Artemis Design Co. founder Milicent Armstrong — who makes the coolest kilim loafers this side of the Atlantic — is part of a new shopping collective called Skinny Dip that opened in Nantucket this summer. She weighs in how to make a trip to this tiny island feel like a big adventure getaway.
How to get there from the city
There’s the option to grab the fast (or slow, if you please) ferry from Hyannis or New Bedford, but you can skip the potential sea legs by opting to fly instead. “I like to take Cape Air directly from Logan,” says Armstrong. “It’s such a beautiful flight and there’s so much to see from a small low-flying aircraft.” Direct flights from Logan to the island are just under an hour.
Where to stay
Armstrong recommends 21 Broad, a chic, cheery hotel just a few blocks from the ferry docks. “It’s so beautifully designed,” she adds. “There are oven-fresh chocolate chip cookies when you check in and incredibly deep and soft covers in the beds.” Plus, a comped small plates breakfast of cheeses, fruit, overnight oats and hotel-made baked goods.
Where to indulge
According to Armstrong, a good morning starts with breakfast at Black-Eyed Susan’s (spicy Thai scramble! Sourdough French toast!) followed by a cup of coffee from Handlebar Cafe. “It’s wonderful little coffee shop run by great people right in town,” she notes. “They have really interesting books out to read while you enjoy your coffee.”
And for a night out, Armstrong says you can count on the Club Car on Main Street for a dance party around the piano or a round of stellar cocktails at CRU. “It’s right on Straight Warf and there are lots of people watching and boat action happening all around you.” Round your night out with a Philly-style Cheese Steak from Stubbys on Steamboat Warf.
Need a low-key plan instead? “I love catching a movie at Starlight Theatre and Cafe,” says Armstrong. “It’s a tiny theater, with a great little restaurant attached; it feels very old fashioned.”
Where to spend your cash
While you can’t go wrong with her own shop — Skinny Dip carries Artemis, as well as Beau & Ro Bag Company, Ellsworth & Ivey and Boast — Armstrong suggests swinging by Isobel and Cleo on Centre Street. “It’s a beautifully curated and very special shop,” she adds. “Charlotte, the owner, hand makes all the knitwear and selects the most beautiful designers you really can’t find anywhere else.”
For a thrift fix, she suggests Current Vintage (which also carries a selection of vintage wines!) or the Hospital Thrift Shop. "I have honestly found some of my favorite outfits here,” Armstrong says. “The hours are not convenient, but [that’s because] it’s completely run by volunteers. It’s a great place to dig for treasures and it’s for a good cause.” (Proceeds from the shop go toward Nantucket Cottage Hospital.)
Need to bring a bit of the island home with you? “The farmer’s market is great because it’s juried and they only allow local makers there,” explains Armstrong. “It’s every Saturday starting June 11 through September 3 and it’s a wonderful way to support local designers.” Look out for the Nantucket-inspired jewelry by Two for Joy, a favorite of Armstrong’s.
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