Most of Cape Cod’s 4 to 6 million vacationers visit in June, July and August. Come September, numbers plummet, especially on weekdays. This drop in visitors translates to savings (like free beach parking after Labour Day), while the slightly cooler temperatures make for more comfortable walking and cycling. Plus, if you time it right, your photos will be adorned with spectacular seasonal colours.

Here are four things to do on an autumn getaway.

Gorge on seafood at Wellfleet Oysterfest

Autumn is prime time for the shellfish this region is known for. One weekend each October (this year, Oct. 14 and 15), shellfish-lovers congregate for Wellfleet Oysterfest, which, despite its name, honours both oysters and clams. Search for your favourite chowder or enjoy the shuck-off competition.

Join the harvest

Massachusetts is home to more than 13,000 acres of cranberry bogs, whose crimson expanses are a sight to behold come harvest season in autumn. Many are open to visitors who want to purchase the fresh, tart fruit, or to learn more about how they’re grown and harvested.

Ride the sand dunes

Family-owned Art’s Dune Tours has been introducing guests to the sand dunes of the Cape Cod National Seashore since 1946—so you can trust they know what they’re talking about. One-hour vehicle outings showcase the region’s nature and can be combined with kayaking and fishing excursions.

Go birding at Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge

Pack binoculars for a visit to the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, which was created in 1944 to provide habitat for migratory birds, many of which make their way through the area each fall. Walk the short, signposted trail to learn about the refuge’s barrier island and salt marsh ecosystem.

Read more: The Best Shoulder-Season Destinations 


[This story appears in the October 2017 issue of WestJet Magazine]