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Although the crowds of summer are testament to the appeal of the Lower Cape and its spectacular beaches, outdoor pursuits, crafts and art shows, concerts, and special events, the region is becoming a popular year-round destination. Because of its ocean-side climate, spring and fall are simply lesser shades of full-blown summer. Seasonal businesses reopen in late May and early June, but lodging rates remain less pricey than during the high season, and the agonies of summertime traffic, long waits at restaurants, and parking restrictions at area beaches can be avoided. September, October, and even November are the same. The waters usually remain warm enough to swim well into October, and many shops attempt to rid their stocks of merchandise by having generous sales.
You won't get the expected splendors of New England foliage on the Lower Cape, because the landscape changes are subtle. Swaying salt-marsh grasses turn golden, cranberry bogs explode into ruby-red quilts, and the ocean relaxes into a deep, deep blue. The light becomes softer and its patterns more dramatic on both land and sea. In the towns of Harwich, Brewster, and Orleans, where the soil is substantial enough to support mighty oaks and maples, the colors of autumn do peer through. A drive along Route 6A under the canopy of changing leaves is just as breathtaking as a summer jaunt past blooming gardens.
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