Hinkley Lane Oysters golf island beach club
About Nantucket
Beaches
Children’s Beach
Jetties
Brant Point
Dionis
Steps Beach
Quidnet
Siasconset
Surfside
Cisco
Madaket
Nobadeer
Madequesham
Coatue
Pocomo

Arts and Entertainment
Restaurants
Golf
Boating
Arts


About Nantucket

about

The island's beginnings in western history can be traced to its sighting by Norsemen in the 11th century. But it was not until 1602 that Captain Bartholomew Gosnold of Falmouth, England sailed his bark Concord past the bluffs of Siasconset and put Nantucket on the map. The island's original inhabitants, the Wampanoag Indians, lived undisturbed until 1641 when the island was deeded by the English to Thomas Mayhew and his son, merchants of Watertown and Martha's Vineyard.

In 1691 Nantucket was transferred to the newly formed Province of Massachusetts Bay and split off to form Nantucket County. Nantucket was formerly the world's leading whaling port, and today still serves as home port for a small fishing industry. Herman Melville comments on Nantucket's whaling dominance in Moby Dick, "Two thirds of this terraqueous globe are the Nantucketer's. For the sea is his; he owns it, as Emperors own empires."

A series of events over a period of about thirty years would see the "Nation of Nantucket," as it was dubbed by Ralph Waldo Emerson, brought to its knees. In the 1830s the petroleum fields of Pennsylvania were producing kerosene, cheaper and more easily obtainable than the oil the whalers pursued. A devastating fire, the Great Fire of 1846, roared through the night, leaving the town a smouldering ruin and a hundred families homeless and destitute. The years-long whaling voyages were horrendously costly and the whaling grounds had been overfished. A sandbar at the entrance to Nantucket's magnificent harbor prevented the much larger and heavily loaded whaleships from approaching the wharves, and they had to be off-loaded outside the bar. The mainland ports of New Bedford and Salem had access to the burgeoning railroads.

The Civil War would strike the final blow: almost 400 Nantucket men took up the Union cause, seventy-three of them losing their lives. Their families on Nantucket, with no economic infrastructure in place, would have hard times. Between 1840 and 1870 the population of Nantucket decreased from almost ten thousand to a little more than four thousand. The demise of whaling coincided almost exactly with the dwindling influence of the Society of Friends. Torn apart by decades of factionalism, the Quakers faded out of the picture, leaving as heritage the pristine little town.

Nantucket is now a major summer destination in the Northeastern United States, known for its beautiful natural surroundings, gourmet restaurants, and vibrant social scene. It has approximately 10,000 year round inhabitants who range from carpenters to lawyers, and real estate agents to authors. So, now one of the most popular and attractive destinations in the world, Melville's little "elbow of sand" has become a new Nation of Nantucket, unparalleled in the distinction of its architecture and its historical ambience.

Children’s Beach

jetties

Children’s Beach is on the Harbor, and is an easy walk from town. To get there, walk from the Steamboat wharf go down Broad Street and take a left on South Beach Street. Walk about 100 yards and turn right on Harbor View Way.  Children’s, as the name implies, is ideal for small children. There is a park, playground, and a bandstand. Amenities include a lifeguard, restrooms, showers, food service, and picnic tables. The restaurant, playground, and rest room are all handicapped accessible. Activities sponsored by Park & Recreation Commission are often held at this beach during the summer.

Jetties

jetties

Jetties Beach is about 1 mile from downtown Nantucket. You can ride your bike, take the shuttle bus, or if time is not a factor, you can walk (about 20-30 minutes). Jetties’ Beach is great for families. There are lifeguards, changing rooms, a playground, volleyball nets, restrooms, showers, public phones, and a restaurant with take-out food service. The restaurant and restrooms are handicap accessible; and there is a boardwalk to the beach. On the beach there are windsurfing, sailboat, and kayak rentals. Swimming lessons for children age 6 and up offered by the Park & Recreation Commission, call for dates and times.

Brant Point

brantpointr

Dionis is located on the Nantucket’s north shore overlooking Nantucket Sound. Dionis beach is protected by large dunes and has calm waters for safe swimming. Dionis beach has a lifeguard, restrooms, and parking.  Beachgoers can take Nantucket Regional Transit Authority shuttle bus to the Eel Point Road stop and walk from there. Bikers can take either the Madaket or Cliff Road bike paths to Eel Point Road, Look for the boulder marked “Dionis.”

Dionis

dionis

Dionis is located on the Nantucket’s north shore overlooking Nantucket Sound. Dionis beach is protected by large dunes and has calm waters for safe swimming. Dionis beach has a lifeguard, restrooms, and parking.  Beachgoers can take Nantucket Regional Transit Authority shuttle bus to the Eel Point Road stop and walk from there. Bikers can take either the Madaket or Cliff Road bike paths to Eel Point Road, Look for the boulder marked “Dionis.”

Steps Beach

steps

As the name implies, a large set of steps must be descended to get to this beach - and ascended when you leave. There are gentle waters and lovely views of Nantucket Sound and Great Point from Steps Beach. The shallow sandbar makes the water at Steps warmer than most. On calm nights you can swim in the bioluminescent algae and watch as the naturally occurring phenomena light up around you. Located between Dionis and Jetties beaches, you gain access on at the end of Lincoln Avenue via Cliff Road. There are no lifeguards, no facilities, and very little parking, so it is best to ride a bike or walk from Nantucket town (about 20 minutes).

Quidnet

quidnet

Quidnet Beach is located at the head of Seasachquea (Sac-A-ja) Pond on Nantucket’s eastern Shore To get there, go out Polpis road from Town about 5 miles and take a left on Quidnet Road. Go to the end and take a right, you will see the pond and beach parking. Set in the picturesque village of Quidnet, is great for a quiet day on the beach as it is fairly secluded and private. The beach has no lifeguard, and strong currents, so make sure to swim with caution. During certain times of year, Quidnet is a favorite spot for striped bass.

Siasconset

sconset

You can take the regular shuttle bus service from the Washington Street NRTA depot, or get some good exercise on the seven-mile ride to Siasconset Village. Amenities in Sconset include a small market, ice cream shop, liquor store, sandwich shop, and fine dining. Walk around the picturesque village of Sconset after a sandwich from Claudette’s, and then take a dip at Codfish Park at the bottom of the hill. If the beach isn’t your thing, grab a drink and some lunch at The Summer House where you can lounge by the pool.

Surfside

surfside

Surfside Beach is centrally located on Nantucket’s south shore. Take Surfside Road from the High School to the very end, where you will find a large parking lot, snack bar, and beach access. If you are riding the Shuttle, take the Surfside loop; it will be the last stop. Surfside, as the name implies, has plenty of surf, and the wide beach makes it popular with those planning an all day beach visit.  Surfside offers lifeguard, restrooms, showers, public phones, and food service.

Cisco

cisco

Cisco is an area to the west of Miacomet that comprises several beaches. The main Cisco Beach is found at the end of Hummock Pond Road, but there are several other smaller beaches in the Cisco area, Ladies’, Schnider’s, and Fat Ladies’. Cisco can have large waves and is popular with surfers. There are no facilities at the actual beach, however Bartlett Farm and Cisco Brewery are a short ride away and have food, restrooms, and libations.  There is plenty of parking available at the Cisco Public Beach, which is accessible by a dirt road to the left of Hummock Pond road on the final stretch before the end.

Madaket

madaket

Madaket Beach is on Nantucket’s far western end. There can be heavy surf, but there is always an amazing sunset. If you’re feeling a spring in your step, you can hike down the beach to Smith’s Point and observe the nature preserve, which can offer great birding and seal watching. To get to Madaket Beach you take Madaket Road from town, about 6 miles, all the way to the end. There is a small beach market that sells all the essentials, and a good causal restaurant, Millie’s, where you can enjoy the view and a fish taco.

Nobadeer

nobadeer

Nobadeer Beach lies at the end of the Nantucket Airport Landing strip, east of Surfside Beach. Like all of Nantucket’s south shore beaches, Nobadeer has plenty of surf and is popular with younger crowds. The wide beach is good for picnics, beach games, surfing, and surfcasting. Parking is available, and you can also drive onto the beach if you have a 4x4 vehicle and an oversand permit (obtainable at the Nantucket Police Department). There is no lifeguard and no facilities.

Madequesham

madaquecham

Madaquesham is one of Nantucket’s most remote beaches. To get there take Milestone Road from the Rotary for about 4 miles, then turn on New South Road, follow that to the end and take the second dirt road on the right, which is Madaquesham Valley Road. Take the dirt road about 3 miles, forking left towards the beach around mile 2.5. You will see a parking lot on the bluff above. The beach is set in Madaquesham Valley, which has been permanently conserved by several organizations. A bit lower key than the scene at Nobadeer, Madaquesham is definitely worth the drive.

Coatue

coskata

Access to Coatue/ Great Point is located at the end of Wauwinet Road, past The Wauwinet Inn.  Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge is managed by Trustees of Reservations. A beach sticker is required for vehicles from Trustees of Reservations ($35-$150 depending on registration and membership). This area is fantastic for fishing, slamming, hiking, birding, visiting Great Point Lighthouse, and of course, seal watching. Enjoy the rolling dunes, bayberry, beach plum, heather, and beach grass as you make the drive out to a secluded point on the Harbor or a strip of beach on Nantucket Sound. Coskata Pond is a salt marsh and maritime shrub-land that produces annual shellfish harvests.  The largest red cedar savanna and woodland in New England is on Coatue.  You will notice that certain sections of the refuge are sometimes closed to protect nesting shorebirds, please respect the notifications.  Dogs permitted only from Sept. 16 thru March 31 and must be leashed at all times.  A guided tour with Trustee naturalists offered in-season and seasonal hunting is permitted. For more details, go to www.TheTrustees.com
Beach Permit and 4-wheel drive needed, but worth the trip. Just make sure to air down your tires before proceeding onto soft sand, lest you want to pay for a very expensive tow. The drive takes about 1 hour to get to Great Point; this is best planned as a day trip. There is heavy surf, and no lifeguards or facilities. Good fishing, but strong currents. Public restrooms are available at the lighthouse Memorial Day-Columbus Day.

Pocomo

pocomo

Pocomo is a large spit of land pointing into the Harbor, accessible from Wauwinet Road. Pocomo is great for kayaking the upper harbor, or if you are more of a thrill seeker, a favorite for windsurfers and kite-boarders. Go out Wauwinet road and take a left on Pocomo road, the beach is located at the very end. Pocomo is good for children, and even though there are no lifeguards provides very safe swimming in shallow and warm waters of Nantucket Harbor.

Restaurants

restaurants

For such a tiny island, Nantucket is rife with great restaurants. Most of Nantucket’s restaurants are located in historic down town, and are walking distance from most inns and hotels. Nantucket has a wide variety of culinary options, from classic lobster dinners to upscale dining. Visit www.greyladygourmet.com for local reviews.

Golf

golf cart

There are several excellent courses on Nantucket, but two, Sankety and Nantucket Golf Course are private and only available to the public if invited by a member. Miacomet Golf Course offers an excellent 18-hole course on Nantucket’s south shore. For directions to Miacomet Golf Course look below.


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Boating

boating

For centuries, Nantucket has drawn those who love the sea. Nantucket offers novice boating in the harbor and salt marshes to world class yachting races and excellent off shore fishing. There are two yacht clubs on island, Nantucket Yacht Club www.nantucketyachtclub.org and the newly opened Great Harbor Yacht Club www.ghyc.com The best months for boating on Nantucket are June – September, with most sailing regattas and racing between July and August. Your Nantucket Concierge offers several boat related services including Barton and Gray Hinkley Yachts http://www.bartonandgray.com/ boat rentals, and captaining and maintenance services.

Arts

arts

For Much of the twentieth century local tourism concentrated on the island’s maritime heritage, from the whaling industry to the finely preserved architecture that survives from that era, but a second undeniable identity has surfaced since World War II—that of a mecca for the fine arts. Over fifty galleries and studio-galleries dot today’s landscape. Yet there was a time when a single gallery kept the scene alive, and a strong cooperative of artists and patrons helped develop a fledgling art colony into a powerhouse with a sizable census of talent. Please visit www.nantucketarts.org for more information on gallery schedules and locations, local artists, and art classes.

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