Best Times to Visit Cape Cod
The best time to visit Cape Cod is April, May, October or November. These shoulder months usher in pleasant temperatures for outdoor pursuits, fewer crowds than the busy summer season and reasonable room rates. Visiting between June and September is best if hitting the beach is a top priority for you, but you'll shell out a pretty penny for a seaside cottage during the peak tourist season. In contrast, the Cape is near abandoned from December through March and hotel prices are much less expensive than the warmer months. If you're looking for some time to curl up with a good book in quiet solitude, winter is the time for you.
With just-right temperatures — ranging from the high 50s to the low 80s — warm waters and cool ocean breezes, it's easy to see why the summer is the most popular time to visit. But the Cape's high season also brings with it high prices, and most importantly, traffic. Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day weekends are notoriously crowded; driving and dining out can be stress-inducing. If you have your heart set on a holiday weekend visit, make sure to reach your home base by early Thursday at the very latest.
The fall shoulder season is one of Cape Cod's best-kept secrets. Hotels drop their rates considerably as the tourists flock back to the mainland. And although it's a bit chilly to go swimming, the weather stays pleasant well into November — temperatures hover between the 40s and the low 60s.
With the ever-present ocean breezes, plus temperatures between the low 40s and low 20s, a low-season visit is not for everyone. But hotel rooms — some with up to 30 percent discounts — and dinner reservations are easy to find. That said, major tourist attractions will shorten their hours or even shut down in the off-season, so it's best to call all must-see sites in advance.
If you want to avoid hordes of tourists, sneak in a visit during the short but sweet spring shoulder season. That way, you can take advantage of all the top tourist spots that are opening up shop. The weather slowly warms up, too, with temperatures rising to the high 30s and low 50s in April, and by May you'll rarely see a day under 50 degrees Fahrenheit. But keep in mind that hotel rates get progressively more expensive as Memorial Day weekend nears (it is after all the official start of the summer season).