The island’s population declined precipitously in the last quarter of the 19th century. The specific word or meaning which was translated into Nantucket has been lost to history, but most believe it meant something like “in the midst of waters” or “far away island”. The Jethro Coffin House is the oldest house still standing on Nantucket Island and was built in 1686. Nantucket Chamber of Commerce. One of the most popular choices for visitors to the islands are seal or whale watching excursion boats. Here is why Nantucket Island ranks as the best spot to relax in New England. Many visitors rent bicycles since the terrain is gentle and easy biking for virtually anyone. Nantucket is famous for having some of the most beautiful and pristine beaches in the world, which attract thousands of people every year, but there are many cultural activities as well. Over the past twenty years the permanent population of the town of Nantucket has increased by 64% going from 6012 in 1990 to 10,172 in 2010 during the last census. Beaches. The barrier beaches of Great Point, Coatue, Smith’s Point and parts of Eel Point and the north shore require permits to drive onto as well as a four-wheel drive vehicle, and are closed during certain periods when protected sea birds are nesting. Guests are taken out onto the ocean east and southeast of the island to see playful seals and majestic whales swimming through the pristine waters. Keep your eyes peeled in June – you’re likely to catch a few celebrities around town. AND, for those of you who love to bike, Nantucket has miles and miles of bike paths so you can bicycle at your own pace without worrying about other vehicles. There is no shortage of things to do while visiting the island of Nantucket. The first American woman astronomer was Maria Mitchell, born in Nantucket in 1818. The television series Wings was based in Nantucket. The Paleo- Archaic Indians arrived in the area on the coastal plain that would become the outer islands of Southeastern Massachusetts well before Europeans settlers came this continent to live. The town’s name most likely comes from a Native American tribe known as the Wampanoag, the last Native Americans to reside on Nantucket. Between 1690 and about 1840, Nantucket was the foremost whaling port in America. The Sound is also renowned for recreational boating and fishing, and contributes to drawing over six million visitors annually to Cape Cod and the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. 18. Answer. Many of the galleries offer artwork from local and internationally-known artists. As a result, all new and remodeled building since then has been subject to regulation by the Nantucket Historic District commission, to assure its compatibility with existing architecture. The airport is located on the south side of the island, and is actually the second busiest airport in New England during the summer, handling more flights in and out than Boston’s Logan Airport. The Nantucket year-round population is 17,200. 17. What is Nantucket famous for other than Nantucket Nectars? People of all ages love visiting these impressive museums to have some fun while learning about the island. There are also a number of hotels and inns spread in town and throughout the island for visitors to enjoy as well. For individuals who are looking for something a little more relaxed while on Nantucket there are many different options to choose from. Each year there is a Rock Run in which teams or some very brave individuals circumnavigate the island (fortunately only 52 miles of the 82). Nantucket prospered with the whaling industry and, following its decline, made the transition to a tourist destination. Cobblestones were laid on Main Street in 1838. Together they are home to fewer than 10,000 year round residents, though during the summer months that number grows to over 50,000 with an influx of summer residents and tourists. More likely they were laid to cope with New England spring mud. These resorts are popular vacation destinations for individuals and families who want to be pampered during their visit. There are over 800 buildings and structures built before the Civil War (1861) that are still in existence. R.H. Macy a native Nantucketer born in 1822, was the founder of the Macy’s retail stores. Some of these visitors bought summer houses on Nantucket and in Siasconset, furthering the island’s economic revival.