Nantucket’s Main Street: 4 Things We Love About Our Cobblestoned Cornerstone

August 16, 2018

If you thought the allure of the ocean was tough to resist — just wait until you set your sights on Nantucket’s Main Street. A hub of historic charm, delectable dining options, and eclectic shops, this tree-lined cobblestone street is proof that there’s more to our island than sandy shores and surf.

Follow the Cobblestone Road: 4 Things You’ll Find on Nantucket’s Main Street

Red brick and cobblestone on Main Street, Nantucket.
Photo: Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Your One Stop for ACK Shops

You won’t have to do any digging to uncover the treasure on this island, just stroll through Main Street’s shops and you’re sure to strike gold. For over 40 years, Mitchell’s Book Corner has supplied Nantucket-bound bookworms with a selection of reading material and locally-penned paperbacks. Gift shops, like Stephanie’s Nantucket, offer up island-inspired souvenirs from glassware to walnut cutting boards with tasteful Nantucket flair. To add an authentic piece of Nantucket cottage style to your own home, don’t skip a stop at Nantucket Looms, where you’ll find handwoven throws paired perfectly with artwork and pottery from local artisans. Take our word for it — one window-shopping stroll down Nantucket’s Main Street is all it takes to spark an island-wide shopping spree.

Historic white Greek-revival mansion on Main Street, Nantucket.
The historic Hadwen House on Main Street, Nantucket. Photo: DanielPenfield (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Picturesque From the Cobblestone Up: Historic Homes

Lower Main Street may hold the shopping and dining delights, but don’t pass on a walk through the more residential area of upper Main. The historic homes and Greek Revival mansions in this area, like the Hadwen House, date back to the 19th century and Nantucket’s infamous whaling era. Once inhabited by sea captains and merchants, the historic homes boast photo-worthy facades that’ll make any architecture admirer swoon.

Appealing Meals for Every Appetite

Whether the occasion calls for a casual bite at the bar or an elaborate entrée to celebrate a special moment, Main Street dining options cater to all appetites. Make dinner plans at least a month in advance to reserve a table at The Club Car, an upscale restaurant serving California-inspired plates. For satisfying breakfast and lunch items, head to Fog Island Cafe, and build your own omelette or bite into a toasted café sandwich.

Nantucket Main Street Daffodil Festival with old cars
The Nantucket Daffodil Festival parade gets started on Main Street.

A Full Calendar of Main Street Festivities

It’s all about the timing, and, if you want to see Nantucket’s Main Street truly come to life, plan a visit during one of our island events. See the street decked in red, white, and blue for the annual Fourth of July Parade, or watch costumed locals compete in the Halloween Parade & Pageant. Visit during the Christmas Stroll weekend, and you’ll be gifted the experience of a car-free Main Street that makes way for carolers, ice-carving displays, and seasonal activities. In April, welcome back the start of spring with the island’s annual Daffodil Festival, where the cheery yellow flowers brighten up Main Street, antique cars, and festival goers.  

ACK’s favorite cobblestone street was made for walking, and at just one block away from The Roberts Collection, daffodils and island merrymaking are just moments from homebase.