Santa and Mrs Claus at Jared Coffin HouseIf you’re looking to start the holiday season with a last minute getaway — Nantucket’s annual Christmas Stroll is happening December 4th through 6th. It’s worth the last minute travel arrangements for this magical weekend where you can also get in all your holiday shopping.Galvin.300.Santa Approaching on CutterStarted in 1973 to stop locals from heading to Cape Cod for their Christmas shopping, the first Christmas Stroll was just a three hour stretch on the first Friday in December where the stores stayed open later. Fast forward 42 years and the Christmas Stroll is an annual, now weekend long tradition filled with shopping and events for the entire family.

(2nd last version of) Xmas-Stroll_Main-Street-2The weekend kicks off with a myriad of activities including a scavenger hunt, craft show, Holiday House tour, Stroll-to-Table dinner, holiday party and more. Throughout the weekend other offerings include the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus via a Coast Guard vessel before riding up Main Street in a horse-drawn carriage on Saturday, guided tours, sing-a-longs, wreath making classes, the annual festival of trees with 80 brilliantly decorated evergreens designed by local artists and merchants, wine demonstrations and so much more. From Friday until Sunday the events are jam packed. The entire list of offerings and participating stores can be found here at christmasstroll.com. You’re even supporting local businesses by attending — Greenwich favorites such as Abigail Fox Designs will have their Nantucket locations open for the stroll.

White Elephant HolidaysAnd, if you’re looking to make this an extra special experience — either a romantic weekend or a family getaway —  the White Elephant, the premiere waterfront hotel in Nantucket, is offering a special package that includes an autographed copy of A Very Nantucket Christmas by local writer Nancy Thayer and fresh mistletoe in guest rooms, a bottle of Nantucket Vineyard’s Red Sangria (with a special mulled wine recipe) and a White Elephant Christmas Stroll ornament. The package starts at $595 per night, based on double occupancy. Three-night booking (December 3-6) is required. More information is available at whiteelephanthotel.com or by calling 800.445.6574.