Hyannis Port is best known for its association with the Kennedy family. A small residential village on Cape Cod's Hyannis Harbor, it was where the family spent the majority of their time in the summers. The famed Kennedy Compound is the main landmark, and due to the fact that other Kennedy family residences also call Hyannis Port home, it has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Hyannis Port's link to the Kennedy's started back in 1926. This was the year that patriarch Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. began renting a cottage on the grounds. Three years later, Joseph P. had the 1904 cottage enlarged, and he also took to remodeling the structure. The Kennedy family spent their summers in and around the compound, and this helped to inspire the children's lifelong love of sailing. It should be noted that Hyannis Harbor is the largest recreational boating destination in Cape Cod.
In 1956, John F. Kennedy bought a home of his own near the main Kennedy home in Hyannis Port, and not long after that, his brother Robert F. Kennedy acquired his own abode. All three structures are typical of Cape Cod vacation residences, and as you might imagine, they are major tourist attractions. Unfortunately, none of the three are open to the public, though it is possible to take them in from various vantage points while enjoying a tour of the Hyannis Port Historic District and Hyannis Port in general.
The Hyannis Port Historic District basically entails the Kennedy Compound, which includes the former homes of President John F. Kennedy, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and other Kennedy family members. In more recent times, rumors have been swirling in relation to the district's conversion into a museum/memorial site/education center. This was the wish of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, who passed away at the Kennedy Compound in 2009. Edward M. Kennedy, as you might well know, was involved in a famous car accident on Martha Vineyard's Chappaquiddick Island. This accident, which left one person dead, occurred in 1969 and only helped to bring attention to the Kennedy family's link to the general region.
The best way to see the Kennedy Compound, and especially the main compound home, is to take a Hyannis Harbor boat tour. These tours highlight the district and offer some great views of the main home.
After taking one of these tours, Hyannis Port visitors might venture over to Veterans Beach, which is found on Hyannis Harbor and close to the Kennedy Compound. Coincidentally, this beach is adjacent to the Kennedy Memorial, which also deserves a look while in the area. The memorial honors the former President's time in town, as does the JFK Hyannis Museum at the Old Town Hall on Hyannis's Main Street.
Due to its historic appeal and its charm, Hyannis Port is very popular with Cape Cod tourists. A number of hotels call nearby Hyannis home, and they can make excellent bases near the neighborhood. Visitors with an interest in the Kennedy's and Hyannis Port in general might also consider staying in the neighborhood itself. Both the Simmons Homestead Inn at 288 Scudder Avenue and the Captain's Choice B&B at 212 Greenwood Avenue provide great accommodation options in Hyannis Port proper.