Edge of Summer

Produced with  Cadillac Magazine


It’s time for Bostonians to start the southward pilgrimage to Provincetown or the Vineyard. I’ve been to both, loved both, but this time I enlist my friend David for an early jaunt to Nantucket in the ATS Coupe. It’s only around 90 minutes to the ferry in Hyan-nis, and the ATS, aided by its low, I-mean-business stance, aerodynamic lines, and lightweight frame, helps us cruise right out of the city on 93.

We turn onto Route 3 around Braintree and stop for coffee in Plymouth. I check the time and miles to the ferry on the Cadillac CUEscreen and we push on, cutting across the Lower Cape. We pull into Hyannis 10 minutes before the ferry is about to launch. We’re guided to one of the last vehicle slots, the ferryman waving his hand—telling us to move closer in the narrow lane between other vehicles as the car’s Safety Alert Seat protectively pulses.

The trip takes a bit more than two hours, but then the island’s distinctive shingle-style houses come into view. Within minutes we’re tooling through Nantucket’s historic district until we see the sign for White Elephant Village, where we’ve booked a two-bedroom residence. With its gray shingles and crisp white trim, the place oozes New England charm.

The lobby greets us with a homey whitewashed beam ceiling, and under it, a tufted leather sociable upon which we devour the White Elephant’s complimentary fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies, and then trade the ATS for a pair of bikes the hotel has provided.

For the next few days, we weave our way through the tall dune grass to wander improbably wide beaches, still blissfully empty this early in the season. Then it’s back in the ATS and off to The Wauwinet, the White Elephant’s sister hotel on the eastern edge of Nantucket. I realize how I’ve missed the sophistication of the cut-and-sewn leather seating surfaces amid the admittedly charming cottage-style local furnishings. Everything is about balance.

Waiting for dusk while seated on the lawn of The Wauwinet in one of its wicker lounge chairs is one of those indelible and quintessential Nantucket experiences. The sunset over the calm waters of Nantucket Sound alights our glasses of wine, turning them fiery gold for a still, silent moment, the lull before summer begins in earnest.


BEST LODGINGS: White Elephant Village (whiteelephantvillage.com) has the benefit of location, location, location (right in the center of town), plus fresh-baked cookies and country-modern décor. The Wauwinet’s (wauwinet.com) rolling lawn down to the beach offers perfect Nantucket sunsets.

The best in Nantucket dining can be found at Topper’s at The Wauwinet.


BEST DINING: At Topper’s at The Wauwinet, start your day with a bagel smeared with smoked bluefish paté, while dinner brings poached North Atlantic lobster. Save room for the hazelnut affogato for dessert.

BEST SCENIC: The Wauwinet is blessed with two beaches: one dotted with sailboats, and a more secluded beach accessible through numerous trails—leading over the kind of wild, steep dunes for which New England beaches are famous.

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