Unlike Martha’s Vineyard, its swanky neighbor to the west, Nantucket offers celebrities — as well as New York’s elite — a relatively low-key, upscale summer getaway.
Buildings on the island are no taller than five stories, mom and pop shop rules and everything seems to move at a slower pace. Just ask fans such as Tommy Hilfiger, Chris Matthews, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Buffet.
Whether or not you’re a celebrity, Nantucket provides a perfect, picturesque New England weekend getaway. And it’s only a six-hour drive from New York City (to port of Hyannis).
The only bed and breakfast to offer a full breakfast on the island, The Union Street Inn (7 Union St.), is a 10-minute walk from the ferry station past cobble-stoned Main Street. The 14-room house dates back to 1770, and each room is decorated uniquely, with a mix of antique-style furniture and multi-colored toile wallpaper and fabrics. Frette linens and amenities by Fresh are added bonuses. Car rentals are also available on the premises for $49 per day if you want to explore the island.
Up late? Stop downstairs for complimentary late-night coffee or tea with homemade cookies and carrot cake muffins. Prices range from $140 to $579. unioninn.com
When the weather turns hot, kayaking and beach-hopping rule.
Check out the Nantucket Film Festival (June 17-20), which includes an opening night screening of Toy Story 3. nantucketfilmfestival.org
American Seasons (80 Centre St.), housed in a one-level wooden home, is hidden down one of Nantucket’s country roads. Co-owner and sommelier Orla Murphy-LaScola is usually on hand to welcome you personally. (Her husband Michael serves as executive chef.) Guests dine on hand-painted, checkered game board tables designed by local artist Johanna Kane and are surrounded by murals painted by Nantucket’s Kevin Paulsen. Candlelight places just the right glow on dishes such as lobster and mushroom pancake ($14.50) and cornmeal-crusted oysters ($14) More than 500 wines are available for pairing. All meat is provided from sustainable farms and produce is locally grown and organic. The restaurant opens mid-April and closes Oct. 30. (Dishes $10 to $34.50) americanseasons.com
If driving to Hyannis (six hours from New York), two ferries (islandferry.com) boat over to the island daily — a one- or two-hour ride depending on well your stomach handles rocky seas. Don’t mind two hours on the waves? Grab the Steamship Authority ferry (just $16.50 each way), or get from Hyannis to Nantucket with the one-hour boat ($32.50 each way).
Jet Blue flights are available from Kennedy Airport (from $69 each way depending on date of travel); Delta and US Airways go to Nantucket via LaGuardia. The seasonal flights are approximately one hour, 10 minutes.
These two Nantucket spots are a good bet for some celeb-spotting:
Lo La 41, lola41.net
Known for a hopping bar scene and designer-clad customers, this restaurant offers sushi and bistro menus that are tasty, if pricey. (Think $18 spicy tuna rolls)
Pearl, the pearlnantucket.com
This French-Asian fusion spot is also known for its inventive cocktails. The menu is filled with seasonal seafood, produce from Island farmers and heritage meats.