A lot of people talk about spending the summer season on Cape Cod, but did you know that it’s fun to visit Cape Cod in the fall, too? In fact, some Cape Cod locals and visitors think that autumn is the best season to spend time on the peninsula. There are fewer crowds, beautiful and warm weather, entertaining festivals, and many other things to do in Cape Cod in the fall.
Fall Weather on Cape Cod
When you’re visiting Cape Cod in the fall, one of the first things that you might wonder is what you should wear. What will the weather be like on Cape Cod in September, October, and November?
September continues with beautiful warm weather, perfect for the beach. In fact, the sea is still warm and pleasant for swimming. As October rolls in, the beautiful mild days continue, and Cape Cod bed and breakfasts like Candleberry Inn still offer to serve breakfast outdoors on their garden patio. The crisp cooler nights allow for a restful night’s sleep.
When packing you might want to include a jacket or sweater, especially for cooler temperatures after the sun sets. Or you could purchase a Cape Cod sweatshirt or hoodie at various nearby shops.
In November on Cape Cod, average temperatures get cooler and average high 60s to low 70s on sunny days and between mid-40s and mid-60s at night. Having a cozy sweater or a hoodie will keep you warm if you decide to walk on the beach in the fall on Cape Cod. On the brisker days, Cape Cod has plenty of indoor activities to enjoy.
Now let’s dive into the best things to do on Cape Cod in the fall!
Autumn Activities on Cape Cod in September
Tour a Cranberry Bog
The best time to learn about cranberries on Cape Cod is the fall because it’s harvest season. Cranberry Bog Tours in Harwich provides guided tours of its cranberry bog through autumn, and you can visit with the farm animals too. In Sandwich, P.J. Cranberries is open for scheduled tours from mid-September to November.
Go on a Nature Walk
Taking a walk in nature is one of the best things to do in Cape Cod in the fall. With fewer people on the Cape in September, walking is even more relaxing and refreshing. There are several places to enjoy a stroll:
- Beebe Woods in Falmouth surrounds Highfield Hall & Gardens and covers 383 acres of forest with hiking trails.
- Taylor Bray Farm in Yarmouth Port is a historic farm with a boardwalk that travels through Black Flats Marsh and the dunes of Chapin Beach.
- Nickerson State Park in Brewster is full of trees, biking and walking paths, and freshwater ponds.
- Beech Forest Trail in Provincetown is a 1-mile path that surrounds a wetland and winds past ponds and dunes.
Get One Last Look at the Whales
Whale watching season on Cape Cod is drawing to a close by the end of September when the whales begin to migrate south. It’s the perfect time to get one last look before they go.
Play a Round of Golf on Cape Cod
The cooler weather of fall makes playing golf on Cape Cod even more enjoyable. The peninsula has more than 36 golf courses, some of which date back to the 1890s and were designed by renowned architects in the golfing world. A few of the finest courses of note include:
- The Cape Club in East Falmouth
- The Dennis Pines and Dennis Highlands Golf Courses in Dennis
- Blue Rock Golf Course in South Yarmouth
- The Captains Golf Course in Brewster
Take In a Cape Cod Fall Festival
The towns and local businesses across Cape Cod host a lot of great festivals and events. In mid-September, the fairgrounds in East Falmouth celebrates American craft brewers with Cape Cod Brew Fest. It’s a chance to sample more than 300 styles of beer from more than 100 breweries while listening to live music, eating delicious food, and more.
If you like theatrical performances, the Tennessee Williams Theater Festival is held at various venues around Provincetown in late September. You can see performances of Tennessee Williams’ works and meet artists.
Best October Things to Do on Cape Cod in the Fall
Hit the Cape Cod Rail Trail
With changing colors in full swing in October, it’s an excellent time to walk or ride a bike on the Cape Cod Rail Trail. The scenic route stretches for 22 miles through several towns and past historical sites. Use our Cape Cod Rail Trail guide to find bike rentals, restaurants, and attractions along the path.
Cruise Route 6A as the Seasons Change
Along with biking and walking through the changing leaves, driving Route 6A (Historic Old King’s Highway) is one of locals’ favorite things to do on Cape Cod in the fall. The colors are particularly gorgeous on the historic properties, with the water of Cape Cod Bay in the distance.
Much like the bike path, this scenic route passes by a lot of historic buildings and attractions. You can immerse yourself in the colorful trees even further by stopping at Heritage Museums & Gardens. Learn more about the Route 6A scenic drive in our guide.
Book a Haunted Cape Cod History Tour
With October being the month of Halloween, it’s only fitting to go on a haunted tour. Cape Cod’s Haunted & History Tour Co operates in Barnstable Village, taking you to 10 historic and haunted places along Old King’s Highway. Most of them have ghost stories. Or, you can book the ghost hunter tour to hear haunting tales about the town. The haunted history tours are about two hours, while the ghost hunter tours are about three hours.
Pick a Pumpkin on Cape Cod
In keeping with the spirit of fall and Halloween, picking out a pumpkin is a fun way to spend an afternoon. Cob Webb Farm in West Barnstable and Coonamessett Farm in East Falmouth have pumpkins of all sizes. Cob Webb Farm offers hayrides, and Coonamessett Farm lets you visit with its animals as well. Additionally, Bourne Farm celebrates with Pumpkin Day, a festival that features hayrides, pony rides, a petting zoo, and more.
Join an Oktoberfest & Other Fall Events on Cape Cod
Oktoberfest is a popular festival that you’ll find all over the country, and a few Cape Cod towns host their own. The Mashpee Oktoberfest features face painting, train rides, crafters, German entertainment, and more. The Oktoberfest in Chatham has old-fashioned games, German beer and food, live music, and the Pumpkin People on display in Kate Gould Park.
Other than Oktoberfests, there’s more to celebrate during the month. In early October on Cape Cod, the Yarmouth Seaside Festival is a gala event that includes a giant parade, races, pie-eating contests, live entertainment, a craft fair, and fireworks. Late in the month, the Sandwich PumpkinFest is an event hosted by the Sandwich Glass Museum. It features a pumpkin patch of colorful, handblown glass pumpkins.
Fall Activities on Cape Cod in November
Taste Some Wine
Whether it’s spring or fall on Cape Cod, tasting some different wines is a nice way to spend a day on Cape Cod. However, the wineries and vineyards on Cape Cod are less crowded in the autumn months. Find out more about planning a winery and vineyard tour in our list of the best venues [link to Wineries, Vineyards, & More post].
Drink a Hot Chocolate, Coffee, or Tea
Nothing says cozy like snuggling up with a hot chocolate or other hot drink. Locals will tell you that it’s one of their favorite things to do in Cape Cod in the fall, especially after spending time outdoors. In Falmouth, Coffee Obsession serves specialty drinks and pastries. Snowy Owl Coffee Roasters in Brewster serves some of the best coffee on the peninsula in a relaxing atmosphere. Nirvana Coffee Co. on Main Street in Barnstable Village serves delicious gourmet coffees with a view of the beautiful Barnstable County Courthouse in its greek revival architecture.
In Orleans, Hot Chocolate Sparrow is the “original coffee and chocolate bar,” serving specialty drinks alongside hand-dipped chocolates and other treats. The hot chocolate is amazing here. Also, the Wired Puppy Specialty Coffee & Tea in Provincetown serves organic specialty coffees, espresso, and teas with freshly baked goodies.
Walk Cape Cod Beaches in Fall
It’s simply delightful to walk on the beach while sipping your hot beverage. The sun is still shining, and the view is amazing. Plus, there are very few people on the beach on Cape Cod in November. Here are some of our favorite beaches across Cape Cod:
- Old Silver Beach in North Falmouth
- Sandy Neck Beach Park in Barnstable
- Breakwater Beach in Brewster
- North Beach Island in Chatham
- Cape Cod National Seashore beaches
Visit a Cape Cod Museum
Cape Cod has a rich history, so you can find a museum in nearly every town. However, a few of them offer something that you can’t find anywhere else. Exhibits at the Sandwich Glass Museum tell the town’s history in the production of glass in America, and you can watch a glassblower at work.
In West Yarmouth, The Whydah Pirate Museum features the first ever pirate shipwreck that has been identified without a doubt. At The John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum, you can learn about the former president’s life on the Cape.
Celebrate With a Cape Cod Festival
With the holidays approaching, many Cape Cod towns and businesses gear up for the festivities. In early to mid-November, Provincetown organizes the Annual Lighting of the Pilgrim Monument. The 252-foot monument glows with white lights, marking the first arrival of the pilgrims in 1620. In mid to late November, the Sandwich Glass Museum hosts the Glassblowers’ Christmas, which features trees decorated with unique glass ornaments made by the best glass artists in the region.
Picturesque Lodging on Cape Cod in Fall
As you experience the best things to do in Cape Cod in the fall, Candleberry Inn in Brewster can provide luxurious accommodations. We have nine guest rooms and suites with completely renovated bathrooms, and some rooms have soaking tubs and fireplaces that are perfect for getting cozy as the nights get cool in autumn. Each morning, we prepare a deluxe breakfast, including gourmet coffee, to give you energy to begin your adventure for the day.
Check our availability for your next trip to Cape Cod in the fall.