The thirty-mile, two-hour sea crossing to NANTUCKET may not be an ocean odyssey, but it does set the “Little Gray Lady” apart from her larger, shore-hugging sister, Martha. Nantucket’s smaller size adds to its palpable sense of identity, as does the architecture; the “gray” epithet refers not only to the winter fogs, but to the austere grey clapboard and shingle applied uniformly to buildings across the island. The tiny cobbled carriageways of Nantucket Town itself, once one of the largest cities in Massachusetts, were frozen in time by economic decline 150 years ago. Today, this area of delightful old restored houses – the town has more buildings on the National Register of Historic Places than Boston – is very much the island hub. Surrounding the ferry exit is a plethora of bike rental places and tour companies. Straight Wharf leads directly onto Main Street, with its shops and restaurants.

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