponds as well as nature trails. From Buttermilk Bay on the town's east border to the Weweantic River on its west, Wareham is defined by its waterways.
The Town of Wareham is rich in history dating back to Colonial times. One of the earliest industries was making nails out of the plentiful bog iron, and the Tremont Nail Factory, one of the earliest businesses, continues in business to this day. Farming, saltmaking, ship building, and cranberry farming were industries in the 1700s and 1800s, and in more recent times Wareham has become home to a diversified industrial and commercial economy. Today thriving business districts can be found along Cranberry Highway, the town Main Street, and other parts of town.
A popular village of Wareham, Onset is well-known for its beautiful Onset Beach, its waterfront Victorian estates, and for its summer concert series, other family activities and the fun, festive atmosphere of its village center. The Wareham Gatemen are the town's representative in the Cape Cod Baseball League, known as the best summer league in the nation where many of today's major leaguers played college ball.
Wareham is bordered on the west by Marion and Rochester, on the north by Carver and Plymouth, and on the east by Plymouth and Bourne.
Town of Marion
When it comes to Marion, it's all about New England small town charm. A small residential community on the shores of Buzzards Bay, Marion has an extensive and varied coastline. The beautiful Sippican Harbor is a great deepwater site for sailboats, as well as fishing, swimming, and other recreational activities. Marion's village area captures the essence of New England charm, with its white picket fences and shady tree-lined streets.
Marion was originally settled in the 1600s as the village of Sippican, part of the town of Rochester. It was incorporated in the 1850s as the town of Marion. Today Marion has a stable year-round population with a moderate summertime increase. The small town character, blended with the flavor and benefits of a seacoast community with lovely residential neighborhoods and modern conveniences, gives Marion a Cape Cod style life without the need to cross the bridges.
Marion is the site for one of the state's best regarded private secondary schools, Tabor Academy, located near the shoreline of Sippican Harbor. One of the country's best private golf courses, Kittansett, is located in Marion.
Marion is bordered on the southwest by Mattapoisett, on the northwest by Rochester, and on the northeast by Wareham.
Town of Plymouth
There's a lot more to Plymouth than the Rock. Although Plymouth's fame is largely based on its position as the landing place of the Pilgrims in 1620, it also offers many advantages as a place to live. The town of Plymouth is the oldest community in Massachusetts, as well as the largest in area. It includes over 50 miles of coastline on Cape Cod Bay and Plymouth Bay, thousands of acres of open land, and 365 ponds and lakes -- one for each day of the year. Plymouth is about 5 miles north of the Cape Cod Canal and 37 miles south of Boston.
Beaches and harbors along Cape Cod Bay include the lovely white sands of White Horse Beach. For the golfer there are several public and private courses in the town. For the history buff there is Plimoth Plantation where interpreters bring to life both the Pilgrim colony of 1627 and a Native American village, and the Mayflower II, a replica of the ship that brought those intrepid Pilgrim Forefathers and Foremothers across the ocean. For the lover of nature and solitude there are several town nature preserves and a state park. For those looking to further their education there are several private colleges offering classes to both traditional and adult students in the downtown area of Plymouth.
Plymouth is bordered on the south by Bourne and Wareham, on the west by Carver, and on the north by Kingston.