Cape Cod is a hook-shaped peninsula on the coast of Massachusetts. It received its name because of the codfish caught off its shores. Cape Cod Bay lies in the hooked arm of Cape Cod. The islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket are just south of the cape.
Cape Cod is about 65 miles (105 kilometers) long and from 1 to 20 miles (1.6 to 32 kilometers) wide. It covers Barnstable County.Barnstable is the county seat. Sandy beaches, sailing opportunities, and the beautiful landscape of Cape Cod National Seashore help make the cape a popular tourist area. Popular places to visit on the cape include Hyannis and Provincetown.
The Englishman Bartholomew Gosnold is usually credited as the first European to sight Cape Cod. Gosnold sailed around the cape in 1602.Some historians believe that Basque and Norse fishing crews visited the cape long before Gosnold’s voyage. Cape Cod was a center of the whaling industry in the 1800′s.