Paradise Found: Nantucket
Long-distance doppelganger: Kenya
Drive from Boston: 1.5 hours to Hyannis, followed by a one-hour fast ferry ride
Hear the word safari, and Africa comes to mind. Closer to home, however, the Grey Lady also has a wild side. The southern portion of the 3,233-acre Middle Moors conservation area is called the “Serengeti,” for its low-growing grasses and occasional wind-gnarled trees. Nantucket is also home to unique bird species such as the American oystercatcher and the gray-tailed tattler—take a walking tour with the Linda Loring Nature Foundation to spot them. Or rent a Jeep and plot your own adventure through the untamed landscape.
Where to Stay
The Wauwinet(pictured), located on the water by Great Point Light, is blissfully secluded. If you tire of the private beaches and cocktails at Topper’s, however, the resort offers a free shuttle into town. Reserve the Coatue Suite, and you’ll drive a complimentary BMW for the duration of your stay. For a homier vibe, book a room at the Veranda House, where the rooms are done up in modern décor and, as the name suggests, there are wraparound porches on every floor. The Cottages and Lofts at the Boat Basin, meanwhile, are made up of 24 luxe waterfront abodes. Fido in tow? Some of the cottages are dog-friendly and even come with toys and treats.
What to Do
Drive an over-sand vehicle (with a permit) past the Great Point light (pictured) onto beaches to see shorebirds, raptors, and seals. You can also explore the 16 miles of trails and roads in the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Sanctuary.
Where to Eat
American Seasons’ candlelit dining room, stacked wine list, and patio swathed in green vines is as romantic as it gets. For those who’d rather dine with their toes in the sand, Galley Beach offers lobster tail and crab tortellini over breathtaking sunsets.
Take in a movie under the “stars” (the ceiling looks like a nighttime sky) at the Starlight Theatre & Café.
Save the Date
The Daffodil Festival (4/25–4/27), a Nantucket staple, kicks off the spring/summer season with sunny blooms sprouting from the window boxes of homes and local shops and an antique car parade that winds through town.