From: September 16 to September 24, 2017

Destination: Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket

  • Autumn on Cape Cod - FULL

    The whales and birds are migrating, the air is crisp and clear, and the hordes of summer tourists have left. In addition to offering endless opportunities for outdoor adventure - we'll be hiking, kayaking, and biking - both the human and natural history of this remarkable area is fascinating. We start our adventure with two days each on Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, two well known islands that couldn't be more different in their feel. We then travel up the Cape to Provincetown, the town at the tip of Cape Cod that has been drawing writers, artists, and outdoor enthusiast for years. In addition to all our planned activities, we'll make sure you have enough free time to explore the variety of enchanting small towns the area is known for. Maximum group size: 12

    THIS TRIP IS FULL. To get on a waitlist, register for the trip (no deposit required).
  • September 16
    Our trip starts at 5pm at the DoubleTree hotel in Hyannis. We'll start getting to know each other and review our plans for the trip before sharing our first dinner. If you're driving, you'll be able to leave your car there during the trip. If you're flying into Boston, we'll send information about the shuttle that leaves every hour from Logan Airport and takes approximately 2 hours from the airport to Hyannis. We will also send everyone's travel plan approximately 4 weeks before the trip and you may want to coordinate with others about sharing a taxi. Overnight Hyannis D

    September 17
    We start our day with a 55-minute ferry ride to Martha's Vineyard. Aggressive land conservation has kept much of it unspoiled and the opportunities for outdoor recreation are endless. Our ferry arrives in Oak Bluffs, one of the 6 towns dotted around the island and our home base for the next couple of days. We'll rent bikes for the day and cycle to Edgartown, 7 miles away. From here we can take the 10-minute ferry across to Chappaquiddick Island and either leave our bikes at the ferry landing or continue our cycle to the Japanese garden (Mytoi Gardens) it's known for. If time we will visit Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge before returning to Edgartown. We will walk our bikes through Edgartown, known for its stately white Greek Revival houses that were built by whaling captains, before riding back to Oak Bluffs. Biking between 14 - 20 miles. Overnight Martha’s Vineyard B, L, D

    September 18
    This morning we'll go to the Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary, owned and run by Massachusetts Audubon Sanctuary. We'll explore the area from the vantage point of a kayak with a local naturalist and learn about the three ecosystems here: ocean, saltmarsh, and freshwater. We walk through the sanctuary and and learn about the forest and shore. In the afternoon we'll travel out to Gay Head Cliffs, steep ocean side cliffs known for their colorful striations and for a lighthouse that has been moved several times to prevent it from toppling into the water. We'll stay long enough to watch the sunset from Menemsha Beach: when the weather is good, the dark sea is offset by skies full of vivid pink and orange.  Hiking approximately 2-3 miles and kayaking 2 hours. Overnight Martha's Vineyard B, L, D

    September 19
    Depending on the schedule of the inter-island ferry, we have the morning free for one more adventure. Our hike at Cedar Tree Neck Sanctuary has it all: woods, beach, salt marsh, and kettle ponds and is a wonderful wrap-up to our time at Martha's Vineyard. In early afternoon we bid a fond farewell to Martha's Vineyard and take the ferry across to Nantucket. Although sharing a similar history and only an hour away, Nantucket has a completely different feel to it. Smaller and more compact, there is only one town - and that town is charming. There are cobblestone streets, historic homes, interesting stores, and an historic whaling museum all worth visiting.  We will stop by and get measured for our bikes that will be delivered to our hotel and ready for us tomorrow. We will meet our local guide downtown and have a walking tour of Nantucket Town, learning its history while exploring its nooks and crannies. We'll take the shuttle to the hotel where our luggage is waiting and have some time to settle in before heading out to dinner. Walking and hiking a total of approximately 4.5 miles Overnight Nantucket B, D

    September 20
    After a hearty breakfast, we hop on our bikes and head out on of the many bike trails in Nantucket. We'll cycle on bike paths and bike-friendly roads out to the eastern part of the island. On our way we will stop to overlook the Nantucket Moors and then the picturesque town of Siasconset (pronounced Sconset). We continue around the island past the red and white stripped Sankaty Head Lighthouse and stop for a break to explore an organic cranberry bog. You'll then have the rest of the afternoon free to pursue what interests you most: Nantucket is known for its museums, shops, scenic location, and street life. We'll meet up for dinner before returning to the Inn. Biking approximately 15 miles. Nantucket B, D

    September 21
    We leave Nantucket this morning and return to Hyannis where our van awaits. Our destination today is Provincetown, our home base for the next three nights. On the way we'll stop at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, located on Wellfleet Bay and encompassing a salt marsh, barrier beach, and pine woodlands. Our visit here will be the perfect introduction to the ecology of Cape Cod, which shares some similarities but is also quite different from either island. Depending on the weather we will either spend time walking on one or more of the several nature trails or join a local naturalist for exploration of the area by kayak. We continue our drive to Provincetown where we will check into our hotel, our home for the next three nights. Hiking or kayaking for approximately 2 hours. Overnight Provincetown B, L, D

    September 22
    Our plan for the day is to combine a hike out to Race Point with some time for you to explore the always interesting town of Provincetown on your own. Which we do first will depend on the tides since our hike is best done around low tide. Our destination is the Race Point lighthouse, on the westernmost tip of Provincetown where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Cape Cod Bay. The 6.6 mile trail is a combination of bike path, sandy beach, and a dirt road that crosses a dike on a salt marsh. When we're not walking, you'll have time to visit this delightful town. Whether your interest is history, art, or shopping, Provincetown has something for everyone. And if you need more exercise, then consider climbing the 252-foot Pilgrim Monument, the tallest all granite structure in the US. Provincetown is also known for its many excellent restaurants and dinner is on your own tonight so you can sample what appeals to you. Hike approximately 5 miles Overnight Provincetown B, L

    September 23
    Cape Cod's history is tightly bound with whaling, so it's fitting that we will go whale-watching on our final full day here. Not all whale watch companies are alike and we've chosen Dolphin Fleet for our trip. Their whale-watching boat is a scientific ship, and our fees support ongoing programs to help us understand and protect the wildlife. We hope to see Humpback, Right, and Minke whales during our tour, as well as pelagic birds that can only be seen in the ocean. The Cape is listed as one of the top ten whale-watching spots in the world, and the whale-watchers are 99.8 percent successful in spotting whales here. We'll also have time for that final walk on the beach, stroll through the streets, or explore the dunes or salt marshes. Tonight we'll share a final farewell dinner, celebrating all we've learned about the Cape and the camaraderie we've shared over the past week. Overnight Provincetown B, L, D

    September 24
    Is it really time to leave? Sadly yes. We will share one last breakfast before we pack up and head back to Hyannis. We will hop in the van for the ride back to Hyannis arriving by 11am. You can then catch the bus back to Boston for a flight home. The bus ride from Hyannis to Logan airport will take approximately 2 hours, although it could be longer in heavy traffic. There is also an option to return to Boston via the Provincetown fast-ferry. The ferry leaves from the dock in Provincetown and takes approximately 1.5 hours. As per the current schedule you would arrive in Boston at noon. Once in Boston you will need to take a cab or public transportation to Logan airport. If you elect to take the bus back to Boston, you can book a flight after 5pm; if you elect to take the ferry, you can book a flight after 4pm.
  • $2795 (see this page for travel discounts)$300 deposit. Single supplement (only required if you want a room to yourself) is $400. You can see our cancellation policies here.

    Trip Includes

    • experienced guides
    • all activities on the itinerary, including the kayak tours, whalewatching, and bicycle rental
    • 3 ferry rides: Hyannis to Martha's Vineyard, Martha's Vineyard to Nantucket, and Nantucket to Hyannis
    • all meals from Saturday dinner through breakfast the next Sunday except for one dinner and two lunches
    • eights nights lodging in double occupancy rooms
    • transportation during the trip including round trip transfer from Hyannis, MA
    Not included: transportation to Hyannis, alcoholic beverages, two lunches and one dinner, optional activities, guide gratuities, and items of a personal nature
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  • Common Questions

    If you’ve never traveled with us before, you may have some questions about how we do things and what you can expect. We’ve answered the most common ones below and are always available by phone or email to answer any others.

    How do I pay for my trip?

    You can make the deposit by submitting a secure form with your credit card information after filling out the registration form or calling us with your card information. We will send you an invoice for the balance due with your Predeparture Information 4 months before an International trip and 3 months before a domestic trip. You can get a 3% discount for paying the balance by check.

    What if I’m coming alone?

    The majority of women who travel with us come by themselves. If you want to pay a single supplement to guarantee your own room, or if you want to share a room with someone with whom you are traveling, you can indicate that on the registration form. Otherwise we randomly assign roommates and rotate every time we change lodging – it’s a great way to get to know different women on the trip.

    Can you accommodate special diets?

    It depends on both the trip and on your specific needs. With advance notice, we can accommodate most dietary restrictions or allergies on our domestic trips, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten intolerant. This is not always true on international trips, so please contact us in advance if you have specific dietary needs. We've found that if you are willing to bring some of your own snacks and a couple of items to supplement what is on the menu (peanut butter is always good!) and possibly have less variety than you are used to at home, then dietary needs usually are no obstacle. If in doubt about your specific dietary needs, especially if you have Celiac disease, please give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email.

    What if I have to cancel my trip?

    The amount of your refund depends on how close to the trip you cancel and whether it is a domestic or an international trip. You can read our cancellation policies here. We highly recommend travel insurance because cancellations are always unexpected; we will send you additional information about insurance when you register.

    Will my family be able to get in touch with me in case of an emergency?

    Yes, we always send out emergency contact information. On a few trips, because of limitations in communication, the best approach is to give them the office number and let us make the contact.

    What other information will you send me?

    When you register, we’ll send you a Trip Summary that includes the itinerary, travel information, and a packing list. Three to four months before your trip we’ll send you Pre-Departure information that includes detailed information on how to get to the trip starting point, pre- or post-trip lodging suggestions, suggested books and websites etc. Four to six weeks before the trip, we’ll send you a list of everyone who is registered along with their travel plans; and a Pre-Trip letter with the name of your guide(s) and how to contact them if your arrival is delayed as well as any other important updates.

    Do you help with pre-trip and/or post-trip hotel reservations?

    For international trips, if you want to stay at the hotel where we’re staying the first night before the trip, or at the hotel we’re staying the last night after the trip, we’re happy to make a reservation for you. Otherwise our PreDeparture Information will have hotel suggestions. Our travel agent is also happy to help you with this.

    How does the waitlist process work and how often do people cancel?

    If you are interested in a trip that is full, you should sign up here. If there is a cancellation, we send out an email to everyone who has expressed interest and ask them to respond within 24 hours. If more than one person is interested, we give the space to the person who has traveled with us before or in the order of being put on the waitlist. Frequently, even when we have a long wait list, it is the last person to sign up who is still available to go. Whether or not there will be a cancellation is completely unpredictable, although not uncommon.

    What is the role of the guide(s)?

    On every trip, the primary roles of the guide(s) are to ensure your safety and to make sure that, to the extent possible, you are having the trip you want. The guide(s) will also make sure that you know what is happening each day and what you need to bring to be prepared. On domestic trips the guide(s) will also likely be driving, preparing picnic lunches and sometimes other meals, providing skills instruction, and giving you information about the natural history of the area. On any trip where we partner with another company (which is most international trips and some trips that require special equipment), the AGC guide will work with the local guide to make sure that the trip is conducted in accordance with the AGC philosophy.

    What if I have more questions?

    Give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email. A Program Manager is assigned to each trip. Once you have registered, she will send you a registration confirmation letter that includes her name and email, and she will be your primary contact. Her job is to make sure that you get all your questions answered and that you feel completely prepared for your adventure.

    What if I'm the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape/only single woman/only mom on the trip?

    You might be. Someone has to be the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape person on the trip. And while the great majority of our trips have both single and non-single women, and moms and non-moms, sometimes they don't. But it doesn't matter if you're "different" in any of those ways - what you will share with everyone else is a desire to experience adventure in your life, and an appreciation of the joy and camaraderie of being in an all women's group.

Trip highlights

  • Visiting this supremely interesting area after the summer tourists have departed
  • Exploring beaches, salt marshes, dunes, and freshwater ponds by foot and kayak
  • Biking on the extensive array of bike trails on both islands and the Cape
  • Learning about the human and natural history of this fascinating area
  • Visiting the small towns for which Cape Cod and the Islands are known

Register for this trip today

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