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Brant Point Lighthouse; all photographs courtesy of Meredith Hanson

Sailing, an ACK tradition

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Travel Guide

Nantucket with Artist Meredith Hanson

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Artist and Nantucket native Meredith Hanson shares her insider's guide to the island she calls home. And if you're visiting—or a local—make sure to stop by our store on 11 South Water Street this Friday and Saturday, from 3-5 PM. Hanson will be our artist-in-residence hand-painting your VB, live.

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Q&A

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What are your top must-see, must-visit places in Nantucket?
There are several historic treasures that are absolutely worth stopping by for a visit!
1. Jethro Coffin House on Sunset Hill: Great to visit if you are biking or walking around the Cliff area. This is the oldest house on Nantucket where I have taken several of my art students to paint over the years and is perfect for a picnic. A great book to pick up from Mitchell’s Book Corner to go with your experience is Nathaniel Philbrick’s Away Off Shore. This book will give context to the people and places of Nantucket from 1602-1890.
2. Brant Point Lighthouse: If you have been following my work, you might have picked up on how much I love to paint all of the lighthouses on Nantucket! Ferrying past Brant Point is always a highlight of my travel experience to the island. Did you know that Brant Point is the second-oldest lighthouse in the United States? Cool, right? For hundreds of years, that lighthouse has been a guiding light for so many sailors to and from the island, from the early whaling days to summer ferry trips today.
3. ‘Sconset: I have lived on Nantucket for nine years and the last two have been in ‘Sconset. Be sure to walk over to Front Street where the views overlooking the water are breathtaking and the beautiful rose-covered homes feel quite literally like a fairytale.

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Recs on where to stay?
1.
21 Broad is a beautiful boutique hotel in town. I had a wonderful experience working alongside Lark Hotels on a project that introduced me to 21 Broad and several of their other New England hotels. I have always been drawn to 21 Broad’s coastal interior design and how warm and friendly their entire team is!
2. The Nantucket Hotel is also a family friendly place to stay! I enjoyed working with the owners on several painting projects last year—be sure to check out their antique bus and fire truck and sign up for a fun clambake night!

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Best places to eat and what to order?
Coffee: Handlebar Cafe's dirty chai latte
Breakfast: Lemon Press' acai bowl all the way! This has been my favorite order for years!
Brunch: Island Kitchen's egg white omelette with a side of potatoes, Portuguese English muffin and a big cup of coffee! (MH mugs are available with all hot drink orders!)
Lunch: Claudette’s veggie sandwich—with secret sauce of course!
Dinner: Nautilus' shishito peppers, scallion pancakes, blue crab fried rice… mmm!
Dessert: Homemade ice cream from The ‘Sconset Market ice cream counter (cookie dough for this girl!)
Nightcap: I love the rustic ambiance of Proprietors in town. This is a great spot to catch up with a friend or enjoy a date at the bar!

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The island's hydrangeas in full bloom

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One thing you can get in Nantucket you can’t get anywhere else…
A ride on the Endeavor sailboat! This is one of my favorite summer experiences and has been for years. I love to take my family and friends out with Captain Jim for an 1-2 hour cruise around the harbor. Captain Jim and Sue are two of the nicest people you will meet on Nantucket!

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The best view can be found at…
1.
Steps Beach: Before you walk down the steep staircase to the beach, enjoy those magical views of the harbor and the sweet scent of wild rosa rugosa blooms!
2. Altar Rock: The island has so many beautiful trails to walk on and bike. I would highly recommend a visit and hike around Altar Rock—it is the highest point on Nantucket! Enjoy 360 degree views of the moors, cranberry bogs and Polpis harbor.

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Your favorite local escape…
A stroll through my neighborhood in ‘Sconset with my golden retriever, Willis, is as good as it gets for an escape. I love to bring my camera out for our walks. We end up walking a new route every time we venture out!

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One secret only a local would know…
After nine years of living on Nantucket, I only just learned that you can now go walk up to the top of Sankaty Head Lighthouse over Columbus Day Weekend! That was a birthday treat to myself last year and the views are breathtaking! No mater how many times you have visited or how many years you have lived on Nantucket, there are always so many new places and things to be discovered!

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Meredith Hanson

The artist at work

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