Last month, I got to be a part of a DREAM trip with Lilly Pulitzer to celebrate their new “Lilly Pulitzer Cottage” at White Elephant Nantucket! Ever since visiting the island for a quick day trip two summers ago, I’ve been dying to get back to it’s beautiful hydrangea-filled yards and charming homes. Along with Jen from Style Charade, Brittany from Loverly Grey and Jenn from Haute Off the Rack, we were able to experience the best of Nantucket, and I’m here to spill all the details in today’s post! If you’re planning an upcoming trip or hope to get there one day, keep reading for my Nantucket travel guide!
Where is Nantucket and How to Get There:
Nantucket is an island right off the eastern peninsula of Massachusetts known as Cape Cod. There are two ways to get there: take a high-speed ferry (about an hour ride from Hyannis port) or fly directly into the very small airport (on a very small plane) directly onto the island. What they say is true y’all – sometimes the best places to visit are the ones that take a little longer to get to!
Ps. See my post from my very first trip to Cape Cod + Nantucket here!
Keep Reading Nantucket Travel Guide
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Where We Stayed: White Elephant
Two summers ago, Jordan and I took the ferry from Hyannis to Nantucket and were not expecting to fall in LOVE with this island. We hadn’t planned to stay on Nantucket, and as we ferried back to the mainland, we were kicking ourselves. I remember walking past the White Elephant and White Elephant Village that trip, but little did I know that I’d be returning and staying there one day!
Between the spacious suites and personal touches, it really felt like a home away from home – I felt so welcome from the moment I got there.My suite had a living area, bedroom, and balcony with a direct view of the lawn and the water. White Elephant was voted one of the top 50 hotels in the US, so it’s safe to say this special treatment is the treatment they give everyone!
The hotel is also located within walking distance to the main downtown area. But you can also get around using one of their complimentary bikes – we made sure to take advantage of these! My favorite mode of transportation though had to be our boat cruise around the island. Through White Elephant, you can charter a boat ride on a Barton and Gray Hinkley yacht (you can even have it set up with a picnic lunch too)!
In addition to its luxurious hotel rooms, White Elephant offers individual cottages including the brand new Lilly Pulitzer Cottage! The hotel teamed up with the Lilly design team to create the most charming space covered top to bottom in – Lilly Pulitzer! Bold prints and signature patterns adorn the linens, window treatments and artwork of the one bedroom cottage that’s available for anyone to reserve.
White Elephant Village offers even more rental accommodation options for larger groups and families!
Where to Eat
Brant Point Grill is the restaurant inside of the White Elephant Hotel. This is where we started each day off on the right foot with breakfast! (They went out of their way to make sure I had almond milk and gluten-free bread every morning and really went the extra mile for any dietary restrictions!) We also had dinner here the very first night which was the perfect, relaxed atmosphere to get to know everyone after a long day of traveling.
For a magical sunset view and the most delicious dinner, you must head to Galley Beach. The restaurant lies on a long stretch of white sand where the sun sets in front of it’s chic bar on the beach. The only thing better than the view is – the menu. I think we tried every single appetizer on the menu, and they were all ah-mazing. The staff was incredible – all around one of the best dining experiences.
During our White Elephant bike ride, we cruised right over to Something Natural, the local sandwich shop with homemade gourmet breads, cookies and more. I opted for the lobster roll salad on mixed greens instead of a sandwich, and it was still just as good as the real thing!
On our last night for dinner, we took the shuttle from White Elephant over to The Wauwinet, a renowned historic inn with the nationally acclaimed restaurant TOPPER’S. We arrived early for sunset cocktails from The Wauwinet’s manicured lawn and chaise lounges. Once again, I can’t say enough about the dining experience. It was the perfect place to end our trip on a perfect note. (The hotel offers a complimentary boat ride from the harbor to the hotel if you are dining at TOPPER’S!)
A Nantucket staple, you have to get ice cream from The Juice Bar! We stopped in after a day of shopping inside the Lilly store before our walk back to White Elephant. They make their waffle cones fresh right in front of you – and yes, they do have non-dairy ice cream options!
Things to Do!
Rent a Bike – By far the best way to see the island! We enjoyed cruising around on the White Elephant bikes so much and you get to see much more of the island this way rather than on foot. There are several bike rental spots right in the harbor area – and you can even rent a scooter/Vespa too!
Cisco Brewers – Brewery, Distillery and Winery all in one at a fun picnic setting with live music daily and food trucks. Although I wanted to fit this into my visit so badly and didn’t, my sister got to go during her July 4th visit – and she LOVED it!
Steps Beach – This little hidden gem is an accessible public beach – if you know to find it! You’ll find the most amazing view from the top of the island looking down over the beach and well… the 40-some steps to get down to it. Worth seeing for the view alone even if you don’t climb on down.
Visit Siasconset – I was so so sad that the roses were not yet blooming while we were visiting. During the summer, this charming town made up of cottages is usually covered in the most beautiful climbing roses! You can also take a stroll down the beach here to see the lighthouse.
Go Shopping – SO many cute shops in the main “downtown” area of Nantucket. While you can wander for hours, must-shops are Lilly Pulitzer, Skinny Dip, Southern Tide, and Murray’s Toggery. (Also, I can’t remember the name, but there is the cutest vintage shop that serves wine and cheese!)
Take a Boat Ride – By far one of my favorite parts of our trip! White Elephant set up a boat cruise where we got to nosh on lobster rolls and see the island by boat!
Cru – Chic oyster bar located at the Nantucket Boat Basin
Slip 14 – Great spot for cocktails, dockside beers and fish tacos at the Nantucket Boat Basin
Chic Dinner spots in town – Nautilus, Proprietors, Prime
Gazebo – Great spot to grab a mudslide in the heart of the action at the Nantucket Boat Basin
Have questions about my Nantucket travel guide? Shoot me an email at [email protected]!
Photos by Rebecca Love Photography