Fall is not canceled in 2020! We reorganized our top 20 activities by those that you can still take advantage of in 2020 while social distancing and the events that are on hold until 2021.
With Nantucket being so seasonal, many people think the island shuts down after August, but au contraire! The island’s outdoor activities continue week after week and we typically enjoy fantastic weather in September and early October. Most restaurants and shops stay open until Columbus Day, with many staying open much longer. The beaches remain fabulous as the water and weather temperature stay warm but the crowds thin.
Accommodations are much easier to come by and if you’re considering a last-minute trip, call us today to find out which of our properties are available this fall in Nantucket.
Here are Fisher Real Estate’s top 20 fall activities to look forward on Nantucket, this year and beyond!
It’s no secret we LOVE to fish and we look forward to these tournaments all year. For an up to date fishing report, read the Bill Fisher Fishing Report which is updated regularly in-season.
Nantucket Inshore Classic: September 5th – October 10th, 2020
Watch the Cranberry Harvest
The main event is canceled at the Milestone Cranberry Bog, but the Nantucket Conservation Foundation is still committed to continue their education and outreach around the cranberry harvest. As we get closer to harvest, they will set up daily, small group walking tours of the cranberry bog that are open to the public. Follow them on Instagram @ackconservation for more details.
Whaling Museum & Historic Sites
The Whaling Museum is open Monday-Saturday (closed Sundays) from 8am-6pm. While their historic sites are officially closed in 2021, you can still explore the properties. These Nantucket Historical Association properties include Oldest House, Old Mill, Old Gaol, Greater Light, Fire Hose Cart House.
Danno Lynch loves to golf in the fall. He says, “the light in the fall really makes for an extremely aesthetic golfing experience. The golf courses on island really pop and add incredible shadows.” Visit the public (and exceptional!) Miacomet Golf Club which is open year-round. They only close for inclement weather like frost or snow. Call them at 508-325-0333. Finally, Siasconset Golf Club, also known as “Skinner’s,” will stay open through Columbus Day and weather permitting may stay open until the end of the month. Call Skinner’s at 508-257-6596 for current hours (tee times are first come, first serve).
Sankaty Lighthouse and Great Point Lighthouse are incredibly beautiful in the fall, both the final destinations and the journey to get there. With golden foliage and light, it may be the best time to visit our historic beacons. Brant Point, of course, is beautiful year-round. Most importantly, don’t forget your camera!
The scalloping season on Nantucket is around November 1st, 2019 to March 31st, 2020 (TBD). Recreational scallopers can collect scallops Wednesday through Sunday. Get your permit at the Harbormaster’s office at 34 Washington Street. Ready to get your feet wet? Read our informative blog post on the Fall Scalloping Season in Nantucket. Fisher Tip: Nantucket Bay scallops come in all sizes but keep in mind that in order to keep the scallops you “catch” they must have a well-defined raised annual growth line on the shell.
Popular restaurants that may have been a challenge to get into this summer are now easier to enjoy. We will have to wait and see if we will be treated to Fall Restaurant Week. Most restaurants that participate in Restaurant Week on Nantucket offer a three-course prix fixe menu, but some offer options from their entire menu.
If you have had your eye on something in one of Nantucket’s stores this summer, the fall is a great time to go shopping. Take advantage of deep discounts everywhere from the t-shirt and souvenir shops to designer boutiques. Fisher Tip: Murray’s Warehouse Outlet can be found at 7 New Street. Everything is at least 50% off the marked price and at certain times in the fall, summer items are 75% off. You can also visit their newly redesigned women’s shop on Main Street.
The summer crowd may clear out but the food trucks and charming bartenders remain all fall. We especially love fall at the Brewery when the attire changes from board shorts to flannels and the drink specials change from frozen sangria to hot Cisco Cider and Pumple Drumkin. ACKtobeerfest is a fun Columbus Day weekend event held at Cisco Brewers. Read Marleah’s blog about Cisco Brewery for more details on one of our favorite island destinations!
Local surfers like Sales & Rental Agent Danno Lynch love surfing in the fall. He says, “it’s great because the water is still warm, the crowds have thinned out and the hurricane season brings in large, clean waves. It’s pretty easy to find empty peaks and firing waves all to yourself!”
Sunsets During Fall in Nantucket
The sunsets that fall bring are second to none. But where to watch? It’s no question that Madaket is one of our favorite Nantucket neighborhoods for many of us at Fisher Real Estate.
Because one of the best activities to do during fall in Nantucket is pumpkin carving, head over to Bartlett’s Farm! They can also provide you with the carving and painting tools, just purchase a pumpkin from the garden center. While you’re at it, you can pick up some decorative pumpkins for your doorstep!
There is nothing better than enjoying a bike ride around the island on a crisp fall day. Without the summer heat, it is much easier to take a leisurely ride out to ’Sconset, Madaket or Surfside on one of the island’s accessible bike paths. Find bicycle rentals on Broad Street, North Beach Street, Surfside Road and Old South Road.
The Fisher Real Estate team treasures the fall season on the island and believes it is one of the most wonderful times of year to visit Nantucket. We hope to see you this season!
EVENTS TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN 2021
Halloween on Main Street
Following up on the heels of the Daffodil parade in the spring and July 4th festivities, the Nantucket Halloween parade on Main Street is a beloved tradition. The Inquirer & Mirror has not made an official announcement of what Halloween will look like this year, so stay tuned. Islanders normally congregate for the parade that starts at 4:30pm on October 31st. For next year, arrive to town early for easy parking and see all your friends trick-or-treating at the shops on Main Street- if you can recognize them! Prizes go out to the best dressed at the top of Main Street at 5:00pm.
The Nantucket Conservation Foundation will be skipping this special family fall event. Take a trip to the Milestone Cranberry Bog in 2021 for the 17th Annual Cranberry Festival to watch the berry harvest! Join in the fun with cranberry-themed activities, music, a Nanpuppets show, hayrides, a petting zoo and great photo opportunities! Fisher Tip: admission is free and parking is $20 a car.
The Nantucket Island Fair
This wonderful Nantucket event was very missed in 2018, was bACK for 2019 and will be taking another year off in 2020. Next year you can look forward to driving or biking out to Tom Nevers Field. What can you expect at this family-friendly fair? NISHA’s dog show, a giant pumpkin contest, scarecrow decorating contest, livestock show, and endless county fair games is just a sampling of what you’ll find. This event is organized and run solely by volunteers, so please make sure to thank those working for their efforts and time they put to into this memorable weekend!
Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum
This charming museum just outside town normally stays open until mid-October, open from Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00am to 4:30pm. Learn about the history of baskets and browse their collection. If you have never visited, we highly recommend it. Admission is only $7.00 for adults!
Nantucket Half Marathon
The Nantucket Half Marathon looks forward to putting up the finish line again on Columbus Day Weekend, Sunday, October 10th, 2021. This run is one of the most scenic half marathon courses on the East Coast! The route travels through wooded dirt roads, some with short sandy sections, tree-lined bike paths and lightly traveled streets with beautiful ocean views. Visit their website here.
Nantucket Fall Arts Festival
In 2021, we can look forward to celebrating the arts and culture on Nantucket with this week-long festival. The home base this year will be in the Methodist Church at 2 Center Street. Many of the island’s arts and cultural groups have scheduled special programs during the festival. The Nantucket Arts Festival says, “last year’s theme of ‘Avoiding the Unusal – Experiencing the Unforseen in Unusual Ways’ is meant to be interpreted literally, figuratively, or playfully. ” Fisher Tip: We especially love the Shorts Festival at The Nantucket Dreamland and shows two hours of video films made by local amateur and professional filmmakers.
NantucketGrown Food Festival
Let’s celebrate Nantucket’s local food in 2021 with an “exciting series of events, hosted by Sustainable Nantucket in collaboration with our farmers, chefs, fishermen, brewers, beekeepers and artisanal food producers.” Seems like an incredible event to us! Learn more about future events here.
The Nantucket Project
TNP10 has been rescheduled to September 23-26th 2021. The Nantucket Project “gathers 500 visionaries and seekers to the island to discuss the boldest and most thought-provoking ideas of our time.” Last year’s presenters include Bryan Stevenson, Adam Silver, Susan Rice, John Rice, David Brooks and more. Past presenters include Tony Blair, Steve Wozniak, Jennifer Garner, Seth Godin, Deepak Chopra, and Paul Giamatti.