The beautiful shores, the Hinkleys on the harbor, architectural sameness and beauty, cobblestone streets, hydrangea and rose gardens, bike paths and a collection of fine shops, galleries and dining establishments, ACK here we are. Off the coast of Massachusetts, travel by ferry or plane to this 14 mile long by 3 mile wide charming island, also known as the “grey lady.”
I have modestly said before, “I have travelled a decent amount throughout the world, but have never been to Block Island, Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard” - quite unusual for a 21 year resident of Long Island. Taking a 40 minute JetBlue flight from JFK, arriving at the sweet airport on island and taxiing over to The White Elephant hotel (10 minute drive), life is good! Great New England style hotel with nice amenities; walking distance to Main St, a driver at your service, complimentary light breakfast in the morning and wine and cheese at 4P daily, bikes to enjoy and more. Of course, there are many smaller and more affordable Inns which offer convenience and the Nantucket lifestyle.
Nantucket, an Indian name translating to far away land was the whaling capital of the world back in the mid 1700’s thru the late 1830’s. Herman Melville upon visiting Nantucket in the 1840’s was inspired to write Moby Dick. The population year-round is about 10,000 and during its peak Summer season, there are as many as 56,000 people strolling the narrow streets on this island which prides itself on the serenity, simplicity and swagger which it owns. The island’s dimensions are 14 miles long and 3-5 miles wide. What’s very noticeable is the consistent Nantucket grey shingle style homes, with strict building codes enforced. Only 11 paint colors are permitted for the doors and frames, white picket fences abound at 3 ft. high max but privet hedges can be at any height. Blue hydrangea are everywhere.
Wow! It’s a must visit and on most bucket lists.
My recommendations are:
1. Make dinner reservations before you travel.
2. Take a bus tour (75 minutes) to gain the history and perspective of the island. Nantucketbustours.com.
3. Ride a bike on some of the bike paths and around town.
4. Visit Jettie Beach, full snack bar during the season.
5. Enjoy oysters, lobsters and local fish and farm grown products.
6. Take a photo by Brandt Point Lighthouse, the 2nd oldest lighthouse in America.
7. Watch out for the traffic lights - you won’t find even one on the island.
8. Browse through the art galleries and shops throughout town, and then take a break and stop at a bar for a local IPA, vodka 888 cocktail or a healthy eatery for a treat. Also, there are plenty of ice cream shops around town.
9. Oysters are a favorite as are lobster rolls and lobster dinners.
10. Bring your clubs, as the island has 3 golf courses, including a Links course.
Lemon Press: Cute brunch spot on Main St. also serving a variety of smoothies and açaí bowls. Very good.
Provisions: by Straight Wharf, sandwiches, salads, smoothies and more. Good spot for a quick to go.
Rose & Crown: an English style pub in name with emphasis on a variety of lagers and menu items. In the heart of town, karaoke and DJ nights, football days/ nights can be had. Stop in for lunch after visiting the Whaling Museum.
The Tavern: an excellent spot for lunch overlooking the harbor and the hustle & bustle of people on their way on or off the ferry. Menu includes, fish n chips, meatless burger, salads, sandwiches, oysters and more.
The Straight Wharf Restaurant: by the harbor, with a lovely atmosphere of outdoor seating and cozy indoor dining. Food and service was great. Very unique and special wine list.
Ventunos: a lovely atmosphere, romantic table (happy anniversary) and good service and food. Better than good, actually. Had broccoli rabe to start and swordfish as an entree in a tomato broth with haricots verts. Vince enjoyed panzanella salad and Ventunos famous strozzapetti pasta dish with chicken sausage and broccoli rabe. Delizioso!
Galley Beach: On the ocean. Great food, lovely atmosphere. Popular destination, beach lounge and bar on the sand. A perfect venue for a wedding celebration.
The Gaslight: new restaurant/bar with music. Great cocktail menu and tapas style food. Fun atmosphere for a casual dinner or for a nightcap.
Other restaurants to try:
• Summer House Restaurant
• Bryant Point Grill
Nantucket is a must visit and more than likely a repeat visit. Take some of the simplicity, serenity and sweetness home, at least as a beautiful memory!