Hey there nail & beauty enthusiasts!
I just got back from an amazing 6 day “girls” vacation from the island of Nantucket spent with my mom & my big sister. Since it was such a spectacular trip I wanted to share with you my must-see’s, must-have’s & go-to’s while in Nantucket.
We traveled to Nantucket mid July. A few things i would highly recommend packing if you’re going to Nantucket mid summer are:
- Polaroid Selfie Stick
- Light Sweater or Jean Jacket
- Flip Flops & Sneakers (comfortable shoes for walking)
- Beach Hairspray
- Sunscreen – Kiss My Face
- Casual Day & Evening Clothes
- Bikini/Bathing Suit (Bloomingdales.com always has great deals)
- Hat & Sunglasses for the beach
We drove from CT. on Monday July 18th to Hyannis, Ma., left the car in long term parking & boarded the High Speed Hyline Ferry – about 1hr. trip direct to Nantucket.
We came across many people who flew directly into (ACK) Nantucket (9min. flight from Boston, Ma) which is another alternative if you don’t want to take the ferry.
You can also take your car on the ferry too.. if you’re staying longer than a few days & there’s also many options to rent cars/jeeps & scooters as well.
Here’s a pic of my sister, me & my mom en-route to Nantucket via the Hyline Nantucket Ferry
Here’s a pic from the docks at Straight Wharf…. Pretty much the view you’ll see by all the docks… boats, boats & more boats! Oh… & an occasional duck sighting!
Once we arrived in Nantucket in The Straight Wharf district we picked up our bags & made our way to The White Elephant Hotel via the hotel transportation.
All i can say with regards to the White Elephant Hotel is …. UNBELIEVABLE, AMAZING SERVICE & TOP NOTCH!!!
The White Elephant may not be rated as a Relais & Châteaux hotel, but it’s not too far off! The quality of service was really amazing.
Their sister hotel The Wauwinet is a Relais & Châteaux hotel & we had lunch there, and i wasn’t really impressed.
We took a lovely courtesy boat ride from The White Elephant to The Wauwinet for lunch which was about a 45 min. trip with amazing bay views! The boat ride alone was worth the trip, but i could definitely skip the lunch. I wasn’t really impressed with the food. The lunch was held in a pretty outdoor covered garden, off-set from the beach.
If you’re looking to be secluded and in a really quiet environment, then sure.. The Wauwinet would be a great choice.
The White Elephant Hotel is located a few blocks from downtown Nantucket and all the Shops! We woke up every morning at 6:30am to the sounds of the SSA Steamship Authority fog horn as it departed the docks.
Loving the view and living just steps away from the harbor was pure serenity.
Just a little tip… before you head off on a bike or beach excursion be sure to pop into the fitness room located in a hallway off the lobby and grab yourself an apple for the day!
I would highly recommend taking a bike tour during your visit. It’s a great way to get in a little exercise and learn some history about Nantucket Island.
My sister booked a private tour with Jason from Nantucket Bike Tours. He’s extremely knowledgeable with a great personality to boot!
We rode about a 4.5 mile bike tour all around town, over to Brant Point Lighthouse & Steps Beach & helmets are provided and required by Jason in order to take the tour. 🙂
We enjoyed our bike ride so much we rented bikes for another day and the 3 of us ventured off on our own to Sankaty Head Light. We traveled via Polpis Bike path, which has amazing landscape, once we got through town! Traveling through town is a little daunting when you’re not very comfortable riding a bike through traffic. I must say that all of the drivers on Nantucket were very courteous to people on bikes.
We rented 3 standard bikes for the day from Cooks Cycle Shop. I would NOT recommend this. Next time i would only rent from Youngs Bike Shop. They rent Cannondale bikes which are much sturdier and stable than the skinny generic bikes at Cooks.
Instead of riding back my sister and I chose to take the Wave back.
(Our mom age 72 didn’t make it thru the entire ride and had someone from Cooks Bike Shop pick her up) Kudos for mom making it 3/4’s of the way!
The Nantucket Wave is the (NRTA) Nantucket Regional Transit Authority, public shuttle that travels around the island. The White Elephant gives complementary passes to The Wave, so be sure to pick those up upon arrival.
There’s a great app you can download that will tell you where and when the next shuttle will be arriving… along with the different routes. http://nrta.transloc.com/
*Make sure you bring along a bottled water for your bike ride!
Here’s a view of our route to Sankaty Head Light.
*Tip…. bring along a selfie stick and raise it high over the fence to get a great beach shot view from over the shoals.
There are a lot of beaches to see in Nantucket… We went to two: Jetties Beach & Cisco Beach.
Jetties Beach is very popular with lots of tourists. There’s a restaurant and facilities on site. Jetties along the sound, so the water is calm. Depending on how the tide is flowing there can be a bit of seaweed build up in the water too.
The beach is also a bit rocky. If you walk further down from Jetties Beach you’ll reach Steps Beach which is far more secluded with softer sand.
Cisco Beach was my sister and I’s favorite beach. Cisco’s along the Atlantic Ocean on the South Side of the Island, with big waves. You can rent surfboards & take surfing lessons too. Side note… bring snacks and water for the day ’cause there’s no restaurant. There’s a food truck and porta potties. That’s about it.
We also spotted some seals at Cisco too!
After you hit Cisco beach, be sure to stop by Cisco Brewery down the street for some great live music, fresh shucked oysters and local distilled beer!
I’d recommend stopping by between 3-7pm! They also provide a free shuttle to downtown Nantucket that runs about every 20 minutes!
Now for some of the shopping..
A big thing to note, is that in order to get rid of overstock the stores will start marking down items mid-season… so, keep a lookout for some great deals!
While walking back to The White Elephant we discovered an amazing bath & beauty boutique called Follain. All the products in Follain are Made In The USA. We picked up two items that I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!
You can also order products online at Shopfollain.com
- Rica – Bath & Body Butter Cream $46- It’s unbelievable, made with all natural ingredients. You can use it as a body cream & even for your hair to condition or tame those little fly aways. Rica is extremely light and leaves your skin feeling soft and buttery.
- Cocoa Rose $36 –Cocoa Rose is probably the best sugar scrub i’ve ever used! Leaves your skin silky smooth and smelling like roses!
Upon departing Nantucket my sister and i were in a mad rush to leave with a cute souvenir. Down at Straight Wharf next to where you pick up the Ferry there’s a cute shop called NantucketXO. We each picked up a NantucketXO tank top for $20 ea.
They also have some really great workout clothes… the pants in particular are high waisted and dont show thru. Those of you girls who workout will know what i’m talking about. 😉
Check out the legging here: NantucketXO
On the higher end a cute boutique to stop into for clothes & accessories on Main Street is Monelle
Now onto the my favorite part…. FOOD!!
The Juice Bar – 12 Broad St, Nantucket, MA.
Even if the line is long, you can not leave Nantucket without trying something from The Juice Bar! Best Home Made Ice Cream in Nantucket! They also make a Vegan/Gluten Free Flavor each day too!
Any flavor you get is amazing… I would recommend asking one of the kids behind the counter for their favorite flavor and go from there!
I found the best time to go is either early in the day or around dinner time.. 5ish.. or late night after 11pm! Otherwise be prepared to wait in line… but it’s worth it!
Totally casual, a great place to eat dinner when you arrive on the island. Indoor or outdoor patio seating. I’d suggest sitting outside on the patio & ordering up a lobster!
Making reservations ahead of time is a must for this amazing fine dining restaurant. Located on Straight Wharf down by the docks. Each table is adorned with a fresh herb centerpiece & a perfect view of the yachts! On a side note… word is that Kourtney Kardashian was eating at Straight Wharf the same night as us… too bad we didn’t see her. Kudos for her staying incognito!
For our last night on Nantucket we dined at an amazing restaurant on the water on Straight Wharf called Cru. Great food, amazing vibe, very loud but fun. Great bar and atmosphere! The view is to die for!
Dune has great food with an asian influence, but if you sit outside on the patio you might be in for some really bad service. Also they charge for bread! My mom and my sister both agreed that Dune was their favorite restaurant but the service was so poor, they would have to think twice before returning. If you go to Dune they also have an indoor upper section of their restaurant that might be a better option. Also get the salmon!
Sea Grille –
Very bread and butter. A mid-island run of the mill restaurant, that serves large portions for reasonable prices.
Unfortunately we didn’t get to eat at every restaurant… but it was recommended to stop by Galley Beach for a drink and watch the sunset.
Also for live bands and good fun check out this dive bar The Chicken Box
For my last note… on this trip i decided to wear Pearls of Wisdom – Essie Gel Couture with the hopes it would last me through the week. I was very successful and only a minor chip or two. So all and all it was a great success!
If you live on the east coast or just visiting, i would highly recommend carving out some time to visit Nantucket this summer even if it’s for the day! During the high season Nantucket is very $$$$. Don’t forget, bring your selfie stick too!