About 30 miles South of Massachusetts, outcrops a very special place in the Atlantic Ocean.
A place so special that despite the fact that cobblestone streets have banished stilettos, fashionistas still make it a prime place to summer. A place that has the power to make men wear pink pants under the guise that they were once red and have been faded by the power of the sun. A place that as author Herman Melville describes in Chapter 14 of Moby Dick, despite being an elbow of sand, occupies a real corner of the world.
You must have guessed we’re talking about Nantucket, and if only Melville could see how the island, born out of the whaling industry, occupies the world now. But, we’re pretty sure he knew where it was headed, since even in 1851 he wrote that, “Two thirds of this terraqueous globe are the Nantucketer’s. For the sea is his; he owns it, as Emperors own empires.”
Today, Nantucket definitely owns the travel industry. Despite still being just a small elbow of only 45 square miles of land, the island holds court with its visitors as if it were as big as New York City. (The island is actually about 260 square miles, but most of that land base is submerged into the Atlantic.) People travel from all over the world to sample the famed seafood and rest on shores of, “The Little Grey Lady of the Sea.”
Like most who have visited this outcroping of land, we also have a bit of a love affair with the village that stops time so one can focus on leisure. It was the perfect spot for The Haute Life’s first getaway! We’re sharing parts of our trip in our video, and then the Top Ten things we recommend you do in Nantucket, in no particular order, except for number one. 🙂
Click to watch a few of the highlights from our visit to Nantucket.
10. Millie’s of Madaket
Part of a life of leisure is enjoying good food. And on Nantucket, there is never a shortage of good eats! Whatever the mode of transportation, bicycle, car, uber, or taxi, you have to make a stop at Millie’s. Not only is the food great, Millie’s is founded on the spirit of the real Nantucker. We love the story behind the values on which the restaurant was founded!
Millie, a strong-minded, but kind and caring Nantucket native would patrol the shores of her island watching for shipwrecks. Her dedication to watching the shores earned her recognition from the US Coast Guard. But, Millie also loved to feed locals and visitors. Caring for the island and creating a place to enjoy good food and great views is the premise of Millie’s. And let us tell you, good food you will find! Amazing tacos, po’ boys, and monstrous salads are just a few of things you have to try. And, once your belly is full, head to the bar and try a few games of “Shake a Day.” Be careful though, you may end up there all day. 🙂
Yup, more food. We’re sorry, we love to eat! And Cru is usually one of the first places we visit after we step onto Nantucket. Why? Well here’s one reason:
Cru Lobster Roll
In our opinion, Cru literally has the best lobster roll in the world. We’re so serious and so in love, we considered running away with it and marrying it. But, the relationship wouldn’t last very long. 😉
What makes it so irresistible? How about freshly shucked warm lobster, drenched in butter, and served on a toasty warm buttered roll? It’s pretty awesome. We’re about to call Cape Air for the next available flight!
Besides the spectacular lobster roll, there’s a fun cocktail menu and if you can believe it, the only restaurant that has views of the harbor. Everyone at Cru has done a spectacular job of creating a restaurant with a stunning decor that has become the place to see and be seen.
A bit of advice though, if you do want to see and be seen, make sure you make a reservation. That lobster roll and exquisite raw bar has created some pretty serious competition for these coveted seats.
8. Whaling Museum
If you fall in love with Nantucket, then you owe the island the respect of learning its history. Nantucket is a perfect little example of the the American dream, and the Whaling Museum does a superb job of showcasing how this little island became a major frontier for the whaling industry, with ships going as far as the Pacific.
If you’re a history buff, you might want to check out the other historical sites and related events happening on the island.
What trip isn’t complete without a little shopping? If you’re looking for a souvenir or a fashionable ensemble, shopping on Nantucket is such a joy. Why so much fun? Because each little store and boutique is carefully curated and loved by a small business owner. Big corporations do not sully the authenticity of the Nantucket shopping experience. Pick up a piece of artwork or jewelry by many of the talented artisans on the island, or visit one of the many clothing stores and let them work their styling magic. We loved meeting Julie Biondi, owner and stylist at The Lovely. Not only is Julie lovely, but she has created a shopping experience that is not to be missed. When you’re on the island, stop into the boutique and tell her Jess and Kim sent you. 🙂
Julie Biondi, owner of The Lovely
6. Back Bar at Ventuno
Looking for a little nightlife on Nantucket? At the end of the night, you can pretty much always find us and lots of fun at the “Back Bar” at Ventuno. Head there for a fantastic dinner, and then slip onto the patio behind the restaurant. Why is it so much fun? Smiling faces, twinkling lights, great tunes, and some of the best staff on Nantucket. 🙂
5. Jettie’s Beach
Looking for something fun to do with family? Jettie’s beach is the perfect spot! With a beach restaurant and fantastic relaxed family vibe you’ll want to establish a spot for your clan all day long. And you definitely should, as the sunset views are one of the must sees on Nantucket!
If you don’t have a car, don’t worry, there’s a shuttle from town that will take you to the popular spot.
4. Bike Around the Island
You might consider repenting for all of the drinking and imbibing that happens on Nantucket by renting a bike to tour the island. There is so much Nantucket has to offer. One can easily cover most if not all of the island’s beauty by a good-old fashione pair of wheels.
Once you have your bike, head over to Fresh in Downtown Nantucket and pack a picnic. Where to go? Check out the two lighthouses that are easy to get to by land, Brant Lighthouse and Sankaty lighthouse. Otherwise, explore the gorgeous beaches and many of the historical sites.
3. Cruise the Waters
If history claims that Nantuckers once controlled the seas, then you must get out onto those open waters and see the beauty of the island from the ocean as the founders once did. If its a fishing trip, girls’ getaway, or if you’re looking for the perfect marriage proposal, Nantucket Mermaids is your go-to concierge service. And not just for boating, but really for anything on the island! Call Leah and her team to arrange the perfect day at sea. We certainly had the time of our lives!
2. Cisco Beach & Then Cisco Brewery
If you’re on Nantucket, you absolutely have to make Cisco Beach and Cisco Brewery part of the trip. First, enjoy the rolling waves on Cisco Beach, and then head to Cisco Brewery for a rolling good time. Here’s the order of what you need to do:
- Stop in Bartlett’s Farm to compile some wonderful fresh cheeses and prepared foods for a heavenly picnic.
- Park your body on Cisco Beach, enjoy the ocean waves, and some great fresh food.
- Head over to Cisco Breweries. First, take a tour of the brewery, cellars, and distillery. Next, grab one of those locally crafted beers, wines and spirit; stop by one of the tasty food trucks that parks at the brewery for the day, and kick back and enjoy some live music. Check the website for public tour and musical performance times.
1. Watch the Sun Set Over the Ocean
As New Englanders, we own the watery sunrise. There simply aren’t many vantage points from which we can admire the painted sky and golden glow cast over the water by a sunset. When in Nantucket, the one thing you absolutely have to experience is the sunset over the water. If you want to do it in style, enjoy dinner or cocktails at Galley Beach.
Sunset at Galley Beach
But, thankfully, as they say, the best things in life are free. So, really, all you need is a blanket or beach chair and the motivation to head one of the wonderful spots to see a spectacular sunset (Steps Beach, Madaket Beach, or Jettie’s Beach, just to name a few).
So please, if you’re on Nantucket at dusk, dig deep and find that motivation. It shouldn’t be that hard. Trust us, it’s worth it to receive one of Mother Nature’s most special gifts. XO
Enjoy the rest of the summer!
Kim & Jess