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StayCation: Nantucket

Not all vacations require a passport and massive amounts of planning. Some of the members of our team are giving you their expert advice if you are anywhere near these areas. If you are living in a tourism area, it can be really fun to get to know your town through the eyes of a visitor.

Rob Zand - Visual Hunt

Jonathan Rupert - Nantucket

The name Nantucket literally means "a far away place," and it can feel that way in the dead of winter. During the summer season, however, it is just a 30 minute flight from Boston or New York. You can also arrive by ferry or boat, which is a very romantic way to see the island for the first time as it peaks over the horizon of the north Atlantic. The island, whose first inhabitants were the Wampanoag tribe, became the center of the world during the whale oil boom, as described in Moby Dick. More recently it became a sanctuary for artists before it grew into the luxury vacation destination of the east coast.
Described by National Geographic magazine as having the best beaches in the world, you can see why it is the top pick for New England summer retreats. However, it does not just stand on the quality of sand alone. Nantucket has some of America’s top hotels and restaurants. In fact, Zagat’s number one rated restaurant in Massachusetts, TOPPER’S at the Wauwinet, is located on this Island. Whether you choose to bounce from beach to beach or bar stool to bar stool, there will be plenty to keep you busy.

Must do:

• Find a favorite beach, then find another. If you are looking for sun and surf with the convenience of a short drive from town, bathrooms, and plenty of parking, then Surfside beach is for you. If you are looking for a more secluded beach for a quiet afternoon of reading and relaxing, I would recommend Lady’s Beach, but you will have to trick a local into telling you how to get there.

• Watch the sun rise and the sun set from the same beach. The very unique shape of the island provides you the once in a life time opportunity of watching the sun rise and set from the same spot. The beach is called Madacket and is located on the south east tip of the island.

• Eat a Lobster. Whether you are interested in the traditional lobster bake with steamed clams, corn and linguica or a more contemporary version, Nantucket has you covered. Sales Seafood provides a takeout version of this traditional island meal; you just have to pick the size of lobster.

• Learn about island history. The Whaling Museum located in the center of town will provide you a glimpse of what life was like when the island was at the center of the whaling industry. Other museums include Nantucket Lightship Basket museum, Maria Mitchell Association, Egan Maritime’s Nantucket Shipwreck Museum and Lifesaving Museum, and the Artist’s Association of Nantucket.

• Brunch is always on my agenda on Sunday when I am on vacation. When I head back to Nantucket, I brunch at the Brant Point Grill, located at the White Elephant Hotel. They offer a spectacular buffet including a raw bar and a 'build your own' Bloody Mary bar overlooking the harbor.

• Take a hike. With over two thirds of the island designated as open space there is a variety of trails to satisfy all skill levels. My favorite hike to take island new comers is the Bluff hike in Sconset. It leads you through manicured gardens of historic mansions while overlooking the waves. If you stop and take time to look you will also catch a glimpse of a grey seal.

Where to stay: The Jared Coffin House, The Cottages at the Boat Basin, The White Elephant Hotel, The Wauwinet, (one of the many bed and breakfasts you can find) Where to eat: Straight Wharf, Nautilus, TOPPER’S, Brant Point Grill, Oran Mor Bistro, Dune, B-ACK Yard BBQ Jenn

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