Nan­tucket, Martha’s Vine­yard, and Ken­neb­unkport are daz­zling by air. But wait un­til you land!


A crash course on va­ca­tion­ing on Nan­tucket, Martha’s Vine­yard, and Ken­neb­unkport.

FROM A BIRD’S EYE VIEW, NAN­TUCKET, MARTHA’S VINE­YARD, AND KEN­NEB­UNKPORT RE­FLECT all of the beauty (Aquin­nah’s dra­matic cliffs!), tran­quil­ity (ACK’s flaw­less beaches!) and in­trigue (Se­cret Ser­vice staked out at Ken­nebuk­port’s Walker’s Point!) that de­fine them as some of Boston’s most cov­eted sum­mer par­adises. Parachute down to ground level, and you’ll be even more im­pressed. Each ter­rain, with its own per­son­al­ity, de­liv­ers ev­ery va­ca­tioner’s dream: world­class eater­ies, ho­tels, and style. In­ter­ested? Come fly with us.

EAT: Be­gin the day with break­fast at Among the Flow­ers in Edgar­town (17 May­hew Lane, Edgar­town, 508-627-3233; mvol.com/menu/amongth­e­flow­ers) with ei­ther their loaded omelets, fluffy waf­fles, or deca­dent crepes. Once you burn off those calo­ries swim­ming, shoot over to Oak Bluffs for lunch at the Martha’s Vine­yard Chow­der Com­pany (9 Oak Bluffs Ave., Oak Bluffs, 508-696-3000; mv­chow­der.com), which was re­cently named the num­ber one restau­rant on the is­land by Trip Ad­vi­sor. Of course, the Vine­yard wel­comes a laid­back beer, so bring your own to Larsen’s Fish Market in Men­emsha (56 Basin Road, Chilmark, 508-645-2680; larsens­fish­mar­ket.com) for a late af­ter­noon snack. End the day by tak­ing a page out of Pres­i­dent Obama’s book and hit up State Road for din­ner (688 State Road, West Tis­bury, 508-693-8582; stateroad­restau­rant.com). STAY: With the smell of home­made cook­ies waft­ing out its win­dows, Is­abelle’s Beach House in Oak Bluffs (83 Seav­iew Ave., Oak Bluffs, 508-693-3955; is­abelles­beach­house.com) of­fers the quin­tes­sen­tial, ro­man­tic get­away. For the fam­ily es­cape, Win­netu Ocean­side Re­sort in Edgar­town (31 Dunes Road, Edgar­town, 508-310-1733; win­netu.com) has easy ac­cess to South Beach, the bike path and town shut­tle ser­vice. Out in Men­emsha, Beach Plum Inn (50 Beach Plum Lane, Men­emsha, 508-645-9454; beach pluminn.com) has thir­teen rooms over­look­ing Vine­yard Sound as well as an ad­joined restau­rant with food worth writ­ing home about.

SHOP: Satur­days are for the farmers’ market. Since the 1970s, the Tis­bury Farmers Market (The Grange Hall on State Road, West Tis­bury, 508-693-4359; thewest­tis­bury­farm­ers­mar­ket.com) has been bring­ing to­gether lo­cal pur­vey­ors in of­fer­ing a true taste of is­land life. But if that’s a bit too crunchy for your lik­ing, skip over to Slate (11 North Sum­mer St., Edgar­town, 508-939-1908; slatemv.com), a chic bou­tique with fine women’s wares and well­ness goods. Be­fore you head to the beach, drop into the Bunch of Grapes Book­store (23 Main St., Vine­yard Haven, 508-6932291; bun­chof­grapes.com ) where the likes of Bill Clin­ton have been known to pe­ruse their cu­rated shelves for a beach read.


EAT: The off­sea­son served up a smor­gas­bord of changes in the Nan­tucket restau­rant lineup. Fans of pub fare can saunter down the street to the newly opened Char­lie Noble where the team of B-ACK Yard BBQ (15 South Wa­ter St., Nan­tucket, 508-825-5260; thechar­lie

noble.com) took over the for­mer space of Nix and in­stalled the most ex­ten­sive tap sys­tem on the is­land. Then, in the ex­ceed­ingly rare cat­e­gory of good food with­out the fuss, head mid-is­land to Keep­ers on Amelia Drive (5 Amelia Dr., 508-228-0009; keep­er­snan­tucket .com) and en­joy a no-non­sense menu that wel­comes swim trunks and san­dals. Fi­nally, although not new to the is­land, Nau­tilus (12 Cam­bridge St., 508-228-0301; nau­tilus nan­tucket.com) con­tin­ues to re­de­fine in­ti­mate eat­ing with a di­vine menu of small plates paired with one of the most in­ge­nious cock­tail pro­grams on Nan­tucket.

SLEEP: While you can never re­ally go wrong with the White Ele­phant (50 Eas­ton St., 800445-6574; whiteele­phan­tho­tel.com), there’s no

short­age of plush pil­lows on Nan­tucket to lay your head af­ter a night of singing your lungs out at the Club Car. In the cat­e­gory of charm­ing bou­tique ho­tels, 21 Broad and 76 Main (21broad

ho­tel.com and 76main.com) have earned a slew of awards since open­ing in re­cent years. If you’re rolling with kids in tow, the Nan­tucket Ho­tel (77 Eas­ton St., 508-228-4747; thenan­tuck­etho­tel.com)

is the clos­est thing to Dis­ney­land as you’ll find on the is­land, with mul­ti­ple pools, a game room and an an­tique fire truck gassed up and ready to shut­tle your lit­tle ones to the beach—sirens and all.

SHOP: While your wal­let might not agree, shop­ping is made es­pe­cially easy down­town where you can hit home goods, out­er­wear and fash­ion bou­tiques within a stone’s throw of each other. Bodega (2 Can­dle St., 508228-1992; bode­ganan­tucket.com) boasts a cu­rated col­lec­tion of home goods, Haul Over (7 Salem St., 508-228-9010; haulover nan­tucket.com) has out­er­wear ga­lore, and

Milly & Grace (2 Wash­ing­ton St., 508-9015051; millyand­grace.com) has the hippest looks this side of the Sound.



EAT: The quin­tes­sen­tial Ken­neb­unkport din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence be­gins with fresh catch at David’s KTP in Dock Square (21 Ocean Ave., 207-9678225; boathouseme.com/din­ing) with its un­par­al­leled wa­ter­front view. Then saunter over for a pre-game glass of wine at the Old Vines Wine Bar that’s be­come a huge hit un­der its new own­er­ship this sum­mer. Do din­ner at Earth at Hid­den Pond (354 Goose Rocks Road, 207967-6550; earth­athid­den­pond.com), where you will feast on a fresh farm-to-fork menu tucked away amidst bal­sam trees and a birch for­est. Cap the night off at Fed­eral Jacks (8 Western Ave., 207-967-4322; fed­er­al­jacks.com) for a

cold beer and live mu­sic.

SLEEP: High rollers will love the White Barn Inn & Spa (37 Beach Ave., 207-967-2321; white­barninn.com), one of only two Re­lais & Châteaux prop­er­ties in Maine that has been around for 150 years. There’s also the

en­chant­ing Colony ho­tel (140 Ocean Ave.,

207-967-3331; colony­maine.com) with stun­ning views of Ken­neb­unkport’s rocky coast that stretch out to the Bush com­pound on Walker’s Point. With a grand old-school porch and sprawl­ing lawn, you can eas­ily fall into a sum­mer trance of watch­ing the sun­set.

SHOP: With gift shops ga­lore, places like Daytrip So­ci­ety (4 Dock Sq., 207-967-4440; daytrip­so­ci­ety.com) has dis­tin­guished it­self with an eclec­tic of­fer­ing of home goods and lo­cally-crafted gifts. Another hid­den gem in down­town is Rusty Fly Gallery & Gifts (24 Ocean Ave., 508-982-5398; rustyfly­gallery .com), which opened last sum­mer and of­fers a stun­ning col­lec­tion of sport­ing art by fine artist Peter Shep­pard. Fi­nally, in the funky realm there’s Aba­cus (2 Ocean Ave., 207-9670111; aba­cus­gallery.com) that has ev­ery­thing from fine jew­elry, to model air­planes, and other fun knick­knacks. .

Veteran and beloved Nan­tucket pho­tog­ra­pher Kit Noble shot Nan­tucket har­bor on a busy sunny af­ter­noon. “This pic­ture re­quired a high al­ti­tude, so I was up in a plane,” Noble says. “I got lucky—there was no fog or wind.” Noble, who lives full-time on Nan­tucket, cher­ishes the is­land’s quiet times. “Early morn­ings or evenings are the best. The light is spec­tac­u­lar.”

From a Robin­son R44 helicopter, Dave Cleave­land pho­tographed The Colony Ho­tel. “It’s within a mile of re­stricted airspace around the Bush com­pound at Walker’s Point,” he says. “This re­quired a 400mm lens. I shot it a half mile away.” Not that Cleave­land is a stranger to the Bush clan. “I pho­tographed Walker’s Point for Mr. and Mrs. Bush. I’ve done some fun things in my time, but I have never been more hon­ored than vis­it­ing Pres­i­dent Bush.”

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