How far is it: 90-minute drive to Hyannis, one-hour ferry ride to the island
Is it too early to venture island-side? Au contraire. The scallop season runs through the end of March, the flowers start blooming in April, and plenty of restaurants and shops stay open all year. And while an off-season visit might deprive you of extensive sunning time (although we love an empty beach stroll), it gifts you with serenity, discounted hotel rates, and blooming vistas that let you savor the island’s natural charms.
Where to stay: The newly restored Nantucket Hotel and Resort is the preeminent year-round go to: classically shingled and cheerfully decorated, with lots of little touches, from reading nooks to complimentary ferry pickup to yoga and barre classes at their club.
What to do: Stroll, shop, eat, repeat. Among the spots that stay open year round are Cisco Brewers (a New Yorker-free delight in the off-season); The Seagrille, the mid-island locals’ favorite for fresh seafood; Dune, a nigh-impossible table to get in the summer months; and Bartlett’s Farm, your one-stop shop for picnic provisions. Plus, the beloved American Seasons opens for the season on April 4. Now is also prime time to do the Sconset Bluff Walk -- you can gape at the shingled mansions without worrying a resident will catch you. If you’re planning a little farther out, buy your tickets now for the Nantucket Food and Wine Festival, taking place May 15-19.