10 Things to Know Before Moving to Cape Cod


Cape Cod is located on a peninsula in Massachusetts and is home to roughly 229,000 individuals. While most people see this as a vacation town, Cape Cod is a beautiful place to live full-time. With sunny weather and plenty of outdoor activities to keep you active, this coastal town provides something for everyone. However, if you’re thinking about relocating to Cape Cod, there are a few things to keep in mind. For more information, consider the following 10 things to know before moving to Cape Cod.

1. There Are 15 Different Towns

Many people assume that Cape Cod, MA is just one big town, but that’s not the case. In fact, there are 15 different towns throughout the area. While each town has its own advantages, the region maintains a larger community across them all. The towns of Cape Cod include the following:

  • Yarmouth
  • Brewster
  • Bourne
  • Falmouth
  • Sandwich
  • Mashpee
  • Barnstable
  • Dennis
  • Chatham
  • Orleans
  • Eastham
  • Harwich
  • Wellfleet
  • Truro
  • Provincetown

The Cape Cod region is also home to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Each town has different landmarks and lifestyles, and residents across the area are serious about the distinctions between each. If you plan on moving here, try to visit a few different towns to find which one you like most.

2. Off-Season Can Get Cold

Cape Cod is well known for its beautiful summers and sunny weather, but if you plan to live there full-time you should be prepared for off-season. Off-season (winter) can have unpredictable weather with temperatures ranging between 25- and 40-degrees Fahrenheit. It even snows sometimes! To make sure you’re prepared, don’t forget to pack your cold weather clothes, boots, and even a winter coat.

3. Tourism is High

Cape Cod has been a tourist destination since the 19th century. Today, during tourist season, the population of Cape Cod nearly doubles. This is great for local businesses, but it also means that there will be bigger crowds during the summer. If you’re not a fan of navigating throngs of tourists, make sure you opt for a town that’s a little more off the beaten trail for visitors. There are plenty of options and Cape Cod is beautiful even in the off season, so it’s worth looking into. Plus, if you’re coming from a big city like Chicago or New York, the number of tourists present may even decrease

4. Small Businesses Dominate the Local Economy

One of the most charming aspects about Cape Cod is that its economy is fueled by small, locally owned businesses. In fact, about 63% to 85% of employment stems from small businesses in the area. Moving to Cape Cod can provide you with a great opportunity to become an entrepreneur and enjoy all of the benefits of owning and operating a local business.

5. Many Executives Commute

One of the biggest non-tourism related job markets in Cape Cod is healthcare. It’s an extremely in-demand market and the salaries reflect this. Construction workers will also find work easily in Cape Cod. Since a lot of business is fueled by tourism, seasonal jobs are common. However, if you’re an executive working for a bigger corporation, you’ll likely need to commute to surrounding cities. The focus on small businesses in Cape Cod means there’s not as many high rises or executive suites. Therefore, if you work for a larger corporation, you may have to commute to Boston or Providence. If you’re relocating for work, make sure you test out the commute to different areas to get a feel for what your daily drive would be.

6. Neighborhoods Impact Lifestyle

You can settle in any of the 15 towns throughout the Cape Cod region, but make sure you do your research before committing. Real estate in Cape Cod can be expensive, but there are also several affordable communities. It really depends on where you plan to settle. The most budget-friendly towns include Dennis and Barnstable. If you’re looking to retire to Cape Cod, some of the best areas include Falmouth, Chatham, and Yarmouth. Families tend to migrate towards Yarmouth and Sandwich, while millenniums and younger individuals tend to live in Barnstable. If you want to ensure that your child has access to good schools, don’t worry. There are ten public schools, 17 private schools, and a few charter schools to choose from. The cost of living also varies throughout towns but is a bit higher than the national average. Check into various real estate prices for each town to find something that fits your budget.

7. Fresh Seafood is in Abundance

This region of the U.S. is well-known for its fresh seafood. Whether you’re craving a lobster roll, fresh oysters, clams, or scallops, there’s no shortage of options in Cape Cod. Some of the most highly rated seafood stops in the area include Captain Parker’s Pub, Skipper Chowder House, and Arnold’s Lobster & Clam Bar. If you’re not a huge fan of seafood, you might be after moving. However, there are still tons of other options for you to choose from as well.

8. Cape Cod is Historical

Cape Cod has origins tracing all the way back to the 1600s. It was discovered in 1602 by Bartholomew Gosnold and in 1620 pilgrims arrived in this coastal town prior to settling in Plymouth. Today, the unique style of architecture remains and many of the recently constructed homes resemble a traditional New England style. Some of the homes are even up to 200 years old! If you’re not willing to put in the maintenance required to take care of these types of older properties, make sure you opt for something built in this century.

9. It’s Surrounded by Nature

There’s no shortage of pristine landscapes and beautiful nature reserves in Cape Cod. If you’re an outdoors person, this region provides the perfect complement for your lifestyle. Since the weather remains relatively warm—especially compared to other cities in the U.S.—you’ll be able to enjoy nature all year long. In addition to the abundance of hiking trails available, Cape Cod is also extremely bike friendly and has many cycling paths for those who care to use them. If you need a break from exploring outside, you can sign up for an art class, history class, choir, or other social activity that helps you tap into your inner creativity.

10. Abundance of Seaside Activities

One of the biggest allures of visiting Cape Cod is the white-sand beaches that surround the peninsula, but there’s more to do besides sunbathe. Kayaking is a popular activity by locals in the region and there are several companies who offer daily boat trips. During the right time of year, you may even spot a few whales. However, when you want to relax, make sure to check out a few of the most notable beaches in Cape Cod, which include:

  • Marconi Beach
  • Mayflower Beach
  • Race Point Beach
  • Cape Cod National Seashore
  • West Dennis Beach

When you’re looking to add some variety to your recreation, there are several family friendly amusement parks, museums, historical sites, and shopping. You also have access to plenty of nearby day trips or weekend vacations. Although Cape Cod is on a peninsula, major roadways and public transportation make it easy to get around and see the region.

If you’re thinking about moving to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, take the time to do your research and explore different neighborhoods. While relatively small, each town provides something different, and the price of real estate varies across them all. To help support your transition, The Lock Up Self Storage offers convenient temperature controlled self-storage in Cape Cod, MA. We also provide free moving trucks to new renters, so you can easily transport your belongings into your unit. Our flexible leasing options allow you to store your things in short-term self-storage to help facilitate your move. Once you’re settled, you can transition into a long-term lease to help store unused items and keep your home clutter free. We offer a variety of sizes of self-storage units in Cape Cod, all of which are protected by our security features. You can reach our Cape Cod, MA facility at (508) 394-4944, or call our mainline to inquire about different locations and availability at (866) 327-LOCK. Contact us today to begin preparing for your move to beautiful Massachusetts!