Grey skies, slushy streets, and a lack of Vitamin D can leave even the most cold-tolerant of us feeling the winter blues. Luckily, thoughts of a spring visit to Nantucket can brighten the dreariest of days. Spring on Nantucket means perfect temperatures, festive events, and amazing rates. If that’s not reason enough, here are 10 Reasons to visit Nantucket in the Spring and some of the best places to stay. We can’t wait as we plan on visiting the Wine Festival and reporting back all the high notes. The thought of a breezy, New England seaside holiday sounds enchanting. The cobblestone streets, grey shingled houses, and plethora of blooming hydrangeas almost provide a trip back in time. Nantucket Island Resorts’ also offer a perfect fit.
1. Great Rates
A spring trip to Nantucket doesn’t have to break the bank – Nantucket Island Resorts offers fantastic spring rates. For instance, rates at The Wauwinet after it opens for the season on May 9 start at just $225 per night. Want to stay closer to Main Street? Not a problem! Stay at the White Elephant, opening on April 19, for just $195 per night.
2. Easy Access
Jet Blue begins direct service from New York City to Nantucket on May 17, meaning Nantucket is just a hop, skip, and a jump away. The only hard part will be finding room to pack all of those spring clothes you’ve been dying to pull out of hibernation!
3. Daffodil Festival (April 27-29)
Every year, Nantucket kicks off spring by honoring the trumpeted flower with the Nantucket Daffodil Festival Weekend. Over three million daffodils bloom on Nantucket from early-April to mid-May, and the yellow, orange, white, and pale pink blooms bring new life to the island. It’s a full-scale celebration of winter’s thaw and includes fun and festive activities such as the Antique Car Parade, featuring over 100 vintage cars decked out in bright yellow daffodils.
4. Wine Festival (May 2012)
For over 12 years, 100 wineries visit Nantucket for a weekend and host special events including hosted dinners, celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, seminars, and auctions. Make sure to pop by and sample TOPPER’S at The Wauwinet’s extensive wine list. With over 1450 selections, wine connoisseurs won’t be disappointed!
5. Expansion of the White Elephant Hotel Residences
Just a few steps away from the White Elephant, Nantucket Harbor, Jetties Beach, and Brant Point Lighthouse, the White Elephant Hotel Residences has always been one of the chicest spots to stay on island. This spring, the Residences are getting even better with the addition of 14 new suites and six new guest rooms.
6. Nantucket Spring Restaurant Week
Dine on prix fixe menus at participating Nantucket fine dining establishments, including the Brant Point Grill at the White Elephant and TOPPER’S at The Wauwinet.
7. Outdoor Activities
Being cooped up inside all winter isn’t good for your mind or body, and Nantucket has the cure! Rent a bike and roll down the 6.4 miles of bike paths. 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. Or tee off at one of Nantucket’s top-notch golf courses – Miacomet Golf Course or Sankatay Head Golf Club.
8. Nantucket Film Festival (June 20-24)
The annual film festival draws celebrities and movie buffs alike to the island. Instead of velvet ropes and Hollywood glamour, the festival honors the art of substantive screenwriting, offering celebrity panels and readings.
9. Dining Al Fresco
Spring means finally being able to enjoy a dinner al fresco again. Brant Point Grill at the White Elephant’s Harborside Terrace is the perfect place to do just that. Dine on fresh seafood and sip on one of the bar’s new specialty beer cocktails while admiring the stunning views of Nantucket harbor.
10. Movie Time
We all know that April showers bring May flowers, and the perfect place to wait out a spring rain shower is at the only year round movie theater, Starlight Theater. Be sure to warm up with some New England Clam Chowder before the show at the Starlight’s café.
*Insider tip: Come during the island’s “secret season” and get amazing rates in the spring and fall with Nantucket Island Resorts’ Hot Dates, Cool Rates program.
Places to Stay in Nantucket
If you want to be within arm’s reach of the action of town and still by the sea, this is the perfect spot. The White Elephant is just steps from Main Street and overlooks the beautiful Nantucket Harbor. It’s right next to the calm Children’s Beach and a short walk to Brant Point Beach and iconic Brant Point Lighthouse. This intimately-scaled hotel dates back to the 1920s and blends traditional materials and forms of Nantucket’s Quaker past with the modern comforts of a luxury property, including the famous Brant Point Grill and the White Elephant spa.
The White Elephant Hotel Residences serve as a natural extension of the White Elephant’s service and hospitality; guests have the convenience of a hotel along with the privacy of renting a house. Located on the edge of town, the Residences are close to the White Elephant, Nantucket Harbor, Jetties Beach, and Brant Point Lighthouse. Guests also have access to a pool with access to wonderful food and non-alcoholic beverage service (think ice cream for the kiddies).
If the waterside cottage aesthetic is the thing for you, the Cottages and Lofts at the Boat Basin will make you feel right at home, evoking the mood of a quaint New England fishing village. The views are of Nantucket’s beautiful harbor and the design fits with the settings with a modern maritime theme. Many of the cottages have decks and patios where guests can enjoy al fresco clambakes and picnics. Those with pets can stay in the pet-friendlyWOOF Cottages – a great way to share a vacation with man’s best friend! There are 11 WOOF Cottages and each comes with an array of pet provisions such as Draper Canine beds, a welcome basket of treats and toys, and a list of pet-friendly attractions on Nantucket.
If you’d like a place to park your yacht, sail into the Nantucket Boat Basin. For seafaring guests, this marina is the place to be and was voted Marina Life’s Best Marina in 2010. Able to accommodate vessels 35’ to 316’ vessels in length, the Boat Basin brings luxury to the boating experience. While docked here, the concierge service can arrange for many things, such as restaurant reservations, bike and scoot rentals, and golf and tennis times. One can even arrange on-board spa services and massages.
For a beautiful spot outside of the hustle and bustle of town, try the quiet Wauwinet, flanked by Nantucket Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The windswept moors of the island’s far eastern end provide a peaceful and soothing atmosphere and an ideal vantage point for pink and orange sunsets over the ocean. In-house restaurant, TOPPER’S, is the island’s most glamorous with creative dishes such as local cod with roasted cockles or lobster and crab cakes. The hotel’s boat, The Wauwinet Lady, makes several trips from the property’s 254-foot dock to the harbor in town, and The Wauwinet’s Spa by the Sea features locally-inspired treatments much as the Nantucket Cobblestone Massage and Atlantic Seaweed Wraps.
If you want to be right in the action, the historic Jared Coffin House’s center-of-town location is the place for you. Built by and named for one of Nantucket’s original whaling captains, it’s the only Nantucket Island Resorts property that stays open year-round. The period antiques and reproductions help create that feeling of a bygone era. The building dates from the mid-19th century and has always been a lively part of the island. Set on a prime corner of Nantucket’s cobblestoned downtown, guests quickly get to know their way around as well as the locals do. While those with gourmet tastes will delight in the fact that the hotel is surrounded by top restaurants, they will be equally as pleased to note that one of these is right in their own back pocket. The recently opened Brick Bistro, located on the main floor of Jared Coffin House, has a sophisticated yet relaxed atmosphere and comfortably blends contemporary style with the quaint and classic nature of the House.