Shingle-style buildings, manicured lawns and endless stretches of dune-backed beaches make up much of Nantucket’s aesthetic. This small island is located just over two hours from Cape Cod, Massachusetts by ferry (or less than an hour by flight) and has been an East Coast getaway for Boston Brahmin for decades. It’s the ultimate, quiet summer retreat with a strong maritime presence (on any given day you will see everything from dinghys to superyachts bobbing in the water). You just need one perfect weekend to explore the many wharfs, luxury hotels and fabulous restaurants that the destination has to offer, but we can guarantee that you’ll want to return to this tranquil haven again and again. Read on for Elite Traveler’s guide to a long weekend in Nantucket.
Where to stay
White Elephant Village
Founded in the 1920s, White Elephant Village retains its old-world charm yet still appeals to the sophisticated, modern traveler. The waterfront resort has plenty of accommodations to choose from, from a standard hotel to an inn to garden cottages and residences. Its location just 10 minutes from downtown and from the iconic Brant Point Lighthouse makes it the ideal location for exploring the city. This summer, Mandarin Oriental, Boston is partnering with the resort, offering guests a unique package getaway that pairs the city and beach hotspots of New England. First, stay at the Mandarin Oriental in Boston for a few nights before transferring to the White Elephant for the remainder of your trip. Enjoy sailing experiences, tickets to local museums and multi-course dinners at each property. whiteelephantnantucket.com
This luxury inn by the sea recently unveiled a complete renovation in mid-April just in time for peak summer season. Situated right on the waterfront between the Atlantic Ocean and Nantucket Bay, the 32-suite resort is an idyllic place to rest your head. Each has a distinct New England-cottage feel with white-washed walls, a neutral color palette and pops of pastel blues to reflect the color of the sea. The property has a colonial-type vibe with American flag artwork and mahogany-wood furniture in most rooms. The real charm is found within the common areas: Wood-burning fireplaces and expansive terraces overlooking the bay to watch the sunset are the perfect places to reset. Dining here is also not to be missed — Topper’s is a AAA Five-Diamond restaurant offering New England staples, such as Nantucket’s own Retsyo oysters, lobster rolls and crab claws. wauwinet.com
This sprawling estate looks more like an enormous country home than it does a hotel. From the outside, its shingle-style design makes it blend in with the classic Nantucket look, but inside, the rooms are more modern than other hotels on the island with updated contemporary kitchens, elegant furniture and impressive tech additions. There are 11 cottages in total, from one to four bedrooms, most starting at around 1,400 sq ft. Of course, you can also book the hotel as exclusive use. Balconies with harbor views, fireplaces and significant kitchens and living areas make you feel like you’re renting a beach home for the weekend only with access to incredible dining and watersports just feet away from your door. Grab a rum punch and enjoy the sunset from the beachside Adirondack chairs. harborviewnantucket.com