Resources: Town of OrleansAdd to My Luxx Living
Orleans was settled in 1693 by Pilgrims. Originally the southern parish of neighboring Eastham, Orleans was officially incorporated in 1797 in honor of Louis Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, in recognition of France’s support for the 13 colonies during the American Revolution, and because the town did not want an English name, as they had been captured twice by the British during the war.
It was well known in the early 1900s for the French Cable Company, which built a 3,200-mile-long transatlantic cable to Orleans. Today, the French Cable Station is a museum along the Luxx Museum Trail.
Orleans is a vital retail and commercial hub for the Lower and Outer Cape, featuring Shaw’s and Stop n’ Shop supermarkets, a TJMaxx and Staples.
Rock Harbor is a very active sport fishing hub on Cape Cod Bay. Nauset Beach on the Atlantic side attracts tens of thousands of visitors and is the embarkation point for licensed off-road vehicles. Make sure to eat at Liam’s in the summer and ask for their fried onion rings.
Like so many towns in the Lower and Outer Cape, Orleans has a very large second home population, representing 46 percent of all households.
There are nearly 6,000 full-time residents. In the summer, however, the town explodes with 22,000 people.
Orleans has the oldest population not only on Cape Cod, but in Massachusetts with the average age exceeding 62. This creates an anomaly. The U.S. Census records average income at only $33,000. But that is because Orleans has many retirees, and while they may not have high salaried income, they derive significant wealth from investments, pensions and Social Security.
Beach Parking Stickers
Council on Aging
Lower Cape TV
Natural Resources Guide
Off-Road Vehicle Permits
Related PostsJanuary 19, 2015