July 2, 2024
My Nantucket Travel Guide

To say I loved Nantucket is an understatement. I mean, I knew from the stunning photos I’ve seen of hydrangeas spilling over white picket fences and high bluffs overlooking the blue water that I would

To say I loved Nantucket is an understatement. I mean, I knew from the stunning photos I’ve seen of hydrangeas spilling over white picket fences and high bluffs overlooking the blue water that I would think it’s a beautiful place, but I didn’t expect the feeling that I would have there. This feeling of stepping back into a simpler time, with visions of kids loaded up in the back of a pickup truck for a beach run, American flags flying high everywhere you look, streets with no traffic lights and influx of cars. It was all just… heaven to me.

So let’s round it up. Today I’m sharing all about the best things we ate, did, and saw in Nantucket! And don’t forget to visit my instagram highlight and this reel to see everything I mentioned below in action.

 

 

GETTING THERE —

We flew from CHS to PHL, then from PHL straight onto the island at the ACK airport. Travel was easy peasy! You can also take the fast ferry onto Nantucket from Hyannis through Hy-Line Cruises.

EAT & DRINK —

CRU: A vibey waterfront spot! It reminds me of 167 Raw food mixed with the patio atmosphere at Le Bilboquet Palm Beach, if you’re familiar with those two favorite spots. It’s a “dressy casual” kind of place, but definitely a place to see & be seen while taking in the views of the boats coming into the wharf. CRU is known for their lobster roll, especially the one that you can get warmed with a dollop of caviar on top. To me though, the lobster roll wasn’t something that left me dreaming of returning. That said, I would go back in a heartbeat, but enjoy a different entree along with the delicious Whipped Ricotta & Honey starter and the Duck Fat Potato side that was truly mouth-watering. The perfect things to go with a crispy glass of cold white wine.

Something Natural: This sandwich shop sits in a residential area with a big grassy lawn full of picnic tables and areas for kids to run and play. They also have an old boat that children can play on, which all three of ours enjoyed.  Something no one told us is how gigantic their sandwiches are! You’ll notice when you order your sandwiches that you can order them as a half or whole. Well, take it from me and order a half because that’s the size of a normal sandwich anywhere else! I had the cajun chicken salad sandwich and it was awesome.

Millie’s: There are several locations for Millie’s, but we went to the original in Madaket and gosh, I wish I could transport myself there right now. Remember this: queso. It’s the best ever. Not to mention, they serve their drinks out of mason jars which is the greatest touch. I had the blackened swordfish sandwich and cannot recommend it enough. This may have been my favorite meal on island.

Bartlett’s Farm: This is a functioning family farm, but inside their farmer’s market style of grocery store is a deli with delicous sandwiches made-to-order. While you wait for your sandwich, you can shop around and peruse so many locally made items and browse their beautiful housewares and gifts. But back to the sandwiches… I ordered The Rachel and honestly am still thinking about it. It was spectacular. What made it extra great is that you can sit outside on their farm and let your kids play on their awesome playground. You can also pick strawberries there! It’s a fun place to be.

Cisco Brewers: While you’re in the Bartlett’s Farm area, you can round the corner to Cisco Brewers and enjoy an afternoon drinking wine, beer, and frosé while listening to live music. It’s family-friendly, too! I wish there was a grassy area for the kids to run and play, but there are plenty of treats to keep them occupied. My kids loved a little ice cream cart that had ice cream sandwiches made with all different sorts of cookies. (The carrot cake one was to die for!) On that note, there are lots of food trucks around, so it’s okay to come hungry!

Breeze Restaurant: This restaurant is located in The Nantucket Hotel (where we stayed) and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We tried their breakfast and dinner and enjoyed both so much. We actually cancelled two other dinner reservations and ate here instead three different nights of our trip! The Clam Chowder, Truffle Fries, and Chicken Milanese were fantastic. I highly recommend sitting on their porch because it’s so peaceful and cozy, especially when they hand you a warm blanket and turn on the heaters.

Galley Beach: An upscale dining option that is right on the beach. As in, if you would like to sit at a table on the beach with your toes on the sand,  you can do just that! I wanted to book this for a sunset dinner as that came highly recommended, but they don’t allow high chairs at dinner and they also don’t have a children’s menu at dinner (and it is a two-course prix fixe dinner menu only).  But don’t let that deter you if you have kids in tow… go for lunch! Both of those rules don’t exist at lunch and we absolutely loved it. I had their daily panini, which happened to be a short rib, avocado, + grilled onions panini along with fries and wow. Just… yes. Note that they also have porch and indoor seating if you don’t want to sit under their beach tent or directly on the beach.

Provisions: The best sandwich shop right in the heartbeat of town! I had the BLT and wow… it was to die for. It might be a simple sandwich but they have it mastered. I  will go back just to get this sandwich – ha!

Sandbar at Jetties Beach: Another eat-on-the-beach place, but totally casual! This one is very close to Galley Beach but again, a totally different vibe. While Galley Beach is upscale, Sandbar is all fun and picnic tables. They even have a “lost and found” bucket of beach toys that your kids can play with in the sand while you’re eating. By the way, I highly recommend their lobster roll, housemade chips, and a pain killer!

 

This guava tequila cocktail at Galley Beach was to die for!

 

Lobster Roll + Pain Killer at Sandbar

 

Millie’s Queso is the best ever.

 

The boat to play on and open area at Something Natural is super fun and beautiful.

 

 

COFFEE & PASTRIES —

I tried three different coffee shops during our week: Handlebar, The Corner Table, and The Hub. I also wanted to try Lemon Press, but I honestly haven’t heard the best thing about their iced coffee drinks, so I skipped it. (Although I would have loved to have tried their smoothies and food, which I’ve heard is amazing!)

Best coffee—I had an iced latte at all three and my favorite was The Corner Table! I had an iced honey latte with oat milk and it was absolutely delicious.

Best pastries & treats—All three of these have various grab & go items, like cold drinks, yogurt parfaits, etc. We tried pastries at each one and the best was The Hub. Their morning bun was out of this world! We also tried their Blueberry Muffins and their Almond Croissant.

 

Iced Honey Latte with Oat Milk at The Corner Table

 

ICE CREAM —

Juice Bar is definitely the Nantucket fan favorite. The line wraps around their building on a pretty summer night… and for good reason! Their flavor combinations are super unique and there’s truly something for everyone.

My kids definitely preferred Jack & Charlie’s, though. This is owned by a Charleston family, which I of course thought was super neat. As you walk down the street towards their shop, you can smell their homemade waffle cones and it’s the most captivating thing. The best part is that the taste measures up!

Daily ice cream at Jack and Charlie’s!

 

STAY —

We stayed at The Nantucket Hotel and truly loved it. With it being our first time on island, staying at a hotel was the perfect thing. I had looked at renting a house before, but I didn’t know where on the island to stay and didn’t know how we would get around, etc. Honestly that’s part of the reason I have put off this trip for years! But with the hotel’s amenities, we were able to utilize their complimentary shuttle. They will take you anywhere around town. We were never in a shuttle with another family, so it honestly felt like private transportation! It was also really nice to come back and let the kids jump in the pool.

Our suite had three bedrooms, so it really felt like a house with a small kitchen, dining table, and living room. I didn’t even realize this before booking, but The Nantucket Hotel also has a few cottages! They are precious!

While there, we had so many questions about our stay that their team reached out and said I could offer you guys a 10% off code that is valid at any of the Little Gem properties, which are The Nantucket Hotel, Winnetu (also on Nantucket), and Lovango (in the Virgin Islands).

Use code MEGS for 10% off your stay.

 

The hotel takes guests on this vintage firetruck for rides through town. So cute!

 

The shuttle at The Nantucket, which will take you anywhere in town and pick you up!

 

After-dinner checkers in the lobby became a nightly occurance.

 

SHOP —

Too many to list, honestly! But the good news is that everything is right in town. Here are a few that stand out in my mind:

Ralph Lauren: Ralph Lauren and Nantucket go together in harmony, so this is a must visit to experience the store design alone!

The Nantucket Clothing Company: You’ll see Nantucket sweatshirts everywhere, but these are special because they are sewn on designs that look so nice. We bought each of our kids one of their ACK sweatshirts.

Annie & The Tees: This is a store full of all of the typical screen printed Nantucket t-shirts and sweatshirts. We bought several t-shirts for Watson and I picked up a sweatshirt!

Barnaby’s Toy & Art Shack: We went here every day, ha! It’s a toy store with a focus on art and functional projects, like making your own beaded bracelet, designing a journal with stickers and special pens, crafting the design for bags with Stoney Clover-esque patches on it, and so much more. They also have art classes daily. We signed Rosie up for a “Unicorn Habitat” class, where she was dropped off for an hour of art fun.

Mitchell’s Book Corner: Reminds me of the bookstore in You’ve Got Mail. I wanted to spend so much time here flipping books cover to cover. They also have the cutest children’s section, so we grabbed a handful of books for our little readers. A big treat was being in town during an Elin Hilderbrand book signing! We had her sign her last Nantucket book, Swan Song.

Skinny Dip Collective: A highly curated mix of clothing for children, men, and women. They have really cute flag and Nantucket sweaters for kids!

Erica Wilson: A fun store full of needlepoint canvases and women’s clothing + accessories. I bought a Nantucket needleminder for my needlepoint canvases and a beautiful Sarah Bray hat!

Anderson’s of Nantucket: A very nice home store. I bought a silver frame that has Nantucket engraved on the top for a family picture. I also bought some beautiful acrylic coasters with white caning inside.

The Vault: The most beautiful jewelry store! The designs were so current. If you asked me to choose a favorite thing in the store, I couldn’t possibly.

Alice Walk: The perfect Nantucket brand! It was a treat to visit their flagship store. (Ps. my code for 15%, should you choose to shop online, is MEGAN15)

Hospital Thrift: Fun to shop for unique treasures! I bought a silver spoon for Patrick, my snoozing shopping buddy for this adventure, and a set of four Chatham Pottery seashell mugs. Note, donations are in the morning hours… shopping starts at 1pm. Prepare for crowds!

Peachtree Kids: The cutest children’s store! I recognized tons of brands we love. Bought Patrick and adorable Nantucket sweater that I hope still fits him in the fall!

Again… there are so many more. So definitely plan many shopping days because it’s too much to take in on one day—if given the choice, at least! We came home with a lot of treasures! 

Mitchell’s Book Corner Book Signing with Elin Hilderbrand (Rosie was at Barnaby’s doing an art class!)

 

My treasures from Hospital Thrift! The mugs came as a set of four.

 

Steps Beach

 

Watson loved jumping down on the beach here at Easy Street and could find lots of Calico Scallop Shells.

 

The yard at Veronica Beard is so beautiful. (And clearly a fun place for the kids while mom shops!)

 

 

 

PLAY —

Madaket Beach and Steps Beach were our two favorites! Ladies Beach was also really cool because there is a dirt road to get to it in a very rural location, so it felt out of a movie. This is a good one to pair with your Bartlett’s Farm + Cisco Brewers visits, because they are all right in the same area.

Rent bicycles from Cook’s Cycles along with a map of the different bike routes along the island.

Do the ‘Sconset Bluff Walk, which is a public footpath that walks right through the backyards of incredible Nantucket homes. The path is up on the bluff, running alongside the beach, so the views are incredible all around.

Visit the lighthouses! There are several on island. We loved the Sankaty Head Lighthouse. Another thing that looked straight out of a movie.

Nantucket Whaling Museum: This is something we wanted to do, as it came very highly recommended for the whole family to enjoy, but ran out of time.

But I also consider everything above part of the “play” category as well, like swimming in the pool, getting ice cream, walking around town, finding Calico Scallop Shells, spotting cool boats in the Wharf, eating at delicious and fun restaurants, and so forth.

 

 

Safe to say, we will be back again and again!

Please check out my instagram highlight and you’ll see more pictures and videos of everything mentioned on this blog post and more!