26 August 2008

Why Nantucket in the fall?

We are reviving an article written by Susan Fogwell about Nantucket in the fall! You may find special fall deals, the best way for a weekend gettaway! Call Century House Bed and Breakfast Inn for some favorite specials. Enjoy.

Early Autumn in Nantucket is Best!
By Susan Fogwell

(Nantucket Island, Massachusetts)

If you’re a bibliophile, you’ll feel right at home staying at the Century House on Nantucket. Innkeeper owners, Gerry and Jean have the best of both worlds, dividing their year between Palm Beach and Nantucket. The inn is a home away from home for their new and regular stream of returning guests. A number of their guests are friends and former Nantucket homeowners who return each summer. For the past 22 years, they have personalized the inn with everything from their portraits and photographs to old license plates and a large, eclectic selection of books. Jerry, who is a former corporate bigwig and prolific reader, reads a book everyday, which accounts for the well-stocked bookcases and shelves throughout the inn. In my third floor room, Bayberry, there were books stacked on the steamer trunk, under the television and on the bureau.

Located thirty miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the well-heeled island is not the easiest place to reach, but well worth the effort. From Hyannis, it takes one-hour on the Steamship Authority high-speed ferry to reach Nantucket. The roundtrip ticket is $59.00 and reservations are required. www.web2.steamshipauthority.com/ssa The ferry provides parking in Hyannis for $12.00 per day and a shuttle is provided from the parking lot to the ferry wharf.

Upon arriving at the wharf, taxis are available for the brief ride to the Century House. If luggage is at a minimum, the inn is about a ten-minute stroll away. From the wharf, take a right on North Water Street where you will reach Cliff Road. The Century House is on the left.

There are several options in exploring the three ½ by 14-mile island. Many visitors rent bicycles. There are bicycle paths, which cross the island from Nantucketown to Madaket on the western side. This is a safe and fun way to see the flat island. Another option is renting a moped, which is discouraged by residents, due to the danger of driving on the roads with SUV’s, delivery trucks and cars looming up from behind. Moreover, patches of sand on the roads can cause a serious wipeout. There’s a reason why locals call moped drivers organ donors. The third option is renting a car at the airport, although expensive, it’s probably the best option if bicycling is not of interest, or if time is limited. Last, but not least, the NRTA shuttle bus transports most visitors as well as residents all over the island. www.shuttlenantucket.com

To put it succinctly, Nantucket is the last bastion of preppiness. Women clad in Lilly Pulitzer and men in pink oxfords with code flag belts are de rigueur. Cedar shake homes, from cottage-size to quite-ample-in-size dot the island. Hydrangea shrubs and American flags flank the majority of homes. For generations, summer residents have escaped to this exclusive 12-mile width island along with throngs of tourists who inundate the island on weekends.

Although known as a summer colony, perhaps the best time of the year to avoid monolithic crowds is in the early autumn. After Labor Day, the wall-to-wall packed sidewalks in the center of town, which is called Nantucketown, have, by then, thinned out. The humidity has been replaced by crisp, cool days, and seasonal shops and restaurants are still open for business. If you’re a crowd dodger, there isn’t a better time to visit. The Nantucket Arts Festival, an annual week-long event slated for September 30th thru October 8th celebrates extraordinary talent working on the island. Don’t miss the wet-paint sale in which you can bid on works completed that day by local artists. www.nantucketchamber.org

Also, during the month of September, a guided whale watching tour by Shearwater Excursions offers a unique voyage where you have the opportunity to spot whales, dolphins, sharks and more. Another popular outing is the 2 and ½ hour Seal Cruise to Muskeget Island, which is a brief thirty-minute boat ride away. The island is home to an estimated population of 2500 grey seals who live there year-round. www.explorenantucket.com

Aside from the ferries, Us Airways Express and Continental Express fly into Nantucket Memorial Airport.

A three or four night stay on Nantucket is an ideal amount of time to sample the restaurants, shop, checkout the beaches, or simply relax.

Information and photos submitted by:

The Century House
10 Cliff Road
Nantucket, MA
(508) 228-0530

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