23 Best Things To Do In Barnstable's Hyannis, Massachusetts

things to do in cape cod hyannis

The largest of the seven villages in Barnstable, Hyannis is the commerce hub of the Cape Cod area. Its a good location - being situated by the coast and is a stone’s throw away from other popular destinations such as Provincetown, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard (the last two of which are accessible by ferry right in Hyannis). It offers plenty of Vrbo vacation rentals and Airbnb vacations rentals for tourists who wish to make the most of their vacation. This makes it a favorite tourist attraction among locals and visitors alike. Besides, it also features a number of man-made attractions where you can easily while away a few hours exploring. Check out this list for the things to do in Barnstable’s Hyannis, Massachusetts.

1. Dig in to the nautical history at Cape Cod Maritime Museum

Cape Cod Maritime Museum
Source: Photo by user Smart Destinations used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Learn more about the nautical history of Cape Cod by visiting this museum, which features maritime artifacts, art, and models to give you a glimpse of the seafaring history of the people. It also features a boat collection, some of which are over a hundred years old. If you want to get a firsthand experience of how Cape Cod’s wooden boats are built, there’s also a boat workshop on the grounds where you can learn how to make these vessels yourself.

Cape Cod Maritime Museum

Address: 135 South Street, Hyannis, MA 02601

Website: Cape Cod Maritime Museum

Opening hours: June - Sept: 10am - 4pm (daily); Oct - May: Thu - Sat: 10am - 4pm; Sun: 12pm - 4pm (closed from Mon - Wed)

Price: 10 USD

2. Get a glimpse of cultural diversity at Zion Union Heritage Museum

things to do in cape cod hyannis | get a glimpse of cultural diversity at zion union heritage museum

Here’s another museum you can visit if you want to learn more about the history of the area. This establishment features artwork, exhibits, and memorabilia showcasing African American and Cape Verdean American history, from the time of the slave trade to the present. If you want to find out more about the ethnic diversity and rich culture of the area, this museum is a must-visit.

Zion Union Heritage Museum

Address: 276 North Street, Hyannis, MA 02601

Website: Zion Union Heritage Museum

Opening hours: May - Oct: Tue - Sat: 11am - 5pm (closed from Sun - Mon); Nov - Dec: Thu - Sat: 10am - 4pm (closed from Sun - Wed); Feb - Apr: Thu - Sat: 11am - 5pm (closed from Sun - Wed) (closed in January)

Price: 5 USD

3. Splash around at Cape Codder Water Park

If you’re looking for a fun, family-friendly adventure while in Hyannis, consider visiting Cape Codder Water Park. This establishment features attractions that kids will surely like, including two water slides, a wave pool, a spacious hot tub, and a play area where children can have a blast. There’s an on-site snack bar so you don’t have to worry about where to get food when your party gets hungry. Want to spend more time at the water park? Don’t worry, because it’s actually located in a resort where you can spend one or two nights should you wish to make the most out of your visit here.

Cape Codder Water Park

Address: 1225 Iyannough Rd, Suite #1, Hyannis, MA 02601

Website: Cape Codder Water Park

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 10am - 8pm; Fri: 10am - 10pm; Sat: 9am - 10pm; Sun: 9am - 8pm

Price: 40 USD

4. Take a peek at the Hyannis Rear Range Light

Once upon a time, the Hyannis Harbor was kept well lit by a pair of lighthouses, one of which was the Hyannis Rear Range Light, otherwise known as the Hyannis Harbor Light. Built in 1849, this structure is noticeably shorter than other lighthouses, as it was designed to light the way for ships to reach the wharf. Today, the Front Range Light has already been demolished and the Rear Range Light is no longer used as a lighthouse, but visitors can still take a peek at it from Harbor Road.

Hyannis Rear Range Light

Address: Harbor Rd, Hyannis, MA 02601, USA

5. Watch the boats sail by at Hyannis Harbor

Sailboat in Hyannis Harbor
Source: Photo by user Bobak used under CC BY 2.5

Watching boats sail by is probably one of the most relaxing things to do in the world, and you can do just that at Hyannis Harbor. If you’re lucky, you can catch some of the local artists selling their works along the harbor. If you want to level up the adventure, you can step up on one of these boats on one of the cruises offered here, which allow guests to enjoy views of Hyannis and Nantucket Sound from the water.

Hyannis Harbor

Address: Nantucket Sound, Barnstable, Massachusetts

6. Go on a shopping spree at Cape Cod Mall

Cape Cod Mall, the only indoor regional shopping center in the area, is practically an institution in Hyannis, has been in the area since the 1970s. It features a number of shops, including major department stores, for those who want to do some shopping. There are also several dining options for you to choose from, including branches of popular food chains and a 400-seat international food court. If you want to catch a movie, this mall also has a wide-screen cinema. There are currently over 70 establishments in the mall, with more slated to open between 2019 and 2020.

Cape Cod Mall

Address: 769 Iyannough Rd, Hyannis, MA 02601-5027

Website: Cape Cod Mall

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 9pm; Sun: 11am - 6pm

7. Pick up a work of art at Kennedy Gallery & Studios

Posted by Kennedy Gallery & Studios on Sunday, 20 January 2019

If your goal is to bring home a unique keepsake that would remind you of your amazing holiday in Hyannis, consider getting one of the paintings being offered at Kennedy Gallery & Studios. You can take your pick from framed and unframed options, and you can even get one from the latter group framed right here. There are plenty of options waiting for you here, so you are bound to find something that you would want to take home with you during your visit.

Kennedy Gallery & Studios

Address: 574 Main St, Hyannis, MA

Website: Kennedy Gallery & Studios

Opening hours: 10am - 4pm (daily)

8. Buy a souvenir from Mrs Mitchell's Gifts

For many travelers, no trip is complete without buying a keepsake to remind them of their holiday when they get back home. If you’re one of them, make sure not to miss out on visiting Mrs. Mitchell’s Gifts. This shop specializes in nautical-themed items, ranging from clothes and jewelry to toys and home decor. It’s located right along Main Street so you can explore the area before or after you go shopping.

Mrs Mitchell's Gifts

Address: 545 Main St, Hyannis, MA 02601

Website: Mrs Mitchell’s Gifts

Opening hours: Summer: 9am - 11pm (daily); spring and fall: 10am - 6pm (daily)

9. Grab some grub at Kalmus Beach Snack Bar

things to do in cape cod hyannis | grab some grub at kalmus beach snack bar
Source: tunissharon on Instagram

Kalmus Beach Snack Bar is not your typical beachside snack station that offers ice cream, sodas, and not much else. This establishment has an extensive menu, ranging from seafood options to good ol’ burgers and fries. There are also healthy options such as fruits and salads for those who are careful about what they’re eating. Must-tries include the lobster rolls, fried scallops, and onion rings. The snack bar is located at Kalmus Beach, one of the most popular beaches in the area and a favorite of windsurfers.

Kalmus Beach Snack Bar

Address: 670 Ocean St, Barnstable, MA 02601

Opening hours: 9am - 3pm (daily)

10. Enjoy a ferry ride with Hy-Line Cruises

Hy-Line Cruises offer high-speed ferries that can take you to and/or from Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, or even go on an inter-island adventure or cruise along the shore of Hyannis. There are food and drink options onboard if you want to have something to whet your tastebuds while on board. During summer, it’s a good idea to make parking reservations beforehand as slots disappear quickly.

Hy-Line Cruises

Address: 220 Ocean St, Hyannis, MA 02601, USA

Website: Hy-Line Cruises

Price: 30 USD onwards

11. Relax at Keyes Memorial Beach

Otherwise known as Sea Street Beach, Keyes Memorial Beach is a good option for those who want to avoid the crowds, as this is one of the lesser-known beaches in the area. While not as popular compared to the other Hyannis beaches, it does come complete with everything that you may need, including lifeguard services, picnic tables, grills, bathrooms, and snack bars. If you want to try your hand at fishing, there are some spots here where you can do just that. Entry to the beach is free, but if you’re bringing your car, do be aware that there’s a parking fee here.

Keyes Memorial Beach

Address: 175 Ocean Ave., Hyannis, MA 02601

12. Chug down a glass of awesome Cape Cod Beer

If you love kicking back with a drink or two, don’t miss visiting Cape Cod Beer, a local brewer - and proud of it. They offer an assortment of brews that will tickle and satisfy your tastebuds. Not sure which drinks to try? Don’t worry, because they offer samplings so you can try out different flavors at a discounted rate. Tours are done at 11 am daily so you can join this if you want to find out how they make their brews. A bonus: dogs are welcome here so you don’t need to leave your furry friend behind if you’re planning to visit here.

Cape Cod Beer

Address: 1336 Phinney’s Ln, Hyannis, MA

Website: Cape Cod Beer

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10am - 6pm; Sat: 11am - 4pm (closed on Sun)

Price: 4 USD onwards

13. Swing by the fascinating Red Fish Blue Fish

If you prefer your souvenirs quirkier or more unique, then Red Fish Blue Fish is the place to be. This establishment sells eye-catching products that range from jewelry, home decor, and glassware to arts and crafts, soaps, and candles. Many of these products are made by Hyannis artisans, which makes this a good option to get stuff from if you like supporting local sellers, plus, it makes for unique handcrafted gifts for loved ones. This is definitely a must-visit if you want to find knickknacks that are not available anywhere else.

Red Fish Blue Fish

Address: 374 Main St, Hyannis, MA 02601

Website: Red Fish Blue Fish

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10am - 5:30pm; Sat: 10am - 6pm; Sun: 11am - 5pm

14. Have fun at Ryan Amusements

If you’re looking for a place to bring your family, take them to Ryan Amusements. The biggest draw here is its bowling alley, which features candlepin bowling, tenpin bowling, and even one with lights and sounds show. If you’re not a fan of bowling, don’t worry, because there are plenty of other activities that you can do here. If you want to do something as a group, you can try beating one of the three escape rooms there, or you can play against each other at laser tag. Your kids can have fun playing at the arcade. If you get hungry, there’s an on-site restaurant where you can get food and drinks.

Ryan Amusements

Address: Cape Cod Mall, 769 Iyannough Road, Rte. 132, Hyannis, MA, 02601

Website: Ryan Amusements

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 9am - 10pm; Fri - Sat: 9am - 12am

Price: 30 USD per lane

15. Play a few rounds of golf at the Hyannis Golf Course

If you’re a golfer or want to learn how to play golf, head over to the Hyannis Golf Course, which welcomes beginners and experts alike. Lessons are offered here as well. The 18-hole course is well-maintained. In case you get hungry, there’s a restaurant on site where you can order snacks or even full meals. The quoted rate is already inclusive of a bucket of balls and the use of a golf cart. This is a public golf course, so you don’t need to apply for membership to play here.

Hyannis Golf Course

Address: 1840 Iyannough Rd, Hyannis, Massachusetts

Facebook page: Hyannis Golf Course

Opening hours: 6am - 6pm (daily)

Price: 59 USD

16. Check out the intricate designs at The Silver Seahorse

If you’re a fan of silver jewelry, make sure you don’t miss out on visiting The Silver Seahorse. They have a variety of jewelry to offer, including rings, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces, as well as gift items such as silver salt and pepper shakers. If you’re a fan of nautical-themed accessories, you’ll get a kick out of this place, because many of the accessories they’re selling feature designs related to the sea. The staff are great at assisting their clients to help them find the perfect item: you can simply ask them what you have in mind and they’ll provide suggestions that best fit what you want.

The Silver Seahorse

Address: 382 Main St, Hyannis, MA 02601

Website: The Silver Seahorse

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 9:30am - 6pm; Fri - Sat: 9:30am - 7pm

17. Enjoy a cone from Katie's Homemade Ice Cream

things to do in cape cod hyannis | enjoy a cone from katie's homemade ice cream
Source: bennytam on Instagram

No trip to Hyannis would be complete without a visit to Katie’s Homemade Ice Cream, which is dubbed as offering “the best ice cream on Cape Cod”. Flavors depend on the season, so every visit here will practically mean getting a new opportunity to test out new tastes on your taste buds. While classic flavors such as vanilla and chocolate are a staple here, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can try out more exotic ones such as a ginger lemon cookie, rosemary fig, rum raisin, and lavender honeycone. Lines can get long, but it moves pretty fast so you can get your cone quickly even if there’s a queue outside.

Katie's Homemade Ice Cream

Address: 570 Main St, Hyannis, MA 02601

Website: Katie’s Homemade Ice Cream

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 1pm - 9pm; Fri: 1pm - 10pm; Sat: 11am - 10pm; Sun: 11am - 9pm

Price: 4 USD onwards

18. Indulge in a delicious fare at Brazilian Grill

If you’re a foodie, do yourself a favor and have a meal at Brazilian Grill, a traditional Brazilian barbecue restaurant wherein servers carve up meat right on your plate. You have a variety of meat skewers to choose from, so be sure to pace yourself so you can get the portions that you like. If you’re not much of a meat-eater, there’s also a salad bar in the restaurant where you can get other food items, even sushi, and sashimi. You can enjoy cocktails with your meals here, and you can also try out authentic Brazilian beer to complete your experience.

Brazilian Grill

Address: 680 Main St, Hyannis, MA 02601

Website: Brazilian Grill

Opening hours: 11:30am - 10pm (daily)

Price: 15 USD onwards

19. Treat yourself to good food at Spanky's Clam Shack and Seaside Saloon

It’s not for nothing that Spanky’s Clam Shack and Seaside Saloon has won several awards or its seafood. Located right on Hyannis Harbor, you can enjoy great food and good views here. If you want to go all out, order the New England-style lobster dinner. If, however, you want something lighter, the clam chowder should not be missed. If you have someone in your party who’s allergic to seafood, don’t worry, because burgers, pastas, and steaks are served here as well. Servings are huge, so you may want to think about sharing (you can try out more food on the menu that way too!)

Spanky's Clam Shack and Seaside Saloon

Address: 138 Ocean St, Hyannis, MA 02601

Website: Spanky’s Clam Shack and Seaside Saloon

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 11am - 9:30pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 10pm

Price: 4 USD onwards

20. Enjoy American cuisine with a twist at Portside Tavern

Portside Tavern is not your typical restaurant that serves American cuisine. While it does feature familiar dishes such as steaks, pizza, and fried chicken, it adds a special something to its offerings that make these more flavorful and unforgettable. Its lobster dishes are must-tries, as are the scallops and the potato skins. The restaurant also prides itself in having its South Shore Pizza ranked as the best in the area. The beer menu is also worth checking out here. Gluten-free alternatives can be requested here.

Portside Tavern

Address: 72 North St, Hyannis, MA 02601

Website: Portside Tavern

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 11am - 1am; Sun: 9am - 10:30pm

Price: 6 USD onwards

21. Taste fresh seafood at The Naked Oyster Bistro & Raw Bar

If you’re a fan of shellfish, this is the place for you. The Naked Oyster Bistro & Raw Bar is an upscale restaurant located right along Main Street. As the name indicates, their specialty is raw oysters from the owners’ farm. If raw food isn’t for you, there are other items on the menu, including but not limited to salmon, tuna, mussels, clams, and shrimp offerings. If you’re feeling even more adventurous, you may also want to try out the grilled octopus and watermelon. The cocktails are pretty tasty here as well. The restaurant has both exterior and interior seating.

The Naked Oyster Bistro & Raw Bar

Address: 410 Main St, Hyannis, MA 02601

Website: The Naked Oyster Bistro & Raw Bar

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 12pm - 10pm; Sat: 4:45pm - 9:30pm

Price: 8 USD onwards

22. Wolf down mouthwatering lobster rolls at Black Cat Tavern

Don’t let its name fool you: this establishment is more than just a tavern. While it does offer a variety of beer options, its food menu is actually quite extensive. Its seafood offerings, in particular, are plenty, which is not surprising considering that this restaurant is right by the harbor. Must-tries here are the lobster quesadillas, clam chowder, and the lobster roll. Fresh oysters are offered here as well. There’s live music here four nights a week. Pro tip: get a table here right before sunset so you can enjoy the views with your food.

Black Cat Tavern

Address: 165 Ocean St, Hyannis, MA 02601

Website: Black Cat Tavern

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 11:30am - 9pm; Sun: 11am - 9pm

Price: 6 USD onwards

23. Learn more about JFK at John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum (from USD 12.0)

John F. Kennedy, or JFK as he is fondly called, and his family spent a lot of their time in Cape Cod, so it’s no surprise that a museum was built as a tribute to them in the area. Find out more about one of the most well-known and loved political families in the US by visiting the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum, which features photographs, archival films, documents, and memorabilia related to JFK and his family. If you’re a fan of the Kennedys, make sure to visit the museum. Fun fact: the structure once served as the town hall of Hyannis.

John F Kennedy Hyannis Museum Admission

Duration: 1 to 4 hours

Hang out in Hyannis

Hyannis is considered as the heart not just of Barnstable, but of Cape Cod itself, and with good reason. This picturesque village features a plethora of activities that would delight people regardless of their age or interests. Plan your itinterary around the sights that you want to visit to make the most out of your coastal holiday.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Melanie is a freelance travel writer. She considers freelancing for Trip 101 to be a combination of two of the things she loves: writing and traveling.

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