Referred to by locals as the capital of the Cape, Hyannis is the commercial and transportation hub of Cape Cod. Home to the peninsula's primary airport and a working harbor, the community also boasts the highest concentration of businesses, shops, hotels, restaurants, and entertainment on the Cape. Hyannis event venues include the JFK Hyannis Museum, where native son President John F. Kennedy is honored. Visitors can also get a glimpse of the renowned Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port on a harbor cruise, or learn more while taking the Kennedy Legacy Trail.
The community's meeting hotels are only a few minutes from the new Barnstable Municipal Airport, which is located in the center of Hyannis. Two major airports also serve Hyannis-bound meeting delegates: Boston's Logan Airport and T.F. Green Airport in Providence, RI, both of which are a 1.5-hour drive from the peninsula. In Hyannis, the Inner Harbor area has the $40-million Barnstable Municipal Airport, opened on the site of the former Hyannis Municipal Airport.
Cape Air flies between Barnstable Municipal Airport and Boston, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket year-round. Two other airlines fly to Nantucket: Island Airlines and Nantucket Airlines. JetBlue provides seasonal service to and from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
There are no convention venues in Hyannis, so hotels are where meetings take place. The meetings-friendly hotel venues in Hyannis include the 232-room Resort & Conference Center at Hyannis, which has 30,000 square feet of meeting space; the 260-room Cape Codder Resort & Spa, which offers 18,000 square feet of meeting space; the 160-room DoubleTree by Hilton Cape Cod Hyannis (formerly Radisson), which offers 13,000 feet of meeting space; and the 196-room Holiday Inn, Cape Cod-Hyannis, which has 6,000 square feet of meeting space.
Two hotels on the edge of Hyannis that are particularly popular with meeting groups are the 136-room Hampton Inn & Suites Cape Cod, which can accommodate up to 80 people; and the 263-room Sea Crest Beach Hotel, which has Cape Cod's only large conference facility located directly on the water. The Sea Crest offers 30,000 square feet of function space that can handle up to 1,000 people for a meeting, 650 for a banquet, and events on the beach for up to 150.
There are a number of special event venues located right in Hyannis, or beginning there. The wine cellar, set on the lower level of The Naked Oyster Bistro & Raw Bar, offers a hip, secluded setting for a party of up to 20 people, while up to 50 people can be accommodated at Hy-Line Cruises' The Harbour Room, which offers a 360-degree view of the harbor and activity along the Ocean Street docks. Hyannis-based Cape Cod Central Railroad can handle a dinner for up to 175 people as the train traverses the peninsula (May through October); and on the water, Hy-Line Cruises offers charters of various-sized vessels.
There are more than 100 restaurants within a five-mile radius of downtown Hyannis, including several directly on the harbor. Many of these restaurants offer live music, from classic rock to jazz, and a good number offer private function rooms for groups from 15 to 150 people. For a fun way to eat your way through the historic town, a pizza tour can include a handful of the dozen such local eateries, ending at acclaimed Four Seas Ice Cream. For a more sophisticated take on local cuisine, there is The Paddock, a local landmark that is known for its antique wood interior and use of native seafood and other local ingredients, and The Naked Oyster, which has partnerships with local fishermen and a local oyster farm to ensure the freshest seafood.