Between the crisp breeze, Cape Cod fall foliage, and Cape Cod fall festivals, Cape Cod in the fall season is one of the most magical times to visit the Cape. Compared to the busy summer months, Cape Cod in autumn is considerably less crowded, and the weather is cooler and more pleasant for outdoor adventures. Here’s why you should consider visiting Cape Cod offseason, especially in fall.
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Cape Cod in Fall
If you plan to visit Cape Cod in autumn, you’ll have the opportunity to see a a variety of traditional activities, like pumpkin picking and cranberry harvesting. In addition, you’ll find there are lots of Cape Cod fall festivals taking place between September and November. Here are some of the most anticipated things to do when visiting Cape Cod in the fall!
What To Do on Cape Cod in the Fall
Cape Cod in the Fall is about enjoying the glorious outdoors. The days are bright and sunny and the weather is mild. The tourist hordes have left and you can have places like the Cape Cod National Seashore to yourself.
A hiking trip is one of the best ways to see the changing colors of Cape Cod in autumn. The entire region has more than 500 different trails to choose from, whether it’s a walk through the lush tree-lined Massachusetts state forests or a hike in the Massachusetts state parks or along the rocky coastal shorelines.
Some of our favourite hiking spots are the following:
- the flat, easy trail at Four Ponds Conservation in the town of Bourne (which many consider the first town as you enter Cape Cod itself).
- The Francis Crane Wildlife Management Area in East Falmouth has 1800 acres with separate areas geared for specialised activity. For example, the hilly western section is good for mountain biking and the eastern section are plains suitable for hikers.
- The diversity of trails at West Barnstable Conservation is also a popular choice with hikers. Located fairly centrally on the Cape, you’ll find nine miles of trails through pine trees, wetlands, and marshes.
There’s nothing like feeling the crisp, autumn breeze as you cycle through the Cape Cod fall foliage. Thankfully, the Cape has hundreds of cycling trails to choose from.
Our favourite cycling trails on Cape Cod are as follows:
- The Cape Cod Trail is 22-miles of flat, paved path that takes you from Dennis to Wellfleet.
- The Cape Cod Canal Bikeway is nice and flat. The path runs on both sides of the canal ob about 7 miles one way.
- On the Outer Cape, the Provincelands Trail has beautiful views of dunes and the sea. It’s hilly terrain and is a 4 mile loop.
- We love the Shining Sea Bikeway in Falmouth. It’s an easy flat path and goes through the town of Falmouth where you can stop for snacks (always a draw for family cycling!).
Visiting Cranberry Bogs
Fall is the start of the Cape Cod cranberry harvest. The Cape is home to over 14,000 acres of cranberry bogs, which grow in the marshy wetlands scattered throughout the area.
From September to October, you’ll have the opportunity to visit these bogs to learn more about the cranberry farming process and see how the berries are cultivated and harvested.
Pumpkin picking is one of the most cherished Cape Cod fall traditions. Bourne Farm, Tony Andrews Farm, and Cob Webb Farm are just a few beloved places where you can wander through the pumpkin patches and participate in a variety of fall-themed activities.
Many of these farms also have hayrides, corn mazes, petting zoos, and on-site restaurants which are superb family-friendly Cape Cod things to do.
Cape Cod Foliage
Cape Cod foliage erupts in color later than northern New England and the rest of leaf peeping season in Massachusetts.
It’s super helpful if you are late to leaf peeping and still want to see some Fall foliage before the trees go bare. Although dependent on the weather, Cape Cod foliage tends to peak in late October and early November.
5 Cape Cod Fall Festivals
With an economy dependent on tourism, Cape Cod Fall Festivals are geared to extending the tourist season past the busy summer season. Frankly, the weather is delightful and you can indulge in Americana to your heart’s content.
A Cape Cod fall contains so many American motifs, such as harvest festivals, apples, cider donuts, pumpkins galore.
Without the summer traffic slowing things down, these Cape Cod festivals make a great day trip from Boston as well.
Cape Cod BrewFest
For one day in September, beer lovers flock to the Cape Cod Fairgrounds for the annual Cape Cod BrewFest.
Visitors will sample more than 300 different beer styles from at least 100 breweries from around the country. Besides sipping these delicious brewed delicacies, you’ll also be treated to live music, food vendors, and more.
Seafood is synonymous with Cape Cod, so it’s easy to see why the Wellfleet OysterFest is one of the best Cape Code fall festivals.
This is your chance to dine on traditional New England dishes like chowders and stuffed clams sourced straight from the fishermen themselves. The festival also has a handicraft market, oyster shuck off, and live musical performances.
Yarmouth Seaside Festival
The Yarmouth Seaside Festival is a three-day event celebrating the beauty of Cape Cod in fall. The highlight of the festival is the art fair, which showcases different works from more than 135 crafters.
In addition to the handicraft market, the Yarmouth Seaside Festival has fun, family-friendly activities like pie-eating contests, kayak and canoe races, and even a spectacular fireworks display.
Cape Cod Marathon
Held at the end of October, the Cape Cod Marathon weekend is one of the area’s most anticipated events for outdoor enthusiasts. This Boston Marathon qualifying event consists of a fun run, half, full, and relay challenge.
The race starts in Falmouth and takes you across some of Cape Cod’s most scenic landmarks, like the Menauhant beaches, Beebe Woods, and the Nobska Lighthouse.
If you can’t make it to Germany, then the Chatham Oktoberfest Beer Festival is your second-best option! Kate Gould Park is transformed into a festive party full of flowing beer, grilled bratwursts, and tons of games and activities.
You’ll also get the chance to see the annual Pumpkin People in the Park. These outrageous life-sized pumpkin creatures are created by local volunteers and are on display for the duration of the Chatham Oktoberfest festival.
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