Falmouth & Woods Hole

Falmouth  and Wood Hole, MA | Points of Interest

Nobska Lighthouse, Ashumet Holly Reservation, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Aquarium of the National Marine Fisheries, Falmouth Museums on the Green, Spohr Garden.

About Falmouth

Falmouth is one of the Cape's oldest resort towns. Martha's Vineyard is just a few miles across Vineyard Sound making Falmouth Harbor and Woods Hole perfect places to catch a ferry for a day trip to the island.

Falmouth has wonderful restaurants and shopping along Main Street and the sleepy little village of Woods Hole, home of the world-famous Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution,  makes for a fun adventure.

History

Falmouth (pop. 31,531) was incorporated in 1694 and was named for its sister town in England by Bartholomew Gosnold. Gosnold, who also named Cape Cod, sailed from Falmouth, England in 1602 and landed upon these shores.

Until incorporation, Falmouth was known by its Native American name, Succonessett, which means "place where the black clam is found."

At one time East Falmouth was the "strawberry growing capital of the world". 

Falmouth was also the birthplace of Katharine Lee Bates (1859-1929), author of "America the Beautiful".

Falmouth has the most shore and coastline of the Cape towns with eleven beautiful harbors.

Falmouth daughter, Katharine Lee Bates, the author of "America the Beautiful".
Falmouth daughter, Katharine Lee Bates, the author of "America the Beautiful". Photo by John Fitts.

Beaches

  • Menauhant Beach: off Menauhant Road, E. Falmouth
  • Old Silver Beach: off Quaker Road, N. Falmouth
  • Surf Drive Beach: off Route 28 on Surf Drive
  • Falmouth Heights Beach: Falmouth Heights Road to Grand Ave.
  • Chapoquoit Beach: Chapoquoit Road off Route 28A, West Falmouth
  • Megansett Beach: Country Road, off 28A, West Falmouth
  • Wood Neck: Sippesewissett Road, off Palmer Avenue from Route 28
  • Stoney Beach: North of Woods Hole Road, Woods Hole

Hiking & Biking

As with every Cape town--Falmouth has its share of impressive hiking and biking paths.  Cyclists will love the Shining Sea Bikeway which offers different rides of varying lengths through marshes, cranberry bogs and more.

Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve has several trails and offers workshops and other activities. The 300 Committee has trail maps for Falmouth's best conservation trails.  Mass. Audubon's Ashumet Holly Wildlife Sanctuary is a favorite spot for naturalists and bird watchers year-round.

Golf

Golfers, get ready! Falmouth is home to several courses including the Falmouth Country Club (public, year-round 27-hole course), the Cape Cod Country Club (18-hole, public), Ballymeade Country Club (semi-private, 18-hole) and several private clubs.

Culture

Those who like history will find themselves instantly at home in Falmouth. For history buffs, the Falmouth Historical Society operates the Falmouth Museums on the Green, a compound of historic buildings on the town's picturesque green. FHS offers lectures, tours (walking and trolley) and other special events throughout the year for adults and children.

Highfield Hall is a treat for history buffs who can tour this restored 1878 home. It is now the home to a vibrant cultural center which offers concerts, lectures, workshops and special events for adults and children. 

Naturalists and those interested in the Cape's flora and fauna will want to explore the Beebe Woods surrounding Highfield Hall as well as lovely Spohr Gardens--an explosion of daffodils in the early spring.

If science is your thing--don't miss a trip to Woods Hole, home of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.  The scientists at WHOI conduct important research around the world and may be best know for their work with Alvin, the deep submergence vehicle used to survey the resting place of the RMS Titanic in 1986.  Woods Hole is also the home of the Woods Hole Science Aquarium operated by NOAA.

On the water in Woods Hole.
On the water in Woods Hole. Photo by John Fitts.

If you are into entertainment and the arts, check out the Falmouth Theatre Guild, the Woods Hole Theater Company and the Cape Cod Conservatory of Music and Arts.

Falmouth is home to some of the best annual events and festivals on the Cape.  There's the Barnstable County Fair in July, Holidays by the Sea in December (featuring the biggest small town parade in Southeastern New England), the Falmouth JazzFest in September and the Falmouth Road Race in August.

While in Falmouth take a free tour of Nobska Point Lighthouse.

Folks in Falmouth are also big baseball fans and show their pride in supporting their home team, the Falmouth Commodores of the Cape Cod Baseball League.

Town Information