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14 Best Things to do on Nantucket Island

14 Best Things to do on Nantucket Island

Nantucket is a small island just 30 miles south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts that is home to just 10,000 full-time residents. It is an incredibly popular tourist destination with many summer homes on the entire island. The population of the island can jump up to 50,000 during the summertime.

The homes on the island are historical colonial-style homes with white trim and beautiful siding. They are incredibly expensive to purchase, even more so than buying in the Hamptons of New York, but visiting there is an experience like none other.

The island itself was inhabited by the Wampanoag tribe until 1659 when it began to be settled by English pioneers.

Nantucket is based on the days of whaling. It was one of the busiest ports in the country and was home to many whalers.

If you go visit Nantucket over your summer vacation, you won’t be disappointed in what the island has to offer. Beaches dot the perimeter of the island, with views of sailboats and lighthouses in front of glorious sunsets. They are a perfect spot to bring a picnic lunch, lay down your towel, and catch some sun.

How to get to Nantucket Island

The easiest way to get to the island is to fly into the Nantucket Memorial Airport. Then you can board a ferry to Nantucket available from Hyannis and Martha’s Vineyard.

If you’re driving, you won’t be able to go directly to the island. Car ferry service is the sole option for driving because there are no bridges or causeways there.

Rent a Jeep or take a shuttle bus instead of driving your vehicle on a boat if you want to save money.

Best Places to Eat

There are a number of great places to eat on Nantucket Island. Whether you are looking for a casual spot to have a burger and fries or a more upscale experience, you will find what you are looking for on the island.

One of the most popular casual spots is Fusaro’s. Fusaro’s is a popular spot in Nantucket for tourists and locals alike. The restaurant offers a variety of Italian dishes, including pasta, pizza, and calzones. The restaurant also has a full bar and wine selection that will please any palate. 

For something a little more upscale, head to Straight Wharf Restaurant. It is located right on the harbor and has an outdoor seating area that is perfect for enjoying the views of the boats coming in and out. The menu features fresh seafood that is caught daily and prepared in a variety of ways.

No matter what your budget or taste, you will be able to find a great spot to eat on Nantucket Island.

Where to Stay on Nantucket Island

There are a number of great places to stay on the Island, no matter what your budget is. If you are looking for a luxury experience, head to The White Elephant. It is a historic hotel that was built in 1891 and has been renovated to include all the modern amenities you would expect.

The hotel is located right on the harbor and has a number of different room types to choose from.

If you are looking for something a little more affordable, head to The Cottages at the Boat Basin. These cottages are located on the water and are the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the views. They are also located close to town, so you will be able to walk to restaurants and shops.

Whether you are looking for a luxury experience or something more affordable, you will be able to find a great place to stay during your island vacation.

Best Time for Visiting Nantucket

The best time to visit the island is during the summer. The temperatures are warm and the island is bustling with people. There are a number of events and festivals that take place during the summer months, as well as plenty of activities to keep you busy.

The island can get quite congested during the summer months, as it is a popular tourist destination. If you are looking for a more peaceful experience, I would recommend visiting during the off-season or during the week.

Fun & Best Things to do on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts

There are so many things to do on the Island that it can be hard to choose what to do first. But, no matter what time of year you visit, there is always something new and exciting happening.

1) Explore the Beaches

Beach Lighthouse

The beaches on the Island are absolutely beautiful and are a perfect place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of the town.

Some of the most popular beaches on the island are Jetties Beach, Madaket Beach, and Surfside Beach. Jetties Beach is the most popular beach on the island and is a great place for people to relax. The beach also has a playground for children.

Madaket Beach is a bit more secluded and is located on the west side of the island. It is a beautiful place to watch the sunset. Surfside Beach is also on the west side of the island and is a great place to surf or bodyboard.

Surfside Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the Island. It’s mostly used for surfing and bodyboarding. It is located on the west side of the island and has a great view of the sunset. The beach is also a great place to relax and enjoy the sun and sand.

There are many other beaches on the island that are worth exploring. Whatever beach you choose, you are sure to have a great time.

2) Visit the Nantucket Whaling Museum

The Nantucket Whaling Museum is located in downtown Nantucket, and it’s a great place to learn about this part of the island’s history. The Nantucket Historical Association manages the museum.

The history of whaling in Nantucket is a long and storied one. The island was famous for its whaling industry in the early 1800s, and many of the original buildings and homes on the island were built by Whalers.

The whaling industry reached its peak in 1846 when Nantucket accounted for more than half of the world’s whale oil production.

Today, the island is home to the Nantucket Whaling Museum, which tells the story of the island’s whaling history. The museum is located in the town and is housed in a restored 19th-century whaling captain’s house. It has many exhibits on whaling, including a sperm whale skeleton.

The Nantucket whaling museum is a great place for those interested in the history Nantucket has to offer.

3) Take a Tour of the Island

1024px Nantucket
Image by Henry Zbyszynski used under CC 2.0 License

One of the best ways to see the island is to take a tour. There are many different types of tours available, from history and architecture walking tours, to whale watching and sailing excursions like the Endeavor Sailing Excursions.

One of the most popular tours is the downtown historic walking tour, which takes visitors on a guided tour of the island’s highlights.

Whatever type of tour you choose, you will learn a lot about the island and have a great time.

4) Explore the Island on a bike

Woman with a Bike Staring at the Ocean

Biking is a great way to explore Nantucket Island. There are over 50 miles of bike trails on the island, so you can explore at your own pace. There are several bike rental companies on the island, so you can easily rent a bike for the day. Or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can even take a bike tour of the island.

The Nantucket Bike Shop is a full-service bike shop that offers a wide range of services, including sales, repairs, and rentals. The shop is open every day from 9 am to 6 pm. They offer a 10% discount to military personnel and students.

The shop has a wide selection of bikes, including road bikes, mountain bikes, and cruisers. They also have a wide selection of accessories, including helmets, locks, and lights.

Nantucket Bike Shop is the perfect place to go if you need to rent a bike or get your bike repaired. They are friendly and knowledgeable staff who will help you find the perfect bike for your needs.

5) Visit a Lighthouse

1024px Lighthouse Nantucket Island%2C MA %288766057999%29
Image by Lennart Tange used under CC 2.0 License

There are different lighthouses in Nantucket. These are a major attraction on the island and have a lot of history.

Lighthouses are beautiful landmarks that are definitely worth a visit. Some of the best lighthouses to see on the island are the Sankaty Light House, Brant Point Light House, and Great Point Lighthouse.

The Sankaty Light House, or the Sankaty Head Light, is a beautiful lighthouse on Nantucket Island. The lighthouse was first lit in 1850 and is still operational today. The lighthouse is one of the most iconic landmarks on Nantucket and is a popular tourist destination.

Its name is derived from the language of the Wampanoags, who were Native Americans who lived on the island. Their word “sankoty” literally translates as “highland.” the lighthouse is made of brick and granite building and flashes its white light every 7.5 seconds, and stands 70 feet tall.

Brant Point Lighthouse is located on the northeast side of the island, at the entrance to Nantucket Harbor. It is one of the first lighthouses in the United States.

The current tower was built in 1819 and is a brick structure with a white limestone facing. The tower is 62 feet (19 m) tall, and the light is visible for 18 miles (29 km).

Great Point Lighthouse is a lighthouse on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. It is located on the island’s northern tip, at Great Point. The current tower was built in 1784 and is a wooden structure with a white painted finish. The tower is 43 feet (13 m) tall, and the light is visible for 16 miles (26 km).

6) Explore the Town

Houses by the Bay in Nantucket Island
Nantucket Island, MA” by Lennart Tange is marked with CC BY 2.0.

The town of Nantucket is a beautiful place to explore. It is filled with quaint homes and shops.

Some of the most popular shops in town are the Nantucket Bookworks and the Nantucket Candle Company. Nantucket Bookworks is a great place to find books about the island and its history.

The Nantucket Candle Company sells candles shaped like the island and other unique candle items. There are many other great shops in town, so be sure to explore them all.

7) Explore the Coast

1024px Nantucket lighthouse %2811822148365%29
Image by U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Northeast Region under CC 2.0 License

Nantucket Island is located off the coast of Massachusetts. It is a beautiful place to explore and there are many different ways to do so.

One of the best ways to explore the coast is by kayak. There are many different kayak tours available and they are a great way to see the island from the water.

Another great way to explore the coast is by stand-up paddleboard. Stand-up paddleboarding is a great workout and it is a lot of fun.

Whatever way you choose to explore the coast, you are sure to have a great time.

8) Visit the Nantucket Wine Festival

Wine and Vineyards

The Nantucket Wine Festival is a great event for wine lovers. It features wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, and live music.

Nantucket Wine Festival is a great way to sample the wines of the island and learn about the different wineries. It is also a great opportunity to meet other wine lovers.

If you are interested in attending the Nantucket Wine Festival, be sure to purchase your tickets in advance. They sell out quickly.

9) Visit Nantucket Habor

The Nantucket Harbor is a beautiful place to visit. It is located in the town of Nantucket and is home to many interesting shops and restaurants.

The harbor is a great place to walk around and explore. You can find many different types of boats here, including fishing boats, sailboats, and yachts.

There are also many different shops and restaurants located in the harbor. Some of the most popular places to eat are the Straight Wharf Restaurant and the Charlie Noble.

10) Visit The Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum

Front of Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum
image by Russ Glasson is marked with CC BY 2.0.

The Nantucket Island museum tells the story of the many shipwrecks that have occurred off the coast of Nantucket, as well as the heroic efforts of the island’s life-saving crews.

The museum is located in an old life-saving station, and it is full of interesting exhibits.

You can learn about the different types of shipwrecks that have occurred, see artifacts from some of the wrecks, and even hear first-hand accounts from survivors. The museum is a great place to learn about the history of Nantucket and its maritime heritage.

If you’re interested in learning more about the shipwrecks that have happened near Nantucket, the Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum is definitely worth a visit.

11) Miacomet Golf Club, Nantucket Massachusetts

Miacoment is a public golf club on Nantucket that offers stunning ocean views. The course is well-maintained and challenging, with narrow fairways and water hazards coming into play on several holes. There is a shop and restaurant on-site, which offers a pro bar.

Miacomet became a year-round facility in 1963. The course first drew a tiny following of golf enthusiasts from the now-defunct Tupancy Links and has served the Nantucket area.

12) Visit The Old Mill

Old Mill in Nantucket Island
image by oku is marked with CC BY 2.0.

The Old Mill is a beautiful old building that is located in the town of Nantucket. It was built in 1746 and is one of the oldest buildings on the island.

The Old Mill is now a museum that tells the story of the island’s early settlers. It is full of interesting exhibits that showcase the island’s history and culture. The Old Mill is a great place to learn about the history of Nantucket.

If you’re interested in learning about the island’s early settlers, the Old Mill is definitely worth a visit.

13) Maria Mitchell Aquarium

Maria Mitchell Aquarium Entrance
image by User:Neddy1234 is marked under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Maria Mitchell Aquarium is a great place to visit if you’re looking for a fun and educational experience. The aquarium is home to a wide variety of marine life, including fish and turtles. There are also several interactive exhibits that allow visitors to get up close and personal with the animals.

Among the exhibits to see were the touch tank, outdoor circle tank, and aquarium rooms. The touch tank exhibit offers an experience to get close and hold a crab. Its outdoor circle tank, which is the largest tank of the attraction, is home to larger marine animals such as flounders and baby sharks.

Each room of the Maria Mitchell aquarium rooms is filled with more than 50 animals to see, including lobsters, tropical fish, and other local species.

Unfortunately, this site is temporarily closed.

14) Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge

Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge is a beautiful nature preserve that is located in Nantucket. The refuge is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including deer and seals.

The refuge is a great place to go for a walk or a bike ride. If you’re interested in seeing some of the wildlife that inhabits Nantucket, Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge is definitely worth a visit.

Final Thoughts

Nantucket is a beautiful and historic island that offers many things to do. Whether you’re looking for the perfect seafood meal or an educational museum, Nantucket has something for everyone. We hope this article will help you when visiting Nantucket Island.

FAQs

Why is Nantucket Famous?

Nantucket is most famous for its historic charm and seaport town atmosphere. The island is a popular tourist destination, and there are many things to do there, including whale watching, shopping, and golfing. Nantucket is also home to the Nantucket Aquarium and the Old Mill Museum.

Do I need a car in Nantucket?

While you can certainly get around without a car, having one can be helpful. There are a number of places on the island that you can’t reach without a car, and having one also allows you to explore the island’s scenic roads.

What do I need to know before visiting Nantucket?

Before taking a trip to Nantucket, you should be aware that the island is quite expensive. Accommodations, food, and shopping are all quite costly compared to the mainland.

You should also be aware that there is no public transportation on the island, so you’ll need to have a car or bike if you want to get around. Finally, you should be aware that the island is quite remote, so you’ll need to plan your trip accordingly.

What is the best time to visit Nantucket?

If you’re looking for a quieter experience, the off-season (November to March) is a great time to visit. Keep in mind that the island is quite remote, so you’ll need to plan your trip accordingly.

The best time to visit Nantucket depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re interested in whale watching, the best time to visit is from April to October.

When is the best time to go whale watching in Nantucket?

The best time to go whale watching in Nantucket is from April to October. This is when the majority of whales are migrating through the area.

Is Nantucket worth visiting?

Yes, Nantucket is worth visiting. The island has a lot to offer visitors, including beautiful beaches, charming shops and restaurants, and rich history. In addition, the island is home to the Nantucket Aquarium and the Old Mill Museum.

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