The John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum remembers the life of one of Cape Cod's most famous residents, the 35th President of the United States. Covering the years 1934 to 1963, it has lots of family photographs and videos that show the strong links to Hyannis.
Cape Cod – Been There

JFK is still a Cape Cod tourist magnet

Photo by Jeff Greenberg

Cape Cod – Been There JFK is still a Cape Cod tourist magnet

Jim Gould, official historian of the village of Cotuit, knows who is the most famous of the many visitors to Cape Cod. “Kennedy,” he says.

Michael Schuman
Michael Schuman

Jim, a 90-year old professor with a head full of grey, tousled hair, sits behind a computer in an office bulging with an eclectic collection of books, many about the area. “The most common misconception of Cape history is to focus exclusively on the Kennedy heritage. But JFK is still the major tourist attraction.”

That said, it is surprising there is not a lot for those visitors who want to delve deep into the Kennedy Cape Cod legacy. The only attraction open to the public directly associated with the political dynasty is downtown Hyannis’s John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum. About 80 vintage photographs make up the gist of the displays and as I study them, they all depict memories of those days of Camelot a half-century ago.

I ask visitors which are their favorite photos. Despite many images showing the president at work, most favor family-oriented ones: John and Jackie relaxing on the expansive Kennedy Compound lawn; the president and his son, John Jr., leaving a Hyannisport candy store; and the extended family sailing on Cape Cod Bay. There is also a shot of JFK’s daughter, Caroline, about age six, mugging for the camera alongside first cousin Maria Shriver, future newscaster and (now former) wife of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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