Early summer days on Nantucket Island

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Sankaty Head Light in the village of Siasconset on Nantucket island. Built in 1850 and still in operation.

Chris and Kathleen Matthews are enthusiastic Nantucketers, but their appearance at the Nantucket Film Festival was a family affair this time.


High above Nantucket Island.

Their filmmaker sons Thomas and Michael screened their comedy, Lost Holiday, a madcap tale of love and misadventure, set in Washington, DC, at the 24th annual Festival last week.

The power couple, he the host of “Hardball” on MSNBC, and she the journalist and former congressional candidate, were among the many cinephiles strolling in and out of the Dreamland Film & Cultural Center on Water Street.


Power couple and proud parents Chris and Kathleen Matthews.
Nantucket Film Festival Party on deck of Dreamland Center.

The Summer House in Siasconset was the location for a Festival party on June 22, which didn’t let a doozy of a storm get in the way of the celebration.

I was fortunate to be the guest of Danielle deBenedictis, fresh from Saint Tropez, and her husband Peter Karlson, who have run The Summer House since 1984.

Set on a postcard perfect bluff, the resort is a collection of New England chic cabins, all lovingly named by Danielle and Peter. I stayed in the Andre cottage, the namesake of their grandson.


Summer House main entrance.
View from the Summer House porch.
View of Sconset Beach from the Summer House.

The coziness and family vibe at this place makes it an island favorite for guests and locals who stop by the bistro and bar, a top watering hole.

After taking in a film at the Festival, Danielle and I dined in The Summer House restaurant with our friend Victoria Michael, another avid Nantucketer.


The Andre cottage at the Summer House.

The Festival was a prime opportunity to see Nantucket at her zenith — the early days of summer have landed on the island like a passionate kiss.

The rose trellises were singing with color, and Nantucket Sound glistened like a diamond store under the sailboats.


Beloved roses of Mrs. Nancy Rodts, longtime Nantucketer.







On my first day, a baby seal frolicked on Sconset Beach, clearly relishing the warm climes. As were the beach goers —they have about a week before the busy season kicks in.


Sconset Beach goers encounter seal pup

Blair Perkins, who runs eco tours with Shearwater Excursions, took me to Great Point Lighthouse where Nantucket Sound meets the Atlantic and a bevy of seals congregate.


Out to sea …




Brant Point Lighthouse.
Sankaty Head Light in Siasconset.

Also starting to queue are the ice cream fans on the sidewalk at the Juice Bar on Broad Street where the “Crantucket” flavor seems to be the popular choice.



The ubiquitous bikes with baskets are collecting outside island haunts and cafes — a sign that summer is here again.



One young entrepreneur named Jos was getting ready for the heavy foot traffic by operating a brownie stand outside the post office (a sizable proceed will go to the World Wildlife Fund.)


Jos, a young entrepreneur with brownie stand, raising money for World Wildlife Fund outside village post office.

It looks like Nantucket has yet another epic summer in store for those lucky enough to be her friends.



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