A Travel Editor’s Guide to Nantucket
A Travel Editor’s Guide to Nantucket
To truly explore Nantucket, venture beyond its pristine beaches and admire its sumptuous hydrangeas and overgrown rose gardens. Former Food & Wine travel editor Gina Hamadey shares her favorite spots.
Mitchell’s Book Corner and Nantucket Bookworks
The island’s two independent bookstores are under the same ownership, and they are similarly excellent, filled with large selections of autographed hardcovers and Nantucket books, such as Let’s Take a Hike Nantucket and Walking Nantucket—both of which are the perfect companions to flora-filled nature strolls around the island.
54 Main Street
This store brings the preppy trend into modern times. The brand gained acclaim with its needlepoint pillows—the ones of rose-covered cottages and hydrangea bushes make perfect Nantucket souvenirs—and now hosts collaborations with high-end American brands such as Roberta Roller Rabbit.
25 Main Street
Built in 1846, this charming museum is part of the island’s historical society and integral to the community. It’s all about the dangerous 18th-century trade made famous by Herman Melville, and includes the story of the sinking of the ship Essex that served as inspiration for Moby-Dick.
13 Broad Street
The stylish and cozy restaurant inside the new Greydon House inn (and on the petunia-filled veranda, if it’s warm) specializes in Venetian small plates—whipped salt cod with crispy polenta, buttered lobster finger sandwich—but also includes heartier dishes such as homemade sourdough pasta and grilled swordfish. Those who are feeling hungry (and adventurous) can try the “chef’s whim,” an omakase of sorts where $75 brings you a generous sampling of the whole menu. Some of the produce comes from the extensive garden out back—which you can tour after your meal.
17 Broad Street
Many restaurants right on the water can get away with mediocrity: The harborfront Cru avoids that trap and then some. Chef Erin Zircher applies classic French training to pristine seafood for elegant dishes such as chilled cucumber soup with peekytoe crab and yuzu, and seared scallops with creamed corn and truffle butter. The menu sidesteps fussiness, though, with its stellar raw bar and entries like a lobster roll, hushpuppies and oatmeal cream pie.
1 Straight Wharf
Brotherhood of Thieves
The island’s coziest brew pub also has some of its tastiest food. Expect a mix of American classics (burgers, nachos, chicken pot pie) and New England hits (Quahog chowder, fish and chips). The menu has a few unexpected twists, including the (understandably) popular gochujang wings. There are 10 beers on tap, but don’t be afraid to bring the under-21 set to this family-friendly spot.
23 Broad Street
The Juice Bar
You can’t leave Nantucket without homemade ice cream, and The Juice Bar has some of the island’s best. A rotating selection of 30-plus flavors includes some creative, kid-catnip ones (the very blue Cookie Monster, the hilariously named Cookie Butt) and vegan options made with creamy coconut milk. Toppings go beyond sprinkles to M&Ms and nerds. There’s a nearby Nantucket-classic hydrangea bush that’s the perfect Instagram backdrop for a colorful cone.
12 Broad Street
She wants people to dance non-stop, but Mia Moretti isn’t afraid to take a chance by crossing decades and genres to tell interesting stories. The DJ talks to Life House about music, travel, and living in the moment.
Two centuries after Captain Robert Calder built his coastal retreat at 10 Cliff Road, Life House Nantucket is still a celebration of the far-flung destinations he visited and the wild island landscape he loved.