Greatest time to go to Cape Cod for whale watching, Martha's Winery and empty seashores

Cape Cod daydreams typically embody lengthy sunny days on the seashore, strolling on the sand, frolicking within the water and consuming loads of seafood. In actuality, this idyllic image solely exists a fraction of the 12 months – primarily in July and August, the one months with constantly heat climate and sunny skies. 

Fortuitously, the remaining months have their very own attraction, similar to fewer folks and decrease costs, and every season presents delightfully totally different dressings, from fall foliage to winter vacation festivities to spring blooms. Even higher? Seafood is in season year-round.

Whether or not you’re coming for a summer time seashore vacation or an offseason getaway, listed here are one of the best instances to go to Cape Cod.

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Shoulder season is one of the best time for blooms and birds (April to June) 

Cape Cod is pleasant within the spring. The climate begins to heat up, and the gardens and greenery burst into bloom. There’s loads of rain, however there’s additionally loads of sunshine. 

Temperatures are perfect for climbing, biking, birding and seashore strolling. Lodging is way more reasonably priced than in summer time, and there are not any visitors jams (excluding Memorial Day weekend).

Excessive season is for journeys to the seashore (July & August)

Sunny skies and constantly scorching climate make July and August one of the best time for a conventional seashore vacation with sunning, swimming and sand-digging. The summer time months are additionally greatest for whale watching, as humpback, minke and fin whales all spend their summers off the coast of Massachusetts. 

The tradeoff, in fact, is that July and August are the months everybody goes to the Cape. Visitors clogs the streets, seashore parking heaps replenish, it’s arduous to discover a spot on the sand in your towel and the price of lodging and flights are at their peak.

The autumn shoulder season is essentially the most nice time on Cape Cod, with gentle sunny climate and fewer folks © Picture Supply / Getty Pictures

Keep away from the crowds and revel in gentle temps in fall shoulder (September & October)

Excessive season’s official finish is Labor Day, after which Cape Cod is left to the locals and the seals. The autumn shoulder season is essentially the most nice time on Cape Cod, with gentle sunny climate and fewer folks. Some native institutions shut for the season, however widespread actions like whale-watching cruises and dune excursions run by way of October. 

September and October are wonderful for wildlife watching on Cape Cod. The seals head to Monomoy Island to breed, and lots of species of birds go by way of the area on their migratory journeys.

Hunt for bargains throughout off-season (November to April)

Cape Cod is quiet from November to April. Many lodgings and eating places shut for the season, or dramatically cut back their costs, and points of interest like museums, galleries and nature preserves might also shut throughout these offseason months. All the time test forward earlier than you e-book.  

The climate on Cape Cod is wet in November and chilly and windy the remainder of the season. The excellent news is that the wintertime air temperature is about 10 levels hotter than on the mainland, and the Cape receives significantly much less snow. 

The seashores are splendidly windswept and gloriously desolate throughout these months. It’s a implausible time for sunrises and sunsets, birding, beachcombing, lengthy walks and winter swimming (if you happen to’re into that form of factor).

Plunge into the New 12 months in January

Kick off the New 12 months with a Polar Plunge into the frigid Atlantic. It is an annual New 12 months’s Day occasion that attracts massive crowds in Provincetown, Yarmouth and Bourne. If you happen to favor to remain dry, there are additionally First Day hikes at numerous conservation lands across the Cape.

Key Occasions: First Evening Celebrations, New 12 months’s Day, Polar Plunges 

Get cozy at an space B&B in February

February is an efficient time to hunker down in entrance of a hearth in considered one of Cape Cod’s many cozy B&Bs. Presidents’ Day kicks off a statewide faculty trip week, when a number of native museums and nature facilities have particular programming for youths.

Key Occasion: Hyannis Marathon

Have fun St Patrick’s Day in March

Temperatures are nonetheless uncooked in March. Whereas the Cape stays largely quiet, issues perk up mid-month for the festive Cape Cod St Patrick’s Parade in Yarmouth.

Key Occasions: St Patrick’s Parade

Cease to scent the flowers in April

The cherry-blossom bushes are aromatic and pink, the herring are working and Cape Cod is awakening from its winter slumber. Some seasonal actions – similar to whale-watching cruises and Heritage Gardens – start working in the course of the third week in April, which is a faculty trip week all through Massachusetts.

Key Occasion: Patriots’ Day

Woman standing on a boardwalk looking through binoculars
Could is prime time for birdwatching in Cape Cod, due to the return of migratory species © Dermot Conlan / Getty Pictures

Spot breeding birds in Could

Cape Cod affords distinctive birding any time of 12 months, however Could is prime time, due to the return of migratory species. The rhododendrons burst into bloom at Heritage Gardens. Memorial Day weekend marks the opening of the official vacationer season.

Key Occasions: Rhododendron Competition, Memorial Day, Figawi Race

Take chilly dips in June

In early June, the climate on Cape Cod remains to be cool and wet, and summer time guests trickle in. By the second half of the month, the times are scorching, however the ocean is chilly. Crowds are nonetheless sparse on the sand, making it a tremendous time for a seashore vacation if you happen to can deal with the chilly water. Issues choose up in late June due to a bunch of Pleasure occasions held all through the realm. 

Key Occasions: Provincetown Portuguese Competition and Blessing of the Fleet, Juneteenth 

Absorb the solar in July

Fourth of July weekend is the busiest summer time weekend on Cape Cod. In villages across the Cape, skies mild up with fireworks shows and the streets come alive with Independence Day parades. After the vacation weekend, enjoyable continues with arts festivals and backyard excursions all through the month.

Key Occasions: Fourth of July, Cape Cod Hydrangea Competition, Provincetown Household Week

Girl playing with sand on beach
Cape Cod’s seashores are greatest in August, when a number of weeks of heat climate and sunshine have labored their magic © Picture Supply Buying and selling Ltd / Shutterstock

Swim within the Cape’s warmest waters in August

By August, a number of weeks of heat climate and sunshine have labored their magic, and water temperatures across the Cape now common a swimmable 68°F. All through the month, Cape Cod’s occasion calendar is crowded with movie festivals, street races and seashore events.

Key Occasions: Provincetown Carnival, Falmouth Street Race

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Lounge on abandoned seashores in September

After Labor Day, Cape Cod empties out, as households go residence and youngsters return to highschool. However guess what? The water is nice for a number of extra weeks. Early September affords slightly window of dreamy situations – sunny skies, warmish waters and empty seashores.

Key Occasions: Labor Day, Harwich Cranberry Competition

Brilliant red sumac leaves in the field in front of the Higgins Farm Windmill in Brewster, Massachusetts
Cape Cod isn’t a premier fall foliage vacation spot as a result of its largely flat panorama and proliferation of pines, however there are good colours to be discovered if you realize the place to look © KenWiedemann / Getty Pictures

Ogle the autumn foliage in October

Cape Cod isn’t a premier fall foliage vacation spot as a result of its largely flat panorama and proliferation of pines. However scarlet oaks and golden elms placed on a beautiful show, particularly on the Higher and Mid Cape.

Key Occasion: Wellfleet Oyster Fest

Go to the Pilgrims’ first touchdown web site in November

Enjoyable truth: earlier than arriving in Plymouth, the Pilgrims made their first New World touchdown at present-day Provincetown, the place they signed the Mayflower Compact. Provincetown celebrates this little piece of historical past on the Wednesday earlier than Thanksgiving when the granite Pilgrim Monument lights up with greater than 3000 lights (adopted by music and merry-making).

Key Occasions: Provincetown Meals & Wine Competition, Pilgrim Monument Lighting, Thanksgiving

Get festive in December

Christmas festivities abound on Cape Cod all through the month of December. Nearly each village celebrates with its personal signature occasions, together with fabulous mild shows, vacation markets, enjoyable runs and Christmas parades.

Key Occasions: Chatham Christmas Stroll, Lobster Pot tree lighting, Polar Categorical prepare rides