Nantucket: By Bike & Boat


Brant Point Lighthouse.

Brant Point Lighthouse.

Steps Beach.

Steps Beach.

What a beautiful, chamber-of-commerce day; warm, but not too hot and a bright blue sky.  A perfect day for a bike tour.

Since we are here for a limited amount of time, we decided to take an escorted bike tour to make sure we actually understood what we were seeing.  Jason’s Nantucket Bike Tour’s 2-hour town trip proved to be a great choice.  You can save a few bucks and take a self guided tour with some of the local bike shops, but we felt being with Jason and Carl was worth every penny.  They were a great team, keeping us protected from traffic, pointing out where well-know figures (like John Kerry) live, joking, and giving us a local perspective, all while giving us an interesting history lesson.   They made sure my camera was safe, carried my jacket, and even had sunscreen when I realized I didn’t.

We covered a number of key sites including the Brant Point Lighthouse, the picturesque Jetties and Steps Beaches, Cobblestone Hill, neighborhoods filled with waterfront mansions, and tree-lined streets of homes with lush, blooming gardens. For history’s sake, we visited the Oldest House, Windmill and the Old Gaol (jail), literally tucked away in someone’s backyard.

We, of course, had worked up an appetite and headed over to the Straight Wharf area for a bite, then back to the Whaling Museum to snap some photos from the rooftop and catch the 3 PM presentation about Whale Hunting.  The Museum has a wonderful series of programs, and the volunteer docents are really terrific.  This museum is a perfect place to start any visit to Nantucket, and will make everything you see more meaningful.

Back at The White Elephant, we skipped the afternoon port & cheese, and got ready to head to dinner on the 50-minute water taxi ride to Topper’s by Water –  a sister property at The Wauwinet.  It’s an open boat that holds about 28, and you travel all the way to the head of the harbor enjoying the scenery (with more beautiful waterfront mansions).  Cheerful staff is on board to serve wine and cocktails along the way.  I imagine many days would be ether too hot, cold, windy or foggy – but like I said, this was a perfect day.

Dinner was a gourmet affair, three- course tasting menu; very continental, some foam, interesting combinations, very rich; my husband survived, and I got to try duck egg for the first time.  I must report, the egg was good, very large and rich; it was part of my appetizer and pretty much would have been enough for dinner.

We were tired and very full.

Oldest operating windmill in the country; dating from 1746.

Oldest operating windmill in the country; dating from 1746.


A mansion in 1686, when it was given as a wedding gift to the children of two feuding families; a great peacemaker.

A mansion in 1686, when it was given as a wedding gift by two feuding families to their children who had fallen in love and married.

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