2023 Fall Activities on Nantucket
With Nantucket being so seasonal, many people think the island shuts down after August, but au contraire! The island’s outdoor activities continue during what we call “Locals’ Summer” and we typically enjoy fantastic weather in September and early October. Most restaurants and shops stay open until Columbus Day, with many staying open longer. During fall on Nantucket, the beaches remain fabulous as the water and weather temperature stay warm and the crowds thin out.
Accommodations are much easier to come by and if you’re considering a trip, call us today to find out which of our properties are available this fall in Nantucket.
Here are Fisher Real Estate’s top 18 fall activities to look forward to on Nantucket!
It’s no secret we LOVE to fish and we look forward to the fall fishing tournaments on Nantucket all year. For an up-to-date fishing report, read the Bill Fisher Fishing Report which is updated regularly in-season.
Halloween on Main Street
Hands-down, Halloween is the Fisher Favorite holiday to celebrate as a team. Wait till you see what we have up our sleeve this year. 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. Islanders normally congregate for the parade that starts at 4:30pm on Tuesday, October 31st, 2023. 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.
Whaling Museum & Historic Sites
The Whaling Museum is open 7 days a week until October 9th, when they shift to their fall schedule and are closed on Sundays. The schedules for the historic sites vary – be sure to check out their website for information. Even if they are not open to the public, you can still explore the exterior of the properties. The Nantucket Historical Association historic properties include the Oldest House, Old Gaol, Greater Light, Fire Hose Cart House.
Fall Family Events
The Old Mill is celebrating its anniversary on October 14th from 11-4pm for a free family event with crafts, demonstrations and lots of fall fun! On Halloween, you can head over to the Whaling Museum from 4:30-6:30 (especially great for younger children, or if there is inclement weather) and on November 18th, they will host their annual family fiesta, again at the Whaling Museum, from 5-8pm.
The “family” scalloping season begins on October 1st, 2023 and runs until March 31st, 2024. Recreational scallopers can take 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.
Fall Restaurant Week & Fall Dining
Popular restaurants that may have been a challenge to get into this summer are now easier to enjoy. We will be treated to the return of Fall Restaurant Week in 2023. Most restaurants that participate in Restaurant Week on Nantucket offer a three-course prix fixe menu, but some offer options from their entire menu. See our blog for the list of 20 participating restaurants.
Cisco Brewers, Oktobeerfest & Levitate Flannel Jam
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. The Levitate Flannel Jam is a rockin’ party held on Monday, October 9th. Get your tickets here before they sell out.
Oktobeerfest will be held on September 30th and October 1st, and have live music plus a keg holding contest, Cisco steins, and pretzel specials!
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.
Head into town from October 6-9, 2023 to shop fall deals during the 5th annual Chamber of Commerce event, Cobblestones and Cranberries. Consider this the precursor event for shopping on Stroll Festival weekend. On Saturday the 8th, they are hosting a Fall Fashion Show from 6-8pm at The Nantucket Hotel. Come see the trendiest fall fashions curated by the talented local boutiques on Island.
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!”
Agent Danno Lynch loves to golf on Nantucket 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. Siasconset Golf Club, also known as “Skinner’s,” stays open through Columbus Day and weather permitting may stay open until the end of October. Call Skinner’s at 508-257-6596 for current hours (tee times are first come, first serve). The Sankaty Swing Golf Tournament is a fundraiser for the Nantucket Cottage Hospital that is held at the beginning of September.
Sunsets and RAINBOWS During Fall in Nantucket
The sunsets and rainbows that fall bring are second to none. It’s no question that Madaket is one of our favorite Nantucket neighborhoods for sunset watching, and those magical rainbows can be caught from anywhere on island.
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, we have their contact information listed in the Fisher Nantucket Travel Guide©.
For those mountain biking enthusiasts, consider wheeling around the Cranberry Bogs at the Batacular Bike Race.
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!
Nantucket Half Marathon
The 12th Annual Nantucket Half Marathon and 10k will once again hang the finish line again on Columbus Day Weekend, Sunday, October 8th, 2023. This run is one of the most scenic half marathon courses on the East Coast! Visit their website here, or read Liza’s blog on running for some great info on running on Nantucket.
Registration for the 12th Annual Nantucket Half Marathon and 10k will open on January 1, 2023 at runsignup.com!
Nantucket Shorts Festival
We love the Shorts Festival at The Nantucket Dreamland and shows films ranging in length from 2 minutes to 10 minutes, all made by local amateur and professional filmmakers. This year the Nantucket Shorts Festival presented by NCTV will be held on Sunday, October 8th, 2023 at the Dreamland Theatre.
Race For Recovery
Race or walk, either in person or remote, for Addiction Solutions of Nantucket. Their mission is to raise funds for medically assisted treatment for opiods, alcohol, and other substances for Dr. Lepore’s Nantucket clinic. Be ready to run on Sunday, September 24th, 2023 at 9am at Bartlett’s Farm.
Nantucket Island Fair
The Nantucket Island Fair will return in 2024 and plans to be back bigger and better than ever. Activities include live music, donut eating contest, pumpkin toss, pumpkin painting, face painting station, whoopie pie contest, Gertrude’s Harvest, build your own scarecrow, and many, many games.
tnpONe The Nantucket Project
Coming October 5th-8th, 2023, the Nantucket Project will return to the island for their 11th annual event. This year’s event will be “focused on one vital issue, whose hope is to heal and strengthen one nation, one person at a time. The technical word for it is Pluralism.”
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!