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9/19/2017 2:28:20 PM


Overview - Beaches - Points of Interest - Schools - Chamber of Commerce - Orleans Lodging

Cape Cod Towns: 


Orleans is the last town before the Cape bends northward past its elbow and becomes less densely populated. Unique to the town are several historical connections to France dating back to Samuel de Champlain's charting of Nauset Harbor in 1604.

Orleans was named after Louis-Phillippe de Bourbon, duc d'Orleans. In 1879, the town was physically connected to France by an underwater telegraph cable that linked the U.S. to Europe. News of Lindbergh's landing in Paris and the German occupation of France in 1940 arrived first to America in Orleans. This site is now the French Cable Museum on Route 28 and Cove Road.

Its location on the Lower Cape has historically placed Orleans at risk during times of war. During the War of 1812, town militia played a part in repelling an invasion of British soldiers demanding $1,000 ransom. It was also the only place in the United States to be directly attacked during World War I, when a German submarine fired on commercial barges offshore, sinking four craft & striking land once.

Today, Orleans is most famous for its beaches and harbors. Nauset Beach is one of the Cape's finest, wide, sandy and almost ten miles long. A special section is reserved for off-road vehicles. Skaket Beach on Cape Cod Bay has less surf but offers warmer water for swimming.


  • Nauset Beach
  • Pleasant Bay Beach
  • Rock Harbor Beach
  • Skaket Beach

Points of Interest

  • Nauset Beach - From crashing chilly waves to its soft white sand, Nauset is one the best beaches on the East Coast. A day at Nauset can make a Cape Codder out of anyone. Panoramic ocean views, warm sand and the shrill cry of seagulls all keep visitors returning to this shoreline year after year. Traveling east, take a right on Main Street off Route 28 and follow the signs.
  • Skaket Beach/Rock Harbor - Calm waters and warm winds accent Skaket Beach as the gentle side of Orleans facing Cape Cod Bay. The beach is long and allows for extended walks on the flats at low tide. Adjacent to this is Rock Harbor, which moors numerous yachts and smaller craft along its granite dock. Located at the end of Rock Harbor Road.
  • Academy Playhouse - Originally built as a town hall in 1873, this building is now the Academy of Performing Arts theater. Musicals and comedies are performed throughout the year. Located on Main Street in East Orleans.
  • Eldridge Park - This park is a postcard of how baseball used to be - green grass, red clay diamond and dedicated fans. Sports Illustrated called Eldridge Park one of the best amateur baseball parks in the world. Many current Major League players once played here, including Red Sox MVP Mo Vaughn. Located on Route 28.
  • French Cable Museum - From just before the turn of the century until 1940 this building served as a cable outpost transmitting international news to France. Now a museum, it exhibits the same antique equipment. Located on Cove Road off Route 28.
  • Old Cemetery - This cemetery, located on the corner of Main Street and Route 6A, contains plots dating back to the first 17th Century Orleans settlers.
  • Town Cove - A (literally) hidden town treasure, this tranquil cove moors over 100 vessels at different times of the year. A beautiful scenic area, it is surrounded by affluent homes, yacht clubs and hotels. Located along Route 28 headed towards Chatham.
  • Orleans Elementary School Playground - This playground, constructed of sturdy pressure-treated wood, offers a fantastic time for kids of all ages. It sports swing sets, slides, and more. Located behind the Elementary School on Eldridge Parkway near on Route 6A.


  • Federated Church Nursery School
    162 Main Street, E. Orleans
  • Nauset Regional Middle School
    Route 28, Orleans

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