Orleans is located at the “elbow” of Cape Cod where the peninsula points north. The Atlantic Ocean is to the east and Cape Cod Bay is
to the west. The town was incorporated in 1797, named for Louis Philippe Joseph, Duke of Orleans, to honor France’s allegiance during
the American Revolution.
- Total Area: 21.1 sq. miles
- Land Area: 14.2 sq. miles
- Population: 6,341
- Density: 447.3/sq mile
Orleans is dotted with bogs and ponds in the
western part of town, with many inlets, islands and harbors along the eastern coast of the town, including Town Cove, Nauset Harbor,
Pleasant Bay, and Little Pleasant Bay. Rock Harbor, bounded by and shared with the Town of Eastham, is located in the "crease" of the
inner elbow and provides boating access to Cape Cod Bay. Cape Cod National Seashore lies along the coast as well.
Orleans is the heart of Outer Cape Cod, home of the Cape Cod National Seashore, and is in the middle of the region known as the
Lower Cape. Harwich, Chatham and Brewster are to the south and south west; Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro and Provincetown comprise the
outer Cape to the north.