Summer may be over, but there’s still plenty to do on Cape Cod in the fall. Being born and raised here, I know this for a fact. The summer crowds are gone, and with them the humidity. During these cool fall days, there’s an abundance of things to do, from art shows and exploring outdoors to fall festivals. Let me share some of my personal favorites.
- Tour a cranberry bog. With tours running until December, you’ll gain insight into the history and cultivation of one of the Cape’s most important industries while enjoying the crisp fall air and wildlife.
- Visit Heritage Museum & Gardens in Sandwich, with over 100 acres of grounds, trails and meticulous gardens. The Cape’s oldest town, Sandwich has a rich arts history and is home to the Sandwich Glass Museum and the Dan’l Webster Inn & Spa, where you can dine in its renowned restaurant or have a spa day.
- Check out one or more of these 15 must-try restaurants.
- If your itinerary takes you to Falmouth, you won’t want to miss Highfield Hall & Gardens. With programs running through October 31, this historic museum hosts art exhibits, culinary demonstrations, live music and more. And while we’re on the topic of art, attend a fall event or exhibit at Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis, or take a class at Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill. This fall’s lineup includes several pottery and photography workshops.
- If it’s vino you crave, have a tour and wine tasting at the historic 1813 estate of Truro Vineyards. Their Lighthouse Wine Series features wines in lighthouse-shaped bottles, celebrating these Cape icons.
- Speaking of lighthouses, you’ve had the chips in the iconic bag with the red lighthouse, why not tour the Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory? Special bonus fact: that lighthouse is real – it’s Nauset Light, situated in Eastham on the beach named after it. It’s part of the Cape Cod National Seashore, a federally protected stretch of some 43,000 acres of beach, woods and wetlands establish by President John F. Kennedy in 1961.
- Why not hit the beach? Fall is a perfect time to lose yourself in the solitude of a beach walk, and if you’re traveling with Fido, most beaches allow dogs in the fall. “Woof!” Be sure to check first.
- There’s still time for a whale watch – most whale watching boats run through October, so book a trip from Provincetown or Barnstable Harbor. Make sure to bundle up. It might be a little chilly out there.
- With the summer heat behind you, it’s a perfect time to tour Provincetown’s legendary dunes and dune shacks. Book a tour with Art’s Dune Tours. Traversing via Chevy Blazer, you’ll not only experience the breathtaking beauty of the dunes, but also see the famed dune shacks, a couple of which were previously occupied by Jack Kerouac and Tennessee Williams.
- Did you know that Nickerson State Park has more than 1,900 acres of woods and ponds? There are 400 campsites, miles of trails through the woods and around picturesque ponds (8 to be exact, with fishing allowed), and an 8-mile bike path that connects to the 22-mile Cape Cod Rail Trail.
- There’s lots going on this fall at Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, from guided walks and birdwatching, to discussions about the archaeology of the legendary Whydah pirate ship to a “Lunch ‘n’ Learn” about the conservation of the lined seahorse, and so much more.
- If you’re not easily scared, take a Haunted History Tour of Barnstable village. Choose from three different tours that’ll take you to places such as a haunted cemetery, historic homes and even the old Barnstable village jail (creepy). And while you’re in the spirit of the season, why not go pumpkin picking? Explore local farms and pick the perfect pumpkin!
- Did someone say golf? Many Cape golf courses offer reduced rates in the fall.
Now that you know what to do in Cape Cod in the fall, tell us if you plan on visiting soon!