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Late fall is a golden time of year on Cape Cod. That's the time for long walks on empty beaches at sunset, afternoons on the golf course without long waits or glutted greens, leisurely sightseeing forays and shopping trips - time to peacefully enjoy the brisk weather, before Old Man Winter sets in.

And for cost-conscious vacationers, there's another plus. Hotel and restaurants are substantially lower. Off-season rates, which begin for many hotels after Labor Day, are as much as 25 to 35 percent lower than summer rates.

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Many establishments - as fancy or as simple as suits your taste and pocketbook - offer special packages with intriguing combinations of room, board, and activities.

Some package deals also include in-house restaurant meals at half-price, or coupons for up to $15 off dinner at an outside restaurant. Others offer special rates for those interested in whale-watching, golfing, or other activities.

Each establishment has its own set of rules to qualify a vacationer for the bargain packages. Write The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, Hyannis, Mass. 02601.

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