We took a daytrip out to Nantucket Island, Massachusetts yesterday even though the forecast called for a dreary day.  The weather surprised us, it started out warm and sunny and stayed pretty warm even when the clouds and drizzling rain rolled in. We just stayed few hours on the island, and so I only have some highlights to show you. I hope to go back and give you a much more thorough account soon. I had bought a two-for-one ferry ticket coupon early in the spring and thought I was being smart waiting until tourist season was over to go. Unfortunately, the ferry schedule is greatly reduced in the fall but once we arrived we were grateful for the opportunity to see Nantucket Village in this season. It was utterly charming, and the island was exuding a very peaceful and cozy atmosphere. We mostly walked around the village, but did venture down Orange St. and found a really great little cafe called The Green. We couldn’t believe how beautiful and well maintained every house we walked by was. I found an interesting article on development regulations in Nantucket which described it perfectly,

And everywhere, even right in the center of town, there is a sense of nature coming right into the architecture. There are gardens and hedges, and best of all there are all the flowers on trellises creeping right up the sides of the cottages.

Strict building codes severely limit the options for home design, but it is what has helped preserve Nantucket’s distinctly New England architectural beauty for decades. As the article explains, so has a 2% tax on property sales for purchasing conservation land. Like Big Sur, these practices drive up real estate costs and make it almost impossible to find affordable housing on the island (the island’s master plan acknowledges that this is a major issue). But as a tourist, I don’t mind one bit. Walking around, I couldn’t help but notice all the little details that make Nantucket Village such a unique visual treat – the creative window boxes, the luxurious window dressing, peaks into the secret-garden-worthy backyards, and distinctive signs for local businesses. Even the gas pumps were kind of pretty. Here are some of those details;