In The Magazine

Next Up: Nantucket

Saturday, May 6, 2017

AVENUE senior editor Wendy Sy ventures to the island off the coast of Cape Cod

First things first: don’t wear high heels to Nantucket. At just 14 miles long and 3.5 miles wide, a large part of the Massachusetts island is covered with cobblestone streets. Adding to its old-school charm, there isn’t a single traffic light to be found and the locale’s rich history as America’s leading whaling port remains a key part of its identity. For a place that’s relatively convenient to travel to, it feels like a world away.

Ready for Takeoff

There are direct flights from New York to Nantucket, but I took the longer way via two short flightsone on a plane to Boston, then another through Cape Air, in a nine-passenger aircraft where you can feel every gust of wind and see extraordinary views. It was a frightening yet fun voyage!

White Elephant

Many hotels on the island open in mid-April through the end of October. Among the best-known is the White Elephant, situated on the edge of Nantucket Harbor. On-site is the Brant Point Grill, which offers plenty of seafood options. According to the foodies in the area, the lobster rolls are a must-try. After a meal, go out for a bike ride to Cisco Brewers for a tasting of their wines and spirits.

Don’t Miss: A tradition since the ’70s, Nantucket will hold its annual Daffodil Festival during the last weekend in April, with art shows and parades to celebrate springtime awakening.

Serenity at Sea

There’s something about the peacefulness of the dune-backed Brant Point Beach that makes it an ideal spot to watch the boats and unwind. Its scenic lighthouse is one of the most photo-graphed places on the island.

In Good Company

If you find yourself at the Wauwinet, a seaside inn, look for Captain Rob McMullen, who has been the go-to on-site historian for more than two decades. When he’s not cruising the waters, there’s a good chance he may be giving a tour around the quaint village of Siasconset (or as locals call it, ’Sconset), in a 1948 Chevy Fleetmaster station wagon. 

Essence of Time

The Nantucket Conservation Foundation’s members and board of trustees have protected more than 30 percent of the land from development. Much of the town is kept close to its original statefrom the unpainted cedar-shingled buildings to family-owned boutiques. Visiting Nantucket makes the impossibility of time travel feel, well…possible! 


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