Falmouth, the Cape's second-largest town, was settled in 1660. Today it is largely suburban, with a mix of old and new developments and a sizable year-round population. Many residents commute to other towns on the Cape, to southeastern Massachusetts, and even to Boston. The town has a quaint downtown area, with a typically old New England village green and a shop-lined Main Street. South of town center, Falmouth faces Nantucket Sound and has several often-crowded beaches popular with families. To the east, the Falmouth Heights neighborhood mixes inns, B&Bs, and private homes, nestled close together on residential streets leading to the sea. Bustling Grand Avenue, the main drag in Falmouth Heights, hugs the shore and the beach.
The village of Woods Hole, part of Falmouth, is home to several major scientific institutions—the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the U.S. Geological Survey's Branch of Marine Geology—and is a departure point for ferries to Martha's Vineyard.