Nantucket is an island 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, and is a coastal New England paradise. Nantucket is my favorite travel destination, and I have accumulated a list of my favorite activities!
My first recommendation would be to stroll through the cobblestone streets of town for its nautical charm, boutique stores, and incredible restaurants. However, for this list, I focused on activities that will get you out of town and exploring more of the island!
1. Rent a Jeep and drive out to Great Point Lighthouse
Great Point Lighthouse is one of three lighthouses on the island. (Lighthouse #1, Brant Point Lighthouse, can be seen when from the ferry when arriving, and more to come on #3!)
Great Point Lighthouse is only accessible by driving on the long stretch of sandy beach to the island’s northernmost point. The lighthouse itself is the destination, but the breathtaking ride along the untouched and pristine coastal conservation lands is what you will remember!
It will take you about 30 minutes to get out there. Before you head out, stop at Something Natural for sandwiches and Cape Cod Chips. (Did you even go to the beach if you didn’t bring Cape Cod Chips?). Enjoy a picnic-style lunch on the beach once you arrive at the lighthouse – It will taste better out there!
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to stop at Wauwinet Gatehouse to let some air out of your tires before you start your journey over sand.
1. Watch a sunset at Madaket Beach
Madaket is a beautiful, sandy beach on the southwestern tip of the island. It is known for its crashing waves and beautiful sunsets. There aren’t many westward facing beaches on the east coast, and Madaket is one of them. Because of this, Madaket is often regarded as one of the best places to watch the sunset in New England.
Madaket is about six miles from town. To get there, you can drive, rent a bike and ride along the Madaket bike path, or take The Wave, Nantucket’s public bus service from town.
Pro tip: While you’re out at Madaket, be sure to stop at Millie’s for tacos and margaritas before or after your sunset viewing. If you don’t want to dine-in, you can also pick up their food to-go and bring it onto the beach with you!
1. Visit Sankaty Head Lighthouse
Take a drive (or rent a bike if you are up for a 10 mile bike ride) and head out to Sankaty Head Lighthouse. This is my favorite lighthouse on the island, and maybe that I have ever visited. It’s white and red stripped grandeur is awe-inspiring. Take photos of and with the lighthouse, and admire the Sanity Head cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean on which it sits.
Pro Tip: Sankaty Lighthouse is also the destination of the beautiful ‘Sconset Bluff Walk through the cliffside town of Siaconset. This journey is for a whole other blog post!
1. Visit Cisco Brewers
Cisco Brewers is a must-visit when on Nantucket. Cisco is located about two miles from town, which makes for an easy bike ride along the provided bike path.
The relaxed and friendly atmosphere of Cisco Brewers is an open outdoor area with picnic tables, beautiful gardens, live music, food trucks, and of course their signature beers and cocktails.
I cannot get enough of the “Madaket Mule” made with ginger purée. If it’s lunch time, order some oysters and fish & chips from the food trucks!
Pro Tip: If you’re planning to have one too many Grey Ladys to ride a bike, they provide a free van shuttle from town center right outside the Nantucket Information Bureau.
1. Visit Jetties Beach
Who doesn’t love a beach bar? Sandbar at Jetties Beach is the only casual, full-service beach bar on the island, and it’s only a 5 minute bike ride from town.
This open-air restaurant is perfect if you want to enjoy the beach but don’t want to pack a lunch and a cooler. While you wait for a table, order a beer and sit with your feet in the sand on one of their bright colored Adirondack chairs.
Pro Tip: For more formal on-sand dining for dinner, check out nearby restaurant, Galley Beach.
Stay tuned for more of my Nantucket favorites!
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