Casey took lots of wonderful photos during our visit to Nantucket and I snatched a few before he got a chance to process them, I just couldn’t wait to show you how beautiful this place is.

Nantucket is an island 30 miles south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and a tourist destination and summer place for many. So much so that the population of the island soars from about 10,000 to 50,000 during the summer months. After visiting, I understand why.

{beautiful downtown Nantucket}

We took the fast ferry over, which took an hour each way, and strolled around in the picturesque village center, walked along the water, dined at the Club Car restaurant, enjoyed a beer at one of the bars and took a bus tour around the island. I don’t particularly like doing touristy things when I visit a new place but the bus tour really helped us appreciate the island.

{I’m about to eat my third lobster roll of the trip at the Club Car Restaurant. This is actually the last railroad car on the island. The railroad came in the late 1800’s to the island and was removed in 1917… I think because it wasn’t used much and they could use the metal during WWI. The car became a restaurant in the 1960’s}

Some history. The first English settlers came here 1659 but the original inhabitants were the Wampanoag Indians. Did you know Benjamin Franklin’s mother, Abiah Fougler Franklin was born here in 1667?

During the 1700, there was a large whaling industry on Nantucket and if you’ve read Moby-Dick, the characters Ahab and Starbuck are both from Nantucket. By 1766, 118 whaling vessels shipped out from Nantucket and it was the whaling capital of the world. Here’s another trivia for you, 2 of the 3 ships in the Boston Tea Party were Nantucket ships: the “Beaver” and the “Dartmouth.” 

{lika a little tiny Monaco}

By 1850, whaling on the island had moved to New Bedford, MA., and Nantucket was hurting. The “Great Fire” didn’t help either when the main village burned down and left hundreds homeless. It was fueled by whale oil and wood in the docks and warehouses. Almost the whole main town burnt down. As a result, many left the island. Nantucket was left under-developed and isolated until the 1950s when developers began restoring large sections of the island to create an summer destination.

{Downtown Nantucket}

My favorite part of Nantucket is Siasconset. It’s a village at the eastern end of the island and it’s absolutely gorgeous. To me, this is heaven. In the early 1900s this village was a summer retreat for all the movie stars. Many celebrities still vacation here and you can also rent a place for a mere $6,000 a week.

{This summer house in Siasconset is very much my dream home}

I didn’t realize that Nantucket had a high concentration of artists and there’s an ongoing art colony which started in the 1920s. We were surprised how many art galleries there were on such a tiny piece of land. We walked in to 2 or 3 but saw at least 10. Amazing. Some paintings were up in the 300,000 dollar range! Hello!

I would love to stay here one summer and try to capture the natural beauty of the landscape… not that I’m a landscape artist per say. Maybe I can paint some Nantucket seashells? 🙂

{Beautiful gardens in Siasconset}

Speaking of artists, I almost came home with a limited edition poster by Eric Holch, a famous printmaker on Nantucket. I just love his clean style and bright colors.

The lighthouse isn’t the exact one I wanted but I kinda regret not buying the one I was eying. It’s one of those times when you just should have taken it. Oh well. Next time. I did get a Nantucket sweater though which kept me warm on the ferry home!

Hope you enjoyed reading about Nantucket and seeing some of our vacation photos. 🙂

xo,
Erica

photo credit: Casey Collings; source: wikipedia, nantucket.net