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Introduction

Nantucket is an island off the southeast coast of Massachusetts, USA, about 30 miles (48 kilometres) from Cape Cod. The name might also refer to the town of Nantucket or the Nantucket County, formed together with the small islands of Tuckernuck and Muskeget. The total population is about 10 to 11,000 but swells to five times as many inhabitants during the summermonths of July and August. As a foreign travellers it is really advised to visit outside of these peak times.

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Cities

  • Nantucket town

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Sights and Activities

  • Brant Point Light Station
  • Jethro Coffin House
  • Nantucket Historic District
  • Hummock and Miacomet Ponds
  • Popsquatchet Hills
  • Squam Swamp
  • Old Windmill and oldest house

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Events and Festivals

Holidays

  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Labor Day is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.

Sport

  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.
  • The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.

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Getting There

By Plane

Nantucket Memorial Airport (ACK) is located on the south side of the island. Some airlines and destinations are Cape Air to Boston, Martha's Vineyard and Providence, Comut Air to Newark Liberty International Airport, Comair and Jetblue Airways to New York JFK, Air Wisconsin to Washington, D.C., andColgan Air to New York LaGuardia.

By Car

You can take your car on the slow boat from Hyannis in mainland Massachusetts, but it is very expensive (see below).

By Boat

The Steamship Authority runs ferries throughout the day between Hyannis (southern coast of Massachusetts, not far from Cape Cod) and Nantucket. The fast ferry takes an hour and costs $30 one-way, the slow ferry 2¼ hours and $15 one-way. Only the latter takes cars for not less than $360 round-trip!
Hy-Line Cruises has similar ferries plus a daily boat between Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard from mid-June to mid-September (two hours) for slightly less than $30 one-way.

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Getting Around

By Public Transport

NRTA Shuttle provides transport around the town and island from late May to late September, for $1-$2 a ride, or $7 for a day pass.

By Bike

Given the congestion on the island and the fact that not everything is within walking distance, renting a bike is a great alternative. Check Nantucket Bikeshop or Young's Bicycle Shop for options.
There are many two-way paved bikeroutes on the island:

  • Madaket Bike Path, 6 miles (9.65 kilometres), 45 minutes one-way to the top of Madaket.
  • Siaconset (or Milestone) Bike Path - 7 miles (11.25 kilometres), one-way. Approximately 1 hour to Siasconset. Water available at the rotary.
  • Surfside Bike Path - 3.5 miles (5.6 kilometres), one-way. Rather flat route and only 20 minutes to the beach.
  • Polpis Road Bike Path - 16.5 miles (26.5 kilometres), loops from the Siasconset Bike Path to Polpis Road and back to town.
  • Cliff Road Bike Path - 2.5 miles (4 kilometres), past beautiful cliff-side homes.
  • Dionis Bike Path - continue on Cliff Road and explore the new Dionis Bike Path.

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Accommodation in Nantucket

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Nantucket searchable right here on Travellerspoint.

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This is version 9. Last edited at 11:02 on Jun 18, 19 by Utrecht. 4 articles link to this page.

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