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Things to do in the fall on Cape Cod

Jennie Sparrow | 11/3/2017 (updated 9/6/2019)

It’s no secret that the fall season is beloved by Cape Cod locals. The weather is crisp and cool, autumn colors grace the marshes and trees, and the crowds have vastly diminished. Contrary to what a lot of people believe, the Cape and Islands do not "close for business" after summer is over. Things just slow down, and we get a chance to take a deep breath and embrace the ethereal beauty that surrounds us. Here are a couple of “hidden gems” that are a MUST when it comes to enjoying the calmer fall months on the Cape and Islands.

Scenic Views

View from Bearberry Hill in Truro

The short, but steep, climb up Bearberry Hill in Truro overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and the dynamic glacial terrain of the Pamet River valley. The majestic view is sure to take your breath away!

View from Scargo Tower in Dennis
View from Scargo Tower in Dennis

Scargo Tower in Dennis offers magnificent panoramic views of Scargo Lake and Cape Cod Bay. The 30 foot tall structure stands atop the tallest hill on the Mid Cape, so beware if you're afraid of heights!

Provincetown Dunes right off Rt 6A offer magnificent views
Provincetown Dunes right off Rt 6A

The Provincetown Dunes are otherworldly. Located right off 6A on your way into Provincetown, The Dunes offer enchanting views of the Outer Cape's mystical landscape. Soft sand, dancing dune grass, and the breathtaking blue green hue of the ocean off in the distance. You're not going to want to miss out on your chance to check out this destination during our favorite time of the year.

Nature Walks

John Wing Trail at the Cape Cod Natural History Museum in Brewster
John Wing Trail in Brewster

The John Wing Trail, located at the Cape Cod Natural History Museum in Brewster, offers a microcosm of the Cape Cod landscape. The scenic stroll includes a boardwalk through a salt marsh as well as bird-filled woodland trails that lead right to the beach of Cape Cod Bay.

The Ashumet Holly Wildlife Sanctuary of East Falmouth is known for its 1,000 holly trees as well as a plethora of migratory birds and five vernal pools—definitely worth seeing before the winter months!

Fall Activities

If you ever find yourself over on the island of Nantucket with a few hours to spare, be sure to take a tour of Cisco Brewers. They are not only a beer brewery but a winery and distillery as well! (Confirm tour times before going, however, as tours are given only on the weekend in the off-season.)

Truro Vineyards

On a sunny fall day, be sure to stop by Truro Vineyards. The views are beautiful and the wine, produced by the “pioneers of the art of maritime grape growing on the Cape,” is intense in flavor.

Orpheum Theater in Chatham
Orpheum Theater in Chatham

Finding yourself without anything to do on a cold and rainy evening in the fall? Head over to the recently reconstructed Chatham Orpheum Theater, now a non-profit community cinema. Catch one of the latest flicks while munching on some chicken wings, meatball sliders and a beverage (even beer and wine!) from the comfort of your theater seat.


Hanger B doughnuts in Chatham
Hanger B Eatery, Chatham

Located right in the Chatham Municipal Airport, hangarB has fast become a local breakfast and lunch favorite. Using fresh, local ingredients, they serve the classics alongside some amazing creative dishes—the Red Flannel Hash and Lemon Ricotta Pancakes are to die for! There are goodies for all, even for picky children or people restricted to a gluten-free diet. They do not take reservations, so get there early or be prepared to wait (which is totally worth it!)

Another amazing “gem” is Stir Crazy, located in Pocassett.

Stir crazy cambodian food on Cape Cod
Photos courtesy of Stir Crazy

This Cambodian food treasure has some incredible dishes that will satisfy anyone’s taste buds. Their deliciously marinated steak with lemongrass sauce is just bursting with flavor. Not to be missed are their many stir-fry dishes and Bar Bong — mmmmm good!