“The ocean is a central image. It is the symbolism of a great journey.” ~ Enya
I have teased and teased and hinted and NOW (finally!) here is my post about my Nantucket getaway.
Before I left for San Diego, my cousin and I had talked about a somewhat coastal trip over the Fourth. Originally we had planned on doing the Outerbanks, but due to logistics, we ended up in Nantucket and I am so happy we did!
I always joke when I go away I need a vacation from my vacation when I get back. Being type A, I am ALWAYS on the go. And while we were, we also weren’t. This was the trip that I needed and I didn’t even KNOW I needed, having just been to San Diego.
I did not expect to love it as much as I did, nor did I expect for it to be the perfect bout of therapy I needed given everything I had going on at the time. This might just be my favorite trip of the year (sorry Charleston) and is definitely in the top five places I have visited. Combined with an amazing group of people, (which really does make all the difference) we lazed around, exercised, engaged in libations, and explored. It was a contradictory in wonderfulness, that my Gemini self exulted in.
Nantucket is the quintessential New England seaside town, though in this case it is an island. It was founded in 1641, but wasn’t developed until 1659. Throughout the seventeen and eighteen hundreds, fishing, in particular the whaling industry, played a prominent role in Nantucket’s economy, helping it become a thriving seaside island.
Unfortunately, in 1846, what is called the “Great Fire” swept through the main town damaging much of the settlement. Coupled with the decline in the whaling industry, Nantucket was all but abandoned by people moving back to the mainland.
It wasn’t until the 1950’s, that developers began to buy up the island. In an unusual move, they kept many of the original structures and restoring them to create a nautical destination for wealthy travelers to vacation in.
Nantucket is like stepping into the past, mixed with a little modernism. Cobbled streets cover the downtown roads, with couture shops beckoning visitors to browse. The streets are narrow, and while you can drive on the island, many people choose to bike, making it easier to get around.
Much of the island is a time hop to days when communities weren’t so commercialized or built up. Winding bike trails and woodsy beaches combined with New England shingled houses topped with window walks, cater to the tourist who craves a break from the iPhone and internet. It was the throwback to a simpler time, that had me rejoicing, and fall in love with this stunningly quaint island.
We stayed at a newly renovated three bedroom, but still ridiculously quaint AirBnB that was about a ten minute or so bike ride from downtown Nantucket, as well as centrally located to all of the beaches. It had all of the modern amenities, including WiFi, two NEW washers and dryers, and beach chairs, while still having that seaside charm.
The host was incredibly attentive. She had grown up on Nantucket, and her Dad who helps her manage still lived on the island and was our go to when we needed anything. It was also extremely dog friendly, and with three dogs, (one a hundred pound love) it was a great find! I highly recommend staying here if you ever visit Nantucket.
One of my favorite parts of the house, was that it had a spacious with a grill and large table. Every morning, I would get up and do work there, as I listened to the birds chirp and breathed in the salt air. it was the perfect way to start my mornings.
The night before our trip, I drove with my cousin to Connecticut where we stayed with my aunt and uncle before driving to Hyannis where we picked up the ferry. For being an island, Nantucket is extremely accessible, with an airport, that has flights constantly, and numerous ferries from all over, including one that leaves from New York’s lower East Side.
The weather was humid and rainy, but we didn’t let it dampen (pun intended) our mood, as we drove. Doing a much needed Starbucks (coffee!!) run, fully caffeinated we had a sing along of eighties and nineties tunes to entertain us until we got to Hyannis.
With a variety of different ferry options, we took the steamship which takes two hours. Despite the rainy weather I was absolutely giddy with anticipation. Just being on a boat makes me happy.
We even attempted a sojourn outside.
Unfortunately the wind was NOT on my side, and after a nice facial wind lift, we went back inside.
The ferry terminal is right in downtown Nantucket, and we decided to Uber to the AirBnB which took about ten minutes with traffic. As we drove we got to catch a glimpse of the historic town.
Thankfully our worst weather day, was the day we arrived and the rest of our trip made for perfect beach days. What made it even more perfect, was as the East Coast was in the throes of a heat wave, the normally chillier coastal temps were a comfortable breezy seventy and eighty degrees, making for perfect beach days.
Downtown Nantucket is a happy medium of cute shops mixed with food and yes even coffee. There are also a smorgasbord of museums that teaches about Nantucket’s at times tumultuous history to what is otherwise a peaceful coastal island.
Nantucket is a place that has a little bit of everything for everyone, you just have to look. Our days were spent, not only luxuriating at the beach, but also going for runs, paddle boarding and even doing yoga. While there are no Starbucks or chain restaurants, small coffee shops offer the same caffeinated kick, with a New England style, and while we chose to make great use of the grill, the restaurants we ate at, were fit for the foodie. It really was the perfect place to vacation. The only bad part was I didn’t want to leave.
Have you been to Nantucket?