Next year if you are looking for the quintessential 4th of July getaway, take your family to Nantucket. Three weeks ago, we spent the week on the island with family friends. Being that it was our first visit, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
For years in the summer, we have vacationed in Block Island, Rhode Island. It was easily located, full of personality, and filled with people whose main objective was to have fun. For the Fourth of July celebration, the island hosts an annual themed parade where an army of people equipped with water soakers surround the streets, rapid firing at anyone who crosses their path. The floats are constructed to be entertaining, with a prize given away for the most outrageous float. Ever year you see the antique bucking car, Uncle Sam on roller skates, or the family floats with the men dressed in hula skirts. The funnier the float, the more chances that they will win a ribbon. The Yellow Kitten (a local bar) float previews their weekend entertainment, complete with a jamming band and dancing crowd. We take bets as the float goes by to see if someone will fall off the back after drinking too many cold Buds.
If Block Island were Bud Light, Nantucket would be an aged glass of Pinot Noir. It was quaint, quiet, and charming. Small cobblestone streets were lined with cottages covered in rambling Cape Cod, light-pink roses. Seal lions hung out on the coastline, dodging in and out of the water. A whale followed our ferry on the way home. We stayed on the end of the island, which was 9.5 miles from where the ferry came in. The nice part for the kids was that they offer a bus service that takes you all over the island for $2 per trip.
On the fourth, eleven of us ran the local Nantucket 5k road race. We ranged from 8 years old to fifty. Aside from the fact that I nearly overran my son for going too slow (a proud parenting moment), it was a nice experience. Afterward, we headed into town for a dunking contest, blueberry pie eating contest, sand art, and more kid friendly activities that filled our morning.
The town was alive with bright Lilly Pulitzer colors. The beaches were beautiful. For people who had small children, or were a bit older and didn’t want to be reminded of the fun they were missing, the spot was perfect.
Would I go back? Absolutely, however I think that Block Island fits my personality; a bit louder, a lot crazier, and much less formal. I will wait until retirement for Nantucket. Until then, I plan to take advantage of every moment to relive my youth, even if it is only in my head.
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