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Nantucket-a beautiful island

Nantucket is a beautiful island located off the coast of Cape Cod and next to Martha’s Vineyard. It is a smallish island, but big enough to be interesting, yet manageable. We recently spent a week there and absolutely loved it and would go back again. We have small children who found it to be a heavenly place where they could run around and breath clean air, dance on the beaches and eat ice cream every night. It was definitely the cleanest place I have ever visited in my life, which is also nice when traveling with small children. Here are some photos of this great place:

Known for its beaches

Surfside Beach

Nantucket is known for its glorious beaches, but what’s interesting is that there are many and they are all very different from one another. This picture above is from Surfside Beach, which is on the bottom end of the island, and is an ocean beach. If you are someone who likes ocean beaches, as I do, then this is a great beach to try, or its neighbor, Cisco. The waves were very rough, but once it became low-tide, the small kids could play in the water too.

We also checked out out Sconset Beach, which is on the East side of the island and also an ocean beach. The surf was not as rough but there was a steep drop off only a few feet out. However, because of this deep water, we saw 17 seals one day, only about 10 feet from shore. They just kind of looked at us like we were the funny looking creatures! They’re very cute, by the way.

We also liked Jetties Beach because there is a nice snack bar and being on the northern end of the island, there is very little surf. It was great for kids, especially the days when there was a sand bar. On this beach, there were many shells and someone decided it would be a good idea to create some sand art using all materials from the beach:

The Town

The town we stayed in, also called simply “Town” has a quaint and historic feel to it with old buildings reminiscent of the days when Nantucket had the whaling and sheep industries. Those days are long gone, but the nautical feel remains as the edges of town are peppered with marinas and boats. This town is a great place to stroll to find unique and local gifts, like these wine coolers we found at an antique store called The Seven Seas (located at 46 Center St).

Wine coolers made from antique seltzer bottles found in Argentina:

It was loaded with all kinds of crazy retro gadgets and items made to look retro, like these phones that actually are brand new but made with parts of old phones. In fact, it takes 5 phones to make one of these.

We walked by the old First Congregational Church on Orange st. where you can just imagine Herman Melville pausing between his writing Moby Dick. This church dates back to the 1700s and has been in this location since the early 1800s. It is still beautiful today and you can walk up into the steeple for quite a view.

Keep on walking around town and you’ll see that most of the houses have that same Nantucket look with subtle differences. They mostly all have the Nantucket blue shingles, some more weathered than others, but homeowners take care to make their properties quite distinct, with small touches like these unique front door sconces:

or these vines crawling up the side of the house (it’s an Inn actually and we’re convinced it’s haunted):

or check out these two homes who give a nod to the old sheep industry of days gone by. They pay homage to the island’s history with these lawn statues that remind us of what used to be.

And last but not least, no trip to Nantucket would be complete without a nightly visit to the ice cream shop called The Juice Bar. This place actually not only makes its own ice cream, but makes its own waffle cones. But be prepared, the line you see here was constant, and this is only a view of the outside. However, it is definitely worth the wait!

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Rachael Ray