When August winds down, and summer visitors from the Captain Farris House return to their routines, we welcome a new season: Second Summer on Cape Cod! With beautiful weather lasting well into October and early November, and the easing of traffic congestion along our main roads, autumn is one of the best times to be here. If you need some convincing, just take a look at the top 7 things to do on your Cape Cod fall getaway.
#1 Tour a Cranberry Bog
When visiting Cape Cod, you might think of sand dunes and salty air. But in autumn the humble cranberry takes center stage. It’s harvest time and the bogs are ripe with tart red berries ready to be reaped. Take a cranberry bog tour of the largest organic bog on the Cape. Located in Harwich, daily tours of the bog are offered seasonally. Get up close and personal with the tools and equipment used to harvest the annual crop and visit with the farm animals. Be sure to drop by the farm stand to bring home some fresh cranberries or a bar of all-natural cranberry soap.
#2 Take a Walk in the Woods
With the brilliant fall colors awash in the woods and across the marshes, the best way to appreciate fall foliage on Cape Cod is by taking a walk. Dozens of well-marked nature trails crisscross the landscape. Explore the historic Taylor-Bray Farm in Yarmouth Port to traverse a boardwalk through the Black Flats Marsh and the dunes of Chapin Beach. The Atlantic Cedar Swamp Trail in Wellfleet is a spectacular trail through oak and pine woods. Travel to Brewster to wend your way through miles of hiking and biking trails at Nickerson State Park. Or travel to opposite ends of the Cape to check out Beebe Woods in Falmouth and the Beech Forest Trail in Provincetown.
#3 Attend a Fun Fall Festival
Fall on Cape Cod is a time to celebrate everything from mollusks to music. Weekends in September and October are filled with fun festivals to attend. September celebrates the Cape Cod BrewFest and the Harwich Cranberry Arts and Music Festival. October brings the heralded Wellfleet Oyster Festival and the Yarmouth Seaside Festival. Plan a trip to Cape Cod during fall and see what all the excitement is about.
#4 Go Whale Watching
Whale-watching season lingers into early October when the whales begin to migrate to their winter homes. If you’ve never been on a whale-watching excursion, you’re missing one of the most exciting adventures to be had on the open ocean. Witness humpbacks, finbacks, and minkes breaching, tail waving, and frolicking in the water seemingly just wanting to entertain the guests aboard the Hyannis Whale Watcher and the Dolphin Fleet.
#5 Bike the Cape Cod Rail Trail
Once the track of the Old Colony Rail, the Cape Cod Rail Trail winds through the towns of Yarmouth, Dennis, Harwich, Brewster, Orleans, Eastham, and Wellfleet on a paved, nearly level path. Bikers, walkers, and in-line skaters enjoy this trek through bogs, marshes, and woods. Bike the entire 26-mile length or just tackle portions of it from any of its trailheads. Bring your own bicycle or rent from Barb’s Bike Shop in nearby Dennis.
#6 Cruise Scenic Route 6A
The Old King’s Highway, scenic Route 6A, snakes along the bay side of Cape Cod from Bourne to Provincetown. This winding road, with its twists and turns and leafy canopy overhead, shines throughout the year as one of the nation’s most scenic byways. In autumn, dial up the spectacular beauty of the 62-mile route when Mother Nature paints the landscape in the brilliant hues of fall.
#7 Unwind at Truro Vineyard
Perched between Cape Cod Bay and the rugged beauty of the Atlantic Ocean, Truro Vineyards produces outstanding wines. Visit the tasting room to sip and swirl a delicate white or robust red. Reserve a table and enjoy lunch from an on-site food truck, or book a private tasting for you and a few friends. Join them on September 18, 2022, for their Annual Grape Stomp, and mark your calendars for October 2, 2022, for the Vinegrass Music Festival.
While this list of the top 7 things to do on your Cape Cod fall getaway is not exhaustive, it does present some of the most tempting ways to spend a magnificent autumn day. Book your favorite room at our bed and breakfast in historic Bass River, and let us show you how magnificent the second summer on Cape Cod truly is.
Updated: August 2022