What's New on Nantucket

Getty Images

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, which opened its doors last summer, 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 two of the hotel’s co-owners. The 17-room property has secured top talent for their food and drink programs, with Marcus Gleadow-Ware (of New York’s Michelin-starred Aureole) as executive chef, and Jackson Cannon, manager at Boson’s Eastern Standard, behind the bar menu. Rooms from $600; 17 Broad St.; greydonhouse.com.

The Wauwinet Inn
Two years ago, 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 $2,400). And there’s one especially novel perk to booking this house: full access to a complimentary BMW (for the 2017 season, it is a 2017 650i xDrive Convertible). Rooms from $275; 120 Wauwinet Rd.; 508-228-0145; wauwinet.com.

The White Elephant
Since 2009, the luxurious and iconic White Elephant hotel has a partnership 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 two-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. From $225; 50 Easton St.; 508-228-2500; whiteelephanthotel.com.

Courtesy the White Elephant Hotel 

Where to Eat

The Club Car
This spring, this Nantucket mainstay reopened with a new trio of island restaurateurs at the helm, including executive chef Mayumi Hattori (formerly of the seafood-centric Straight Wharf). The renovated space is light and airy, and the new menu features Mediterranean-influenced California cuisine, with small plates like braised baby radishes and turnips (with sweet butters and sorrel salsa verde), and entrees like cured Spanish mackerel (with daikon, scallion, and dashi broth). Brunch will be served on weekends during the summer. 1 Main St.; 508-228-1101; theclubcar.com.

Afterhouse Seafood & Wine Bar
A sister restaurant to the New American restaurant Galley Beach, this intimate seafood and wine bar concept focuses on seafood-based tapas, oysters, and caviars, plus vegetarian dishes and charcuterie. Each wine on its extensive list is also offered by the glass. 18 Broad St.; no phone; instagram.com.

45 Surfside Bakery & Café
Though this café and bakery, helmed by chef-owner Rebecca Moesinger, serves dinner, it’s an ideal spot for coffee, breakfast, and lunch, with options like a frittata panini (with gruyere, kale, and cotto ham on sourdough). Entertaining while on the island? Also on offer are made-to-order cakes—think tiramisu or lemon citron torte—with numerous options for customization, from a wide array of sizes to handmade decorations. 45 Surfside Rd.; 774-333-3981; 45surfside.com.

The Charlie Noble
Opened in May, this lunch-and-dinner spot is helmed by local restaurateurs Denise Corson and Fred Bisaillon (of B-ACK Yard BBQ). Entrees range from seafood (like fried whole belly clams or a blackened salmon filet) to burgers and steaks. In the way of drinks, the restaurant offers a variety of English and Irish craft beers, plus an expansive tequila selection. 15 South Water St.; 508-825-5260; thecharlienoble.com.

What to Do

Nantucket Race Week
From August 12-20, 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.

The Supper Club at The Nantucket Hotel
On Thursday nights (through August 24), the charming, recently renovated Nantucket Hotel will host its first annual Nantucket Supper Club series. In the hotel’s grand ballroom, attendees can savor a three-course meal, sip Moet & Chandon champagne, and dance to swing and jazz-era music from a variety of New England outfits. Tickets from $95 per person; 77 Easton St.; 508-228-4747; thenantuckethotel.com.

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