Things to do in Nantucket
Looking for what to do in Nantucket? A visit to the island is first and foremost about R&R.
Many of the most popular things to do in Nantucket take place in the great outdoors. Spend a day relaxing on the sand at beaches like Jetties and Siasconset, or take a more active route along shoreline hiking trails. Altar Rock provides its visitors with elevated, panoramic views of the island, too.
For history lovers, ideas for what to do in Nantucket include a stop at the Whaling Museum, where exhibits display relics from the harbor's roots. Nantucket Town itself is a designated National Historic District and boasts hundreds of buildings from the first half of the 19th century.
Nights on the town continue to top the list of things to do in Nantucket for many of the island's visitors. Especially during the summer, seasonal bars and restaurants open their doors to lively crowds. Upscale boutiques attract a similarly swanky crowd during the daylight hours.
If Ralph Lauren had married Lilly Pulitzer, their sons would shop here. Ties in nautical patterns, woven belts, madras shorts, and lobster-print totes are equal parts preppy and cheeky.
Shop for delicate straw summer hats; each style is named after one of the island’s romantic spots.
The first incarnation of this store, featuring Peter England’s luxuriously soft knitwear, ran from 1977 to 1986, in a different location. But the new shop is just as much a pleasure.
This cluster of buildings on the way to Cisco Beach is home base to Nantucket’s local spirits producers.
Labels like Bono's Edun and Nicole Miller Collection fill the racks at this eco-chic clothing shop in downtown Nantucket. You'll also find vintage Missoni dresses and a collection of wicker purses.
If you had only a few hours in which to outfit your entire summer cottage—from dining room to bedroom to bath—it wouldn’t be a bad idea to make this your one-stop shop.
Tucked in between the ocean and the harbor, the Hotel Wauwinet is home to this three-room spa. Hotel guests have exclusive access to spa services, which make use of Kerstin Florian International products such as mineral water, mud, and herbs.
Running along the southwest edge of Nantucket Island at the end of Bartlett Farm Road, this secluded beach is known locally as the place to go when seeking an escape from the crowds.
Though it’s been around since 1904 and has its flagship store elsewhere (specifically, on New York City’s Park Avenue), this opulent jewelry shop’s Nantucket location bears mentioning for two reasons.
A family-operated business, Nantucket Wine & Spirits specializes in helping customers find just the right spirit for whatever the occasion. The owners, the Walsh family—take great pride in their customer service—helping patrons make just the right food and wine pairings.
This downtown newsstand has been a popular spot in Nantucket for many years. Although mainly a place to pick up a newspaper (mailboxes inside were once used to reserve papers for locals), the store also sells sundries, magazines, and gifts.
Although they’re not technically from Capri—in fact, the company was founded in Naples 30-odd years ago—Il Sandalo’s elegant custom-made sandals are well known among well-heeled Caprese.
“Cook with passion” is the motto of Jonathan Stone, who runs this downtown cooking shop with his wife Patty. From pots and pans to food-related gifts and specialty foods, the "Gourmet" has everything aspiring Nantucket chefs and gourmands need to equip their kitchens.
A hand-carved wooden sign bearing golden whales and a big American flag mark the outside of this off-the-radar gray-shingled cottage that teems with antiques: vintage postcards of the Nantucket Yacht Club, whale-shaped ashtrays, weathered wooden buoys, and Nantucked Railroad signs.
Beautiful hand-loomed blankets, throws, rugs, and upholstery fabrics—many of them made on-site in the second-floor weaving studio—have been the hallmark of this weaving collective-cum-shop since 1968.