Celebrating on Nantucket

Earlier this month, Technohubby and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary with a trip to Nantucket Island! We also celebrated our 10th anniversary there. And we took the kids for a day in 2003 when we were doing our big, east coast tour. But this was the first time that we’ve been there since moving to New England. We could hardly wait to get there, and then our plans had to change because the ferry service to the island was cancelled due to high seas during a storm. We rescheduled, and caught the ferry the morning after ferry service resumed. Getting ready to board the ferry, which also hold cars and semi-trucks, for the 2 hr. 15 min. ride through quite choppy seas to our favorite island.



Coming in to the island. That’s Brant Point lighthouse at the entrance to the wharf.


We LOVE this island! It has so much character with its weathered shingle homes, intimate restaurants, cobblestone streets, brick sidewalks, and loving homage to its past as a whaling community.


There’s no problem finding lodging on the island. The tricky part is choosing which of the many fabulous sounding bed & breakfast inns you want to stay at. For our 10th anniversary, we stayed at the Martin House Inn.    This time we chose The Carlisle House Inn, and we were NOT disappointed. It was located about a five minute walk from the wharf, which was handy. Almost no tourist brings a car to the island, as space is limited, parking is difficult, and the cost to ferry your car over is $140. This is the Carlisle House, built in 1760 for a sea captain:


There were many rooms to choose from, and we chose the Brant Point room, which was absolutely lovely!



I LOVED the view from the bed!


For me, the most luxurious part of staying at one of these old inns is a working fireplace in the room. The experience of falling to sleep and watching the shadows dance on the walls is just too wonderful!


We had not anticipated exactly how quiet the “quiet season” on the island would be. We had one…ONE…choice for a restaurant for dinner. Fortunately, there are no bad restaurants on Nantucket, and this one was actually highly recommended and a short walk from the inn. We ate at LoLa 41*, the name being a salute to Nantucket being geographically located at 41 degrees latitude. Technohubby had steak and I had ricotta gnocchi with bolognese…both quite delicious!


The next morning, our hostess had set out a lovely breakfast for us. (We were the only guests in the inn.) On the island, the zoning is such that hot breakfast can only be served by inns with an attached restaurant. But fine continental breakfast can certainly be had! We ate in the sunny breakfast room, and the buffet included: cereals, oatmeal, bagels, toast, peanut butter, jelly, English muffins, coffee cake, fresh fruits, orange juice, yogurt, Greek yogurt, milk, coffee, and tea.



Then the two of us spent the rest of the day exploring the island. These are three of the most famous homes on Nantucket. The Visit Nantucket website describes them thusly: Some of the most elegant historic homes will be found on Main and Orange Streets where the wealthy sea captains, ship owners and merchants lived. Many of these homes feature widows walks with panoramic views of the harbor and horizon beyond. Although most homes were built of wood, many brick mansions were built during Nantucket’s golden era. Perhaps the most famous are the three located side-by-side at 93, 95 and Main Street. The “Three Bricks” were built by wealthy Joseph Starbuck for his three sons between 1837 and 1840. They are private residences.


A stop for lunch at the Rose & Crown.  He had a burger, and I had cherrywood-smoked ham and brie with fig and rosemary confit on cibatta. Oh my! Seriously, one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had. I loved the smokiness of the ham, mixed with the nuttiness of the confit, and all mellowed by the creamy, slightly melty brie. Delicious!


Then we headed out for a close-up look at Brant Point lighthouse, one of the most famous spots on the island. In March, we had it all to ourselves, including the beach all around it.




The beach was simply covered in shells! And we also discovered this empty crab shell! Cool!


Then it was back to the inn to pick up our luggage (which our hostess was very sweetly holding for us), and then to the ferry office to catch the ferry back to reality. On the walls of the ferry office, there were pictures of the Nantucket ferry service through the ages. I particularly liked this one, which shows early 19th century summer visitors arriving on the island. Just look at all those steamer trunks and hats!


So long beautiful island…


This is just one in a series of three postings on Nantucket. More touring to come!



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