It begins after Labor Day. The nights are chillier and the days shorter, but the sun still warms the dunes and the water still invites. A few weeks into September and the day temperature turns crisper and the migrating birds use the Cape as a rest spot. This is the best time to visit Cape Cod and enjoy autumn splendor.
Come to Cape Cod in autumn not just for a fiery show of leaves or sweeping vistas of golden slopes, but for walks along deserted dunes and seashores and hikes through marshes preparing for the impending winter storms.
Fall Cape Cod Hiking Guide
The Cape Cod National Seashore has miles of protected dunes and beaches. You can walk the beaches that stretch for miles but the protected dunes should only be navigated on organized tours. Some of my favorite beaches to walk are Nauset Beach in Orleans, Coastguard Beach in Eastham, and Marconi Beach in Wellfleet – you can literally walk for miles in the autumn and not meet another soul.
Also within the bounds of the seashore are superb nature walks at the Fort Hill area in Eastham along the Red Maple Swamp Boardwalk Loop, and the Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Trail near the Marconi area in Wellfleet.
For more details about these and other beaches and walks and organized tours, be sure to visit the Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham on Route 6.
Outside the National Seashore area other walking trails include those at the popular Taylor-Bray Farm in Yarmouthport where there are picnic tables and paths that culminate in scenic views of the Black Flats tidal marsh. Avid bird watchers can take in Chatham’s South Beach and the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge where you can take guided tours.
Fall Vacations On Cape Cod
When it comes to dollars and cents, Cape Cod Hotels offer the biggest savings across the board. Although it’s technically off-season during September, those in the know will still come to the Cape, particularly on weekends. Thus the maximum benefit and value can be found mid-week when most people are at work. Also, many hotels slash rates after Labor Day, but there tends to be more availability, and often better savings, Sundays through Thursdays.
When it comes to visiting a world-class destination in September, it doesn’t get much better than Cape Cod and the Islands.