Nantucket is a truly a hidden gem, and needless to say, one of Miss Travel Guru’s newfound favorite places to visit. Throughout the summer months this charming and historic isolated Island off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, boasts dune-backed beaches, world class restaurants, and a huge array of activities to choose from.
To Get There
Depending on wether you are a trains, planes or automobiles kind of person, there are options. The Seastreak ferry runs from Manhattan to Nantucket (with one minor stop in Martha’s Vineyard.) While the journey takes 6 hours, the experience is actually pretty nice. Pack a picnic, grab a drink from the bar, take to the roof for sunset and, before you know it, you have arrived at your destination. For those who prefer to fly, you can now fly directly and easily to Nantucket with Blade (book by the seat, crowdsource a flight, or charter your own means of taking to the air.)
The new 21 Broad brings urban chic to the island. This hotel is modern and sleek yet extremely relaxing, featuring hues of turquoise and sunshine yellow against simple white surfaces. Rooms are cool and refreshing yet charming. After being lulled to sleep by the sounds of the nearby marina, enjoy a simple, elegant breakfast on the outside terrace, before grabbing a couple hotel-provided beach chairs and taking to the local beaches.
Dinner: There are a lot of great places to check out in Nantucket, but on this trip I ventured to the well known Pearl Restaurant. The Pearl is focused on current coastal cuisine showcasing seasonal shellfish and seafood, produce from Island farmers and heritage meats. Some personal highlights included the vietnamese lettuce wraps with crispy pork and crab, and the steamed pork belly buns. The Pearl’s signature entrée, Salt & Pepper Wok Fried Lobster, is considered to be one of the Island’s best lobster dishes and was not to miss.
Brunch: When it comes to sunday brunch, The Brant Point Grill offers one that you are sure not to forget. The incredible spread buffet has something for everyone but isn’t overwhelming; choose from the raw seafood bar, omelette station, salad bar or pastry station to find your brunch fix. Of course this feast would’t be complete with the giant lobster bloody mary they offer, piled high with lobster meat. Enjoy all the latter while overlooking the breathtaking harbor and listening to live music.
Hit the Surf: You may not see palm trees, or grass skirts, but the Old Grey Lady has a well deserved reputation as one of New England’s top surfing destinations. Nantucket’s advantages have everything to do with geography. Its location off the southern coast of Cape Cod, places it nearest to the Gulf Stream and its warm southern waters. The water can easily be 10 degrees warmer than other New England surfing spots and that can be the difference between surfing in shorts and surfing in wetsuits. Choose from the popular Cisco, Madaket, Miacomet, and Surfside beaches.
Stroll the Streets: Nantucket is well known for its array of beachy stores that line the charming cobbled streets of downtown, where you can find everything from silver starfish coffee coasters to pieces of exquisite artworks that portray the unique nautical nature of Nantucket.
Take a Boat: If you don’t already own a boat here, it can be tricky, however, there is always the option to rent one. On my recent trip to Nantucket I actually looked into boat memberships, which aren’t a bad deal depending on where you like to cast your anchor. Barton and Gray Mariner’s Club for example, offers unlimited access to a fleet of captained yachts from Nantucket to the Bahamas, fully stocked and ready for a unforgettable day on the water.
Visit a Brewery: Cisco Brewers is far more than just a brewery, it’s an experience. The festival like layout of this courtyard centered celebration features specialty brews, cocktails and wines that have made stopping here a staple for visitors and locals alike. Visit after a day at Cisco Beach and grab yourself a tour of the Brewery and Triple Eight Distillery, before kicking back in the courtyard, sampling local food, and listening to the sounds of great live music. While everything I gulped down in this spot was spectacular, not to miss for were The Gray Lady Ale, Sharktracker Lager, and the Pineapple Express Cocktail (infused in house with local ingredients.)