Explore Nantucket This Thanksgiving Day With Brent Tartamella

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As a lover of Nantucket, whenever your toes touch the tarmac, or you walk down the ships plank, you know your hours, days, weeks or even months are going to be filled with some lifelong memories that your mind will never shake. As they say, Nantucket is a magical place - everyone has a story, usually of family and friends, meeting their significant other, “back in the day” anecdotes or a few rebel-rousing stories.  For me, as a year-round resident starting my 14th year, I am grateful to have many wonderful memories from this incredible community that I call home. While we have many favorites, some say 4th of July, Figawi, or even August, for me, one of my favorite weekends on island is Thanksgiving!

Maybe it’s because 14 years ago to this turkey day, I came across on the slow boat and landed on our little island. These fall weekends are so special, they are the time when the local community has begun to regroup and get into the 9-month routine of school, sports and weekend celebrations. It’s when you walk down the street and know nine out of 10 people.  The weekends are filled with great autumnal excitement of football games, weddings and those friends that we haven’t seen since summer because they too have returned to their off-season routine.  We can connect as a larger community in a less frenetic pace, built around why we love Nantucket and what’s happened since the warm beach days of summer.

My perfect Nantucket Thanksgiving Day is like a program, just follow along and you too will be guaranteed to create new, everlasting memories:

  • Wake up! Get going, brew that Nantucket Coffee Roasters java, drink that incredibly pure Nantucket water (dare I say straight from the tap) and enjoy 15 minutes of peace and quiet. Be sure to check the weather, or just poke your head outside and layer accordingly.
  • Time to get the rest of the house up, be it family, friends or strangers that wandered in from the Box last night. (oh wait, those tales only happen during summer)


  • Grab your running gear or whatever makes you look like a runner and go support those that are running, or in my case shuffling, in the triathlon! The Nantucket Triathlon Club and the Nantucket Hotel host an awesome energizing 5k around Brant Point and up to the Cliff. Get inspired to keep that summer habit going or jumpstart this winter habit to get your 2018 beach body going!
  • Now, it’s time to reward yourself with a nice cool, heart pounding, refreshing plunge where you are also doing good! Walk over from the Nantucket Hotel to Children’s Beach and before you go get your wristband for the Annual Turkey Plunge, sneak a cup of that post-plunge hot chocolate. I know it’s not leading by example, but your body will thank you. Then, get in line, receive your band from the awesome volunteers who think you are crazy, get your t-shirt to prove you’re insane and will keep you warm once your body is frozen solid.


  • Listen to the famous TommyB drop the mic, as my kids would say, and remind us all why we are there or really just distract us from thinking what is about to happen as we plunge into 20, 30, and sometimes 40 degree ocean water sans wetsuits. Actually, this is an incredibly important fundraiser to support the Athenaeum and all of the amazing programming that they enrich the community with 365 days of the year.
  • Now you have options….it’s either breakfast at the Flake, Fog or Island Kitchen. You can skip this step and go straight to a warm shower, steam room, sauna or tub! Then figure out breakfast.
  • Depending on your duties in the family, check the turkey and make sure your family, friends or guests are on the task of pies and sides (in order of importance, of course) or at least picking up the orders. There are so many great possibilities to help you with this. Bartlett’s, Annye’s, and the Nantucket Fish & Meat Market to name a few, that will provide the meal or portions of the meal to ease the work of your kitchen brigade. While the culinary piece is occurring, it might be time for you to help whomever is leading the house that day and offer to take all the stragglers out for a bit.
  • If you haven’t tried your hand, or rake as they say, at scalloping tonight is the perfect meal to indulge your guests in a memory that will be engrained in their taste buds as they revel in a small appetizer of sautéed Nantucket scallops that you fetched only hours earlier. Or, for the less adventurous, pick some up at Sayles; those suckers are just as good.
  • More options….
    • A ride out to Cisco to see if the @neoprenebanker, @sunnywooddesigns or @surfingtherock are crushing the waves. Did you know, on your way back you may also pass this incredibly hidden gem called Cisco Brewery!?!?  I have heard the warm spiked cider is as delicious as those downy flake donuts you enjoyed in the morning.  That’s always a crowd favorite and you can be helpful by bringing home some beverages for post-turkey libations, nothing says you care like a bottle of their award-winning Notch Whiskey. For those over achievers, you can also offer to do the Bartlett’s Farm pick-ups since you’ll be close by!
    • If ‘Sconset is more your speed and you need to stretch the legs after the run and plunge, the ‘Sconset Cliff walk is always a delight, easy for the little ones to do and allows everyone to blow off some steam.
    • However, for true Thanksgiving Day fanatics, nothing is more in honor of this day like a little family football game and it doesn’t even need to be your own family. You will find people throwing the pigskin at a field near you from the Boys and Girls club and High School fields to the opens space at Children’s Beach.

But don’t be late! Get home and enjoy what this day is really about, friends, family, food and more football.  However, you spend the day, and we all spend it a little differently, open your doors to others, do something nice for strangers and show gratitude and appreciation for all those who grace your table.  For more travel, lifestyle turkey day and real estate insights, please reach out.  On Thanksgiving Day, you know my schedule and where to find me as I enjoy my 4, 745th  day on this sandbar.

Brent Tartamella is the exclusive agent representing the Nantucket, Massachusetts real estate market as a member of the Haute Residence Real Estate Network. View all of his listing here.

Images courtesy of Brent Tartamella

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