Unveiling Hidden Gems and Culinary Delights in Nantucket

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Advisor - Angie Kramer
Curated By

Angie Kramer

  • Luxury Travel

  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Nantucket

  • Massachusetts

  • Island

  • Hidden Gems

  • Local food

A beautiful house in Nantucket.
Curator’s statement

Having extensively explored Nantucket over the years, I can attest to its timeless allure that captivates with every visit. The island's historic charm transports you to an era of elegance and tranquility. With each return, I've discovered new hidden gems, indulged in ever-evolving culinary experiences and witnessed the sunsets that paint the sky with hues of magic, making Nantucket an enchanting destination that continues to unfold its beauty year after year.

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Where to stay in Nantucket

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Things to do in Nantucket

Visit Downtown Nantucket and walk the cobblestone streets lined by charming shops, boutiques and galleries.

Explore Historic Downtown

Wander through the cobblestone streets of Nantucket's historic downtown, admiring the well-preserved 18th-century architecture. Don't miss the Whaling Museum for a deep dive into the island's maritime history.

Hit the Beaches

Nantucket boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the Northeast. Jetties Beach, Surfside Beach and Madaket Beach are popular choices for sunbathing, swimming and beachcombing.

Bike the Island

Rent a bike and explore the island's scenic landscapes on its many bike paths. The Polpis Bike Path and the 'Sconset Bluff Walk offer stunning views of Nantucket's coastline.

Visit Sankaty Head Lighthouse

This iconic lighthouse, located in 'Sconset, offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding area. It's a perfect spot for photos and a peaceful escape.

Go Whale Watching

Experience the thrill of spotting majestic whales in their natural habitat. Whale-watching tours provide an opportunity to witness these incredible creatures up close.

Enjoy Water Activities

Whether it's kayaking, paddleboarding or sailing, Nantucket's calm waters are perfect for a variety of water sports. You can rent equipment or join guided tours.

Sample Local Cuisine

Indulge in the island's culinary delights, including fresh seafood, chowder and local specialties. Popular spots like The Lobster Trap and The Brotherhood of Thieves offer a taste of Nantucket's gastronomy.

Take a Boat Tour

Explore the harbor and nearby islands on a boat tour. Sunset cruises, seal-watching trips, and fishing excursions are great ways to experience Nantucket's marine life.

Visit Cisco Brewers: This local hotspot offers brewery tours, wine tastings, and a vibrant atmosphere. Enjoy live music, food trucks, and a wide range of craft beverages.

Discover Nantucket's Art Scene: The island is home to numerous art galleries and studios showcasing a diverse range of artistic styles. Explore local talent and even bring home a unique piece of art.

Day trips

Coastal Adventure to Sconset

Rent a bike with Sandy Pedals Bikes and cruise along the picturesque bike path to Sconset, relishing the stunning lush views of Nantucket's interior land. Stop at the charming village of Sconset, return the bikes at the rotary bus stop and take a leisurely stroll through the narrow streets adorned with rose-covered cottages. Enjoy a charming lunch at Sconset Cafe followed by exploring the Sconset Bluff Walk with magnificent coastal views. As the afternoon sun begins to mellow, head to Sankaty Head Lighthouse and climb to the top for panoramic views of the island and the endless expanse of the Atlantic. Capture Instagram-worthy shots as the sun starts to dip towards the horizon. Find your way to the nearby Chanticleer restaurant for a lovely dinner. Have a taxi or Uber pre-ordered to the restaurant for the return to your hotel.

History and Culture Extravaganza

Begin your cultural exploration with a tour of the Whaling Museum. Immerse yourself in Nantucket's rich maritime history through captivating exhibits and interactive displays. After the tour, enjoy a light lunch at a charming cafe in the historic downtown area. Next, embark on a leisurely stroll through the cobblestone streets, admiring the colonial architecture and quaint boutiques. Stop by local art galleries to admire the island's creative talent and even purchase a unique piece to remember your trip. In the afternoon, take a guided historic walking tour to learn fascinating stories about Nantucket's past. Explore the hidden gems and lesser-known historical sites that showcase the island's unique character. Reminisce about your cultural experience over a delightful dinner downtown. Conclude the evening with a nightcap at the piano bar in the historic Club Car.

Island Escape and Relaxation

Escape with a day of relaxation and tranquility. Begin your morning with a beach yoga session at the Bandstand on Children’s Beach while taking in the breathtaking views as you stretch and breathe in the fresh sea air. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the nearby beachside cafe The ACK Shack. After breakfast, head to the picturesque village of Madaket. Take a leisurely stroll along the beach, collect seashells, and soak up the peaceful ambiance. Enjoy lunch at Millie’s and settle in for a serene afternoon of beachcombing and sunbathing. In the late afternoon, treat yourself to a relaxing spa and/or massage session before heading to another fabulous dinner on Nantucket Island. The less crowded and super cozy restaurant American Seasons is an ideal setting to end the calm and peaceful day.

Places to eat & drink in Nantucket

View of one of the restaurants in Nantucket.


Lemon Press - If healthy is on your radar, than Lemon Press is the spot for you with fresh juices, smoothies and vibrant nutrient dense dishes.

The Corner Table Cafe - Perfect grab and go spot with healthy choices and comfortable indoor/outdoor seating. This little gem is also part of a cooking school.


Or, The Whale - This bistro, bar and patio has serious cute vibes, also offering brunch on the weekends.

Cru - The iconic waterfront location in the heart of Nantucket Harbor offers casual elegance among the beautiful docked boats. Pristine seafood with European influence and nautical vibes.


Millie’s at Madaket Beach - Drive, bike or take the NRTA shuttle out to Madaket and enjoy the experience of Millie's. The views, sunset and food could become one of your favorite memories of Nantucket.

Sandbar at Jetties Beach - Quintessential beach experience with spacious, open-air seating to enjoy fresh raw bar, delicious burgers, sandwiches and seafood. You will be sure to experience the perfect Nantucket summer day at the Sandbar.


Dune - Three distinct dining areas offer a wonderful blend of sophisticated elegance and soothing comfort. Consistently rated one of Nantucket’s finest restaurants with an ever-changing, dynamic menu.

The Club Car - California-inspired fare in the restaurant attached to an old railway car that houses a piano bar. Great food, atmosphere and fun.

The Nautilus - The menu is centered on creative small dishes perfect for sharing. This is a very fun and popular spot, so reservations can be challenging.

The Proprietors - International flavors celebrating family-style dining. The vibe embodies Nantucket’s rich sailing history and bounty of delicious food.

Sistership - Inventive and delicious Mediterranean menu housed in a charming, cozy and whimsical atmosphere next to the courtyard of the Faraway Hotel.

Embarking on an island adventure in Nantucket is truly a journey that captures the essence of a dreamy coastal escape. From the charming cobblestone streets and historic landmarks to the pristine beaches and captivating maritime heritage, Nantucket offers a tapestry of experiences that leave an indelible mark on the heart and soul. Whether you're exploring the island's rich history, indulging in its culinary delights, or immersing yourself in its natural beauty, every moment spent here is a reminder that life's most unforgettable moments are often found in the simplest pleasures. I trust Nantucket's allure will remain a cherished chapter in your personal journey of wanderlust and discovery.

Advisor - Angie Kramer

Travel Advisor

Angie Kramer

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Massachusetts. For more travel inspiration, check out Fora Advisor Clara Raposo's guide, The Perfect Nantucket Getaway.