Absolutely, while my personal favorite time of year to visit is the summer, it’s a very close second to recommend visiting in the fall season. Once Labor Day is over, you’ll find far fewer crowds (especially later in September through October), and the weather stays pretty mild (typically warmer than the rest of New England). Many of the reasons Cape Cod is worth visiting year-round are still applicable in the fall season, including seeing the Cape Cod National Seashore, eating fresh seafood and enjoying all the natural beauty of the coastline.
Best Month To Visit Cape Cod In The Fall
September is regarded as one of the best months to visit Cape Cod, and it’s actually many of the local’s favorite season. After Labor Day, tourist crowds get much smaller, and the weather is usually really nice this month. You’ll find that you’ll still likely be able to go swimming in September, and the weather will often feel just like summer on most days.
October is the perfect time to visit Cape Cod if you’re looking for cooler weather, definitely want fewer crowds, and are also looking to infuse a bit of fall scenery and activities into your trip. You’ll find fall seasonal flavors highlighted in many of the restaurants, beaches and walking trails won’t be crowded, and pumpkins and mums will adorn all the beautiful houses.
November is actually a really nice time to visit Cape Cod, too, and often doesn’t get the credit it deserves. In November, you’ll pretty much mostly find locals, as it’s not a popular time for tourists to visit, and therefore, you’ll hardly see any crowds at all. And because Cape Cod doesn’t get as cold as other places in New England, you’ll still have pleasant weather that’s not frigid yet.
Where To See Fall Foliage On Cape Cod?
I will be honest, Cape Cod is not the place New England destination to see lots of fall foliage, so if that’s your primary reason for visiting in the fall, I would suggest you look into places like Vermont or New Hampshire instead (or combine the Cape into a New England fall foliage road trip for the best of both worlds).
However, there are still some really beautiful displays of fall color on the Cape that are perfect for working into your fall itinerary. You’ll get to see some nice color on trees, but you’ll also want to look for beautiful amber hues on coastal landscapes as the beach grasses and marshes begin to change for the fall. Below is a list of the best places for seeing fall foliage and color on Cape Cod:
- Nickerson State Park – Brewster
- Bell’s Neck Conversation Lands – Harwich
- Brewster Herring Run & Grist Mill – Brewster
- Red Maple Swamp Trail – Eastham
- Heritage Gardens – Sandwich
- Views from the top of Scargo Tower – Dennis
- John Wing Trail – Brewster
- The Knob Trail – Woods Hole
- Scorton Creek – Sandwich
The best time to see peak fall foliage on Cape Cod is all of October, but specifically mid to late October. Peak foliage on the Cape often extends into the first part of November, depending on the year, so if you’re hoping to see some foliage on your trip, I would say end of October is prime time.
Things To Do On Cape Cod In November
Enjoy An Indoor Meal With A View
If the weather is too chilly to eat outdoors, you still can’t dine indoors with a fantastic view. In fact, one of the best parts of the Cape year-round is the water views, so stay cozy by booking a table at a restaurant that has beautiful views from inside.
Some of the best places to dine with water views that you can enjoy from inside in November are Ocean House in Dennis Port, Fishermen’s View in Sandwich, The Marshside in East Dennis and Ross Grill in Provincetown.
Check Out The Artisan Craft Fair At Coonamessett Farm
In early November, Coonamessett Farm hosts an artisan craft fair that features over 30 vendors selling unique, handcrafted items (a great way to start your holiday shopping early!). Since weather starts to really cool down in November on the Cape, this is a great way to get outside and enjoy the crisp air, and also pick up some fresh produce from their farm stand to make a cozy dinner (and pre-order your Thanksgiving turkey)!
Grab A Poinsettia Cocktail Or Mulled Wine At Cape Cod Winery
We’re heading back to Cape Cod Winery in November to grab either a mug of warm mulled wine or a refreshing Poinsettia cocktail.
These two special drinks are offered throughout the month of November (although, the mulled wine is typically released in October, but definitely hits different in November when the weather actually turns cool). And with the grounds being a perfect place to hang out on a crisp day, especially with a warm drink in hand, this is a really nice way to cherish the final warm-ish days of the season.
Have A Glass Of Wine By A Cozy Fire At Truro Vineyards
If the Outer Cape is more convenient for you, Truro Vineyards is another amazing place to spend a nice November day. Grab some friends and crowd around one of their seating areas with a fire pit to enjoy a cozy glass of wine or seasonal cocktail featuring their own South Hollow Spirits. Keep an eye on their Instagram page because they update often with new hours and fun, special drink releases.
Take A Scenic Walk
Honestly, November is a great month to head out on a scenic walk, and this is definitely one of the best things to do on Cape Cod in the fall season. The weather has cooled down quite a bit, and with all the fall color setting in, and nature beginning its transition to hibernation season, it’s so peaceful out on the trails in November.
I would highly suggest checking out the John Wing Trail in Brewster or hiking out to Race Point in November (two of my personal favorite relaxing walks), but click the link below to read my post on my favorite scenic walks and hikes on Cape Cod.
Experience All The Holiday Kick-Off Events
At the end of November, right after Thanksgiving, you’ll want to look into all the holiday kick-off events throughout Cape Cod. There are so many to choose from, including the Gardens Aglow event at the Sandwich Heritage Museum. This is one of the best light displays on Cape Cod, and it begins at the end of November.
You’ll also want to check out the lighting of the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown, which often takes place in November, as well as the Buzzards Bay Polar Express Train, which begins its rides at the end of November.
What Is Cape Cod Like In November?
November is the most quiet of all the fall months on Cape Cod, and when you’ll see the fewest tourists, as most tend to visit in September and October. If you visit in early November, you’ll catch the last of the fall foliage around the region, and begin to feel the colder winter days approaching. Because of that awesome mild weather, you’ll still have some days that get up to the 60s, but generally temperatures are in the 50s in November.
This is a great time of year to enjoy hiking and walking trails, and then reward yourself with a warm bowl of New England Clam Chowder after.
What To Pack For Cape Cod In The Fall
This will greatly vary depending on what month you visit, as September weather varies drastically from November.
In November, you may still have some warmer days, but think about packing for cooler weather and layers. Similar to October, you’ll want to make sure you can layer up to stay warm if it does cool down, but also have a few pieces that will allow you to enjoy the warmer weather on those random sunshiney days.