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Best Times to Visit Nantucket

The best time to visit Nantucket is during the shoulder months of March, April, September and October. You'll find the island pleasantly free of tourist hordes, and prices are more manageable, too. From Memorial Day to Labor Day hotel rooms and those yummy seafood dinners cost big bucks, to capitalize on the throngs of deep-pocketed tourists. And from November to February, the temperatures are too cold for most -- lows average between 25 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Winters aren't a total bust: There are a handful of nice holiday festivals and the island's seasonal establishments typically don't shut down until after Christmas.

May-Early September

Nantucket summers are marked by congested traffic, crowds and very high prices on just about everything. So why does practically everyone come this time of year? Because the weather is simply divine. Temperatures rarely escape the 60s and 70s, perfect for boating, biking or just laying out on the beach. Swimmers might find the air a little too chilly, however.   

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Mid September-October

Cooler temperatures may have driven sun-seekers away, but a fall visit to Nantucket is still worth it. There's a healthy crop of festivals, and most of the island's top sites keep their doors open for this shoulder season. Better yet, prices tend to ease up this time of year. Just remember to pack a sweater; temperatures can dip into the high 40s.  

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November-February

Yes, it's cold this time of year. Temperatures hover in the 30s on average, which is warmer than the mainland but still cold for most visitors. Despite the layer-wearing weather, the lack of crowds -- when compared with the summertime kerfuffle -- can be tantalizing. And most establishments are open through the holiday season, too. But a fair warning to those pondering a January or February visit: These winter months are great for dedicated hikers, bikers and other outdoors people, but there isn't much else open after the holiday season. 

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March-April

This shoulder season is a great time for both budget travelers and the crowd-phobic folks to visit. Hotels and bed and breakfasts offer lower rates for these months. And the museums and restaurants open their doors again in preparation for peak season. Still, you should pack layers for a spring visit; average temperatures range from the high 30s to the low 60s.    

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