I hope all of you had a fabulous 4th of July (for those who celebrate)! I’ll be writing about my 4th in Cape Cod tomorrow, but today I’m writing about my day trip to Nantucket – an island off Cape Cod.
If you read my post yesterday (Hyannis + Provincetown) then you know that I’m staying in Hyannis and am near the marina where there are ferries to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. The marina is about a 20-25 minute walk away or a 10 minute drive (traffic). We took a mid morning ferry to Nantucket on Monday and the high speed ferry brought us to Nantucket Island in an hour. The ride was smooth and pretty quiet. The ride back was much louder with lots of crying babies. Crying babies don’t bother me too much – I always feel bad for the parents because you know there are people around who have no patience for babies. Anyway, we got to Nantucket in an hour and I seriously loved it!
We stayed around the downtown/historic area because everything was walkable. I loved how quaint, New England-y it was. Sure, there were plenty of people there visiting just for the day as well as people who live there year-round and for the summer, but it never felt too crowded or overwhelming. In fact, plenty of residential streets were pretty quiet and empty. It was a stark contrast to the previous day in Provincetown where there were tons of people everywhere. Provincetown was really nice, but had a funky vibe to it whereas Nantucket has a more traditional, homey vibe to it.
All the buildings and houses are beautiful and the streets are cobblestone. I just loved it! One thing I really loved is all the streets were filled with flowers. From sidewalk flowers to big planters everywhere. Most houses and businesses had flower boxes in all their windows giving everything such a dreamy feel.
In a brochure I got from the information center it said that the First Congregational Church had a great view of the harbor and downtown Nantucket from the top. All they ask for is a $5 donation. The brochure said that the observation floor closed at 4pm. So after eating lunch (food post to come this weekend) we headed over to the church only to find that they closed at 2pm! So unfortunately, we didn’t get to go up but it was a nice walk over.
Next, we headed over to The Whaling Museum. I love museums and learning history so this was a really fascinating stop for me. Nantucket was a huge whaling community in the 1800s so I learned so much about the voyages, how they killed the whales to get oil, made scrimshaws out of the teeth and bones, etc. I came in late to the presentation about the whole process and life of the men on the whaling voyages, but caught most of it. Unfortunately, she was not Emily Gilmore (if you watched A Year in the Life you know what I’m talking about!), but she was an older woman and when she talked about the harpooning and brutal business of it all, it definitely gave me Emily Gilmore feels!
Men would go out on whaling trips for about 3 years at a time and they couldn’t come home until they got 60 whales! If they had a successful voyage then they could make around $200-300 which was a lot of money back then. Once the whaling industry died down, Nantucket started to suffer because that was their livelihood. People weren’t buying whale oil anymore and then the Civil War started so men went to fight in the war leaving no one to whale. What saved Nantucket is tourism and it’s been a popular summer destination since then!
A lot of people bike around Nantucket as evidenced by this bike shop. Aren’t these bikes with the baskets so cute?!
Top: American Rag via Macy’s | Skirt: ASOS | Sunglasses: Quay Australia | Flip Flops: Old Navy
Look – flower boxes!
After walking around some more and stopping in shops to pick up little gifts including some fudge and some seriously delicious chocolate covered cranberries, we took an early evening ferry back to Cape Cod, ate dinner, and called it a night.
I really loved my day in Nantucket and I think it’d be the perfect place to have a summer home. Ya know, if I had the kind of money where I could “summer” somewhere!