Located in the northwest part of the town, West Barnstable is mostly residential and historic. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries a number of Finnish immigrants settled here, and, to this day, the eastern side of the village is known as “Finn Town”, while the area near the West Barnstable Train Station is known as “Shark City” reputedly because of the card sharks who hung out there.
The small village center falls between Route 6A and Route 6 along Route 149. The village includes the 300-year-old 1717 Meetinghouse, Whelden Library, Meeting House Farm, and the West Barnstable Train Station. Cape Cod Community College and the Cape Cod Conservatory of Music, Art, Drama & Dance are also part of the village.
West Barnstable is home to the largest beach in the Town of Barnstable, Sandy Neck Beach. Thousands of years have allowed this barrier beach to develop into 4,700 acres of dunes, maritime forests, and marshes. It is a living museum, exhibiting dynamic landscapes rich with ecological activity and recreational opportunities.
Each year thousands of visitors are attracted to Sandy Neck to soak up the sunshine, swim, and beach comb as they witness the power of the ocean. While extremely satisfying, these activities represent a fraction of the possibilities for any visitor seeking to enjoy a quality outdoor experience.
Because of its significant natural resources, including multiple endangered species, Sandy Neck has been recognized by the state of Massachusetts as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern. In addition, Sandy Neck is designated as a Cultural-Historical District because of the many antique dune shacks and cottages, including the Sandy Neck Lighthouse.