Free People Maxi + Family Friendly Nantucket Diary

mother daughter mom and me baby outfits

Last month, we made it to Nantucket in time to catch perfect summer weather and a spectacular display of hydrangeas all over the island! The last time we visited was for a weekend of food, drinks, and over-indulgence. Needless to say, with our newest member of the family in-tow, this trip had a slightly different itinerary and vibe to it : )

It’s not often when I purchase something at full price, but this Free People dress (multiple colors) is what my maxi dreams are made of! There is a lot of fabric which moves and swirls beautifully, yet the skirt portion is very breezy and lightweight, which is rare with such full skirts. There is no stretch and no zipper so the torso is cut a little loose and straight in order to fit over your head comfortably. The shoulder ties can be adjusted and tied higher in order to shorten the dress length (which is petite friendly). I wore it a few times with either my tan slides or my Castaner wedges + straw picnic purse and lost track of the number of compliments around town!

nantucket hydrangeas season

mommy and me mother daughter baby summer outfits

I’ve had these espadrille wedges for a couple years now and they’re well made and pretty comfy for the height! Mine are the 80mm height, and they also make a lower 60 or a taller 100 depending on what your feet can handle. Not sure if their sizing changed over the years, but I’m usually between a US 5 and 5.5 and fit their size 35 with a little bit of room to spare.

what we did

While Nantucket does have a variety of beaches, our favorite part about the island is how the main town area is completely walkable and you can explore all the old cobblestone streets and little boutiques and artisan shops, then pop out to other areas for mini excursions (beaches, the brewery, smaller villages).

Brant Point Lighthouse
This is a cute photo opp and the closest lighthouse to town. We went for a picnic, but it was more of a local fishing/drinking/smoking hangout than the last time we visited.

nantucket activities with kids brant point light house

oxo portable baby travel beach chair
baby girl striped dress hat summer outfit
Packable hiccapop folding chair – great for meals (it straps onto chairs), the beach, or the park / grassy lawns.

Siasconset Village
About a 15-20 minute drive from downtown. Our friend took us here to peep the quaint cottages and do part of the ‘Sconset Bluff Walk, which is a little path that winds through the backyards of some gorgeously manicured oceanfront homes. Apparently, this area is even more full of blossoms earlier in the season with flowery vines growing all over arches and trellises. Afterwards, we treated ourselves to ice cream at the one general store in town.

Children’s Beach
This was steps away so we stopped by each day! Not really a beach, more of a stretch of sand on the harbor. Lifeguards and the lack of waves make it good for children, though. There is also a park with playgrounds that is popular with families.

things to do in nantucket with kids childrens beach

Cutest little lobster swimsuit at Children’s Beach

Mom & Dad’s Night In
Nick stocked up at Epernay Wine & Spirits, a cute wine and cheese store with reasonable (for Nantucket) prices half a block from our door. They had a good selection of craft beer and wine (“better than a lot of places on the mainland” according to Nick) which we enjoyed at home with some HGTV and cake from Something Natural!

Where we ate

With a little one in tow, we found ourselves opting for less formal dining and mostly picked up food at casual local spots.

Something Natural
About a 15 minute walk from our hotel in a residential neighborhood, but it’s a nice stroll down a street of hydrangea adorned homes. They bake all their breads and goodies and serve generously sized sandwiches (note: their “half” sandwich is basically a whole sandwich and a “full” is huge). The carrot cake and curry chicken salad on Portuguese bread was great, and we heard the lobster salad and roast beef are also solid. Very family friendly with affordable prices and lots of outdoor picnic tables on a grassy lawn.

where to eat in nantucket casual sandwich something natural picnic

Straight Wharf Fish Store
A simple and straightforward seafood shack, mostly selling fresh fish but with a small prepared food menu. We got gumbo + grilled fish sandwiches, if you’re looking for non fried seafood options.

Oath Pizza
Another kid friendly (picnic tables outside) and affordable option, especially compared to the $6 slice of pizza by town center. I think they use a smaller than usual oven, though, so not as good as regular Oath locations.

Stubbys (specifically for the Jamaican Specials)
A few of our friends scoffed when I mentioned we went here (apparently its where drunken young people go seeking fried grub at 2am), but none of them had heard of or tried the Jamaican menu. I learned that their chef of 10 years started making specialties from his home country a while back, alongside his homemade hot sauce. The jerk chicken and oxtail plates served with rice and beans were not bad, and adds some welcome cultural diversity to the food options in town!

Brant Point Grill
The menu is pricey, even for Nantucket, but it’s a fair option if you’re looking for an upscale yet kid friendly restaurant. They have a huge covered patio that looks out onto the harbor and a lawn area with cornhole and other games. Almost every table at 5:30pm had kids who were roaming free on the grass, while the parents enjoyed their dinners at a (relatively) leisurely pace.

Lemon Press
Wanted to mention this spot, as it was recommended by several friends as a healthy breakfast option in a cute ambiance. We were planning to go here on our last day but ran out of time! Another popular recommendation was Nautilus for dinner, which was packed when we tried to go.

free people kikas blue white print maxi dress petite

Where we stayed

Thank you to The White Elephant for hosting us this visit – we’d seen parts of the hotel when here previously for the wine and food fest, and got to explore the property more and soak in just how family friendly it is! The location is amazing, right in the heart of town so we didn’t need our car. We stayed in a 1-bedroom Residence, which looked new and had a sofa bed in the living room, kitchenette with big dining table, and in unit laundry (something I never appreciated as much as I do now, with an infant!).

Nori was greeted with a full-size crib, complete with elephant-print sheets, a baby toiletries kit, and a little stuffed elephant. She also adored the off-roading red wagons and the bubbles by the pool. It never felt like the place was overrun by kids, though, however we did go mid week. The hotel also has plenty of complimentary bicycles for guests to use while exploring the island, along with chair, umbrella and cooler bags available for beach trips.

white elephant nantucket suite residences review

Socialite top S (from this post), L. Sadoughi headband c/o // kitchenette in our 1 bedroom residence

white elephant nantucket hotel pool review

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  1. Nantucket is such a beautiful place, and we loved visiting when we used to live in Boson.

    Thanks for sharing great recommendations as always! Love those neutral wedges – I worry about the strappy ties making my legs appear short, but they look fabulous on you!

    Posted 8.22.19 Reply
  2. I love Free People clothing. So comfortable and yet stylish. Thank you for the post Jean.

    Posted 8.21.19 Reply
  3. zaina wrote:

    Hi Jean! I have been following your blog since back when I was in school, drawing inspiration from your blog on how to look professional. Moving onto corporate life, I was wondering if you could do a review of MMLafleurs shoes?

    Posted 8.11.19 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Zaina, I love hearing that and thank you for the suggestion! I haven’t tried any of their items (I appreciate their concept for working women however the designs are a little too conservative for my current style needs). I will keep your request in mind though if I’m ever in one of their stores!

      Posted 8.12.19 Reply
  4. Kathy wrote:

    Hi Jean! As always wonderful post with some great info😊😊Just wondered if you had any cleaning tips for your espadrille sandals. You say you’ve had yours for years but mine seem to rarely last past one season because the rope wedge gets dirty and when I’ve tried to clean them with a small brush and gentle soap and water many times I end up with a water stain.

    Posted 8.10.19 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Kathy, did you spray yours with any protectant prior to wear? Even though it’s not suede or leather, I wonder if those sprays would make it easier to clean without water soaking in resulting in said stains. I usulaly just use a toothbrush and water like you described, but to avoid water stains you do need to get the entire visible surface wet.

      Posted 8.12.19 Reply
  5. Maria wrote:

    Gorgeous dress! I kinda want to make something similar now. 😁

    Nantucket looks so beautiful and Nori is adorable!

    Posted 8.9.19 Reply
  6. Kate Abney wrote:

    Do you know what happened to the porcelain blue version? I’ve searched the internet far and wide and can’t find evidence of that colorway having existed—beyond your blog post. Four colorways are offered but none as pretty as yours here!

    Posted 8.9.19 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Kate, the blue version must’ve sold out last week. I had stalked the restock on Revolve after seeing it listed as available for preorder a few weeks ago. Since they did bring it back once, fingers crossed it might be back again!

      Posted 8.12.19 Reply
  7. Emilia wrote:

    AHH she is TOO CUTE! What a little ham she is.

    Posted 8.9.19 Reply
  8. Sunny wrote:

    I’m packing for a week in Singapore and with these photos, you just talked me into packing the long, full, floral maxi skirt I had been debating. But looove the whoosh (firmly believe the funnest skirts have pockets and twirl!)

    Posted 8.8.19 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Yes! That sounds spectacular for travel photos. Envious of all the good food you’ll be having there!

      Posted 8.12.19 Reply
  9. In love with your dress <3 🙂 Soooo elegant! And love all of these precious photos!

    Posted 8.8.19 Reply
  10. Mireia wrote:

    Aww how lovely!

    Posted 8.8.19 Reply
  11. Petra wrote:

    What a gorgeous dress! Nantucket seems to be such a beautiful place to visit. Thanks for sharing this interesting vacation spot. The hydrangeas look so much more vibrant and healthy there than in my own backyard in North Carolina where they are left burnt from the heat and lack of rain during our hot July days.

    Posted 8.7.19 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Petra, yes there’s something about the island air there! Nearly every home had stunning hydrangeas by the bush fulls. My mom shares your struggle keeping her hydrangeas alive and well in the heat.

      Posted 8.12.19 Reply
  12. Christi Beebe wrote:

    Hi Jean! Love the dress! LOVE Free People, but alas most of their styles swallow me up. Excited to see there’s a petite-friendly option!

    Question: are those espadrilles actually comfy to walk in? 🙂

    Posted 8.7.19 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Christi, the key with this dress I think is the adjustable shoulder straps. It lets you shift the entire dress from the armholes to the neckline, waistline, and hem to your liking!

      And yes, I have the espadrilles in the medium height and find them to be comfortable! Definitely not flats comfortable but not bad for the height. They make a lower height as well (60mm)

      Posted 8.12.19 Reply
  13. Jenn Lake wrote:

    Love this so much, friend!

    Posted 8.7.19 Reply
  14. Valeri Pighini wrote:

    Love the pics Jean. I was born in Boston and I simply MUST go back. This was a great little tour you posted here. I love the look on Nori’s face as she reaches for the, I think, carrot cake with cream cheese icing. Such a sweet photo. Love, Val
    ps. Thank you.

    Posted 8.7.19 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Yes! Sadly she can’t have any of the treats due to her allergies but it doesn’t stop her from trying : ) I didn’t know you were originally from Boston, Val! xx

      Posted 8.12.19 Reply
  15. Janine wrote:

    Those photos are so precious 🙂 And omg that maxi dress is absolutely stunning! Suits you sooo well.
    xx Janine

    Posted 8.7.19 Reply
  16. Guest wrote:

    Hi Jean! Have always loved your blog! Can you comment on how large the armholes are for the FP Maxi dress, and how low it is in the front? The pictures online make it seem like the armholes are huge, with little coverage on the sides and possibly low in front, and I’m worried about lack of coverage as I have a larger bust. I’m similar in size to you – slightly larger waist and taller at 5’2″ with a bust of 28F/ 30E. Thank you!

    Posted 8.7.19 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi! Sorry for the delay ~ the armholes are completely based on how low or high you tie the shoulder ties. SinceI’ve been wearing the dress with flats, I wanted the hem to be raised above the ground so had the shoulder straps tied pretty snugly, which makes the armholes small. The way I have it tied, I also didn’t find the front to be low at all!

      Posted 8.12.19 Reply
  17. Sounds like you had the best time in Nantucket, Jean! I love your dress and have saved your recs for when I visit one day!

    I hope you have a great Wednesday,

    Posted 8.7.19 Reply
  18. Your dress really steals the show, Grace! I love Free People’s stuff, always so gorgeous. Great post 💕✨

    Posted 8.7.19 Reply
  19. Rena wrote:

    Oh, I see you had a wonderful time and I love your summer looks!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

    Posted 8.7.19 Reply
  20. Such a beautiful time in Nantucket … love ♥️the post!

    Posted 8.7.19 Reply

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