This article originally appeared in Travel+Leisure.
If social media over Memorial Day Weekend was any indication, Nantucket has fully rebounded from the pandemic. When the Commonwealth of Massachusetts lifted its remaining Covid restrictions at midnight on May 29th, I noticed a few friends on the Grey Lady posting similar Instagram stories as the clock struck twelve: strangers cheering and hugging on the streets; bar-goers at The Chicken Box removing their masks and dancing with glee; and such unbridled merriment that you'd think it was New Years Eve. Memorial Day always signals the start of the summer on the East Coast, but this year it felt especially poignant.
As an island thirty miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Nantucket has long felt like a special escape for families, couples, and visitors who cherish its pristine beaches and New England charm. Last summer was a bit of a wash, however, with many of the island's small businesses struggling to find seasonal workers and stay afloat. Many one percenters took to their second (or third, or fourth) homes on the island to ride out the worst of the pandemic. By no measure was it a banner year for tourism on the rock.