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The Ultimate Nantucket Travel Guide

May 2, 2021

The Ultimate Nantucket Travel Guide

Bloody Marys with lobster skewers, magical Christmas festivals, cranberries on the harbor, and cobblestoned streets. The feel of warm sand under your feet and the loving embrace of the sun on your skin. Hydrangea-lined cottages, mACK-tails, and oyster beds seen through crystal clear water. Yachts and charters, fishing and golf. All that and more make Nantucket a much sought-after holiday destination.

An erstwhile whaling community that was once teeming with fearless sailors who braved the dangerous waters, Nantucket has slowly evolved into a quaint tourist-filled island. Like any of its magnificent lighthouses, the island guides tourists to its sandy beaches. And while boarding and food might prove a tad bit blue blooded for most, the island and her natural beauty can be enjoyed by any. All you need is a bike, a book, a swimsuit, and an islander’s tips on how to get by on a budget.

Take a much-deserved break from the never-ending work-from-home hours with this ultimate Nantucket Travel Guide.

Things To Do In Nantucket

For a tiny island with only about 80 miles of coastline, there are a surprising number of activities one can undertake. Check out the historically significant Jethro Coffin House in Nantucket, walk down some of her oldest cobblestone streets, and flit in and out of all the cafes and boutique shops on Main Street or Center Street. Scour the local day and night-time markets for deals or explore the Whaling Museum, Art Gallery, Shipwreck Museum, and Nantucket Atheneum Library. There’s more too!


Who doesn’t love slow long walks and bike rides along the scenic shoreline? If watching surfers or surfing gives you a thrill, stop by Cisco Beach. Curious and want to learn? The beach has several enthusiastic instructors who will provide lessons. Want to waddle in the water? Try Steps Beach for mellow waves. Surfside Beach is perfect if you’re going to soak up the sun, read a book, and listen to the waves. For a more private experience, try Radar Beach. If you’ve brought kids, try Children’s Beach or Jetties Beach for safe waters, access to playgrounds, live music, and plenty of food.


It’s hard to imagine another activity that’s more relaxing than sailing. Nantucket is all about going out on the water. You can easily rent a boat and glide out into the big blue. Island Boat rental is a great place to start. You can reserve a 16foot or 24foot vessel, depending on your skill and preference. Next Level WaterSports is an excellent choice if you’re interested in something more heart-thumping like watersports. If you enjoy a spot of fishing, try charters like Bill Fisher Outfitters that will provide you with everything you need to catch bass and bluefish. They’re great whether you want an inshore or offshore experience, fly fishing or bottom fishing.

Bringing young ones? Try the Critter Cruise Nantucket. They offer up a boatload of education with family activities like fishing and using fish and lobster traps.

Seasonal Activities

May and June, even September, sees a lot of activity in Nantucket. You’ll have your pick of open-air music on Jetties Beach, Restaurant Weeks, Car and Bike Parades, May’s Wine Festival, Book Festival, Garden Festival, and June’s Harborfest Celebration.

Where To Eat In Nantucket

Wondering where to eat in Nantucket? This ultimate Nantucket Travel Guide has got you covered! The Nautilus has an amazing menu featuring Haute Asian street food and creative craft cocktails. If you’re into Asian cuisine, try the wok-fried lobsters at The Pearl. Ventuno is a local attraction, with small plates like soft-shell crab and a wide range of pasta served in a Greek revival style building. Need more small bites to take something to the beach? Try The Hub, a little corner store that offers free Wi-Fi, newspapers, breakfast sandwiches, and more.

Lola 41 is your go-to restaurant for sushi, cocktails, and gourmet burgers. The best part is that it features Nantucket’s freshest catches. If you watch what you eat, even on holiday, head on to Lemon Press for smoothies, coffee, juice, and healthy meal options.

Toppers at The Wauwinet Inn offers a romantic bay-front dinner experience. You’ll need a boat ride to get there, though. Don’t sigh. It’s the perfect night-time activity, alcohol included. Another equally fantastic option is the Cru. Locals swear it has the best lobster rolls.

Desire something outdoor? Check out Cisco Brewery. You’ll try everything they have to offer, be it the beer, spirits, or wines. Live music and food trucks make the experience so much more exciting, while little huts offer social distancing without the isolated feeling. You’ll leave with several souvenirs and bottles of their brews!

Nantucket is famous for its oysters. So make sure you try a few while you’re there.

Where To Stay In Nantucket

Nantucket is known as a holiday destination for the elite for a reason. They have more money to spend, which means pretty much everything in Nantucket is expensive, including stay. There are ways to reduce spending, though. Check out HomeAway, VRBO, Airbnb, and websites for home rentals for affordable stay options.

If money is not a concern, or you’re determined to enjoy your vacay like never before, try the White Elephant. It’s a luxurious resort right in the middle of everything. You’ll be able to stroll through Nantucket’s Downtown District and Main Street, where you can shop and eat to your heart’s content. It is located on the harbor, so anything water-related—a tour, a ferry, sailing, fishing—is conveniently available to you. Always wanted to drive a BMW? Book a suite with the White Elephant, and you’ll get a complimentary one to explore the island during your stay.

For a less flashy, more private space with all the amenities you’ll ever need, try Harborview Cottages. You can even explore options with a hydrangea-lined B&B like the Greydon House. If history is your thing, reserve a room with the Wauwinet. Bonus? You won’t need to ferry across to dine at the Toppers.

Savor crafty cocktails and feast on the bounty of the ocean as you reconnect with friends and family, safely of course, with this Nantucket Travel Guide!

Nantucket Travel Guide

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