Top 3 Picks for Outdoor Dining on Nantucket

What better to way to celebrate summer than with dinner and drinks en plein air? For a diminutive island, Nantucket knows a thing or two about outdoor dining. Venture out on your next stay at 76 Main and try one of our favorites scattered from end to end.

Footprints on Madaket

Catch a magical Madaket sunset from the patio at Millie’s

Located in Madaket on the western end of the island, Millie’s combines a casual surfer vibe with a menu that deviates from the standard New England-style seafood classics found elsewhere. The California baja-style menu focuses on fresh, local seafood and produce, and the views – along with their signature cocktail, Madaket Mystery – will bogle your mind. 326 Madaket Road, Nantucket

Jetting over to Siasconset at the eastern side of Nantucket, The Beachside Bistro at The Summer House sits on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Serving an eclectic menu of unpretentious food and drinks in an open air setting, the staff is fully prepared for you to linger from late afternoon into the evening with heat lamps and blankets to take the edge off a stiff ocean breeze. 16 Ocean Ave. Siasconset

To complete your trip around the island, head north to Galley Beach, a Nantucket institution. Opened as a clam shack on Cliffside in 1958, Galleys has evolved into quite the hot spot. Guests are as likely to be photographing the scene and spectacular scenery as they are to be dining on the fresh seafood-focused menu in this casually elegant beachside setting. Reserve a table right on the sand or opt for the open air (but covered) dining room. 54 Jefferson Avenue, Nantucket

Ginger Sage Spiked Lemonade

Nothing says summertime on Nantucket like a breezy cocktail, best enjoyed in our courtyard oasis of flora and flagstone. From 5:00-7:00pm everyday, we assemble a tricked-out mixer bar complete with glassware to compliment the booze you bring in from one of the island’s many excellent liquor stores (we’re partial to Epernay). We always have the basics on hand – think olives, lemon wedges, and tonic – but we also like to throw in a very Lark-like twist with some innovative mixers. Our house made Ginger Sage Lemonade makes a perfectly piquant base for a crisp summer drink or mocktail and is regularly requested by our guests. Check out the recipe below, and whip up a batch for your next gathering or join us in the courtyard at 76 Main this summer.

BYOB mixer bar

The gang’s all here!

Ginger Sage Spiked Lemonade

  • 4 lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • Ginger simple syrup 
  • Sage simple syrup
  • Water
  • Vodka or gin
  • Sage leaves

Extract the juice from 4 lemons, and mix with 1 1/2 cups of sugar in a large pitcher. 

To make the simple syrups, bring water and sugar to a boil and let it bubble for a few minutes until the sugar is blended. Add add grated ginger for the ginger simple syrup and fresh sage leaves for the sage simple syrup, and let cool completely before refrigerating. It will thicken into a syrupy consistency as it cools. 

Add the ginger and sage simple syrups to taste to the lemonade in the pitcher, and then add water. How much alcohol you add is up to you, but we like a mix of 2 parts lemonade to 1 part vodka or gin. Garnish each individual glass with a fresh sage leaf.

Exploring Nantucket by Foot and Bike

With fresh, salty air from shore to shore, this diminutive island can easily be explored by foot, bike, or 4-wheel drive vehicle (check out the latest blog entry on over-sand driving from our sister property, 21 Broad, for more on that). With 76 Main as your base camp in the center of town, you’re in prime position to make the most of your getaway.

Youngs Bicycle Shop on Nantucket

Located just down the street from our sister property 21 Broad, Youngs is where we head for a tune-up.

Shake off those travel legs with a day hike. The Middle Moors, a vast nature preserve close to Sconset, has an extensive network of trails to choose from. Start at the cranberry bogs, scamper up to Alter Rock (little known ACK fact, this is the island’s fourth highest point at 100 ft above sea level), and settle in for a picnic lunch by Gibbs Pond. Sanford Farm is another great option, with a scenic 7-mile loop that take you to ocean and back by way of Hummock Pond. Finally, for a more leisurely stroll, the best path is right outside your hotel!  You could walk for hours on Nantucket’s historic brick sidewalks, checking out the shops, galleries, restaurants, and coastal architecture. 

Nantucket is a biking paradise, with well-maintained trails covering huge swaths of the island’s 105.3 square miles. Bikes can be rented at one of the handful of bike shops, or bring your own. Our two favorites paths are the Sconset and Madaket loops.  Sconset is about 18 miles roundtrip, so make sure you fill a water bottle or two before heading out on this scenic coastal route. We like to take Milestone Road out and return on Polpis Road so that we can see more of the island (ok, we must admit it’s also a little easier than going back the way we came). Madaket is a tad shorter at 14 miles and shows a different side of Nantucket with its very serene landscape of wetlands and ponds. During the high season, you’ll find a market in both locations if you need to make a pit stop.

All this talk of physical activity has us very hungry! After hitting the trails, we like to refuel with a healthy lunch (so we can really indulge at dinner). The Green serves up all natural fare made from scratch, with vegan and vegetarian-friendly options, and Bartlett’s Farm offers a full deli counter with a freshly prepared entrees as well. If it’s in season on the farm, then you’ll see it on the menu. Enjoy your meal at one of the outdoor picnic tables or take it go for a short walk to the beach.

 

Hitting the High Notes with Nantucket’s Music Festivals

Nantucket is an iconic New England destination that beckons visitors year round to get their fill of sun, sea, and small town charm. But they also come to this diminutive island for the vibrant music scene, punctuated by acclaimed outdoor concerts and festivals against a stunning ocean backdrop. Read on for an overview of three of the biggest musical events hitting the stage this summer and early fall, and click over to the most recent blog post from our sister Lark on Nantucket, 21 Broad, for a list of top spots for catching live music around town. Want to be in the center of the action? Book your room at 76 Main today!

 

Nantucket Music Festival, August 1-2

The view of Tom Nevers Field

This Nantucket color palette makes a naturally beautiful backdrop for the Nantucket Music Festival in August

Nantucket Music Festival is a two day musical blow out featuring local, national, and international artists spanning many genres of music. Last year’s highlights include Guster, Bruce Hornsby, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Held on scenic Tom Nevers Field overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, gates open at 10:00am on both days, and the festival is held come rain or shine. In between acts or just for a change of pace, concert goers can browse wares from local artisans and grab a bite from a variety of food and beverage vendors.

Boston Pops, August 8

Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops continue their tradition of bringing Boston’s best classical music to the island to benefit Nantucket Cottage Hospital. Staged at Jetties Beach, gates open at 4:30pm at the corner of Hulbert Avenue and Bathing Beach Road.  Because this is such a popular event, guests are encouraged to walk, ride their bikes, or get dropped off at the venue. The performance begins promptly at 7:00pm, and a spectacular fireworks display caps off this special evening at 9:05pm.  

Nantucket Blues BBQ, September 26

In its second year, this is where blues fans and barbecue aficionados come together for one major outdoor celebration. Building on last year’s success, the organizers have promised that the 2015 festival will have more artists, longer sets, and even more BBQ to delight your ears and taste buds. A new addition to the line-up? A competition for BBQ supremacy between the on-site vendors. The Nantucket VFW on New South Road plays host to this (occasionally) rowdy affair.

 

 

Breaking Breakfast News

Our stomachs have confirmed what doctors have long suggested – that eating breakfast is good for your health and vacation state-of-mind. We’ve taken that research to heart here at 76 Main and put a lot of thought – and taste testing, our favorite part – into coming up with healthy, delicious, and filling options to suit every palette. Below is the recipe for our most requested dish, Overnight Oats, and guests tell us they’ve made these back at home to rave reviews from family and friends. The best part is that you can customize them to your taste and make them as healthy (or unhealthy) as you like. We hope you’ll come enjoy them with us in our café some time soon!

76 Main’s Signature Overnight Oats

Overnight oats served in small mini jars

You can’t fully explore all Nantucket has to offer on an empty stomach

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of rolled oats or Muesli
  • 1 cup of yogurt (we prefer greek)
  • 1 cup of milk or cream
  • 1 tablespoon of orange juice
  • Sweetener of your choice, such as brown sugar, honey, maple syrup or agave, to taste
  • Your favorite nuts, seeds, fresh or dried fruit

Directions

  • Stir together the above ingredients
  • Refrigerate overnight
  • Can be prepared a few days in advance as needed
  • We serve ours in mini-mason jars

Topping Suggestions

  • Coconut and banana
  • Dried cranberries and toasted pecans
  • Dark chocolate and strawberries
  • Blackberries and chia

Top 5 Reasons To Visit Nantucket This Spring

While Nantucket swells to max capacity in the heat of the summer, locals know that the spring on the island bristles with the energy of renewal and offers the benefit of extra elbow room.  

Spring on Nantucket

Flowers bloom and biking is joy on Nantucket in the spring.

The Daffodil Festival, scheduled for April 26, 2015, is the official kick-off for springtime and a spectacular fete of its namesake flower, but it’s just one of many reasons to book a trip to Nantucket before summer gets into full swing.

  1. Spring Restaurant Week

Held from June 1-7, Nantucket Restaurant week is a celebration of the island’s culinary community.   Participating restaurants will be offering three course dinners from $25-45, making it the perfect opportunity to try something new or dine at a tried-and-true.

  1. Nantucket Wine Festival

Founded 18 years ago, the Nantucket Wine Festival has quickly one of the most acclaimed food and wine events in the country.  From May 13-17, visitors will have the chance to experience world class wines and delectable food pairings against a beautiful island backdrop.

  1. Bike rentals and biking the island

For a small island, Nantucket is a biking paradise, and spring is a great time to take advantage without the crowds and heat of summer.  Whether your compass points you in the direction of Sconset, Madaket, or Surfside, there’s a bike path to suit every ability.  Bikes can be rented at one of the handful of bike shops on the island, or bring your own.

  1. Something Natural

Speaking of biking, spring is the ideal time to bike down Cliff Road to this beloved sandwich shop and bakery, before the droves arrive for summer vacation.  You may actually have a shot at getting a seat at one of the picnic tables on the lawn, or call ahead to order sandwiches and baked goods for a trip to the beach.

  1. Our Early Bird booking special

After a long day of island exploration, retreat to the modern comforts here at 76 Main or our sister Nantucket hotel, 21 Broad, when both hotels reopen in April.  Book your stay for anytime between April 26-June 15, 2015 before February 28 and get 10% off.  View Details.

Insider Recommendation: Bike to Sankaty Head Lighthouse

Despite our Nantucket hotel’s idyllic setting as a popular New England getaway destination, the island’s fame also includes a treacherous side: in recorded history, its shifting shoals have caused more than 700 shipwrecks!

sankaty head lighthouse, nantucket

Sankaty Head Lighthouse is a just a fun bike ride away from our Nantucket hotel.

To guide and protect generations of seafarers, three lighthouses were built, one at each corner of the island. Dotting the cliff-top shores, Nantucket’s three unique and historic lighthouses are now one of its most quintessential symbols.

Of the three, Sankaty Head Lighthouse is less famous than its siblings but boasts an intriguing history and perhaps the best option for a scenic day-trip, especially if you’re traveling by bike from our location at 76 Main.

Originally built in 1850, Sankaty Head Lighthouse was only automated as recently as 1965, and is still in operation on the very easternmost point of the island, in the village of Siasconset. As of 1987, the lighthouse has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Its distinctive brick tower, reaching 70 feet high, is poised on bluffs 90 feet above the crashing surf below. History of the light explains that its name, Sankaty, was actually the Wampanoag word for “high land.” According to local tradition, the bluffs were used by early European settlers as a lookout point for whale spotting before longer whaling expeditions were undertaken.

Although we may no longer need lighthouses to guide our ships, these beautiful symbols of the island’s history are still popular places to visit—with good reason. With its incredible views, we think Sankaty Head is one of the best—especially because of the gorgeous scenery you’ll enjoy as you leisurely pedal your bike down the road to get there.

Nantucket Film Festival on the Docket

Ahoy there world travelers, arts & culture aficionados, movie mavens, stargazers and anyone who loves designer boutique hotels and summertime in New England:  Coming to us June 25 – 30 is the Nantucket Film Festival!

Nantucket Film Festival Film Reel

Come experience the 19th annual Nantucket Film Festival.

In its 19th year, this growing festival is touted as early summer’s best movie mecca, and attracts a loyal and engaged audience from around the world with it’s diverse, fun and intimate program schedule.

Amongst film festivals, what sets Nantucket apart as a premiere destination (aside from its obviously spectacular island locale) is its unique focus on storytelling and celebration of talented screenwriters. In addition to its spotlight preview screenings, shorts and signature programs, the festival lineup includes inspiring and hilarious staged readings, “late night storytelling”, “morning coffees” and an all-star comedy roundtable.

A 5-day “nirvana” for movie fans and stargazers, this beloved event showcases beautiful films in an equally stunning, romantic setting. Even better: attendees have a plethora of options to choose from, with event passes ranging from 1-day (for just $95), to nights only, week-long, all the way up to premium all-access—for only the most impassioned film buffs (or desperately starstruck).

For us, just being on Nantucket during the festival is almost exciting enough on its own—considering that we just might run into our favorite stars licking an ice cream cone and strolling down the street in front of our boutique hotel here at 76 Main.

We can’t think of a more exciting, inspiring and fun way to begin the summer…so grab your big, dark movie star glasses and hop out to join us for this unforgettable Nantucket experience!

Nantucket Daffodil Festival This Weekend!

What better way is there to shake off the last shivers of a long winter than by decorating yourself and every object in sight with springtime’s most cheerful mascot—The Daffodil—and parading around with hundreds of fellow revelers who are also covered in daffodils?

Nantucket daffodil festival weekend

Celebrate spring at the Nantucket daffodil festival!

Well, if you ask the crew at our Nantucket hotel — there isn’t.

That’s why we’re tickled to pull out our most cheerful springtime attire and help paint the town yellow at this weekend’s Nantucket Daffodil Festival, taking place April 25 – 27.

With activities for all ages—including contests, tours, parades, art shows, LOTS of picnicking, a 5k road race, and even the infamous Daffy Hat Contest—there’s something for everyone to enjoy at this quirky and delightful thirty-year old Nantucket tradition.

So really, there’s just no excuse not to zip off for a spring fling to Nantucket and take part in this fun and uplifting annual tradition!

Plus, when was the last time you got to see children, bikes, antique cars, people, strollers and even dogs ALL covered in daffodils?

That’s right, probably never.

So dig through your closet for canary yellow and come celebrate spring with us at 76 main!

Fishing, Eating and Arts: Nantucket Events in September & October

Is it the second half of August already? The island and our boutique Nantucket hotel are still buzzing and busy, but the summer craziness will soon wind down. Kids will bundle up their backpacks and parents will pack away the beach gear.

Fall Nantucket Fishing Tournament

Early September brings two fishing tournaments to Nantucket.

But that doesn’t mean the island goes quiet. Far from it! September and early October are truly glorious times on Nantucket – complete with festivals, fishing tournaments and celebrations. Check these out (below) and book your Nantucket getaway at 76 Main today: 

Fishing Tournaments

Bluefin Blast (Sept 7-8). The bluefin tuna is one of the most sought after game fish in the world and Nantucket is home to many of these giants. As the decline of this fish continues, Nantucket celebrates the “catch and release” tradition with this lively tournament. Enjoy a great weekend of fishing and competing with other boats and anglers driven to catch a fish of a lifetime.

Nantucket Slam (Sept 8-10). This two-day tournament benefits the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Hop on a boat and try your hand at angling for Bluefish, Striper, Bonito or Albie. To accommodate various boat sizes and styles of fishing, three categories are offered; Fly, Spin/Plug and Trolling.

Celebrations & Festivals

Fall Restaurant Week (Sept 30-Oct 6). The Fall version of this week-long culinary celebration features the tastes of Autumn. Participating restaurants offer great deals on three-course dinners all over the island. Don’t miss it!

Nantucket Arts Festival (Oct 4-13). Enjoy exhibits of various galleries, and a collaboration of activies, including: lectures by Nantucket Atheneum, performances by Theatre Workshop of Nantucket and the Nantucket Historical Association, biography movie series about famous artists with the Dreamland TheaterNantucket Community Music Center’s organ crawl, and a community outdoor art installation with Nantucket Island School of Design

Cranberry Festival (Oct 12). Come out to the Festival grounds and watch the berries being harvested, learn about the history of cranberry farming on Nantucket, participate in the family activities or just kick back and enjoy the music and the spectacular autumn scenery of one of the most unique and beautiful places on our Island.  

Nantucket Race Week Coming Soon!

It’s almost August and the island and our Nantucket hotel are hopping. Summer is in full swing and the halls (and courtyard) of 76 Main buzz with activity.

Sailboats during Nantucket Race Week.

Sailboats during Nantucket Race Week.

A week from Saturday, Nantucket Race Week kicks into gear with eight days of regattas, awards ceremonies, and parties, parties, parties.

From the opening Hobie regatta (a new event this year), to the sparkling dinners, to the closing rainbow sail boat parade, Nantucket Race Week events showcase the true sailing side of our special island — and are a heck of a lot of fun, to boot.

And, most importantly, many Nantucket Race Week events benefit Nantucket Community Sailing. This wonderful organization offers affordable sailing opportunities every year to well over 1,000 island kids who would not otherwise be able to experience the time-honored Nantucket tradition of sailing. 

Come stay during Nantucket Race Week. We have VERY FEW rooms left for that window of dates, so now is the time to act.

Nantucket Summer Festivals

Starting with the fabulous Nantucket Daffodil Festival this weekend and continuing with the Nantucket Wine Festival in May, the season of festivals is kicking into high gear on the island.

Nantucket Yoga Festival

The Nantucket Yoga Festival is just one of many terrific summer festivals on the island of Nantucket.

Luckily our boutique Nantucket hotel renovations will be complete in time for some of the best summer events coming in June and July. Visit us at 76 Main this summer and check out some of our favorite festivals:

Nantucket Book Festival. (June 21-23, 2013) Only in its second year, this terrific event has become a true celebration of literature, community and the written word. An impressive group of authors will be on hand this year.

Nantucket Film Festival (June 26-30, 2013) Founded by a brother and sister team in 1996, this event has become one of the premiere destination film festivals in the world. The 4-day festival promotes the cultural awareness and appreciation of the art of screenwriting in the world of cinema. Visitors come from all over to experience preview screenings and signature programs.

Nantucket Yoga Festival (July 12-14, 2013) A community orientated celebration that brings together the very best world-class yoga instructors, wellness experts and healthy living guides in a celebration of the spirit of the island. Workshops and classes are held at the Yoga Barn located on the grounds of the gorgeous Bartlett’s Ocean View Farm.

Nantucket Comedy Festival (July 17-20, 2013) Top comedians from all over the country descend on Nantucket bringing audiences loads of fun and laughter all supporting a great cause which benefits the Standup & Learn educational program.

June on Nantucket

Nantucket beach in June

Nantucket in June means quiet beaches!

Who doesn’t love Nantucket in the heart of summer? The party vibe is in full swing by mid-July and doesn’t let up until Labor Day.

But there are many reasons to enjoy our Nantucket boutique hotel and it’s unbeatable island charm in June and early July:

  1. You can take advantage of our Nantucket hotel’s grand opening special!
  2. The weather is beautiful without humidity
  3. Everything is blooming
  4. Beaches practically to yourself
  5. Shorter wait for doughnuts at the Downyflake
  6. Fourth of July fireworks!
  7. Crowds have yet to arrive
  8. Easy restaurant reservations
  9. Bike paths easy to navigate
  10. Offshore fishing in full swing
  11. Golf tee times easy to book
  12. Book and FIlm Festivals! (Nantucket Book Festival – June 20-23, 2013, Nantucket Film Festival – June 26-30, 2013)