Technically, fall lasts until December 21st, but the season always seems to go by so fast. Maybe that’s because it’s one of the prettiest times on the Cape, whether you’re bundled up for a walk at the National Seashore or watching the leaves turn along the Rail Trail. Here’s your quick to-do list to make the most of the autumn months.
1. Golfers love this time of year on the Cape for three reasons: The summer crowds are gone, the weather is ideal, and the courses are never more beautiful than when framed by autumn trees. You can play nine or eighteen holes at one of Falmouth Country Club’s two courses, or head to Blue Rock in Yarmouth for its short, challenging par-3 course. Either way, you will discover the fourth reason to love autumn golf on the Cape: If your game is off, the incredible scenery and crisp air makes it hard(er) to care.
2. Last chance alert: Nauset Marsh is so gorgeous in the summer, it’s almost impossible to believe it gets any better. It does. Take one of the marsh tours with Great Marsh Kayak or rent your own from Bass River Cruises (season ends September 30), and see the marsh in its gold and russet glory. If you don’t get onto the water, follow the Fort Hill trail at the Cape Cod National Seashore to see the spectacular panorama from the shore.
3. Now is the season of fall festivals, pumpkins, and hayrides. Seaside fests to mark on your calendar this October include Wellfleet OysterFest, Chatham's Pumpkin People in the Park and Halloween in Provincetown. Tobey Farm in Dennis and Tony Andrews Farm in Falmouth host hayrides in October, Coonamessett Farm in Falmouth offers a day-pass if you’d like to pick-your-own herbs and veggies (keep your eye out for pumpkins), and the Cape Abilities farm store in Dennis has seasonal pies from the Centerville Pie Company. And technically,, pumpkin pie does count as a vegetable.
4. Mid-Westerners may get a bit jaded by the beauty of open fields and corn rows for miles, but you won’t find many New Englanders who don’t love the sight of a cranberry bog at harvest time. Maybe it’s because they’re rare—Cape Cod is one of the few places to find them—or maybe it’s because the sea of red berries is just that beautiful. (Put your money on the second.) You can take a tour at Annie’s Crannies in Dennis, or Cape Farm and Cranberry Company in Harwich.
5. If you must be indoors, make it count. In October, the Cape Symphony Orchestra kicks off its 2018-2019 season with "Symphony at the Disco: A Night at Studio 54," a high energy show fusing disco and classical music, and follows it up in November with some "Magnificent Mozart." Or, check out the coastal-inspired fine art exhibitions at Cape Cod Museum of Art or Provincetown Art Association & Museum. When nature puts on a show, art imitates life.