How to spend a picture perfect day on Nantucket | Rhyme & Reason

Nantucket

Nantucket is a place that steals your heart from the minute you walk off the ferry or off an airplane! There’s a magic to Nantucket that’s impossible to put into words but impossible to miss if you step foot on the heavenly little island. I’ve made a visit or two or three to Nantucket every summer an annual tradition! I love exploring the little slice of heaven while window shopping through downtown, wandering through the dreamy neighborhood of Sconset, and eating my way through all the restaurants (with oysters and lobster rolls, of course!). The beaches on Nantucket are absolutely to die for too as they are marked by sea swept seagrass, soft white sand, and turquoise blue water. If I had to pick one beach destination to visit for the rest of my life, it would be Nantucket!

How to spend a picture perfect day on Nantucket | Rhyme & Reason
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Shop

  • Shop

    CJ Laing

    CJ Laing is one of my most favorite boutiques around! There are two locations on Nantucket – a bigger location in downtown and a smaller location in Sconset. Both are adorable! CJ Laing has an amazing selection of summer dresses, Oaxaca tops, and yummy year-round sweaters. The boutique also has a fantastic selection of jewelry and accessories. It’s a must-visit for a mix of classic meets bohemian styles!
  • Shop

    Milly & Grace

    I love this adorable and super well curated clothing, accessories, and jewelry boutique! They do such a wonderful job buying and have great brands like Rebecca Taylor and Dragon Diffusion. The store is ivy covered and sits right by the water… so picturesque.
  • Shop

    The Skinny Dip

    Skinny Dip is a designer collective that has something for everyone, women, men, children, and the home. It carries a mix of brands that I really love but don’t always get to shop in person (as opposed to online) like Beau & Ro, Buru, Candy Shop Vintage, Ellsworth & Ivey, Hart Hagerty, Lem Lem, Lisi Lerch, Persifor, and Sail to Sable.
  • Shop

    Gypsy

    This high-end women’s boutique is for the serious shopping lover. You can pick up beautiful styles from A.L.C., Brock Collection, Carries Forbes, Celine, Caroline Constas, Ganni, Zimmermann, and more!
  • Shop

    Serenella

    Nantucket’s most high-end and on-trend women’s fashion boutique. The store is very well curated with unique brands like Lola Hats and Sensi Studio as well as designer lines like Misssoni, Oscar de la Renta, and Gucci.
  • Shop

    Peter Beaton Hat Studio

    This is the cutest, most charming local shop dedicated completely to hats and sunhats! When you walk into this shop, it’s hard to resist not walking out with a lovely bow adorned hat to wear around town or to the beach.
  • Shop

    Goop

    Summer 2019 marks Goops first summer pop-up on Nantucket! IN my opinion, Gwyneth’s lifestyle brand fits right in. I love everything Goop does so I’m all about the expansion of the Goop pop-ups!
  • Shop

    Ralph Lauren

    There’s nothing more all-American than Ralph Lauren. The Nantucket store location is so classic, right in the heart of town.
  • Shop

    Lilly Pulitzer

    A trip to preppy Nantucket wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the shingled Lilly Pulitzer store on the island. They have a great selection for Lilly lovers!
  • Shop

    The Lion's Paw

    A nautical inspired home decor and interior design store. You'll find pretty furniture, yummy throw blankets, accent picture frames, and Nantucket art prints. It’s a super cute store but I’ve heard they are absolutely terrible at shipping out orders so I don’t recommend it... instead ship anything you buy yourself.
  • Shop

    28 Centre Point

    A chic little coastal inspired home, gifts, and lifestyle store. 28 Centre Point has you covered when it comes to hostess gifts, custom furniture, original artwork, barware, jewelry, cashmere throws and more. You’ll find some of my favorite lines here like Amanda Lindroth!
  • Shop

    Nantucket Looms

    A super cute home decor and interior design store that’s been on the island since the 1960s. The store highlights are the paintings, handmade throws, handwoven gifts, and artisanal goods.
  • Shop

    Lynda Willauer Antiques

    A wonderful antique store filled with lots of blue and white porcelain, Famille Rose porcelain, French Majolica oyster plates, furniture, and coastal inspired paintings.
  • Shop

    Sylvia Antiques

    Sylvia Antiques is Nantucket’s oldest antique store dating back to the 1920s. They are known for their folk art, Nantucket related antiques, maritime antiques, Nantucket lightship baskets, paintings, furniture, and more!
  • Shop

    Parchment Fine Papers

    An adorable shop filled with stationery, greeting cards, paper goods, and little gifts. I always pick up a few Nantucket greeting cards when I pop in here! If you love paper stores, then don’t miss this cutie spot!
  • Shop

    Beautycounter

    Beautycounter has a pop-up during the summertime on Nantucket that is in the cutest little seaside shingled building. The whole shop is so fresh that it will make you want to walk out with a bag full of their clean beauty (I love their sunscreen for the beach!).
  • Shop

    Murray's Toggery Shop

    This family-owned store is perfect for the East Coast preppy man or women. It’s the home of the original Nantucket reds!
  • Shop

    3 Girls and a Dog + Annie and the Tees

    These two stores are right next to each other and have the same ownership. I think these are the two best stores in town to get Nantucket shirts, sweatshirts, and hats etc. P.S. Nantucket University is another great option right across the street.
  • Shop

    Siasconset Bookstore/Liquor Store

    Yup, you read that right, a bookstore/liquor store. It’s quite possibly the cutest liquor store you’ve ever seen! You can shop for adorable Nantucket memorabilia, cozy knit sweaters, chic barware, straw bags, beach blankets and more.
  • Shop

    Jewelers' Gallery of Nantucket

    My mom and grandmas started a charm bracelet for me when I was born that is so special to me! Since I've been to Nantucket so many times and love it so much, I bought a Nantucket charm for my bracelet in this jewelry store. I love the charm every time I look at it!

Eat

  • Eat

    Galley Beach

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this is one of my most favorite restaurants ever! If you're the type of person who likes to sip cocktails and nibble on lobster while wiggling your toes in the sand, then make a reservation (ahead) here. Request to sit outside and you will actually be sitting at a table on the beach. The sunsets here are some of the best in town! I suggest getting to Galley early before your reservation to enjoy cocktails in the plush lounges on the beach before dinner.
  • Eat

    Cru

    Cru is located right at the end of the wharf in town so you can eat oysters while watching the boats come and go... life could be worse, ha! Cru is so fun for a boozy brunch or for a big dinner out! The atmosphere is always buzzing and the seafood is out of this world.
  • Eat

    Millie's

    Millie’s is so darn good! The restaurant serves up Baja-style fare like fish tacos, poke, shrimp Caesar salads, and lobster quesadillas with a relaxed, neighborhood vibe. Dine inside, on the patio, or hit the takeout window. Whatever you do, don’t forget to sip on an infamous Madaket Mystery! P.S. expect a wait but walk down to the beach to catch the sunset while you wait.
  • Eat

    The Nautilus

    The food at The Nautilus is so amazing! I know it might not seem possible but if you ever need a break from oysters and lobster rolls, then beeline to The Nautilus. The Asian fusion inspired menu is meant for sharing and delicious + creative (as are the cocktails!). I love the buzzy atmosphere for a girls night out or date night.
  • Eat

    Greydon House

    Mark my words, you will be obsessed with the restaurant at Greydon House from the moment you step foot inside. The cozy, intimate, and charming atmosphere is very inviting… it’s a nod to Nantucket’s maritime past. The menu is a locally sourced and seafood focused take on American classics with an upscale twist. P.S. they are also have a great outdoor terrace.
  • Eat

    Ventuno

    If you’re in the mood for Italian food, then Ventuno is the spot for you as it has the best Italian food on the island. They are known for their handful of delicious pastas so I highly recommend trying any of them! If your thirsty before or after dinner, then head to the back patio for drinks at the outdoor bar… I love a nightcap here.
  • Eat

    Club Car

    When I step into Club Car, I immediately smile because the bright and airy atmosphere is so alluring. I absolutely love the cocktail menu here and really enjoy the California-inspired food too! One of the best parts of Club Car is the front bar (a retrofitted railway car) that turns into a piano bar late at night.
  • Eat

    Lola 41

    This is the most happening spot on Nantucket to enjoy a sushi dinner. It gets very busy but they only take same day reservations so you have to be prompt about it! I’m a sushi fanatic and I love it here.
  • Eat

    Proprietors

    Proprietors is a cozy little spot tucked off India street. The menu consists of a lot of shared plates so it’s a great spot to go with a group who is the mood to try a little everything!
  • Eat

    The Summer House

    For a beachside meal or beverage, head to Summer House Beach Bistro. You can’t beat eating their lobster Caesar salad while sipping a glass of ice cold rosé with your toes in the sand and a sea breeze in your air! You can also have dinner in the main restaurant (not on the beach) and enjoy cocktails in the piano bar.
  • Eat

    The Chanticleer

    This restaurant has such a Nantucket romance to it. I highly recommend it for a lunch or dinner out when celebrating an occasion or when you just feel like getting a little dressed up. The garden in front will make your heart sing!
  • Eat

    Boarding House

    Boarding House resides on a main corner in town so it’s hard to get a better table when downtown than one on their patio! The menu is authentically farm-to-table and inspired by wine countries all over the world. Pro tip: try their lobster spaghetti!
  • Eat

    Brant Point Grill

    Brant Point Grill is the hotel restaurant at The White Elephant. It is famous for two things: 1) it’s lobster mac and cheese and 2) it’s sweeping views of Nantucket Harbor. Request a table on the restaurant’s large and lively patio to take full advantage of the views.
  • Eat

    Brotherhood of Thieves

    Head here when you want a casual, hearty meal of comfort food. Expect chowder, pretzels, burgers, and more. It’s great on a grey Nantucket day.
  • Eat

    Something Natural

    Let's just call this place a sandwich lover's heaven. Build your own (huge) sandwiches, grab a bag of Cape Cod chips, and enjoy your meal outside on their picnic tables + sprawling lawn or take them to go to the beach.
  • Eat

    Black Eyed Susan's

    This is a must stop casual spot for breakfast in town. Expect a line but don't be scared off because everything is delicious. It’s located right in the heart of town so you can window shop while you wait for your table. P.S. It’s BYOB.
  • Eat

    Island Kitchen

    This is a such a great place to go to enjoy an al fresco brunch. The pancakes are fluffy, the avocado toast is fresh, and the breakfast sandwich is delicious.
  • Eat

    Lemon Press

    If you find yourself eating and drinking a lot on Nantucket, then pop into Lemon Press for breakfast or lunch. They serve up healthy, organic food, juices, and smoothies.
  • Eat

    The Green

    The Green serves up only organic food of which as much is local as possible! Nestled in a tiny cottage, it’s a quick casual spot to get coffee, juices, smoothies, sandwiches, and wraps. You order at the counter and can be on your merry way.
  • Eat

    Sconset Market

    Yes, this is technically a neighborhood market but you can get bites to take with you to the beach. It’s also a must for an ice cream cone or for one of their famous blueberry muffins.
  • Eat

    Claudette’s

    I love the über casual sandwich shop Claudette’s for breakfast and lunch in Sconset. You order at the counter and then dine outside on picnic tables while munching on potato chips and watching all the comings and goings of Sconset.
  • Eat

    The Juice Bar

    The Juice Bar is a Nantucket institution. It’s the one stop shop for ice cream and homemade waffle cones in town. They have dozens of flavors! Be prepared to fall in love and go every day of your trip.
  • Eat

    Downyflake

    Donuts! We love nothing more than to pick up a box of donuts to go to munch on throughout the day. You can also dine-in at this diner style restaurant for breakfast and lunch.

Drink

  • Drink

    Handlebar Café

    My favorite place to grab a morning coffee in town. It’s friendly and serves up a mean cup of jo.
  • Drink

    The Chicken Box

    There is nothing not to love about this good ole time dive bar. Go here for a rowdy good time of drinking and dancing to live music with friends.
  • Drink

    Straight Wharf

    Straight Wharf is actually a restaurant but it turns into a bar after about 10pm at night. The DJ is always on point so the dancing is super fun inside and the mingling is super fun outside on the patio.
  • Drink

    Cisco Brewery

    One of the best ways to pass a day on Nantucket is by visiting Cisco Brewers. It’s an outdoor brewery, distillery, and winery all in one. Each has its own bar + there is a full liquor bar too. Cisco has food trucks from some of my favorite spots on the island including Millie’s and 167 Raw! There is live music too! It might not sound like it but it’s very family-friendly (and dog-friendly too!).
  • Drink

    The Club Car Piano Bar

    The restaurant, The Club Car, has a bar attached to the side of it that is a retrofitted railway car. This railway car bar is a piano bar! It’s a fun spot to go before dinner for drinks and can really get buzzy and busy late night when it turns into a piano bar!
  • Drink

    The Gazebo

    This is a lively, open-air bar right by the wharf. It’s really casual but a really good time. Enjoy beer, wine, and their famous frozen Gazebo Mudslide!

Stay

  • Stay

    Harborview

    This hotel is a dream! It’s located right on the edge of town and definitely one of my favorite places to stay on the island. It is a collection of eleven glorious 1-4 bedroom cottages. Each cottage is super spacious with bright, clean, airy blue and white style. The cottages have everything including full kitchens, laundry machines, outdoor showers (a Nantucket must!), and balconies/decks. The hotel also has a gorgeous lawn dotted with adirondack chairs for guests as well as a private beach area!
  • Stay

    Greydon House

    Greydon House is the essence of New England chic. It’s no wonder as the boutique hotel was designed by Roman and Williams. Yes, the hotel has a coastal vibe; however, it isn’t kitschy at all. Instead, it is a smart mix of masculine and feminine touches with über cool accent tiling, John Robshaw + Les Indieness bedding, and more. The hotel restaurant is excellent too (see under “Eats”) + the hotel is situated right in the heart of town.
  • Stay

    76 Main

    I highly recommend staying at this nautical and welcoming boutique hotel. I love staying here! The hotel is located right at the top of town on Main Street and has the best New England nautical feel. Everyone who works at the hotel is wonderful too and the afternoon cookies are perfection.
  • Stay

    21 Broad

    This is the sister hotel to 76 Main. It’s a lovely, comfortable, vibrant, and colorful boutique hotel with lots of character. It is centrally-located right in the heart of town!
  • Stay

    The Roberts Collection

    I love the concept behind The Roberts Collection. It consists of a lovely central courtyard with four houses encircling it. It is wonderful for everything as you can stay in a gorgeous one room space perfect for a romantic getaway or in a large house perfect for a family trip. The Roberts Collection is tucked right in the middle of town so you can walk everywhere in a jiff!
  • Stay

    White Elephant

    A classic Nantucket hotel located right on the harbor at the edge of town. The White Elephant is a great option for those looking for a family-friendly hotel. It has lots of little amenities and perks like free shuttles around the island to guests. You can stay in standard hotel rooms, suites, lofts, and residences so the hotel provides a range of great options!
  • Stay

    The Wauwinet

    If you are escaping to Nantucket for peace & quiet + rest & relaxation, then definitely consider a stay at The Wauwinet. I say this because the hotel is located 10 miles outside of town so it is a bit secluded but still incredibly special. The Wauwinet is a Relais & Châteaux property so the food is exceptional. It also has not one, but two private beaches and a sprawling lawn that boasts quiet possibly the best sunset views on the island.
  • Stay

    The Cottages at the Boat Basin

    These cottages and lofts are one of the best options for waterfront accommodations on Nantucket. Situated on the darling Old South Wharf and overlooking Nantucket boat basin, these charming spaces are not to be overlooked!
  • Stay

    The Nantucket Hotel + Resort

    You can't go wrong with this historic resort (est. 1891). If the coastal vibe doesn't make you feel right at home on Nantucket then I don't know what will. It is very family-friendly.
  • Stay

    Rental House

    There are a lot of little, cozy cottages as well as grand, spacious houses to rent on Nantucket! I’ve rented homes on Nantucket a few times now and had great success. I highly recommend using Great Point Properties to discover the best rentals available on the island. They are so incredibly friendly and helpful + they have the best listings!

Do

  • Do

    Sconset Bluff Walk

    If you’re looking for an activity to do in Sconset, then I highly suggest doing the Sconset Bluff Walk, which is a must in my opinion. The Sconset bluff walk starts in town at Front Street and takes you almost all the way up to Sankaty Head Lighthouse. You quite literally walk through people’s lawns! It’s the best way to see the gorgeous shingled homes, the stunning pink climbing roses, the spectacular blue hydrangeas, and sweeping ocean views.
  • Do

    Beach Day

    Nantucket is an island so there are quite literally beaches everywhere. With so many gorgeous beaches, it can be hard to choose which ones to visit! Click to read a mini guide to my favorite beaches including Surfside Beach, Steps Beach, Madaket Beach, and more!
  • Do

    Visit the Lighthouses

    Nantucket has three historic lighthouses that have all been lighting the way for sailors for centuries. Each has its own distinct story, history, and look. Brant Point Light is the most photographed and the one that welcomes every visitor that travels to Nantucket by ferry. It’s the oldest lighthouse on Nantucket and the second oldest in the colonies. Sankaty Head Light sits at the end of beautiful Baxter Road in Siasconset (i.e. Sconset) and has actually been moved from its original location due to cliff erosion. Finally, Nantucket has Great Point Lighthouse. Great Point is special because it’s the hardest to get to as you can only access it with a 4-wheel drive vehicle and required permit.
  • Do

    Sail the Endeavor

    One of my favorite things to do while on Nantucket is to go sailing! The ship to sail is the Endeavor! If you have a big enough group you can get the sailboat all to yourselves but, if not, it’s still wonderful to do with whoever else books the boat (p.s. you can also pay to rent it out at any time). The Endeavor heads out multiple times a day but I love going in the afternoon or evening for cocktail hour – it’s BYOB!
  • Do

    Cisco Brewery

    One of the best ways to pass a day on Nantucket is by visiting at Cisco Brewers. It’s an outdoor brewery, distillery, and winery all in one. Each has its own bar + there is a full liquor bar too. Cisco has food trucks from some of my favorite spots on the island including Millie’s and 167 Raw! There is live music too! It might not sound like it but it’s very family-friendly (and dog-friendly too!).
  • Do

    Rent Bikes or Vespas

    A great way to see Nantucket is by bike or Vespa! Either Young’s Bicycle Shop or Nantucket Bike Shop will get you all set up with either bikes or vespas and will point you in the direct of some great bike trails out to different beaches. We love to ride all the way from town to Sconset!
  • Do

    Whaling Museum

    The Whaling Museum is a great quick and easy way to spend a gray morning learning about the history of Nantucket. It’s located right in town so you can’t miss it!
  • Do

    Bartlett's Farm

    Yum! If you rent a house for your visit to Nantucket, then a visit to Bartlett’s Farm is a must! You’ll find everything you need to cook and entertain while on Nantucket. The local produce is exceptional, the fish selection can’t be beat, and the daily freshly made sweet + savory baked goods are to die for.
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