Make a Day on Historic Route 6A

 

Many people who live on Cape Cod year-round will tell you that fall is the best time to visit. The hustle and bustle of summer is gone, as is the traffic, and the air is cool and crisp. Although the pace of the Cape slows down in fall, it is a wonderful time to be here, with all sorts of options to explore.

 

Driving historic Route 6A, known as Old King’s Highway, on a sun-splashed autumn day offers a picturesque postcard into the Cape’s past and present. You will pass expansive salt marshes, bright red cranberry bogs in harvest, former sea captains’ homes and ancient maple trees providing fall foliage at its finest, along with a bevy of art galleries, restaurants and boutique shops.

cape cod in the fall

Brewster General Store

Make your first stop the Brewster General Store, where you could spend hours perusing the unique assortment of merchandise, from jams, jellies and kitchen gadgets to puzzles, games and penny candy. Built as a church in 1852, the building was converted into a general store in 1866. Grab a morning coffee, take a seat on the front porch and soak in the local color.

things to do on cape cod

Cape Cod Museum of Natural History

From there, head west for a walk at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, which is surrounded by 300 acres, with nature trails meandering through the woodland, salt marsh and on the shore of Cape Cod Bay. Don’t miss nearby Paine’s Creek, a stunningly beautiful inlet where, at low tide, you can walk the flats. This is also a wonderful spot to take in a sunset.

 

There might be no better scenic view on the Cape than the one from Scargo Tower in Dennis. This 30-foot-tall cobblestone tower was originally constructed in 1901 and is located on the highest hill in the area, offering panoramic views of the ocean and Cape Cod Bay. On a clear day, you can see all the way to Provincetown and the Sagamore Bridge.

cape cod inns and hotels

Sydenstricker Gallery

As you cruise along Route 6A through Brewster and Dennis, you might want to pop into a gallery or two. At the Sydenstricker Gallery in Brewster, you can watch artisans create hand-crafted glassware, from the stenciled drawing to the finished product, just as they’ve done for 50 years. Nestled in Dennis is the rustic and elegant Borsari Gallery, housed in a quintessential New England barn, where you’ll find the work of award-winning photographer Andrew Borsari. In the mood for jewelry? Visit Ross Coppelman Goldsmith, which has been crafting high-carat gold, platinum and sterling jewelry for more than four decades.

cape cod restaurants

The Marshside Restaurant

By now, perhaps it’s time for lunch. The Marshside Restaurant in East Dennis and the Scargo Café in Dennis Village are great options. An extensive renovation transformed the Marshside from a sleepy breakfast/lunch destination into a stylish venue with vaulted wood-beam ceilings, a two-tiered dining room and booths lining large windows overlooking the marsh and Sesuit Creek. The Scargo Café, with a dining room of a wood-paneled captain’s house, has a homey feel, while the bistro area is spirited and modern.

 

Throughout your journey, don’t miss the many historic homes and bayside beaches, and make sure to grab a taste of fall by picking up fresh apples at Tobey’s Farm, located just beyond the village.

 

Route 6A is also home to a multitude of antique shops, none larger than the Antiques Center of Cape Cod, where you’ll encounter treasures ranging from classic records on vinyl, vintage magazines and Art Deco lamps to all different kinds of mid-20th-century décor that will give your home a unique flavor.

cape cod fall activities

First Crush Winery

Before heading home to the Seadar Inn, make your final stop First Crush Winery in Harwich. Operated under the direction of a retired local optometrist with a degree in science, the winery produces 50,000 bottles annually, using fruit from the finest growing regions in Northern California. Make sure to try its award-winning Fusion, a dark, rub-rich gem created in the Bordeaux tradition.

 

All photos via Facebook.