5 Must-Visit Spots on Nantucket

I’m going to preface this post by saying that I am a Nantucket tourist. I don’t consider myself a regular visitor, nor do I consider myself to be the island’s number one fan. So to you Nantucket experts, if you finish this post and think that my picks for must-visit spots on the island are obvious and “tourist-y”…you are absolutely correct!

But they are also great picks for someone traveling to the island for an annual trip (hello, me) or a first-time visit. I just got back from my fourth Nantucket Wine Fest weekend and am happy to say that I checked off almost everything on my to-do list! And that left me inspired to write this post, and share some of my favorite places to visit.

1. Cisco Brewers

Here you can find a brewery, distillery, and winery all in one place. There is truly something for everyone at Cisco Brewers. Food trucks are always around in the afternoon, which is a good thing because there is a LOT of booze to try here. The last time I visited, we had lunch at a seafood truck called The Lobster Trap. However I went with the chicken fingers and fries, because I was really craving some old fashioned greasy food. My suggested course of action at Cisco? Have an ice cold tap beer, then head to Triple 8 Distillery for a refreshing cocktail. End at Nantucket Vineyard with a wine flight, and be sure to conclude it with the port…it’s something special. After all that, grab some food and try to stop yourself from impulse-buying Cisco merchandise.

Lunch from the Lobster Trap, paired with an IPA.

Dad and I in the wine tasting room.

2. Cru

This place is a scene, and that is reflected in the prices on the menu. But oh man, is it fun. I allow myself one visit to Cru per trip to Nantucket, and it’s always worth it. Brunch is probably my favorite time to go, but a mid-day snack on the outdoor patio/lounge isn’t bad either. Also, any restaurant that serves sparkling wine in a coupe glass gets my vote.

Lilly is key Cru attire.

3. The Nautilus

I could probably spend a decent part of my day sitting at The Nautilus‘ bar, chatting with the friendly bartenders and watching them make drinks. The cocktails incorporate freshly-squeezed fruit juices (right in front of you, squeezed to order) and you can even get one in a porron if you’re feeling aggressive. I would say that, in terms of hospitality and quality of drinks, Nautilus is the bar in Nantucket that most reminds me of my favorite bar in Boston, Eastern Standard. If I lived on the island, I could see myself becoming a regular there.

From @nautilusnantucket on Instagram.

4. Boarding House

Espresso. Martinis. Okay, that’s not the only reason why I’m recommending Boarding House, but it’s up there. I’ve never actually eaten at this bar, but it’s fun enough on its own as a place to go out. During Wine Fest weekend it is absolutely packed most of the time, but the bartenders are seasoned pros and still serve drinks efficiently. Like I said, the espresso martinis are amazing. But the fact that Modelo is on the beer list is pretty great too.

5. Nantucket Prime

This is a great restaurant for both a special meal and a casual gathering with friends. In fact, I did both at Nantucket Prime this past weekend; I took my parents there for a special dinner, and enjoyed some drinks outside on the outdoor patio the night prior. I also tried both burgers on the dinner menu, including the Big mACK, an amped-up version of a Big Mac. If you want to splurge, you can go for the filet and some family-style sides. The wine list is also very impressive, and includes a Pinot Noir from Nantucket Vineyard, which is what my parents and I chose to have with dinner.

The Big mACK! Source

So there you have it, my five favorite spots on Nantucket. I’m sure there are more that I haven’t even discovered yet, and that’s why I’ll be going bACK (I know, eye roll) as soon as possible!

Have you been to Nantucket? What are some of your favorite spots?

How I Stopped Late Cancelling Classes

As of yesterday I’ve completed my second full month of using FitReserve since leaving ClassPass, and recently realized that I have not late cancelled a class once. I’m not saying I’m perfect and that I’ll never late cancel a class again, but still, I feel proud of this accomplishment. That’s because when I was using ClassPass, I was cancelling classes after the twelve hour window at least two or three times per month. At $15 per late cancellation, that amounts to $45 in extra fees! So you can imagine why I’m glad that I haven’t late cancelled yet since starting FitReserve, especially since the membership fee is more than what I was paying with ClassPass.

But why haven’t I late cancelled in the last couple of months? It’s not because I’m working out less (or more…I’m still working out about the same amount). I did some thinking and think I can attribute it to a few factors. And I figured some of you may be interested in knowing what they are, and learning from my experience.

1. I switched up my routine.

It’s amazing how much more I look forward to a workout that I haven’t been doing for months now. B/SPOKE Studios may be a cycling class (something I’ve been taking for awhile), but I’m at a new studio, with new teachers, and a new style of spin and music. EverybodyFights‘ new FiDi location means I can try workouts that challenge me yet fly by, like my recent discovery of TRAINxCARDIO. I still take classes that I regularly attended on ClassPass (and miss some that aren’t on FitReserve), but I love looking forward to a greater percentages of classes I take…and late cancelling less classes as a result. And now that I’ve learned this, when I start feeling a slump I can switch it up to other classes and studios to fight boredom.

2. I’m paying more money.

Obviously I’m not suggesting that you go out and spend a fortune on a studio membership to stay motivated, because that’s certainly not possible for everyone. But there is something to be said for money being a motivator. At $185/month, if I take all twenty classes that come with my FitReserve membership, I’m spending just a little over $9/class. If you think about how much a single class at a lot of these studios goes for ($36 at EverybodyFights, $28 at B/SPOKE), that’s an amazing deal! So getting to as many of the twenty classes I can each month makes me feel like I’m getting my money’s worth. And if I late cancel a class, that’s another $15 on top of the $185 I’m already paying…and that class isn’t one I made it to, making my per class cost for the month that much higher.

3. FitReserve’s late cancellation policy definitely helps.

As I mentioned in my FitReserve vs ClassPass post, FitReserve’s cancellation policy is true to each studio. That means studios with a six hour cancellation window for members also have a six hour window on FitReserve. With ClassPass, every studio has a twelve hour window no matter what. I have definitely taken advantage of this several times; there have been a couple of Fridays when I had signed up for an EverybodyFights class after work and cancelled it – without being penalized – when I woke up…simply because I didn’t want to work out on a Friday. Which brings me to my last, and most important, point.

4. I have learned – and now accept – my workout habits and schedule.

I think this is the most important factor on this list because it shows steps forward in beating exercise guilt…which is something I still struggle with. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I used to (and still do at times) pour over class schedules, signing up for Friday post-work workouts (which I usually hate unless they’re a social thing), early morning pre-work workouts (I will never be that person), and weekend classes that took place the morning after a night that I knew could end up going late.

And what did I do when I signed up for those classes? I late cancelled them, because in the end, working out when I was exhausted or hungover or just wanted to get my Friday night started was not really me. It was not what I truly wanted to be doing. And I shouldn’t feel guilty about that! It’s okay to not be a pre-work workout person. It’s okay to decide not to work out on a weekend and have a lazy Sunday, even if technically I have all the time in the world to make it to a class. It’s okay to not sign up for a class on Friday because I know my coworkers will probably want to get drinks after work. Fitness does not have to come before everything, and it’s okay if that’s how my priorities are laid out.

Did I miss any tips you have for making sure you make it to a class without paying a fee? Can you relate to any of these?

Signature Crafted Fun at McDonald’s

I received compensation from McDonald’s in exchange for writing this review. Although this is a sponsored post, all opinions my own.

There was a time when I took pride in saying I never ate fast food. I’ll be honest, I looked down on people who did eat it. But over the years as I have worked on bettering my relationship with food, my opinions have definitely changed. I don’t eat fast food every day, but when I do, I enjoy and savor every single bite. I’m all about treating myself to a Big Mac or those signature golden McDonald’s fries when I’m craving them. So when I found out that the closest location to my apartment, the newly renovated two-story McDonald’s in Everett, wanted to host me and a group of bloggers to try their new Signature Crafted sandwiches…I was 100% in!

The McDonald’s in Everett is one of 11 new “smart” locations that now feature ordering kiosks and table-side service – a “Just For You” experience. Though the classic cashier option remains, those who prefer a digital experience can order from easy to use stations that accept credit card payments.

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Brunch at Plan B Glastonbury

I received the food and drink in this post free of charge. However (and longtime readers already know this), I’ve been a fan and paying customer of Plan B for a very long time! They even named a burger after me back in the day.

I went home to Connecticut this past weekend to celebrate my dad’s retirement, but made sure to spend time with old friends as well. On Sunday morning, Jeff and I had the chance to enjoy Plan B Glastonbury‘s brunch with Kat and Plan B’s marketing director, Shannon. We arrived at 10:30am on the dot, which brings me to my first positive note about the brunch…it starts at 10am. Jeff and I are huge fans of early brunch, because sometimes you just get up and can’t wait until noon.

(Not) fun fact about Boston: there are no bottomless beverages and no happy hours. So when I saw that Plan B offered bottomless bourbon sours at their brunch – and for $15 no less – I had to jump on that deal. When in Rome, right?!

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Rocking the Guac (Judging) at Painted Burro

Every now and then I take a look at my schedule and notice just how many of the awesome plans on my calendar are a result of this blog. It leads me to have what some may call a “pinch me” moment. Never when I started Cait Plus Ate did I imagine it would give me the opportunities it has, from awesome events to sneak previews of restaurants to fantastic vacations and staycations. Today I wanted to share one of those pinch-me moments with you all: the chance to be a judge in a guacamole competition!

This past Sunday was Painted Burro‘s 5th annual guacamole making contest, and I was asked to be one of the four judges. Proceeds from ticket sales benefited No Kid Hungry, and attendees were able to taste all ten guacamole recipes. We four judges determined the grand prize winner, and the audience voted on a People’s Choice winner as well. The prizes were pretty awesome: $400 to the restaurant, the winning guacamole featured on the menu for a week, and the best prize (to me)…anytime reservations for a year.

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Weekly Wins #2

I really enjoyed writing my last Weekly Wins post, so I’m back with another one, because it’s honestly an easy way to share what I’ve been up to lately…and that’s a whole lot. Without further ado, here are some wins from this past week.

Workout Win

It’s been awhile since I set a mini fitness-related goal for myself, but last week I came up with a new one when I took Reid Eichelberger‘s TRAINxCARDIO class at Everybody Fights‘ Financial District location. What a tough workout! The routine featured moves I never do without an instructor asking me to, like jump squats and lunges, rope swings, and suspension training mountain climbers. And we all know that the workouts we hate most are usually those that are best for us. So I’ve decided to strive to sign up for one TRAINxCARDIO class per week. I think adding those kind of explosive HIIT moves to my routine will only make me stronger and, more importantly, will make me feel great.

Recipe Win

Last week I made a fantastic new recipe, Skinnytaste’s Cheeseburger Casserole. Jeff called it a “next-level American Chop-Suey”. This tasted incredible, especially leftover, and was so easy to throw together! I definitely will be making this again.

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Signs of Spring

The weather is FINALLY warming up here in Boston, and I couldn’t be happier about it. Winter has gone on long enough and I’m ready for patios, sundresses, and rosé.

Last weekend was Cochon555, and I was thrilled to attend the event for the first time ever. But more notably, I was thrilled by the fact that I was able to attend this indoor/outdoor event in merely a sweater and leggings. No jacket, no problem. Plus the warm weather made the above pictured Fernet Branca Menta Cold Brew all the more refreshing.

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Latest Boston Eats & Sips

It’s been awhile since my last round-up of awesome food and drink I’ve had lately in Boston! But that doesn’t mean I’ve been short on items to share. In fact, I’ve just been short on time to do so because there has been so much to taste these days. My Restaurant To-Do List never ceases to grow, and neither does the list of spots I hit up regularly. Here are some eats and sips I’ve tried recently, at restaurants both old and new.

The Jesuit @ Ruka Restobar

Ruka Restobar, located inside the Godfrey Hotel in Downtown Crossing, is from the same folks behind Yvonne’s and Lolita. While the food hasn’t necessarily been calling my name (just not my type of cuisine), the creative drink menu is right up my alley. Upon visiting the bar area with some coworkers, I immediately noticed a beautiful drink being served in some of the coolest glassware I’d ever seen. I knew I had to try it.

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FitReserve vs ClassPass

FitReserve gave me no incentives or compensation for writing this post…I just thought others would find it interesting!

When ClassPass got rid of their unlimited class option, I knew I was going to have to make a switch. The maximum amount of classes offered per month is now ten (for $120/month), and if I wanted to go with that option, I would have had to buy another studio membership elsewhere. This was not something I was willing to do. And before you ask…no, I did not consider just getting a gym membership. My gym days are far behind me in the sense that I now recognize just how much better the workouts I get in classes are than doing weights, the StairMaster, etc, on my own. And I’m willing to pay a premium price to get those better workouts.

But I was NOT willing to pay over $200/month for fitness classes, so I decided to give FitReserve a try. The fact that the first month was 20% off gave me the extra push I needed to take the plunge, and I’m glad I did. FitReserve is currently active in Boston and NYC, and unlike ClassPass, they offer a 20 class package. It costs $185/month, but if you use all 20 classes, that comes out to less than $10/class…a steal when you think about the price of a membership at some studios. But ClassPass’ unlimited option was a steal too, so what makes FitReserve different from ClassPass? What are the pros, and cons, to making a switch?

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28th Birthday Celebrations

As usual, this year I felt like I celebrated my birthday (I turned 28 on March 22nd) for at least week. From get-togethers with friends, to a day off from work, I had a blast.

I decided to switch things up (from the usual, Highball) and do my “friend birthday party” at Capo Restaurant in Southie. I fell in love with Capo’s new downstairs Supper Club lounge during my first visit, and knew right then and there that it would be the perfect spot for a birthday gathering.

Obviously I wanted to look my best, so I enlisted the help of the ladies at Best Dressed, the dress rental shop that dressed me for New Year’s Eve. Once again, they picked something off the rack I never would have tried on my own. But I went into the Charlestown location hoping to find a jumpsuit, and find one I did. (Full disclosure: I received 50% off my rental in exchange for showing Best Dressed so much-deserved love on this blog and on social media.)

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