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Peninsula, eastern Massachusetts, U.S. Some 65 mi (105 km) long and 1–20 mi (2–32 km) wide, it touches Buzzards Bay and extends into the Atlantic Ocean in a wide curve, enclosing Cape Cod Bay. The Cape Cod Canal, cutting across the base of the peninsula, forms part of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. Named by an English explorer who visited its shores in 1602 and took aboard a great store of codfish, Cape Cod was the site, near Provincetown, of the Pilgrims' landing in 1620. Extending into the warm Gulf Stream, it has coastal towns and villages that become densely populated resorts in summer. In the 19th century Provincetown was an active whaling port. The cape's northern hook was designated the Cape Cod National Seashore in 1961.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Cape Cod, visit Britannica.com.