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Lodging on Nantucket is unique. It is the most tightly regulated resort in America that is actually a lived in town. There is no camping allowed anywhere on the island, and no RVS allowed. Nantucket has evolved a system in which the bed and breakfast is the primary form of lodging, with most of them located in town. The second tier of lodging is the cottage, most of which are along the beaches. A few inns and motels, which blend in very artfully with the landscape and architecture, exist along the edge of the town. Finally, there is a Hostel, located on a bluff overlooking Surfside Beach on the South Shore of the island, a pleasant bike ride or short shuttle from town.

While Nantucket probably offers more wonderful bed and breakfasts than any other nine square mile area in the country, we endorse The Roberts House and its companion Manor House.

The location is great. You're two blocks from downtown, one from Main Street, three blocks from most restaurants and stores. All three long distance bike trails depart within a few blocks.


All lodging on Nantucket is expensive, but especially in early June, The Roberts House offers rates below most. We paid $75 per room per night. A typical room is shown at left. You have in room sinks, cable tvs, and large windows. This particular room looks down on the scene above. This, of course, is a double. There are rooms for four, five and six. There is also the Linden Cottage, with its own kitchen, for groups of six.

Amenities are classy. The photo at top right shows the beautiful sitting porch, which looks along Federal Street toward Main,or down India Street to the waterfront. The photo immediately above shows the garden, between Roberts House and The Manor House. Many rooms include phones, air conditioning, private baths, and four poster canopy beds.

This is a block called Petticoat Row, four whaling era homes running along Federal Street and all managed by Roberts House. So as long as you make reservations several months ahead, you'll have choices. We were treated very graciously here by the staff and enjoyed meeting the other guests and talking with them on the porch, the garden and at breakfast.

Our only disappointment was the breakfast. Bed and breakfasts once staked their reputations on their bountiful breakfasts. No more. Those on Nantucket are ample and tasty, but no longer homemade. Everything comes prepackaged. We miss sitting around a long table family style, with fresh biscuits and pancakes. We asked about this, and were told that several restaurants in the blocks around Roberts House, especially Black Eyed Susan's just across the street, offered such great breakfasts at such low prices guests preferred to eat out, and there was no way to compete.

If you're bringing a group, or if you prefer motel type accomodations, we recommend The Beachside. This great facility is on the West side of town, on North Beach at Bathing Beach Road, a leisurely 12 minute walk from Main Street. From out front, it conforms to the Nantucket architectural code, meaning it does not look like a motel. Inside, it offers 90 rooms, an outdoor heated pool, wireless internet service, a more traditional continental breakfast, in room refrigerators and the usual amenities of a modern motel. You are a block from Jetty Beach and Cliff Beaches and the Cliff Bike Trail heading West to Madaket. Room prices are in the usual upscale Nantucket range, but ask for a "Cliff Room," which are $170. With a group, in early June, reserving in advance, you can discount that.

1-800-322-4433. www.thebeaches.com.


If your budget absolutely does not allow a bed and breakfast or motel, your other alternative is the Robert Johnson Hostel. This beautiful and historic structure, shown at right, was built as a lifesaving station in 1873 and is on the National Historic Registry. It is 3.5 miles from the ferry dock down a separate paved biking path. There's even a water fountain and bench at the halfway point. The hostel is on a magnificent beach, wide with fine sand, gently sloping bottom and reliable surf. Furthermore, the best surfing beach on the island is at the next beach down, less than a mile walk. Rooms are dorm style. Linens and blankets are provided and sleeping bags are not allowed. Bring your own towels. Each member of your group does need to buy a membership to Hostel International, which you can do before leaving home at www.hostels.com.

1-888-901-2084. nantucket@usahostels.org.

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