Points of Interest
French Cable Station Museum, Jonathan Young Windmill, Rock Harbor charter boat fleet & sunsets.
Orleans is a beautiful town characterized by contrasts--while it's the unofficial business center of the Lower Cape, containing the all necessities of life, it's also a mecca for nature lovers. It's the starting point of world-famous Nauset Beach--known for its unique topography and dramatic weather events. It is also home to Rock Harbor on the bay side, not to be missed for its sunsets and fishing boats. Birdwatchers will enjoy the over 300 different species seen in Orleans every year, in places like Nauset Marsh & Beach, Pochet Island, and Skaket Beach. While Orleans can certainly be described as traditional small-town USA, the downtown area contains some offbeat stores and restaurants, and has a faintly Bohemian flavor which signals Orleans as the true beginning of the Lower Cape.
Orleans (pop.5,754) was incorporated in 1797. During the early 1800's the main industries were farming, fishing, whaling and salt making. The windmills that remain on the Cape are a testimony to the saltworks days-- they were used to pump salt water into shallow vaults for evaporation. Orleans' Jonathan Young Windmill is located on Route 28.
- Nauset Beach: at end of Main Street in East Orleans. On the ocean side has big waves good for body surfing.
- Skaket Beach: West Road off Route 6A Pilgrim Lake: Monument Road off Main Street in East Orleans. On Cape Cod Bay and at low tide you can walk out a mile, plus there are many ponds in town.
- Christian Science Reading Room, Orleans Shopping Plaza: 508-255-1948
- Church of the Holy Spirit, Monument Road: 508-255-0433
- Community of Jesus, Rock Harbor Road: 508-255-1094
- Federated Church, Main Street: 508-255-3060
- St. Joan of Arc, Canal Road: 508-255-0170
- United Methodist, Main Street: 508-255-0622
- The French Cable Station Museum. A history of early communications and the telegraph. Cove Road & Route 28: 508-255-0343
- Orleans Historical Society, 3 River Road: 508-240-1329
- Snow Library, Main Street & Route 28: 508-240-3760
Cape Cod Town Menu