What is it like to live in Barnstable?

Location, Location, Location Cape Cod
Melissa McCarthy, Olivia McCarthy, 8, Grace Burke, 5, and Maeve McCarthy, 6, enjoy the sun at Millway Beach.
Melissa McCarthy, Olivia McCarthy, 8, Grace Burke, 5, and Maeve McCarthy, 6, enjoy the sun at Millway Beach. Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Alison Alessi and her husband, Jason Stoots, have been living in Barnstable since 2002, when they bought a small cottage behind her parents’ summer home south of Main Street in Hyannis.

She worked at an architectural firm in Chatham for years before branching out on her own and founding A3 Architects. Stoots has long been working in clean energy on the Cape and is principal of E2 Solar. They’re an energy-efficient couple, so to speak.

In 2015, seeking more land and quieter surroundings, they bought on the other side of town, in West Barnstable, going from the Cape’s most urban village to one of its most rural, mainly so Stoots could have more land for his gardens (they also went from one of the most seasonal villages to one of the most year-round). Barnstable consists of five other villages: Barnstable Village, Cotuit, Marstons Mills, Centerville, and Osterville (Hyannis Port, best known for the Kennedy compound, is part of Hyannis.)

Their two kids remained at Horace Mann Charter School in Hyannis despite the move, although their son started in the district-wide united elementary school (grades 4 and 5) last fall.

A3 Architects keeps busy with 10 to 15 projects a year. Most of them are on the Cape, but Alessi has worked with clients on the South Shore, as well as in Lincoln and Lexington. An alum of both Princeton and MIT, she is best known for energy-efficient designs and net-zero homes.

Alessi has branched out on a few public projects, including a redesign of the only hostel in Hyannis and an affordable-housing development in Harwich.

Both Alessi and Stoots are involved in the town: She is on the board at the local library; he recently became a volunteer firefighter. They are both avid fans of the Cape Cod Baseball League. Although they are no longer within walking distance to the Hyannis Harbor Hawks’ home field, they made a point to attend the season opener with their kids this year.

Alison Alessi and husband Jason Stoots of Barnstable. —Handout


$2 million+

The amount of Chapter 90 highway improvement money that may be used for a project to improve pedestrian safety and enhance the streetscape in historic Barnstable Village. The project could begin next spring.

About 600

The waiting list in 2015-16 to enroll in Sturgis Charter Public School, which consists of two campuses in Hyannis of about 400 students each. In 2014, The Washington Post rated Sturgis the No. 1 school in Massachusetts and put it in the top 100 nationwide.


The number of pints of each pilot brew produced and available only at Cape Cod Beer. The brewery’s Pilot System allows owners Todd and Beth Marcus to make small batches of fun, unusual beers. Some recents include Hoppy Cream Ale, Mostly Dark Rye IPA, Pilsner Never Dies, and 5 Rings IPL.




Barnstable is centrally located to all of Cape Cod. Barnstable Municipal Airport services Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Boston, and New York (seasonally). Ferries in Hyannis Harbor head to and from Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority buses cover the entire Cape, and the Peter Pan and Plymouth/Brockton lines connect to stations off-Cape.


Allocation of services

Barnstable includes Hyannis, the Cape’s commercial and cultural center, but this village is also home to many of the region’s human service agencies. Many attribute Hyannis’s homeless problem on the location of such services.


You want it? This community has it.

Barnstable is a microcosm of Cape living, with everything in one town, from ways to enjoy the water to historical appreciation to entertainment.

Scott Lajoie is a freelance writer on the Cape. He can be reached at [email protected]. Subscribe to our free real estate newsletter — our weekly digest on buying, selling, and design — at