Stargazing Nantucket: Chasing the Perseid Meteor Shower

Nick Papa shares tips for catching the Perseid meteor shower on a New England island void of light pollution.

If you want to catch the Perseid meteor shower this summer or the Mars-Mercury Conjunction (both visible on August 13, 2023), consider a trip to a New England island void of light pollution.

Floating 30 miles off the mainland of the United States, Nantucket’s night sky is a wondrous sight, allowing stargazers a crystal-clear view of natural phenomena like the Perseid meteor shower.

This August, travelers can also see the rings of Saturn, the Hercules Cluster, and the Leo, Swan (Cygnus), and Eagle (Aquila) constellations at Nantucket’s Maria Mitchell Association. Named for the first female astronomer in the United States who discovered the comet “1847 VI” while stargazing on the island in the 19th century, the Maria Mitchell Association is home to the Loines Observatory

Guests of Greydon House, the only Roman and Williams-designed hotel on Nantucket, can enjoy private access to the observatory, built in 1968 and housing a refurbished antique 8-inch Alvan Clark telescope and a 24-inch research telescope.

A Roman and Williams-designed guest room at Greydon House. Photo Credit: Douglas Friedman

Greydon House is a 20-room boutique hotel located on Nantucket. Opened in October 2016, the hotel’s design by Roman and Williams reflects Nantucket’s storied past and invigorating present in every detail. Rooms feature Roman and Williams custom-designed beds, John Robshaw bedding, and bathrooms featuring nautical-inspired Waterworks faucets, hand-painted Portuguese tiled showers, and Grown Alchemist amenities. The restaurant and bar at Greydon House, Via Mare, is helmed by the team behind popular Nantucket restaurants Ventuno and Pizzeria Gemelle. The menu features a whimsical take on the Venetian tradition of small-plate dining.

Weaving the warmth of a village inn with the service of a luxury hotel, Greydon House is an icon of provocative design, exposing Moroccan, Portuguese, and Chinese influences underneath Nantucket’s traditional clapboard and shingles.