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By JoJo Gutfarb | June 22, 2017 | Lifestyle
When JoJo Gutfarb, vice president at Goodwin Group PR isn’t planning events, hitting deadlines, and meeting with clients come summer, she heads to Nantucket, her "Happy Place," to unwind. Here are some of the best activities, restaurants, and shopping on the island, along with some insider info (how to snag dinner reservations at even the best spots) you may want to know for your next trip.
Great Point Lighthouse
At the northernmost point of the island, you will find Great Point Light House which was originally built in 1784. The bumpy ride along the beach to reach the lighthouse which makes for an instagramable shot, is always a thrill. Depending on the season (sometimes the beach is closed to vehicles in early June due to Piping Plover nesting), while exploring you'll likely find seals sunbathing and or swimming near the shore. You'll want to make sure you're in an SUV and always deflate your tires before venturing out.
Tip: if you rent a jeep in town at Affordable Rentals on South Beach St., they come with the beach permit that's needed at Great Point which can save you over $100.
Elliot Sudal Shark Wrestling
My fiancé George came across the Instagram account @acksharks a few years ago, founded by Elliot Sudal a tag and release shark wrestler that winters in Sanibel and summers on Nantucket. For George’s birthday last year, I reached out to Elliot to take us on a private outing which was pretty wild. Also, this was a good reminder that sharks are in our waters, so be careful while swimming and paddle boarding!
Everyone’s favorite post beach hangout spot on island. What’s not to love about cold beer, live music and local food trucks? My sip here is the blueberry lemonade. The bloody Mary mix is also fantastic (you can buy it too). Tip: What many people don’t know is that Cisco has a courtesy shuttle that takes brewery-goers back and forth every afternoon for free! No need to worry about having a DD or getting a taxi if you’re staying in town. The van leaves from the Visitor’s Center on Federal Street (May 15–Columbus Day). Also, did you know Cisco Brewery stays open all year round?! 5 Bartlett Farm Rd. (next to Bartlett’s Farm, Nantucket’s local organic market, sort of like the island’s version of a Whole Foods)
This is hands down our absolute favorite restaurant on island! Here you’ll find Nantucket’s best sushi along with cuisines from across the globe. Keep it light with sashimi or go all in for the mac 'n cheese, homemade shrimp tempura—two of our not so healthy favorites—or the signature Lola Burger and truffle fries. As for cocktails, my go-to here is the ACK’TIN UP: Don Julio, Grand Marnier, Fresh Lime Juice, House-made Pomegranate Grenadine. Lola 41, located in town, is the type of place where you can go on the early side for a quiet dinner or go after 8:30 p.m. when the lights are dimmed and the music is turned up for a livelier vibe.
Tip: During the season, reservations are only accepted day of starting at 4 pm. After a day at the beach, grab your shades and a book and head down to the restaurant at 3:30 p.m. You'll likely be the first or close to first person in line. (Side note, last time I did this, Reese Witherspoon biked by the restaurant.) At 4 p.m. the doors open and you'll be able to book a table or bar seat with the manager or hostess at just about any time you want! Another option you have is to call the restaurant at 4 p.m., but that's what most of the island is trying to do, so you'll be placed on hold and by the time you get off hold, your preferred time will be booked. Some hotels in town such as the White Elephant may be able to do this for you. 15 South Beach St.
It’s not unusual for us to eat breakfast here both days over the weekend; we love Black-Eyed Susan’s that much! This small eatery in town serves both breakfast and dinner during the season. Our go-to's: Veggie Scramble with pesto and the Huevos Rancheros. If we’re feeling feisty, a side order of pancakes may be ordered. Tip: Black-Eyed Susan’s is CASH ONLY. There’s an ATM two blocks away. Also, go as soon as you wake up – nap on the beach later. If you get there after 9:30am you’ll be waiting for a while. If you see a line, stand outside the door and wait for the host to come out and take your name. Locals waiting may give you a look if you just walk in. It’s that small. 10 India St.
Here you’ll have the best sugar doughnut you’ve ever had. This diner style restaurant open for breakfast and lunch is best known for his fresh homemade doughnuts. They make four doughnuts: plain, sugar, chocolate glazed and coconut. If you’re in need of one or a dozen, head to the to go counter. During a busy summer weekend they could run out before 11 a.m., so don’t snooze. This family owned business has been open for over 80 years! Tip: CASH or LOCAL CHECKS ONLY. ATM on premise. 18 Sparks Ave.
For a lighter breakfast or a pit stop pre-or post workout, step into Lemon Press located in town at 29 Centre Street. You’ll find classic healthy eats such as overnight oats, avocado toast, juices and smoothies. They even have a gluten free waffle with “naughty” or “nice” toppings.
Whether you’re looking for fine dining or drinks on the beach, the Galley won’t disappoint. You watch the sunset on the sand with a glass of rose before heading into the dining room overlooking the beach where you’ll find dishes like truffle-butter poached lobster with Bartlett’s Farm corn and fluke, quinoa and wax beans. The Galley is open for lunch as well. If you happen to be on island for business, it’s a great place to dine with peers. Tip: There is a dress code. Shirts, shoes and cover ups are required at all-times. No beach attire after 5 pm.
Go Figure’s Beach Barre Bus
This is something I personally have not done, but really want to try this summer since I love a good barre class. The local barre studio, Go Figure, has beach bus that’s equipped with all the necessities for a proper barre workout. I can’t wait to try this on the beach one morning! You can rent the bus for a private class too which I think is a great idea for a bachelorette or birthday party.
If the nautical resort look just isn’t your thing, you can find the latest high fashions at Gypsy. Here you can shop the latest collections from designers such as Celine, A.L.C., Chloe, Balenciaga, Frame Denim, Mother, and Self Portrait to name a few. 20 Federal St.
Photography by JoJo Gutfarb