A Nantucket Fourth of July

Traditionally, Fourth of July weekend on Nantucket is a full calendar of events from the water fight on Main Street, to the games and music at Children’s Beach, to the grand finale of fireworks over Jetties Beach. This year will look different. However, we are looking forward to enjoying the weekend with family and friends and partaking in some new and old Fourth of July favorites. 

Host a Nantucket Clambake

Synonymous with Nantucket is the traditional New England style clambake and what better way to add a pop of color to the celebrations. Follow the recipe below from Gabriel Frasca & Amanda Lydon of Straight Wharf Restaurant to create a traditional Nantucket clambake.

Step 1: In a large, deep pot, cover the potatoes with cold, salted water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Drain well.

Step 2: On a flat beach, dig a 6-by-4-foot pit 2 feet deep. Line the pit with 90 rocks. Dig a 2-foot-wide pit nearby, also 2 feet deep.

Step 3: Using 8 logs, build a bonfire in the large pit. Over the next hour and 45 minutes, add 6 logs to the fire every 15 minutes, building the fire outwards so that it covers the base of the pit. After the first 45 minutes, as the logs turn to coals, add 20 rocks to the fire. When the logs have completely turned to coals, after about 2 hours, shovel the 20 rocks to the sides. Leaving a 1-inch-thick layer of coals atop and between the rocks, shovel the rest of the coals into the smaller pit and extinguish with water.

Step 4: Meanwhile, using a screwdriver, perforate the baking pans, punching holes in the bottoms about every inch.

Step 5: Arrange the lobsters and potatoes together in 6 of the pans. Arrange the clams, chorizo, and corn in the 6 remaining pans.

Step 6: Wearing mitts, line the pit with a 1/2-inch-thick layer of rockweed. Arrange the pans on the rockweed in a single layer. Top the pans with a 1-inch-thick layer of rockweed. Fold the tarps in half lengthwise to measure 5 by 8 feet. Stack them on top of the rockweed. Weight down the edges of the top-most tarp with the remaining 10 rocks to trap the steam. Bake for about 1 hour, checking after 45 minutes. The lobsters and potatoes should be done; the clams, corn, and chorizo will need another 15 minutes. When cooked, the lobsters will be bright red, the clams open, and the corn and potatoes fork-tender. Serve with melted butter.

Fire extinguisher
1 large bucket
1 or 2 full-size shovels
120 rocks, about the size of grapefruits
50 hardwood logs, each about 2 feet long and 8 inches in diameter
Twelve 9-by-13-by-1 1/2-inch disposable aluminum baking pans
Heavy-duty oven mitts
25 pounds rockweed
Three 10-by-8-foot canvas tarps, soaked in water

Red, White, and Blue Beach Day

We love a Nantucket beach day, especially one that is off the beaten path. Great Point Properties’ agent Michele Lindstedt describes the perfect Fourth of July spent at the beach.

My husband, Dave, and I love being on the water and spending time with family and friends. Our favorite summer activity is taking our 30 ft—Oceanmaster out to Coatue with a couple of fishing rods and a cooler. The remote stretch of sand makes for an ideal beach day. We meet up with some close friends and set up a spread, including delicious treats, games, and water sports. As the sun begins to set, we usually light some sparklers and enjoy some s’ mores on the grill. It almost feels as if we are on vacation, and allows us to disconnect from work for a day.

Book a Sunset Sail

Set sail for a cruise around Nantucket Harbor on the Endeavor. A perfect end to your Fourth of July festivities. Take in the sights from a new vantage point while learning about Nantucket’s maritime history.