Cape Cod is a 65-mile (105-km) long peninsula of Massachusetts that is a popular East Coast summer vacation area.
It’s easy to find on maps because of the distinctive hook at its far end.
It was originally named Pallavisino by the first European to spot it, the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazano, in 1524.
In 1602, the English explorer Bartholomew Gosnold stumbled on it while searching for a shortcut to Asia. He renamed it Cape Cod because of the abundance of huge cod fish in its waters.
Cod became extremely important to the New England economy for several hundred years.
In recent decades, though, overfishing has greatly reduced the number of cod in the Atlantic.
Beaches facing protected Cape Cod Bay have calm waters offshore; fierce ocean waves pound the shores facing the Atlantic.