Ocean breezes, warm water and relaxing beaches are just a few things for visitors to enjoy while staying in Falmouth. Once a major center for shipbuilding, whaling and agriculture, Falmouth is now a key departure and connecting point for ferries headed to Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. The Falmouth Historical Society Museum features manicured gardens and two housesthe Julia Wood House and the Conant Housethat contain a variety of period furnishings and historic items. Many opportunities for recreation are also based out of Falmouth, including deep sea fishing, kayaking and canoeing. West of Falmouth is South Cape Beach State Park, which features over a mile of white sand beach, walking trails and interpretive programs in the summer. A tradition for over 130 years, Barnstable County Fair is an annual summer event with livestock shows, arts and crafts displays, a family circus, live music, amusement rides and more.

Information on Falmouth

Falmouth lies on the southwestern tip of Cape Cod. It is bordered by Bourne and Sandwich to the north, Mashpee to the east, Vineyard Sound to the south, and Buzzards Bay to the west. At its closest point, Falmouth is approximately 560 yards (510 m) from Nonamesset Island, the easternmost island of the town of Gosnold and the Elizabeth Islands. It is also approximately 3-1/3 miles north-northwest of Martha's Vineyard, the closest land to the island. Falmouth is approximately fourteen miles south of the Bourne Bridge, twenty miles (32 km) west of Barnstable, and seventy miles south-southeast of Boston.

Falmouth is a town in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, United States; Barnstable County is coextensive with Cape Cod. The population was 32,660 at the 2000 census. Today Falmouth is well known as the terminal for the Steamship Authority ferries to Martha's Vineyard and as the home of several scientific organizations such as the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, WHOI, The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) and the Woods Hole Research Center, WHRC.

Falmouth's topography is similar to the rest of Cape Cod's, with many small ponds, creeks and inlets surrounded by the pines and oaks of the Cape and often rocky beachfront. Falmouth's southern shore is notable for a series of ponds and rivers spaced very closely together, all of which travel some distance into the town. These include, from west to east, Falmouth Inner Harbor, Little Pond, Great Pond (which leads to the Dexter and Coonamessett Rivers), Green Pond, Bourne's Pond, Eel Pond (which leads to Childs River), and Waquoit Bay, which lies along the Mashpee town line.

A Brief History

Falmouth was first settled by English colonists in 1660 and was officially incorporated in 1686, and named by Bartholomew Gosnold for Falmouth, Cornwall, England, his home port. Early principal activities were farming, salt works, whaling, shipping, and sheep. Sheep husbandry was very popular due to the introduction of Merino sheep and the beginnings of water-powered mills that could process the wool. In 1837, Falmouth averaged about 50 sheep per sq. mile.

Falmouth saw brief action in the War of 1812 when the area around Falmouth Heights, on its southern coast, was bombarded by several British frigates and ships of the line, and Massachusetts militia hastily entrenched themselves on the beaches to repulse a possible British landing which never came. By 1872 the train had come to Falmouth and Woods Hole and some of the first summer homes were established. By the late 1800s cranberries were being cultivated and strawberries were being raised for the Boston market. Large scale dairying was tried in the early 1900s in interior regions. After the improvement in highways, and thanks in part to the heavy use of neighboring Otis Air National Guard Base during WWII, population growth increased significantly. There were large home building booms in the 1970s followed by others in the 1980s and 1990s.

It is the birthplace in 1859 of Katharine Lee Bates, author, poet, and lyricist of America the Beautiful.

Robert Manry sailed from Falmouth in 1965 aboard his 13.5 foot (4 m) sailboat reaching Falmouth, England 78 days later.

Falmouth is a beautiful place, but if you wanted to go more inland and Appalachia you could visit the Hocking Hills in Ohio.  The Hocking Hills are surrounded by state parks and forests. There are plenty of activities to do including: hiking, fishing, rock climbing, zip lining, horseback riding, camping, atv riding, and canoeing.  For more information on the area and where to stay, visit Hockinghills.com.

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