Nantucket, located 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is a designated National Historic Landmark District taking its name from the Wampanoag word meaning "far away island". It was once home to a major whaling industry which (thankfully) came to an end when most of its whaling vessels were destroyed by the Confederates in the Civil War.
This tiny island is defined by the elements and is nicknamed "The Grey Lady of The Sea" due to its appearance from the ocean when it's encompassed by fog. It's home to beautiful sandy beaches, stylish restaurants and shops, and plenty of chic inns and hotels with quintessential New England charm. For foodies, beach lovers, and everyone in between, Nantucket's the perfect spot for a seaside summer getaway....
WHERE TO STAY
The Greydon House is a chic 20-room boutique hotel from the designers of The Standard High Line in New York. Located close to the ferry terminal and with a great restaurant and cocktail bar to boot, it's definitely a top pick.
Located in the heart of town right on Main Street, 76 Main is a stylishly designed boutique hotel with plush accommodations and helpful staff. Cozy up by one of the fire pits in their outdoor courtyard and mix your own cocktail at the BYOB bar (they provide the mixers, you bring the booze!).
Set on the edge of Nantucket Harbor, The White Elephant is a luxury landmark resort with exceptional service and beautifully furnished rooms. It's also home to one of the best restaurants on the island, Brant Point Grill.
Voted 'best Nantucket boutique hotel' by Boston Magazine, the award-winning Union Street Inn is another fabulous choice. Each of its 12 suites has its own unique charm, breakfast is incredible, and so is afternoon tea!
FOOD & DRINK
Stop for a morning pastry and cappuccino at Handlebar Cafe, a quaint and cozy spot with an outdoor garden and friendly baristas.
Leave your beach chairs where they are and walk up to The Sandbar at Jetties Beach to grab a frosé and some oysters in between swims.
Enjoy a signature cocktail (we have our eye on the 'tequila mockingbird') and Asian-inspired tapas at The Nautilus. The aforementioned Greydon House is home to an 'Italian-ish' restaurant Via Mare which has a cool ambiance and delectable small plates.
Creatively prepared dishes are complimented with a top-notch wine list at The Proprietor Bar & Table. Known for its seafood, Cru is set on a wharf overlooking the harbor with good drinks, fresh oysters, and lovely views. Dine alfresco at Straight Wharf, a must-visit while on the island in its 45th year of service.
THINGS TO DO
With 82 miles of shoreline, it's obvious that you'll be spending some time on the beach while in Nantucket. Surfside Beach is great for bodysurfing and boogie boarding. Children's Beach is great for those with little ones, Cisco is where the surfers go, and Madaket is where you'll catch a gorgeous sunset.
For an enjoyable way to experience the island, take a tour with Nantucket Bike Tours. Knowledgeable guides made for an educational and fun-filled day. Another option is to take a wilderness hike with Nantucket Walkabout where you'll explore off the beaten path and learn about the history and geology of Nantucket..
NOT TO BE MISSED
SCONSET BLUFF WALK
Take an obligatory afternoon stroll along the Sconset Bluff Walk where you'll meander along a public walkway that passes through private property (you won't be trespassing though if you're on the path!).
You'll score beautiful views of the bluff and get to see some of Nantucket's historic homes up close and personal. Make sure to ask your hotel's concierge for directions to the entrance as it isn't well marked.
Have you been to Nantucket? What are your favorite restaurants, things to do, and places to stay? Let us know in the comments!
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