30 miles off the oyster-laden shores of Cape Cod but an eternity away, NANTUCKETÂ is as fabled an island as they come. The ferry drops you off at a bustling wharf whose cobblestone streets spread like Virginia Creeper to a haven of like-minded cedar shingled buildings housing the most inspiring of individuals and businesses. There is an undeniable quaintness mixed with an air of playful mischiefâ€”Nantucket is the perfect playground for a summer getaway.
At the very top of Main Streetâ€”with an elevated position that gives a real sense of place in what locals simply call â€œTownâ€â€”is 76 MAIN, a pristinely kept boutique inn worth its weight in Nantucket honey. It goes without saying that we found the well-kept property on Mr & Mrs Smith. The coveted Main Street address is just one of the many perks of the stylish digs. Donâ€™t even get us started on their private courtyardâ€”perfected with wicker furniture and nestled between flagstone and flora. Their plush beds and kimono robes could have kept us holed up all day, but we donned our best Breton stripes and espadrilles in search of adventure.
We perused Americaâ€™s finest summer colony for interesting personalities tied to the culture and social pulse of the island. From the ultimate lobster roll recipe to the coolest sustainable knitwear, follow our Summer Travel Guide as we navigate Nantucketâ€™s whimsical American nostalgia. >>
We practiced our perfect lobstaÂ accent all weekend, and now weâ€™re putting it to use at Nantucketâ€™s culinary stomping ground The Proprietors Bar + Table. The menu stays true to Nantucket flavors, but draws global inspiration while sourcing local ingredients. We got a behind-the-scene lookâ€”and recipe!â€”with Executive Chef TOM BERRYâ€™s island famous lobster roll.
His signature roll all started with his food truck Blue Bellies, and now gets dished out on the reg at the newest addition to ACK’s cuisine scene. The mouth-watering recipe adds a kick of Asian flair, but still keeps the flavor of the lobster as the star. And how could we forget about that buttered bun. Weâ€™ll take about five more lobsta rolls, please!
Wanna eat like a local? Tom suggests Pi Pizza:”Itâ€™s my home away from home. I always order a pizza with olive, hot peppers, arugula and broccoli rabe.” or Miacomet Golf Course: â€œFor lunch in the summer, itâ€™s great to get out of the craziness of town and relax by the golf course. I usually have a salmon wrap or caesar. Cisco Brewery after is a must.â€
The Proprietor’s Bar + Table, 9 India Street, 508.228.7477
Isobel + Cleo is not your grandmaâ€™s knitwear. Founder CHARLOTTE HESSÂ weaves together cozy luxuries with the most innovative, unique and tactile yarnsâ€”think alpaca! Silk! Chiffon! Conceived in Glasgow, Scotland, Charlotte now knits up her worldly-influenced designs at her bright and airy Nantucket studio. Her knitted garments lay among a curated collection of ethically-responsible, independent designers, which affirms the community and creative spirit of the island.
â€œWhen people say â€˜It takes a villageâ€™ to accomplish something special,â€ says Charlotte, â€œNo where is this more true than Nantucketâ€”we all help and want each other to succeed.â€Â Watch below as we dish with Charlotte on island life and entrepreneurship, and donâ€™t miss the cameos by her mischievous Great Dane pup Frankie.
Isobel + Cleo, 38 Centre Street, 508.257.3032
Have a long weekend? We’ve got a few of our favorite haunts to check out before you hop the ferry back to the mainland. Book your stay at 76 MAINÂ (1). Start your AM off right at HANDLEBAR CAFE (5) and be sure to ask owner Jason for info on Nantucket by Bike. For a quick bite for lunch, check out FRESH (19) and NANTUCKET PASTY CO (15). After a visit to the WHALING MUSEUM (14), enjoy Happy Hour bites and sips (read: more oysters) at CRU (11). We love dinner at THE PROPRIETOR’S BAR + TABLE (2), THE NAUTILUS (8), THE PEARL (10) and LOLA 41 (13)â€”for a more casual option, try Pi PizzeriaÂ or Lola Burger. After dinner, let loose at the BOARDING HOUSE (10), THE CLUB CAR (8) or The Chicken Box.
For shopping: stop into housewares superstar BODEGA (6), knitwear extraordinaire ISOBEL + CLEO (4), beauty mavens FOLLAIN (12), and fashion stand-outsÂ THE LOVELY (17) and MILLY + GRACE (7). Plus, Nantucket staplesÂ MURRAY’S TOGGERY SHOP (16) and CRAFTMASTERS OF NANTUCKET (3). Stoll OLD SOUTH WHARF (18) for local designers, galleries and artisans.
After nine years of bartending wild summers on the island, Holly Finigan realized her patrons kept consulting her for the best places and faces to see in Nantucket. With some liquid confidence, Holly began jotting down the notes she passed out as well as the gossip she spiedâ€”The NANTUCKET BLACKBOOKÂ was born! Holly brings her concierge service to life online as a go-to resource for all things fresh and happening on the rock. We snag some juicy gossip over BOHO drinks.
Her love for Nantucket has no bounds, explaining the uniqueness of the island is filled with storied history that lives in the cobblestones and town piers. From the best beach to the best place to grab a glass of rose, this island social butterfly let us in on the ultimate day in Nantucket.Â
Holly’s seven steps to the Perfect ACK day? Ready. Set. Go: 1.Â Coffee and a wicked island morning bun at Handlebar. 2.Â Fishermanâ€™s beach for some Vitamin D. 3.Â Lunch on a Nantucket Babe Sandwich from Fresh. 4.Â Indulge in a glass of rose at CRU with friends. 5.Â Sushi dinner at LoLa 41. 6.Â Seal the deal with cocktails and dessert at The Pearl. 7.Â And if there’s a band, groove at The Chicken Box.
Snag more ACK finds at NantucketBlackbook.com
We rolled up our pant legs for some good olâ€™ fashioned clam digging with the Chowder Kingâ€”admittedly without a crownâ€”whoâ€™s serving up the freshest shellfish on Nantucket. BRIAN CULLENÂ turned his love of cooking and hanging out on the beach into a full-fledged biz named The Yoho Raw Barâ€”serving up chowder, clam bakes, boils and frys for events across the island. And his outings all come with the same salty charm that has become synonymous with the business.
â€œI enjoy sharing what I know with people to give them a glimpse of coastal living that they otherwise would not see,â€ Brian says. And thus, we witnessed the no-frills whipping up of a batch of Brianâ€™s generation-old clam chowder recipe. Watch below to learn the art of his very tasty craft and try it yourself for a little taste of New England in your own kitchen.
Learn more at RawBarYoho.com
Across the bay lies a goldmine of properly produced bivalves. So bright and briny are touted WELLFLEET OYSTERSÂ that they are often considered the best of the breed. A mighty high rank for an area of the country that produces so many oysters. So forgive us while we take a reprieve from Nantucket to exercise a lesson in slurping the arguable best.
But what makes them so good? We could recite very well-respected shellfisherman Richard Blakeley about the cold waters of Wellfleet’s estuaries. Or the really fast moving tides or high salinity that contribute to the distinctive flavor. He spouts off all sorts of marine biology type facts with ease. But there’s something about seeing the “mayor of South Wellfleet” Richard who has been farming for shellfish for over twenty years talk about the fruits de mer with such passion and joy that makes the oysters taste that much better. Just watchâ€”you’ll see what we mean.Â
Weâ€™re serving up a cocktail straight from ACKâ€™s hottest hangout, Cru. The cedar shake oyster bar sits atop a pierâ€”the perfect vantage point for watching the bobbing boats in the harbor and neighborhood regulars. We picked the brain of Cru Cocktail Director KAT DUNNÂ for her favorite local watering holes, some island etiquette and a drink we can whip up right at home. When Kat isnâ€™t concocting recipes from locally-sourced ingredients around the island, you can find her sipping on a can of sake at Nautilus or at The Proprietors drinking a wet Plymouth gin martini. And words of advice for summertime travelers? â€œBe friendly, be nice, be courteous,â€ explains Kat. â€œYour bartenders can be your concierge, your ally, your fun, but not if you don’t treat them right.â€
Her gin cocktailâ€”coined the “Lady JuJuâ€™â€”features a little lemon, a dash of Nantucket honey, and well, you get the idea. Watch the video below to get the full recipe, and shake up a glass of Nantucket charm for yourself tonight.
CRU, 1 STRAIGHT WHARF, 508.228.9278
The NANTUCKET PASTY CO.Â bakes up traditional English piesâ€”not to mention the most delicious, too!â€”all from scratch at itâ€™s charming island storefront. Owner Nathan Coe isnâ€™t only dishing out these portable pies to the seafaring culture, but boasts the freshest selection of Nantucket cold pressed juices. Nathanâ€™s favorite? The Sconset Loop made of orange, grapefruit, lemon, ginger and cayenne, named after the beautiful Sconset Bluff walking trail that features gorgeous homes and beaches. Sold!
We chatted with Nathan about his upcoming rebrand of Nantucket Pasty Co and the farm-fresh idea behind his premium grab-and-go concept.
The Nantucket Pasty Co, 10 Broad Street, 508.325.0282
Want to get started on your ACK itinerary? Book 76 Main (from $179) on MrandMrsSmith.com.