After Labor Day we’ll be putting away all our summer whites but not so fast with those Nantucket Reds, they’re alright! While Nantucket conjures images of quintessential New England summers and those famed weathered-looking pants, we recommend donning the slacks this autumn and heading to the Grey Lady for a cool girl’s getaway. Forget high season crowds, in the fall the masses have dispersed and the rates have dropped. If that alone is not reason enough, here are another 10 reasons to visit Nantucket in the fall.
Fall rates at hotels on the island are greatly reduced in September, October, and November. For example, at the iconic White Elephant the lowest midweek July rate available is $550, while in September guests can stay overnight for as little as $375 with the Hot Dates, Cool Rates promotion.
2. Nantucket Restaurant Week, September 26-October 2, 2011
For a small island, Nantucket has a wide variety of renowned culinary establishments that include the new Brick Bistro, award-winning TOPPER’S, and the harborside Brant Point Grill, home to the Lobster Bloody. During restaurant week, three course dinners will be offered at these and other top Nantucket eateries from $25 – $45.
For information on participating restaurants, go to the Nantucket Restaurant Week website.
3. Nantucket Historical Association’s Harvest Fair, October 2011
Celebrate fall harvest at the Old Mill and learn about Nantucket’s agricultural heritage, play lively colonial games, and make traditional crafts such as cornhusk dolls or beeswax candles.
4. Nantucket Conservation Foundation’s Cranberry Festival, October 8, 2011
Visit Nantucket’s famous cranberry bogs, generally closed to the public but open for a short time in October just when the berries are harvested. Partake in bog tours, hay rides, sheep-shearing, and, of course, fresh berries and delicious cranberry confections. For the scoop on the Nantucket Conservation Foundation’s Cranberry Festival head on over to their website.
5. Scenic Hiking and Biking
Rent a bike and roll down the recently resurfaced 6.4 miles of bike paths of Nantucket and check out the beautiful fall foliage. Bike rentals typically cost around $30/day; complimentary bikes are available for guests of White Elephant Hotel Residences, The Cottages & Lofts at the Boat Basin, and The Wauwinet.
6. Spooky Halloween at Haunted Jared Coffin House
Every year the entire town dresses up for Halloween, and you can find some scary good sales at the shops and stores lining Main Street. Enjoy a super spooky stay on Nantucket at the Jared Coffin House, said to be haunted by the ghost of the successful 19th century ship-owner after whom the house was named. Other ghosts are rumored to roam the halls and rooms of this historic property – room rates start at $125 October 23-31.
7. ACK Pink with Nantucket Island Resorts for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October 2011
For the month of October, Nantucket Island Resorts will be donating $1 from every room night bought to the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides against Breast Cancer charity. In addition, guests booking a stay during the weekend of October 14-16 will have the opportunity to participate on the Nantucket Island Resorts-sponsored team during Nantucket’s Making Strides against Breast Cancer Walk on Sunday, October 16. Nantucket Island Resorts has committed to a $1000 donation for the Breast Cancer Walk. Those who join the team will receive a complimentary team tee-shirt. Additionally, proceeds from themed cocktails and treats on offer at The Wauwinet, the White Elephant, the White Elephant Hotel Residences, and Jared Coffin House will be donated to the cause.
8. Inexpensive Airfare
Think getting to Nantucket is difficult and pricey? Phooey! Fly Jet Blue direct from New York City to Nantucket starting at $69 this September.
9. Traditional New England Thanksgiving
Visit the state where the original Thanksgiving took place. The White Elephant’s Brant Point Grill hosts a special Thanksgiving buffet with all the comfort foods you’d expect at your grandmother’s house without all the cooking and dirty dishes. Brave souls can participate in the 10th Annual Turkey Plunge on Children’s Beach, where hundreds jump into cold Nantucket Harbor on Thanksgiving morning.
10. Fall isn’t all… Come in December for Christmas Stroll! December 2-5, 2011
Nantucket Island celebrates the entire holiday season with Nantucket Noel, a month-long celebration organized by the Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce that runs November 25-December 31. The highlight event is the Annual Christmas Stroll Weekend. Stores, shops, and restaurants open their doors for holidays shoppers, carolers sing favorite holiday tunes, and Santa Claus arrives via a Coast Guard Vessel. This is an authentic experience not to be missed!