Visit Beautiful Cape Cod in the Fall, 2024

visit Cape Cod in the fall

New England Falls are some of the best in the entire county. If you want an excellent autumn getaway, visit Cape Cod in the Fall for an unforgettable vacation. Whether it is a family trip or a romantic getaway, I’d start booking it now!

There are several great reasons to see the Cape in the shoulder season. For instance, there are fewer crowds compared to the high summer season, where New England families descend on the beach communities. Once Labor Day hits, school starts, and these communities quiet, which makes it the ideal time to visit.

Also, the temperatures start to cool, but not miserably. You’ll discover cool and crisp mornings that can warm during the day. The cooler temps are ideal for outdoor activities and soaking in Cape Cod Foliage.

🚨🚨Short on time? Book my favorite boutique hotel on the Cape, The Greyfinch Inn.🚨🚨

Top Fall Activities on the Cape

The weather will vary during this season. For instance, early September will be much warmer than early November, but there’s something for each month to experience. Crowds are much lower but will peak around Columbus Day.

Cape Cod National Seashore

Cape Cod National Seashore

The Cape Cod National Seashore is a magnificent site on the eastern side of the cape, running from Chatham to Provincetown. There are several entry points; you will need a pass if you go during the day. We visited late one afternoon and were able to get in without a pass, but it was pure luck. 

The national seashore is stunning, and fall is the perfect time for a leisurely walk on the beach without the heat. This is one of the reasons traveling on the shoulder season is truly the best. The seashore is known for its beautiful beaches. 

In the northern part of the park, there are impressive sand dunes that are simply breathtaking.

Cape Cod National Seashore

Yarmouth Seaside Festival

Check out the Yarmouth Seaside Festival, the perfect outdoor outing if visiting in early October. Guests of all ages will enjoy this event. The festival has craft booths, food vendors, kayaking and canoe races, a 5k, and a family chalk fest. 

On Saturday of the festival weekend, there’s a wide range of fun activities. Guests can choose between pumpkin carving, pie-eating contests, and a beach bonfire. If you are traveling with kids, you must attend this event!

beach bonfire is a fun fall activity

Cape Cod Brew Fest

You can explore a massive beer festival at the Cape Cod Fairgrounds in late September. You can sample from over 50 local breweries.  The festival is usually on one of the last Saturdays in the month from 2-5 pm, and you must have a ticket. There’s a discounted ticket for designated drivers, but all guests must be 21 or older.

Wellfleet Oysterfest

In mid-October, Wellfleet hosts an Oysterfest. The purpose of the event is to educate and celebrate Wellfleet shellfish. You must purchase tickets for each guest, and no dogs are allowed. Kids 12 & under are free!

try a Cape Cod Oyster

Coonamessett Farm

Located in East Falmouth, Coonamessett Farm allows guests to pick fresh produce. In September, the you-pick options include blackberries and winter squash. In October, they include leeks, beets, carrots and pumpkins.

On weekends in October, the farm hosts Harvest Weekends for guests to participate in hayrides and pumpkin picking. 

Bourne Farm

Also, in Falmouth, you can explore Bourne Farm, a salt pond bird sanctuary. If you travel with your pets, you’ll enjoy a leisurely walk through the property. 

On a Saturday in early October, they host a pumpkin picking day, the perfect fall family activity.

Cape Cod Museum of Natural History

Looking for a fun activity open throughout this time of year? Visit the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster. Their exhibits include a nature scape gallery and an aquarium. You can participate in guided tours of the property or explore yourself. 

In the fall months, there are activities at the butterfly house, guided field walks, an introduction to mushrooming, and a bird walk. Check their digital calendar for updates and changes.

Visit New England in the fall

Cape Cod Museum of Art

For the art enthusiast, visit the Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis. The Museum is on the smaller side, but with great exhibits you are sure to enjoy.

Provincetown

While you are at, browse the numerous art galleries in Provincetown. The community has a long history of a robust artistic community, and you must visit if you appreciate art. 

Provincetown, where the Pilgrims first landed

Nickerson State Park

In Brewster, Nickerson State Park, you can enjoy an afternoon of hiking, biking, fishing, canoeing, or kayaking. If you are there in early September, it may still be warm enough to swim. Lastly, they have some campsites if you are looking for a camping opportunity. 

Cape Cod Rail Trail

While at Nickerson State Park, explore the Cape Cod Rail Trail. Parking for the route is located here, and the bike trails will take you through six Cape communities. There is a parking fee, but other trailheads are also available if you are looking for a free option. 

Visitors who enjoy biking have 26 miles to see the beauty of the Cape’s fall colors. Walkers and Runners are welcome, too. 

bike through Cape Cod in the fall

Nauset Beach

Nauset Beach is one of the prettiest beaches in all of the Cape. It is known for scenic views, sand dunes, and a long coastline. Although it is too cold for swimming, it would be ideal for a walk or picnic lunch. I love curling up with a sweatshirt and a book on a sunny day.

Visit a Pumpkin Patch

Nothing says fall more than a visit to a pumpkin patch, especially if you have kids. Besides Coonamessett Farm, there’s Tony Andrews Farm and Sauchuk’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch.

If you are flying back and don’t want to purchase pumpkins, it is still worth a stop for gorgeous photos.

visit Coonamessett Farm

Sandwich Glass Museum

Check out the Glass Museum in Sandwich, MA, if you want an indoor activity. Here, you’ll experience glass-blowing demonstrations and exhibits highlighting beautiful work. Check their website for fall events and traveling exhibits.

Cranberry Bog Tour

Fall is a fantastic time to tour a cranberry farm. You can explore the Cranberry bogs and learn about the production of cranberries. I suggest making reservations in advance. 

Some options include Cranberry Bog Tours in Harwich or Annie’s Crannies in Dennis.

Visit a Cranberry Bog on the Cape

Enjoy a lobster roll

You can’t visit New England without trying the local fare. When we vacation, we love trying different lobster rolls to see who has the best. Here are some of the most delicious rolls on the Cape- The Raw Bar, Chatham Pier Fish Market, Lobster Pot, and Arnold’s Lobster and Clam Bar.

Check out the best lobster rolls in Portland, Maine, if your journey continues north to Maine.

Brunch

The Cape has a fantastic selection of breakfast and brunch places, especially in Chatham. Grab a delicious meal to kick your day of fall activities.

brunch

Whale Watching

Believe it or not, the whale-watching season stretches into early October. You will need to dress warmly with layers and pack sunscreen.

Day trip Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket

If you are on the Cape for several days, consider a trip to either Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket. You must purchase a ferry ticket in advance, especially if you want the car ferry. Plan to ensure you secure the time slot you prefer.

Ferries leave from Hyannis, and you will need to arrive early. This will easily be an entire day trip, but it is worth it. 

Where to Stay in the Cape

Visit the Cape to gorgeous fall foliage

Visiting the Cape can be confusing if you are unfamiliar with the area. There are so many different communities to experience. Chatham is a great option, centrally located with great restaurants and beautiful beaches.

Provincetown is an artsy community. Falmouth, Harwich, and Sandwich are also charming communities too. Hyannis is busy due to the ferry traffic but offers some great options for lodging, too. 

The Cape has cozy hotels, B & B’s and home rentals. Since you aren’t visiting in the high summer months, rates will drop slightly. They may increase around Columbus Day but should generally be cheaper. 

My favorite option- Greyfinch Inn

Nestled in the heart of Chatham, you’ll find a delightful and recently renovated boutique hotel, the Greyfinch Inn. The rooms are simple, clean, and have a nautical theme. There’s a cozy fire pit area for guests as well as bikes. You can borrow the bikes to explore Chatham. 

🌟🌟Book the Greyfinch Inn NOW, by clicking HERE!🌟🌟

greyfinch Inn

Chatham Bars Inn

Chatham Bars Inn is a Cape favorite on the coast in Chatham. Rooms come with beautiful views of the Atlantic and numerous delicious restaurants.

🌟🌟Book the Chatham Bars Inn NOW by clicking HERE!🌟🌟

Chatham Bars Inn

The Seagrove Suites & Guest Rooms

Located in Eastham, the Seagrove Suite & Guest Rooms is a small hotel with several options. You can rent the classic style of a hotel room or a 2-bedroom suite. The suites come with a full kitchen, which is a nice perk when traveling.

🌟🌟Book Seagrove Suites & Guest Rooms NOW by clicking HERE!🌟🌟

Seaglass Inn & Spa

The Seaglass Inn & Spa is the perfect destination for guests wanting to stay in Provincetown. The rooms are simple in design but clean and spacious. The hotel provides daily breakfast and sits on a large piece of property. There’s plenty of space for kids to play if traveling with family. Guests rave about the breakfast, friendly staff, and shuttle into town. 

🌟🌟Book Seaglass Inn & Spa NOW by clicking HERE!🌟🌟

FAQ: Visiting the Cape

If you’ve never visited this region of New England, it can be confusing and overwhelming as there are so many communities. You can’t go wrong with staying in any of the towns as visiting other communities is easy. You will want a car to go from town to town.

Visit Cape Cod in the fall

🍁Is the Cape worth visiting in the fall?

It is the best time to visit Cape Cod! There are fewer people compared to the summer, paired with great weather and fun fall events. It is an excellent place for a relaxing long weekend. 

🍁Is there fall foliage on the Cape?

The Cape is an excellent place to experience fall colors. The best time to visit is mid-September to mid-October. 

🍁How do you dress for the weather during autumn on the Cape?

You will want to pack layers for your trip. I suggest jeans with a light shirt and a sweater or sweatshirt for the cool nights. 

🍁Are there whales in the fall?

The whale-watching season starts in the spring and goes through October!

🍁Are there sharks in the fall?

Yes, sharks are still around in the fall season.

🍁Can you swim in October?

No, the water is too cold in the fall months. 

🍁What’s the best way to reach the Cape?

On a good day without traffic, you can reach the western side of the Cape from Boston’s airport in an hour and 15 minutes. However, it will probably take closer to 1.5-2 hours. Another option is a high-speed ferry from Boston to Provincetown. Check out my post detailing all the options to arrive from Boston to Cape Cod.

take a fast speed ferry from Boston to Provincetown

In conclusion: Visit Beautiful Cape Cod in the Fall 2023 

Cape Cod is the perfect destination for a fall weekend getaway. I hope my guide to Cape Cod in the Fall helps you plan your next great adventure!

🌊 Cape Cod Resources🌊
Where to Find the Best Breakfast in Chatham, MA
23 Exciting Activities & Things to Do in Chatham, Cape Cod
Visit Cape Cod in the Fall
Best 4th of July Events on Cape Cod
Tips for Best Routes from Boston to Cape Cod
Best Beaches in Chatham, Cape Cod
Things to do in Provincetown

🎬Cape Cod Web Story🎬