IC’S Guide to Fall in Cape Cod
While summertime is peak season for Cape Cod, there’s something special about visiting during fall. With fewer crowds and lighter traffic, the beauty of the Cape is yours to explore – its picture-perfect beaches, historic charm, and, of course, its unbelievable seafood.
Check in to the Sea Crest Beach Hotel, new to our Independent Collection, and soak in everything Cape Cod has to offer with this three-day fall itinerary.
Day One: Fun in Falmouth
4:00 PM – CHECK IN AT SEA CREST BEACH HOTEL
Upper Cape Cod’s only beachfront resort, Sea Crest is a luxury resort perfect for families, romantic getaways and group vacations alike. There are plenty of accommodations to suit your travel style, from spacious guest rooms with private decks to one- and two-bedroom suites overlooking the ocean. For the ultimate getaway, book the Sea Crest’s three-bedroom cottage complete with a backyard and a fire pit for s’mores under the stars.
Once checked in to your slice of paradise, enjoy a quick walk along Old Silver Beach, a private white sand beach and protected bay located steps away from the resort.
5:00 PM – EXPLORE THE LOCAL TOWN
Sea Crest’s Falmouth neighborhood is quaint, delightful, and full of activities. On Main Street, pop into the boutique shops and hunt for local treasures like hand-made jewelry and watercolor paintings. In need of a libation after a long journey? Head to Cape Cod Winery, a family-run winery famous for its Rosé Mermaid Water, or visit Bad Martha for local brews and artisan pizza.
Falmouth is home to gorgeous landscapes, too. Rent a bike from Sea Crest and cruise the Shining Sea Bikeway, or hike an oceanfront nature trail at The Knob.
7:00 PM – DINNER WITH A VIEW
Head back to Sea Crest for dinner at Red’s Restaurant and Lounge. The resort’s on-site eatery offers an evolving menu of New England classics, plus a full bar and beautiful ocean views. Save room for dessert at The Scoop, Sea Crest’s old-fashioned ice cream parlor!
Day Two: Get Adventurous
7:00 AM – CATCH THE SUNRISE
Mornings by the sea are pure magic in the Cape. On day two, wake up early and watch the sunrise at Old Silver Beach.
9:00 AM – ADVENTURE TIME
There are seemingly endless adventures to be had on Cape Cod’s 70-mile stretch. And with summer season concluded, fall visitors can expect fewer cars on the road, which means more time to explore.
If you’re visiting during September or October, plan for a whale watching cruise. Cape Cod’s waters see several migrating whale species, including humpback, pilot and blue whales. The nearby town of Barnstable (40 min. drive) is a popular port because of its proximity to Stellwagen Bank, the whales’ feeding grounds.
Another popular port is Provincetown, an idyllic town located at the tip of the Cape, roughly an hour and half drive from Falmouth. Besides whale watching, Provincetown is known as a haven for artists and the LGBTQ+ community. Spend your day visiting art galleries, kick back at Herring Cove Beach, or shop the local boutiques.
En route to Provincetown, consider a pit stop in Wellfleet for lunch or drinks. Mac’s Shack is a classic spot for Cape Cod oysters, buttery lobster and sushi. For a stiff cocktail in an unpretentious setting, hit up Beachcomber, an authentic “beach bum” bar that’s regularly rated one of the best bars in the Cape, and in the country.
A day trip to Martha’s Vineyard is always a good idea. Take the Island Queen ferry from Falmouth, and stop for oysters before or after at Falmouth Raw Bar.
Cape Cod has some of the best sports fishing around. Join Patriot Party Boats for a group outing, or book a private charter to personalize your catch.
Of course, we can’t forget to mention sailing. After all, sailing has defined Cape Cod since the 1800s. Aboard the Schooner Liberté for a leisure afternoon on the water or get romantic with a private sunset sail.
7:00 PM – FOOD, FOOD, FOOD!
You may be surprised by Cape Cod’s restaurant scene. In addition to New England seafood shacks you’ll find Italian trattorias, French-inspired menus, and mom-and-pop eateries with impressive culinary chops.
If you can’t get enough of the Cape’s signature seafood (and we don’t blame you), plan for dinner at the Chart Room. This institution is beloved by locals and visitors alike thanks to its delicious food, live piano and harbor views. Order the baked stuffed lobster and enjoy Chart Room’s famous mudslide cocktail for dessert.
C Salt in Falmouth a delightful neighborhood gem serving elevated American cuisine with French and Asian influences. Enjoy dishes like crispy Thai calamari and salmon lo mein in C Salt’s intimate dining room or cozy outdoor patio.
For a fancy night out, make a reservation at Ceraldi in Wellfleet. This foodie favorite offers a seven-course, locally-sourced prix fixe menu inspired by nature and Cape Cod’s seasonal flavors. The menu changes nightly and includes curated wine pairings with stunning sunset views.
Alternatively, Divine Pizza is great for families who want a casual dining experience that everyone will love. This locally-owned Falmouth pizzeria is known for creative spins on traditional Neapolitan pizza, baked to perfection in a stone-fired oven. Order the bacon and scallop pie, and wash it down with a local craft beer.
Day Three: Chill Out
You’ve explored Cape Cod from top to bottom. On day three, why not do nothing at all?
At Sea Crest Beach Hotel, bring your summer read to Old Silver Beach and laze the day away with complimentary lounge chairs, towels and umbrellas. While the kids stay busy at the resort’s arcade, unwind at the indoor pool or stroll to Red’s Restaurant and Lounge for casual cocktails overlooking the ocean.
If your idea of relaxation involves hitting the links, you’re in luck. Cape Cod is home to a number of golf courses with beautiful nature views.
BEFORE YOU GO…
When the time comes to leave Cape Cod, don’t rush home just yet. Instead, set your GPS to The Clam Man, a locally-owned fish market boasting the largest selection of seafood on the Cape. Choose from a huge assortment of freshly-caught fish, shellfish, live lobster, and grab-and-go meals, and bring a taste of Cape Cod back home with you.
FROM SEPTEMBER 23-26, 2021…
Don’t miss the Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, a performance-filled festival honoring the Cape’s hometown author.
Learn more about the Sea Crest Beach Hotel, a one-of-a-kind Independent Collection resort in Cape Cod.