- Beaches - Points
of Interest - Schools - Chamber
of Commerce - Orleans Lodging
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
water for swimming.
- Pleasant Bay Beach
- Rock Harbor Beach
- Skaket Beach
- 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.
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
162 Main Street, E. Orleans
- Nauset Regional Middle School
Route 28, Orleans
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