A Walking Tour of Nantucket

Technohubby and I have different attitudes towards vacations.  He likes to relax…sleep late…take naps.  I, however, am like a kid who just found the entrance to Narnia, and I can’t wait to explore it all!  And after 25 years of marriage, we quite understand this about each other.  So, while he sleeps late or naps, I go exploring with my camera.  My love of photography really developed ten years ago on Nantucket, because everything there is just so picturesque.  Granted, it’s a bit more picturesque at other times of year.  But come along with me as I give you a walking tour of Nantucket.

March must be construction season on the island, because the sounds of hammering and sawing and the signs of new construction could be heard and seen everywhere.  Nantucket experienced hurricane force winds during Nemo, that same storm that gave us 30″ of snow, so there was plenty that needed to be repaired to the island’s historic homes.  Many of the homes on Nantucket are shingled.  This one was sporting the patchwork look of new shingles along side the old, sea-weathered ones.

And this beautiful home, (truly one of my favorites in terms of design), seemed to be undergoing quite the renovation.  Upon closer study, however, I realized that the roof was missing.  That seemed odd.  Why would they need to remove the entire roof?  Then I studied it some more and realized that sooty, red streaking stained the inside of some of the windows.  Sadly, this home had suffered a fire.  (If you look closely, you can see some smoke damage coming from the missing second story window on the right side of the home.)  I took Technohubby back later to see it, and we walked around the side, where the soot was even on some of the new construction, so it must’ve burned while under construction.  I was very glad to see that it was being rebuilt and would, clearly, be gorgeous again!  I can’t wait to go back and see it all finished someday.  I wonder if it is an inn, and we might stay there sometime?

Everywhere you look, design elements pay homage to the history of Nantucket as a whaling island.

Love, love, love(!) walking the quaint streets of Nantucket!

There are two churches on the island whose steeples can be seen from sea, and this is one of them.  Technohubby and I toured this church when we were here for our 10th anniversary, including a climb up into the steeple and a peek at the fabulous view of the island from there.

Daffodils were pushing their way upward already!  That’s certainly not happening around here, so it was a delight to see them!  Nantucket has a big Daffodil Festival about mid-April, which signals the beginning of the tourist season on the island, although the real tourist season will not start until June.

Very, very few shops were open while we were there.  But two bookstores were, including this one.  It’s motto is, “Independent and Out to Sea”.  Haha!  Love it!  It’s book selection definitely reflected its motto.

I love the trade signs for the shops on Nantucket, each one so unique.  And I love the brick sidewalks!  Note the complete lack of people.  In fact, when I was in the bookshop, the owner mistakenly thought I was a local.  I guess those are the only people they expect to see on the island in March.

In the downtown area of Nantucket, many of the streets are still the original cobblestone.  The cobblestones came from the ballast of ships.

Haha!  That’s a good description of the island at this time of year.

When we decided to go to Nantucket, we both knew that we wanted to each lunch at The Brotherhood of Thieves, our favorite restaurant on the island.  Sadly, it was closed for renovations.  Sigh.  And we also wanted to eat a nice dinner at one of two restaurants, either Black-Eyed Susans OR The Company of the Cauldron.  Sigh.  Both closed for the season.  I did walk by The Company of the Cauldron, and took this picture of the sign they had replacing their menu board for now.  Quite amusing.

This hat shop had a write-up in Victoria magazine a long time ago, and I had wondered if it still existed.  And then I found this!  How tempting!  I had to follow the arrow to see if it was open, but alas, no.

Pretty steps and buildings.

This is Main Street on Nantucket.  This cobblestone street is usually just bustling.  Part way up, on the right, there’s usually a farmer with his old pick-up truck selling fresh produce and flowers from the back of his truck.  It’s a Nantucket institution.  The shops on Main are an eclectic mix of high-end retail stores, essential shops (like bookstores and a pharmacy), and t-shirt and souvenir shops.  And in the middle of the road, as you can see if you look closely, is an original, working gas lamp.

On the side of the building at the far left of the above picture (currently a Ralph Lauren store, but it used to be home to Nantucket Looms, an exclusive weaver on the island) is this sign, just in case you’re wondering if there are other delightful spots in the world to go to.

And at the same corner, these signs point you to other destinations on the island.

At this time of year, with no foliage on the bushes and trees, it’s easy to peek into gardens that one might not see at other times of year.  This one is exceptionally elegant with its armillary and intriguing, little, copper-crowned structures.

Crocuses blooming!  Spring is slowly unfolding on the island!

More Nantucket pictures to come in another posting.

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