Autumn on Cape Cod

Destination: Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket

| Activities: Hiking, Kayaking, Biking, and History

Autumn on Cape Cod is spectacular! 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


  • Visiting Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket 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 the islands
  • Learning about the human and natural history of this fascinating area
  • Visiting the Provincetown at the very tip of the Cape


  • 1 - 2 experienced AGC guides based on group size
  • All activities on the itinerary, including the kayak tours, naturalist walks and bicycle rental
  • Three ferry rides: Hyannis to Martha's Vineyard, Martha's Vineyard to Nantucket, and Nantucket to Hyannis
  • All meals from dinner the first night through breakfast on the last day except for two lunches
  • Seven nights lodging
  • Transportation during the trip
Not included: Transportation to and from Hyannis, alcoholic beverages, two lunches, optional activities in Provincetown, i.e. whale watch, guide gratuities and trip insurance.

Trip Documents

Trip Info

This trip is appropriate for any active woman who walks regularly for exercise and wants a vacation that mixes being active in the outdoors with historical and cultural exploration. No previous experience in any of the activities is needed. Although, if it has been awhile since you have been on a bicycle, we would recommend you do some bike riding or attend a spin class to get used to a bicycle again. Rating 1 [2] 3 4 5

Our week includes a variety of activities including hiking, kayaking and biking on Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, along the Cape and Provincetown. We will learn the ecology of the islands from our kayaks and through a guided walk with Audubon Naturalists. We'll bike along the bike trails on the islands as well as hike on some of their many trails. We will be hiking, biking or kayaking between 3-6 hours a day with some time to explore the area on our own. We will explore Provincetown and hike through a salt marsh. You can arrange for you to go whale watching if interested!

We are staying in a variety of lodging. We will start and end in a hotel in Hyannis. On Martha's Vineyard we will stay at the Madison Inn in Oak Bluff. This is nestled in the town of Oak Bluff. While on Nantucket we will stay at the Nantucket Inn. This is a lovely hotel outside of town, they have a frequent shuttle in and out of town.

All rooms will have two beds and an ensuite bathroom. Rooms are double-occupancy, we will pair you with another traveler unless you request a specific roommate. There are 2 single rooms available for an additional cost. You will see the availability of room types on your registration form.

Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.

Our trip starts at 5 p.m. at our 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 at the hotel during the trip. If you are flying into Boston’s Logan Airport, there is a bus that leaves every hour from the airport. It takes approximately 2 hours from the airport to Hyannis Transportation Center from there it is an easy cab ride to the hotel. More details will be included in your Pre-Departure document.

Overnight: Hyannis (D)
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). After walking through the gardens we'll return on our bikes to Edgartown. We'll walk our bikes through town, past its stately white Greek Revival houses that were built by whaling captains. Hopping back on our bikes we'll return to Oak Bluffs. If you prefer not to bike, you can ride in the van to MyToi and back.

Biking between 14 - 20 miles. Overnight: Martha’s Vineyard (B, L, D)
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. After our kayak we'll learn about the forest and shore on a walk through the sanctuary. 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 and enjoy a picnic at the cliffs: when the weather is good, the dark sea is offset by skies full of vivid pink and orange.

Hiking: approximately 2-3 miles. Kayaking: 2 hours. Overnight: Martha's Vineyard (B, L, D)
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 will stay in Nantucket for dinner before check-in into the hotel where our luggage awaits.

Walking and hiking: approximately 5.5 miles. Overnight: Nantucket (B, D)
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. Overnight: Nantucket (B, D)
We leave Nantucket this morning and return to Hyannis where our van awaits. Our destination is our kayak trip, which will encompass a salt marsh, barrier beach, and pine woodlands. Where exactly we go will be dependent on the winds and tides. Our trip will be the perfect introduction to the ecology of Cape Cod, which shares some similarities but is also quite different from either island. After a full afternoon of kayaking we will head back Hyannis.

Kayaking: approximately 2 hours. Overnight: Hyannis (B, L, D)
Provincetown Day! Provincetown is the site of the Mayflower landing in 1620. It has a rich maritime history and for many years along with Nantucket was a center of New England whaling. It is now better known for its eclectic galleries and shops. Today you have many choices, you can go for a whale watch, (additional cost), hike with your guide along a salt marsh to Race Point Lighthouse (tide dependent) or take the day to explore the town on your own. If you decide to go on the whale watch, we go with Dolphin Fleet. Their whale-watching boat is a scientific ship, and your fees support ongoing programs to help us understand and protect the wildlife. We hope to see Humpback, Right, and Minke whales during our tour. 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. No matter what you chose to do for the day there will be time to explore the vibrant Commercial Street area before we head back to Hyannis for our final dinner together celebrating all we've learned about the island and the Cape and the camaraderie we've shared over the past week.

Overnight Hyannis (B, D)
Is it really time to leave? Sadly yes. We will share one last breakfast before we say good-bye. If you are flying out of Boston (Logan Airport), there is a bus from the Hyannis bus terminal approximately every half-hour starting at 6:30 a.m. The trip from Hyannis to Logan Airport takes approximately 2-3 hours. We recommend that you book flights after 1 p.m.


(21 reviews)
4.3 Food
4.4 Lodging
4.6 Safety

*These are the unfiltered reviews of women who have been on this trip in answer to the question "What made this trip special for you?". We take reviews very seriously and often tweak itineraries based on feedback. Please feel free to contact us about any questions you have.

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Marguerita P.
3 years ago

Excellent itinerary with something for everyone. Great balance of scheduled activities and free time. Loved all the activities, but especially kayaking in the salt marsh on MV and the hike to race point.

Donna S.
3 years ago

Well planned, organized, great activities without going overboard - just busy enough.

Bonnie V.
3 years ago

Everyday was great!!! Guides were fabulous, so patient and engaging. Guides set a postive,friendly,inclusive atmosphere throughout the entire trip.

Becky A.
3 years ago

The whale watching was a highlight. Also the group in general who were on the trip- an amazing group of women including the guides who bonded quickly and had a fantastic time together

Kaye O.
3 years ago

The beautiful scenery and the variety of activities were highlights to me.

Martha T.
3 years ago

It more than lived up to my expectations! I really can’t pick a favorite- I loved it all; however, to be honest my least favorite was visiting My Toi gardens. The bike ride was very enjoyable, but I would have preferred riding to and visiting just about anywhere else on Martha’s Vineyard. I thought the picnic buffets were top notch as well as choices of restaurants. Thanks for a memorable experience and introduction to such unique and beautiful places!

Susan C.
5 years ago

Through no fault of AGC, we were unable to follow our schedule. The guides did their best to add things to our trip, but of course, it was a bit disappointing.

Karen D.
5 years ago

I got tired of the paper and plastic lunches. More fruit would have been nice.

Betty B.
5 years ago

Weather related so guides needed to do a lot of scrambling to find things to do....should have been prepared for rainy timesM

Beth F.
5 years ago

i don't feel that i can rate this trip because the rains and winds and more rains and winds did it in for a big part of it--i do however always enjoy myself no matter what!!if the weather would have been doable i am sure the trip would have been a 5 or better!!!

Wendy M.
5 years ago

Because of the poor weather, we were not able to do many of the excursions listed, which were the one s I was looking forward to.

Susan K.
5 years ago

It definitely didn't meet my expectations, but that was due to the weather wrecking most of the planned activities, which was beyond your control. What I didn't know, is what does the company expect to do in this type of situation, what the guides did?

Bev H.
5 years ago

Due to Hurricane Jose, it was not the trip we planned, but it was a good trip overall regardless. The two days in Martha's Vineyard where we were able to do what was planned were excellent experiences. The biking and kayaking exactly met my expectations.

Deirdre H.
5 years ago

Probably would have been an excellent trip if the weather had been better.

Nancy A.
5 years ago

The trip to Cape Cod was fun and memorable due to the women on the trip, the leaders, and many of the activities we did. I was able to experience Boston before the trip and see the Cape. The reason for rating it a 4 is because we were unable to do the activities planned. It was out of the hands of the leaders (mother nature and Jose disrupted our plans). I felt bad for Sarah and Debra having to scamble to find activities. Perhaps there should be a contingency plan in place for trips (in place before trip starts) in the event weather disrupts plans. This way the guides would not be scrambling to find things to do.

Connie E.
6 years ago

Bonnie S.
6 years ago

Whale watching. Kayaking. Seeing MV, Nantucket and Ptown

Joanne L.
6 years ago

Bicycling, kayaking and hiking

Linda G.
6 years ago

The location was fantastic. I had never been to the New England area and it was wonderful. There were great activities and the group of women was a good fit.

Lois R.
6 years ago

This was a coast I'd never visited before. I found it more beautiful at every turn.

Sandra K.
6 years ago

It was great. The guides did an excellent job managing all the details. The accomodations were very nice and I especially liked the Nantucket Inn.

  1. Where do we eat?

    Your breakfasts will be at the lodges where you are staying. Most lunches will be picnic style, with some on your own to explore the local eateries. Dinners will be in restaurants where you can order off the menu or, if weather permits, a picnic.
  2. What dietary preferences or restrictions can you accommodate on this trip?

    If we know well in advance, we can accommodate vegetarian, lactose-free, and gluten-sensitive diets. We cannot guarantee a completely gluten-free diet and we cannot guaranteed that the restaurants and lodges to be free of cross-contamination. If you are vegan, we ask that you bring some additional protein bars; and if you are gluten-sensitive, please bring some gluten-free snacks. If you have severe allergies, Celiac disease and/or other significant dietary restrictions, please call the office before you register.
  3. I will be coming by myself. Do I need to pay a single supplement?

    You only need to pay a single supplement if you want to guarantee you have your own room. Otherwise we'll pair you up with someone and then switch roommates every time we switch lodging.
  4. I have never kayaked before is this the right trip for me?

    This is the perfect trip for new and more experienced kayakers. You will be kayaking in protected areas along the coast or within salt marshes. The first day there will be instruction on safety and basic kayaking strokes. The waters are calm and the boats are stable.
  5. I have not biked in years! Will I be OK on this trip?

    Nantucket is known for its wonderful paved bike paths. You will be biking mostly along these paths. You will be along the road for a part of the trip but the shoulders are wide. We have planned time on the first day of biking for your to ride around and a get your 'bike legs' back. If you do not want to bike you can ride in the van the first day and spend extra time in Nantucket on the second.