You want your honeymoon to be the idyllic beginning of your life together. Nantucket Island is comprised of breathtaking beaches, wonderful food (think just-caught lobsters), and cobblestoned streets with a long, New England history – all a mere 30 miles from Cape Cod. The Travel Channel has called Nantucket Island the third nicest beach getaway in America
Nantucket is a favorite escape, especially for the young and well-to-do seeking comfort, history, and fun. Its white sand, coastal charm, first-rate shopping, and entertainment draws a crowd looking for paradise at an affordable price. Honeymooners can enjoy unlimited watersports, surfing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. On dry land, there are significant historic trails to explore.
For nightly entertainment and dancing, the Chicken Box is a Nantucket landmark. As the name implies, it started out as a humble fried chicken shack. The shack, and its popularity, grew. The owner initiated live jazz and blues evenings, then introduced reggae to the island. The Chicken Box is now the Nantucket spot for a smooth cocktail and dancing seven nights a week.
No problem with a Nantucket honeymoon if the weather isn’t cooperating. The Whaling Museum offers four centuries of island history. It has a rooftop with a wonderful view of Nantucket Harbor, and an annual Christmas Tree Festival in December.
While most visitors think of Nantucket as a summer place, honeymooners won’t want to miss the winter festivities, when gentle falling snow encourages an abundance of close snuggles. This is the time to buddle up and stroll along the empty coastline and revel in the sheer quiet. The island has an annual Christmas Stroll down Main Street each December. No cars – just performers, vendors, craft exhibits (think Christmas presents), and costumed carolers. Don’t miss Santa soaring into town via a Coast Guard Cutter.
Best Hotels and Resorts for a Nantucket Honeymoon
Union Street Inn
Union Street Inn is known for providing exquisite service and is especially valued as a romantic getaway. Conde Nast has referred to its “impeccable New England-by-way-of-France style. Travel and Leisure Magazine claims, “Of all the historic houses turned inns, this is by far the most stylish.” TripAdvisor calls it the “number one small hotel in America.” Frommer’s says, “This wins my vote for Best on Nantucket.”
The 12-bedroom inn gets its guest going in the morning with a lavish breakfast, either in-room or on the patio. Each room is a unique style masterpiece. The inn is within close distance to all of Nantucket’s activities, from shops, bars, and restaurants. That is a decided advantage when parking is limited.
The inn offers gift certificates, which can make an ideal wedding gift for the honeymooning couple, thus defraying the cost of the stay.
The Nantucket Hotel and Resort
The Nantucket Hotel and Resort was named the number one luxury hotel in the country. It is Nantucket’s sole year-round hotel and offers incredible holiday celebrations to which guests return each year. It’s a Nantucket tradition. Guests can celebrate a traditional New England Thanksgiving dinner or join in an old-fashioned Christmas celebration – the heavy-set man with a white beard will be there. Dinner, drinks, and live music will ring in the New Year at the resort.
Guests at the Nantucket Resort have total access to the downtown Nantucket Club with its heated pool, massages, sauna, hot tub, and yoga.
White Elephant Resort
The waterfront White Elephant Resort is one of the best luxury resorts on Nantucket, with stunning views of the harbor and the Brant Point Lighthouse. In addition to the main hotel, the resort has romantic cottages and two downtown lofts. Guests can enjoy the outdoor heated pool with its cabanas and great meals at the Brant Point Grill – for guests that are tempted by the best seafood in town, there are Lobster Bloody Marys and their famed lobster rolls. Meals are available in the dining room or on the terrace accompanied by an island breeze.
The resort offers the elegance one hopes for on a honeymoon, along with top service and rejuvenating spa treatments. The Romance Package includes champagne upon arrival, dinner for two at the Brand Point Grill, and a romantic sunset cruise.
The Wauwinet has had oceanfront charm with a view of the Atlantic Ocean since 1875. The resort has 32 suites and rooms as well as four cozy private cottages by the beach that feature a living room (some have a fireplace) with a view of the bay. The resort has a boat service to another Nantucket resort, the White Elephant, for an extended experience, and it also offers a shuttle service to downtown Nantucket.
For a honeymoon splurge, the hotel’s Splurge Package includes a two-night getaway in a luxury room with breakfast, lunch by the water, and a three-course dinner at Topper’s, Nantucket’s only AAA 5-Diamond Restaurant and known for its fresh, local seafood. Then the couple can enjoy some complimentary caviar and champagne.
Greydon House is the home of a former sea captain near the wharf. The hotel’s 20 rooms are surrounded by a classic English garden and is within walking distance of Nantucket Sound. The Whaling Museum is just a minute from the hotel.
The rooms and suites are stylish with a touch of Old World whimsy (rotary phones, anyone?). It’s the very whimsical aspects of the hotel that make it memorable. The Greydon Hotel also has two private guest houses in downtown Nantucket.
The in-house restaurant, Via Mare, is – of all things – a bit of Venice brought to Nantucket. Via Mare continues the Venetian tradition of small-plate dining with its tapas menus and a large selection of wines.
History and Culture of Nantucket
Nantucket, located off the coast of Massachusetts, was initially settled in 1659 by a group of Quakers. Following this settlement, it became the major whaling port in the country. It grew huge and became the third largest city in the state, all about the hustle and bustle of industry. Whaling captains lived here and built large, comfortable homes. Whaling was its major force, and life on Nantucket was good. Writer Melville based his Moby Dick novel on a Nantucket whaler named Essex.
When the whaling industry moved to New Bedford in the mid-1800s, the dream turned into a disaster. After the Civil War destroyed any remaining whaling ships, Nantucket appeared to be doomed.
The newspapers sprang into action. Loud and proud, the Nantucket Inquirer spread the news that “We see by the papers that Nantucket is becoming quite a fashionable place . . . and that a larger number than usual have resorted to the island the present season, in quest of health or pleasure.”
Nantucket was sold as a paradise island, and it wasn’t a hard sell. Other newspapers picked up the theme, large resorts were built, and it quickly became a fashionable getaway. Two ferries a day were needed to bring visitors to the island. Anyone who mattered came to enjoy its natural beauty, and they invariably returned.
It is still quite isolated and untamed, which allowed it to retain its old-world charm that still attracts visitors from all over the world to this day. There are few other honeymoon destinations quite like it.
How Much is A Nantucket Honeymoon?
A couple can have an inexpensive budget Nantucket honeymoon for just over $2,570. A honeymoon with some extras would run over $4,000, and a trip with all the luxurious trimming can cost close to $8,000.
Top Things to Do in Nantucket
Island Cruises provide visitors with a different perspective of this charming island. During the season, there are daily one-hour cocktail cruises and private weekend cruises that last an hour and a half.
No one can leave Nantucket without a genuine New England clambake dinner. The popular Nantucket Hotel’s Monday Night Clambakes between June and September offer up a traditional clam bake on its terrace, accompanied by live music, a fabulous sunset, and fresh seafood.
Cisco Brewery has been called “the happiest place on earth,” and so far, no one is disagreeing. Good vibes and fabulous beer flow easily here. Extraordinary and legendary beers, such as tropical flavors, can be enjoyed while strolling barefoot in the sand.
Shipwreck and Lifesaving Museum
Shipwreck and Lifesaving Museum is a dedication to the 19th-century professionals who saved the lives of the many whalers that entered the harbor. With dense fog, storms, and unpredictable currents quite prevalent, more than 750 ships were wrecked along the Nantucket coast.
It was called the “graveyard of the Atlantic.” The museum is filled with exhibits and relics from the US Coast Guard and other services that truly saved lives. TripAdvisor calls it “A rare gem of a museum.”
Stroll Down Main Street
This cobble-stoned, pristine street takes visitors back to a different time. It was cobbled before most other city streets were cobble-stoned because the city appreciated its value.
It took pride and wanted the best. Main Street is the heart and soul of the island. The 19th-century houses lining Main Street speak of the wealth produced by the whale oil trade. Today, it is also lined with souvenir shops, clothing stores (Lily Pulitzer has a store here), and vintage stores.
Couples should stop by Main Street restaurant, Or, The Whale, which serves delicious meals all day and an excellent Sunday brunch. And yes, there is a story behind the name.
Best Time to Visit Nantucket
Nantucket is at its most splendid in the Spring – March through May – and in the Fall – September and October, when the weather is perfect for exploring both land and sea.
Visitors need to keep in mind that some places do not open for the season until Memorial Day. During the summer, the island is filled with tourists, and accommodation and restaurants are more expensive.
While it does get chilly in the winter, the special fabulous Christmas traditions are certainly a thrill.
Weather In Nantucket
Springtime in Nantucket will still require a jacket, and comfortable shoes are recommended. The temperature can vary between 31 degrees and 60 degrees. From June through August, bathing attire, boating shoes, and comfortable pants are the best, but visitors should pack one dressy outfit.
The weather will climb to 75 degrees. Fall, like Spring, requires a light jacket as the weather can fluctuate between 40 degrees and 70 degrees. Winters are cold and windy, and warm layers are called for when the temperature ranges between 25 degrees and 44 degrees.
Getting To Nantucket
Two ferry lines will take visitors from Hyannis to Nantucket year-round. Travel time for both is approximately one hour.
The Steamship Authority, one of the ferry lines, also has a car and passenger line, which takes two and a half hours to reach its island destination.
For anyone wishing to leave their car in Hyannis, there is secure off-site parking. The Hy-Line Cruise Line operates a ferry between Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard from May through October several times a day.