The Definitive Nantucket Travel Guide: Your Key to an Unforgettable Vacation
When searching for the ultimate East Coast vacation destination, the options are plentiful. From the serene shores of Rhode Island to the vibrant communities of the Hamptons, each picturesque beach town offers its own unique charm. But if you’re in search of a coastal vacation that seamlessly blends extravagance with tranquility, look no further than Nantucket.
This idyllic island escape is where simple pleasures are celebrated and understated luxury reigns supreme. A visit to Nantucket means quaint cobblestone streets, charming picket fences, and picturesque lighthouses, all set against a backdrop of pristine beaches and sparkling waters.
Indulge in a variety of outdoor activities, such as sunbathing on the beach, kayaking through the calm waters, or cycling along historic paths. Spend your days exploring the island’s rich history and culture, browsing unique boutiques and art galleries, or savoring locally-sourced cuisine in world-renowned restaurants.
With its unique blend of sophisticated charm and natural beauty, it’s no wonder that Nantucket is considered one of the top vacation destinations on the East Coast. So what are you waiting for? Plan your Nantucket getaway today and experience the ultimate in seaside relaxation and comfort.
Nestled just off the coast of Cape Cod, Nantucket is a luxurious yet unpretentious island getaway. Accessible via ferry from Hyannis or New London, this picturesque destination boasts pristine cobblestone streets lined with designer boutiques, quaint art galleries, and locally-sourced restaurants.
Unlike many East Coast beach towns, Nantucket prides itself on being low-key and understated. Here, you won’t find garish chain stores or brash commercialism. Instead, the island’s refined aesthetic celebrates traditional New England charm and elegance.
As you wander down streets lined with historic homes and picturesque lighthouses, you’ll feel swept away by Nantucket’s effortless grace. Savor locally-sourced cuisine in world-renowned restaurants, or browse locally-made art and handcrafted goods in charming boutiques and galleries.
In Nantucket, luxury means relaxed refinement and quiet indulgence. Whether you spend your days lounging on pristine beaches, strolling through quaint villages, or exploring the island’s rich history and culture, you’ll find that Nantucket is the perfect destination for those seeking an elegant yet laidback vacation experience.
So why not plan your Nantucket escape today? Discover the beauty and charm of this coastal treasure, and indulge in the ultimate in seaside luxury and comfort.
Although Nantucket may be only 14 miles long, it’s packed with endless possibilities for adventure and relaxation. With so many options, it can be overwhelming to navigate your way to the island’s best spots. But fear not – with our guide to the island’s top hotels, restaurants, shops, and hidden gems, you’ll have no problem uncovering that perfect blend of modern and classic Nantucket charm.
Whether you prefer grand oceanfront properties or boutique island landmarks, luxurious white-tablecloth restaurants or breezy beach bars, there is truly something for every taste on this picturesque island. So let’s dive into our curated recommendations, designed to help you discover the best that Nantucket has to offer.
For a classic, quintessentially Nantucket experience, consider a stay at the charming 21 Broad Hotel, housed in a beautifully renovated historic building. For a more modern twist, the Greydon House offers chic, sophisticated accommodations in the heart of town.
Savor the island’s renowned culinary delights at The Chanticleer, a white-tablecloth restaurant that elevates classic American cuisine to a whole new level. Or opt for the breezy atmosphere of Cru, where you can enjoy fresh seafood and craft cocktails while overlooking the harbor.
As for shopping, there are countless boutiques and galleries to explore, each offering their own unique charm. Stop by Nantucket Looms for a selection of locally-made textiles and home goods, or browse the latest fashions at the stylish Murray’s Toggery Shop.
And last but not least, don’t miss out on some of the island’s hidden gems, such as the secluded yet stunning Steps Beach, or the tranquil, unspoiled beauty of Squam Swamp. These secluded spots offer a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of the island and immerse yourself in the natural splendor of Nantucket.
So what are you waiting for? With our guide to the island’s top spots, you can plan the ultimate Nantucket vacation and experience all the beauty and charm this coastal paradise has to offer.
Where to Stay
For a quintessential Nantucket experience, look no further than the iconic White Elephant resort. Originally built in the 1920s, this stunning hotel has undergone extensive renovations by the same architects who crafted its award-winning sister property in Palm Beach. Today, the White Elephant boasts a serene waterfront location just a short walk from the heart of town.
There’s no shortage of activities to indulge in during your stay at the White Elephant. Lounge in a cabana as you soak up the sun, or enjoy a rejuvenating spa treatment for the ultimate in relaxation. Explore the island’s beauty on a Priority Bicycle beach cruiser, or simply unwind on the harborside lawn, newly furnished by Arhaus.
After a day of island adventures, treat yourself to a delicious meal at the resort’s on-site restaurant, Brant Point Grill. With its mouthwatering oysters and cocktails, this eatery is the perfect spot to experience the ultimate in Nantucket glamour.
At the White Elephant, you can expect the pinnacle of luxury and comfort, all set against the breathtaking backdrop of the island’s pristine beaches and sparkling waters. Whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway or a family vacation, this historic resort offers something for everyone.
So why not book your stay at the White Elephant today and experience the ultimate in Nantucket sophistication and charm?
Nantucket’s timeless historical richness meets coastal elegance at The Wauwinet, the island’s only Relais & Châteaux hotel. As you soak in sweeping views of the bay and the Atlantic Ocean, you’ll discover a luxurious oasis composed of airy rooms and cottage suites, enveloped in natural splendor.
The crown jewel of the property is Topper’s, a restaurant that offers some of the most delicious cuisine on the island. Even if you’re not staying at the hotel, a visit to Topper’s is a must for any foodie seeking a taste of Nantucket’s renowned culinary scene.
But the pleasures of The Wauwinet extend beyond food. The property boasts two private beaches, as well as complimentary bikes, paddleboarding and kayaking, tennis, lobster expeditions on The Wauwinet Lady (a 20-passenger boat), eco-tours, and cooking demos. There’s truly something for everyone, from thrill-seekers to those seeking a sense of peace and tranquility.
At The Wauwinet, you’ll discover a luxurious retreat that celebrates the natural beauty of Nantucket. Whether you’re seeking adventure or relaxation, this chic oceanfront escape offers a perfect blend of sophisticated comfort and casual elegance.
So why not book a stay at The Wauwinet today and experience the ultimate in Nantucket luxury and charm?
Where to Eat
If you’re looking for a buzzy, must-visit spot on Nantucket, don’t miss The Nautilus. This beloved restaurant and bar pays homage to Jules Verne’s classic novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, blending a touch of the past with a unique, thoroughly modern experience.
The Nautilus boasts a gastronomic approach to cocktails, incorporating locally-sourced ingredients and creative inspiration into its exquisite selection of wine, sake, and spirits. Whether you’re sipping a Nauti cocktail creation or enjoying a delicious tempura oyster taco, you’ll find that The Nautilus takes its dining and drinking experiences equally seriously.
The atmosphere at The Nautilus is as unique as its menu, with a decor that immerses you in the world of Jules Verne’s classic novel. You’ll feel transported to another time and place as you enjoy the restaurant’s captivating ambiance.
Whether you’re a cocktail aficionado or simply looking for a delicious meal with a unique twist, The Nautilus is sure to delight. With its incredible culinary cocktails, creative cuisine, and unforgettable atmosphere, this hotspot is a must-visit for anyone seeking a taste of Nantucket’s vibrant dining scene.
So why not add The Nautilus to your Nantucket itinerary and experience the perfect fusion of past and present on this enchanting island?
For anyone craving oysters and superb coastal cuisine, look no further than the iconic Cru restaurant. Situated along the coastline, this elegant eatery boasts breathtaking views of the water, with fresh seafood-forward dishes that are perfectly complemented by the restaurant’s incredible raw bar.
Whether you’re in the mood for Petrossian caviar, a lobster cocktail, champagne, wine, beer or craft cocktails, Cru delivers a crisply chic dining experience in an exquisite setting that perfectly captures the essence of Nantucket elegance.
At Cru, you’ll enjoy an exceptional culinary adventure with a focus on the freshest seafood and locally sourced ingredients, all served up amid stunning ocean vistas. Whether you’re in the mood for a romantic date night or a celebratory dinner with friends and family, Cru is the perfect spot to indulge in Nantucket’s world-renowned culinary scene.
So why not reserve your table at Cru today and experience the ultimate in coastal cuisine, fit with breathtaking views and Nantucket elegance?
For an unforgettable dining experience with a stunning backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean, head to the restaurant perched above the beach. Here, you’ll be able to take in breathtaking views of the water while indulging in a wide selection of spirits and wine.
As evening falls, the quintessential Nantucket summer sunset will frame your meal, creating a picturesque ambiance that’s simply unforgettable. And when it comes to the menu, you won’t be disappointed. Start with a bowl of the restaurant’s famous Nantucket Bay scallop chowder, made with locally sourced seafood, then move on to hamachi tartare tacos, jumbo lump crab cakes, and local lobster “poke” bowls, showcasing the freshest ingredients that the island has to offer.
Every bite at this restaurant is a delight for the senses, and the incredible views only add to the experience. Enjoy Nantucket’s fresh coastal cuisine as you sit back and relax in the restaurant’s luxurious setting, with the Atlantic Ocean as your stunning backdrop.
So whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner for two or a special group celebration, this restaurant above the beach is the perfect destination for anyone seeking an unforgettable culinary experience in Nantucket.
Where to Drink
Looking for a hopping social scene and exceptional craft beer and spirits made right on the island? Cisco Brewers beckons all to its lively and vibrant atmosphere, complete with an expansive outdoor area and live music that’s sure to get your feet tapping.
With a wide range of beer choices on offer, including smooth New England-style IPAs, slightly hazy wheat ales, and regionally-inspired pale ales, there’s no better place to sample the best of Nantucket’s local brews. Cisco Brewers has earned its title as “the happiest place on earth” for a reason – the joyful vibes are infectious, and the camaraderie amongst patrons is something truly special.
So whether you’re seeking a fun afternoon with friends or simply a place to relax and unwind on a beautiful day in Nantucket, Cisco Brewers is a must-visit destination. Sip on delicious beer, sample tasty bites from local food trucks, and immerse yourself in the island’s local culture and community.
At Cisco Brewers, you’ll discover a truly unique Nantucket experience that’s sure to leave you feeling joyful, refreshed, and utterly satisfied.
The Juice Bar
For a refreshing break from alcoholic drinks, head to this must-visit spot for fresh-squeezed juices, smoothies, and homemade ice creams. After a long day exploring the island, trade in your mocktail for a delicious fresh-squeezed watermelon lemonade, packed with the natural goodness of fresh fruit.
If you’re traveling with kids, this spot is perfect for stopping by for a snack during the day. And since ice cream was added to the menu in the 1980s, it’s become an unbeatable favorite among both locals and visitors.
Whether you’re in the mood for a healthy smoothie, fresh juice, or a decadent scoop of homemade ice cream, this spot has something for everyone. And with a warm and welcoming atmosphere, it’s the perfect place to relax and rehydrate after a busy day exploring Nantucket.
So why not stop by this gem of a spot and experience the island’s best fresh-squeezed juices, smoothies, and ice creams? It’s a local favorite for good reason, and a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a taste of Nantucket’s unique culinary offerings.
What to Do
No visit to Nantucket is complete without taking advantage of the boating experiences on offer. Enjoy a different vantage point of the island from the water, whether by hopping aboard a daytime or sunset cruise, or enjoying a sailing charter on ACK Sail’s Lady Patty.
While you may have arrived at the island via ferry, experiencing Nantucket from the water offers a completely different perspective. New England sailing is a beloved pastime, and a sailing charter on Lady Patty is the perfect way to immerse yourself in this time-honored tradition.
So why not set sail and discover Nantucket’s pristine coastline, secluded beaches, and abundant marine life? With Lady Patty, you’ll enjoy a first-class sailing experience, complete with an expert captain and crew who are dedicated to providing you with the ultimate boating adventure.
Whether you’re seeking a romantic sunset sail or a fun-filled daytime excursion, the waters around Nantucket are the perfect place to explore and unwind. So book your sailing charter today and get ready to experience the best that Nantucket has to offer.
Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge Gatehouse
For a chance to witness wildlife in its natural habitat on Nantucket Island, head to the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Reserve. The reserve offers miles of walking and hiking trails through some of the island’s most pristine and protected terrain, including stunning beachfront sections.
As you wander through the lush scenery of the reserve, keep an eye out for birds, seals, and other wildlife that call Nantucket Island home. And for an even more unforgettable experience, make your way to the still-operating Great Point Lighthouse, the most powerful light in New England, located at the northernmost point of the island within the reserve.
From the top of the lighthouse, you’ll enjoy sweeping views of the island’s rugged coastline and surrounding waters, as well as a unique vantage point for watching wildlife in their natural habitat. So don’t miss out on this must-visit destination on Nantucket Island, where you can immerse yourself in the island’s natural beauty and experience a sense of tranquility and peace unlike anywhere else.
Where to Shop
If you’re looking to do some shopping while on Nantucket Island, you’ll find that most of the shops are clustered within a large main area of town, with locally-owned boutiques lining the cobblestone streets. While you may be tempted to stop in at one of the more touristy pier haunts for classic island memorabilia, be sure to venture a bit further and discover smaller stores with more unique offerings.
One of our favorite spots is Three Girls and a Dog, the sister store to Annie and the Tees. This charming store is stocked with original Nantucket-inspired designs on simple t-shirts, hats, and sweatshirts, making it the perfect place to find unique and stylish souvenirs. And with its relaxed atmosphere and friendly staff, you’ll feel right at home as you peruse their wares.
For those seeking women’s wear, Salt and Milly & Grace are both must-visit destinations, offering a range of styles from classic New England nautical to bohemian chic. And with so many other boutiques to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect look to suit your taste.
So why not set aside some time to explore Nantucket’s unique and eclectic shopping scene during your visit? With so many locally-owned shops and one-of-a-kind finds to discover, it’s the perfect way to immerse yourself in the island’s rich culture and community.