Last week, a road trip through New England brought us to Nantucket, an island 30 miles off the coast of Massachusetts. This small town vacation spot truly comes alive during the summer months. It's comprised of gorgeous coastline, picturesque cedar shake homes and blooming hydrangea everywhere you turn. We tapped a few friends for recommendations on local spots to hit, as it was Cristina's first time on ACK. Below you'll find our roundup of favorites from this magical place.
WHERE TO STAY
It's no wonder Greydon House made Conde Nast Traveler's 2017 Hot List. The recently opened boutique hotel has prime location in the center of downtown Nantucket, a short walk from the ferry dock. We love everything from it's stylish decor, bath amenities (including products from Aesop, Ursa Major and Malin+Goetz), as well as the fully stocked beach bags they provide for guests looking for a day in the sun.
A few blocks away you'll find Lemon Press, a grab-and-go spot for healthy organic fare. It quickly became our go-to in the mornings for fresh smoothies and acai bowls, along with coffee and other light breakfast options. The decor is so bright cheery, as is their daily playlist, which kicked off each morning on the right foot!
Located on the eastern end of the island in Siasconset, The Summer House feels as though you've been instantly transported to an English rose garden. Chose from a dozen of cedar shake cottages, nestled on bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Dine al fresco at The Beachside Bistro, followed by the dip in the heated oceanside pool. End the day with some live music from the piano bar, and a 'Sconset Clam Bake at the hotel's restaurant.
Even if you're not staying at the hotel, The Summer House is definitely worth the trip from town. We packed up our beach bags and biked out there for the day, and at 18 miles is no small trip! The ride was rewarded with lobster rolls at the Bistro with a glass of rose. Afterwards, we headed straight to 'Sconset beach for some of the prettiest coastlines on the island.
WHAT TO DO
Our pick for a beach day was Madaket, which has the easy laid-back vibes one looks for when choosing where to spend some time on the sand. It's about 6 miles west of town and easily reachable by car, bike or the island's local bus service. No trip to Madaket would be complete without stopping at Madaket Millie's for the Westender fish tacos and some Whale's Tale Pale Ale. There's no better beach to watch the sunset, if you make it all the way til day's end!
Every afternoon, tourists and islanders alike head to Cisco Brewers for an early happy hour. Nantucket-brewed beer and signature cocktails like the Figawi Wowie or Blue Haired Lady can be enjoyed while listening to live outdoor music. Post up at a picnic table with the kids and order lobster rolls and grilled cheese from the food truck parked in the lot. Dogs are welcome too, which makes Cisco a fun stop for the whole family.
WHERE TO SHOP
If you're looking for a break from the beach, head downtown for an afternoon of shopping the local stores. While you can expect to find more ACK merchandise then you'd ever need, there are a few standout gems that caught our eyes. One of them is Gypsy, a high end womenswear boutique located inside a free-standing historic building. We loved founder Paola Gonfrade's edit from designers such as Rosetta Getty, Ulla Johnson and Brock Collection. It's quite a refreshing selection of clothing and accessories among the sea of Nantucket Reds!
Our favorite find on the island was Atlantic, a vintage and antiques shop located on Federal Street. Owner Colleen Darby Wurts has done such an amazing job curating her selection of antique pieces and mixing them among art, fashion, accessories and home decor. Each piece was more special than the next, yet seemingly all worked together in this island lifestyle space. Expect nautical table linens, gorgeous artwork, vibrant pillows and quirky accessories.
Never one to pass up a home decor store, we popped into Bodega and instantly fell in love. From its airy coastal vibes, to its assortment of both new and vintage pieces, we could of spent hours in here. Oyster framed mirrors are styled alongside linen beach bags, making it the perfect place to find pieces suitable for the island life. Definitely suggest a visit when in town!
WHERE TO EAT
Our pick for an early breakfast in town is Black Eyed Susan's. The interior has the feel of an old school American diner with it's wooden walls and square tables, but the menu has a bit of a Latin twist. You can expect down-to-earth comfort food that's just the right amount greasy, and all around really delicious. We opted for buttermilk pancakes and huevos rancheros. Dinner is also served here come 6pm and is BYOB, so make sure to grab a bottle of wine on the way!
With over 10 years in business, Lola 41 is a local institution, and great place for a night out on the town. We suggest making a reservation, and doing so in person when the doors open at 4pm. Lola 41 is known for its global cuisine, making it one of those special spots where you can have a completely different meal every night of the week. Standouts are the sushi and the burger, enjoyed with a side of their island famous truffle fries.
For a relaxed dinner (or Sunday brunch!) in town, look no further than Proprietor's. The restaurant describes itself as a “culinary ode to the well-traveled palate” with a “distinctly Nantucket viewpoint," and we couldn't agree more. The globally-inspired menu embodies the best of the Nantucket dining scene and truly offers something for everyone. We went crazy over the fried broccoli and carrot hummus. After dinner, walk over to The Juice Bar for some homemade ice cream. There's typically a line, but it's definitely worth the wait!
Galley Beach tops our charts for both the best meal and sunset on ACK. Waterfront dining at its finest, the restaurant is situated right on the beach and has a stellar reputation for both its upscale menu and impeccable service. We go crazy for the tuna crudo and scallops, but listen up for their nightly specials which tend to steal the show! Our favorite part of going to Galley is the built in photo op - take a break between courses for a quintessential shot of the Nantucket sunset right on the beach. Cheers!