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As autumn arrives on Cape Cod, bustling beaches and delectable ice cream give way to blooming colors and piquant cranberries.
Along with the foliage and food, October also heralds the arrival of Fall for the Arts, the aptly named, month-long arts gala that spreads all sorts of family-friendly fun across the peninsula, as well as Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.
Here’s a quick overview of how families, travelers and visitors can make the most of their time as the festivities play out on the Cape and Islands.
Photo: Autumn on Sandy Neck Beach in Sandwich, MA
Fall for the Arts will kick off on October 3 and last through November 1, showcasing local arts, culture, boutiques and shops all along the way. Throughout the month, residents and passersby will be treated to musical performances, kids’ activities, guided walks, live art, special exhibits and a variety of open houses.
There will be four especially noteworthy concerts, the first of which will help start the celebration. On October 3, the Cape Cod Conservatory Jazz Ensemble will perform a free concert at Falmouth Museum on the Green, as a part of ArtsFalmouth’s annual JazzFest. The same night, in conjunction with the concert, the jazz stroll will roll out, giving listeners the chance to take in tunes from more than a dozen artists along Queen’s Byway and Main Street in Falmouth.
A week and a day later, on Saturday, October 11, JO&CO will perform as a part of the Yarmouth Seaside Festival. Always a good time, this year’s event is bound to be an extra fun one, given that Yarmouth celebrating its 375th anniversary, so there will certainly be plenty going on.
Photo: Bonfire at the Yarmouth Seaside Festival via Facebook
Also on Columbus Day weekend, The Kami Lyle Trio will play a special Saturday show at the Addison Art Gallery in Orleans. The next day, the Bert Jackson Quartet will perform at a truly unique get together: Barnstable’s annual Kurt Vonnegut celebration, which runs from Friday through Sunday.
Beyond the concerts, art classes, craft shows, open mics and harvest festivals are on tap, too, and that’s just during the first couple weeks! The Arts Foundation Cape Cod website has a comprehensive rundown of all the activities, which can be found here. Wellfleet Oysterfest, which is consistently ranked among New England’s best seafood shindigs, also takes place on October 18 and 19.
Photo: Oysters in action in Wellfleet
For travelers heading to Martha’s Vineyard during early October, The Living Local Harvest Festival will offer good fall fun, while those spending a little while on Nantucket would do well to circle the Nantucket Arts Festival on their calendars. Of course, mid-October just so happens to be peak foliage time in Massachusetts, so visitors can rest assured that there’ll be scenery to match the activities.
Photo: Autumn on Martha’s Vineyard
When it comes to overnights, there’s no shortage of places to stay on Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, although some lodgings are seasonal. Consequently, the best way to scout out a spot is to browse the options and then inquire about availability.
Which town would be your first stop during a fall trip to Cape Cod and the Islands? Let us know below in the comments!
Photo at the top: Bert Jackson Quarter via Facebook