We are about a week into Phase 2 of reopening Massachusetts and so far so good. Here are a few things to keep in mind for the rental season this summer.
Things will surely be different this summer but we are on the road to getting back to the way things were. 2020 will be a throwback Nantucket summer. It will be more about BBQ's at home, enjoying the beaches, bike paths and the great outdoors, and spending time with friends and family. Things are different this year but during this crazy time we are lucky to be able to enjoy a place like Nantucket.
Nantucket sits approximately 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod. It's most commonly accessed by Ferry using either the Hyline or The Steamship Authority's ferries. The "slow boat" can take around two hours while the "fast ferry" will get you there in one hour. The other option is to fly in, which is, of course, faster, and if you're traveling directly to Nantucket outside of Cape Cod, this makes more sense.
We, of course, live and work here on the island and often get asked by new visitors to this charming place, "What should we do?" We wanted to take the time to craft a list of things you can do while staying on island.
Here is our guide of eight "must do's" while visiting Nantucket!
Explore Nantucket in full with a leisurely ride on a bike or scooter. Nantucket Bike Shop has given tourists and residents the best view of Nantucket since 1976 and continues to provide top-quality equipment and quick, courteous service to every visitor. You can witness the entire island in the fresh open air and enjoy the full, rich seaside panorama from the seat of your bike or scooter.
Their bike fleet includes only top manufacturers of cycling equipment, including Specialized and Giant Bicycles. The resilient structure and comfortable design provides a superior ride and accommodates the needs of every new or experienced cyclist. Their bikes are outfitted with thick, puncture-resistant tires to give you a safe, smooth ride and ergonomic seats to ward off muscle and back strain. If you’re looking for a faster open-air ride, try one of our Kymco or Lance single– and double-seat scooters.
Towering more than 60 feet, this historic lighthouse was established in 1784, destroyed in 1984 and rebuilt in 1986. Located on the Coskata Coatue Wildlife Refuge. You can get a tour of the lighthouse if you join one of the Trustees of Reservations guided natural history tours depending on the time of year and access to the lighthouse. Beach access is limited during storms and high tides. Always check the local Great Point tides and never drive through water! You can rent a jeep and drive out there for a once in a lifetime experience!
Did you know Nantucket is home to many historic homes? In fact, Nantucket is home to one house that was constructed before the Declaration of Independence was signed! 11 Hussey Street is one of those homes! 11 Hussey Street, a large timber-frame home built in 1735, has recently been artfully renovated and restored. Many original features such as the historic winder staircase, original paneling, cooking fireplaces, beams, and "gunstock" posts have been preserved while incorporating every modern amenity today's owner desires.
The Endeavor has been offering sailing excursions in Nantucket Sound for 30 years. Voted by Yankee Magazine as "Best in New England," the Endeavor operates from May-October. Per person, fares start at $45.00. Private charters are available for an outing with family and friends or as an activity for corporate meetings. Reservations are suggested. There is not much more 'Nantucket' than sailing around the harbor at sunset!
The Whaling Museum, operated by the Nantucket Historical Association (founded in 1894), is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. Featuring permanent and rotating exhibitions in 9 premium galleries, with over a thousand works of art, artifacts, and treasures on display, it tells the Island's fascinating stories over four centuries. Numerous daily programs by our interpreters, children's' activities in the Discovery Center, and intimate spotlight tours complement the visit. The museum is home to a 46-foot sperm whale skeleton, a massive Fresnel lens, a restored 1847 candle factory, and a relaxing, fully-accessible rooftop deck offer stunning views of Nantucket harbor. Maximize your visit by going to our nine historic homes and sites which are open to the public. The Nantucket Whaling Museum is located just steps from both of the ferry docks, so this is often one of the first places people visit when coming to Nantucket. Make sure you block off some time because there is a lot to see and to learn.
Established in 1746, America's second-oldest lighthouse has been in service for more than 250 years. Brant Point Lighthouse is the lighthouse seen as you enter the harbor on either the Hyline or The Steamship Authority Ferry service. This is a great place to capture photos of you and your family. Very often, you will see families who hire professional photographers out here, creating long-lasting memories.
This is a must-do on island! Open every day year-round, dog, and kid-friendly! Cisco is home to not just a craft brewery but also a distillery and a vineyard as well! In the summer it can be quite busy here, but it is equipped to handle the traffic. Often there are multiple food trucks on-site as well as live music. The downside to some may be that there is not much place to seek shelter from the sun if you need a break from the heat, so bring a hat! Another impressive feature of the brewery is the shuttle. You can get a free shuttle ride to and from the brewery right from Federal St (just across from our office!). They pick you up at 23 Federal Street daily every 20 minutes from Noon to 6:30 pm in season (Starts May 10th!).
This is one of the most popular beaches on Nantucket. Very family friendly though the surf can get heavy at times. Lifeguards are on duty in-season at this beach. Located at the end of Surfside Road, a three-mile ride on the paved bike path or take the NRTA Shuttle in season. Easy to park your car in the lot near the beach, and this beach is easily accessible by bike path. Plenty of surf, wide beach is suitable for picnics, beach games, and surfcasting. Kite flying west of Surfside Beach is acceptable; for safety reasons, please do not fly kites east of Surfside toward the airport. Due to the number of people who frequent Surfside Beach during the day, it is inadvisable to fly kites during the peak beachgoing hours. Surfside is good for shelling in the early morning and famous in the evenings for surfcasting.
October is still an excellent time to visit, the weather will be on the crisper side, but all the beauty abounds! Of course with fall on Nantucket not only do we get a change in temperature but we get variations in color. Many of the greens start to fade to reds, ambers, and browns, which can make for some fantastic photo opportunities.
On October 12th the island is hosting the 16th Annual Cranberry Festival at Milestone Cranberry Bog. "The Nantucket Cranberry Festival is a popular event among adults and children alike – the Foundation’s Milestone Cranberry Bog is transformed into the most unique and beautiful of Festival grounds for this special event. Visitors can expect to learn about the history of cranberry farming on Nantucket through educational displays and harvesting demonstrations, participate in family activities, sample delectable cranberry treats, and other New England classics, or simply enjoy the music and the spectacular autumn scenery. And as always, there will be pounds of organic Genuine Nantucket Cranberries available for purchase!" To find out all the details follow THIS LINK.
If you're the more active type and up for a challenge the 9th Annual Nantucket Half Marathon is the very next day! "This race is one of the most scenic Half Marathon courses on the East Coast! Set on charming Nantucket Island, the route travels through wooded dirt roads (some with short sandy sections!), tree-lined bike paths, and lightly traveled streets with beautiful ocean views. The course is gently rolling, but you are never more than a few feet above sea level! Approximately 40% of the course is on dirt roads with a few sandy sections that can be challenging, but there are no significant hills. You may run on roads and see parts of Nantucket you never knew existed!" The course map can be found HERE and more details on how to signup HERE.
Did you know Nantucket is home to a vast array of conservation land and walking/hiking trails? This can make for great Fall fun, and many of the trails are easy to access and navigate so they can be perfect for family fun. There is a great online resource called All Trails, and we took the time to sort out the Nantucket trails HERE. If you don't want to take the self-guided route, you can call Nantucket Walkabout. Nantucket Walkabout is Nantucket’s only year-round guided hiking service offering natural history walks on Nantucket’s protected lands all over the island. They lead hikes during all seasons that inform on how, geologically, the island was created by the last glacier, how Nantucket got its unique collection of plants and wildlife, how and when Native Americans and European settlers impacted the island’s natural world, conservation efforts, and what the future may hold for the island. Nantucket Walkabout is not a tour bus or van service driving from sight to sight. They get out and walk into Nantucket’s wilderness to experience life off the road in all seasons. It’s a part bird walk, part botany hike, part geology and all about exploration.
The final pieces to any weekend getaway are transportation and lodging. For ferry schedules head over to The Steamship Authority or Hy-Line's website. For accommodation, you can browse our Nantucket vacation rental listings by clicking here.
Have a great fall!
-The Jordan Real Estate Team
“For over twenty years, the Nantucket Wine & Food Festival has brought distinguished winemakers and chefs together for a world-class epicurean celebration. 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, this unique setting creates the backdrop for what has become one of the most celebrated events of its kind in the world. Over the course of five days, the island comes alive with prestigious tastings, lunches, dinners and educational seminars. Our luminaries are an extraordinary group of winemakers, chefs, sommeliers and presenters who contribute to the understated elegance of our festival.”
The above can be credited to the Nantucket Wine Festival website and does a great job of summarizing this wonderful event. The expo takes place just as the summer season kicks in here on the island and that can make finding a rental tricky if you don’t plan ahead. The first day of the event is May 13th. Thankfully at Jordan Real Estate we manage a wide variety of Nantucket vacation rental properties. Many of these properties have minimum stays of one week however some of them have shorter minimum stays of one to three days. Let’s take a look at a couple of properties we have that may work for anyone searching for a shorter stay.
We have some BEAUTIFUL short term rentals available for the Nantucket Wine Festival weekend - Click Here
If you’re coming to Nantucket for a longer stay of a week we have a very large inventory of rentals that can be searched by clicking on the "Rental" banner above. We hope that you find a place that works for you to enjoy the Nantucket Wine Festival and all the event has to offer!
Planning a trip to Nantucket but you’re worried about where you can run and ride? Nantucket has an amazing network of trails, bike paths and running routes so don’t you worry! For many people being active while away is a big part of choosing a vacation destination. We get it and Nantucket is the perfect place for you. Home to Nantucket Velo, The Nantucket Triathlon and many running road races.
Here are is the official trail and bike path map. As you can see there is an entire network of paved paths and unpaved trails. This does not include the numerous paths and trails on the conservation land all over the island. Here is a link to some fantastic maps and information on the Nantucket Conservation Foundation website. Bring a camera or your cell phone you will want to snap a photo of some of these amazing views!
Thanks to the power of MapMyRuns we also have linked you to a list of over 56 different Running Routes on the island which you can filter by distance! Click here to get over to that page directly.
Are you looking to ride your bike on Nantucket? You can always bring your own over but if that is too much of a headache you can rent all different types from our friends over at Nantucket Bike Shop.
– The Jordan Real Estate Team