My Ideal 72 Hours in Nantucket

There is nothing better than a quick weekend getaway to Nantucket. Well, besides staying for longer! I know a lot of you have asked what to do, where to go, what to eat, and while I've put together my favorite guides (like here, here, and here), I did want to put together my *perfect* weekend in Nantucket itinerary. Whenever we go, we're usually hitting up these spots in one way or another. I hope this helps you plan your trip to Nantucket!


You can read about getting to Nantucket here, but the options are ferry or plane. Both are great! Much of the morning will be dictated by your arrival time, but today is flexible with how much time you spend where.

-Drop off bags at house/rental/B&B and head into town for shopping. 
Start by simply walking in and out of all the stores around Main Street and the Wharf. There are so many really cute and unsuspecting stores downtown, you'll really never know what you will find. When I want to kill time or just stroll around, I'll walk around town. Please, truly do go into each and every shop! It's a lot of fun and you'll find the best gems.

-Lunch at Provisions/Drinks at The Gazebo.
This is my favorite sandwich/lunch spot on the island and it's smack in the middle of town. Conveniently located on the Wharf where Hyline Cruises docks their ferry. There are benches all around the wharf for people watching or just sitting to enjoy water. During non-COVID times they allow seating indoors. If you're more thirsty than hungry, head to the gazebo, which is part of The Nantucket Tavern (and right in front of Provisions). They have a great array of drinks, but they're known for their mudslides. It's sweet but so, so good.

-Rent bikes.
Now would be a great time to go rent and pick up your bikes for the weekend. Depending on where you're staying, having a bike for your trip is totally doable. If you're a little further out of town I wouldn't recommend it. There are plenty of taxis, Ubers, and a bus (The Wave) that goes all over the island. We usually rent from Young's Bike shop, which is on the other side of downtown where the Steamship Authority ferry docks.

-Bike to Brant Point.
This is the closest beach to town and great for a chill/relaxing experience at the end of the day. You can also knock out a lighthouse visit here. There are three on the island, but Brant Point is the easiest and most convenient to get to on a short weekend. I try to bring a towel or blanket and some cards when I go, wave to the people coming and going, and just hang out.

-Dinner at Lola's.
This is slowly becoming my favorite restaurant in Nantucket, but it's pricy and hard to get a reservation. Pre-COVID they would only take day-of reservations by either calling or going to the restaurant in the afternoon and lining up. Now they are taking some online but also have their phone open too. I've had little to no luck making a reservation beforehand, but if you go their early enough, you're usually able to squeeze in before a reservation or sit at the bar.

-Dessert and Juice Bar.
Don't fill up too much at dinner because the best part of Nantucket is the homemade ice cream at Juice Bar! *Do not* go to any other ice cream store on island. It's sacrilegious. Get anything that tickles your fancy in a waffle cone or cup and thank me later.

-Go to bed or go out.
My ideal weekend is going to bed early so I can wake up early, but if you want to keep the night going, check out some local bar spots downtown. I don't know what they're like currently, but pre-COVID options were Straight Wharf, The Tree Bar, Cru, Club Car, and The Rose and Crown.

**Alternative options: If it's raining, the Whaling Museum and shopping are good rainy day activities. If you want something a little further outside of town (but still walk and bike friendly) lunch at Something Natural is a popular choice. And for other beaches close to town, you can visit Jetties or Steps (which are closely connected -- Jetties has food!). A less expensive dinner option is Keepers. They are mid-island so you'll need a Uber/Taxi or Wave bus to get there. 


We are up early! Have a full day ahead of us and we're going to make the most of it.

-Breakfast at Bartlett's.
Bike out to Bartlett's Farm for a quick grab-and-go breakfast sandwich, coffee, and muffin. I don't know why, but their to-go counter hits just right on an early morning in Nantucket. Bartlett's Farm is a really nice and pretty big family-owned farm and grocery store. It's about a 20-minute bike from town (mostly on paved bike paths), but it's close to where we'll be spending the rest of the day.

-To the Beach.
You can either eat your breakfast at Bartlett's or you can take it to go at the beach. My personal favorite is Cisco beach, which is where all the surfers go. The water is never bad, but probably not suitable for kids. There are kid-friendly beaches elsewhere that are great. The water is pretty cold year round, and will start to warm up late summer. Bring your towels, a good book/podcast/game and spend your day at the beach.

-Lunch and Drinks at Cisco Brewery.
When you're feeling hungry and up for something new, head back the way you came to Cisco Brewery. This is a must do while in Nantucket and one of my favorite places to spend the day. They have a brewery, distillery and a vineyard on property so everyone is covered. I personally live and breathe for their Bloody Marys. They also have a handful of food trucks there to grab lunch. My favorite is the Lobster Truck, but you can also check out the 167 Raw bar, mexican/seafood at Millie's, dumplings, and just recently I noticed they had a Lemon Press truck but I'm unsure what they sell. Enjoy the live music and the atmosphere of Cisco for the day.

-Back to beach/town.
Depending on your day, the weather, and the timing you can either head back to the beach or back to town. Normally I get too drunk at Cisco and need to head back for a pre-dinner nap. But you do you! If you want another beach close by, Ladies beach is at the end of the road that Cisco/Bartlett's share. 

-Dinner at Nautilus.
Just like Lola 41, this is a hard reservation to come by, and it usually works best by calling 90 times at 2 pm when they open to try and make a reservation. They just opened up some outdoor seating, which hopefully is here to stay and brings more availability. Everything here is good, and most of their items are shared plates (outside of their big items like a full duck, which should be split in a group). Also, their drinks are out of this world. I'd even go so far as to say the best drinks on the island.

-Dessert and Juice Bar.
Yea I said it. My ideal weekend is lots of trips here.

-The Chicken Box.
If you're looking for a true bar experience, pop on out to The Chicken Box (you'll need a ride out). The best local/dive bar for live music and a good time.

**Alternative options: For another dinner option that is a little less pricy, you can head to Slip 14, Breeze (at the Nantucket Hotel), or b-ACK Yard BBQ in town. Further outside of town options are Keepers (my personal favorite) or Island Kitchen (which is next door to The Chicken Box). If you're looking to catch a sunset at a more laid back place, Millies is best.


A little hungover and moving slower, we're going to go out with a bang.

-Lemon Press for Breakfast/Brunch/Late Lunch.
Probably one of the most popular places in town in any given morning, Lemon Press has it all: great coffee (so I've heard), great food, to-go pastries, and my personal favorite: an a├žai bowl. You can order ahead or ask a friend to go drop your name on the waiting list and they'll call you when they're ready.

**Alternative options: or, The Whale and Downyflake. or, The Whale is across the street from Lemon Press and is more of a sitdown vibe. Downyflake is a bike ride mid island and is a true local diner that has great food and yummy doughnuts. 

This is usually when we return our bikes and head back to the hotel to start packing up before our trip home. If you have time to kill, walk around town, go to the Whaling or Nantucket Basket Museum, head back to a beach, pick up some presents/souvenirs to bring back.

For more Nantucket reading and guides, here are past blog posts:

Nantucket Guide Pt 1: Where to Stay + How to Get There

Nantucket Guide Part 2: Where to Eat + What to Do

Shopping Trip to Nantucket

Our September Trip to Nantucket

10 Things You MUST Do in Nantucket

Travel Tuesday: Nantucket

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