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Fall Foliage Fun on Cape Cod and the Islands

Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard are generally synonymous with sandy beaches and summertime vacations. But, with crowds gone and warm days and cool nights, fall is also a wonderful time of year to visit. The fall foliage on the Cape and Islands is a well-kept secret. Peaking in late October, you will find the bogs, marshes, farmlands, forests, and even beaches transitioning from lush green to vibrant yellow, orange, gold, and red. Want to do more than just look at the foliage? Then enjoy the abundance of Cape and Islands activities that go hand in hand with leaf peeping.

Windmill Brewster, Cape Cod

Leaf Peeping and Picnicking – Pack a picnic lunch, and head to the Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum on Nantucket. There you can soak in the fall colors and glorious view of Folgers Marsh from a quaint picnic area on a knoll. If there prior to October 14, combine your leaf peeping and picnicking with a tour of the museum to learn about Nantucket’s maritime history and the heroes who performed rescues off the coast of the Island. Other picnic spots that offer beautiful fall vistas include Salt Pond in Eastham and Priester’s Pond or Cedar Tree Neck on Martha’s Vineyard.

Golfing on Cape Cod

Leaf Peeping and Golfing – Take in the bountiful fall foliage on the Cape and Islands while squeezing in 18 (or more) holes of golf! Most of the courses on Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard are open throughout the fall months, allowing the opportunity to play on less crowded courses. Thus, you can take the time to work on your putting while feasting your eyes on the beauty of the area in the autumn. Dennis Highlands, Captains Golf Course, Truro Highlands, Falmouth Country Club, and Mink Meadows are just a few public courses that offer great golf and great foliage at the same time.

Leaf Peeping and Running - Like to do your leaf peeping at a quicker pace? Well then, pack your running shoes, and head to the Cape and Islands. With a multitude of on- and off-trail places to run, you can go for miles while taking in the beauty of fall. Here is one in Falmouth and one in Hyannis.

Leaf Peeping and Wine Tasting - Visit Cape Cod during autumn, and taste such fall wine flavors as Cranberry Red, Cranberry Blush, or Three-Sip-Cran all while taking in the views of the majestic colors of the vineyards as they transition from summer to fall.

Leaf Peeping and Hiking - What better way to see the fall foliage than while hiking on the beaches, in the woods, or around the marshes of Cape Cod and the Islands. Such spots as South Cape Beach Park in Mashpee, Nickerson State Park in Brewster, Red Maple Swamp in Eastham, Beech Forest in Provincetown, Hummock Pond on Nantucket, and Waskosim's Rock in Chilmark on Martha’s Vineyard offer a diverse range of foliage.

Leaf Peeping and Fishing Cast a line in a Cape and Islands pond or from the shore during the fall months, and enjoy the serenity of the beaches and the changing colors around the ponds. The mirrored reflection provides twice the beauty!

Leaf Peeping and Shopping – There’s no better place to combine a little shopping (and local history) and leaf peeping than traveling the Cape along Old King’s Highway (6A), which is 34 miles long and runs from Sandwich to Orleans. Along the way, you will be able to see the changing colors of cranberry bogs, farmlands, and marshes, as well as poke around various antique shops, general stores, art galleries, and historical sites. Allow yourself plenty of time so that you can slowly meander along this beautiful route.

Leaf Peeping and Kayaking – A paddle along the Mashpee River, Herring River, or Nauset Marsh are just a few great options for kayaking and viewing fall foliage and wildlife. Wherever you roam, you are bound to find yourself surrounded by the splendor of fall on the Cape and Islands. If looking for a guided kayaking tour, there are many outfitting companies that can accommodate you.

Biking to Cliff Pond at Nickerson State Park

Leaf Peeping and Riding (horses, trains, or bikes) – A canter through Nickerson Park (Emerald Hollow Farm, Brewster), a pedaling adventure along the Cape Cod Rail Trail, or a relaxing ride on the Cape Cod Central Railroad: each of these activities will provide you with some wonderful opportunities for fall foliage viewing that are off the beaten path. Emerald Hollow Farm, Brewster

Leaf Peeping and Dining – Experience the beauty of Cape Cod, the Vineyard, and Nantucket while enjoying fabulous food. Visit during Cape Cod, Nantucket, and/or Martha’s Vineyard Restaurant Weeks, and your eyes and palate will not be disappointed.

Interested in visiting the Cape and Islands this fall? We have plenty of Cape Cod vacation rentals to suit you.

About Elizabeth Weedon

About Elizabeth Weedon: I have worked for since 2008, and I've been a loyal homeowner listed on the site since early 1998. An enthusiastic member of the Homeowner Support Team, I provide fellow Cape and Islands vacation rental homeowners with advice about online marketing and rental management techniques to ensure them a successful rental experience each season. In addition to phone and email support to our homeowners, I also create and edit much of the content on our website, as well as our Homeowner Blog and monthly newsletters. I am also the Press & PR Coordinator for the company, responsible for drafting our press releases and responding to press inquiries and interviews. I grew up summering on the Vineyard, where I have managed my family's rental home since the mid-1980's, and I'm passionately devoted to the Island. My husband and I live in Wellesley where we have raised our 2 grown kids and our Black Lab, Maisie.