The beaches are bare, no evidence of past summer shenanigans. Walking trails tread by hundreds during the summer are devoid of any fresh footprints. Timid wildlife slowly emerges from the cover of their secluded summer hideaways. Visiting Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket during the off-season is an experience unlike any other.
I often feel like an overprotective older sibling when it comes to remarks made about Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, or Nantucket during the off-season. It’s as if the second the summer sun retreats behind the cover of clouds, individuals are eager to ask me how I can live in such an isolated place.
I’m constantly defending the integrity of my tiny beach town, assuring people that the winter months only increase my love for this one-of-a-kind place. When people learn I live full time on Cape Cod, they make an unintentionally ignorant comment like, “Isn’t it so boring there during the winter?” or “What do you even do for fun?” And while these comments are harmless, they’re made under the misconception that the Cape and Islands is merely a place to be enjoyed during the summertime.
Immediately, I come to my sweet home’s defense and rattle off the many reasons why I actually prefer the off-season. Keep reading to be versed on these reasons!
You can walk the beach without weaving in and out of groups of beach goers
As many of you know, during the peak summer months, the beautiful beaches of the Cape and Islands are often crowded to capacity by 10 a.m. While there's a certain comfort in being in the company of fellow beach bums and lovers of the Cape, there's nothing quite like the serenity of strolling the beach solo. The only sounds that surround you during the off-season are those of waves crashing and seagulls singing in the distance.
The Cape's natural landscape resumes its role as a playground for wildlife
Once the roads have returned to their ghost-town state and the roar of traffic and sounds of visitors strolling through town have been replaced by birds chirping, the animals almost become more abundant than the humans. If you're driving on the back roads on the Outer Cape, or any area of the Cape for that matter, you'll probably see vibrant birds fluttering about the trees or a family of deer grazing through the forest.
Eating out at a restaurant becomes a much more personal experience
In an effort to brighten up the dim light of a winter's day, I occasionally spend an evening dining out at one of the restaurants open during the off-season. During the shoulder season, eating out becomes more of an experience.
The warmth of the wait staff is infectious, and the opportunity to have a conversation with the individuals responsible for keeping the Cape afloat during the summertime is ample. You don't feel rushed to finish your meal, rather you feel yourself soaking up the serenity of the environment and admiring the dinner as an experience and not an expense.
Walking trails are littered with more animal footprints that human
Your favorite walking trails that just a few short weeks ago were filled with footprints advertising the Nike logo are now decorated with dainty paw prints. When the wind is too ferocious for a leisurely beach stroll, head to places such as White Cedar Swamp, Fort Hill, or The Knob to enjoy a much needed nature walk.
While some may perceive Cape Cod during the off-season as dark and dreary, WeNeedaVacation embraces our home in all seasons. The beauty of its mesmerizing landscape never fades no matter the time of year.