Look at the Happy Charm of Nantucket: A Historic Treasure

This past weekend I’ve been researching the charm of Nantucket Island, hoping to take our summer vacation there next year. I’ve always wanted to visit both Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard and decided to visit the smaller island first. We might take a ferry for a day trip to Martha’s Vineyard to do a little exploring. It was hard to choose one of these popular vacation spots for 2025, but the fact that the entire island of Nantucket is a historic district is what finally swayed me.

hydrangea in front of gray weathered shingle home in Nantucket


Part of the charm of Nantucket is the abundance of weathered gray, shingled cottages and the roses and hydrangeas that add to their beauty. Most of the Airbnbs I’ve looked at feature the iconic shingled siding.

House Cottage Flower Window Boxes Nantucket Massachusetts


Most include an outdoor area, which is always important to me when choosing an Airbnb. I don’t understand why some listings don’t include outside photos.

Porch scene in neighborhood, of Nantucket village


Most of the rental homes are decorated much as I would expect them to be. A little nautical and a lot of cozy.

a small white coastal cottage living room


There’s only the one town of Nantucket on the island and it’s known for its historic architecture and cobblestone streets. I can’t wait to walk down those roads and see the old buildings that house restaurants and shops. This beautiful white home is located on upper Main Street.

Upper Main St., Nantucket village


Right across the street is this blue beauty that includes an apartment you can rent on Airbnb. The town also includes a whaling museum.

Nantucket Island street


Have you been to Nantucket Island? If yes, be sure to let me know in the comments below where you’ve been and what you loved most.

Shop door, side street, Nantucket village


I’m finding plenty of places to stay. The hard part is choosing which part of the island. Siasconset (also known as ‘Sconset) is on the east side and enjoys amazing sunrises, serene beaches, and a plethora of rose-covered cottages. But then the west side of the island has breathtaking sunsets.

Siasconset cottage covered with roses


There’s also the mid-island area that’s strategically located in the middle of everything. And since the island is only 50 square miles, it’s easy to get to all the various points of interest.

Charm of Nantucket - shingled cottages


The oldest mill in the United States is located in the mid-portion of Nantucket and I found several Airbnbs nearby.

Old Mill windmill in Nantucket, MA


But then there’s the hustle and bustle of the downtown area that’s also appealing with its variety of historic architecture.

Nantucket Streetscape


Nantucket Island home


I’m sure we’ll take a trip to the north side to visit Brant Point lighthouse and walk along the beach.

Brant Point Lighthouse on the Island of Nantucket


There are plenty of paths that lead to 80 miles of beachfront to enjoy the sun and water. It reminds me of the paths that lead to the beaches on Hilton Head Island.

Path to the beach, Nantucket


staircase to beach


Regardless of the area we choose to stay, I’m sure we’ll explore the entire island to enjoy the charm of Nantucket and it will be hard to wait an entire year to go!

And on another note, congratulations to Kathy M. who’s the winner of the book, Return to Pretty! Kathy, check your email.


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  1. I have been there in 2002 and it is among the most beautiful and charming places i have seen in the world. I would recommend you to stay downtown as it is lovely and alive. Have a great breakfast at main street, visit the amazing whale museum and listen to the story teller. During the day visit the many locations and beaches in the island….late afternoon at a nice coffee shop downtown…just walk around. Have a wonderful dinner and keep waking around- everything is just perfect there. I want and hope to go there again as it lives in my heart. Wish you the most wonderful time there!

    1. Hi Ticia,
      Thanks for your suggestions! I completely understand what you mean when you say it “lives in your heart.” That’s how I felt about Maine last summer and I vowed to get back out east. This time it’ll be Nantucket. So much to explore!

  2. That beach photo DOES look like Hilton Head! There are not many places I want to visit anymore, but that part of the NE is at the top of the list!

    1. Hi Deb! I haven’t been to Massachusetts since I was a kid and hope to visit a few places in the Northeast over the next few years. I love the combination of the beauty and the country’s history in that area.

      1. We love staying at the Wauwinet. We like the whole island. Been there many times as we lived in Boston. Rent a jeep and drive around. Cranberry bogs, beach drives. The old cemeteries. Beautiful place.

  3. Just returned from my 3rd trip to Cape Cod! Have been to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard on day trips. Totally want to go back to each and stay for several days. No town or either island that I wouldn’t recommend! Absolutely love!

  4. I love both places- but there is so much more to see & do on Martha’s Vineyard. We enjoy Nantucket for just relaxing and hanging on the beach, and I prefer to stay closer to down town to cut down on driving. The rose covered cottages of Sconset are adorable, and downtown has wonderful restaurants, shops & galleries. Martha’s Vineyard has several towns, each with it’s own distinct character and each delightful. Lots to see & do in Oak Bluffs -large main st, beautiful marina, the victorian cottages (over 300). It’s a bit on the touristy side but still fun to explore. The ferry from Falmouth arrives here several times a day – so you could also do a day trip to Cape Cod. Edgartown is absolutely beautiful with its charming main street and streets with incredible homes & gardens – perfect for walking around. Chilmark area has quaint fishing village with the best lobster roll you will ever eat, and Aquinnah has one of the lighthouses & cliffs. Whichever you choose, you will definitely enjoy!!!

    1. Hi Liz! Thanks so much for your insight. When doing research, Edgartown looked the most interesting to me if we’re to visit Martha’s Vineyard. Oak Bluff looked touristy to me but I have to confess, I’d love to see the colorful homes! I think I’m going to have to make more than one trip to that area.  🙂  

  5. Jennifer, thank you. I’ve Bookmarked this page. These beautiful summer Colonial/New England pictures are enticing. I’ve been to Martha’s Vineyard, but never Nantucket, and now Nantucket is on a “must see” list, as well as a return to Martha’s Vineyard.

  6. I have not been but I would absolutely love to go. It’s so hard for me to leave Michigan this time of year because I feel that this is the most wonderful place in the world in the summer. A Blogger that I follow has a home there “Mix and Match Mama” you might enjoy her descriptions and recommendations.

    1. Hi Stacey! Thanks for recommending that blogger. She has a whole section dedicated to Nantucket! I agree with you that Michigan is beautiful this time of year. My sister lives in the southwest section of Michigan.

  7. Charming place and know you will have a good time and I don’t blame you it would be hard to wait. I love places like this.

  8. Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard are both “can’t miss” destinations. Nantucket is smaller, less traffic, has a quaint New England island feel but is posh and fabulous at the same time. Nantucket is much quieter with less to do at night, but has a ton of historic charm. Martha’s Vineyard has a special place in my heart, as I have spent summers there since I was 6 years old. Traffic in the summer is a nightmare, so it is often best to pick a town (Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Vineyard Haven, and stick to it for the day. You can always travel away from the busier towns to Aqunnah to see the Gay Head Lighthouse and Cliffs or West Tisbury for a quiet afternoon. If you want big waves go to South Beach (Katama), watch out the undertow can get rought. If you want the best seafood on the beach, go to Menemsha and watch the sunset. The island has a lot of local farm stands and produce. A wonderful place to visit!