Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Travel Tyro: Nantucket

Just a sandy wind-swept island! 
What more would you have it be, 
With a turquoise sky above it, 
Around it a sapphire sea? 
When its dawns are pearl and opal, 
Its noons are crystals clear, 
And its sunsets shower down gold dust 
Till the diamond stars appear, 
When to those who are born on the island, 
And to many from over the sea, 
'Tis fairer than all its jewels, 
What more does it need to be? 

This summer has been full of extraordinary adventures, but the best was definitely last. My good friend, Jackie, and her friendly kindly hosted me in Nantucket right before I hopped over the pond. I'd been to the tiny island during off season (and still enjoyed it), but was thrilled to see New England's crown jewel in its prime.

Right off the coast of Cape Cod, Nantucket is a 15 mile long island with historic roots tied back to whaling, Quakers, and Wampanoag Native Americans. Today, Wagoneers and Land Rovers can often be found driving down two lane roads (sans traffic lights) with wooden shingled cottages perfectly weathered in a soft gray that is both iconic and required by the town to retain the island's characteristic New England charm. Wherever you might be located on the island, hydrangea bushes, Nantucket baskets, and nautical door knockers are never far out of sight and golden retrievers are the predominant family accessory of choice. Downtown, Main Street is predominantly lined with local businesses whose goods fit the aesthetic of New England's chicest preps (the most mainstream stores you'll find are a Ralph Lauren and Stop & Shop— both in shingled styled buildings). But, perhaps the true beauty are the beaches with lush rolling dunes and spectacular evening sunsets. 
Nantucket's beauty truly spellbinds you, making you eagerly await until the next time you can return again. 

(Prepare yourself for an overload of photos)

Who: Anyone and everyone who loves New England harbor towns (or appreciates a good beach day)
What: Quiet beaches, beautiful cottages, lobster rolls, and bushes of hydrangeas 
Where: Nantucket, MA
You can take the Peter Pan bus or Capeflyer from Boston and then the ferry or fly with Jetblue
The photos above include:
Beaches: Jetties, Galley, and Madaket  (Jetties is very family friendly)
Eats: Cisco Brewery (amazing apple cider beer), Millie's (10/10 lobster roll), Centre Street Bistro (BYOB), Petticoat Row Bakery (pretty pink decor and iced coffee), Downey Flake (donuts are to die for), the Brotherhood of Thieves (dinner), and the soda fountain at the Nantucket Pharmacy (if you don't want to wait in the long line for ice cream at Juice Bar)
Things to Do: Stroll down the Bluff Walk
Rent a bike (there's plenty of paths around the island)
Walking Tours (the best way to learn about the island, it's history, hidden gems, and insight into some of the historic houses 
Wear: There's no better place to wear your brightest Lilly prints and Nantucket reds
When: Summer, Nantucket is mainly "open" during late May and late September 
Why: It feels like you're in a real life Town and Country meets Better Homes & Gardens photo shoot.
Simply put, it's New England at its finest. 
Tyro Tip: Pack a light sweater for the evenings when it's quite chilly.