Before we left for our big trip in 2013, Katie and I tied the knot in Siasconset, Nantucket MA and have been dying to get back ever since.
Highly restrictive planning laws state the houses all have to be built in the Cape Cod style, housing density is kept low and neon/traffic lights are banned which all makes the island relaxed, tranquil and full of character. So, this September, we rented a house just out of town to return to all our favourite spots.
The main season here is from Memorial Day until Labour day and avoiding that period will get you cheaper rentals and less crowds. During the summer the island’s population of 12k balloons to 100k.
The historic, mainly pedestrianised, downtown is extremely quaint and packed with restaurants, souvenir and clothing shops. It’s gone a lot more upmarket in the last few years – a cab driver blamed it on “new money – but there’s still lots of authentic spots to go to.
The food in Nantucket is incredible and is a huge draw for a lot of people with locally caught seafood, especially lobster, featuring heavily. For some of the best sandwiches you’ll ever have head to Provisions in town or Claudette’s in ‘Sconset. The best burgers in town are found at The Brotherhood of Thieves (which also has a cosy bar), incredible lobster mac and cheese is to be had at Slip 14, the Company of the Cauldron does nightly tasting menus like lobster four ways.
My favourite meal this trip was at Nautilus who have an Asian inspired menu with dishes like flank steak with shishito peppers – that was soooo good – and duck steamed buns. For dessert, you can’t beat the ice cream at Juice Bar or the cakes and cookies at Petticoat Bakery (who catered our wedding).
There’s a variety of bars too with places like fancy Cru in the marina, the outdoor Gazebo famous for their dark and stormys and pubs like B-ACK Yard BBQ and Nixs Brewpub. If you fancy embarrassing yourself the Rose and Crown has a karaoke night on Thursday and if you’re over in ‘Sconset the Summer House has a great beach bar.
No trip to Nantucket would be complete without a visit to the Cisco Brewery, however. This award winning brewery produces amazing craft beers as well as having a winery and distillery onsite. The water here is so good that all their products are top notch. They do shuttles to and from town and you can take a tasting tour of the site for $20. There’s often live music, oysters being shucked and BBQs. This is one of our favourite places on the island and it’s a great place to hit up on the way back from the beach for some sundowners.
One of the main reasons you go to islands is for their beaches though, right? From town there are bike paths that easily take you to the island’s many beaches and out to ‘Sconset. Bikes can be rented from Young’s in town ($90 per week). Our favourites are Madaket in the West, Miacomet and Cisco in the South (near the brewery). The beaches are beautiful and are sheltered by dunes – they look a lot like the beach in St. Andrews… but with sun.
For those who want to do a bit more than lie around on the beach there are a few golf courses on the island with Sisconset the easiest to get a tee time at ($75 for 18 inc. rentals). There’s also deep sea fishing ($110pp) and boat cruises ($50pp) that run from the harbour.
There are also two iconic lighthouses on the island that are worth a visit: Brandt Point near town and Sankatay Head near ‘Sconset. Cisco named their lager – Sankatay Head Light – after the latter.
We loved coming back to Nantucket and look forward to many trips in the future. It really is the perfect place to do nothing.
Until next time…