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Village LIFE: The Pearls of Nantucket

Today, the island’s business owners exhibit the same initiative brought to Nantucket by its first settlers. Steps away from the ferries at Straight Wharf, Aunt Leah’s Fudge is tucked away off the street, emitting a decadent aroma of Nantucket chocolate covered cranberries and fudge. With over thirty flavors, this fudge is the perfect treat for yourself, or even to order as a favor for a special event.

Continuing onward brings you to Main Street, a historical haven and home to some of the island’s most beloved boutiques. The street would not be complete without The Club Car, a restaurant featuring fresh, locally-sourced meals, located at 1 Main Street. The bar may be the most exceptional place to enjoy a drink: inside an antique railcar. Owner Tanya McDonough and chef Mayumi Hattori create a dazzling ambiance with innovative tapas and seafood plates, so be sure to wander in before your downtown journey ends. 

In the midst of the street’s action, Erica Wilson has been home to handstitched needlepoint designs and Nantucket style clothing since 1957. Island scenes are crafted in needlepoint on pillows, key fobs, belts, and more. The shop also features Heidi Weddendorf’s famed jewelry. Weddendorf’s pieces illuminate Nantucket life in her pearl designs, as well as the Nantucket Knot in gold or silver, bound by a leather bracelet band. Stop by the store for these designers’ timeless Nantucket collectibles, open year-round. 

Further up the street, get lost in the aisles of Mitchell’s Book Corner. Its sister store, Nantucket Bookworks, is located just a few blocks over on Broad Street. Each is its own little getaway, stacked with a diverse array of stories and trinkets. Above Nantucket Bookworks hides a book lover’s dream: a three-bedroom apartment available for stay, lined with walls of bookshelves. Both shops are oases bursting with charm since the late 1960s.

Nestled at the top of the street stands Murray’s Toggery Shop, a Nantucket staple since 1945. Here, the iconic Nantucket Red pants were born, a recognizable symbol of New England’s coastal style. A shopping tour of Main Street should definitely include a trip to Murray’s, with the authentic Nantucket Reds serving as the perfect takeaway from your island getaway.

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