Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Happy New Year and welcome to the long-awaited 2021!


As we welcome the long-awaited 2021, with renewed hope for a safer future, we look forward to a ‘new normal’, one in which an excursion to a romantic inn on an idyllic island in the most authentically historic part of the United States for a grand adventure is a first step in healing the scars of 2020. 

Come home to historic Nantucket- a magical island, 30 miles out to sea and one of the easternmost points of the Americas.  We promise, after a few hours, of inhaling the island’s pristine and salty air and relaxing into the warmth and beauty of the Martin House Inn, you will melt into the tempo and gentle pace of the island community and feel a bit as though you have never worked for a living.  Whether you come in our quiet season or in our high season, there is always much to see and do.

The island is rich with history.  Able to boast the largest concentration of Native American names of places in the country, Nantucket, in the Wampanoag dialect, means “far away land”.  Nantucket Island was considered the Whaling Capital of the World from 1800-1840 and, at its peak had 88 whale ships at sea, all around the world, resulting in a per capita wealth for the time that would rival Saudi Arabia’s today.  It was during this period that the Martin House Inn was built by sea captain and gentleman, Nathaniel Sherman for his bride Hepsabeth.  Situated in the heart of Nantucket’s famed “historic district”, this resplendent 1803 mariner’s mansion will take you back to a romantic place and time when the new world was still being discovered and America was hardly yet a notion.  And to a place in time when women ran the island businesses while their husbands were away at sea, whaling.  At the time the inn was built there, Centre Street  was known as Petticoat Row, where all the proprietors actually wore petticoats and kept the island businesses and economy thriving.  The Great Fire of 1846 destroyed much of the island’s business district and the wharfs.  The Great Fire, the discovery of oil in the United States and the dwindling demand for whale oil, the silting up of the harbor, and the discovery of gold in California in 1849 all marked the end of the whaling era prosperity in Nantucket, and the beginning of an economic depression that lasted until tourism replaced whaling as Nantucket’s economic base.  2020 tested that economic base, but Nantucket is resilient and enters 2021 with arms and doors wide open.

Other interesting facts about the island’s history and things to do during your stay include:

Nantucket was home port to two ships that were involved in the Boston Tea Party:  the Beaver and the Dartmouth, owned by the Rotch family, whose offices were located at the foot of Main Street in the brick building now call The Pacific Club.


Herman Melville based his novel Moby Dick on the true and tragic tale of whale ship Essex.  This Nantucket ship was whaling in the Pacific off the coast of South America in 1820 when it was rammed and sunk by a sperm whale.  Melville received his information from Owen Chase, a Nantucket resident and a mate on the Essex and one of only eight survivors, who kept the ship’s log. Our local author

Nathaniel Philbrick chronicles the history of the island in The Heart of the Sea, which is now also a motion picture.


Nantucket is an island, a county, and a town.  It is the only place in America with the same name for all three.


Nantucket’s year-round population is ~11,327 (2018), but its summer population soars to over 50,000.


Nantucket has over 82 miles of pristine beaches, only about two miles of which belong to the town.  The remaining beaches are owned by private non-profit organizations and landowners who graciously open them to the public.


Nantucket has more than 35 miles of bicycle paths


Nantucket is 3 ½ miles wide and 15 miles long in size.


Nantucket is usually 10% cooler than the mainland in the summer and 10% warmer in the winter because of its proximity to the Gulf Stream.


The highest point on the Island is Folger Hill at 109 feet above sea level, followed closely by Altar Rock at 108 feet.  Altar Rock is one of 3 major areas that comprise the Middle Moors.  The other 2 are the Serengeti and the Pout/Poot Ponds.


Nantucket Memorial Airport is the second busiest commercial airport in Massachusetts after Logan International in Boston.


Nantucket has several noted museums and galleries, including the Maria Mitchell Association and the Nantucket Whaling Museum.

Nantucket is home to the Theatre Workshop of Nantucket, Nantucket’s longest running professional theatre, since 1956.  It is also the home to the Dreamland Theatre and the White Heron Theatre, and to the Nantucket Community Music Center.


Nantucket is a haven for writers, including Nat Philbrick, Elin Hilderbrand, Nancy Thayer, Jodi Picoult, Alice Hoffman, Barbara White, Cary Hazlegrove, Liza Gershman.  John Steinbeck even came to the solitude of Nantucket’s easternmost shore in Siasconset to work on his greatest novel, East of Eden.  He declared his adopted east-end enclave to be "a beautiful place and the most peaceful I have ever been." (Hartford Courant)


Nantucket is known worldwide for its outstanding culinary offerings and sports a plethora of restaurants from family-fun to fine dining. Cisco Brewers, an award-winning brewery and the maker of Notch, was established on the island.


Nantucket is famous for its many wonderful festivals- Daffodil Festival, Nantucket Wine Festival, the Luna Festival, the Figawi, the Nantucket Book Festival, the Nantucket Film Festival, the Nantucket Comedy Festival, the Nantucket Dance Festival, the Nantucket Yoga Festival, the Boston Pops, the Nantucket Project, the Cranberry Festival, and Christmas Stroll.


Nantucket boasts three award-winning golf courses.


Nantucket offers a multitude of water sports and fishing and boating excursions.


Nantucket features cobbled streets with one-of-a-kind shopping, including artisan offerings, beautiful clothing, and many jewelry stores and art galleries.


Above is just a sampling of Nantucket’s offerings. Even when gatherings are limited, the island is rich in culture and nature.  With multiple beaches, bike paths, parks, golf courses, and Conservation trails, theatres, restaurants, book stores, and our veranda and serenity gardens, the island offers something for everyone. 

The Island is also known for its conservation and Land Bank lands and trails.

The Martin House Inn team looks forward to welcoming you in 2021, and to being a part of your island adventures. Here's to creating memories that will last a lifetime!

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

 December 2020 - Virtual Nantucket

December on Nantucket has long been famous for our Dickensian Christmas Stroll, replete with cobbled streets lined with twinkling Christmas trees, old-fashioned Church fairs, a talking Christmas tree bedazzling children of all ages, carolers in period garb filling the streets with song, shopping and the warm hospitality of the island stores, Santa and Mrs. Clause arriving by ferry and taking a sleigh ride through town, culinary delights offered by local restaurants and the charm of the island’s historic inns.   2020 is different.  But while we are celebrating a bit differently this year, we are still celebrating.  The Chamber and our community have rallied and reimagined what would have traditionally been Christmas Stroll, creating the Nantucket Noel, a ‘shop local’ initiative.  The Nantucket Noel was created to allow island residents to safely enjoy the magic of the holiday season on Nantucket, while inviting our off-island friends and families, wherever located for the holidays, to support our local businesses.  It is a lovely and inclusive idea to give people missing the traditional Stroll this year the opportunity to bring a bit of Nantucket into their homes! 

The virtual tree lighting was well-received and you can view it, and some of our local proprietors sending messages to all, whenever you’d like…and as many times as you’d like via YouTube.

 Tree decorating, a much loved tradition, is taking place now thru December 4th.  Judges will choose, and announce, the winner via social media and e-blast.  People’s Choice opens December 5th.  You can vote virtually for Best Storefront, Best Tree, and Favorite Ugly Sweater!  You may want to submit your own Ugly Sweater to the competition (deadline is December 3rd).  The Chamber has also partnered with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in establishing Shop Santa’s Village.  Shop Santa’s Village partners nonprofits/businesses that have storefronts in an effort to help ALL businesses have a successful year-end.



Double-red tickets are in play at participating businesses on 12/5, 12/12 & 12/19.!

Winners will be announced, virtually, December 24th @ 3pm ET. 2020 has been a year of many firsts, and for the first time this year, you don’t have to be present to win!  Simply tune into local cable NCTV Channel 18, NCTV's YouTube Channel, the Chamber's social media channels, and 97.7 ACK FM to see if you're a winner.

While we cannot all come together in person, we share in countless other ways.  Do you have a favorite Christmas Stroll memory you would like to share?  Submit it to the Chamber here, via images, words, and/or video for all to enjoy!  

And, let us not forget Santa!  You can write to Santa, or sign-up to meet with Santa via Zoom video!!  Yes, even the North Pole has Wi-Fi.  😊

Courtesy Nantucket Chamber of Commerce


Looking for holiday gift ideas or dreaming of a trip once this pandemic is in our rearview mirrors?  Why not buy a Martin House Inn gift certificate, for yourself, friends, family, loved ones between now and December 31, 2020 and receive a 15% discount on your total purchase?  You can reach us at (508) 228-0678.  We can email it directly to you or recipient(s).   What better way to usher in a fresh new year than a getaway to our charming little hamlet!

The past year has been challenging and heartbreaking and frightening; we know this.  It has forced us to slow down, to reset.  It has also been heartwarming to witness the way communities have stepped up, joined together, and taken care of one another.  The scarcity and absence makes us more grateful for the abundance and for the connections with those we love, staying at home makes the thought of future journeys and a simple shared meal that much more joyous, and our friends and neighbors help us remember the innate goodness of people.  That goodness, in and of itself is the best Christmas gift we can think of!  We wish you all health, happiness, hope and joy this holiday season, and look forward to seeing you in the not-too-distant future! 


Monday, November 9, 2020




As we leave Indian Summer and the month of October 2020 behind and walk through the last of the falling leaves into the more quiet month of  November, with the Thanksgiving holiday to look forward to and a multitude of reasons to be grateful, we  take time to  reflect and to remind ourselves of all the reasons we are thankful.  

Many have said it; it has been a challenging year.  At the Inn and in the world, it has been a year different from any other- one that challenged all of us and brought out the very best in so many of us.  It’s also been a year to reflect, redesign, rethink, and reimagine.  We have all struggled, but we have also been remarkably enriched by the way our society has pivoted and reinvented itself this year.  At the Martin House, we are in the business of taking care of guests who choose to stay with us.  They are the extended family who we do our utmost to take care of.  For three lonely months, we were unable to do so.  We are thankful that the ban was lifted and we again were able to welcome back returning guests and to come to know guests new to us.   It has been one of the great pleasures of our year to talk with all of you about how you were doing, what your hopes were, what you were thankful for.

We had to redesign how we ran the business.  From sanitizing to breakfast service, we took a step back and made an effort to deliver to our guests a safe environment.  Our incredible staff worked within the CDC guidelines to ensure the rooms were meticulously cleaned using the new procedures.  We modified our breakfast and offered heated outdoor seating areas so that guests could socially distance but still enjoy one another’s company, and a hearty meal to begin their days on this glorious island.  We are thankful that we were able to do so, and were so thankful for all the positive feedback and comments and reviews we received.


Restaurants and shops and theaters, having a similar situation upon reopening, had to rethink how their businesses would accommodate visitors to the island.  They went above and beyond, working with the Town, setting up beautiful outdoor seating areas (some with wood dance floors!) with heat lamps so that guests could once again enjoy the delectable delights their menus offered.  They offered virtual entertainment, often at no charge.  We are thankful that we have such a great, imaginative, generous and resourceful community.


We continue to hope that the world will soon return to normal but since the timing is at best uncertain, we will continue to reimagine how we can continue to improve and enhance the guest experience.  We are so thankful to be able to host our guests and to welcome so many of you back over and over again.  We look forward to continuing on that journey, and as always, are very thankful for those who make the journey with us.

As a token of our gratitude we are offering a Holiday Season special, 15% off certificates purchased as holiday gifts for use in the future.  Give someone the gift of Nantucket, of a special stay at your home away from home!  Mention “Holiday Gift Certificate” when you call!  Or treat yourself and come to Nantucket between Thanksgiving and Christmas and we will offer you the same discount!


Perhaps you would like to share what you are thankful for?

Friday, October 2, 2020

Come Home To Us                                               


Autumn in Nantucket, especially at the Martin House Inn, is a step back into simpler times, the familiar feeling of a free-fall into the pile of leaves you loved in your youth, a sweet respite of ocean air, gentle breezes, comfortable beds with fluffy down comforters, fireplaces, and the pampering we all need, especially now. 


Despite the turmoil of this year, the fall of 2020 keeps getting better for the Martin House!  Recently voted the best bed and breakfast on Nantucket, featured on Bloomberg news, the subject of at least three videos you can view on our website, our property glowing in three recent photo shoots by Jack Vatcher, Michael Silvia/the New Bedford Guy, and Georgie Morley/Happy Place, the Martin House Inn is feeling grateful and loved. 

As we move into Indian Summer, the season extended by our fire towers and fire pit, we urge you to come for a shoulder season visit, when our rates are significantly lower, the island is still vibrant (but less crowded), and the autumn wraps around you like its hallmark sweaters.  Fall is a beautiful time to discover and enjoy all that Nantucket has to offer. While there won’t be a formal cranberry festival this year, the cranberries will still turn crimson, ripen and be harvested, and we will be offering decadent chocolate/cranberry scones, and many other seasonal treats.  And maybe Halloween won’t happen in its traditional sense, but we have hundreds of candy bars for the taking! 


From the moment the sun peeks over the horizon, the colors of autumn will continue to intensify and you will be greeted by the golden and orange hues of changing leaves, the pumpkins and scarecrow on our porch, the fall offerings in our serenity gardens, and so much more.  Or you can sit inside in front of a roaring fire with a good book or enjoy a glass (or a bottle) of wine on our roof walk, observing the routes of ancient sailing ships and reveling in the timelessness of island life.


Once you are here, there is much to fill your days. Enjoy beaches, hiking and biking trails, the crashing surf, outdoor dining, glorious sunrises and romantic sunsets,the magic of  

the island's vibrant night skies, repleat with bright planets and thousands of stars.  Nantucket is truly a haven in the autumn- leisurely shopping, fall fishing, sunset cruises, the harvests at the cranberry bogs and at Bartlett’s Farm (be sure to visit Cisco Brewers while you are out that way), and so much more. 


Getting here is easier now with Southern Airways new fast daily flights from Boston/Norwood, New Bedford, Providence and Hyannis airports.  Flights take less than 30 minutes!  So why not treat yourself and someone you love to a weekend or even an overnight stay at the Martin House soon!  Southern Airways is offering Martin House guests a 20% discount for travel through December 22, 2020. Book online at, or call Southern at 800 329-0485 and use the code ONESOUTH25.  Or if you prefer to come by boat, both the Hyline (508 778-2600) and the Steamship (508 477-8600) offer daily service and are just a short walk from the Martin House.  For new bookings for stays between October 15 and Thanksgiving Day, we are offering a 15% discount from our regular rates if you mention FALL-FOR-US when you book direct. 

Looking forward, you may have read that Christmas Stroll 2020 has been postponed until 2021.  Certain events that involve large gatherings - the Stroll parade, the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and the in-person red-ticket drawing will not be a part of the island’s holiday activities this year.  With public safety a priority for all of us during these days of Covid, however, the Town of Nantucket has reimagined the Thanksgiving/Christmas celebrations, to spread out the festivities from November 27th through December 31st this year.  Come home to the Martin House during our extended holiday season and enjoy a Dickensian old-fashioned holiday and a 10% discount from our regular rates for a 2 night stay (or a 15% discount for a three night stay) for new bookings simply by mentioning the code NANTUCKETNOEL.  The Nantucket Noel is a shop-local initiative which has been created to allow residents and visitors alike to safely enjoy the magic of the holiday season on Nantucket and to find unique Nantucket gifts for the holidays.


Our partnership with Southern Airways will make getting here easier, quicker, and less expensive, or you can simply hop on a ferry (taking the slow or fast boats offered by the Steamship and/or the Hyline) for a more leisurely journey.  For those who worry about going inside restaurants during their Nantucket Noel visit, we have you covered.  We have partnered with the Centre Street Bistro  on-line and the Nantucket Tap Room to offer take-out dinners and will continue to explore additional take-out options which you can enjoy in the comfort of your room or in one of our several gathering areas if you book your stay with a dinner package.  An added bonus, for your December stays, this year’s holiday gift from us to you is homemade and will serve as a sweet reminder of your stay with us throughout all of 2021. 

We are still here for you.  Come home to us!

Thursday, September 3, 2020


September on Nantucket


On this first day of September, we woke to cool, crisp air, blue skies with wispy clouds, and a subtle woodsy  scent carried by gentle breezes.  There is a magical quality to Nantucket in September– as the days shorten, at once a saudade for the light and joy of the Nantucket summer and a longing for the slowing and colors as well as sweet treats (sweater weather, tomato and pumpkin picking and Halloween candy) that autumn offers.   


Already, the momentum has slowed just a bit.  The traffic on streets and beaches is lighter, restaurants have more availability and it remains temperate enough for meals Parisian style at outdoor bistros, and people are wrapped in comfortable sweaters at nightfall. 


Indian Summer on Nantucket may be our favorite time of the year here. The days are still warm enough to visit your favorite beaches to revel in a sunrise or walk or bike one of the meandering Nantucket Conservation trails.  Their Family Staycation Scavenger Hunt is back!  September 1st to 15th there are 6 new self-guided path to enjoy. 


Evenings are cooler- perfect for cozying up for a romantic evening in front of our fire pit in the beauty of our serenity garden, or simply relaxing on our veranda in the warmth and glow of our standing fire towers.


In between, there is much to do, starting with our wonderful breakfasts.  Cranberry season is fast approaching and soon, you’ll be able to take Nantucket cranberries, home with you to use in your favorite recipes.  Just this morning we served our dark chocolate cranberry scones!  

From stores and restaurants, to Cisco Brewery or a sojourn to the quaint village of ‘Sconset (and its sweeping views of the Easternmost shores of the United States) or Madaket for its magnificent beaches, or to simply an afternoon reading in one of the Martin House nooks, you won’t be disappointed.


We enter this September with a deep sense of joy and gratitude for the honor bestowed upon us by our family of guests in voting us Number 1 Bed and Breakfast in Nantucket.  Thank you for all the love and support!  In return, we are offering a 15% discount for new September stays if you book direct and mention Best of Nantucket!  Be safe, and come home to us soon!