Introduction

No matter what the season, Nantucket is a magical island, a charming island. Time seems to stand still here, and the problems of the mainland seem vastly more than 26 miles away. There are no fast food chains here, no traffic lights, no neon signs. Instead visitors will find pristine gray-shingled and clapboard homes, stately brick mansions, and the rolling moors all around.

For over 100 years, whaling molded the character of Nantucket and brought the island great prosperity. By 1820 a census counted 7,300 residents, and the island was known as the whaling capital of the world. It is said that no woman here would marry a man who had not taken a whaling voyage and killed a whale.

Today tourism has replaced whaling as Nantucket’s major industry. The island’s rich history, carefully preserved in its streets, homes, and museums, is what has brought Nantucket this new prosperity. It is what brings visitors back to the island time and time again, all four seasons of the year.