Summer Weekend In Nantucket Ma
The tiny island of Nantucket is the ultimate New England summer weekend destination. Manicured streets and cedar-shingled houses are set against a rugged and remote coastal backdrop. Unspoiled beauty abounds, with long stretches of white sand, blooming hydrangeas, and serene nautical scenes as far as the eye can see. Nicknamed the Grey Lady for the thick fog that often shrouds the island, its a mystical place like none other in the world.
Located just 30 miles off of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Nantuckets early claim to fame was as the whaling capital of the world in the mid-19th century. Now its a coveted seaside escape with world-class dining, shopping, and entertainment that draws well-heeled visitors from far and wide.
Planning an East Coast getaway? Follow along on my summer weekend trip to discover the best things to do in Nantucket. From picture-perfect lighthouses to buttery lobster rolls, heres how to navigate Nantucket like a pro.
Unwind In The Comforts Of The Anchor Inn
After a day of exploring the best of Nantucket in July, kick up your feet in our sleepy downtown bed and breakfast. Book your stay at Anchor Inn and enjoy the convenience of cobblestone living with the stillness of the countryside. Stay in the James Arnold Room and enjoy second-floor Nantucket views, a plush queen-size bed, a flat-screen TV, 100% cotton linens, Malin + Goetz bath products, and a complimentary breakfast each morning of your stay.
We cant wait to welcome you to Nantucket!
Walk Or Ride To The Beach
Pack for a beach day and ride in one of our memorable antique vehicles to the beach. With beach runs posted in the lobby every day, let us take the hassle out of getting to and from the beachand make it fun too! Shuttles make runs to Jetties beach. The harbor waters of Childrens Beachare only a short walk from the hotel.
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Best Things To Do In Nantucket
Nantucket is one of the premier summer vacation destinations in New England, Americas East Coast. There are so many fun things to do in Nantucket for couples, families, or solo travelers.
Nantucket is a small island off the coast of Cape Cod Massachusetts peninsula. You can get to Nantucket by ferry from two Cape Cod Ports, Hyannis, and East Falmouth. The ferry from Cape Cod is a short 1-hour journey. Although, you can also ferry from New York and New Jersey. However, these ferry rides can take over 8 hours.
If you arent local, the easiest way to get to Nantucket is to fly into the Nantucket airport or the Boston airport. If you fly into Boston, youll have to drive to Cape Cod and then take the ferry. Otherwise, there are direct flights to Nantucket, but they are more costly.
The best time to visit Nantucket is May through September, but especially summertime. In the winter, many restaurants and shops close in Nantucket. Its not a year-round destination. Peak temperatures will hit in July and August , but it may also be somewhat muggy. Nantuckets nickname is Grey Lady, since the island is often overcast with clouds and fog.
Nantucket Shipwreck And Lifesaving Museum
When they were caught in the extreme weathers of the district, many of the hundreds of ships that passed by Nantucket Island each day were lost to shipwrecks. The Nantucket Shipwreck and Lifesaving Museum is dedicated to those who risked their lives to save the mariners. Wander the hallways and marvel at the beautiful paintings that depict the austerity of the sea and models of ships that now lie on the ocean floor.
Exhibits are being added all the time, and there are several films to watch as well as family-friendly programs. The museum caters to all ages, making it a low cost family activity.
158 Polpis Road, 504-228-1885
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Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum
Nantucket is home to the art of lightship basket making. Nantucket has been producing lightship baskets since the early 1830s, and it was thought this craft began aboard whaling ships. The exhibits in the museum are vast and range from pre-lightship baskets made by local Native Americans from the early 1800s up to today.
Lightship basket making is still an important art to the locals, and the museum is dedicated to preserving this craft. They run a range of courses that offer children aged 9 -13 a chance to learn the craft and create a basket.
49 Union Street, Nantucket, MA 02554, 508-228-1177
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Buy Farm Fresh From Moors End Farm
Moors End Farm is a family-owned farmstand located just outside of town. They offer delicious fresh fruits and vegetables from their nursery, stunning flowers and plants in their flourishing greenhouse, and some of the friendliest service on the island. Nantucket is a town of supporting local businesses, and this is one you wont want to miss!
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How To Get To Nantucket
Steamship Authority and Hy-Line Cruises are the two central ferry systems that transport locals and visitors alike to and from the island. Both offer high-speed options, but if you want to tote your vehicle along, youll want to catch the Steamship. Seastreak also offers service between Nantucket and New York, New Jersey, and New Bedford, Connecticut. Ferries are the best way to get excited for your arrival in Nantucket as you float through the gentle waves into the wide-open ocean. Learn more about Nantuckets ferry services before you travel!
Flights are also available to Nantucket Memorial Airport from Boston, New York City, Washington D.C., and other small airports in New England and make an easy, efficient way to get to the island.
Nantucket Festival Of Trees
See the Whaling Museum like never beforeblanketed in thousands of twinkling Christmas lights. Tour the museums collection of ornate Christmas trees crafted by downtown shops, artists, and children during Nantuckets Festival of Trees. Snag your ticket for the preview party and start your Christmas list early!
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Halloween On Main Street
Following up on the heels of the Daffodil parade in the spring and July 4th festivities, the Nantucket Halloween parade on Main Street is a beloved tradition. The Inquirer & Mirror has not made an official announcement of what Halloween will look like this year, so stay tuned. Islanders normally congregate for the parade that starts at 4:30pm on October 31st. For next year, arrive to town early for easy parking and see all your friends trick-or-treating at the shops on Main Street- if you can recognize them! Prizes go out to the best dressed at the top of Main Street at 5:00pm.
Day Three: A Food Tour Of Nantucket
Start your morning with a don’t-tell-the-doctor plate of eggs, bacon, and cheese grits at the classic, cash-only shop Black Eyed Susans on India Street. Here, youre just blocks from Nantuckets most-talked-about opening: the state-of-the-art Nantucket Culinary Center that brings together the islands brewing, farming, fishing, and culinary communities. Sign up for a hands-on cooking classes from a local chef in advance.
Come lunchtime, sit back and take in the scene at Cru, an oyster bar at the end of Straight Wharf that draws the well-heeled alongside beach bums keen to escape the sun dockside. Yes, the oysters are great, but don’t skip the lobster role its arguably one of the best on the island.
During happy hour, stroll the streets in search of a craft cocktail, like the Whats Up DOG at The Proprietors Bar & Table a glass of red at the subdued but swanky American Seasons or an evening tasting at Epernay Wine & Spirits.
Then leave town by way of a water taxi from The White Elephant to The Wauwinetan oceanfront resort that dates back to 1875. Dinner is at Topper’s, an acclaimed indoor-outdoor dining room, where seafood is served seriously local against a dreamy backdropcalm waters and the fragile, remote Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge.
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Daffodil Festival Of Nantucket
Ring in spring at the Daffodil Festival of Nantucket. Watch the parade of flower-covered antique cars drive down the cobblestone. Take a historical walking tour of Downtown Nantucket. Or sign up for a one-of-a-kind brewery excursion at Cisco Brewers. Its the perfect way to celebrate the start of a sunny, new season.
Best Things To Do In Nantucket Ma Top Activities & Places To Go
- David Reeve
Named as the Gray Lady of Massachusetts, Nantuckets small triangular island is a beauty hidden by thick fogs thirty miles south of Cape Cod.
With multiple beaches embracing its coasts and quaint neighborhoods, this island is undoubtedly the perfect escape from the bustling state of Massachusetts.
From its pristine waters to its historic districts, charming scenic trails, and luxurious seafood treats, Nantucket will give you the most excellent vacation you can ever dream of!
And if we still havent convinced you, heres a look at our favorite spots and best things to do in Nantucket, MA
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Theatre Workshop Of Nantucket
The Theatre Workshop has been celebrating the art form of live theatre since 1956. With an average of six plays and musicals each year, there is something for everyones taste. Previous shows have included classics such as Oklahoma! and Youre A Good Man, Charlie Brown as well as newer pieces such as 39 Steps and Seussical the Musical.
There are many shows that are suitable for the entire family, and each Christmas you will see some of the classics brought to the stage. If youre a theatre lover, and even if you are not, the Theatre Workshop is well worth a visit.
62 Centre Street, Nantucket MA 02554, 508-2228-4305
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Spend A Day At The Beach
Nantucket is home to 82 miles of coastline and pristine beaches that are world-famous, from the calm waters of the Nantucket Sound to the dramatic coast of the South Shore along the Atlantic Ocean. Plan for a day at the beach for the 4th of July holiday weekend. Grab your towels, beach chairs, games, snacks, and sunscreen, and find a spot on one of the many great beaches here. There are even many dog-friendly beaches where Fido can enjoy the holiday too.
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The Nantucket Island Fair
The spirit of the Island Fair continues with Fall Fun Day on Saturday, October 2, 2021. The Island Fair couldnt be held in Tom Nevers this year, so instead island organizations will provide a selection in town of the activities traditionally found there. Gertrudes Farm Stand will showcase locally home-grown vegetables, fruits, and preserved foods, and a scavenger hunt list will be available at the stand. The Nantucket Historical Association will offer free pumpkin decorating in the side yard of the Whaling Museum and there will be souvenir bags of cornmeal ground at The Old Mill available for sale. Nantucket Island Safe Harbor for Animals and the Artists Association of Nantucket will be holding events as well, and the American Legion will be selling lunch at their hall at 21 Washington Street. Daybreak Nantucket
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Accommodation: For ideas on where to base yourself on Nantucket and some of the best hotels depending on your budget, be sure to see our article on Where to Stay in Nantucket: Best Areas & Hotels.
Nearby Places to Visit: If you have time to tour around, you’ll find no shortage of beautiful and fun places to visit in Massachusetts. Nearby Cape Cod is definitely worth a visit. Start planning with our articles on the top attractions of Cape Cod and the best beaches on Cape Cod. Another must-see destination in the state is the historic city of Boston. And if you are interested in going further afield, don’t miss our piece on the best places to visit in Massachusetts.
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Day : Biking The Island
We started the next morning on the right foot with breakfast at Black Eyed Susans. This no frills, cash only diner is an island favorite. We went early to beat the weekend breakfast crowd and scored a table on their outdoor patio.
Then it was time to work off our pancakes. With a network of dedicated trails, Nantucket is best explored by bike. We followed one of them out of town to Dionis Beach.
Nantucket is known for its pristine beaches and well-protected sand dunes. We were lucky enough to have Dionis completely to ourselves, except for a seal sunbathing on the sand.
A seal sunbathing on Dionis Beach.
For lunch, we biked over to Bartletts Farm, the islands oldest and largest family-owned farm market. We ordered sandwiches from their to-go counter and enjoyed them at a picnic table outside.
Just down the street is Cisco Brewers. It being Saturday afternoon of a holiday weekend, we had to wait in a long line to get in. With live music, food trucks, and a bustling social scene, Cisco is the go-to daytime drinking spot on the island. They claim they are dog and kid friendly, but we found it difficult to navigate the crowds with our pup. But its worth checking out, and if you dont want to bike there, you can catch their free shuttle from downtown.
Cisco Brewers Nantucket Massachusetts
Cisco Brewers is a unique place where you can try world-class wines, beers, and spirits, all in one stop.
Take one of their fantastic tours daily where you will go behind the scenes to witness the hard work that goes into making wine, beer, and spirits. During the tour, you will be able to sample some of the local specialties, which is perfect for a low key and relaxed afternoon out.
5 Bartlett Farm Road, Nantucket, MA
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Essential Nantucket Tourist Map
This Nantucket tourist map includes all of the top Nantucket restaurants, the best Nantucket beaches & all the most exciting things to do in Nantucket.
Use this map as your guide, and youll be able to plan the perfect Nantucket visit!
Youll find Nantucket island off the coast of Massachusets. Guests can take a 1-hour ferry from Hyannis, Massachusetts, or fly into the Nantucket airport.
Nantucket Fall Arts Festival
In 2021, we can look forward to celebrating the arts and culture on Nantucket with this week-long festival. The home base this year will be in the Methodist Church at 2 Center Street. Many of the islands arts and cultural groups have scheduled special programs during the festival. The Nantucket Arts FestivalFisher Tip: We especially love the Shorts Festival at The Nantucket Dreamland and shows two hours of video films made by local amateur and professional filmmakers.
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Nantucket Atheneum Nantucket Massachusetts
The fact that Nantucket had two libraries in the early 1820s says a lot about the place. The libraries merged into the Universal Library Association, which was incorporated in 1834 as the Nantucket Atheneum and featured 1,235 titles at the time. In 1846, the fire destroyed the library and all but about 150 books.
Rebuilt on the same site, the library today has an extensive collection of books, periodicals, online databases, audiobooks, DVDs, CDs, and free access to more than 1.4 million items through the CLAMS network , a network that includes 34 Cape Cod libraries and the libraries of Nantucket and Marthas Vineyard. The library also offers a range of cultural and educational programs for kids, adults, seniors, and teens, from Tai Chi classes to the annual Dance Festival.
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