Nantucket: A Study in Charmby david daly on 06/13/12
I am a sucker for rustic charm and quaintness, and I have not found a place in the US that exudes more authentic charm than Nantucket. The island town 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod is home to over 800 structures built before 1900, and thanks to the downturn is the islands economy after the fall of the whaling industry in the late 1800s combined with its isolation from the mainland, most of the historic buildings were able to retain their original beauty and detail well into the twentieth century. As Nantuckets popularity as a vacation destination grew, the town ensured the continued preservation of its historic charm with strict building codes that limit the style, colors, and building materials permitted and a land trust that protects open lands from development. The cobblestone streets, naturally-faded shingled walls, and abundant roof-walks in town are a result of the exhaustive efforts taken to ensure that tacky never finds a home on Nantucket.
On my recent rainy day June visit to Nantucket, I was able to take advantage of some of the local historic attractions. Just outside of town, the Jethro Coffin House offers a glimpse into early island life. Built in 1686, it is the oldest house on Nantucket and tours are offered by volunteers from the Nantucket Historical Association. The NHA also runs the Whaling Museum in town which features a 46 foot long sperm whale skeleton and a restored 1847 candle factory. The best way to learn about the rich history of the town is through one of the daily walking tours held at 11am and 2pm. And for those who want to explore outside of town, a two-hour bike rental for $20 is ideal for viewing the plethora of adorably quaint homes all over the island. Nantucket is truly a unique and remarkable vacation spot that guarantees an overload of charm, and it is one of my favorite places to visit each summer.