Orleans Information


The Town of Orleans, incorporated in 1797, is a resort community on the outer Cape whose European history begins in 1642 with the first permanent settlement established by Nicholas Snow and his family. Settlers had purchased rights to the town from Mattaguason,sachem of the Manamoyick Indians. The Colonial economy was built on agriculture, especially corn, rye and wheat, plus the growing of hay and vegetables. In the 18th century, commercial fishing and shellfishing supplemented local incomes and residents worked on herring boats and went after whales. By the 19th century, coastal packets from Boston were being serviced and several windmills created power resources in the town, but residents heaviest reliance was on cod and mackerel fishing. Lifelong residents recall that in those days, the very old and the very young farmed, while all the able-bodied men fished. Fishing in Orleans declined as competition from larger boats and larger ports grew, but the town had established a commercial importance on the Cape as a market center for other communities, that continues into the 20th century. Small businesses, like the Mayo Duck Farm that produced 50,000 ducklings in 1918 were welcomed by the town, but the major modern change in Orleans was spurred by the impact of summer development. This resort home development, which accelerated between 1915 and 1940 and still continues, has had the greatest effect on the town and in turn has supported increasing commercial development along Route 6.

Town Location

Southeastern Massachusetts, at the elbow of Cape Cod. Bordered by Eastham on the north, the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Chatham and Harwich on the south, and Brewster and Cape Cod Bay on the west. Orleans is about 22 miles from Hyannis; 88 miles southeast of Boston; 93 miles east of Providence, Rhode Island; and 270 miles from New York City. Town offices are located at 19 School Road, Orleans, MA 02653. The main number is 508-240-3700.

Name Address Telephone Town/Village Description
Academy of Performing Arts 120 Main Street 508-255-1963 Orleans No Description Available
Arey's Pond Boat Yard   (508) 255-0994 Orleans  
Bird Watchers General Store 36 Rt 6A (508) 255-6974 Orleans  
Bird Watching in Orleans     Orleans If you are one of an ever-expanding group who finds experiencing nature rewarding, then a few hours spent bird watching in Orleans will be time well spent.
Blue Claw Boat Tours   508-240-5783 Orleans An adventure for the whole family! The only seal tour company cruising from Orleans thru Pleasant Bay to Chatham. Offering Seal, Wildlife, History
Cape Escape Adventures 14 Canal Road 508-240-1791 Orleans Located in Orleans, on the lower Cape, Cape Escape Adventures offeres a wonderful time for the entire family. Whether is a round of miniature golf on their spectacular course, or taking renting a bike for a glorious ride on the Rail trail, Cape Escape Adventures is truyly a Cape Cod adventure.
Captain Cook Sport Fishing Rock Harbor 508-958-5141 Orleans sportfishing
Charles Moore Arena 23 O'Connor's Way 508-255-5902 Orleans Figure skating, lessons, rock nite, freestyles, birtyday parties
Denya World Music Fiddler 16 Herringbrook Way (508) 255-5090 Orleans  
Explore Cape Cod Kayak Tours PO Box 651 (508) 240-1211 Orleans