Located in Barnstable County, Massachusetts in Cape Cod is the beautiful Town of Barnstable. This charming community, which is the largest town in the county and Cape Cod, is made up of seven villages: Hyannis, Centerville, Osterville, Marstons Mills, and Cotuit on the south side and Barnstable (or Barnstable Village) and West Barnstable on the north side. The Town of Barnstable is famous for Martha’s Vineyard, lighthouses, the Kennedy Compound, and picturesque beaches. A world-renowned tourist destination for over 200 years, living in Barnstable full-time means enjoying the iconic beaches, boating, whale watching, and more year-round. Here’s what to expect ahead of moving to Barnstable, MA and what you’re going to love.
Barnstable, MA Population & Demographics
The Town of Barnstable is the largest community on Cape Cod with a population of 45,000. The town is located halfway along the “arm” of Cape Cod covering 60 square miles of land and 16.5 square miles of water. Barnstable is bordered by Nantucket Sound, Cape Cod Bay, Mashpee, Sandwich, and Yarmouth and it’s about 70 miles away from Boston.
Curious about the people living in Barnstable, MA? Cape Cod is fairly homogeneous. The racial and ethnic composition of Barnstable is 88% white, 4% Black or African American, 3.5% Hispanic, 1% Asian, and 2% two or more races. Among the small foreign-born population, the most common countries of birth are Brazil (26%), Jamaica (12%), Canada (4.5%), and the United Kingdom (4%).
Famous people from Barnstable include President John F Kennedy and Larry Page, one of Google’s founders.
Barnstable, MA Climate
What is the weather like in Cape Cod? The Barnstable climate is humid subtropical which is very unique for New England. Barnstable is offshore from New England and cradled by warm and cold ocean waters. This means it’s warmed by the water in the winter and cooled in the summer. While living in Cape Cod, you’ll enjoy pleasant weather with cool summer breezes and fairly mild weather year-round. Average highs between December and March are in the low 40s, but summer sees pleasant days with highs in the 70s.
The best time to visit Barnstable is between May and June or September to October to enjoy the warmest weather.
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Schools in the Town of Barnstable, Cape Cod
Moving to Barnstable with kids? You’ll be served by the Barnstable Public Schools district. The district has several schools, most notably Barnstable Intermediate School (grades 6-7), one preschool, five K-3 elementary schools, Barnstable United Elementary (grades 4-5), and Barnstable High School, one of the region’s best public high schools. Students have free access to the public libraries in Barnstable.
Best Barnstable Neighborhoods
There are seven villages in the Town of Barnstable plus several other communities without an official designation. Trying to decide where to live after moving to Barnstable? Here’s a brief look at each village.
Barnstable Village (02630)
Barnstable is the most historic area of the town. It’s home to several historic properties like the Olde Colonial Courthouse from the 1600s and the Old Gaol, America’s oldest wooden jail.
Cotuit is a small, mostly residential village almost completely surrounded by water with fishing and boating. The average home in Cotuit sells for $900k. Cotuit is known for its active arts scene with community classes, special events, galleries, theater and more.
Centerville is home to the famous Craigville Beach, one of the top destinations in Cape Cod, and it offers a small-town feel despite its size. The average home price in Centerville is $375,000 which makes it one of the most affordable places to live in Cape Cod. Centerville is one of the best neighborhoods in Barnstable for families, artists, and millennials with beaches popular with a younger crowd. Along with Craigville Beach, you’ll find the hidden gem of Long Beach nearby plus the Centerville Playground.
West Barnstable (02668)
This large village is home to the gorgeous Sandy Neck Beach, one of Barnstable’s biggest tourist draws. It’s one of the most expensive places to live in Barnstable, MA with a median home price of $650k. The median home price in West Barnstable is $596k. You’ll find the Cape Cod Community College in West Barnstable.
Hyannis is the largest village in Barnstable known for its beaches, the Kennedy Compound, and bustling Main Street. Hyannis is so well-known that many people think it’s Cape Cod’s main town rather than being part of the Town of Barnstable. Click here to see Hyannis, Barnstable homes for sale with an average home price of $402,000.
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Osterville is one of the most affluent villages in Cape Cod with a picturesque and walkable Main Street. Be prepared for high home prices: the average home price in Osterville is just over $1 million.
Marstons Mills (02648)
is one of the smallest villages of Barnstable and the only one with no coastline. Marstons Mills doesn’t have a lot of turnover in real estate, but the median home price is $755k.
Homes for sale in Barnstable can be found here. You can explore more with this map of Barnstable.
What Is the Cost of Living in Barnstable, Cape Cod?
Is Barnstable, MA expensive? Actually, the Barnstable cost of living index is 129, or about 29% more expensive than the national average. That’s very close to the average cost of living for Massachusetts and doesn’t compare to Boston which, by comparison, has a cost of living index of 165 and home prices more than one-third higher than Cape Cod.
While living in Barnstable and Cape Cod, you’ll enjoy very affordable healthcare and utilities and groceries about 10-15% higher than average. Housing is the biggest factor that pushes the cost of living in Cape Cod higher.
The average home price in Barnstable is $514,000, up 31% year-over-year in summer 2021, with a median of 8 days on the market. In 2021, Massachusetts had the country’s second-fastest cooling housing market – except Barnstable County and Cape Cod. Barnstable became one of the country’s hottest real estate markets as newly remote workers took the opportunity to move to vacation destinations like Cape Cod. Boston, meanwhile, experienced the opposite as workers and students fled the high-cost area when the pandemic shut down the city. Despite the high home prices, note that many villages in Barnstable are far more affordable.
Renting after moving to Barnstable? The rental market in Cape Cod is a bit tricky and seasonal. There are a handful of apartment complexes such as Village Green in Hyannis where rent ranges from $975 to $1,411 for a one- to three-bedroom unit. You’ll find many vacation homes for rental plus townhomes and a handful of condos.
Barnstable, MA Jobs & Household Income
How much do you need to earn to live in Barnstable, MA? It helps to know the average salary and household income. According to Payscale, the average salary in Barnstable is $58,000 or $19.66 per hour. Here’s what you would earn in common occupations:
- Registered Nurse: $38/hour
- Certified Nurse Assistant: $16/hour
- Pharmacist: $61/hour
- Accountant: $70k
- Associate Attorney: $61k
The median household income in the Town of Barnstable is $63,500. However, some areas are more affluent than others. West Barnstable is the most affluent with a median household income of $90,000 followed by Barnstable Village ($84,300), Marstons Mills ($80,000), Cotuit ($79,000), and Oysterville ($78,000).
The largest employers in Barnstable, MA include:
- Cape Cod Healthcare
- Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank
- Cape Air
- Bayada Home Health Care
- Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
- Cape Cod Hospital
The economy in Barnstable and all of Cape Cod relies on tourism and hospitality services but this is seasonal. Construction and labor as well as health care help account for most of the jobs in the region.
Top Things to Do in Barnstable, Cape Cod
Ready to explore the exciting Cape Cod attractions in Barnstable? It may not be large, but the Town of Barnstable has seemingly endless beaches, community events, and historic sites to explore. Here are some of the best things to do in Cape Cod with kids, friends, and family. Plus, you’ll find plenty of convenient shopping in Barnstable including Cape Cod Mall, Capetown Plaza, Centerville Shopping Center, and Shaw’s.
Cape Cod National Seashore
Located along Barnstable County, MA is the Cape Cod National Seashore, a federal park created by President Kennedy that covers over 43,000 acres of Cape Cod including beachfront, woods, ponds, and more.
Cape Cod National Seashore, 99 Marconi Station Site Road, Wellfleet, MA 02667 (508) 255-3421
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Sandy Neck Beach
Sandy Neck is one of Cape Cod’s most famous beaches. This barrier beach is also the longest at 6 miles.
Sandy Neck Gate House, 425 Sandy Neck Rd, West Barnstable, MA 02668 (508) 362-8300
Cape Cod Maritime Museum
Open seasonally, this charming museum in Hyannis offers boat tours and exhibits on Cape Cod’s maritime history. It’s next to the Cape Cod Central Railroad Depot.
Cape Cod Maritime Museum, 135 South St, Hyannis, MA 02601 (508) 775-1723
Additional attractions in Barnstable, MA:
- Joseph P. Kennedy House (Kennedy Compound)
- Heritage Museums & Gardens
- Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruises
Great Barnstable Restaurants
After moving to Barnstable, MA, you’ll have some of New England’s best seafood right at your fingertips whenever you have a craving. That’s not all you’ll enjoy, though; here are the top-rated restaurants in Barnstable ranging from New England seafood to Brazilian.
- Black Cat Tavern. This waterfront eatery is one of the best places to eat in Barnstable and a favorite among locals. Enjoy views of the harbor, live music, and fresh seafood. Black Cat Tavern, 165 Ocean St, Hyannis, MA 02601 (508) 778-1233
- Tugboats at Hyannis Marina. Tugboats is one of the top family-friendly restaurants in Barnstable! Located on the waterfront in West Yarmouth, serves up fresh quahog, mussels, lobster, shrimp, calamari, and more. Tugboats at Hyannis Marina, 11 Arlington St, West Yarmouth, MA 02673 (508) 775-6433
- Brazilian Grill. Enjoy all-you-can-eat rodizio-style grilled meats at this top-rated churrascaria restaurant. Brazilian Grill, 680 Main St, Hyannis, MA 02601 (508) 771-0109
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Living in Barnstable Pros & Cons
- Pro: Affordable waterfront living
- Pro: Amazing beaches, history, and culture
- Pro: Great schools & family-friendly amenities
- Con: Jobs can be difficult to find in the Cape Cod area without a long commute
Are you ready for living in Cape Cod year-round? Barnstable, MA is one of America’s hottest real estate markets thanks to a rise in remote working and its comparative affordability for a coastal community. That means you’ll want to be quick and may face a lot of competition when buying or renting a home!
Once you’ve settled on the right Barnstable village to call home, give the Barnstable movers at Vanguard Moving Services a call to take the hassle and worry out of moving day.