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20 Ways to Celebrate Fall in Nantucket

Here are Fisher Real Estate’s top 20 Activities to look forward to this Fall in Nantucket!

With Nantucket being so seasonal, many people think the island shuts down after August, but au contraire! The island’s outdoor activities, weddings, fundraisers and festivals continue week after week and we typically enjoys 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.

fall in nantucket project

#1 The Nantucket Project 

Head over to the White Elephant from September 19-22, 2019 for the 9th year of The Nantucket Project. TNP “gathers 500 visionaries and seekers to the island to discuss the boldest and most thought-provoking ideas of our time.” TNP9 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. Tickets for this year’s TNP9 are still available, and lucky locals can apply for the coveted Islander Pass.

#2 Fishing Tournaments!

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 weekly in-season.

Nantucket Inshore Classic: September 7-October 12, 2019

Bluefin Blast: September 7-8, 2019

Nantucket Slam for Cystic Fibrosis: September 8-10, 2019

#3 The Nantucket Island Fair

This wonderful Nantucket event was very missed in 2018, but is bACK for 2019! Drive or bike out to Tom Nevers Field on September 14th and 15th, 2019 -rain or shine. 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!

fall in nantucket great point

#4 Historic Sights

The Whaling Museum is open daily from 9am-5pm until October 14 and 10 am–4 pm from October 15 until the end of December. Historic sites including Oldest House, Old Mill, Old Gaol, Greater Light, Fire Hose Cart House stay open daily from 11 am-4 pm until October 15. Sankaty Lighthouse and Great Point Lighthouse are also incredibly beautiful in the fall, with gorgeous foliage and light. Most importantly, don’t forget your camera!

fall in nantucket

#5 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 not to be missed! Thousands of islanders congregate for the parade that starts at 4:30pm on October 31st. 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. Finally, don’t forget to stop by Fisher Real Estate and say hi.

#6 Scalloping 

Scalloping season on Nantucket is from November 1st, 2019 to March 31st, 2020. 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 information 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 in nantucket cranberry festival

Photo: Kit Noble

#7 Cranberry Festival 

The Nantucket Conservation Foundation will be hosting this special family fall event on October 12th, 2019 from 11:00am-4:00pm, rain or shine. Take a trip to the Milestone Cranberry Bog for the 16th Annual Cranberry Festival to watch the berry harvest! Join in the fun with cranberry-themed activities, music, a Nanpuppets show, hay rides, a petting zoo and great photo opportunities! Fisher Tip: admission is free and parking is $20 a car.

#8 Dining 

Popular restaurants that may have been a challenge to get into this summer are now much easier to enjoy. Lola 41, The Nautilus, Galley Beach and CRU are some restaurants that have more flexibility in September and October. On top of that, we are treated to Fall Restaurant Week from September 30th – October 6th, 2019. Most restaurants that participate in Restaurant Week on Nantucket offer a three-course prix fixe menu, but some offer options from their entire menu. Fisher picks include The Pearl, Centre Street Bistro, Dune, Le Languedoc, Proprietors, Straight Wharf and Ventuno! Most Nantucket restaurants will publish menus on their websites. Check the Nantucket Restaurant Week website for participating restaurants, menus and deals.

#9 Shopping

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.

fall in nantucket cisco brewery#10 Cisco Brewers 

The crowd may clear out but the food trucks, charming bartenders and live music remain all winter long. 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 party held at Cisco Brewers. Read Marleah’s blog about Cisco Brewery for more details on one of our favorite island destinations!

#11 Golfing  

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).

#12 Nantucket Fall Arts Festival 

From October 4-1, 2019, celebrate 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, “this 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 which takes place on October 12th at The Nantucket Dreamland and shows two hours of video films made by local amateur and professional filmmakers.

#13 Nantucket Half Marathon 

On October 13th, 2019, run the island on 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.

#14 Surfing 

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!”

#15 Sunsets During Fall in Nantucket

The sunsets that fall brings 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.

#16 Go See a Show!

What’s playing on stage this fall? Fireflies written by Matthew Barber and directed by Judith Ivey is playing at the White Heron Theatre Company. At the Theatre Workshop of Nantucket, Terms of Endermeant is playing from September 12th – October 5th, 2019. We have heard these shows are fabulous and make for the perfect date night!

#17 Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum 

This charming museum just outside town stays open until October 19th, 2019, 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!


fall in nantucket

Photo: NantucketGrown

#18 NantucketGrown Food Festival

Let’s celebrate Nantucket’s local food from October 18th-20th, 2019 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! Purchase tickets here.

#19 Pumpkin Carving  

Because one of the best activities to do during fall in Nantucket is pumpkin carving, head over to Bartlett’s Farm! They provide the carving and painting tools and clean up, just purchase a pumpkin from the garden center. They say, “keep the fall festivities going with a hay ride around the fields and we have no doubt you’ll be in the autumnal spirit.”

#20 Biking

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 island and believe it is one of the most wonderful times of year to visit Nantucket.  We hope to see you this season!

Link to Ferry Schedules and Late Fall Ferry Schedules

Gaelan Truyman

Gaelan is originally from Newton, MA and a graduate of UMass Amherst with a degree in Art History. She first visited Nantucket on vacation in 2007 and met her husband on Nobadeer Beach on that trip. She now calls Nantucket her year-round happy place. On island, Gaelan has worked at EZIA Athletic Club, Great Harbor Yacht Club and Nantucket Golf Club.

Gaelan’s greatest passion is foreign travel. She has been to Europe over 40 times, with Belgium and Holland coming in at the top of her list of favorite destinations. You can find Gaelan at the Juice Bar, volunteering with Small Friends, or walking Surfside Beach with her husband Isaiah, sons Miller, Callen and (fur baby) Greyson. Follow us on Instagram!