Thursday, July 11, 2019

Summer in Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard

Planning the perfect vacation: Summer in Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard

Planning a vacation can be stressful - especially in the summer. Your mind is swirling in a sea of sunscreen, barbecues, pool parties, and bug spray. As if that wasn’t enough stress, wanting to go somewhere fun and interesting on a budget can definitely pile on some anxiety. If you’re looking to escape the heat while not tossing your wallet into the wind, look no further than Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. Located just off the beautiful and historic Massachusetts coast, it’s the perfect destination for summer. It doesn’t get too hot and boasts tons of events that everyone in the whole family can enjoy. Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard is also a great option for couples, large or small groups of friends, and seniors. In this post, we will explore all options for events from July to the end of the summer.

Summer Events in Nantucket

In June, both the Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard Chambers of Commerce kicked off their summer season with a book festival followed by a film festival. If you missed these events, don’t worry! You still have plenty of chances to enjoy this area starting in July. During the weekend of July 18-21, Nantucket will be hosting its annual Art & Artisan Show. Over 60 artists and artisans from all over the country gather here to display their most prized creations. Some of their products will include furniture, pottery, glass, folk art, antiques, and textiles. The most important part about this event, however, is that it functions as a fundraiser for early childhood education and care. Proceeds from this event will be donated to the Nantucket education system to help better the lives of local students.

dancers dressed in white, in a circle

Next up on the docket is the Nantucket Atheneum Dance Festival from July 22-27. This festival draws dancers and dance enthusiasts from all over the country due to the high caliber of performing artists that participate. Some of these performers hail from prestigious institutions like the New York City Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. The dance festival isn’t just for dancers, though. It features numerous film screenings, classes, and workshops all leading up to two performances.

After a short hiatus at the end of July, the chamber of commerce will keep the vibes of summer going with a Boston Pops concert on the Nantucket shore. On August 10th, the famous Jetties Beach will host this explosive concert by the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra. The concert will feature both classics and long-time favorites, and end in a breathtaking fireworks display. It isn’t quite the 4th of July but keeping the celebratory part of summer alive in August is possible in Nantucket.

wooden pier with white rails leading to the sea

The last event during the Nantucket summer season will take place during the week of August 10-18. This week is known nationally as Nantucket Race Week and draws yacht enthusiasts from all over the world. In addition to a slew of parties, galas and award ceremonies over these 9 days in August, the world-renowned Nantucket Regatta takes center stage for most of the Nantucket visitors. This annual boat race is a large part of the North American Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge Series. It is the oldest classic sailboat race on the East Coast, so it holds deep historical significance.

Summer Events in Martha’s Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard is located about 40 miles west of Nantucket and is also hosting a slew of exciting events throughout the summer. Its July kick-off event is another famous boat race, the Vineyard Cup Regatta, from July 12-14. Thousands of sailboats drop anchor at Martha’s Vineyard for this exciting weekend of races.

The next event on Martha’s Vineyard is not until the first weekend of August, so you can do a bit of island hopping to fill those three weeks. The Book Festival takes place on August 3rd and 4th and is a haven for book lovers from all over the country. Big-name authors and editors gather during this weekend to share their literary works and gain inspiration for new ones.

picnickers on the grass outside a lit open-air auditorium

On the evening of August 14th, Martha’s Vineyard becomes something like a magical movie scene for the Grand Illumination festival. Warm, twinkly lights spot the coast of Martha’s Vineyard to create a warm, dream-like atmosphere. Visitors are encouraged to pick up some Chinese and Japanese lanterns when they arrive. The lighting ceremony is followed by a performance by the local Vineyard Haven Band.

grapes next to wine flutes and casks

The very next day, the annual Martha’s Vineyard Livestock Show and Fair will begin. This event is a 157-year tradition and is famous for its old-fashioned, nostalgic activities. Some examples of these “old-timey” events are fiddle contests, skillet tosses, a horse pull, and a good old-fashioned woodsmen competition. Of course, what would a fair be without rides, a Ferris wheel, and food vendors? The Livestock Show and Fair is from August 15-18th.

Finally, Martha’s Vineyard will close out their summer season with their annual Vineyard Artisans Labor Day Festival. This event will be on August 30th and September 1st and is the largest art show on Martha’s Vineyard every year. More than 70 local artists and craft-makers gather and showcase their finest work. In addition to arts and crafts, there will be food trucks, live music, and meet and greets with artists. It’s the perfect place to put a cap on an amazing summer.

colorful seashells on wavy sand

Summer planning does not have to be a pain. If you’re looking to escape the heat or try something new, the beautiful New England coast is the perfect destination. Whether you’re looking for fairs, boat races, or even a lights festival, you’re bound to find something for every member of your family. Both Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard are tourist hotspots during the summer due to its uniqueness and versatility. You really don’t need to look any further than Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard off the coast of beautiful and historic Massachusetts. This summer, join the locals for great food, music, and exciting events that are nothing short of memorable.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

8 Reasons Why Nantucket is a Summer Paradise for Families

8 Reasons Why Nantucket is a Summer Paradise for Families blog cover image

There is nothing worse than spending time and money on a family vacation only to discover the travel brochures exaggerated a bit. Here are 8 reasons why spending time on the island gem of Nantucket will delight everyone in the family:

1. There really is something for everyone. Are you looking for water sports, nature-themed activities, ideas for history buffs, lots of great food, or simply hanging out at the beach? It isn’t necessary to leave the island to find a way to satisfy each member of the family, and the village goes out of its way to entertain even its youngest visitors.

a row of piled rocks extending from the beach out into the water

2. Let’s start with the obvious: the beach. Whether you have toddlers or older kids (or both), Jetties Beach is on the north shore within walking distance of town. There is a stroller-friendly walkway down to the beach, a playground, and a restaurant with bathrooms complete with changing tables. There is a toy store for the kids and a bar for the adults. Children’s Beach is another family-friendly choice, located at the end of Harbor View Way near the ferry. Ramps near the parking area (or you can walk from downtown) make the area easily accessible for wheelchairs and strollers. The beach has no waves, but still posts lifeguards for everyone’s safety and peace of mind. Children’s Beach is aptly named since it provides a great playground with outdoor toys, shaded spots, an outdoor theater, picnic tables, and wading areas for the smallest children or non-swimmers. After all that sand, everyone can head to the bathhouse right there at the beach to take a shower before dinner. Cisco Beach is perfect for older kids, with body surfing and boogie boarding. Nantucket Island Surf School is located here and rents all the gear you need, plus offers lessons.

a woman in a yellow kayak on clear, calm water

3. Aside from the beaches, other outdoor activities abound in the area. Biking, hiking, snorkeling, sailing, surfing, boogie boarding, kite boarding, hydrofoiling, kayaking, wakeboarding, stand-up paddle boarding, and fishing are ways to get outside and enjoy the beauty of Nantucket. The Office of Culture and Tourism suggests that families bike, walk, or take public transportation while summering in Nantucket, both to see everything the area has to offer but also to protect the island’s environment.

4. How about the abundance of great food? Let the kids enjoy the experience of eating at the retro Nantucket Pharmacy Lunch Counter and Pete’s Soda Fountain on Main Street. Reviewers loved the grilled cheese, milkshakes, ice cream floats, and chicken salad. Or finish your day at Children’s Beach at the Hungry Minnow right behind the playground on the beach. Kid-friendly choices like corn fritters are offered along with allergy-friendly options. Some kids will insist on pizza no matter where they are so try Sophie T’s Pizza at Nantucket Commons.  Don’t forget that restaurant at Jetties Beach. The menu includes seafood choices from fish tacos to fried clams as well as sandwiches and burgers. In other words, food is plentiful in Nantucket and offerings will please everyone in the family.

shingled Jethro Coffin House, gray and weathered

5. Nantucket is one of the oldest settlements in the US; just don’t tell the kids when you take them to some of the great historical sites on the island. The Jethro Coffin House was built in 1686 and is still standing. Your children don’t have many opportunities to experience that kind of history. The museum on this site offers a Summer Fest on Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the summer, along with programs about the life of the Wampanoag Indians who also lived in the area. The history of Nantucket focuses on the whaling industry, so head on over to the Nantucket Shipwreck and Lifesaving Museum where they host Family Days that include crafts, games, stories and maritime songs. The Whaling Museum can fill everyone in on the industry that built this area.

blue and white sign of the Maria Mitchell Aquarium

6. Nantucket is an environmentalist’s dream with lots of activities designed to build an appreciation for the planet. Maria Mitchell Aquarium is a good place to start since your family is surrounded by marine life anyway. The facility is stocked with local aquatic life which is released back into the wild every year. Then there’s the Critter Cruise, an hour-long tour on the Monomoy with Captain Josh. The Captain will pull up some traps and show the kids what kinds of critters come up. Later they can hold the critters while Mom and Dad get lots of pictures. Kids will also get a Monomoy Critter Cruise Crew T-shirt. The Nantucket Field Station includes several ecosystems, from tidal pools to salt marshes. Your family can wander the 100-acre property and observe a number of rare and native species as they feed, breed, and hide. Or you can take a guided tour provided by the scientists and students studying the ecosystems.

white exterior and columns of the Nantucket Library, the Atheneum

7. Summer can be cultural, too, with a number of events planned each season. Nantucket Bookworks offers writer’s talks and snacks, and the Nantucket Library, called the Atheneum, has a full calendar of both children’s and teen’s events. The Nantucket Story Walk at the Linda Loring Nature Foundation combines literacy with appreciation of the environment. The Dreamland Film and Cultural Center provides films, theater, comedy, and a number of interactive events.

8. Here are some eclectic suggestions for the family member who is hard to please. The Nantucket Film Festival is held in June every year, with offerings for the whole family.  Nantucket Island Surf School offers a week-long surf camp for ages twelve and up.  The shoppers in the family can spend time finding treasures in the many consignment and vintage stores. Try highly-reviewed Island Treasures on North Beach St. or Seconds Shop on Sparks Ave.

Nantucket is truly a gem for family-friendly vacations, offering everything from world-class beaches to cultural events. Villagers not only welcome families to the island, they delight in entertaining children of all ages. Have a great summer!

Monday, March 11, 2019

Best Beaches and Water Activities in Nantucket

Since Nantucket is an island, you might expect it to have a wealth of activities which center around the water, and that is definitely the case. There really is water-based fun for the whole family, and if you're planning a visit with your partner, there are just as many things to do that will enhance your romantic getaway together.

motorboat on calm waters


There are numerous providers on the island offering boat charters and fishing charters, so visitors can get a complete view of the island, as well as enjoy the refreshing ocean breezes which abound. If you are so inclined, you can take a whale tour, a seal tour, or even go clamming with some of the different packages offered by island boating experts.

fishing pole bending in the sunset


As with boating tours, there are many fishing tours offered by island providers, and there are some terrific fish just waiting to be caught off the shores of the Island. Whether your preference is for albacore, striped bass, bluefish, tuna, or cod, the Island sea captains will be able to put you right on the fish - and then it's all up to you!

surfer riding a wave in a wetsuit


There are several beaches where the surf is powerful and challenging for visitors, just as there are some relatively quieter beaches for novices. If you want to maximize your surfing experience on Nantucket, you can attend the Nantucket Island Surf School, where people of all ages can take either private or group lessons to hone their skills before taking them out to the big waves. Mini-camps are also available for youngsters wishing to take a whole week of instruction to become proficient at this exciting sport.

lighthouse overlooking the water
Photo courtesy of


What would a visit to Nantucket be without taking in some of the island's historic lighthouses? There are three which still remain on the island, Brant Point Lighthouse, Great Point Lighthouse, and Sankaty Head Lighthouse. Between them, these sentinels of the sea have witnessed somewhere around 800 shipwrecks which are known to have occurred in the vicinity of Nantucket Island. Both Great Point and Sankaty still operate as navigational aids to mariners, while Sankaty and Brant Point are listed in the National Historic Register. Great Point would have that honor also, if not for having twice undergone rebuilds.

woman holding her child on the beach


Two of the best family beaches are on the North Shore, and they feature smaller-sized waves, with wonderful sandy shores to walk along. Both Children's Beach and Jetties Beach have playgrounds, but Jetties Beach also has tennis courts and a skateboard park. Beaches along the south shore tend to have very heavy surf and strong currents, so only more experienced swimmers should try Surfside Beach or Miacomet Beach. Eel Point Beach is situated on the northwest edge of the island, and is often subject to tidal flooding, which leaves numerous eels in its wake (hence the name). It's also the best beach on the island for collecting seashells, and filling up a bucket of reminders from your visit.

Friday, February 8, 2019

The Best Beach, Boating, and Fishing Activities in Nantucket

When in Nantucket, there are so many great activities that it can be difficult to choose how to spend your time. Let us help you investigate some of the most popular activities on and off the beach. Don’t just enjoy the view from Cliff Lodge, go out and take advantage of some of these amazing (and cost-effective) activities:

woman and baby at the beach

For the Family - Children’s Beach

Our B&B creates a unique setting for families to enjoy the beauty of Nantucket Island. Bring your children on a historic journey through the best amenities in the area in a personalized setting that brings out the curiosity in even the youngest travelers. Take a walk to Children’s Beach—popular for their engaging summer activities including everything from youth yoga to an entire concert series. Famous for its shallow kid-friendly waters, Children’s Beach offers a wonderful place to swim and relax with your little ones. Turn our bed and breakfast into a tradition that brings everyone together to make new memories year after year.

surfers in the water on an overcast day

Calling All Extreme Adventurers - Cisco Beach

Even if you’re enjoying the calm surroundings of our 1771 architecture, you may feel the need to get out and cut loose a bit. Cisco is a world-renowned surfer’s paradise that houses one of the best surf schools and shops anywhere. Not only does it have the goods, it also produces some waves that can challenge even the most seasoned board-balancer. While it’s definitely not an area for small children, it’s a magical spot for those who crave extreme sports and new adventures.

sailboat on the water with blue skies

Experience the Island from the Water - Endeavor Sailing

Have you ever dreamed of a romantic getaway that featured a total view of one of the most beautiful spots in the world? Well, Endeavor Sailing offers just that. Experience one of the longest running charters in Nantucket on an informative and scenic excursion led by a U.S. Coast Guard Captain. The level of expertise doesn’t get much better than this, and the journey allows you to get more out of your stay in Nantucket.

ship's steering wheel in the sunset

Something for Everyone - Nantucket Community Sailing

Whether you’re staying at the Cliff Lodge for a business convention or a family gathering, Nantucket Community Sailing allows you to choose a program that teaches people of all ages and skill levels to enjoy life on the water. This is an excellent team building exercise and a great way to bring you closer to those you care about.

deep-sea fishing boat in the sunset

Reel in Something Memorable - Topspin Fishing

Let’s talk fishing. Not just the quiet, nightcrawler, small pond fishing many of us are accustomed to. But, the open ocean, competing with whales, chartered, once in a lifetime experience that is Topspin Fishing. This is the best way to bring both novice and expert fishermen together in one place to enjoy a truly personalized fishing trip. Charter a boat and see what the fuss is all about!

When you make the choice to stay with us at the historic Cliff Lodge, you’re making the choice to get more out of your stay. Talk to us about our variety of amenities and about activities in the area that can enhance your experience!

Friday, January 4, 2019

Best Nightlife Spots in Nantucket

When visiting Nantucket Island, you can make the best use of your time by knowing all about the nightlife spots before you arrive, and the information here will get you off to a good start in that regard. Whether you're looking for a rowdy rocking night, an enjoyable theater experience, or just a great dinner, you'll find exactly what you want in Nantucket.

drum cymbals and flickering lights

The Chicken Box

Highly recommended by both locals and visitors, The Chicken Box is a no-frills establishment at 16 Daves St. which features live music, pool, darts, and shuffle board to keep patrons entertained and engaged.

lobster roll with french fries

The Rose and Crown

The Rose and Crown is located at 23 S. Water St. in Nantucket, and for those who appreciate a nautical theme, you'll love the decor at this bar and eatery. It is recognized as a venue which is very comfortable and casual, where good food and drink can be enjoyed in surroundings evocative of the long maritime flavor of the area.

band playing in a bar under green lighting

The Muse

This fun bar is situated just outside of Nantucket, at 44 Surfside Road, and if you like live music, you'll love what The Muse has to offer, because there is music for every taste to be found here. Known for its Keno, ping-pong, pool, beer, and fabulous local and national entertainment, The Muse has been a staple of Nantucket night life for a long time, and continues to please all kinds of crowds.

tomahawk steak with carrots

Slip 14

Situated at 14 Old South Wharf, Slip 14 has been called a Massachusetts institution, claiming the freshest seafood in the region, as well as the finest libations. Its terrific location on Old South Wharf gives it the added appeal of seaside atmosphere and wonderful views, and for late-night action, it provides a great setting for singles and couples to make the most of an evening out on the town.

broccoli salad with tomatoes and nuts

The Club Car

Known as a piano music bar, and famous for its Mediterranean fare, The Club Car is located at 1 Main St. in Nantucket, and it's a place you should really try to include during your stay on the island. The venue has recently been completely refurbished, and everything has a sparkling new aspect that adds to its overall appeal. Both visitors to the area and long-time residents have been impressed with the outstanding food served at the new Club Car, and it seems even better when enjoying music from some of the great piano artists, offering their personal style.

To maximize your Nantucket enjoyment

While you're staying in Nantucket, why not treat yourself to the best B&B lodging for a romantic getaway, as well as the best nightlife spots? At Cliff Lodge Bed & Breakfast, you'll enjoy the historical mystique of a dwelling originally built by a sea captain in 1771 for his family, and which retains that character to this day. Of course, it has since been modernized, but its spectacular location on the hills above Nantucket provides a breath-taking view of the surroundings, and you'll love the friendly service as well. Contact us with any inquiries, or to discuss lodging for your next stay in the area.

Monday, December 10, 2018

The Best Spas and Massage in Nantucket

You probably already know about the excellent beaches and rich history to experience in Nantucket but you may not know how great Nantucket is for a romantic, relaxing getaway. Thanks to numerous spa and massage options close to Cliff Lodge, Nantucket is great for an exciting or relaxing vacation, or both!

Darya Salon & Spa

Darya Salon & Spa is a full-service salon and spa that is open throughout the year in downtown Nantucket. Their services include the latest techniques and trends, and they offer a variety of services such as hair styling, nails, waxing, and massage. Darya Salon & Spa is also a leading salon in the Nantucket wedding scene, having received recognition from some of the top bridal magazines in the country.

woman in a spa robe with cucumber slices over her eyes

Sisters' Salon & Spa

Sisters' Salon & Spa offers a wide range of advanced services to care for both hair and body. The staff is known for paying attention to the smallest details to make sure that all of their clients look and feel their best. They also offer full spa treatments for those who really want to pamper themselves during their Nantucket vacation. Sisters’ is definitely one of the more modern spas on the Island, and it is perfect for those with more sophisticated tastes.

RJ Miller Salon & Spa

Said to be " of Nantucket's true island treasures," RJ Miller Salon & Spa is known for its experienced staff of stylists and specialists. Some of their services include hair styling, spa treatments, bridal services, and their Fantasy Tan services, which can help you achieve your ideal tan with no sun exposure at all.

masseuse giving a massage in an open-air spa

This smaller spa located at 19A Surfside Road specializes in hair styling for men, women, and children as well as a high-quality manicure and pedicures and waxing. They may be a smaller spa, but it is still ideal for anyone who wants to stop in for an affordable haircut or manicure.

Those who are more interested in a massage as opposed to a beauty treatment can check out Life Massage at 13C Amelia Drive. Some of the services offered include Swedish massage, aromatherapy, deep tissue massage, and even a "mother-to-be" massage to ease the pain and discomfort associated with pregnancy.

feet being treated in water with floating flowers

These are just a few of the many spas and beauty salons that you can find in downtown Nantucket, and they are easily accessible from the Cliff Lodge Bed and Breakfast. Cliff Lodge is only a short walk from downtown Nantucket, so you will be able to explore all that the island has to offer during your stay.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Best Shopping Locations in Nantucket - 2018

The first thing you'll notice about shopping on Nantucket Island is that there's no Walmart, no Target, and in fact, no chain stores at all. All chain stores are banned from the island, so every shop in business on Nantucket has the charm and character of a pleasant boutique. Some people visit the island just for this kind of Old World experience because there are precious few locations in the country where this kind of atmosphere prevails. If you're planning a visit to the Island, make sure to include plenty of time for browsing these wonderful shops, and for exchanging pleasantries with the locals and other appreciative shoppers.

a cup of yellow tea on a wooden table


This shop is located at 29 Centre Street and features herbs and spices, some of which are grown locally, as well as hand-made chocolate treats and a wide variety of teas to sample. You'll love the retro look of wood shelving built into the wall from the floor to the ceiling, and the conscious effort to retain the appeal of an old-time shop. In the summertime, you can purchase hand-picked Rosa Rugosa petals, which contain Wild Rose Sea Salt to add zest to your favorite foods.

knick knacks and home decor items in a store

The Lion's Paw

You might come to consider The Lion's Paw to be your one-stop shop for any kind of furnishings you need on the Island, or you can consider it the single best place to find a memorable home furnishing to adorn your residence back on the mainland. Here, you'll find chinaware and flatware, day beds, farmhouse tables, throw pillows, and textiles from Walter G.

old books on wooden shelves

Mitchell's Book Corner

For those with a literary bent, Mitchell's Book Corner is sure to fill the bill. Located at the corner of Orange Street and Main Street, the store has a 48-year history and numerous books which detail the Island's own remarkable history. The shop is host to the annual Nantucket Book Festival and during the summer months, you can always count on notable authors to be present for book signings and for engaging conversation with patrons.

a collection of coffee, flowers, sunglasses, and a beach hat

Milly and Grace

Named for the owner's two grandmothers, this store exudes charm both inside and out, with its ivy-covered exterior and vintage-style interior. All kinds of home decor items can be purchased here, for instance, candles, pillows, and gifts, as well as jewelry for almost any occasion and any taste. Located at 2 Washington Street, Milly and Grace is known for its shabby-chic appeal and very friendly hosts, who are anxious to please everyone walking through their doors.

young, smiling barista preparing a coffee

The Hub

Situated at 31 Main Street, The Hub is one of those buildings which can hardly be overlooked, even though it has been around throughout all living memory of Island residents. It's the best place to secure your morning newspaper, and while you're at it, you can shop around for magazines and all the other sundry items typically available at a newsstand. Now that the establishment also offers coffee and bagels, it has become quite common to see people out in front of the shop, sitting on benches and reading their newspapers, while sipping coffee and munching on a bagel.