Cape Cod is a gorgeous seaside destination, and the ideal time to visit it depends on what you’re looking to enjoy.
The best time to visit Cape Cod if you’re looking for a budget-friendly, quiet vacation in April-May. If you plan on whale watching, you should come to the cape between June and September. And in case you want to avoid crowds, the winter months–especially October and November–are ideal for you.
If you’re going whale watching, the perfect time is from June-September, when these animals come into Stellwagen Bank for the feeding season.
In this post, we’ll tell you about the year-round weather in Cape Cod, what you can do during these months, and the best time to go whale watching.
Let’s get started!
Weather in Cape Cod
The weather in Cape Cod is relatively comfortable throughout the year, ranging from the 50-70s during April-November.
Cold spells come during December-March when temperatures can go as low as 23 degrees.
January at Cape Cod has cool temperatures of 37 degrees Fahrenheit that can fall as low as 23 degrees. This month falls during the off-season due to its colder weather.
If you’re looking for a quiet vacation with beautiful views of the shoreline, this month is it.
Since most places in Cape Cod close during the winter months, the perfect place to visit include museums (most of which stay open with specific timings).
Museums like the Cape Cod Museum of Art are open Sundays and Thursdays (with free entry on Thursday nights).
Another thing to do is visit the numerous beaches. Whether you decide to go to the Cape Cod National Seashore or Coast Guard Beach (Eastham), you can enjoy a stroll along the empty shores and breathtaking winter views of the sunset or sunrise.
Or you could simply have a great time playing a game of Pond hockey.
Cape Cod also has some of the finest dinings on the East Coast (e.g., Hyannis’s many restaurants), so you can have a cozy night indoors, splurging on your favorite meal!
February is considered the chilliest month on Cape Cod. Temperature averages are a high of 37 and a low of 23 degrees. The best thing to do during these winter months is Thetastic bakeries, museums, and historic theaters.
You can also visit art galleries, like the ones in Wellfleet (close enough to see in one trip) or the Cape Cod Art Association in Barnstable.
And if you want to heat yourself, taking a walk on one of Cape Cod’s numerous scenic trails is another activity to do.
While we advise against going on challenging trails like the Plymouth Jetty because of the low temperatures, we suggest you visit more manageable ones like the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.
March has fluctuating weather. Some days, temperatures can go up to 44 degrees, while other days, it’s as low as 29 degrees. The water is the coldest during this month, regardless of how warm the day is.
Your best bet is to stay indoors and enjoy the historical sites that Cape Cod has to offer. Museums like the Atwood House & Museum give you a glimpse into Chatham’s history.
Places like the Aquinnah Cultural Center show us insight into the culture of the Wampanoags, the original inhabitants of Cape Cod.
This month, you can also enjoy viewing the local sailing teams that get back into the waters, or the workers harvest the cranberries.
With March winds drifting in from the East, hand gliders and paragliders at Wellfleet also become a common sight!
Things start to heat up during April, with temperatures rising to a more comfortable 52 degrees.
This is an ideal month to visit the Cape since you can enjoy outdoor activities–and because it falls in the off-season, you can take advantage of the beauties the cape has to offer without worrying about enormous crowds.
You could go on a hike at the Cliff Pond Trail, enjoy a dip or boat ride in the calm waters.
Grab a bike and ride through the marshes, bogs, and pine trees along the Cape Cod Rail Trail.
You can enjoy the warmer waters in Bay Beaches or take a stroll along the shores.
These months are ideal for outdoor beach fun!
Temperatures during these months range from 62-79 degrees Fahrenheit. From May-June, crowds are still small, and prices, while higher than during the winter months, are more reasonable than during July-August.
You could enjoy the best sunbathing or a swim in the rough waters at Race Point Beach (Provincetown). You can enjoy waterside games with your family at Harding Beach (Chatham) or watch the breathtaking ships leave the Hyannis Harbor and set sail across the shoreline.
Getting accommodation during July and August is more expensive since it’s peak tourist season.
September also promises milder weather at an average of 70 degrees. The month is ideal for visiting the beach or carrying out outdoor activities.
Sunsets during September are considered the prettiest of the year, so you can enjoy one while beach-side in Truro or Wellfleet.
The surf is also larger during September, so you could enjoy riding some waves!
These fall months offer temperatures from 50-60 degrees. For its breathtaking sunsets, you can check out the National Seashore Beaches or the Mayflower Beach in Dennis. Watersports like kayaking are a fun activity during this time of the year.
You can also go on biking trails like the Shining Sea trail (Falmouth), which is a pleasant ride along the shimmering waters of Vineyard Sound to the scenic village of Woods Hole.
Weather during these months is also mild enough to camp at places like Nickerson State Park.
Things start getting chilly from December onwards. Temperatures can fall to 28 degrees, and the Cape becomes quiet again.
Chatham and Orleans are still relatively livelier, and Dennis is an excellent spot for hiking, exploring the shops, or enjoying quality dining. You can also enjoy one of Cape Cod’s Christmas events during this holiday season!
Best Time to go to Cape Cod for Whale Watching
The perfect time to go whale watching in Cape Cod is during June-September. Whales like the Humpbacks, Finbacks, Minkesand, the Atlantic white-sided dolphins tend to spend the summer in Stellwagen Bank, where they feed on their staple food, i.e., plankton.
The best weather for whale watching is when the wind is slow and swells are two feet or less, making them more likely to be sighted.
There are many tours for whale watching, but the best one is by the Dolphin Fleet in Provincetown.
The Dolphin Fleet not just guarantees you a whale sighting but also teaches you about the marine ecosystem of the area and the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.
Tours also leave from Barnstable Harbor.
We advise that you take the tour closest to the area where you’re staying.
You should opt for the Barnstable cruise if you live in any of these locations:
People should take tours leaving from Provincetown from:
The areas of Harwich, Chatham, and Orleans are mid-way between these two locations.
Traffic on Route 6 towards Provincetown during summer is quite heavy, so Barnstable is the better option!
You can also book a private whale-watching cruise exclusively for your family or friends!
When is off-season in Cape Cod?
The off-season at Cape Cod is from Labor Day to Memorial Day, with more activity during October and April. During this off-season, hotel room and vacation rental prices decrease, and the area is less crowded.
The off-season allows you to embrace the beauty of Cape Cod while away from the crowds.
Whether you spend some alone time on the vast beaches or doing recreational activities with your family, you’ll be able to connect with nature without the bustle of tourists around you.
Some fun activities to do during the off-season include exploring the trails along Cape Cod National Seashore or Wiley Pond or visiting uncrowded beaches,e.g., watching the sunset at Campground Beach (Eastham).
The prime time to take a trip to Cape Cod is during the months from October-April.
With rental rates at a low and the weather at a mild 60-70, you’ll enjoy outdoor and waterside activities.
And if you choose to go in the wintertime, there are ample recreational spots–from museums to historic sites–for you to visit.
We hope we were able to give you an apt guide about Whale Watching times at Cape Cod and the year-round weather in the towns and appropriate activities for each of these months.
If you have any questions, drop them in the comments below!