Editor's Note: This story is by That's What She Said and Mr. T from last year, but since it's FigawiFigawi weekend, it seems appropriate to post it again.
Memorial Day weekend ushers in the best season of the year, complete with sundresses, tans, outdoor activities, and grilling. We thought for those of you not heading to Boston for the lacrosse Final Four and the BroBible party but to that most boisterous of New England traditions, Figawi Race Weekend, we’d provide you with a guide to the island. It’s easy to get lost in a sea of whale pants and Nantucket reds, but stick to these tips and you should be well on your way to being the pied piper of preppy girls.
First, for those that don’t know, Figawi is actually a sailing race, from Hyannis to Nantucket. So, if you can’t make it over to Nantucket on Friday night, or are stuck waiting for a ferry in Hyannis, there are generally festivities to be found on the mainland that can help you kick off your weekend. Most notably, head to Baxter’s Boathouse. Located right on the harbor with a view of the Sound, you can get the best Dark 'n' Stormies around, local beer on tap, or fresh seafood. Watch out for the cougars though, they roam in packs.
Once on island, bust out your pastels and get your drink on. Here are our suggestions, with pearls of wisdom culled from Fiagwi weekend seasoned vets.
Rose & Crown
23 South Water Street, (508) 228-2595
Let it be said that the rule for any Nantucket bar on Figawi weekend is to get there early. Rose & Crown is no different and you'll want to get there by 10 p.m. unless you like waiting on a line for 30 or more minutes. The crowd always shows up because it's the most lively at night of any bar located downtown. Once inside you'll find a poorly designed elevated bar on your right, so you'll want to do your damage on the other side of the bar. Top 40 hits (with music videos on the big screen) blast from the surprisingly good DJ over the speakers and the dance floor can get pretty lively as the mostly younger crowd looks to let loose. Beer drinkers should take advantage of the stand on top of the stage to avoid the lines at the bars. The dimly lit space and dance floor allow for some choice meetings between coeds, but poor lightning doesn't give you an excuse to go hogging.
The Chicken Box
6 Daves Street, (508) 228-9717
The biggest shit show on the island takes place a taxi ride away from downtown. The place has no style and basically lives up to its name as a box fit for a chicken to run around in, but that doesn't mean you can't have some fun. They don't serve food, but you can get pizzas delivered from the place across the street. Most of the primetime night hours are filled by a cover band playing your typical hits on the stage. For the most part you should think of this place as one huge frat party, so act accordingly. There are pool tables and a covered outside area in the back, which can get quite rowdy, but you'll want to concentrate your attention on the area in front of the stage. Don't expect to do much grinding because the non–cover band music sets are on the short side. Hopefully you pair up with someone by night's end because the wait for a cab to get home can be an absolute disaster and you'll need some way to kill time.
28 Harbor Square, (508) 228-1266
Technically part of the bar called "The Tavern," the Gazebo is a small, roof-covered space that sees tons of action during the day. The tight quarters allow for lots of conversation, which means you'll have to be on your game. If you're moving around and making conversation, you'll get to know everyone inside within an hour so you don't want to make any bad first impressions. If anything, it should give you a few leads for later in the night, even if you're handing out novelty business cards. Given the tight space, the crowd fills in pretty early and a line forms by early afternoon. It's rarely if ever worth it to wait in line, so you're best bet is to move to "Straight Wharf" across the street.
6 Harbor Square, (508) 228-4499
A very simple recipe seems to work for a place that's changed its look in recent years. Straight Wharf runs with a pretty simple formula at this new space: clear out some outdoor space and serve booze. It can get pretty lively mid-day but thankfully lines don't seem to appear too often as the masses seem to prefer The Gazebo for its novelty. It's the best option to not be under a roof, work on your tan, and be at a bar. Plus, their signature drink, the Goombay Smash, is a staple of any Figawi weekend. Night time gets more crowded as people look for a laid-back atmosphere where they can hopefully not watch their chick turn into a werewolf under the moonlight.
5 Bartlett Farm Road, (508) 325-5929
With beer, wine, and vodka available for tasting, along with picnic tables and a courtyard, this is a great option for a large group. Something for everyone, and a laid-back atmosphere to get cranked. You can bring food or order in pizza from the place down the street. Only a short cab ride from downtown, this is a good daytime bet, especially when the weather is nice. On the weekends they usually have some live music.