Visiting Nantucket

Nantucket travel

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Nantucket is a gorgeous island 30 miles out to sea offering paths of cobblestone streets surrounded by cedar-shingled cottages.

This island is a pricer option than its close neighbor, Martha’s Vineyard but carries it’s own quaintness and charm as well. 

Nantucket is known for its posh and wealthy visitors and those that are willing to splurge on indulgences. Most of the shops and restaurants are open seasonally only which is generally May through October.

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Some history first

Nantucket MA

The island of Sherbourne, later to become Nantucket in 1695, was discovered by Bartholomew Gosnold in 1602. While he was the first outsider to find the island it had been occupied by the native population, the Wampanoag, for some time. 

The island was then settled in 1659 making the Jethro Coffin House the oldest home on the island having been built in 1686. Nantucket was a former whaling capital during the years of 1690 and 1840. 

There still exist over 800 homes that were built before the Civil War; most of which have been restored to their former glory.

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Fun Fact

The first female American astronomer, Maria Mitchell, was born on the island in 1818. Her home is now a museum that can be visited during your stay.

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Getting there

Visiting Nantucket

Nantucket can be accessed by ferry using either Hy-Line Cruises or Steamship Authority from the mainland of Massachusetts or Martha’s Vineyard by way of Oak Bluffs. 

Flights can be taken as well but because of unpredictable weather, it is advised to take a ferry instead. I have heard many stories of people who were trying to get out to the island only to be delayed from 12 hours to several days.

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Things to Do

Things to Do in Nantucket

Whaling Museum – An amazing place depicting the bloody business of whaling and the wealth the island enjoyed during the height of its industry. It offers a unique look into the island’s history with interactive displays and even a 46-foot whale skeleton. Herman Melville came to Nantucket as a tourist and the famous story of Moby Dick was influenced by his impressions and experiences of the island.

Other attractions:

If the topic of whaling history interests you, I would also suggest a trip to the large Whaling Museum in New Bedford, Massachusetts. While there check out the church next door, the Seamen’s Bethel, which is the church that Herman Melville frequented. You can sit in the Melville pew where he was inspired to write about the death of Captain Ahab by way of a true story of a young man whose tale is inscribed on a plaque hanging on the wall.

Shopping in Nantucket

Bicycle the island using one of the many rental shops and enjoy the gorgeous scenery of seaside cottages and beautiful beaches. If you decide to stay on the island, some of the hotels actually provide bicycles for their guests’ use.

Beaches are everywhere and all of them are beautiful and open to the public. Some have lifeguards on duty and clean bathrooms for public use.

Shopping!! One of my favorite shops is the Nantucket Whaler.  My family and I have purchased several items from this shop and are thrilled with the quality and style of each item. There are many other high-end shops and boutiques on the island that offer all kinds of clothing, bags, and other trinkets.

Staying in Nantucket
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Where to Stay

If the idea of renting a quaint cottage appeals to you for your stay consider using FlipKey or VRBO. Renting gives me the ability to wash clothes and cook meals (which saves money); and the free, designated parking is a bonus.

I like using these websites because it gives you the ability to choose a location, the number of guests, and other amenities such as a pool or beach access and show you what is available during your proposed dates.

Nantucket is a very expensive island so booking early is key to getting a better deal. If you try to reserve one last minute you will be looking at higher prices and few homes to choose from.

If you would rather stay in a hotel so that you can enjoy room service or clean linens daily or concierge service I would use Booking.com or Hotels.com. I have found both sites to be competitive in price and easy to use on the go because of their mobile apps. These apps keep your bookings available even if you are offline.

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Kristal Ham

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Traveler and Photographer

My name is Kristal and I am so happy to have you visit my site! 

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