What's New in Nantucket

Courtesy of The White Elephant Hotel

The New England island is a perennial summer favorite.

Located roughly 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, the population of Nantucket more than quadruples during the summer months—when 80 miles of beaches and untouched conservation lands call vacationers from their hectic metropolises. This season, visitors will find new restaurants, hotels, and businesses to explore around town. 

Where To Stay

Greydon House
Greydon House, slated to open in late July on Broad Street, enlisted the help of Roman and Williams (Ace Hotel, The Chicago Athletic Association) to bring a touch of downtown cool to The Little Gray Lady of the Sea: Pulley-style pendant light fixtures, whaling artifacts, and motifs of world travel meet small-town colonial era charm. The GANT-designed staff uniforms pay homage to the late Elliot Gant, the man known for popularizing the buttoned-down shirt among the preppy, summers-in-Nantucket set, and grandfather of the hotel’s co-owners. The 20-room property has secured top talent for their food and drink programs, with Marcus Ware (of New York’s Michelin-starred Aureole) as executive chef, and Jackson Cannon, manager at Boson’s Eastern Standard, behind the bar menu. 17 Broad St.; greydonhouse.com.

The Wauvinet Inn
Last year, The Wauwinet Inn added the three-bedroom Anchorage House to their 32-room property: With classic New England decor, two decks, and landscaped gardens, it remains one of the most desirable cottages to book (from $3,550). This year, the Inn adds a novel perk to booking the Coatue Suite: full access to a brand-new BMW 330 E Series electric-gas hybrid (from $1,300). 120 Wauwinet Rd.; 800-475-2637; wauwinet.com.

The White Elephant
This year, the luxurious and iconic White Elephant hotel has partnered with members-only yacht service Barton & Gray on a 36-foot vessel that can fit up to six people (from $1,850). (Book The “True Blue III” for day trips to Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge, secluded Tuckernuck Island, and Martha’s Vineyard.) Stay at the hotel’s year-old, three-bedroom Loft at 32 Main Street (from $1,500), situated on the second floor of a historic brick building in the heart of downtown Nantucket. The 2,500-square-foot pied-à-terre offers an open-format space, complete with a sizable kitchen-and-dining-room area with a counter-style island, a rustic wood table, and a plush living area. 50 Easton St.; 508-228-2500; whiteelephanthotel.com.

Where To Eat

Nantucket Culinary Center
Opened this past winter by husband and wife duo Greg and Joy Margoulis, who previously owned a local catering company, this three-floor culinary center hosts cooking classes, wine tastings, supper clubs, and other food-focused events. The center’s Corner Table Café, located on the first floor, serves seasonal breakfast and lunch options every day. 22 Federal St.; 508-228-2665; nantucketculinary.com.

Òran Mór
Earlier this year, born-and-bred Nantucketer chef Edwin Claflin returned home after years in New York (Tessa and Bobo) to take over the kitchen at Òran Mór, a 20-year-old fine-dining favorite located up a flight of copper stairs in a historic cottage. Claflin will keep with the restaurant’s commitment to locally sourced ingredients and white tablecloth fare (think: Pocomo Meadow oysters with lovage, garlic, and brioche and honey peking duck, raised in New York). 2 South Beach St.; 508-228-8655; oranmorbistro.com.

What To Do

Nantucket Atheneum Dance Festival
Prestigious talents from around the country (the Royal Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Pacific Northwest Ballet, etc.) come together for a week of performances at the Nantucket High School Auditorium. The event, from July 18-24, also includes film screenings, panel discussions, and youth ballet lessons. nantucketatheneum.org.

Nantucket Garden Harvest
The annual philanthropic gala takes place this summer on July 21, with chefs from top Nantucket restaurants like American Seasons, Proprietor’s Bar, and Table, Cru, serving their signature dishes at the Nantucket Dreamland Theater. Last year’s Garden Harvest helped raise over $150 million for the patients at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. 17 S. Water St.; 617-965-5262; stjude.org.

Nantucket Race Week
From August 13-21, the Nantucket Yacht Club and Great Harbor Yacht Club will host their annual nine-day event of regattas, award ceremonies, and parties. The events appeal to sailors of all levels, and the final day’s Rainbow Fleet and the Opera House Cup regattas offer some postcard-perfect scenes. nantucketraceweek.org.

For more on what’s new in classic American beach towns, see our complete slideshow »