Ideas that Matter: The World’s Brightest Minds Descend on Nantucket

Ideas that Matter: The World’s Brightest Minds Descend on Nantucket

There is an undeniable splendor to Nantucket in September. Most seasonal visitors have returned home and the island has returned to its more natural, sequestered origins – with its windblown beaches, idyllic lighthouses, and gently rolling hills.

It’s also the month of The Nantucket Project (TNP), a world-famous speaker showcase that draws nearly 500 visionaries from former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair to Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak to discuss some of the most thought-provoking ideas of our time – and ultimately, to make the world a better place.

Held in a tent overlooking the moored sailboats of Nantucket Harbor, The Nantucket Project – in part sponsored by Tradewind – invites the brightest thinkers and creators to an extraordinary weekend that aims to push the limits of what we know. Famed presenters like TV producer Norman Lear, playwright Eve Ensler, author Deepak Chopra, and actor Paul Giamatti take the stage (or rather, the center of the room, as the gathering is set up in-the-round), and each speaker gives what TNP’s President Scott Williams calls “the talk of their life.”

From technology to politics to psychology, there is no limit to what might become a focus at TNP. But each of the topics are ideas that matter, meant to kindle positive change that will travel far beyond the island after the event – held September 14 – 17 on the lawn of the White Elephant. Through short talks, conversation-style presentations, and films, fresh and original performances resonate with virtually every person in the room, making choosing one that has been most memorable nearly impossible.

“There are – dare I say – so many,” says Williams as he reminisces on the event’s 7-year history, citing talks by former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (who attended as a hologram), theater and film director Julie Taymor, and singer-songwriter Neil Young in addition to Blair and Wozniak.

These are singular talks that only one person can give, something they are uniquely qualified to share. And the intimate setting – speakers literally walk on stage from the audience, as there is no green room or backstage – creates an atmosphere that heightens the energy between speaker and listeners. “It creates not only a great method for dialogue, but inclusion, because you’re looking through the speaker to other attendees,” says Williams. “And the focus becomes very, very transparent.”

Each of the event’s speakers are invited throughout the previous year, with some coming in as late as days or weeks before the gathering – like Young, who signed on three weeks out in a previous year. But TNP’s reputation and vision are such that attendees don’t need to know who the speakers are before purchasing a ticket. This year, the event sold out before even a single presenter’s name had been released. The first, former President of Mexico Vincente Fox, would be later announced on August 4.

After the event, the talks that TNP wants to share with the world are turned into IdeaFilms, short 2-to-14-minute videos led by renowned directors like Casey Neistat, Megan Mylan, and Oscar Boyson (which have been official selections at festivals such as Tribeca and SXSW). TNP was the inspiration for a film called Acceptance, a powerful story encouraging viewers to accept who they are and embrace their personal history, sexuality, or maladies like facial scarring from an injury or illness. Other features have highlighted the ramifications of population explosions in cities, and this year TNP will premiere films about race in America, the future of labor in America, as well as the award-winning projected Oscar contender, The Illumination, which tells the story of finding a cure for blindness.

 Photo: The Nantucket Project

Photo: The Nantucket Project

“Then, out of that, we take what we call our satellite series, and we go on the road with what matters most to us,” says Williams. “It’s a distillation of our ideas that takes place over a full day or an evening in various cities across the country” – from San Francisco to Cleveland to Los Angeles and in institutions like Brown University. Additionally, TNP runs a nonprofit scholars program to accelerate the bold ideas of innovative minds with a curriculum that encompasses engagement, storytelling, fundraising, and advancement with the help of a network of influential individuals. They support 15 scholars each year.

But it all starts with Nantucket.

The inaugural event was held in the fall of 2011 after being founded by Kate Brosnan and Tom Scott, creator of the local Nantucket Nectars and the HBO series The Neistat Brothers. Now in its seventh year, TNP tackles some of the world’s greatest challenges, and Williams believes that attendees are leaving the world better than they found it.

“I love the vision and mission of changing minds,” he says. “I think the world needs a little more courage, and this is a very courageous group of people who want to change the world through ideas that change people’s minds. And I’m talking about literally changing people’s minds, because you come into the tent one person, and you leave the tent quite another.”


Tickets are no longer available for The Nantucket Project 2017, however tickets for the 2018 gathering will become available in September. Tradewind is an official sponsor of the event and can get you there by way of private charters and regularly scheduled shuttle flights. Click here to reserve your trip.


*Featured Image: The Nantucket Project

Six Towns, One Island: Your Guide to Martha’s Vineyard

Six Towns, One Island: Your Guide to Martha’s Vineyard

Coastal charm abounds from shore to shore on the storied island of Martha’s Vineyard. But among great expanses of beach, forest, and countryside, six seaside villages each offer their own personality and historic splendor.

The bustling villages on the eastern side of the island, or down-Island, will be most familiar to visitors, from beautiful Edgartown to Oak Bluffs to Vineyard Haven. And to the west, or up-Island, the remote villages of Aquinnah, Chilmark, and West Tisbury entice with quaint towns and rolling hillsides. (The directions hail from whaling days – when seamen heading “up” traveled west, seeing increasing numbers of longitude, while those heading “down” traveled east back to England.)

To truly explore each village, you would need more than a day, and with Tradewind Aviation’s regularly scheduled shuttles to Martha’s Vineyard and private charters, an easy getaway is always at your fingertips.

Below is a general overview of each destination, complete with recommendations for dining:


 Photo: Barry Peters

Photo: Barry Peters

With a picturesque port that regularly hosts yachts and sailing regattas, Edgartown is one of New England’s most sought-after coastal retreats. The elegant village in the southeast is home to a flourishing town center, grand churches built during the whaling era, the white-painted captains’ houses, and miles of scenic beaches accented by Edgartown Lighthouse. It is one of only two “wet” towns on the island, making for lively nightlife in the summer.

Must-try Restaurant: Atria, a polished local eatery with global inspiration and an ever-evolving menu. Try the Pay Day burger with black truffle aioli, arugula, forest mushrooms, red wine reduction, and seared foie gras.


Dramatic coastlines and sweeping hillsides define Chilmark, home to some of the best sunset views on the entire island. Along with lovely nature preserves, you can find pastures of grazing sheep, the rocky northern shore offering vistas of the Elizabeth Islands, and the charming fishing town of Menemsha with its little shops and fresh seafood restaurants. The village also encompasses the island of Noman’s Land, a federal bird sanctuary closed to visitors.

Must-try Restaurant: Larsen’s Fish Market, a quaint market-slash-restaurant located on the fishing docks of Menemsha. Try the littleneck and cherrystone clams.

Oak Bluffs

 Photo: Michele Schaffer

Photo: Michele Schaffer

Modern elegance meets rich history in Oak Bluffs, a lively harbor-side village extending inland from East Chop Light. A walk through town will take you to the multi-colored gingerbread cottages, displaying their whimsical, Victorian architecture, as well as the open-air Tabernacle, Union Chapel, and the oldest platform carousel in the nation. Great expanses of pristine beaches are the village’s main draw, and in the evenings, visitors can enjoy vibrant nightlife and late-night pastries at Back Door Donuts.

Must-try Restaurant: Red Cat Kitchen, a tucked-away eatery with bold, artistic presentations and a nightly-changing menu.

Vineyard Haven

A place for the arts, Vineyard Haven brims with galleries and free musical performances. A walk down Main Street will take you by the renowned Bunch of Grapes bookstore, exquisite shopping and dining, and just a block away, the Vineyard Playhouse. The village was once one of the busiest shipping ports on the East Coast and today remains the island’s main port of entry. It is also very interchangeably referred to as Tisbury.

Must-try Restaurant: Little House Café, an intimate establishment with a menu brimming with creative flavor. Try the fish tacos.


Gay Head Cliffs in Aquinnah, Martha's Vineyard

Located at the westernmost point of Martha’s Vineyard, Aquinnah is home to the stunning Gay Head Cliffs (formed from colorful clay deposits) with Gay Head Lighthouse standing atop them. The village itself is less than six square miles and offers a tranquil way of life in the country. It also harbors the lands of the Wampanoag Native American Tribe of Gay Head.

Must-try Restaurant: Aquinnah Shop Restaurant, a vibrant oceanfront destination with expansive decks and both American and Native American dishes. Try the Codzolez codfish cakes topped with pico de gallo and guacamole.

West Tisbury

Not to be confused with Vineyard Haven, West Tisbury is a destination in itself. The idyllic village abounds with rural charm, highlighting a 4,000-acre state forest and the grounds of the annual Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society fair. In the small downtown center, you can find the historic Alley’s General Store catty-corner from the Field Gallery (you will know it by the dancing lawn sculptures), and for another bit of history, head down the street to Grange Hall.

Must-try Restaurant: Scottish Bakehouse, a health-conscious bakery serving everything from quinoa burgers to coconut tofu. Try the famous egg sandwich.

Chip Webster, The Guardian of Nantucket Architecture

Chip Webster, The Guardian of Nantucket Architecture

You could say that preserving traditional Nantucket architecture is in Chip Webster's blood.

Webster is the go-to architect if you want to build a home that fits into traditional Nantucket—given the island's strict architectural review guidelines, there is almost no other kind—and it's almost as if fate chose Webster for this role. His forebears were one of the five families that first settled the island some 300 years ago. He's done a lot of roaming around—travelled around the world, spent two years doing film and videos, restored a home in Cambridge—but he finally came home to roost in 1991 because he sensed that Nantucket was going to "catch the recovery wave." At the time, the country was experiencing a recession, but Webster says Nantucket is a leading indicator of the real estate market. 

"In 1991 the island started coming back really strong," he says, which prompted him to move his architectural practice to Nantucket from Cambridge.

Now he leads a double life: the man who knows how to do Nantucket traditional on Nantucket, and the man who travels to do innovative contemporary in places like Aspen, Colorado.

He was in charge of restoring one of Nantucket's prime landmarks, Greater Light, which was built in 1791 to house livestock and later became the 1920s home of Hanna and Gertrude Monaghan, prominent members of that decade's Nantucket artist colony. (The name was taken from Genesis 1:16; the sisters were very religious). The place was a wreck when he started the project, having been uninhabited for a decade. "It is a building that would be impossible to recreate today, given current regulations and requirements," Webster says.

Then there's the other side of his talent. "We do a lot of ski- and beach-vacation homes," he says. (For the record, he lives in a mixed-use building—home, office, and community spaces—just outside Nantucket town.)

But would-be Nantucketers come to Webster because knowing how to do traditional on Nantucket is more than being an architect.

"Working on Nantucket is arguably one of the most restrictive places on the planet," he says, referring to the island's Historic District Commission, established in 1955 to ensure that the island's downtown core would not turn into Malibu-like exercises in vanity architecture. 

This actually began to happen in Madaket in the '70s, architecture that Webster calls "triangular masses." The Board subsequently extended its purview to the entire island—"Even a lunch patio or a trim color has to be approved," says Webster—but he sees its worth. "The downtown core has one of the best collections of pre-Civil-War houses in the country," he says, in a tip of the hat.

"Usually the road to success in architecture is to create a very identifiable style," he says (and one thinks immediately of Gehry or Calatrava).

But Webster is a nuancier: Consistent doesn't have to mean homogeneous, he explains. And he has also become a bit of a Historic District Commission mind-reader. The Commission generally wants the same thing, but without tassels, a swag, or a new detail.

"Generally speaking," he says, “The Board is not looking for symmetry and balance. If you go in with the dead symmetrical house, you're going to have a hard time."

And you can sometimes over-game the situation. "It can backfire on you. You put in something a little bizarre thinking you'll take it out, but then they like it," he says. So he no longer puts up bargaining chips, and he admits that the Board's demands produce an interesting architectural vernacular within established boundaries that are appropriate to the island.

“Houses on Nantucket today are built to last 100 years and anthropologists will be able to date them exactly."


Fly to Nantucket with Tradewind Aviation, offering scheduled shuttles and private charters from across the Northeast, including New York.

*All photos courtesy of Chip Webster Architecture

Private Aviation for Pets: When Dogs Fly Tradewind

Private Aviation for Pets: When Dogs Fly Tradewind

Be it the white-sand beaches of St. Barth or the cobblestoned streets of Nantucket, vacation travels are even more complete in the company of your furry best friend. Hence why Tradewind Aviation offers pet-friendly flights to the Northeast, Caribbean, and beyond, ensuring that no member of the family is ever left behind.

Pets of all sizes, including large-breed dogs, are welcome to fly in the spacious cabins of our Citation CJ3s and Pilatus PC-12s. (Note: Limit one party with pets per flight and seats must be purchased for dogs over 100 pounds.) Without the stress and discomfort of the cargo hold, four-legged passengers will arrive at your destination feeling relaxed and ready to enjoy their getaway.

In celebration of Pet Appreciation Week, below are some of our favorite moments over the last few years of pet-friendly travel. Bring your pup for your next vacation and be sure to tag us at @flytradewind to give him or her a share of the spotlight!

Contact our Reservations department for details or questions: [email protected] or 800-376-7922.

 Left:  @oliverofnyc  Right:  @ronda320

Cover photo courtesy of:  lindsayhelms / 123RF Stock Photo

The Quintessential Nantucket Retreat

The Quintessential Nantucket Retreat

As you approach The Wauwinet on Wauwinet Road, the land tapers as the bumptious ocean on the right meets the calm bay on the left. Think of a lobster tail, as it's one of the dishes for which the hotel is known. Things taper at the top and The Wauwinet is no exception: You're arriving at one of Nantucket's top luxury enclaves (the island's only Relais & Châteaux property).

The 33-room hotel and its four free-standing guest cottages occupy a cluster of 19th-century shingled buildings that face an unnamed private beach. Across the road—on the ocean side—is Great Point Beach, and just outside that is the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge (so bring your binoculars). People drive all this way—the 17-minute drive from the airport, where Tradewind flights touch down at the center of the island, is lengthy by Nantucket standards—to dine at TOPPER’S, the hotel's lauded-to-the-moon restaurant named for the owners' Welsh Terrier. (Ever had a Nantucket lobster, leek, and basil frittata for breakfast? Didn't think so.)


In hotel terms, The Wauwinet is a moon shot: a boutique hotel, on a short-season island, with the polish of New England and personality of Provence. Think: rooms with character (antique pine, wicker, and tasteful chintz reign), luxe accessories (Pratesi bed linen), excellent service, a 1,000-label wine list, that unnamed private beach, two clay tennis courts, and locally sourced seafood and produce at TOPPER’S just downstairs (lobster navarin for dinner).

When you're here, you've arrived, and in the best tradition of luxury boutique hotels, you may not want to go anywhere else. Which is one reason to taxi to the hotel from the airport and figure out the rest. (Guests who book the three-bedroom Anchorage House, a stand-alone bungalow, are offered a BMW gratis.)

Not that staying at The Wauwinet means you’re stranded. The hotel shuttle makes the nine-mile trip to and from Nantucket Town almost hourly in-season, and the hotel has a boat that offers a tour of the harbor—Captain Rob McMullen knows these waters like the back of his hand.  

The catch is that most of the rooms are small. Top-floor rooms have the best bay views, and if you're looking for a honeymoon feel, then book one of the four freestanding cottages (cozy gas fireplaces and sundecks). At the end of the day, though, there's an equalizer: that sunset over the bay on the hotel's private beach.  

The only rule?

Come as you are.


*All photos courtesy of The Wauwinet.

6 East Coast Golf Getaways That Prove Rankings Don't Mean Everything

6 East Coast Golf Getaways That Prove Rankings Don't Mean Everything

Written by David Gould, a former Executive Editor of Travel + Leisure Golf who has authored several books on golf history and course architecture.


One evening I stood in a tavern among a group of well-traveled golf writers, talking shop. An avid golfer who had joined the conversation floated a query: After all the years and all the trips, which course is your favorite? He seemed puzzled by the answers, likely because “favorite” wasn’t taken to be synonymous with “famous” or “award-winning.” Instead we each named a very fine course we had developed a fondness for, where we’d met great people and enjoyed experiences we wouldn’t ever forget.

Golfers who aren’t fixated on rankings and ratings can develop an instinct for golf destinations that will suit their fancy. There’s nothing wrong with prestige and awards—you just don’t want to be a slave to them. What works best is when you have a hunch you’re going to love a certain golf experience, then you set off and discover your intuition was spot-on.

This collection of a half-dozen courses along the Eastern Seaboard—each worthy of a chartered golf getaway with Tradewind Aviation—does contain greatness. Yet it’s mainly a sixth-sense kind of list, blending elements of architecture, setting, scenery, and some kind of spirit that holds it all together.

 Photo: Courtesy of Cabot Links / Evan Schiller

Photo: Courtesy of Cabot Links / Evan Schiller

Cabot Cliffs, Inverness, Nova Scotia, Canada: We’re not breaking the intuition rule by including Cabot Cliffs, despite all the acclaim it’s received since coming online two years ago. That’s because the Canadian Maritimes are physically remote and their character is unassuming—you have to feel drawn there. Of course, having a chartered private jet fixes the remote part, delivering you to a jaw-dropping golf landscape overlaid with the strategic subtleties its designers, Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, specialize in. They built one hole—the cliff-to-cliff par-3 No. 16—that no golfer has ever played without first photographing it. If you take this trip there is one place to stay, the Cabot Links Lodge—well-designed, comfortable, and just right for its time and place. Time your Nova Scotia getaway for midsummer and you can see classic MGs, Austin Healys, and Triumph TR6s, plus vintage motorcycles, at the Eighth Annual British Motoring Festival, July 14-16.

 Photo: Nemacolin Woodlands Resort

Photo: Nemacolin Woodlands Resort

Shepherd’s Rock, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Farmington, PA:  You can be sure your sixth sense for sublime golf travel is working when you lock on to a course that isn’t even open yet. Beginning July 12, golf pilgrims can immerse themselves in the pure Pete Dye-ness of Shepherd’s Rock, the newest addition to this luxurious resort on 2,000 acres southeast of Pittsburgh. Modern earth-moving equipment can create landscape perfection; Dye understood this wasn’t desirable and spent a career making sure to exploit the quirks and peculiarities of natural terrain. There’s beauty throughout his courses, but never an overt glamour. Dye has a second course at Nemacolin, and the outdoor activities here are endless. For indoor enthusiasts, there’s a casino and multiple spas, plus a fine array of dining options.

 Photo: Stowe Mountain Resort

Photo: Stowe Mountain Resort

Stowe Mountain Club, Stowe Resort, Stowe, VT: There’s nothing prettier than your own golf shot suspended in the air against a mountain vista on a long, downhill hole. This high-country course in the shadow of Mount Mansfield gives you several of those moments, most notably on the plunging par-3 16th. It took a design genius like Bob Cupp—he was a book illustrator and a master cabinet-maker, as well as a course architect—to wrangle this sloping, chasm-laced topography into 18 wonderfully playable holes. Lodge guests also have privileges at Stowe Country Club, built on more level ground but with wonderful views nonetheless. A summer highlight for locals and visitors is the Stoweflake Hot Air Balloon Festival, July 7-9; it’s a chance to see something almost as pretty as your golf shot, pinned against the ridgelines and peaks.

Note: Tradewind’s Ultimate Golf package can accommodate your entire trip to Stowe, thanks to a new partnership with Stowe Mountain Club. As part of a two-day getaway aboard an eight-person private charter, enjoy unlimited golf access to both Stowe Mountain Club and Stowe Country Club, luxury accommodations at Stowe Mountain Lodge with views of Mount Mansfield, group lunch at The Cottage at Stowe Mountain Club, curated gift bags, and four-packs of Lawson’s Sip of Sunshine local craft beer. For more information or to reserve, please contact [email protected] or 802-760-4703.

 Photo: Courtesy of Keswick Hall & Golf Club / Ken May

Photo: Courtesy of Keswick Hall & Golf Club / Ken May

Full Cry, Keswick Hall, Charlottesville, VA: The classic manor-style building on high ground with a green expanse of fairways spreading out below—there’s no combination of those two elements more pleasing than what you’ll find at this stylish resort in fox-and-hounds country outside the university town of Charlottesville. Full Cry (that’s hunt-club vernacular) is an original name for a golf course, and this layout is loaded with originality and character—again courtesy of Pete Dye. Inside the beautifully restored Italianate hostelry, Keswick Hall, are just 48 guest rooms, each individually decorated. The place was in shambles until Sir Bernard Ashley, widower of design queen Laura Ashley, arrived bearing capital and good taste in 1995. Present ownership has taken it far beyond what even his lordship had achieved.

 Photo: Omni Grove Park Inn

Photo: Omni Grove Park Inn

The Omni Grove Park Inn, Asheville, NC: Artsy and outdoorsy, but still with traditional Southern graces, Asheville belongs on any summertime pleasure tour. Guests at the Grove Park Inn return each year for the golf, great dining, and country hospitality. Donald Ross, a Johnny Appleseed of superior course-building, laid out the beloved Omni Grove Park Inn links in 1926, when shovels and mules were all you had to sculpt with—natural, unforced contours are the result. And while the craft beer movement and its bespoke breweries have sprouted all across the country, few cities can compete with Asheville, a suds mecca with more breweries per capita than anywhere else in the U.S. There is no end of ways to explore its malty wonders, including a half-day bus tour with many a tasting stop. Cheers.

 Photo: Courtesy of The Sea Pines Resort / Rob Tipton

Photo: Courtesy of The Sea Pines Resort / Rob Tipton

Atlantic Dunes, The Sea Pines Resort, Hilton Head, SC: The concept of the resort golf community originated with Sea Pines, which retains a vague ‘60s-era imprint even as it continually updates and renovates itself. One of the courses was recently plowed under to make way for Atlantic Dunes, which opened last year and brought yet another round of acclaim to the course design group of Davis Love III (who as a player won the PGA Tour event at Sea Pines five times). Atlantic Dunes is visually sleek and stylish, with large greens, new and restored sand dunes, and little touches like crushed coquina shells and waving seaside grasses to frame the holes. For all the dozens of trips I’ve made to this resort, I’ve not yet had a chance to experience Atlantic Dunes. And yet I know instinctively that I would have a great time playing it.


*Featured Image: Nemacolin Woodlands Resort