Printfresh Travel Guide: Nantucket
Leo and I recently visited Nantucket, Massachusetts for the first time. Perfect for an unplugged vacation, Nantucket is one of those travel destinations where getting there is half the fun. As a serious planner, I create travel itineraries and spreadsheets for each day full of dinner ideas and planned activities. Here's an inside look at my Island itinerary and what places we loved.
How to Get There & Where to Stay
There’s really only two ways to get to Nantucket - plane or boat. Coming from Philly, we decided we would drive and break the trip up by stopping in Rhode Island for the night before continuing on to the nearest ferry location.
If you are trying to bring your car across, you can take a traditional ferry - which takes cars and passengers and is roughly 2 hours. The more efficient option is to take the high-speed ferry that takes only one hour and your car can come across later (we wish we had known about this option ahead of time). Looking back, if we travel to Nantucket again, we will most likely fly to save travel time or take the high-speed ferry and have our car on standby.
Once we arrived in Nantucket, we checked into Life House - the most gorgeous hotel. I love old homes and this hotel is a fun renovation. The staff was very friendly and accommodated us throughout our stay. Not to mention, there was complimentary breakfast and happy hour drinks (both delicious!). If anything, the drinks were better at the hotel than any other bar we came across, which was incredibly convenient. I would highly recommend Life House if you are coming without a car, as it is right downtown.
Things to Do & See in Nantucket
We were only in Nantucket for a short time, but we still managed to do a lot of sightseeing (thank you spreadsheet). If you are planning to schedule a longer visit, check this link out for even more recommendations on things to do in Nantucket.
Jetties beach: We got off the ferry and headed straight for the beach. Jetties is a popular, spacious sand beach that has a restaurant serving local seafood and drinks.
Bike Ride: I often joke that it wouldn’t be a vacation with Leo if there wasn’t a strenuous bike ride or hike involved, but we really loved to explore Nantucket by bike. This time, we rented electric bikes from locally owned Wheels of Delight and explored Sconset.
Photography Tour: Leo and I are both passionate about photography, so we were really excited about the photo tour with Capture Nantucket. They have many different tours/workshops for all photography skill levels. Our guide was really informative both at showing us new spots in Nantucket as well as providing photography tips along the way.
Boat Tour: We took a lovely boat tour on Endeavor. They sail from May - October and offer many different sailing options from daytime cruise to private charters.
Where to Eat/Drink
Proprietors: This is a great dinner spot. Proprietors is centered around the history of sailors returning to Nantucket with bounty from their travels abroad. The outdoor dining space was lovely, and I loved how many vegetarian options there were on the menu. The seared halloumi and the fried broccoli were amazing.
Handlebar Cafe: We stopped at this cozy cafe for coffee. Their mission is around building community for both islanders and visitors. Coffee options are limited on the island - but this was certainly my favorite.
Ventuno’s Back Bar: Sister restaurant to Italian restaurant Ventuno, we enjoyed some cocktails in their backyard bar area after dinner one night. If you are into sipping Italian wines, you will love this lively spot.
American Seasons: This beautifully designed restaurant was just renovated in 2020 and is a must see. They are only open for dinner but if you enjoy after dinner cocktails their bar is open late. The food is fresh and amazing - there is a large covered outdoor patio which is great for summertime dining.
Something Natural: Serving for their 50th summer, Something Natural is a bakery and sandwich stop. We stopped here for lunch after our photography tour and loved it. The sandwiches are GIANT, I love the Terry Terrific - which is roasted turkey, bread stuffing, and homemade cranberry sauce.
Where to Shop
Erica Wilson: The ultimate spot for needlepoint kits, and textile focussed clothing by high end designers. I picked up a Nantucket Lightship Basket embroidery kit which I loved, and it was a fun souvenir to bring home.
Serenella: Owner, Leslee Shupe travels all over the globe to source the best of the best designer pieces. There were some really beautiful caftans and home textile items
Robert Foster Fine Art: Looking for new artwork? This art gallery features many of Nantucket’s local artists featuring lots of beautiful landscapes.
Milly & Grace: This sister duo created both a lifestyle boutique and a wedding company. They have a great selection of dresses, accessories and handbags.
Some other shops I loved: Erin Hielle (who stocks our pjs!), Murray's Toggery, and The Lovely (which has so many perfect block printed dresses). Also be sure to check out the small shops down by the ferry like the Skinny Dip and Space Nantucket.
Let us know if you have traveled to Nantucket or have any fall travel plans coming up. Don’t forget to add our PJs to your next packing list!