Since 1914, Cape Cod has been separated from the mainland by the Cape Cod Canal.The canal cuts 17.5 miles (28.2 km) roughly across the base of the peninsula, though small portions of the Cape Cod towns of Bourne and Sandwich lie on the mainland side of the canal.The phrases Cape Cod and the Islands and the Cape and Islands are often used to describe the whole region of Barnstable County, Dukes County (including Martha's Vineyard and the smaller Elizabeth Islands), and Nantucket County.Several small islands right off Cape Cod, including Monomoy Island, Monomoscoy Island, Popponesset Island, and Seconsett Island, are also in Barnstable County.As defined by the Cape Cod Commission's enabling legislation, Cape Cod is conterminous with Barnstable County, Massachusetts.It extends from Provincetown in the northeast to Woods Hole in the southwest, and is bordered by Plymouth to the northwest.Cape territory is divided into fifteen towns with many villages.
These include the large nearby islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard which have grown in population by 6.8 percent and 10.3 percent, respectively, between 20 while the year-round population of Barnstable County dropped 3 percent according to the Census.
Both islands are also famous summer tourist destinations, commonly accessed by ferry from several locations on the cape.
Two highway bridges cross the Cape Cod Canal: the Sagamore Bridge and the Bourne Bridge.
In addition, the Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge carries railway freight and limited passenger services onto the Cape.
Cape Cod is a geographic cape extending into the Atlantic Ocean from the southeastern corner of mainland Massachusetts, in the northeastern United States.
Its historic, maritime character and ample beaches attract heavy tourism during the summer months.