Welcome to Nantucket
Nantucket is one of those places that is so unique and so special that one word, one phrase, nor one sentence can convey what it is. Known to some as the Grey Lady, the Island is as it's always been - a place where Time has extended a gracious hand and those who cherish the island work hard to preserve the charm and historical significance that wraps around the forty-eight square miles that comprise Nantucket Island .
The County of Nantucket is a conglomeration of Nantucket Island, Tuckernuck Island and Muskeget Island. The National Park Service has designated the entire island as a National Historic District, paying particular note to the settlements of Nantucket and the village of Siasconset on the southern side of the Island. History buffs and architecture enthusiasts will revel in the fact that Nantucket has the highest concentration of pre-Civil War structures in the United States.
The history of Nantucket’s settlement by the English did not begin in earnest until 1659 when Thomas Mayhew (who possessed the deed to Nantucket) sold his interest to the "nine original purchasers": Tristram Coffin, Thomas Macy, Christopher Hussey, Richard Swayne, Thomas Bernard, Peter Coffin, Stephen Greenleafe, John Swayne and William Pike – "For the sum of thirty pounds…and also two beaver hats, one for myself, and one for my wife".
Walking along the cobblestone streets and taking in the flavor that permeates every aspect of Nantucket life, it is easy to see that Nantucket is still proud of its whaling heritage. After all, from the mid-1700s to the late 1830s the island was the whaling capital of the world with as many as 150 ships making port in Nantucket during its peak.
Much like its sister-island, Martha's Vineyard, seasonal visitors truly discovered the treasures to be found on Nantucket by the late eighteen-hundreds. That tradition carries on through today, and every day, when someone visits the Island, polishes a distant memory to a warm-hearted sparkle or creates their own Nantucket Moment to carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Whether you love to fly and soar above the earth or you prefer to travel on boat, both options exist for your journey to Nantucket. In summer, you can catch a flight with Delta, Jet Blue or Cape Air. However, Cape Air is the only option during the rest of the year.
Contact the Steamship Authority if you are planning to bring your car on-board with you as that is the only ferry with such an option.
Sitting on the sands and relaxing on the grass, perhaps with a refreshing beverage in your hand, are certainly part of your plans for your trip to Nantucket. While lounging around helps you to clear your mind and enjoy the natural serenity of the area, you don't want to miss out on all that Nantucket has to offer.
Whether you're interested in gazing at the architecture of lighthouses or learning about whaling in the region, this community has manifold opportunities to offer.
There is an adage -“Take only photographs, leave only footprints.” This is a saying that we hope you will take to heart on Nantucket’s beaches and across the island.
Though Nantucket has many miles of beaches, little of the coastline is actually public property. Many property owners have generously allowed public access to their beachfront. In return for this privilege – and it is indeed a privilege – we ask that visitors and residents treat all of Nantucket’s beaches with respect. This includes obeying No Trespassing signs, using only designated entry points, and disposing of litter properly.
Your cooperation is essential in preserving public access to Nantucket’s pristine shores and protecting our fragile environment.
Easy bike ride from town. NRTA shuttle service is available (summer only). Great for families: changing rooms, playground, public tennis courts and a boardwalk to the beach. Windsurfing, sailboat, and kayak lessons and rentals available. Beach accessible wheelchairs also available.
Easy walk or bike ride. No lifeguard. Strong current - experienced swimmers only. Scenic beach with Brant Point Lighthouse; a pleasant spot to sit and watch the boats rounding the point.
Children's Beach: On the harbor, an easy walk from town. Ideal for small children: parks, playground, picnic tables and bandstand. T-shirt tie-dying sponsored by Nantucket Park & Recreation Commission Fridays at noon from mid-July to August. Free concerts 6:00 - 7:30 pm Thursdays and Sundays.
Three miles by bike. Sheltered by dunes, calm waters for swimming, safe for children.
Francis Street Beach
Five minute walk from Main Street. Calm harbor waters for swimming; no lifeguard. Turtle climb, kayak rentals.
Located at the end of Surfside Road, a 2.2-mile ride on paved bike path or via NRTA shuttle bus (summer only). Good beach for families: picnics, kite flying, beach games, and surfcasting after 5 PM. Surf can be heavy. Beach accessible wheelchairs available.
Located at the end of Miacomet Road. Heavy surf.
Four-mile bike ride to end of Hummock Pond Road. Heavy surf.
As far west as you can go. Regular NRTA shuttle bus service or 5.5-mile bike ride on scenic, paved bike path. Heavy surf. Food available nearby. Famous for viewing sunsets.
Regular shuttle service or 6-mile ride on paved bike path. Surf can be heavy. Food and restrooms available in nearby village of 'Sconset.
Food & Drinks
Providing the palate with perfect experiences is likely on the list of things you'd like to do while on vacation. Nantucket boasts an array of restaurants ranging from the quaint and casual to the fancy and elegant. Whether you're in the mood for a local beer and some of the best burgers you'll find or you would prefer to dress up and find yourself seated at an elite dining establishment, Nantucket has an array of possibilities for you.
Take Nantucket Home with You
Not only do you want to feast on scrumptious meals while you're in Nantucket, you also want to bring the tastes back to your rental, hotel or even to your own home. Order a fresh pie to go and eat a salad at Bartlett's Ocean View Farm, or find something sweet at the Nantucket Cookie Company. When you want to sip delights from the region, check out Cisco Brewers, Triple Eight Distillery and Nantucket Vineyards.
Enjoy Casual Cuisine
Whether you want to go out with the kids or you just prefer a more casual vibe, restaurants like A.K. Diamonds, Centre Street Bistro, Crosswinds and Faregrounds are dining delights for you. If you're looking for something a little bit different that still won't break the bank, check out the Starlight Theatre and Cafe. Watch a movie while you have a drink from the bar or a snack from the cafe.
Treat Yourself Today
Scheduling in at least one upscale meal during your trip to Nantucket will fully let you sample the flavors of the island. Sit indoors or outdoors with a beautiful view of Nantucket Bay at Topper's Restaurant, or eat an elegant breakfast at the Breeze Bar and Cafe. Other options for a more formal dining experience include Le Languedoc Inn & Bistro, Galley Beach and Oran Mor.
Need Help With Booking Accommodations?
Call 1-(508) 693-7200 to speak to one of our friendly travel experts who will help you with all of your booking and vacation needs on Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Islands.