The area now known as Barnstable was first explored in 1602 by Bartholomew Gosnold. It was one of the first communities established in the Plymouth Colony and was officially incorporated in 1639. The town takes its name from Barnstaple in Devon, England. Once the town was founded, its residents made a living with the agriculture, salt works, and fishing industries. The town had over 800 ships in its harbor by the end of the 19th century, but the role of sailing ships declined with the arrival of both the railroad and steamships in 1854.
Historically, Barnstable was renowned as a tourist destination just as much in the late 19th century as it is today. The town contains several villages, including one named Barnstable, and features Cape Cod's airline hub and the islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. Significant sites include the John F. Kennedy Museum, the Gideon Hawley House, the Ancient Burying Ground, and many historic homes.
Whatever your reason for visiting Barnstable, it's essential to find the right hotel that allows you to explore everything this top-rated vacation destination has to offer.
When to Visit Barnstable, MA
The best time to visit Barnstable is from May to September when ocean temperatures are ideal for swimming. Average highs range from 63 degrees in May to 79 degrees in July, with temperatures rarely reaching above 90 degrees. Keep in mind, however, that early summer weather is unpredictable, and you may need to request a room with a fireplace. Even the first few weeks of June can be cold and rainy, so come prepared. If you don't mind the crowds, plan your trip for late June, July, or August to take full advantage of the outdoor recreation.
The Cape Cod area starts to cool off just after Labor Day. Best of all, the crowds start to disperse, and you're left with less traffic and changing leaves that make autumn one of the most magical times to visit. Although you'll need a light jacket or sweater, October provides the perfect weather for taking long hikes by the seashore. Since most of the tourists have left for the season, you can also take advantage of lower hotel rates.
Most visitors stay away from Barnstable during the winter months. Some towns and villages have experienced more than 100 inches of snow in any given winter, with the Cape experiencing surprise blizzards as late as April. If you're still set on visiting Barnstable from November through March, make sure to book refundable rooms and flights just to be on the safe side. The good news is you'll save quite a bit of money by traveling to Cape Cod in the offseason.
Spring is a wonderful time to visit Barnstable and surrounding communities, but don't expect to plunge into the Atlantic, as the ocean is too cold for swimming. Spring ushers in a variety of garden-themed festivals across the Cape and islands, including the Nantucket Daffodil Festival Weekend, Brewster in Bloom, and the Rhododendron Festival at Heritage Museum & Gardens. Although spring isn't the peak tourist season, you'll still want to book your room a few weeks in advance if you're visiting during one of these popular events.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Barnstable, MA:
Averate Rates by Star Rating
Below we've posted 3 graphs displaying average price patterns by star rating class in Barnstable, MA. Analyze these line graphs to evaluate the most cost effective time period to book in Barnstable for your upcoming travels.
Luxury Hotels in Barnstable, MA
4 Star Average Prices: $230.91
If you're looking for more upscale options in Barnstable, you're in luck, as many of the accommodations on Cape Cod are quite luxurious.
Indulge yourself at the Cape Codder Resort & Spa with its rejuvenating spa treatments and three-story water park. Families love the Pirate Cove Kiddie Play Pool as well as the massive indoor pool with retractable roof, multiple water slides, and a heated outdoor pool. Savor Italian cuisine and live entertainment at the Grand Cru on-site restaurant, or roast marshmallows by the evening fire pit. From pickleball courts to a state-of-the-art fitness room, and from the Gazebo Cafe to a kids' activity schedule, Cape Codder Resort & Spa offers everything you need to enjoy an indulgent stay.
Another upscale option worth considering is the Anchor In Distinctive Waterfront Lodging in Hyannis. Walk to the island ferries for a day trip to Martha's Vineyard, get recommendations from the concierge service, or lounge by the heated outdoor pool. The property features manicured landscaping and an extended pool deck with international flags flying to welcome visitors from across the world. Inside, the guest rooms are traditionally decorated with cottage-style furniture and feature all the modern amenities you need to enjoy your time spent by the water.
Another luxurious option in Hyannis is the Hyannis Harbor Hotel. Located across from Hyannis Harbor, this property offers a central location to area restaurants, shops, beaches, and attractions. The property boasts a nautical theme throughout with wide plank wood flooring, a stone fireplace, wall-mounted brass weather dials, and locally commissioned artwork. Dine in the hotel restaurant, The Bluewater Grille, and enjoy breathtaking views of the harbor. Guest rooms are decorated in nautically-inspired seafoam greens and blues with seagrass wall treatments and brass accents.
Affordable Hotels in Barnstable, MA
3 Star Average Prices: $169.42
Finding affordable accommodations in Barnstable is easier than you might think. You just need to remain flexible in your travel plans.
Knights Inn Centerville Cape Cod Area provides easy access to Route 6 and the ferry to Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. The roadside accommodation offers an on-site bar, business center, complimentary breakfast, and free Wi-Fi internet access. It isn't fancy, but guest rooms feature mini refrigerators, microwaves, cable TVs, ironing facilities, hair dryers, and glassware. Free parking is provided, and pets are welcome to stay with guests for a nominal fee.
Econo Lodge on Main Street in Yarmouth boasts free Wi-Fi, guest laundry facilities, a newsstand, a free continental breakfast, and copy and fax services, all within 1 mile of the ferry. Guest rooms are straightforward but inviting with mini fridges, irons, ironing boards, flat-panel TVs, microwaves, work desks, and stylish wood paneling. There's even an indoor swimming pool and hot tub with lounge chairs and patio tables.
2 Star Average Prices: $111.86
Barnstable: Real Discounts
If you're trying to save as much money as possible on your trip to Cape Cod, see if you qualify for a discount. Seniors, military families, government employees, and AAA members can all save an average of 15 percent off standard prices by booking the special rate and presenting proof of eligibility at check-in.
Seniors can save at Best Western Cape Cod Hotel in the heart of Hyannis. Amenities include a 24-hour fitness center, an indoor pool, a children's pool, a complimentary breakfast, and pet-friendly accommodations. Guest rooms are bright and modern with flat-screen TVs, work desks, coffee makers, and high-speed internet access.
Holiday Inn Cape Cod - Hyannis offers special rates to both military service members and government personnel. Conveniently located near the Cape Cod Baseball Hall of Fame, this hotel offers comfortable guest rooms with armchairs, ergonomic work areas, alarm clock radios, pillowtop mattresses, Keurig coffee makers, high-speed Wi-Fi, as well as optional fireplaces, separate sitting areas, and pullout sofas. Take advantage of the indoor heated pool, whirlpool, on-site business center with printer and copy services, fitness center, baggage hold, safety deposit box, and cocktail lounge.
AAA members can save at area hotels like Courtyard by Marriott Cape Cod Hyannis. This newly renovated property features a flexible lobby space, free Wi-Fi access, a bistro with breakfast and evening cocktails, a fitness center, and a beautiful indoor pool. The modern guest rooms feature flat-screen TVs, spacious work desks, crisp linens, fluffy pillows, couches, coffee makers, and complimentary toiletries.
Best Value Options in Barnstable, MA
The Barnstable area contains a variety of midrange hotels that promise even more value for your money.
Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Cape Cod Hyannis is a well-designed accommodation with all the amenities you could hope for. Enjoy a free hot breakfast each morning, complimentary high-speed internet access, an inviting lobby, and an indoor pool. Guest rooms are bright and airy with contemporary decor, downy blankets, 39-inch flat-screen LCD TVs, mini fridges, microwaves, and coffee makers.
DoubleTree by Hilton Cape Cod Hyannis provides upscale amenities without the resort price. You'll love the indoor and outdoor swimming pools, state-of-the-art fitness facilities, on-site bar, and cooked breakfast (available for an extra surcharge). There's also a fully equipped business center and flexible meeting space for corporate travelers. Stylish rooms and suites feature large work desks with ergonomic chairs, luxurious bathroom amenities, 42-inch flat-screen TVs, and tastefully appointed decor.
Top Museums Near Barnstable, MA
It wouldn't be a trip to Cape Cod without visiting the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum. This museum features interactive exhibitions like “Creating Camelot: The Kennedy Photography of Jacques Lowe,” which offers behind-the-scenes glimpses of the Kennedy family. Many artifacts focus on the years he spent living on Cape Cod.
You'll also want to stop by the Cape Cod Maritime Museum located at the head of Hyannis Harbor. Tours consist of learning how to tie slipknots, viewing boat-building tools, and learning the history of Cape Cod's lighthouses.
No matter how you look at it, Barnstable is the perfect destination for your next vacation. All you need to do is find the perfect hotel that meets your travel needs.