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Nantucket: The Perfect Cap to the Summer

October 18, 2012

This morning, when I stepped outside, I realized that fall had finally taken over. Bostonians stopped pretending it’s summer by giving up the flip-flops, and actually putting on some sweaters and boots. Fall is great; it’s one of my favorite times of the year – who doesn’t appreciate the crisp chilliness of the air, the crunch of the falling leaves, and the crazy color outburst of the New England fall foliage? But at the same time, I always feel very nostalgic of the summer memories. That’s why I wanted to devote this post to one of the brightest moments of this past summer – our trip to Nantucket. I was keeping it for the fall so I could immerse myself in my summer nostalgia and let my memories (and Chardonnay) bring me back to that magical weekend.

For those of you who are not New Englanders, Nantucket is a tiny island in the North Atlantic, just to the south of Cape Cod. To get there, you would need to drive to Hyannis or Harwichport, MA, and then take a ferry to the island. The ferry ride is actually very pleasant – it’s a speed boat (the journey takes about an hour) with a full-service bar on board (watch out for Sunrise cocktails – they taste fruity but pack a punch).

When the ferry enters the Nantucket marina and the water sparkles in the sun rays, you just know you will have one amazing, memorable day. If you don’t have your own bikes, there is a rental shop steps away from the harbor. And trust me, biking is what you need to do in Nantucket. There are two main bike routes that are conveniently separated from the main roads, so you won’t have to worry about being hit by a car.

We took the bike route along Milestone Road to visit the remote beaches of Siasconset on the other side of the island. To say it’s beautiful doesn’t do it justice. It’s breathtaking! (I know I overuse this word sometimes – but what are you to say if this world is pretty breathtaking!) When you see this wide sandy beach that stretches out for miles merging with the dark blue water of the Atlantic, you really want to take a mental picture of the moment. Complemented by the classic New England style (read: wealthy), the scenic countryside views and romantic lighthouses (I do find them romantic), Nantucket warms your soul and lightens your heart.

On the way back, we took the Polpis route, which was much more physically challenging but definitely more picturesque. On this route, you’ll pass the lighthouses, quaint creeks and inner ponds, and really impressive mansions.

After almost 20 miles of pedaling, I thought it was only fair to have some fried seafood. There are plenty of cute restaurants with summer terraces in the town of Nantucket, and delicious fried New England clams washed down with some cold Sam Adams put a perfect finishing touch to a fabulous day on the island.

A lot of New Englanders compare Nantucket to Martha’s Vineyard, and one person even told me that Nantucket is too one-dimensional, too perfect in its elegant style. But you know what? It’s fine by me. Its downtown cobblestone streets and vibrant scene made me feel really happy, and watching fishing boats return to Nantucket’s harbor at sunset at a seafront bar was one unforgettable experience. I know for sure I’ll be going back there every summer to appreciate the way life reveals itself naturally.

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