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How to travel to the Kennedy Compound
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Photographs of The Kennedy Compound Hyannis Port

Last weekend we took our first trip to Cape Cod, despite the insistence by many of my friends to visit in the summer. The drive from Boston is roughly an hour and a half. More and more, I find myself falling in love with East Coast beaches, but I wasn’t prepared to experience this epic winter sunset over the Nantucket Sound. If so, I might have packed a few more rolls of film and a tripod.

One place that has been on my list for quite some time now is Hyannis Port, or the famed stretch of beach in Cape Cod that has long been home to the Kennedy Compound since 1926; a time when JFK was still a child. It’s incredible and rare today to have a family home dating back for nearly 100 years, but this home seemingly captures an era.

 The Kennedy Compound Address

The Kennedy Compound includes the homes at 50 Marchand Ave., 111 Irving Ave. and 28 Marchant Ave. in Hyannis Port, Mass. The zip code for all three addresses is 02601.

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Kennedy Family
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Growing up, I had a few female idols, one of which was Jackie Kennedy. She was so beautiful, so elegant, and so timeless. I like many have always held a fascination with the older Kennedy Family. In many respects, I feel their glamorous Camelot image was a well-crafted myth, but beautifully documented and inspiring nonetheless.

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Driving through Hyannis Port, at least in the winter, it’s quiet and empty. People come here to summer and they vacate in the winter. The streets look exactly like I envisioned and the homes are timeless and All-American.

You can’t really drive up to the front of the Kennedy Compound and I never actually expected to see it up close like I did.

Instead, we drove down a street that passed by 100 Marchant Avenue. I stopped, hopped out of my car, snapped a picture and went on my merry way.

Kennedy Compound
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100 Marchant Avenue

We pulled into an empty parking lot at the foot of the Nantucket Sound. The sun sets early around 4:30 PM, but all I wanted on this trip was to see the sun set from Hyannis Port Beach. We got out of our car, I zipped up my parka and walked down the empty beach. The sunlight was exquisite, painting the fence, the pier, and the brush. The Sound was soft and wintery cool, a pastel paradise.

I first came across this fence and photographed it for about five minutes on 120 film and my Leica
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I first came across this fence and photographed it for about five minutes on 120 film and with my digital rangefinder
This pier was stunning, with streaks of gold light painting the wood. I spent about another five minutes photographing this place.
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This pier was stunning, with streaks of gold light painting the wood. I spent about another five minutes photographing this.
Hyannis Port
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Nantucket Sound on a cool, crisp winters day.
The CEO of Gap owns this house and summers here in the winter. How do I know? Keep reading
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The CEO of Gap owns this house and summers here. How do I know? Keep reading!

The sun was setting behind the sparse beach cottages and illuminating the brush with golden highlights. I’ve seen pictures of the Kennedy home before so I knew this wasn’t it. But it was beautiful so I shot a few photos.

Meanwhile, a man with his two dogs walks by me and says, “the CEO of Gaps own this house, this is his summer home.” He pointed down the beach and said “that’s the Kennedy Home and that’s the house that Taylor Swift bought when she was dating one of the Kennedy boys. If you walk over to that bridge (in front of the Kennedy Compound), you can remove the chain and climb to the top. Just don’t cross the bridge.”

Here's the bridge, and right across it is the Kennedy Compound
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Here’s the beach access bridge connecting to the Kennedy Compound. I climbed to the top of it to shoot all my pictures.

I thanked him and felt fortunate to have found a local granting me permission to cross over the footbridge. But if not for this man, I would have certainly obeyed the rusted private property chained sign hanging over their wooden bridge.

Instead, I went up to the bridge, unhooked the sign and climbed up, still feeling somewhat sneaky. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring a tripod but I was still able to shoot most all my images with a small enough aperture suitable for decent landscape photographs and at minimum ISO 160. A tripod would have been nice for panorama shots, though. My handheld panorama shots didn’t turn out so great. It may take me awhile in Photoshop to fix them!!

The Kennedy Compound Location in Hyannis Port Cape Cod
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I’m not sure if anyone is summering there now. The classic flag pole was empty.
Love this
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Love this

The Kennedy Compound
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A shot down the beach as the sun was setting.  Look at those brilliant rays. My husband and his sister are the only ones on the beach.
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A shot down the beach as the sun was setting. My husband and his sister are the only ones on the beach. Look at those sun rays.
The sky in this direction was breathtaking. I watched the water turn this shade of pink.
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The sky in this direction was breathtaking. I absolutely love this photograph. I watched the water turn this brilliant shade of pink and the sky a perfect pastel.
Sunset in Hyannis Port Cape Cod
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Those are birds in the distance but they look like dust on my sensor because I diminished the image quality for this blog.
Sunset in Hyannis Port Cape Cod
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Silhouetting our gremlin

Kennedy Compound Location Hyannis Port
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Kennedy Compound Location Hyannis Port
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Hyannis Port Cape Cod
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Sunset in Hyannis Port
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Sunset in Hyannis Port
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Sunset in Hyannis Port
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Sunset in Hyannis Port
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God bless Kodachrome.
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God bless Kodachrome.

I for one will certainly be back in the summer. I fully intend on renting a beach cottage for about a week in Cape Cod or Hyannis Port. I can’t wait to return, this time with more film and a tripod.

Here’s more Kennedy Legacy Trail Tour Information. I do recommend a visit to The Kennedy Compound if you’re at all interested in history or the myth of Camelot. But make sure you catch the sunset!

Live Like A Kennedy

Book a Private Boat Charter in Cape Cod

Book a Fast Ferry From Boston to Cape Cod

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3 Comments

  1. Narisa Mellor
    May 27, 2018 at 10:32 am — Reply

    Hi Stephanie
    Love all your photos. Beautiful lines and outstanding colours. I love to photograph too (I’m not at your standard sadly) but we are heading to Cape Cod in early September. I would love to walk along this beach too but I’m just trying to figure out how to get there. Can you get past the private pier at the Hyannis Port Yacht club to continue walking along the beach towards the Kennedy compound? I just can’t tell from Google maps.
    Thanks for your time. Kind Regards Narisa Mellor

  2. Mai Ellen
    December 18, 2015 at 4:55 pm — Reply

    Your photos are wonderful. I had a home on the Cape for many years and have since moved away. I just love the Cape and miss it terribly. Glad you got to see this beautiful place.

    • December 18, 2015 at 8:34 pm — Reply

      Thank you, I can see why! I’m glad I got to see it too. What a beautiful place.

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