Thirteen years ago in a farmhouse in Madaket, Nantucket that coruscated with magical candlelight, we celebrated the wedding of our close friends Jeff and Lisa. Between moves and babies, and budget, we had not been back to the enchanted island since. This summer, when my husband and I convinced his Northern Virginia residing, Outer Banks loving, family to vacation in New England, I knew we needed a plan. Another friend, Linda, has been to Nantucket every year with her family, and gave me a list of her favorite things to do. Each suggestion turned out to be better than the last, and her list quickly became our guidebook.
We rented a house in the Tom Nevers area that did not allow dogs. But Nantucket is such a dog friendly island that we decided to board our dog there so that we could take him out to play during the week. The Nantucket MSPCA where he stayed, is located just across from the gorgeous Tupancy Links dog park, and close to dog friendly beaches where he could swim. This worked out perfectly. Surprisingly, the cost would have been comparable had we boarded him back home.
Vacation began when we stepped on to the ferry, since we brought our car we made reservations months in advance to secure a spot. Our week was filled with incredible experiences, not the least of which was just relaxing in adirondack chairs with family, but here are some recommendations to get you started if you go.
1. Our first night we celebrated my husband’s birthday at The Jetties restaurant, situated at the edge of Jetties Beach. Live music complemented the delicious food, and my toes were dug in the powdery sand. Heaven. We washed dinner down with sangria full of fruit, which we took over to beach chairs when we were done with our meal. The children played at the adjacent playground while we soaked in the fabulous setting.
2. ‘Sconsett is an idyllic village by the sea with cottages covered in flowering vines. We spent the day at the beach, visited the Sankaty Head Lighthouse, and had an excellent dinner at the ‘Sconsett Café.
3. On your way to the beautiful beaches in Madaket, on the far west end of the island, you must stop at the dock near Second bridge, and spend some time catching snapping turtles with your kids. You will need to bring string and some chicken legs from the supermarket. To watch your kids dangle a chicken leg over the dock and pull up a big turtle is extraordinary!
4. On your way back into town stop and have lunch at Something Natural, for yummy sandwiches to be eaten outside at picnic benches in a park like setting. Tucked away at 50 Cliff Rd.
6. I think the highlight for us all was chartering a sailboat (the Endeavor) for an evening cruise. It was a spectacular setting, and a great way to view the harbor and the sound.
There were things we had wanted to do, but never got around to, like biking along the extensive paths that criss-crossed the island. Of course we did manage to squeeze in some shopping at the fabulous boutiques, and have an exquisite grown up meal at The Pearl in town. We love having the opportunity to be all together as a family for a vacation every year, and cherish our time together. If anyone has recommendations for our next visit to Nantucket, please let me know, because after our fantastic experience there, I think we will be able to convince our mid-Atlantic family members to come back.