Wednesday, September 11, 2019

12 Fall Activities in Nantucket

12 Fall Activities in Nantucket blog cover image


Whether it’s a variety of beaches, ancient lighthouses or a brilliantly painted falling leaves, Nantucket is a destination to consider this time of year. The sound of crashing surf and the smell of salty air can soothe the heart or excite the mind. Protected by Nantucket Sound, it is a pleasant place indeed. A haven for travelers and adventurers, autumn offers a variety of wonderful things to occupy one’s time.



looking out over the water with fishing rods standing against the side railing of a boat

1. Fall Fishing

If you are into fishing- or even if you are not, fishing activities in the fall are truly something. Surf fishing is a great pastime on the shores of Nantucket. Bending poles line the shore as intrepid fishing diehards cast out in search of Bass, Bluefin and Albies (False Albacore). If you are more prone to enjoying the open waters around the island, charter fishing might be your thing. During September and into October, several fishing tournaments are available to those who are interested in serious fish wrangling.



sperm whale skeleton hanging above other exhibits

2. Maritime in Nantucket

If you are not interested in participating in hook, line, and sinker, several historical venues are available for maritime buffs and interested folk. With the coming of fall, the crowds of summer dissipate making Nantucket maritime even more available for all to enjoy. How can anyone forget a sperm whale skeleton at the Nantucket Whaling Museum that drops from the ceiling leaving your heart pounding!



men wading out in the water, collecting cranberries

3. Nantucket Conservation Foundation’s Cranberry Festival

In October, the Nantucket Cranberry Festival is an event designed with children and adults in mind. The Milestone Cranberry Bog is a working farm where harvesting cranberries can actually be witnessed firsthand. Activities and music are plentiful as the farming atmosphere is transformed into a celebration. This special event is full of history, festivity, food and fun. Visitors can expect a full day of things to do with the marvelous backdrop of outstanding fall scenery, and of course, a cranberry or two.




4. Nantucket Restaurant Week (September 30 - October 6, 2019)

The Fall Restaurant Week is touted as one the favorite weeks on the island, so hurry to book your reservations for the best restaurants.  This is an opportunity to enjoy a three-course dinner menu for a fixed price. On a side note, don’t forget the Nantucket Culinary Center, featuring the Farm to Fork program for children, providing healthy food choices and activities.



comparing giant pumpkins for fair-goers

5. Nantucket Island Fair

The Nantucket Island Fair continues as an agricultural celebration of honored tradition. On this small island, this is not a typical fair with barkers and whirling carnival rides. This fair tends to reflect an earlier time in history- quaint yet meaningful. In the community tent, you will find competition for:

  • Best Tar-roof Cake
  • Best Dahlia
  • Giant Pumpkin
  • Biggest Zucchini
  • Ugliest Home Grown Veggie
  • Dog Shows
  • Farm Yard Animal Contest


Outdoor and tent events feature old fashioned games like:

  • Skillet Toss
  • Scarecrow Building Contest
  • Pumpkin Toss
  • Egg & Spoon Race
  • Corn Husking Contest
  • Watermelon Eating Contest




people in costumes holding a Happy Halloween banner for the parade

6. Halloween on Main Street

Children love to dress up on Halloween and so do adults! Guess what? For this delightful parade, all comers are welcome. Dawn your best costume and join in the fun and frivolity. Be it scary or hairy, costumes come in all manner of beauty or beast. Naturally, candy is dispensed as the parade travels through town, so the sooner you get there, the better to ensure a treat. This is no trick; this event is an amusement for all.




7. Nantucket Fall Arts Festival

The Arts Festival is an entire week dedicated to arts and culture. Special programs are scheduled during the festival to the delight of all. This gaiety includes visual, musical, theatrical, literary, and other fine arts. Choose one or many to explore and appreciate.




8. On the Beaches

Sandy beaches are a popular destination for all visitors. There is a beach for just about everyone with the choices running from strong and dangerously beautiful surf to a calmer children’s beach. A family-friendly beach makes itself available just a short jaunt from town with many activities for all. Surfers will find desirable conditions on the south shore. Among them are Cisco, Miacomet, Surfside and Tom Nevers Beach.




9. Cisco Brewers

Cisco Brewers is a distinctive visit for the beverage aficionado. This outdoor setting is the perfect place to experience libations of all kinds. You can try world-class wines, beers, and spirits, all in one stop. In addition, live music and assorted food trucks promote a fair-like atmosphere.




10. Stellar Sightseeing

An evening out of this world is promised with a trip to the Loines Observatory. What fun for kids of all ages to take a peek at the night sky, loaded with constellations and maybe even a comet or two. Knowledgeable and enthusiastic astronomers act as guides through the galaxy of stars and distant mysterious objects in space.




11. Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge

Imagine this special place with sandy beach vistas, miles of gently sloping dunes and cool forest of oak and red cedar. Those who love the great outdoors will surely enjoy an outing at the wildlife refuge.  Walking and hiking trails weave through the area. As its name implies, animals in their natural habitat abound. This is a perfect excursion for the entire family.




12. Thanksgiving Turkey Plunge

Each year for Thanksgiving, participants take the plunge into the waters of Nantucket. This happening benefits the Weezie Library for Children. Cautionary guidelines are needed to keep folks from freezing in the icy waters, but you need not wet even a hair to partake in this much-appreciated support event.




Whether you like fishing, museums, dining, swimming or surf, this is a unique destination worth your time to investigate. In September, the subtle changes in the weather signal the onset of fall. With the adjustment comes an air of expectancy as activities amend to meet the season. The combination of wonderfully moderate weather and exciting happenings make fall in Nantucket an attractive destination.