A Nantucket Honeymoon for Seafood and History Lovers

For beaches and lobster with a side of sophistication, visit this island in Massachusetts.
Brant Point on Nantucket Island, Massachussetts
Photo: grantreig | Getty
Dina Cheney - The Knot Contributor.
Dina Cheney
Dina Cheney - The Knot Contributor.
Dina Cheney
The Knot Contributor
  • Dina writes for The Knot Worldwide, specializing in food, travel and relationships.
  • With more than 20 years of experience in service journalism, she also pens articles and recipes for publications, such as Good Housekeeping, Parents, SELF, Health, Men’s Health, Men’s Journal, Prevention, Fine Cooking, Weight Watchers and Diabetic Living.
  • Dina graduated from Columbia College, Columbia University and The Institute of Cul...
Updated Apr 29, 2024
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Thinking about a Nantucket honeymoon? Historic cedar-shingle buildings, cobblestone streets, lighthouses and wharves comprise this honeymoon destination in the US. Nantucket is a tiny, romantic island located 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, making it a fabulous east coast beach destination.

Visitors can experience firsthand how Nantucket preserves its heritage as a 19th-century whaling hub. And after days spent biking or relaxing on one of the island's many beaches, honeymooners can visit cosmopolitan boutiques and restaurants in Nantucket Town.

Ready to plan your romantic getaway? Here's everything you need to know.

Nantucket Honeymoon Tips in this Article:

Nantucket Island
Photo: Danita Delimont | Shutterstock

    Best Time to Honeymoon in Nantucket

    Although summer boasts the best weather in Nantucket, it's also high season, says Emma Hunt-Bauman, contributing travel advisor at KK Travels Worldwide. Consider visiting Nantucket at the end of August or in September, when it tends to be a bit less crowded, says Fallon Lieberman, Luxury Travel Advisor at Protravel International.

    Best weather: May to September.
    Festival highlights: You can also time your visit around one of the island's 10 annual festivals, including the Daffodil Festival in April, the Wine Festival in May, or the Book Festival in June, Hunt-Bauman says. If you venture to the island on the Friday after Thanksgiving, you can experience the annual three-day-long Christmas Stroll in historic downtown. Shops and restaurants open back up and outfit their storefronts with twinkling lights.

    Nantucket Honeymoon Planning Tips

    A mere 14 miles long, Nantucket is a manageable destination for a week-long trip. "You can easily travel from one end to the other and have a full Nantucket experience in a few days, making your time on the island as leisurely as you'd like," says Lieberman.

    Despite its small size, the island boasts 10 beaches, meaning each day can be different. To balance out the "no-frills, casual destination," as Lieberman describes it, newlyweds can dress up and dine at acclaimed seafood restaurants in the evening.

    Nantucket is a wonderfully peaceful and romantic spot. Spend a few days enjoying outdoorsy activities and soaking up the sun at one of the island's beaches. Then, get your heart pumping by biking around the island or sea surfing. For some history, take in Nantucket's well-preserved architecture.

    This New England destination is easy to access by ferry or plane—the flight from New York City is a mere 30 minutes, Lieberman says. There are many nonstop flights to the island airport (ACK) from New York and other East Coast destinations, she says.

    Couples can also take a ferry from New York City, Boston and towns on Cape Cod like Hyannis and Harwich Point. If you'd prefer to drive and have your car on the island, the car ferry books up months in advance—so be sure to keep timing in mind while honeymoon planning.

    Although Nantucket is more convenient for couples from the East Coast, newlyweds from farther away shouldn't rule it out. "Just coordinate a day or two on either side of the journey—for example, a pre- or post-honeymoon night stay in Boston," say Bebell and deBell.

    Entry requirements: You won't need your passport, but be sure to bring your IDs.
    Location: Nantucket is located about 30 miles south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in the Atlantic Ocean.
    Currency: USD.
    Flight time to Destination: Direct flights from major cities like New York can take about an hour, while flights from Boston are even shorter, approximately 45 minutes.
    Getting around: Getting around Nantucket can be quite enjoyable. The island is small, making it easy to explore by bicycle, scooter and by foot, all of which are popular among visitors.

    Pro tip: Invite a honeymoon planning expert to help you with your itinerary. Browse travel agents near you on The Knot Marketplace for Nantucket honeymoon expertise.

    Best Nantucket Honeymoon Hotels and Resorts

    When planning a honeymoon in Nantucket, consider booking accommodations well in advance, especially if you plan to visit during peak season. Explore honeymoon package deals offered by hotels or inns, many of which include special amenities for couples.

    The White Elephant Hotel and Resort on Nantucket Island
    Photo: EQRoy | Shutterstock

    The Wauwinet

    The only Relais & Chateau property on the island, The Wauwinet is situated between two private beaches on the northeast end of the island, 9 miles from Nantucket Town. The adults-only property offers bikes, tennis courts, kayaks, paddle-boards and activities, including cooking classes, boat rides and lobstering excursions.

    Topper's, the AAA Five-Diamond New England seafood restaurant, features the largest wine list on the island, with 1,400 bottles. "Don't miss cocktails on their iconic lawn for gorgeous sunset views," Lieberman says.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    White Elephant

    Located within walking distance of Nantucket Town, White Elephant, with flower gardens and a pool, is on the edge of Nantucket Harbor. "The garden cottages are especially perfect for honeymooners because they provide a cozy respite and privacy with coastal New England decor," say Bebell and deBell.

    In addition to Brandt Point Grill (known for its killer Lobster Bloody Mary, Lieberman says), guests can take advantage of the spa, bikes, boat rides and complimentary shuttle service to the nearby Jetties Beach and Steps Beach.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Life House, Nantucket

    Opened in August 2020, this boutique Nantucket hotel with 14 guest rooms is a short walk to Nantucket's Main Street. Situated in a Federal-style mansion built in 1833, it offers deluxe king rooms with botanical walk-in showers. Life House can arrange a private sailing experience for couples, too.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Pro tip: If you're looking for Nantucket honeymoon accommodations that may provide you more privacy or lower prices, you might also want to consider staying at a romantic Airbnb or VRBO.

    Nantucket Honeymoon Itinerary Ideas

    Nantucket is perfect for couples looking to blend relaxation with adventure. With plenty to do, you can spend your days biking to remote beaches, enjoying intimate picnics or sailing on a private charter. For a unique experience, you could even plan a day trip to nearby Martha's Vineyard.

    Nantucket Whaling Museum on Nantucket Island
    Photo: EQRoy | Shutterstock

    Dine Out

    Nantucket is known for its top-notch restaurants. Enjoy lobster, clams and more at Straight Wharf Restaurant (for a laid-back prix-fixe menu), Black Eyed Susan's (for pancakes), 167 Raw Nantucket (for lobster rolls, swordfish sandwiches and tuna poke), Bar Yoshi (for sushi), Cru Nantucket Oyster Bar and Galley Beach. The latter is, "the most romantic spot on the island, where couples can dine right on the beach," Hunt-Bauman says.


    Cars are allowed, but honeymooners will want to explore the island by bike (or on foot), say Bebell and deBell. Nantucket offers 30 miles of bike paths and three bike trails in Madaket, Surfside and Sconset.

    Go to the Beach

    Couples can choose from 10 beaches, including Jetties Beach, Surfside Beach, Cisco Beach and Miacomet Beach. Lieberman recommends Starbuck Beach in Madaket, which she says is relatively untouched and less crowded.

    Board a Boat

    "Life in Nantucket is on the water," say Bebell and deBell. "Honeymooners can book excursions through their hotel concierge and enjoy a day of sailing complete with lunch and something bubbly on board." Another option is a whale-watching excursion.

    Nantucket Whaling Museum

    "This museum brings Nantucket's 19th century whaling history to life," say Bebell and deBell. "Couples can easily spend an afternoon uncovering artifacts, discovering art and admiring beautiful harbor views from the rooftop."

    Cisco Brewers

    Tour the facilities to see how this popular spot in the main town brews its beer. Then, relax at one of its three bars and listen to live music.

    Check Out Siasconset

    The island's other town shouldn't be missed, Lieberman says. Head to what the locals call "Sconset" before sunset to stroll the Sconset Bluff Walk and visit the Sankaty Lighthouse, dating back to the 1800s. While in the tiny photogenic town, pick up ice cream or homemade chocolate treats at Sconset Market.

    Visit Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge

    For more than 200 acres of dunes, white-sand beaches and the historic Great Point Light, visit this unspoiled area. The lighthouse is open to the public from May to October.

    Pro tip: If you're the type of couple who prioritizes experiences over physical gifts, add Nantucket honeymoon experiences to your gift registry. Your friends and family will love that they get to be a part of your special, post-wedding getaway!

    What to Pack for a Nantucket Honeymoon

    Great point lighthouse in Nantucket
    Photo: PharmShot | Shutterstock

    "Leave your heels at home due to the island's cobblestone streets," says Lieberman, who also suggests bringing bathing suits, a sunhat, sundresses, jeans and linen attire in your honeymoon luggage. Pack a sweater for chilly nights, plus flip-flops and sneakers, adds Hunt-Bauman. In terms of style, she says New Englanders love white jeans and Lilly Pulitzer.

    "A crisp white button-down is the perfect dinner shirt and beachside coverup," say Bebell and deBell, who also recommend including neutral sweaters, leather sandals and plenty of sunscreen on your packing checklist.

    Brittany Barber contributed to this article.

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