One of New England’s most polished destinations is a little island about 30 miles off Cape Cod’s south coast. Nantucket greets locals and visitors with weathered wharves, cobblestone streets, breathtaking beaches, elevated dining experiences, and of course, plenty of things to do in the summertime.
A few things have changed since your last visit. We’ve rounded up a look at what’s new, what’s different, and what’s happening this year.
If you’re traveling via boat, the Steamship Authority shuttles passengers from its Hyannis terminal, and new this year is its online ticketing system that allows walk-on passengers to book trips and board using readers on their cellphones. There’s also a new ferry route out of New Bedford, operated by Seastreak Ferries.
If traveling via plane, commercial airlines have launched new flight options, including a direct American Airlines flight from Chicago, and service through Tradewind Aviation from New York’s Westchester County Airport.
Restaurants, markets, and coffee shops
The island’s historic Brotherhood of Thieves reopened this year under new ownership after being closed last summer. The Broad Street restaurant has been an island staple since 1972, and the new owners introduced three new dining concepts in addition to its traditional tavern, according to general manager Jenny Williams. You can dine in the historic whaling bar and tavern, or try the new upscale whisky bar, the “Cisco-themed” surf bar, or the beer garden patio. Each dining room has a slightly different menu.
The island’s new taco shop, Nantaco, opened earlier this summer on Water Street, touting sharable,locally sourcedMexican street fare — thinkmix-and-match tacos and cinnamon-crusted churros — in the heart of downtown.
The Green Market, also downtown, is having its first full season this summer. Grab a breakfast sandwich or a fresh-pressed juice — or pick out a locally-made gift from an island artist. This one-stop shop opened September 2021 and has become a haven for clean food and plant-based goods.
The Stoke ACK Coffee Bar is also new to the island. This retail surf shop opened last year, but the coffee bar is a 2022 addition. Taquitos are back at the Straight Wharf as the restaurant’s Bar Grill menu returns for the first time since 2019, and Pip & Anchor, a locally-sourced grocery store, opened last summer. Sushi and seafood restaurantBar Yoshi, which opened in 2018, also recently expanded its dining space and now has a full bar.
Visitors may also notice businesses that aren’t open this year. Black-Eyed Susan’s has yet to reopen for the season — a bit of a mystery to islanders, several locals told The Globe. Afterhouse Seafood and Wine Bar is also only open at limited capacity due to issues housing staff — which many business owners have attested to.
For those looking for a little live music and dance, The Chicken Box, a popular music venue, has a packed schedule. The Portland trio The Ghost of Paul Revere performs there July 26 and 27, followed by Boston funk band Ripe on Aug. 9 and 10. The Revivalists also have a two-night run Aug. 22 and 23.
The Gaslight is another go-to live music venue to check out different acts. Stop Light Observations performs there July 24, and The Mallet Brothers Band has two shows on Aug. 3 and 4. Little Stranger take the stage on Aug. 21, and Sunflower Bean on Aug. 26
Dreamland, Nantucket’s film and cultural center, is also offering a lineup of music, movies, and more. Graham Nash has a show there on July 28, followed by critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Noah Kahan on July 30. A stop on Don McLean’s “The American Pie 50th Anniversary Tour” is also slated for Dreamland on Aug. 19.
These venues are island mainstays, but their concert schedules are newly packed. Cheers to that
One spot the Boston Globe forgot to mention is Ack Natural. The dispensary that is near you on Nantucket island. Located by the Nantucket Memorial Airport it is the premier cannabis dispensary on the island.
Credit: Boston Globe.