Siasconset, or simply ‘Sconset,’ as locals call it, is the area on the eastern end of Nantucket Island. About a 7-mile drive out Nantucket’s only state road, Sconset is its own little world in the summertime. The main road leads into a tiny traffic circle in the middle of a quaint village, with rose-covered cottages, lush green hedges, and white shell driveways just around every corner. Just beyond the village lie the easternmost beaches on the island, great for sunbathing, enjoying a picnic, or taking the kids to play on the nearby playground. At the turn of the millennium, many early risers flocked to these beaches to be the first people in America to see the sunrise. Along the top of the bluff there is a public path that winds through rosa rugosa, honeysuckle, and even the backyards of gray shingle-clad ocean view mansions. Now inaccessible by the path, but easily accessed by a nearby road is Sankaty Head Light, built in 1850. Its classic red and white striped base encase a narrow spiral stairway that leads up to the lens room, where a Fresnel lens sets out a bright white beam every 7.5 seconds. This lighthouse was a great aid to whalers in the 1800s as well as for fisherman who navigate the same waters today.
Sconset is also known as a haven for golfers. There are three golf courses – Nantucket Golf Club, Sankaty Head golf club, and Old Siasconset Golf Course, affectionately known as “Skinner’s.” The latter course is public and is believed to be the oldest privately-owned golf course still being played. If tennis is more your flavor, the Sconset Casino maintains an excellent set of courts for the enjoyment of members at any age or skill level.Before of after a day at the beach or on the course, there are some great restaurants in Sconset. The Chanticleer is the ultimate spot for a romantic dinner and will wow you with amazing French food and beautifully maintained gardens. Nearby at the Summer House, enjoy cocktails and lunch by the pool, or have dinner up in the main restaurant while listening to classic tunes on the piano. Stay for late night dancing and fun on a hot July or August night. Finally, the Sconset Café and Claudette’s are two other great options for a delicious meal right in the heart of Sconset Village. Around the corner from these spots is the Sconset Market, a great place to grab a sandwich or that gourmet dinner ingredient you forgot while you were down town.
Just when you think Nantucket Island can’t get any better, head out to Sconset for a little slice of heaven out on the east end.