:: Cape Cod, MA - CJ
Station/Boat Location~
Woods Hole

Date there~

Perfect summers, amazing autumns, windy cold winters

Military facilities~
Sector and station in Woods Hole; air station in Bourne; several stations on the Cape including Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.

Falmouth and Hyannis have the 2 main hospitals on the cape. Falmouth has an ER and an excellent maternity ward. I had 1 of my 3 kids in Falmouth and it was practically spa-like with great care. Pediatric practices in Falmouth and Sandwich. Plenty of doctors on cape but often a long wait to see some specialists on cape (e.g., dermatology). Boston (1.5 hour drive) has Mass General and Children's Hospital. Overall, good medical care. Kahler clinic on the air station sees dependents with Tricare standard but not Tricare prime. Pharmacy on clinic is available to dependents - they will fill prescriptions for a list of drugs they carry at no cost.

Plenty of houses for sale and rent in Falmouth, Sandwich, and Bourne. On base housing on the air station as well. Many residents post their houses for rent on the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute website - a good resource. Also, many local residents also list their houses for rent with local realtors and not Craigslist. There is summer tourist car traffic but the "rush hour" is about noon when everyone decides to go out and get some lobster rolls and ice cream.
Getting serious - here are some things to consider if renting/buying a house on the economy: what beaches do you get a pass for?; how high is the heating bill (oil vs gas)?; what schools?; has the house been radon tested (there is naturally occurring radon in the soil)?; has the basement flooded?; does the town plow your road?

Regular grocery stores (with great home delivery options), a Wal-Mart in Falmouth, upscale outdoor shopping plaza in Mashpee (also the movie theatre), and a small exchange on the air station. In Hyannis, there's a medium sized mall, Sears, Home Depot, and mega bookstores. A brand new shopping plaza with Target, Lowes, Lands End and restaurants opened in 2009 just off Cape. Costco and Ikea are off Cape about an hour's drive away off Cape.

Child Care/Schools~
I can only report on the toddler scene. The air station has a CDC. My friends have been happy with the elementary schools in Falmouth. Mullen-Hall, Teaticket and North Falmouth were the most sought-after but that of course is subjective. Kindergartens are full time in Falmouth and Sandwich is in transition to full time (inquire). Lots of great preschools around. I was a parent at the Cape Cod Conservatory preschool and highly recommend it. FYI, Falmouth also has a cute toddler soccer program for about $25 and they play on field overlooking the sea so if you get tired of watching your toddler run in circles you can look out on Martha's Vineyard. The Children's Museum in Mashpee has programs. Falmouth has one high school and a private school. It is worth looking in to the status of charter schools in the area.

Adult Schools~
Cape Cod Community College in Hyannis.

Fun Activities~
Summer: Bike, swim and walk through the marsh at Woodneck Beach, eat lobster, take the ferry to Martha's Vineyard, pick berries at Coonamessett Farm. Fall - Winter: hike, get a permit to dig for clams and scallops, ice skate on frozen cranberry bogs, fly kites on the incredibly windy beaches, visit lighthouses, drive up to Vermont to ski, learn to curl, bring kids to hockey lessons at the ice arena, visit Boston because there is no traffic on the bridge, wait for spring. Spring: Spring? It's more like Winter Part II (that's a Garrison Keillor joke).

Homeport MA

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