The Nantucket Food and Wine Festival is a prestigious event held every spring on a beautiful island off the coast of Massachusetts. Save the date and spoil yourself in every way by attending the five-day fest.
Listen to master sommeliers, watch experts of the culinary world perform miracles with delicious food, and shop for items to treasure from the quaint shops. The festival has a boutique feel in its entirety, with about 3,000 people in attendance each year.
The island location makes the Nantucket Food and Wine Festival a special event that starts with an opening welcome reception. Other happenings are wine and cheese seminars, and brunches such as “Around the World” featuring different wines. Culinary tents sessions take place where you are entertained and treated to unique demonstrations.
Experience the tastes of Tuscany, California, France, and so much more. Take a yoga class that finishes with a rosé, and attend an oyster bash. On the last day, don’t miss the farewell party under the tent, featuring food prepared by world-renowned chefs.
There is a multitude of events to choose from over the five-day wine and food festival, with varying prices. A seminar may run in the range of $125, and a culinary tent session can be had for under $100 general admission. Attend a Bordeaux wines of France dinner for around $1500, or relax at an indoor barbecue event for about $175. Visit www.nantucketwinefestival.com to select your choices. The passes sell out well in advance, so start making plans.
The Nantucket Food and Wine Festival takes place at several venues around the beautiful island of Nantucket. The opening ceremonies are a ticketed event at the White Elephant, a luxurious resort facing the harborfront. While you can take your rig on the ferry to the island, it is much more convenient and stress-free to park at the terminal and hop on as a passenger. The ferry heads right to the harborfront, where the festivities begin.
Parking at the ferry terminal of your choice is the best bet. Download the Steamship Authority app for up to the minute information on where to park, the wait times, shuttle pick-ups, and fees. This is the year-round service that has a vehicle boarding option. There are other ferries, too that take passengers and bicycles only, no vehicles.
When on the island, renting a bicycle is an accessible mode of travel. There are car rental companies, but getting about on foot is a wonderful way to see the island. If you have to make your way any distance between venues, hail a cab or consider the “The Wave,” which is the island transit service.
Campgrounds are non-existent on Nantucket Island. Buy a multi-pass ferry ticket and commute from this quaint island to the terminal each day and then drive to your campsite of choice. An option is to take the vehicle ferry to Martha’s Vineyard and camp there. Then, ferry each day to the festival, which is about an hour’s trip, depending on which ferry you take and the terminal location.
If you have a pop-up camper or smaller setup, you can stay at Wellfleet Hollow State Campground, close to the ocean and its beautiful beaches near Cape Cod. If you are looking for accommodation accessible to those with a large RV, consider Massasoit State Park, with its sizeable forested sites. Myles Standish State Forest is another excellent option about two and a half hours away. Gather the family around to discuss whether a state park or privately owned campground is the preference and then make your reservation as this is a popular area to visit.
The venues are varied, but each one offers an individual charm. Held at locations like private homes, picturesque restaurants, and charming oceanside resorts, the events may require comfortable but classic footwear. Make it stylish but walkable at the same time, as no doubt, you will be on your feet much of the time. The tent seminars are on the grass but should be wheelchair friendly as far as navigation goes.
Chic casual to dressy is the style anticipated; pack daytime and evening wear, and you will have whatever you need. If you have an Airstream or Class A, the closet space will allow for plenty of clothing. The ferries are easy to board, but you may want to carry your evening footwear when you commute. Always have a sweater on hand as the ocean air can be cool.
Warm blankets are an essential part of the gear package. Nights along the coast of Massachusetts can be cold, even in May. Verify your battery and propane levels in case heat is required. Add a flashlight, radio, toiletries, and kitchen essentials to the list. Bring along boots if cool weather is anticipated, for walks along the ocean as the mist rises in the morning.
A rule for a healthy camping experience is to practice food safety at all times. Store food in the RV refrigerator or ice-filled cooler at all times as opposed to letting it sit on the picnic table for any length of time. Have bug spray and sunscreen on hand in large quantities for days at the beach and treks in the forest.
Scale down your shopping list and keep to essentials like milk, flour, eggs, fruits, and vegetables. A meal of pancakes for breakfast is an excellent way to start the day before heading over to Nantucket Island. Upon your return, heat up the barbecue for fish and vegetable packets, an easy one-dish meal. Stock up on charcoal briquets and top up the propane tanks before leaving home.
Seafood is the name of the game while on the island of Nantucket. Dine at a lobster shack on the harborfront or visit a nouveau bistro for light fare. Look for a beachy setting and pull up a chair for a cocktail and a plate of oysters or scallops. Crab fried rice or pasta with clam Bolognese are delicious choices for a taste of New England.
Exhibitors show their wares at the Great Tastings and Culinary Tent events. Trendy shops that sell spices, Chilean salmon, knitted goods, jewelry, and more are yours for the perusal. Take your time and be sure to see as much as you can. These are unique items encouraging sustainability the world over, with American made goods, as well as island originals.
An afternoon or evening of sampling wine and spirits means that no one will be behind the wheel afterward. Drink plenty of water between tastings as well as after the event. Take a walk along the beach before heading to the ferry and your awaiting vehicle on the other side. When you are away from camp, make sure the RV is securely locked, and stow all valuables.
Cool, damp weather is a possibility, but so are sunny days. The Nantucket Food and Wine Festival takes place rain or shine. Enjoy the festivities and dress for the weather. When packing your motorhome for the trip, remember rain gear and billy boots for everyone and pack warm blankets for chilly nights under the stars.
A well-stocked first-aid kit is an essential part of your campervan inventory. Before hitting the road for Massachusetts, verify the best before dates on the antibiotic creams, antibacterial lotions, and liquids like peroxide. Top up the band-aid supply and re-stock gauze and tape. Include scissors and tweezers in the kit as well. Minimal but accessible pharmacy and emergency care services are offered on Nantucket Island.