Call Us: (508) 228-4407

22 Activities to Enjoy During Fall in Nantucket

With Nantucket being so seasonal, many people think the island shuts down after August, but oh contraire!  The island’s outdoor activities, fundraisers and festivals continue week after week with what is typically fantastic weather in September and early October. Most restaurants and shops stay open until (at least) Columbus Day and many stay 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 Estates top 22 Activities to look forward to this Fall in Nantucket!

#1 Shopping

If you have had your eye on something in one of Nantucket’s popular 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 right now all summer items are 75% off.

#2 Fishing Tournaments!

Eighth Annual Slip 14 Bluefin Blast – September 9-10, 2017

Nantucket Slam: September 10-12, 2017

Nantucket Inshore Classic: September 10th-October 14th 

fall in nantucket great point

#3 Historic Sights

The Whaling Museum is open daily from 10am–5pm until October 29th. They open back up November 4th-19th on weekends and have special holiday hours and events in December. Historic sites including Oldest House, Old Mill, Old Gaol, Greater Light, Fire Hose Cart House stay open daily from 10am-4pm until October 9th. Sankaty Lighthouse and Great Point Lighthouse are also incredibly beautiful in the fall, with gorgeous foliage and light. Don’t forget your camera!

#4 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.

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 to go trick-or-treating at the shops on Main Street. Don’t forget to stop by Fisher Real Estate and say hi! Prizes go out to the best dressed at the top of Main Street at 5:00pm!

#6 Scalloping 

Scalloping season on Nantucket is from October 4th to March 31st, 2018. 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 Judy Water’s 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 fall event on October 7th from 11:00am-4:00pm, rain or shine. Take a trip to the Milestone Cranberry Bog for the 14th Annual Cranberry Festival to watch the berry harvest! With family activities, music, hay rides, petting zoo and great photo opportunities! This year the Festival is going organic! Fisher Tip: admission is free and parking is $15 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 25th – October 1st. 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 favorites include The Pearl, Centre Street Bistro, Dune, Languedoc, Proprietors, Straight Wharf and Ventuno! Most Nantucket restaurants will publish menus on their websites. Check their website for participating restaurants, menus and deals.

fall in nantucket project

#9 The Nantucket Project 

September 14-17, 2017. Only in its 7th year, TNP “gathers 500 visionaries and seekers to the island to discuss the boldest and most thought-provoking ideas of our time. Past presenters include Tony Blair, Steve Wozniak, Eve Ensler, Deepak Chopra, and Paul Giamatti.” Tickets for this year’s TNP7 are already sold out, but lucky locals can apply for the Island Pass here.

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. Siasconset Golf Club, also known as “Skinner’s,” stays open until October 31st, weather permitting.

#12 Nantucket Arts Festival 

From September 30 – October 8, 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 Centre Street. Their website says, “Many of the island’s arts and cultural groups have scheduled special programs during the festival. This year’s theme of “Imagination at Sea” is meant to be interpreted literally, figuratively or playfully for its intentional double meaning. Events already on tap include an opening reception featuring the North Star Jazz Ensemble and an experimental NAC Art Exhibit, NCTV Nantucket Shorts, a video shorts mini-festival, Baroque Concert at St. Paul’s Church, the annual NMC Organ Crawl.” Fisher Tip: We especially love the Shorts Festival which takes place at The Nantucket Dreamland main theatre on October 7 from 4pm-6pm. 

#13 Nantucket Half Marathon 

On October 8th,  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 Sandbar at Jetties Beach 

Lucky for us the new owners at the Sandbar have decided to stay open until Columbus Day! Their new schedule serves dinner Thursdays, lunch and dinner Fridaythrough Monday. Lunch runs 11:30 – 3pm, buck-a-shuck and afternoon menu 3-5pm, dinner 5-9pm. 

#15 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!”

#16 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.

#17 White Heron Theatre Company 

What’s playing on stage this fall? SeaWife runs until September 1st and Constellations is showing up until October 23rd. We have heard both of these shows are fabulous and make for the perfect date night! Visit their website to purchase tickets.

#18 Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum 

This charming museum just outside town stays open until October 7th, open from Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00am to 4:30pm. Learn about the history of baskets and browse their collection. This will be your last chance to view the 2017 exhibit, “Breaking the Mold: Women in Nantucket Folk Art, which explores the many ways in which women have been involved with the production, promotion, and preservation of Nantucket’s most iconic folk arts, like basket making, scrimshaw, and woodcarving.” If you have never visited, we highly recommend it. Admission is only $5.00 for adults.

#19 Nantucket Island Fair  

With dozens of contests including Dog Shows, the Giant Pumpkin Contest and the Best Carrot Cake Contest, there is something for everyone at the Nantucket Island Fair. Head over to Tom Nevers Fairgound September 16th and 17th from 10:00am – 4:00pm. Fall at it’s best!

fall in nantucket

Photo: NantucketGrown

#20 NantucketGrown Food Festival

Celebrate Nantucket’s local food October 12th-15th with an “exciting series of events, hosted by Sustainable Nantucket in collaboration with our farmers, chefs, fishermen, brewers, beekeepers and artisanal food producers.” Purchase tickets here.

#21 Pumpkin Carving  

Because one of the best activities to do during fall in Nantucket is pumpkin carving, head over to Bartlett’s Farm! On Saturday, October 22 from 10 A.M. – 12 P.M. 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.”

#22 Page To Stage: Joe Biden

And finally with our 22nd “must do” on Nantucket this fall! That’s right… Vice President Joe Biden will be gracing us with his presence on November 25th at 5:00pm at Nantucket High School to discuss his newest memoire Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose. Tickets are available here for $99, and proceeds will benefit The Dreamland’s Children’s Theatre program.

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 Fall Ferry Schedules

Fall in Nantucket 2017 Calendar of Events

September 4th – Labor Day

September 9th – Holidays for Heroes Gala

September 9th-10th – Eighth Annual Slip 14 Bluefin Blast

September 10th-12th – Nantucket Slam

September 10th-October 14th – Nantucket Inshore Classic

September 14th-17th – Nantucket Project

September 16th-17th – Nantucket Island Fair

September 22nd – First Day of Fall

September 22nd – Joshua Tree Band at the Chicken Box

September 25th-October 1st – Fall Restaurant Week

September 29th – Maxxtone at the Chicken Box

September 30th – 7th Annual Nantucket Maritime Festival

September 30th-October 8th – Nantucket Arts Festival

October 4th –  Scalloping Season Begins

October 5th – Last day of Organized League Play at Miacomet Golf Club

October 7th – 14th Annual Cranberry Festival

October 7th – ACKtobeerfest at Cisco Brewery

October 7th – Nantucket Shorts Festival

October 7th – Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum Closes for the Season

October 8th – 7th Annual Nantucket Half Marathon

October 9th – CRU Closing Party/Brunch

October 9th – Columbus Day. Last Day (and big discounts) at many restaurants and clothing shops!

October 12th-15th – 2nd Annual NantucketGrown Food Festival

October 22nd – Pumpkin Carving at Bartlett’s Farm.

October 23rd – Last Show at White Heron Theatre Company

October 29th – Whaling Museum moves to weekend schedule

October 31st – Halloween Parade on Main Street

November 21st – Festival of Wreaths Preview Party

November 23rd – Cold Turkey Plunge and Thanksgiving

November 24th – Tree Lighting and Community Caroling

November 25th – Page to Stage: Joe Biden

November 30th – Festival of Trees Preview Party

December 1st-3rd – 44th Annual Christmas Stroll

December 21st – Last Day of Fall

Fisher Real Estate