Fall in Cape Cod: Things to Do in Cape Cod in the Fall

While Cape Cod is a famous summer destination, it has just as much to offer in the Fall. The weather is great, you’ll avoid the massive summertime crowds, and many locals will agree that it is the best time of year to spend on the cape. Continue reading to find out my top recommendations for what activities you can do to have an amazing trip to Cape Cod in the fall!

Tour a Cranberry Bog

Cape Cod is famous for its native cranberries, and the fall is the cranberry harvesting season, meaning that it’s the best time to see them! The bright cranberries sit on top of bogs as part of the harvesting process, creating a beautiful splash of color that complements the fall scenery in the cape. 

Many Cranberry bogs offer tours for you to see the process of harvesting and processing the cranberries (and may even let you participate in the process, depending on the tour), providing a unique insight into how the cranberries are gathered and turned into the food and drinks that so many people enjoy. 

If you can catch the cranberry harvest it is a truly beautiful sight and unique experience that is definitely worth coming to Cape Cod to see!

Go Whale Watching

Whale watching is one of the most popular activities in Cape Cod and you can still see whales through October! There is an abundant feeding ground near Cape Cod, meaning that whales from all over the world flock to the area each year (and that you are more likely to see whales and other marine life on your tour). In fact, Cape Cod consistently ranks among the top 10 places in the world to see whales in their natural habitat. 

Whale watching tours last 3 to 4 hours and leave multiple times a day, meaning that there will be lots of opportunities to get out and witness the abundant marine life in the area. Prices start as low as $40 a person, making it fairly accessible to get out on the water and hopefully spot some whales, sharks, seals, and more!

Keep an Eye Out for Seals

Cape Cod is home to many seals, and even has Seal watching boats that go out, similar to the whale watching tours. However, you can also try your luck at spotting seals from many of the beaches, docks, and piers around the cape. 

In my opinion, your best bet for spotting them will be in Chatham at the fishing pier. Between the hours of 12 and 3 the local fisherman bring back their catch for the day and unload the fish to be packaged and processed. This huge quantity of fish attracts seals and I was able to spot over a dozen adorable seals just sitting on the pier! 

Since it will be around lunch time when you go to spot the seals, you can also get fresh seafood right near the pier, which is another must-do experience in Cape Cod. With some of the freshest and most delicious seafood available, everything is seriously so good! We got the lobster roll, fish and chips, and crab cake and all three items were SO delicious.

Bike the Cape Cod Rail Trail

The Cape Cod Rail Trail is a very famous paved trail that is popular among bikers for the beautiful views it takes you through when traveling along its 25-mile-long path. With views of forests, cranberry bogs, ponds, beaches, and marshlands, you truly get to see all that Cape Cod offers when traveling along the trail. Furthermore, the trail runs through the towns of Yarmouth, Dennis, Harwich, Chatham, Brewster, Orleans, Eastham, and Wellfleet, meaning that you’ll have plenty of opportunities to stop off and explore many of Cape Cod’s main towns if you desire.

Lots of towns on the trail offer bike rentals for the day, so you can get out on a whim in the morning and start pedaling along the trail whenever you want to without issue. The trail isn’t limited to bikers either, so if riding a bike isn’t your thing then you can walk or take a jog on the trail as well.

The pleasant fall weather and the relatively easy and flat trail combine to make the ultimate leisurely experience for anyone who wants a unique and active way to explore Cape Cod! 

Visit the Lighthouses

Nauset Lighthouse

With so much coastline, there is no shortage of lighthouses in Cape Cod, and each of them offers a unique experience that makes them memorable. I recommend visiting at least a few of the lighthouses during your time in the cape. 

While there are so many more lighthouses than these, my top recommendations to visit would be the following:

Nauset Lighthouse

This is the most famous lighthouse in Cape Cod, and is at this point pretty much a symbol for the cape. You’ve probably seen this iconic red and white lighthouse on the bags for Cape Cod Kettle Chips. 

In addition to seeing such an iconic building in person, during your visit, you will also learn the history of the constant moving and rebuilding that is necessary for this lighthouse (and most others in Cape Cod) to fight against the rapidly eroding coastline issue that Cape Cod faces. Seeing how rapidly the sea has encroached in the last 100 years is truly mind-boggling and makes it easier to imagine the very real possibility that within thousands of years Cape Cod could erode away entirely.

Nobska Light

This beautiful lighthouse is on the Southwestern tip of Cape Cod and offers beautiful views of Martha’s Vineyard and Nonamesset Island from its property. It’s worth a visit for these views alone, but you can also explore inside of the lighthouse and its museum while there!

Race Point Light Station

This lighthouse can be harder to access, requiring you to walk 30 to 40 minutes along the beach or through the sand dunes (or take a sand-dune-appropriate vehicle), but it rewards you with a beautiful view and a unique, more remote beach location. You can also reserve the Lighthouse for you and a group to stay overnight in for a truly one-of-a-kind Cape Cod experience!

Visit The Pirate Museum

The Whydah Pirate Museum is a bit tucked away and in a rather unassuming building, but it was honestly the coolest museum I’ve ever been to (and it’s perfect to visit if you go to Cape Cod around spooky season especially). This museum provides visuals and information about the Golden Age of Piracy and the daily lives of pirates during the era, as well as offering views and hands-on experiences with pirate artifacts and treasure from the only ever discovered pirate’s treasure! This was such a pleasant surprise for me when I went and it would be the absolute perfect way to spend a rainy or chilly afternoon.

Immerse Yourself in Nature

Views from above at Gray’s Beach

There are a ton of nature trails around Cape Cod where you can get out and enjoy nature and even see some fall foliage! My top recommendations for easy walks would be the Red Maple Swamp Trail and the Beech Forest Trail, which are both short and easy trails with unique ecological features. For something a bit more challenging (but arguably more unique and rewarding) I would recommend the Long Point Lighthouse Trail or the Great Island Trail – but please be mindful of the tides for both of these trails to avoid any added complications.

Another great place to take in nature is Gray’s Beach in Yarmouth, where you can walk on the boardwalk above a marsh. It’s a great place to see some local marine life and the views are beautiful.

There are so many more trails throughout Cape Cod, so feel free to find any that best aligns with your interests and just get out there and explore the beautiful nature the Cape has to offer!

Catch a Beautiful Sunset

Cape Cod has some truly incredible sunsets that are definitely worth seeing! You can catch a beautiful sunset anywhere on the coast, but the bay side offers the rare (at least by East Coast standards) experience of being able to see the sun set into the waters. I recommend catching a sunset at Paine’s Creek Beach, the Knob, or Race Point for some of the most stunning and unique sunset views you can find on the East Coast! 

BONUS: My Recommended Accommodation

Candleberry Inn, Brewster MA

I HIGHLY recommend staying at the iconic Candleberry Inn in Brewster, which has been voted the number one Bed and Breakfast in America on Tripadvisor! With beautiful rooms, delicious breakfasts, and exceedingly friendly innkeepers, Candleberry Inn offers a wonderful and luxurious experience. Furthermore, Brewster’s central location lets you explore every part of the cape without having to travel too far, letting you experience as much as possible. They are usually booked out throughout the summer months but you’ll be more likely to get a room in the fall without booking months in advance.

Keeping these activities (and my accommodation recommendation) in mind, you should be perfectly equipped to take advantage of the nice weather, smaller crowds, and overall pleasant vibes that Cape Cod has in the Fall to have a truly fantastic trip!

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hey, i'm kerry!

I'm a travel blogger and founder of my web & brand design studio, Kerry Ireland Creative Studio. I'm currently living the laptop lifestyle and am passionate towards helping others do the same.

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