This Faraway Friday is coming at you from Nantucket, whose name itself means “the faraway place”! I’d read other blogs and books about Nantucket before I took my trip, and they conveyed the same sentiment: Nantucket is a magical, enchanting land, far from the cares of the world you live in day to day. I didn’t believe it… until I visited for myself. There really is something about Nantucket that makes it charming, relaxing, exciting, and truly enchanting. Here is my list of the top 10 reasons you should consider a trip to Nantucket!
10. The People
The people of Nantucket are the secret to its pleasantness. I sat chatting with the sweetest gentleman over breakfast on a sidewalk bench, and he let me in on the all great info about summers on the island. The people of Nantucket don’t care how much money you have, how you dress, or what you do, they’re friendly. They let you cross in the crosswalk and even wave you on, they say “hello,” they smile at you! Off-islanders are welcome, and they’re proud that so many people enjoy their little island.
9. The Ice Cream
I don’t know why people who live in a cold climate much of the time have such incredible ice cream, but they do! Almost every list of “things to do on Nantucket” includes a trip to The Juice Bar for ice cream, and they’re not wrong! It really is some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had.
8. The Beaches
Who knew the beaches up north would be so nice? Not this Southern girl! When my bike tour guide, Cole, took me to Steps Beach, I had to do a double-take. It looked more like the Caribbean than the Atlantic! Jetties Beach and some others along the south shore are also very popular. They even had a couple of whale sightings from shore while I was there!
7. The Iconic Homes
The homes on Nantucket are very distinctive. Some historic buildings built by very wealthy people are made of brick, some homes have been “grandfathered in” with permission to have typical wood siding, but the vast majority have the iconic cedar shakes. Just walking around was charming!
6. Easy Transportation
Getting to and around Nantucket is easy! They have a cute airport with regional jets coming in from coastal New England, and a cab to downtown Nantucket was only $16 +tip (Uber was three times that amount, but be sure to check them anyway!); ferries come from Hyannis, New Bedford, Harwichport, and Martha’s Vineyard; and once you’re in town, biking, walking, or driving are all great options. Here I am on my bike tour in front of Tommy Hilfiger’s house!
5. No Chain Stores or Restaurants
Well, there are a couple of name-brand retail stores, but there is no McDonald’s, Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, or the like. That means there are some amazing mom-and-pop places around town and all over the island, giving it that small-town, homey feel. Try Handlebar Cafe and Bean for coffee; Lemon Press and Fog Island for breakfast or lunch; The Tavern and the Club Car for supper, and Petticoat Row Bakery for some sweet treats!
4. A 46-foot Whale Skeleton
Not many places have a whaling museum, and even fewer have a full whale skeleton! It’s something to see. Make sure you also stop by the scrimshaw exhibit and the roof walk to see the views.
3. A Sailing Excursion
I highly recommend a sailing excursion while you’re on Nantucket! For the vast majority of its history, sailing was the only way on and off the island. The view from the water is the view whalers longed for after 3-5 years at sea, and even today’s ships have to dodge the shoals and other obstacles to make their way into Nantucket’s beautiful harbor. Go with a skilled sailor!
2. Flowers in Full Bloom
I don’t know what it is about the Nantucket soil, but while I visited, the flowers were at full bloom and the peak of color! The hydrangeas stole the show, but the roses and other varieties of flowers made even the foggy mornings cheerful.
I’m not sure you could come to Nantucket and not be struck by their history. The buildings are historic, the streets are historic, and their former whaling industry is the crowning jewel of their history. Their widespread adoption of Quakerism meant that men and women were considered equals, which became essential to keep life on the island going during the whaling years. My favorite historic sites are the Shipwreck and Lifesaving Museum, the Wharf, and the cobblestone streets that give you the feel of walking in the past.
I hope you are now inspired to visit Nantucket soon! What makes you want to visit?