At the start of 2019, I sat down to make a travel destination bucket list. Nantucket was at the top of my list!
Matt had never been to Nantucket – and I had only visited once for a brand trip – which I blogged about here. During my first trip, I had no time to explore the restaurants or shops in Nantucket. But, after so many of you reached out to inquire about a Nantucket guide last year – I knew it was my job to head back to Nantucket to truly experience the island so I could share an official travel guide.
On our trip, we made sure to document each stop to create the ultimate guide to summering in Nantucket!
traveling To Nantucket:
So, how do you get there?
Since Nantucket is an island you can’t just get in your car and drive straight there. You have two options: you could fly or you could take the ferry.
I prefer the ferry!
I start out in my home state of Connecticut, travel roughly 3 hours through Rhode Island, and catch a ferry out of Hyannis, Massachusetts. The drive is scenic and allows me to stop at Mary Lou’s for a coffee to enjoy on the high-speed ferry ride. Hy-Line Cruises has on-site parking and will get you to Nantucket in just one hour!
Where To Shop:
You can shop til’ you drop on Nantucket Island!
Not only are the shops in the historic downtown area walkable, but they’re eye-catching and unique!
Here’s a look inside my shopping bags and the stores I got to visit with Nantucket Island Retail:
Native Shoes single-handedly saved me because I forgot to pack walking shoes for my Nantucket trip! I found the perfect mix of style and comfort with a pair of white walking shoes. Now, Native Shoes is a brand I plan to keep on my radar!
Perch, Sara Campbell, and Olivela are luxury brands worth splurging on! The Perch store was stocked with classic pieces from Veronica Beard; Boston-based Sara Campbell has everything a preppy gal could ever need; and Olivela offers a large variety of sunglasses, high-end bags, and unique shoes to polish off any look.
The Black Dog is a New England summertime staple. The brand has storefronts in all the best seaside towns – like Nantucket and Mystic!
Southern Tide is one of my favorite spots. Once I stepped through the doors, I just couldn’t leave until I tried on some of the new women’s arrivals. I decided on this sleeveless dress. It’s the perfect summer dress – I suggest you size down!
Lemon & Line is a true nautical brand that handcrafts bracelets and accessories in Newport, Rhode Island. Matt and I each got a pair of stackable nautical bracelets to remember our trip. I haven’t taken mine off!
Where We Stayed:
The White Elephant hosted us for a mid-week stay!
Matt and I often find ourselves working on the weekends, so getting to visit the island when it was a little less packed was heavenly. The White Elephant was the perfect place for us! It’s centrally located to Nantucket’s historical district and wharf areas and provides visitors with bikes to venture further into the more residential areas on the island.
You can see images from our bike ride through Nantucket in our Top Cedar Shingled Towns Worth Biking Through post!
Where To Eat:
A highlight when traveling eatting our way through our stay! Whether Matt and I are traveling internationally or throughout New England – experiencing the food is half the fun! Nantucket Island Retail recommended restaurants and made reservations for us throughout our entire stay – which made choosing where to eat super easy! Below I’m sharing everywhere we went with Nantucket Island Retail and a few stops we made just for fun!
Breakfast & Coffee:
Or, The Whale is a must for breakfast! From savory to sweet this place has it all. We started breakfast off with homemade sugar cinnamon donuts and finished the meal with berry pancakes topped with fresh Vermont maple syrup. Plus, their nitro brew coffee kept me going all day long.
Handlebar Cafe is a great place to pop into if you’re looking to get some work done on the island. Matt and I brought our laptops here to get a head start on some work before jumping on the ferry back home!
Sconset Market was introduced to me by Robbin from The New England Live. It’s a great place that opens early if you’re looking to snag a coffee and walk the beach or the infamous Sconset Bluff Walk!
Provisions is known for their sandwiches! I popped in for lunch every day while in Nantucket. My go-to order: “The Turkey Terrific!”
Straight Wharf Fish Store Restaurant is the place for seafood! Matt and I ordered lobster rolls and clam chowder. If you’re a long time reader here, you know I love seafood! I often say to readers, a seafood restaurant is only as good as it’s clam chowder. Well, Straight Wharf Fish Store had one of the best-tasting clam chowders I’ve ever tasted. From their kind owner to their delicious New England style lobster roll. – it’s worth the stop!
Slip 14 is tucked away in the Old South Wharf. The seafood restaurant has something for everyone! I got started with the Heirloom Tomato Salad Special, ordered a flatbread to share, and ended with the Chatham Day Boat Scallops. I highly recommend!
LoLa41 is where you’ll find the ‘scene’ on Nantucket! While dining on sushi and burgers, we met so many kind locals. Our waitress, Star, even pushed us out of our comfort zones and enticed us to try the maruko sushi roll. We are so glad we did!
Because you can’t go wrong with dessert! Here are a couple of places I recommend:
Where To See:
Located directly next to The White Elephant is Brant Point Lighthouse. Matt and I often went to take a lunch break and eat our Provisions sandwiches at the point. It’s a peaceful spot to park and watch the ferries. Next, I’d highly recommend doing the Sconset Bluff Walk – where you’ll find a picturesque view of the sea!
If you’re into breweries, check out Cisco Brewery. From food trucks to delicious mocktails – the experience is truly a fun one whether you’re down for a drink or just along for the tour.
Lastly, I suggest you see Sankaty Lighthouse because it’s stunning!