Cape Cod features a unique geographical and geological history that allowed it to serve a myriad of purposes for the humans who populated it in the past and who enjoy it now. The current landmass emerged as the glaciers retreated tens of thousands of years ago. Covered with between 200 and 600 feet of glacial debris or drift and extending for many miles into the Atlantic, Cape Cod is suited to everything from fishing to farming to vacationing.
The Development of Cape Cod as the Perfect Summer Getaway
For centuries fishing and some form of agriculture were the primary activities, with shipping becoming prominent in the 18th and 19th-centuries. Rail lines extended into the area mid-19th century, and rail travel was available on the island of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. During later 19th-century, more people began to travel to Cape Cod and the islands for recreational purposes including sport fishing and other activities. The arts and artistic venues proliferated in areas like Provincetown.
Golf clubs, resorts, and camps became more common, growing along the railway corridors on the Cape during the late 19th and early 20th-century. Summer cottages, meeting grounds, and hotels appeared on the islands as well as the Cape. By the 1920s the building of bridges over the newly completed and still to be improved Canal encouraged motor traffic to the area. By the 1950s the construction of the Mid Cape Highway solidified access to Cape Cod, also served by several airfields.
It is no surprise that Cape Cod’s pleasant climate and its natural beauty continues to be attractive to 21st-century visitors. Residents of the Eastern Seaboard’s band of urban centers are joined by people from the rest of the United States and around the world to have made it one of the country’s preferred and upscales vacation and travel destinations.