Monday, July 5, 2021

 


NANTUCKET- A HAVEN FOR PHYSICAL, MENTAL AND SPIRITUAL WELLNESS


In difficult times, I have tried to temper sadness with gratitude, consciously asking myself what lesson I was meant to learn.  In the isolation of 2020, I learned through physical absence something I have always known- the absolute importance of friends and family.  I learned, from not seeing people’s faces, the way a simple smile can transform an afternoon. I learned from being home with my sweet cats to savor the sun, the percussion of the rain, a languid stretch, a snack, a brief nap.  I learned the rejuvenation that comes from taking a break from the computer, zoom calls, and errands to cuddle with the cat purring patiently by my side, to take a walk in the surf, to watch the sun rise (or set), and to revel in the twinkling of thousands of stars lighting the night sky on the easternmost shores of this island.


In my walks and my solitude, I see the birth and death evoked by the natural order- early bird getting the unlucky early worm, seagulls plucking unwary fish from the ocean, baby seals and fawn frolicking in the shallows and in the woods, the bunnies that chose our yard as their haven.  I look for reasons for the ebb and flow of life as I mourn the devastation Covid wrought, the reality that life always ends, the tragic sinking/collapse of buildings, the unfairness that the lives of beloved pets and their humans are not coterminous, the challenges people of color still face in 2021.  


Pic K. Tejada
And then a finch lays its eggs in a hanging fern on our veranda and its blue eggs hatch into hungry little chicks, our newest and youngest ever guests!  The roses bloom in profusion covering cottages in Sconset and in town, and the streets smell like perfume.  The temperature here on island remains in my small comfort zone of 65-75 degrees and ocean breezes blow through sheer curtains and caress our faces, carrying the tinkling laughter of young children passing by.  And it becomes increasingly clear that while nature gives and nature takes, it also teaches us that love never ends, that we are more resilient than we know and if we still our souls, it can rejuvenate all of us.  Health and wellness are reset by getting outside (of our minds) and by getting inside (of the natural world).

Most of us spend the vast majority of our time indoors working, and in doing so, fail to reap the health and wellness benefits of outdoor time.  All of that changed in 2020 when remote working became the norm.  In 2020, we were able to go back in time to a different era when people were more connected to nature.  In Nantucket, it is easy to tap into the many health attributes derived from nature, including improved mood and optimism and the benefits of vitamin D (helps prevent chronic diseases, fights infections, regulates our immune systems), fresh air (helps prevent infection and lowers levels of pain and stress ), greater focus (we become sharper and more focused when we return to our work after giving our brains a break), and the inimitable spiritual connection to our environment.

Invest in yourself and some “me” time and book a stay at the Martin House Inn.  In our haven in the heart of historic Nantucket, you are warmed by the sun and cooled by salty ocean breezes in our gardens and on our veranda and can observe the rhythm of the ocean from our roof walk.  You can stroll through cobbled and antique brick streets, along the shoreline, pedal the expanse of bicycle paths that lead to all quadrants of the island, swim, kayak, paddleboard, sail, do outdoor yoga at Children’s Beach, picnic and so much more.  And then you can come home to our serenity gardens with trickling fountains and a fire pit, relax into our plush comfortable beds in luxuriously turned out rooms, and enjoy the property and the many nooks and crannies it offers for introspective thought.  Solitude, sleep, exercise, fresh air, and the process of being mindful and consciously grateful all promote wellness- a state of complete physical, mental and spiritual well-being.  Take time to invest in you, nourish and pamper and  indulge yourself, feed your soul, reset your system and reconnect with the brightest version of yourself you can be. 




Monday, April 5, 2021

ONE YEAR LATER- A GREATER FOCUS ON THE OUTDOORS

(and what better place to be than on the beautiful island and beaches of Nantucket)

 


The word April was derived from the Latin word Aperit, which means open.  And a year later, the COVID vaccines roll-out, there is a sweet reawakening in Nantucket and in our world - marked by cleansing April showers, warmer breezes and the opening of spring flowers, businesses, and hearts.  We feel it intrinsically in a slow and then blossoming sense of hope for a return to a more traditional existence this season.  Perhaps it took a pandemic to highlight something we all innately knew but have never appreciated the way we do now- how connected we all are to each other and to the earth, how fortunate we have been to enjoy a lifetime of hugs and smiles.  We emerge from 2020 with 20/20 clarity and an ever present sense of gratitude that colors every small step forward.  The world is different now.  The earth is healthier, air quality vastly improved, and sunrises and sunsets more intensely beautiful.  Any in-person interactions, even with acquaintances, feel like reunions, something longed for and cherished.  Those with family and friends bring both laughter and tears.  The return of repeat guests to our inn and to our island is, to us, a homecoming, anticipated with joy and appreciation.  How different this April is from last April in both its sense of hope, freedom and rebirth.  2020 has changed us in some important ways and the ability to see the world and the people we know and meet in a new light, with a new perspective, is a rebirth and a gift.  April marks a new beginning for all of us.



April hath put a spirit of youth in everything ~William Shakespeare

One positive and well-received response by the Town of Nantucket to COVID was the closure of streets in the downtown area, creating oases for European-style outdoor dining.  As restaurants reopen this year, the downtown is peppered with umbrellas and planters, people gathering in a socially distanced outdoor way, and enhanced by the wafting smells of a multitude of culinary offerings.  Daffodil decorations add touches of yellow and green, reminding us that even though the iconic celebration will be virtual this year, spring is on its way and the holiday remains very much a part of the fabric of our community. 


Bill Hoenk Photography

Luckily for the island and its visitors, a tremendous part of Nantucket’s charm is the innate beauty of the island itself -- its beaches, trails (walking and biking), boutiques and cobbled streets. In the past month, the beaches of Nantucket have been cited in several articles as some of the most beautiful beaches in the country and in the world, making the island the subject of many bucket lists.  See what Travel & Leisure’s travelers had to say about Nantucket – “one of the world’s most romantic islands”.  And check out what travelers such as yourselves had to say on TripAdvisor about the BEST 15 Things To Do In Nantucket.





Other major draws include the island’s history and culture, and our museums and theatres and tours remain open for socially distanced exploration.  The island is also known for its sustainable farms, conservation lands and open-mic brewery, which are also must-sees.  And finally, Nantucket is renowned for its events and festivals. 

 

Courtesy NFF
While some events have been moved to a virtual setting (or postponed) this year, many are still slated to happen.  The Nantucket Film Festival, #NFF2021, takes place June 17-28.  The 26th annual Festival will feature a robust program of online screenings, as well as drive-in screenings and intimate garden screenings and conversations.  All in-person gatherings are being planned in compliance with local and state public safety guidelines.  


The Nantucket Garden Festival will lend an added festivity to the summer July 13-15.  Connie Q. Umberger, Nantucket Lighthouse School grandmother and former Chair of the Board founded the Nantucket Garden Festival as a fundraiser for the Nantucket Lighthouse School, which has long used gardens and gardening as an educational tool.  Throughout the years, the Festival has celebrated island gardening through informative workshops, exquisite garden tours, educational and inspirational keynote addresses, creative family activities, parties and more.

 


The Nantucket Comedy Festival, founded by headliner Kevin Flynn in 2007, is an annual summer event that brings top comedic talent to Nantucket Island as the major fundraiser for Stand Up & Learn™. This year’s Nantucket Comedy Festival, slated for July 15-17, again highlights Nantucket as a community connected by laughter.  They assure you, you will "laugh your ACK off".

Courtesy Nantucket Comedy Festival

The Boston Pops community gathering on Jetties Beach to support our Nantucket Cottage Hospital has been a tradition for 24 years.  The program features the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra and is scheduled for August 14, 2021.  What better way to spend a sultry summer night than at a concert, surfside. 


Courtesy TWN


The Theatre Workshop of Nantucket (TWN) will be announcing details of their 65th Season soon!  You can sign up for their newsletter to stay up to date on the latest announcements and developments. 

 



Come home to the Martin House Inn as your base to explore the beautiful Island of Nantucket.  Mention SPRING AHEAD for a discount on a new reservation of up to 20% for April stays: 10% for two nights, 15% for three nights, 20% for four nights.

 

Thursday, March 4, 2021

 


March, toward Spring!

March 2021 has arrived and here on Nantucket, it definitely came in as a lion!  The wind chill was 1 degree with wind gusts reported at 70 mph in Madaket!!  But with March comes the delicious knowledge that SPRING is just around the corner.    And we can think of no better place to be than here on Nantucket.   So why not begin thinking about a “Spring Fling” getaway or summer vacation? 


When was the last time you pampered yourself, planned or enjoyed a getaway or a sweet respite?  As the days lengthen, crocuses peek through the soil and the air grows incrementally warmer, the feeling that our world is reopening sends a message of hope and connection.  Now, as the vaccine rolls out and travel restrictions ease, is the time to plan your next great adventure.  And for now, the most trusted travel is in our own beautiful country, which you can explore with no possibility of getting stuck out of the country.  So plan a vacation to someplace you have read about, someplace you may have visited and had hoped to again, someplace you can drive to (with the help of a ferry or a puddle-jumper), someplace revered for its timeless beauty, its wealth of culture, its pristine beaches and world-renowned cuisine.  Come to Nantucket - Voted #2 of 50 Best Coastal Towns in the United States! Come to the Martin House Inn! 

The Martin House Inn combines the charm and romance of a bygone era with all the comforts of home. It also offers plenty of room for social distancing- in our serenity gardens, our spacious veranda, our lofty roof walk with panoramic views of the harbor and town, our comfortable gathering areas.  Our spacious accommodations blend the convenience and comforts of today with the romance and nostalgia of the past.  We offer 13 room choices. See a sampling below:

Located on our first floor, ROOM 1 is a lovely room with loads of light, a stunning, full-sized antique pillow top canopy bed, and private shower bath. 




Travelling with a larger group, or simply want your own private living area?  ROOM 2 is a richly decorated 2-room suite with a queen poster bed, that sleeps up to 4. Its spacious living room with large gas-remote fireplace, sleeper loveseat, flat screen TV with DVD, and board games provides you the comforts of home.  What's not to love?


Venture to our 2nd floor for our most romantic room (ROOM 21) , which features a queen canopy bed, a large fireplace, and a large bathroom with both a tub and shower.  Imagine, grabbing one of the sumptuous afternoon snacks we provide, and your favorite beverage (from your own private mini-fridge) as you return from your day of adventures, to enjoy in the warm, sultry breezes on your own private porch that overlooks our Serenity garden.  What better way to unwind!

 

There are many more rooms to choose from, depending on your preferences, and we invite you to visit our website to view them all. 


What to expect when you arrive?  Camelot style weather, where air conditioning exists but is not really necessary.  Gentle ocean breezes, windswept beaches, sand dunes, blinking lighthouses, cobbled streets, rose covered cottages and a charming pace of life await you on this 50-square mile island, 27 miles out to sea.  Formerly,  the world's top whaling port, the Town of Nantucket is now designated a National Historic District, and the Martin House Inn is in the heart of the historic district- a sea captain’s mansion built in 1803 and the most romantic inn on island.  And although Nantucket is often dubbed a haven for the rich and famous, it is surprisingly affordable and the ambiance down-to-earth.  Leave your make-up and your high heels at home and revel in comfortable shoes and the natural beauty that derives from sunshine and relaxation.  People dress casually when they are on island, spending days exploring the island’s beaches and trails, its historic district and theatres and one-of-a-kind shops and restaurants. 

 



There are many activities to choose from on Nantucket.  We promise, you will never be bored.  Visit our 3 world-renowned lighthouses, take a fishing charter or plan a sailing adventure! Rainy day? Not to worry, we have over 6 museums in-season featuring Nantucket’s history of whaling, shipwrecks, and beautiful lightship baskets, to name a few.  Additionally, there are a myriad of tours available to you.  Bike, Walkabout, Architectural tours, theatre – and whale & seal tours with Shearwater Excursions.  Hoping to enjoy the nightlife?  Visit Nantucket’s CISCO brewery, The Chicken Box and the Muse on the outskirts of town offer live bands.  The Rose & Crown, located within walking distance to the Inn offers live bands and karaoke contests.  What’s not to love?

Jack Vatcher Photography


Prefer a more mellow close to your day?  Why not unwind on our open-air veranda, or sit in the Serenity garden with its glowing fire pit and beautifully lit evening ambiance and soothing fountains.

Reserve now while there is still space, and be proactive in planning your next great adventure!  Now is the time to SOW!  Mention “Spring is On the Way” or “SOW” for a 15% discount on any reservation purchased in full before the first day of spring (March 20th, 2021).*



 

 *Cannot be combined with any other offer

 

 


Monday, February 8, 2021

 


February Can Be Fabulous

During the endless days of 2020, I learned patience and I practiced gratitude.  I learned that my family and friends and I were among the lucky ones during the proliferation of the pandemic- we had food and shelter and some degree of financial security.  I learned how little I really needed.  I learned an entirely new appreciation for our resilient family of friends and guests.  I call my lessons from 2020 “2020 Vision” and I am a better human with my 2020 vision.  My perspective has changed; my empathy for those less fortunate increased. 

 So with the benefit of 2020 Vision, I know without a doubt that February of 2021 breezed into Nantucket bearing gifts!  While a nor’easter hit the coast, piling multiple mounds of snow over a 2-day blizzard,  Nantucket was spared shoveling as our precipitation came only in the form of rain.  High winds shut ferries down.  Those wishing to come to the island were unable to, and those who thought they were heading home had a swift change of plans.  The Grey Lady and Mother Nature often conspire in this fashion, thick as thieves they can be.  Known  on average for balmier winter temps (39+), low precipitation (1.22”), and low winds (12mph), Nantucket’s weather is  one of the challenges (some say joy) of island-life, and it is magical.   It has taken many years, but finally, I learned in 2020 to embrace the weather offered us; to accept the things I cannot change, to savor the freedom of letting go.  And to enjoy all that February offers - the slowing down, the lengthening days, the beautiful light that makes a bad photograph virtually impossible to take.


Did you know that the month of February has nearly 230 holidays in its 28 days?  In the past, the shortest month of the year has been my longest, but not so in 2021.  A tradition since 1886 and a February event that continues to this day that most everyone is familiar with is Groundhog Day.  Punxsutawney Phil, the famed groundhog, came out of his snug winter abode this year and saw his shadow, portending six more weeks of winter, and sure enough, many snow storms are predicted for this month.  Nantucket had its own nautical version, Quahog Day, bought to the isle in 1982 by former harbormaster Allen Holdgate, Sr. and H. Flint Ranney.  Quentin the Quahog predicted the timing of winter’s end not by shadow, but rather by spitting his juice to the left this year, echoing Phil’s prediction of six more weeks of winter.  In true New England practicality, unlike Punxsutawney Phil who continues his celebrity from year to year, once Quentin’s services are completed he becomes a snack!!




Valentine’s Day is one of the most celebrated of February’s events.   Long known for flowers, chocolates and romantic excursions, it too offers a break from the long winter and a weekend to look forward to as the days lengthen.  Here at Martin House Inn, we offer an array of rooms with fireplaces and  canopy beds to sink into and cozy up with your sweetheart  after a day hiking our many trails, combing our endless beaches, strolling the Town’s historic streets on your self-guided walking tour, or simply relaxing in in front of a crackling fire.  The Artist’s Association will be featuring its Valentine’s Work Online exhibition through Saturday, February 13th, a perfect opportunity to bring a piece of Nantucket home and to offer your mate a memorable Valentine’s gift.  



The historic Whaling Museum reopens February 12th.   It is an outstanding way to learn of Nantucket’s fascinating history from the Whaling days to the Great Fire.   And the magnificent Festival of Trees will be on display through President’s Day.  And don’t forget to climb to the roof deck for a spectacular view of the island and harbor (and the Martin House Inn)!

 

Call and book between now and February 10th your next stay and enjoy a 15% discount (not to be combined with other offers).   A Nantucket escape will soothe your soul!








 


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!