Hyannis is the largest of seven villages in Barnstable, Massachusetts. Also it is the commercial and transportation hub of Cape Cod and was designated an urban area as a result of the 1990 census. Because of this, many refer to Hyannis as the "Capital of the Cape". It contains the Barnstable city offices and two important shopping districts, the historic downtown Main Street and the Route 132 commercial district, including Cape Cod Mall and Cape Cod Potato Chips.
Hyannis is an important tourist destination and the primary ferry boat and general aviation link for passengers and freight to Nantucket Island. Hyannis provides secondary passenger access to the island of Martha's Vineyard. Due to its large natural harbor, Hyannis is the largest recreational boating and second largest commercial fishing port on Cape Cod.
The JFK Hyannis Museum in the old Town Hall on Main St. focuses on John F. Kennedy's time spent in the town. There is a memorial to President Kennedy on the Lewis Bay waterfront that was erected by Barnstable citizens in 1966. The memorial includes a fountain and a field-stone monument with the presidential seal and JFK inscription: "I believe it is important that this country sail and not sit still in the harbor". President-elect John F. Kennedy gave his victory speech on November 9, 1960 at the former Hyannis Armory, which is in the National Register of Historic Places.