Dear Nantucket

Over the past semester, I traveled quite a bit and was exposed to many different cultures. I was blown away by so many places and loved every minute of exploring the world around me. However, when I arrived in Nantucket last night, I realized that, in my opinion, no other place compares to Nantucket. And since I’ve dedicated many blog posts to the many cities and countries I traveled to this semester…I felt like I needed to dedicate one to my favorite place in the world. So, here’s to you, Nantucket!



Dear Nantucket,

When I first met you, I was just a little bitty baby in my Mom’s arms. We took a big green ferryboat over to see you. And I knew, even then, that it was love at first sight.

And each time I return, I seem to fall more and more in love with you. Because…

You are the place where I spend every birthday, where I spend every Christmas.

You are the place where I learned to play tennis and to swim and to sail. You are the place where I got my first real job.

You are the place filled with blue hydrangeas, rose covered cottages, grey-shingled houses, white picket fences, and cobblestoned streets.

My family and I may live on opposite sides of the country and even opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean, but it is you who brings us back together time and time again.

You have the most beautiful 82 miles of beaches I have ever seen. You let me drive on the sand with my car packed with family and friends, towels, beach chairs, a mini grill, food and drinks so I can have picnics and watch the sunsets. You even let me stay late to roast marshmallows for my s’mores.

You are the home to the best restaurants, best homemade ice cream, and best homemade fudge I have ever tasted.

You have a festival for just about everything and anything – film, comedy, wine, yoga, birding, daffodils, books, arts, dance, cranberries, etc. – showing your appreciation for the little things in life and reminding me to do the same.

You not only celebrate the little things, but the big things as well. You celebrate the Fourth of July like no one else. With water fights between the towns people and the firefighters, watermelon eating contests, pie eating contests, face painting, dunk tanks, beach volleyball games, barbeques, and of course fireworks. And you dedicate and entire weekend to kicking off the Christmas season. You stop all the traffic on your Main Street where everyone gathers on the first of December with hot cider in hand to hear the Town Crier ring in Christmas and watch over 100 Christmas trees come alive with color and light. Community caroling follows filling the air with sounds of an old-fashioned Christmas as they walk down your street to welcome Santa off of the boat.

Nineteen years I have spent visiting you. But, your time goes back way longer than that. You are older and wiser and full of history.

You were the number one whaling industry in the world. Ship captains and sailors set out to sea from your shores and their houses still stand strong on you to this day. Herman Melville was inspired by your mystique and beauty when he wrote the famous novel, Moby Dick.

You are home to a house older than the United States. You were home to the famous women’s right activist, Lucretia Mott. And your library has served as a gathering place for abolitionist meetings and suffrage conventions and hosted an impressive list of speakers throughout the years, including Frederick Douglass, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau.

You are the place where the first comet was discovered. And the place where the idea of Macy’s the Department store came from.

There isn’t one thing I don’t love about you. They call you the Grey Lady, but not even your grey skies and fog make me love you any less.

You are only 30 miles out to sea, but I feel like I’m light years away from the rest of the world when I am with you. You radiate an exquisite quality of calm. And you are unique in every way.

And it is for all those reasons and many more that you are who I want to call home after college. You are where I want to get married. You are where I want to raise a family. You are where I want to spend the rest of my life continuing to fall in love with you more and more each day.

I love you, Nantucket, I truly do.

Loyally yours, Caroline McKenzie Ott


  1. Sarah Fraunfelder :

    Sweet Caroline,
    Thank you for this beautiful Nantucket love letter! I know of no other place that has the power to illicit such poetic praise and I feel truly blessed to call this place my home. We can’t wait to have you bACK!

  2. Caroline, that was beautiful. Going to get a tissue now. xo

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