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Exploring Nantucket Through Elin Hilderbrand's Novels: 10 Must-Visit Locations

Exploring Nantucket Through Elin Hilderbrand's Novels: 10 Must-Visit Locations

For avid readers of Elin Hilderbrand's novels, Nantucket Island is more than just a backdrop; it's a character in itself, woven intricately into the fabric of each story. From the cobblestone streets of historic downtown, to the rose-covered cottages of 'Sconset village, fans of Hilderbrand's famous "beach reads" gain an imaginative understanding of what life on our small island is like. For those who are lucky enough to venture thirty miles out to sea, you'll be pleasantly surprised to find that Elin writes from reality, with a majority of her locations, restaurants, stores, even landscaping companies referencing current day on Nantucket.

If you are visiting Nantucket and hoping to stumble upon some of Elin's more frequently used settings, here is a guide that will bring you to some of the island's most referenced locations throughout her various novels. 

Sconset Village

Step into the charming village of 'Sconset, where rose-covered cottages line the streets and time seems to stand still. Featured prominently in novels like "The Blue Bistro" and "The Identicals," 'Sconset captures the essence of Nantucket's timeless allure. Take a leisurely stroll along the bluff walk or enjoy a picnic lunch from Claudette's on grounds of the picturesque Sankaty Head Lighthouse.

Cisco Beach

Feel the warmth of the sun on your skin as you sink your toes into the soft sands of Cisco Beach. This idyllic stretch of shoreline serves as a backdrop for many of Hilderbrand's novels, including "Barefoot" and "Summerland." Embrace the laid-back vibe of Nantucket's south shore surf culture as you watch the waves roll in or try your hand at paddleboarding in the gentle surf.

Brant Point Lighthouse

A symbol of home and guidance, the iconic Brant Point Lighthouse beckons visitors into and out of Nantucket harbor. Featured prominently in "The Perfect Couple" and "28 Summers," this historic landmark offers breathtaking views of the island, whether you're coming or going.

Main Street

Lose yourself in the hustle and bustle of Nantucket's Main Street, where quaint shops and restaurants line the cobblestone sidewalks. From "The Love Season" to "Winter Solstice," Hilderbrand's characters often find themselves wandering these charming streets, seeking solace or a fresh start. Be sure to stop in at Nantucket Looms to see the Hydrangea Blue Cashmere Throw featured prominently in "The Hotel Nantucket." 

Jetties Beach

Nestled along Nantucket Sound, Jetties Beach offers a tranquil escape from the world's cares. Whether you're lounging in the sun or dining at the Sandbar with loved ones, this scenic spot is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Dive into the pages of "The Beach Club" or "The Castaways" and imagine the characters right alongside you as you soak up the beauty of Nantucket's coastline.

Madaket Beach

Venture to the westernmost edge of Nantucket and discover the serene beauty of Madaket Beach. Known for its stunning sunsets and rolling dunes, this hidden gem has captured the hearts of many, including characters from "The Rumor" and "Here's to Us." Pack a picnic or pick up dinner from Millie's and settle in for a romantic evening as the sky explodes in a riot of color.

Great Point Lighthouse

For adventurers seeking a taste of the wild, Great Point Lighthouse offers a rugged escape from civilization. Accessible only by four-wheel-drive vehicle or guided tour, this remote outpost is a haven for nature lovers and solitude seekers. Follow in the footsteps of Hilderbrand's characters from "Silver Girl" and "Winter in Paradise" as you explore the untamed beauty of Great Point.

The Wauwinet

If you're headed to Great Point, don't miss a chance to explore The Wauwinet, one of Nantucket's beachfront resorts. Perched on the island's pristine northeast shore, this exclusive retreat offers unparalleled elegance and breathtaking views of Nantucket Bay. From romantic getaways to family gatherings, The Wauwinet has been the setting for many memorable moments in Hilderbrand's novels, including "The Identicals" and "The Perfect Couple."

Bartlett's Farm

Experience the bounty of Nantucket's fertile soil at Bartlett's Farm, a beloved island institution since 1837 and featured in novels like "Summer People" and "The Rumor." Stroll through lush fields bursting with colorful blooms and fresh produce to pick, or grab breakfast sandwiches and beachside snacks from the market.