Are you looking for a summer destination? Try Nantucket Island, Massachusetts

Cape Cod is one of the most stunning areas in New England and a favorite summer vacation destination. Not only is the cape stunning, but so are the islands off the coast – particularly Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. The storied and historic area of ​​Nantucket is one of the historic towns in Cape Cod that everyone should visit. If one is short on time, one may have to choose between Cape Cod and Nantucket – but if one has the time, look at both because they are very different. Nantucket is located about 30 miles by ferry from Cape Cod and has a population of about 14,000 people. Like its neighbor Martha’s Vineyard, it’s a popular tourist destination and summer colony with its population swelling to around 50,000 in the summer months.

History of whaling in Nantucket

Like most of England, Nantucket was one of the first places to be colonized by Europeans in the 17th century. Early settlers focused on agriculture and a scarcity of sheep but soon overgrazing made these activities unfeasible and islanders began to take refuge in the sea to make a living.

The island developed into a whaling center and the island also inspired Herman Melville’s classic Moby Dick. The Ahab and Starbucks characters were from Nantucket.

  • dominate: For a while Nantucket dominated the New England whaling industry

The whaling industry in America originated in Nantucket in the late 17th century. At first, the colonists followed the example of the Native Americans. In 1774, about 250 New England ships were engaged in whaling, 150 of which were from Nantucket. Most of the whale oil was sold to London.


Related Topics: Meet Cape Ann, the charming (less crowded) alternative to Cape Cod

Nantucket Historic District

The Nantucket Historic District is the best surviving architectural and environmental example of a New England seaport city in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

National Park Service

One of the island’s main attractions is the Nantucket Historic District listed in the National Historic Landmark District. Initially, only the historic downtown core of the old village of Siasconset was listed as a historic landmark, but in 1975 it was expanded to include the entire island (and the neighboring islands of Tuckernuck and Muskeget).

  • Included: As a National Historic Landmark since 1966
  • Larger: It is the largest traditional National Historic District by volume in the lower 48

Much of what one sees on the island today developed in the 18th century. Some of the older dwellings from this time include:

  • Nathaniel Macy House: 12 Freedom Street
  • Tristram Bunker House: 3 Bir Street

The island’s golden age began around 1820 to 1850 when a number of homes were built. These buildings are a testament to the wealth of the sea captain and local merchants during this time. Go to Orange Streets and Main Streets to see the two-story homes with whiteboard sides and views of the harbor built by sea captains.

  • Fun fact: Between 1900 and 1918 Nantucket Motors were banned

Nantucket is unique because of the well-preserved New England harbor that developed in the 18th and 19th centuries. Wander through the historic old town and then look for cute seals on the beaches on this charming little island.

RELATED: These Cape Cod winter photos remind us that they’re perfect any time of the year

Visit Nantucket today

Today one can reach the island either by private boat, ferry, or via the small airport on the south side of the island (Nantucket Memorial Airport). Ferries to the island include Hy-Line and Steamship Authority – one can book ferries on the island’s website.

  • go there: boat or small plane

It may come as a surprise to many, but Nantucket Airport is one of the busiest Massachusetts airports, mostly due to the large number of private jets for the summer affluent coming to the island.

To plan one’s trip to the island, use their dedicated website which contains all the information one would need to get to, stay on and get around the island. They will help one find the perfect elegant resort, rental house, boutique hotel, or Nantucket Inn.

Once on the island, explore the island’s beach, historic district, lighthouses, bike paths, and museums. Consider planning one’s trip around an event calendar to get the most out of the trip.

A visit to the island is all about enjoying the rustic and laid-back atmosphere of the island.


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