This year may look a little different than summers past, but we’re still here for it — which is why we’ve teamed up with our pals at the travel publishers Wildsam to make the most of everything.
New England is where Faherty was born and raised; its forests and coastlines and waters are in our blood. Our love for the region is shared by our friends at Wildsam, who shared a few of their favorite road-tripping spots in Nantucket and Maine with us (check ahead for any hours or service that may have changed in response to COVID-19).
Read up, pack your bags, and hit the road — after all, summer’s only over when you say it is.
“Nantucket is a deep sigh of relief for our souls. 30 miles off the coast, you feel removed from the normal stresses of your day. In every direction, there are endless beaches, clear blue waters, breezes untainted by city life, and farms growing some of the best damn heirloom tomatoes we’ve ever tasted. It’s become a happy place for us to retreat to each year, and is one of the reasons we opened up a shop on the cobblestone-lined streets of town.”
— Kerry Docherty
More than 25 miles off the coast of Massachusetts and only 14 miles long, Nantucket is, as Herman Melville wrote in Moby-Dick, “away off shore.” Sure, there’s a jet setting vibe downtown, but with nearly 50 percent of the island preserved for conservation, much of the outlying landscape feels as remote as it did centuries ago.
Rent a beach cruiser from Young’s, which has been outfitting bipeds from Steamboat Wharf since 1931, and explore the 30 miles of bike paths that crisscross the island. For island style, stop by the Faherty store at 0 Candle Street, the most charming address on the island and purveyor of eco-friendly beach attire.
Head to Millie’s at crowd-free Madakat Beach for fish tacos with a side of local lore [the family-run restaurant’s namesake, “Madakat Millie” Jewett, is an island legend known for patrolling shipwrecks and selling ice cream from her yard on Hither Creek]. For cold snacks, try Cisco Brewers, a boozy playground on the south side. In addition to tastings — don’t miss the flagship Whale’s Tale Pale Ale or the cranberry vodka made from a local organic — you’ll also find an oyster bar, food trucks and live music.
Finally, set up camp at 21 Broad, where 27 modern rooms are outfitted with pampering touches like Vitamin C-infused showers [to quench sun-parched skin, naturally].
“Hands down the best summer sunset is in Madaket. Or, if you can get on a boat, head to Tuckernuck Island.”
— Gaven J. Norton, Nantucket native, surfer, and co-founder of ACK Surf School
1. Handlebar Cafe; 2. Native Made Juice; 3. Black-Eyed Susan’s; 4. The Downyflake; 5. Moors End Farmstand; 6. The Nantucket Lobster Trap; 7. Straight Wharf Restaurant; 8. Cisco Brewery; 9. Madaket Millie’s; 10. The Nautilus; 11. Nantucket Whaling Museum; 12. Mitchell’s Book Corner; 13. Faherty; 14. Bill Fischer’s Tackle Shop; 15. Cisco Beach (surf spot); 16. Steps Beach (swimming); 17. Sconest Bluff Walk; 18. Sanford Farm (jogging loop); 19. Great Point (beach fishing); 20. Eel Point; 21. Tuckernuck Island; 22. Shearwater Excursions (clamming); 23. State Forest; 24. Madaket Beach (sunsets)
Hit route 1 for lobster, lighthouses, and some of the prettiest coastline in New England. Your summer itinerary: Bar Harbor, Camden, and Rockport.
Maine is nicknamed “Vacationland” for a reason. And with 3,500 miles of tidal coastline and more than ninety percent of the country’s lobster and blueberries, it’s particularly vacation-y in the summertime. The rocky shores look out on thousands of micro-islands and more than sixty lighthouses. The waters come with a beautiful bite of cold, even in the warmest months. The people embody a kind, independent toughness that calls back to the newborn years of the colonies.
DAY 1: Bar Harbor, Maine
This well-to-do town shares its home on Mount Desert Island with Acadia, the first National Park established east of the Mississippi. Two million people visit the park annually, so you’ll want to head there early to beat the crowd. Everyone takes the 27-mile Park Loop Road, but the real magic is getting your feet wet. Try west of Somes Sound for some relative quiet and a low tide self-guided biology tour. There are plenty of places to rent a kayak and go exploring, but Scotty’s delivers its vessels right to your door. Fuel up on some neapolitan pizza or haddock tacos at Sweet Pea’s Cafe. Then make your way to bed at the garden-casual 2 Cats Inn, or, if you’re keen on dirt, head back to camp at the park. Book early.
DAY 2: Camden, Maine
Pack up the car and venture south. Don’t be afraid to take a detour to Fort Point Lighthouse in Stockton Springs. Once you’re in Camden, get a second wind at Zoot Coffee before heading back out to sea with Schooner Surprise, a rare public charter aboard the historic two-mast ship that once was synonymous with New England fishing. If you’re feeling fancy, check out Camden Opera House or just hit the sheets at Whitehall Inn.
DAY 3: Rockport, Maine
Breakfast at Boynton-McKay Food Co., then south to Rockport, a popular artist town. Cruise through and take a walk at Beauchamp Point. Pick up some beach snacks at State of Maine Cheese Co. and keep going south to Crescent Beach at Owl’s Head. If you’re more interested in getting a true understanding of Maine lobster culture, catch the ferry to the island town of Vinalhaven. It’s not necessarily built for tourism, but it’s true Maine.