Shopping in Nantucket

5 must-visit shops in this coastal town.

Wedged between the water and the sky off the shores of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Nantucket is a designer’s daydream. Coastal colors, natural elements, and simple beauty characterize the style of this tranquil island, a summertime escape that feels like its own little world.

Named after an Algonquian word for “land far out to sea,” Nantucket is a postcard-perfect getaway with quiet harbors and beaches strewn with sea glass. American flags fly high over homes with gray shingles and white picket fences. The entire island is designated as a National Historic Landmark, with dramatic lighthouses and Victorian mansions that evoke its storied seaport past. Real estate values here are among the highest in the nation.

Shops in Nantucket are centered around Main Street, which retains its authenticity thanks to an island-wide ban on chain stores. Beachy boutiques with flower-filled window boxes nuzzle next to old-time soda fountains, quaint bookstores, and romantic seafood restaurants.

Nantucket’s unmistakable aesthetic is marked by three major influences: its spectacular natural setting, a strong heritage of local craftsmanship, and American colonial design. The island owes the simplicity of its style to early Quaker settlers, egalitarians who eschewed embellishments in favor of no-frills décor: undyed fabrics, whitewashed walls, and rugged wooden furniture.

Echoes of this minimalist approach can be found in every home shop in Nantucket, where classic colonial style is infused with a carefree seaside charm. Today’s designers have perfected the idea of coastal elegance, making it easy to create an effortless, beach cottage vibe in your own home. Shop for ocean-inspired décor, simple-chic furniture, and one-of-a-kind pieces with the timeless touch of local artisans.

Bicycles are the best way to get around the little island, which is just 3.5 by 14 miles long. But don’t let the size fool you: Nantucket is a world-class shopping destination.

1. Bodega
A casual weekend vibe saturates this light-as-air boutique, which features an ever-changing collection of new and vintage items with just a touch of funkiness. Owner Stephanie Sproule has an eye for creating a warm-yet-modern look, pairing organic textures with contemporary lines. Find bamboo furniture, handcrafted copper lamps, woven leather lampshades, and wicker-wrapped cocktail shakers. Choose from an expertly curated selection of artwork in peaceful seaside colors like foggy gray, watery blue, and seagrass green. Welcome to your happy place.
2 Candle St.
Nantucket, MA 02554
508.228.1992
bodeganantucket.com

2. Coastal
Comfortable, soft, and serene, this boutique feels like a cashmere sweater. Shop for home and garden décor in the mind-calming tones of a misty New England morning: driftwood grays, creamy neutrals, and sun-bleached seashell. Owner Karen Fisher spent 19 years working in the fashion business with Calvin Klein before replanting herself in Nantucket. Carrying over a minimalist aesthetic, her style works equally well in cottages by the seashore and apartments in the city. Shop for vintage and contemporary decor with briny island charm and European flair. Think: iron rod décor, weathered printer’s blocks, and striped deck chairs from the 60s.
7 South Beach St.
Nantucket, MA 02554
508.228.4662
coastalnantucket.com

3. Nantucket Looms
Browse one-of-a-kind pieces handmade by 80 local artisans at this shop and weaving collective, which fosters the island’s rich tradition of handwoven textiles. The rhythmic sound of wooden looms filters down from the second-floor studio, where weavers are busy creating buttery-soft works of art in natural fabrics like mohair, linen, wool, silk, and cashmere. Downstairs, shop for high-quality blankets, throws, wraps, upholstery fabrics, and rugs. In addition to the hand-loomed textiles, the shop also sells locally made ceramics, carved wooden furniture, artwork, and antiques.
51 Main St.
Nantucket, MA 02554
508.228.1908
nantucketlooms.com

4. Atlantic
This hidden gem doesn’t even have a website – but it does have a cult following among design-savvy travelers and Nantucket’s seasonal residents. Owner Colleen Darby Wurts spends each winter traveling to antique fairs, auctions, and estate sales around the country. With a fine eye for craftsmanship and artistry, she hunts for furniture, light fixtures, and accessories that enhance the summer home. When warm weather arrives, she brings her treasures back to the island to share. Discover an interesting mix of merchandise at this two-level store, which is especially known for reupholstered furniture and specialty art.
16 Federal St.
Nantucket, MA 02554
508.228.7776

5. The Lion’s Paw
Fresh and fun, The Lion’s Paw stocks eclectic décor in a beachy palette of easy blues, greens, aquamarines, and whites – with pops of nautical red tossed in for kicks. Shop for unusual items that tell a story, including farmhouse tables, unique painted pillows, and handblown glassware. Find seacoast-inspired centerpieces and everything else you need for your next dinner party, and buy a billion-thread-count sheet set for the most luxurious sleep of your life. This is what mermaid dreams are made of.
30 Main St.
Nantucket, MA 02554
508.228.3837
thelionspawnantucket.net