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Providing a nostalgic feel of Nantucket, I fell in love with The Cottages and Lofts at Boat Basin http://thecottagesnantucket.com/ (866-838-9253 or 508-325-1499) and with the 4th Of July, my first thought returned to these 24 cottages and their 5 new lofts that consist of one, two, and three bedrooms with some that are even pet friendly.

The pet friendly cottages require a non-refundable pet fee of $60 (1-3 nights); $75 (4+ nights) per stay and 10% of the pet fee is donated to the Nantucket MSPCA Adoption Center on Nantucket. Your pet will feel like it’s on a luxury vacation too with the special amenities of a welcome basket of pet treats and toys, a blissful bed (Draper Canine Therapy Dog Bed by http://drapercaninetherapy.com), food and water bowls, litter box, personalized pet tags, dog walking services and a directory of veterinary clinics and pet supply stores.

The cottages are located from the heart of Nantucket ranging from waterfront views and waterfront locations. The cottages at the Boat Basin are located directly on the docks at Swain Warf and Old South Warf (The Lofts are on Straight Warf). To get a better idea of the layout, see the map at http://thecottagesnantucket.com/reservations/map.html and click on the cottage or loft for additional information.

The cottages have a nautical ambiance with polished pine floors and stylishly casual furnishings with colors of marine blue, white and the classic Nantucket red. Many of the accommodations have private balconies or terraces and during your visit you are provided with complimentary use of bicycles (first come, first served), daily housekeeping, modern kitchens, fine bed linens, complimentary wireless internet access, flat-screen TV’s with cable television, DVD, Business Center, hair dryer, in-room safes, beach chairs and towels to name a few of your awaiting luxuries.

As an added bonus is the front desk will even do your grocery shopping prior to your arrival an have your kitchen pre-stocked. If you fly into Nantucket airport, you can be greeted by the “Beach Bus” with previous arrangements to take you to The Cottages. For additional travel accommodations to reach the island, visit http://www.islandofnantucket.info/howtogetthere.html for further options. Prior to your arrival, The Cottages Nantucket Vacation Planner will contact you to make arrangements for transportation, dining, island excursions, picnics, car and bicycle rentals. To contact the Nantucket Vacation Planner, please email nvp@niresorts.com or call 866.838.9252.  The “Beach Bus” also will shuttle you to and from your favorite Nantucket beaches.

If you are a guest at The Cottages & Lofts you have access to the White Elephant Spa, the brand new spa located at their sister property and just a short walk away.

You'll find an extensive selection of treatments and massages to make your stay even more relaxing. Visit http://www.whiteelephanthotel.com/spa/ to learn more or call 508.228.2500 to make a reservation and mention that you are a guest at The Cottages.

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Grab your bag from http://www.jessicacushman.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=JKC&Product_Code=ROP-LOB-NAT&Category_Code=ROPTOTE that screams Nantucket, step back in time and wander over 800 historic buildings while walking along the cobblestone streets ~ a perfect way to relax while visiting an array of upscale boutiques, antique shops, art galleries, pubs and fine restaurants.

Make sure you visit the Whaling Museum http://www.nha.org/sites/index.html open daily 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. where you will find the history of Nantucket’s whaling industry and see artifacts that are exhibited at the museum.

For those of those that want to explore further, venture into the vineyards and brewery’s of: Nantucket Vineyard, Cisco Brewery, and Triple Distillery at http://sites.google.com/site/ciscobeers/ for a day of fun and relaxation.

Arrange for a private sail aboard the Endeavor http://endeavorsailing.com/ located at the Straight Wharf dock outside the cottages. Enjoy a sunset cruise for two or a pirate-themed adventure with the kids. Aboard the Nantucket Harbor Cruise at Straight Wharf (502-228-1444), pull lobster traps, enjoy an afternoon Ice Cream Cruise, or end your evening with their sunset cruise. For those that want to own their own yacht for a day or half the day excursions, visit Hinckley Cruise Your boat will be stocked with all the provisions you needs to make your day on the water memorable. Contact your accommodation concierge for more information and booking.

In July and August, go on the whale-watch vessel Yankee Springs for the day (& hours) and visit the whale feeding grounds at the Great South Channel. It departs from Straight Wharf. http://nantucketwhalewatch.net/ 800-322-0013 or outside of MA call 800-942-5464

For the land lovers there are many inland tours to choose from be sure to check with your local accommodation concierge for more information. You may enjoy visiting Brat Point Lighthouse, the second oldest lighthouse in America, established in 1746. http://lighthouse.cc/brant/ or just take a leisurely bike ride or stroll on the many paths. Make sure you grab some ice-cream on your way!

Don’t be surprised to hear live piano music and sing-along while strolling through downtown. The Club Car is an iconic seafood and steak restaurant in an old train car.

Make sure you make reservations at 508-228-1101. One restaurant among many lining the streets of Nantucket for your enjoyment. http://www.nantucket.net/maps/diningmap.php

For the 4th of July, Jetties Beach (on Nantucket) http://www.nantucket.net/beaches/jetties.php at 9:00 p.m. is the perfect place to view the spectacular fireworks and in August Jetties Beach host a Sandcastle and Sculpture Day along with the Boston Pops http://www.bso.org/bso/mods/perf_detail.jsp?pid=prod4040071 on August 13, 2011 to benefit the Nantucket Cottage Hospital http://www.nantuckethospital.org/Events/Pops.html with special guest, Carly Simon. Make sure you visit the Raw Bar at The Jetties http://thejetties.com/ for a complete Nantucket Beach experience.

For more 4th of July fun, there are activities on Main Street starting at 10:00 a.m. which include the dunk tank, the watermelon eating contest, face painting, the pie eating contest, and the famous "water fight" between the town fire fighters and Flint Ranney's volunteers. For more information visit http://www.nantucket-ma.gov/Pages/NantucketMA_Visitor/46814_Nantucket_WEB_6.pdf

A relaxing and memorable trip to the east coast to enjoy the dog-days of Summer. What a wonderful way to celebrate Independence Day with having your vacation perfect in every way!

Photographs courtesy of The Cottages and Jessica Cushman