A Local's Guide to Winter on Nantucket
Updated: May 27
People are always asking me, “You live on Island year round?! What do you do all winter?!” Although it is our quiet time and a chance to recharge before the busy summer season, here are some of the most common winter activities.
The Nantucket Conservation Foundation (www.nantucketconservation.org) oversees over 9000 acres of property. There are beautiful nature walks all over the Island and winter is a great time to explore! I try to take my dogs to as many different places as I can on our daily walks. They also have a trails app you can download.
Did you know that Nantucket has an indoor rink? Called Nantucket Ice it is located on Backus Lane behind the elementary school. They offer skating lessons, hockey and free skate. For a complete schedule check out their website, www.nantucketice.org.
If it’s cold enough and the ponds freeze you can also skate outside. We once took our daughters ice fishing which was an amazing experience!
In the fall we push rake for scallops, but you can dig for clams all winter! The rule is you shellfish in months that have an R in them. You need to have a recreational shellfish license to take soft-shell clams and quahogs. The license can be gotten at the police department located at 4 Fairgrounds Road. You can dig one 10-quart bucket of soft-shell clams on Sundays only through June 15, and you can rake for quahogs any day of the year and bring home a 1/2 bushel per week. If you're not sure of Nantucket's recreational shellfish regulations, you can find them on the town’s website at www.nantucket-ma.gov.
For those of you that like to shop, winter is a great time as many of the Island businesses have wonderful sales. Flowers on Chestnut have a huge yearly sale around Valentine’s Day that people look forward to all year! This winter I have found some great clothing and accessories at Nalu on Cambridge Street (www.nalunantucket.com), Stephanie’s on Main Street (www.stephaniesnantucket.com) , and Vis-à-Vis on Main Street. (www.visavisnantucket.com) Check out their websites if you’re not on Island as they will also ship to you.
The Nantucket Historical Association (NHA for short) runs The Whaling Museum which is open all winter and located on 13 Broad Street. The museum features a 46-foot sperm whale skeleton, as well as a restored 1847 candle factory and a rooftop deck with great views of the harbor. For more information or their hours visit www.nha.org.
Although several of our restaurants are closed for the winter, we still have a nice selection of eating establishments. From the lunch counter at The Pharmacy on Main Street, to The Corner Table and The Beet in town, there’s something for everyone. Sushi Sean offers ramen take out a few nights a week and Centre Street Bistro has a great takeout menu on the weekends. For a full list of eating options grab the Inquirer and Mirror every Thursday or check out their website ack.net.
Interested in a winter on Nantucket? Reach out to me for a list of available offseason rentals!