As a long-time Nantucket enthusiast (I’ve been visiting the island for 15 years) I find I enjoy the off-season more and more each year – when it’s easy to get a reservation at our favorite haunts and we have most beaches to ourselves. This past fall, we popped down to celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary with a stay at Greydon House and loved the island’s laid back vibe in autumn. Now on the other side of winter, April is a wonderful time to enjoy the island’s myriad charms before this tiny town is packed with tourists again this summer.
While some businesses do choose to hibernate, there are always a few gems welcoming visitors even in the heart of winter, and you can check what’s open at anytime on this page.
Here are a few favorites we enjoyed on our recent trip. (This is by no means exhaustive, just what we did last fall. You can find more recommendations here.)
Nantucket in the Off-season
Greydon House – I love Roman and Williams’ work (Le Coucou, La Mercerie Cafe) and had wanted to stay at Greydon House for so long. The hotel’s moody interiors reflect a wonderful sense of place and perfectly compliment the island’s vibe, especially in autumn and early spring. The rooms are tiny but the bar and beautiful blue and white tiled bathrooms make up for it. It’s also a total steal in the off-season and located in the center of town making it easy to get home after dinner (even when tipsy)!
We love dining at unpretentious spots like Black Eyed Susan’s and Proprietors when on the island, both of which are, coincidentally, across the street from one another. For casual lunches nothing beats Something Natural!
If you get caught in April showers I recommend spending an afternoon touring the Nantucket Whaling Museum, an essential stop to understand the history of the island and character of its early settlers. In fairer weather I like renting bikes from Young’s and suiting up for a 16 mile ride out to Sconset Beach and back, leaving our bikes by the general store and wandering along the Sconset Bluff Walk before returning home. If 16 miles isn’t enough for you – it’s fun to stop at Cisco Brewers on the way home. Other in-town favorites include shopping for antiques I can’t afford at Sylvia’s or Lynda Willauer Antiques and taking in a sunset at Steps Beach – a must before catching the ferry home!
Writing this has me pining for a return trip in April! Perhaps I’ll see you there! xx