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Help a Beginner Who's Never Been To Nantucket

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Help a Beginner Who's Never Been To Nantucket

I've been all over the country and all over Massachusetts, but I've never been to Nantucket, and my wife and I have a chance to go there in September. Couple questions:

1. What are crowds like around the 3rd week of Sept?

2. What's weather like around the 3rd week of Sept?

3. Going to Boston for work and flying in and out of Providence. Will work first, then go to Nantucket. What are my options for getting there by ferry--what place should I leave from?

4. Should I take my rental car?

5. Most important: looking for romantic, quiet get away. We like views, but would be happier with a place that has a nice place to sit and also a big bathroom, maybe a large walk in shower or soaking tub. Any places fit the bill?

6. How 'bout restaurants? If I'm there three nights, where the "musts" to go eat at?

Thanks in advance.

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1. Re: Help a Beginner Who's Never Been To Nantucket

1 & 2. That is great time of year on Nantucket. Almost everything will still be open, and there will be activity in Town with folks walking around, but you will not find big crowds anywhere. Last year at right around that time, I went down for a long weekend and the weather was just perfect for outdoor activities -- daytime highs in the 60s and pleasant cool evenings. However, New England weather is variable and you never know.

3 & 4. The easiest way to go would probably be to drive to Hyannis, park the car, and take one of the high-speed ferries (Hy-Line or Steamship Authority). I have a slight preference for Hy-Line, but really the two services are quite similar in terms of vessels and fares.

You don't need a car on Nantucket -- the town is walkable, and there are bike paths everywhere and plenty of taxis -- but if you prefer to have a car to do your own exploring, your only option for taking it over is the (slower) car ferry with the Steamship Authority. For that, you need advance reservations and you should be aware that the cost is substantial ($380 roundtrip). Because some of the interesting beach areas require special "oversand permits" and 4-wheel drive, you might be better off leaving the rental car behind and just renting a jeep for a day locally.

You could even return the rental car in Boston and take the bus to Hyannis (or just fly from directly from Logan) if you would prefer not to pay for a rental car to just have it parked at the dock in Hyannis.

5. I'm never stayed at any of these places, but you might check out the Union Street Inn, 76 Main Street, and the Wauwinet as places that might be good for what you're looking for.

6. There are a plenty of good restaurants on the island. I'm not sure if I'd call any of them a "must," but some of the nicer places for dinner are American Seasons, 56 Union, the Club Car, and Oran Mor. Also, Arno's on Main Street has an excellent brunch.

new england
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2. Re: Help a Beginner Who's Never Been To Nantucket

Good advice has already been given above but be aware that The Wauwinet is on the far end of the island whereas the Union Inn is right in town so you'll have to decide just how remote you want to be at a time of year when the island already is quieting down. (The Wauwinet has a shuttle to town as well as a launch but check to make sure the latter runs in Sept if that matters to you.) Lots of other places in town tend to have at least one room that comes with its own private porch or patio for reading and sipping a glass of wine so you may also want to check out www.nantucketlodging.org/directions.html which has links to all the individual inns/B&B's web pages.

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3. Re: Help a Beginner Who's Never Been To Nantucket

some good advice above. I would also look into the White Elephant which is walking distance to town, and depending on how much you are willing to spend you can definitely get a sitting area/soaking tub. The Inns mostly will have smaller bathrooms but many are charming.

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4. Re: Help a Beginner Who's Never Been To Nantucket

The White Elephant Hotel is absolutely beautiful if you end up staying there, it's in a perfect location too for getting in to town. You want to stay close to town, may be not right IN town though and this one fits the bill for views and beautiful rooms with the ammenities you want.

Another good one is The Seven Sea Street Inn and then there's the Shelburne Inn that you could look in to, either one.

Start out having breakfast at either your Inn you book OR walk to "Black Eyed Susans for a very good start to your morning on the island.

At lunch time look for "Something Natural" it's a deli & bakery that's been on the island for over 25 years now. It's still the same too after all these years, it was just tweaked a little by the owner and that's it. Where you're from NYC you will appreciate their incredibly huge sandwiches. I remember there Turkey salad from when I went to Nantucket when it first opened and they still have it on their menu! It's roasted turkey with raisens & sunflower seeds and they have the best best chocolate chip cookies and they're STILL there to this day. So put this place on your agenda, it's part of the experience of going to Nantucket, you can't leave the island without going there Stevenmimi.

If you see the Atlantic Cafe they have homemade onion rings here and the best burgers are still at Brotherhood of Thieves or at least it always used to be THE place to get a good burger!

I had dinner several times at DeMarco Restaurant located at 9 India Street, it's Northern Italian cuisine & I remember it being exceptionally good.

You're going to have a great time on the island, especially in September, that's a nice time of year to be there. I think you should stay near Main Street some where and forget about going to the other side of the island to the Wauwinet, you want to be near the shops, the neat restaurants and all that. You're going to really enjoy it more and you don't need a car, that's the beauty of visiting and staying on the island of Nantucket.

One last restaurant for you, look for "Le Languedoc Bistro", it's located at 24 Broad Street not too far from Main Street at all. This gem has been there for over 30 years. I know one of the owners, or let's put it this way, I knew him years ago when we were kids in school! He probably wouldn't remember me if I fell over him out on one of the cobblestone sidewalks! They have wonderful french cuisine here and every year it gets better & better with the owners magic touch they have! I know they have a salad with champagne dressing that a lot of people are raving about now. So check this restaurant's menu out to see what you think, it's a really good place to dine while you're there:


Have a wonderful time!

Edited: 13 June 2010, 22:52
New York City
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5. Re: Help a Beginner Who's Never Been To Nantucket

Just spent a week on Nantucket, had a wonderful time. We rented a small cottage through weneedavacation.com which worked out great, had some delicious meals at Provisions and Something Natural but on our last night had one of the worst meals ever in a restaurant and paid through the nose for the displeasure. The place is called Corazon del Mar and it is awful. We paid 74.00 (not incl. tip) for 3 fish tacos, 1 crab taco, a small serving of cerviche, and a bowl of gauc and chips. And did I mention how bad it tasted? The fish tacos were mealy and bland, the crab taco tasted burnt, the cerviche had no brightness to it. The gauc was okay. And then when I tried to make the fish taco taste better by adding some salsa to it - I was charged two dollars for the salsa! I've had bad meals and I've had expensive meals but never have the two collided like this before.

Oh and we rented our bikes from Young's and they were extremely helpful and friendly.

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6. Re: Help a Beginner Who's Never Been To Nantucket

I remember Young's bike shop, I can't believe they're still there, that's good, they were great to deal with, and as you said, friendly & helpful. That's too bad about that last night's zinger of a restaurant, what a shame & what prices they're charging! The nerve of them! What a way to make a buck, ripping off people, that's a disgrace isn't it! I'm telling you, you can't beat the restaurants that have been in business for years there, a lot of them are gems. I was racking my brain trying to think of this other place right at One Main Street, it's called the Club Car restaurant & bar. So finally I had the chance to look online tonight for it to see if it was still there and it IS. It's another gem of a place on the island, I can't imagine that one NOT being there:


Salisbury, CT
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7. Re: Help a Beginner Who's Never Been To Nantucket

Just wanted to say that we went to Corazon del Mar last week, and had an entirely different experience. The food (cerviche, fish tacos, street chicken, street corn) was excellent, the "street" food almost as good as from the streets of Oaxaca. Service was friendly and very helpful. It was one of our most enjoyable meals on the island, ranking up there with Straight Harbor and the Boarding House for quality, service, and comfort. Give them another try!

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8. Re: Help a Beginner Who's Never Been To Nantucket


Very sorry to hear you did not enjoy your experience at our restaurant.

Blogs and sites like these provide restaurateurs with valuable feedback to improve the guests future experiences. Please email me and we will refund the cost of your meal, my email is angela@boardinghouse-pearl.com.

Best wishes in your future dining experiences,

Angela Raynor

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9. Re: Help a Beginner Who's Never Been To Nantucket

Hi Angela

I have been reading through loads of posts about the island for a future trip. I was most impressed that as a restuarant owner you took the time and trouble to respond to a negative post. If I had a bad experience I would take it up directly with the restuarant and only post it on an open forum if I had no response from the owner/manager. You quite rightly care about your reputation.

I look forward to viisiting Nantucket.

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10. Re: Help a Beginner Who's Never Been To Nantucket

Thank you for your response. Blogs can be a very useful tool for restaurateurs to assess the under our radar guest experience, pick up on mgmt issues or share positive feedback with our hardworking team.

In a busy seasonal restaurant we all try very hard to make certain each guests experience is beyond their expectations. Sadly, a very very small percentage of guests do not let the staff know while they are in the restaurant about their displeasure or disappointment with a dish, service or timing. In the course of a season my staff and I work hard to catch any glitches in real time and correct the situation immediately. At the end of the night, the bottom line is we do really care deeply about each guests experience.

I have not heard from the displeased guest above and my sincere offer is still on the table.

I hope you have a wonderful experience on Island!