Ferry over to the former whaling town turned summer idyll.
More than 25 miles off the coast of Massachusetts and only 14 miles long, Nantucket is, as Herman Melville wrote in Moby-Dick, “away off shore.” Sure, there’s a jetsetting vibe downtown, but with nearly 50 percent of the island preserved for conservation, much of the outlying landscape feels as remote as it did centuries ago. Rent a beach cruiser from Young’s, which has been outfitting bipeds from Steamboat Wharf since 1931, and explore the 30 miles of bike paths that crisscross the island. Then, head to Millie’s at crowd-free Madaket Beach for fish tacos with a side of local lore (the family-run restaurant’s namesake, Madaket Millie” Jewett, is an island legend known for patrolling for shipwrecks and selling ice cream from her yard on Hither Creek). For cold snacks, try Cisco Brewers, a boozy playground on the south side. In addition to tastings—don’t miss the flagship Whale’s Tale Pale Ale or the cranberry vodka made from a local organic bog—you’ll also find an oyster bar, food trucks, and live music. Finally, set up camp at 21 Broad, where 27 modern rooms are outfitted with pampering touches like Vitamin C-infused showers (to quench sun-parched skin, naturally).
LOCAL TO KNOW
"Hands down the best summer sunset is in Madaket. If you can get on a boat head to Tuckernuck for sunset."
–Gavin J. Norton, Nantucket native, surfer, and co-founder of ACK Surf School