Summer Weekend Getaway: Century House on Nantucket Island

On two wheels or two feet, make the most of a vacation to an ideal island.



Perfect. That’s the word for Nantucket Island. And gorgeous.  Also quaint. Plus quiet. Indeed, This charming, 50-square-mile island is large enough to keep you busy, but small enough to explore and navigate. Perfect. And Century House is the perfect place to stay on this perfect island.

The oldest continuously running inn on the island, Century House is a darling, 18-room bed and breakfast, just a five-minute walk from downtown. Run by friendly innkeepers Gerry Connick and his wife, Jean Ellen Heron, the inn—its front door always unlocked, its coffee pot always kept warm, and its parlor always laden with freshly baked cookies—feels like home (or the home we wished we had). Every morning, a fresh-cooked breakfast awaits with lovely berries, delicious granola, and yummy oatmeal. Enjoy it on the wraparound porch, on the patio, or in the garden. 

Inside, you won’t be faulted if you think Century House is a mini-museum; its walls are adorned with paintings of the island, many supplied by participants in the inn’s artist-in-residence program. Century House invites American painters to stay for free while they paint scenes of the island. But odds are good you’re not going to want to stay indoors for long.

The island is best explored by bike. Rent one downtown at Young’s Bicycle Shop (6 Broad St), and pedal down the island’s many scenic, car-free, and, most important, flat bike paths. Consider the 18-mile loop to Siasconset (pronounced “Sconset”), a tiny and adorable village on the beach. Or, if you’re feeling energetic, take the six-mile ride to Madaket, where you can collapse on its lovely crowd-free beach and fill up on delicious fish tacos washed down with a glass of local Cisco Brewers beer at Millies Restaurant (326 Madaket Road).

Still hungry? Not to worry. The island is dotted with luscious restaurants. One to try: Dune  (20 Broad St), an upscale but unpretentious restaurant that serves up fantastic local fish and garden-fresh vegetables. Another: Straight Wharf Fish Store (4 Harbor Sq). Highly recommended: the lobster roll. It’s perfect, just like the island.

Century House
10 Cliff Rd, Nantucket, Massachusetts
(508) 228-0530; centuryhouse.com

Rates range from $175-$275 per night for a Classic Room to $325-$695 per night in The Suite, depending on booking dates.