Visit Cape Cod in the Fall

Exploring Woods Hole, Cape Cod, and Martha’s Vineyard in the Fall: A Scenic Adventure

As the leaves begin to change and the cool fall air creeps in, there’s no better time to plan a picturesque getaway to Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard, and the rest of Cape Cod. These charming destinations offer a unique blend of natural beauty, maritime history, and autumnal splendor that makes for an unforgettable fall experience. Read on as we guide you through the must-see attractions, hidden gems, and seasonal delights of this enchanting region.

1. Woods Hole: Gateway to Adventure Nestled on the cozy southwestern corner of Cape Cod, Woods Hole serves as the perfect starting point for your fall excursion. With its quaint village atmosphere and vibrant marine research community, it’s a fascinating place to explore.

  • Woods Hole Science Aquarium: Begin your journey with a visit to the Woods Hole Science Aquarium. It’s a great place to learn about the local marine life and get up close and personal with fascinating creatures. Don’t forget to check out their captivating seal exhibits!
  • Shining Sea Bikeway: Immerse yourself in nature by biking along the Shining Sea Bikeway. This scenic trail will lead you through woodlands, salt marshes, and coastal landscapes, offering breathtaking views of the fall foliage and the glistening waters of Vineyard Sound.
  • Eat your Heart Out: Woods Hole is also the home to some of Cape Cod’s finest cuisine. The village hosts local favorites like the Landfall Restaurant, Captain Kidd, and Water Street Kitchen. There is also the Quick’s Hole Taqueria which is home to the famous Lobster tacos. These and more are all located steps away from the Woods Hole Inn.

2. Cape Cod’s Autumn Splendor Leaving Woods Hole, venture further down Cape, where you’ll encounter a picturesque world drenched in autumn hues.

  • Cape Cod National Seashore: For nature enthusiasts, a visit to Cape Cod National Seashore is a must. As the summer crowds disperse, you can relish the tranquility of its pristine beaches, rolling dunes, and serene hiking trails. Witness the vibrant colors of fall reflected in the tranquil ponds and marshes.
  • Local Farmers’ Markets: Experience the flavors of the season by stopping at one of the local farmers’ markets. From fresh apples and pumpkins to artisanal cheeses and homemade pies, you’ll find a delightful array of seasonal treats.

3. Martha’s Vineyard: A Fall Paradise After exploring Cape Cod, catch a ferry from Woods Hole to Martha’s Vineyard. This island paradise takes on a different charm in the fall, with fewer crowds and milder temperatures.

  • Edgartown: Begin your Martha’s Vineyard adventure in Edgartown, known for its picturesque harbor and historic architecture. Stroll along the cobblestone streets, browse boutique shops, and enjoy a seafood meal with waterfront views.
  • Gay Head Lighthouse: Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the iconic Gay Head Lighthouse. Perched on colorful clay cliffs, it offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding landscape, which is particularly stunning during the fall foliage season.
  • Vineyard Haven: Hidden Gems Continue your exploration of Martha’s Vineyard by heading to Vineyard Haven, a charming town with its own unique appeal.
  • Vineyard Haven Harbor: Take a leisurely walk along the harbor, where you can admire the sailboats and enjoy the soothing sound of water lapping against the docks. This is also a great spot for some birdwatching.
  • Island Artisans Festivals: Discover the island’s rich artistic culture by visiting Island Artisans. This cooperative gallery showcases the work of local artists, including beautiful paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and more. It’s an excellent place to find a unique souvenir of your trip.
  • Other Fun Off-Season Activities: Visit Island Alpaca to see the animals in their fluffy winter coats, pick up an exquisite glass pumpkin at the MV Glassworks, enjoy the fall festival at Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary or take part in the Oak Bluffs turkey trot. Steaming clam chowder at the Black Dog Tavern is always a good choice, or if the weather stays mild, you can enjoy the many hiking and biking trails the island has to offer. Check out these other “Martha’s Vineyard 17 Fun Off-Season Activities” recommendations from island explorer Maria Heffernan.

Exploring Woods Hole, Cape Cod, and Martha’s Vineyard in the fall offers a sensory delight of colorful landscapes and the promise of seasonal treats. Whether you’re interested in outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or simply taking in the beauty of nature, this region has something for everyone. As you plan your autumn escape, remember to savor the moments, capture the breathtaking scenery, and relish the unique charm of this coastal paradise. Don’t wait too long—fall won’t last forever in these enchanting destinations!