Blake Walsh

25 Best Things to Do in Hyannis, MA

  • Published 2023/03/22

Hyannis, dubbed “The Capital of the Cape,” is Cape Cod’s primary transportation and business hub.

The harbor, typically crowded with private boats maintained by passionate boaters, has evolved into the primary ferry terminal for access to Nantucket Island.

Dining businesses provide fresh, local seafood and are sometimes packed with people waiting for their boats to depart, giving the area a beach feel.

Those who do not possess a boat might book a tour of the surrounding islands.

Large wooden residences and structures, some situated on wharves above the sea, are frequently painted white to reflect the light.

Hyannis also has a few small lighthouses that pay respect to the town’s maritime history.

Interested to know more about this place?

Here are the 25 best things to do in Hyannis, Massachusetts:

Raise a Toast atCape Cod Beer

Cape Cod Beer isn’t only for beer enthusiasts (though they’ll be pleased), but it’s also a great location to kill some time.

Daily, unless it’s a Sunday, at 11 AM, free brewery tours are offered, although samples are available at any time.

Various fascinating activities are also offered here, such as the ‘yappy hours’ with your pet, art workshops, live music, and comedy evenings.

On Fridays, from 3 to 6 PM, the brewery hosts a local farmers’ market.

The beer is well-liked, with the trademark amber ale being very smooth.

View the Exhibits of the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum

Exterior of John F Kennedy Hyannis Museum

Radomir Rezny /

For decades, the Kennedy family has made Hyannis their summer retreat.

JFK used to spend the summers here, brilliantly recorded in this museum with pictures and film dating from JFK’s infancy through the Camelot years of his presidency.

The exhibitions in John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum are well-designed and offer a subject that varies yearly.

The museum is a multimedia exhibit that depicts JFK’s days on Cape Cod.

These include his days spent relaxing with family, as President of the United States, and sailing on the ocean to which he was constantly drawn.

People in front of the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum

John Phelan, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Binge on Seafood at TheNaked Oyster

Here at TheNaked Oyster, short ingredient transit times are encouraged, with the namesake bivalves coming from the restaurant’s oyster farm in Barnstable Harbor.

Shrimp, little necks, and lobster are good company at the raw bar.

Thai shrimp, moules frites, fish tacos, and curry scallops are a few of the dishes on the menu that borrow global flavors to spice up fresh seafood.

Relax at Veterans Park Beach

The nearest beach to Hyannis’ Main St, Veterans Park Beach is a favorite family location owing to its playground, picnic tables, and shallow waves.

It is a beautiful place to spend a day.

Whether you want to swim, beach comb, or play beach games, this beach can accommodate you.

A tribute to John F Kennedy is located on the beach’s north side, which overlooks the port where JFK once sailed.

The monument offers free 30-minute parking as a bonus!

Dine atPain D’Avignon

Although Pain D’Avignon is not in the most convenient location (out near the airport, off MA 132), it is worth seeking a delicious taste of Paris.

In the morning, pâtisserie staples beckon you, but omelets and galettes (savory crêpes) may be ordered for a more leisurely meal.

A more classic French bistro food shines at lunch and dinner, including dishes such as croque monsieur, Quiché Lorraine, and steak frites.

Visit theCape Cod Potato Chip Factory

These well-loved chips are potato-based rather than computer-based; while they won’t work on your laptop, they’ll taste great in your gateway.

A self-guided tour of the plant is available; it consists of simply watching the chips march over the production and packaging lines through windows.

The entire visit can be a charming experience, and the whole endeavor should take no more than 10 minutes.

You will also receive complimentary samples at the end to finish your trip as best as possible.

Try the Raw Shellfish at Tumi Ceviche Bar & Ristorante

If you enjoy seafood but want to try something different, head to Tumi Ceviche Bar & Ristorante.

You can choose from nine types of ceviche (including vegetarian choices) and various raw shellfish, seafood pasta, and other unique Peruvian dishes.

One of its unique quirks is that before 5 PM, you can get the ceviche for half-price!

This unique little restaurant is a fusion of Peruvian and Italian cuisines, both traditional and modern.

They specialize in the world’s most famous Peruvian ceviche, handmade pasta, and wood-fired grill steaks.

The open kitchen, where guests can see the cooks prepare their meals, is one of the restaurant’s main attractions.

Stroll around theHyannis HyArts Cultural District

Buildings at HyArts District

Rosemarie Mosteller /

The perfect spot for art lovers in Hyannis might be the dainty and charming Hyannis HyArts Cultural District.

Visitors can stroll around the harbor side, including the Guyer Barn communal art space, the colorful artist shanties near the ferry docks, and the art-strewn Walkway to the Sea.

The Hyannis HyArts Cultural District’s success is built on a set of arts-oriented policies that promote the creative economy while providing a lively background for residents and tourists all year.

A bandstand at Hyannis HyArts Cultural District

Rosemarie Mosteller /

Dine at Pizza Barbone

Take a break from the fish at Pizza Barbone, which serves excellent thin-crust pizzas in the Neapolitan manner from its wood-fired oven.

High-quality toppings include mushrooms with rosemary, smoked mozzarella, and truffle oil.

There are gluten-free and vegan choices as well.

Watch a Show atCape Cod Melody Tent

Exterior of Cape Cod Melody Tent

John Phelan, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Cape Cod Melody Tent is a precisely massive tent with a capacity for 2300 people and no seats more than 50 feet (ca.15 m) from the spinning stage.

It features artists like Vince Gill and ZZ Top from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

The tent theater is owned by South Shore Playhouse Associates.

These are the only two continuously-operated tent theaters affiliated with the South Shore Music Circus in the United States.

Tour the Cape Cod Maritime Museum

Exterior of Cape Cod Maritime Museum

Rosemarie Mosteller /

Cape Cod Maritime Museum, conveniently located near Hyannis Harbor, emphasizes the Cape’s maritime ties, particularly the local boat-building heritage.

The Cape Cod Maritime Museum is a focal place for learning about the maritime customs and history of the Cape and Islands.

Rotating displays, a permanent collection of antique vessels, miniature ships, and marine art will pique your interest.

You may watch boat builders at work or participate in their volunteer programs, educational seminars, and apprenticeships to learn firsthand.

It may be a fantastic experience for kids since they can participate in interactive displays, build a boat, and even learn navigation.

The grounds of Cape Cod Maritime Museum

Rosemarie Mosteller /

Check Out theSt. Francis Xavier Church

St.Francis Xavier Catholic Church is both beautiful and historic.

During the summers, President John F. Kennedy attended Mass here, and his bench was marked and visible.

Sunday Catholic Masses, including a Latin and Brazilian Mass, are held regularly.

With a stop at this enchanting Church, you can learn about the local history of Hyannis, stroll around the gorgeous beaches, and dine at the area’s seafood eateries.

Have a Sun Tan at Kalmus Beach

On broad Kalmus Beach, near the south end of Ocean St in Hyannis, there’s plenty of room to spread your towel and soak in the sun.

Windsurfers love it because of the consistent breezes, and swimming is popular in the summer because of the warm water.

A snack bar, lifeguard, and changing rooms are available.

Kalmus Beach is a long expanse of white sand with plenty of amenities, where you can spend your days resting on the smooth beach or participating in thrilling water sports.

Because of the ideal circumstances, this beach is recognized as a windsurfing paradise.

Sample the Beef BBQ ofBrazilian Grill

The Brazillian Grill is an authentic steakhouse that celebrates the Cape’s Brazilian side with an enormous buffet and churrasco, which are barbecued beef on skewers delivered to your table by authentically costumed gauchos.

The cuisine is delicious, but the overall restaurant experience makes this place unique.

The Brazilian Grill is a family-owned restaurant that provides a genuine dining experience with traditional southern Brazilian cuisine passed down through generations and is a must-visit location in Hyannis.

Enjoy Live Music at theEmbargo

A sanctuary of fun in Hyannis, Embargo has live music accompanying innovative tapas meals throughout dining hours.

They’re famous for their distinctive martinis and extensive cocktail menu, which keep the audiences satisfied and happy throughout their stay.

It is Cape Cod’s go-to spot for casual eating with a big-city vibe you can see and taste.

This beautiful restaurant offers large dishes, a raw bar, world-class tapas for a nibble after work, and live entertainment in the evenings.

ExploreMain Street

A building at Main Street

Thomas Kelley from Boston, MA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The center of the quaint Cape Cod village of Hyannis is Main Street.

There are famous restaurants and stores, a post office, town government offices, a library, and the Cape Cod Hospital in this stretch of town.

The John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of the 35th President of the United States and his family’s deep ties to the region.

Outlet store at Main Street

Thomas Kelley from Boston, MA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This exciting museum, with its history and lore, is also located on this street.

It’s a fantastic spot to buy and eat delicious meals.

With buildings from a bygone era standing proudly, the street offers a lot of charm to its visitors.

Shops along Main Street

Thomas Kelley from Boston, MA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Board the Vessel of The Steamship Authority

View of Steamship Authority on the water

EQRoy /

The Steamship Authority operates the largest ferry service from Cape Cod to Nantucket Island.

These Nantucket ferries leave from the historic Hyannis Harbor.

A trip to Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard is a fun experience that one must have in Hyannis.

It also offers passengers easy and inexpensive pricing.

Even landlubbers feel comfortable and secure on large ferries.

Take a Fun Ride on the Cape Cod Central Railroad

People boarding the Cape Cod Central Railroad train

Ktr101, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Passengers are transported past marshes, cranberry bogs, dunes, and other only accessible-by-rail locations on the Cape Cod Central Railroad.

You can learn about the canal’s history and how cranberries are collected or enjoy a quiet weekday meal or Sunday brunch on the rail.

These trains are a fantastic way to get about Hyannis.

The Cape Cod Central Railroad is a historic railroad on a rail line controlled by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation known as the Cape Main Line.

Sightseeing trains are a fun and unusual way to visit and learn about Cape Cod.

Have a Cool Dip atHathaway Pond

The perfect spot to go to if you’re searching for a short trek in Hyannis is Hathaway Pond.

It’s a lovely spot to cool down with a pleasant swim in clear, warm water.

It is a neighborhood pond with well-kept gardens noted for its tranquility and lack of crowds.

If you’re in the mood to walk, it has a beautiful route that you can take.

This pond is a hidden gem among the beautiful splendor of Hyannis.

Picnic tables are available for lunch, and the landscape is breathtaking!

It is a must-see attraction if you ever find yourself on Cape Cod.

Hyannis is undoubtedly a place worth visiting in Massachusetts or Cape Cod.

With its lovely tourist spots, such as beaches, museums, and lakes, it has much to offer a traveler.

One of the best aspects of Hyannis is its beautiful restaurants and cafés.

From fantastic food to an enthralling experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the culture of the local citizens, the eat-out places at Hyannis are charming in their unique ways.

If you are looking for a fascinating tourist experience, Hyannis is undoubtedly the place to visit!

Peek on the Red Autos of the Toad Hall Classic Car Museum

Check out the Toad Hall Classic Car Museum on Scudder Avenue.

This museum claims to have the most extensive collection of sports cars in the U.S.

The Toad Hall Classic Car Museum displays over 150 cars in its showroom.

The museum also has a few classic automobiles outside, which visitors can drive.

The cars on display in the museum are primarily 1950s and 1960s classics, all red in color.

Most of these cars are English, with some U.S. and Japanese-made.

Slide with the Kids at Cape Codder Water Park

A slew of aquatic delights brings visitors to Cape Codder Water Park on Iyannough Road.

It’s the only aquatic center in Cape Cod, featuring indoor and outdoor fun for all ages.

The 30,000-square-foot Cape Codder Water Park boasts two 160-foot water slides plus 50- and 80-foot slides.

It also offers a 300-foot river layout with rapids, waterfalls, and a replica of a spouting whale.

Other facilities in this aquatic center include saunas, a fitness center, a kiddie spray pool, and a wave pool with water fountains and two-foot waves.

The Cape Codder Water Park’s Gazebo Café, which has a full bar, serves appetizers, sandwiches, salads, pizza, and beverages.

Play a Short Game at Twin Brooks Golf Course

The Twin Brooks Golf Course is a charming 18-hole layout off Scudder Avenue.

The links of this course were developed during the mid-1960s on a 40-acre site.

The Hyannis Village on the Twin Brooks Golf Course flanks safeguards this expanse, the community’s last ample open green space.

The golf course plays a par three throughout its 2,621 layouts, with five water hazards posed as a challenge on eight tee shots.

It also tests golfers in the numerous sand traps along its tree-lined fairways and on the approaches of its elevated greens.

Cruise on Bay Spirit Tours

View of a docked Bay Spirit Tours boat

Wangkun Jia /

Board the 63-foot catamaran of the Bay Spirit Tours on Slip 1 on the dock off Ocean Street for a cruise of the Lighthouse Harbor.

This trip is a narrated 75-minute cruise that will tell you the history of the local lighthouses and harbor.

Bay Spirit Tours also includes a cruise around Hyannis Port, passing grand waterfront homes.

Another option comes in the sunset cruises of Bay Spirit Tours, which takes about 70 minutes.

Drinks and light music set the mood for this sunset trip in Hyannis Port.

Sail on the Sea Gypsy for the Cape Cod Pirate Adventures

Cape Cod Pirate Adventures is a beautiful experience of play-acting on this tour’s vessel Sea Gypsy.

Suited for kids and the whole family, this tour sails off from the dock off Ocean Street.

During this tour, kids will have their faces painted and see water cannon blasts and hear pirate stories told.

Other fun activities during the Cape Cod Pirate Adventures include treasure hunting with maps to read.

This entertaining cruise for the family has five runs to choose from.

Final Thoughts

Hyannis is a travel destination you shouldn’t miss on a visit to Cape Cod.

The points of interest here capture all the essence of the Cape Cod Peninsula and its famed beaches, waters, and historical places.

The things to do in Hyannis are activities that you’re likely to repeat whenever an opportunity arises.

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