It was England's Bartholomew Gosnold who gave the Cape its name after the plentiful cod he found here in 1602. And of course, everyone knows that in 1620 the Pilgrims landed here first before they decided to go on to Plymouth to settle. More than 400 years later, visitors increase the population two and sometimes three times in the summer. Not bad for a glacial deposit formed in the last Ice Age.
But it was due to this geological formation that the peninsula that was Cape Cod has its distinct form in the shape of a hook, jutting farther out than any other part of the U.S. on the Atlantic Ocean. It is 64 miles long in total and its width varies from one to 16 miles. In Chatham, the land bends and extends northward for over 20 miles.
With the completion of the Cape Cod Canal in 1914, Cape Cod became a bridged island, surrounded by the waters of Buzzard's Bay to the west, Nantucket and Vineyard sounds to the south, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and Cape Cod Bay to the north.
Where to Stay on Cape Cod: Hotels, Inns and Resorts
Where to Dine on Cape Cod: Restaurants
What to Do on Cape Cod: Golf, Fishing, Beaches and More