When Herman Melville wrote “Moby Dick” he described Nantucket as “all beach, without a background.” At the time Melville was trying to portray Nantucket as a “lonely” desolate place, today, however, the description sounds appealing. Thirty miles off the coast of Massachusetts, Nantucket is a bastion of conservation with over 800 pre-Civil War-era buildings in the town of Nantucket and almost 45 percent of land in trusts. There are 82 miles of beautiful beaches, almost all of which are open to the public and easily accessed.
Instead of turning into a monument of its past, Nantucket has evolved into an upscale getaway for shopping and dining that will impress even the most jaded visitor.
The combination of natural beauty, small town charm and urban sophistication has made Nantucket an international destination.
Believe it or not Spring is on the way (as of 12:15pm, Tuesday March 3/20 to be exact). After a winter of frozen waves and record cold and snow it nice to look forward to longer days and warmer temps. Whether you're a local or visitor to this great island Spring on Nantucket can't be missed. The annual Nantucket Daffodil Festival is a favorite among locals and visitors.
There are times when our little island is nestled under a heavy blanket of fog for days on end. Every 10 seconds, the Brant Point Lighthouse foghorn bellows over the sea ensuring safe passage for approaching vessels in the low visibility. This nostalgic and wistful sound is one that harkens back to days of Nantucket yore, and it is a frequent and familiar sound to us indeed. Every day this week has been gloomy and many of us are beginning to wonder when we will see the sun again.
If you are a year-rounder on Nantucket, you can count on many fingers and toes the number of times you have been asked, “What are the winters like on island?” And it is a very valid question indeed. Vacationing on Nantucket in the summer is deemed the quintessential seaside experience by travelers all around the world. Come July and August, Nantucket has fully bloomed and is bustling and buzzing with vacationers and day-trippers aplenty. But what many are curious to know is what island life is like the other 10 months of the year.
Madaket, with it's tranquil harbor and tidal flats was where the first European settlers of Nantucket landed in 1659. Over the years the area served as a farming and fishing community, until modern transportation transformed it into an idyllic vacation spot.
One of the many amazing aspects Nantucket is the diversity of activities that are available throughout the summer. Whatever your kids are into chances are you'll find it on Nantucket. Try one or try them all we're sure your kids (and you) will enjoy them!
A quick search on Kayak shows that there are some great prices on flights right now. Depending on where you're coming from flights are starting at $97 round trip from Boston, MA. Sites like Kayak and even the airline sites themselves typically offer an alert service that will notify you via email when flights go on sale. This can be an easy way to get a great deal on your next trip to Nantucket.
If you're looking to rent a vacation home on Nantucket but don't know where to start, you're not alone.
Recently the Internet has exploded with a number of website designed to make your search easier, but more often than not people find themselves overwhelmed by the volume of information available. Finding the perfect beach house or vacation villa isn't easy, but there are resources that can help guarantee you get the vacation you want.
'Buy Local' is a popular rallying cry these days but here on the island it's more than just a passing fad. And the annual Christmas Stroll is a perfect example, since 1973 local merchants have been keeping their shops open late on the first Friday in December to celebrate the season. The first Stroll, was only three hours in duration but by all accounts it was a huge success. Over the years, the event has grown to become a nationally-renowned holiday event.
The Eastern Shore of Nantucket includes several of the islands more remote beaches. The Eastern shore starts with the amazingly beautiful Coskata/Coatue and runs the length of the island ending with at the wide open easy to access Sconset beach. Access can be an issue on the Eastern shore please plan accordingly as may of the beaches require beach permits and 4 wheel drive to reach them.
Nantucket offers some of the finest beaches in the eastern United States, from the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge on it's northeastern shore to beautiful Madaket on it's western shore. Nantucket beaches have something for everyone, with protected beaches along the north shore to open ocean beaches along the south shore for those interested in catching a few waves.
Brant Point Beach —Brant point offers one of the most photographed spots on the island with it's iconic lighthouse guarding the entrance to Nantucket harbor. Although technically a beach it's strong currents and heavy boat traffic make swimming unwise. However Brant Point beach is the perfect place to way goodbye to friends and family as the leave the island on the ferry.
Children's Beach —AKA harbor beach is easily accessed from downtown and is perfect for children and adults alike. In addition to it's calm waters the beach offers a park, playground, bandstand, lifeguard, restrooms, showers, food service, picnic tables.
Jetties Beach —Just a short walk, bike ride or shuttle bus trip from town , Jetties offers everything a family needs. It's calm and warm water is perfect for swimming and with amenities like volleyball nets, tennis courts, a skateboard park, and a playground it's easy to see why so many family folk to Jetties to spend the day.
Dionis Beach —For a more nature beach experience consider taking the 3 mile bike ride over to Dionis beach. It offers calm waters for swimming and plenty of sea shells along it's long beach and dunes.
Surfside - One of the most popular beaches on Nantucket, very family friendly though the surf can get heavy at times. Located at the end of Surfside Road, a three-mile bike ride on paved path or take the NRTA Shuttle in season. Surfside beach offers plenty to keep the family busy - surfing, picnics, beach games, and surfcasting are just some of the fun activities. And although the steep hill between the beach and snack bar can be a workout, it's worth it.
Miacomet - At the end of Miacomet Road or South Shore Road. This beach can have Surf and rip currents so please take care. The beach is very long with lifeguard only in one area. This beach also does not offer any facilities. Families with young children may prefer Miacomet Pond.
Cisco - Four-mile bike ride to end of Hummock Pond Road. This beach offer some of the islands best surf however rip currents can be strong so be careful. Cisco beach is very popular with surfers and young adults. If you're interested in learning to surf check out Nantucket Island Surf School for information on rentals and lessons at Cisco beach.
Tom Nevers - Also called "Pebble Beach" is located at the end of Tom Nevers road. The surf at this beach can be heavy at times and the sand is very coarse. As a result this beach is rarely crowded.
Nobadeer - Also called "Brobadeer" this beach is very popular with college kids and is known for it's party scene. Located near the airport however parking is limited and beach can be difficult to access due to steep incline. The wide beach is good for picnics, beach games, surfing, and surfcasting.
Great Point -Beach Permit and 4-wheel drive needed, be sure to deflate your tires. Seeing the Great Point Lighthouse alone is worth the trip but the beach delivers as well with a pristine experience complete with heavy surf and fine, soft sand. Not mention some of the islands best fishing.
Pocomo - Located half way between the harbor to head of the harbor. It's warm water and consistent wind make it a perfect spot for kite boarding, windsurfing and other water sports. Just west of the Head of the Harbor for plenty of parking. Excellent beach for small children, however parking and at times the bugs can be an issue.
Coskata/Coatue - A narrow strip of land with "points" - actually forms the harbor. This beach is best visited by kayak, but the trip is longer than it looks so be prepared to paddle. Once on dry land be mindful that this is a fragile ecosystem and must be treated accordingly. For more information visit the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge website.
Sconset - Siasconset Beach is wide beach located at the eastern most tip of the island and very popular for those staying in 'Sconset. Sconset offers vacationers and locals the perfect mix of accessibility, great food, historic sites and pristine beaches and bluffs. Sconset is just 8 miles from town and easily reached by car, NRTA Wave or the bicycle path.
Madaket Beach - On the far Western end of the Island, Madeket beach is home to the island's strongest waves, which can cause dangerous rip tides. Madaket beach is a little off the beaten path and is a great spot for those looking to avoid crowds. Located at the western end of the island, it's the place to go if you're looking for an amazing sunset.