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Island shopping

Given that one of the best-known merchants of all time, R.H. Macy, grew up on Nantucket, it's no surprise that the island is a shopper's paradise. You won't, however, find any huge department stores or gaudy neon lights. Visitors are greeted by Old World charm in the shape of small, independently owned shops with hand-carved wooden signs hanging out front. Given its remoteness, 27 miles out into the Atlantic Ocean from Cape Cod, Nantucket breeds hardy, self-sufficient souls who still work lathes and looms by hand to create one-of-a-kind heirlooms that are proudly sold in the island's many boutiques. Upstairs from the retail shop at Nantucket Looms, craftspeople work in an old-fashioned weaving studio producing textiles ranging from mohair throws to upholstery fabrics. Visitors are welcome to watch as natural fibers are woven together the old-fashioned way on historic looms. A stroll through the streets, many of which haven't changed much since the 1800s, is sure to delight serious buyers and window-shoppers alike. There are stores selling handmade items ranging from wooden toy boats to the island's unique lightship baskets, which residents weave from thin strips of oak or cane. Although primarily a summer destination, Nantucket and its shops welcome guests year round. 508-228-1700, nantucketchamber.org Nantucket Chamber of Commerce
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