Monday, March 11, 2019

Best Beaches and Water Activities in Nantucket

Since Nantucket is an island, you might expect it to have a wealth of activities which center around the water, and that is definitely the case. There really is water-based fun for the whole family, and if you're planning a visit with your partner, there are just as many things to do that will enhance your romantic getaway together.

motorboat on calm waters


There are numerous providers on the island offering boat charters and fishing charters, so visitors can get a complete view of the island, as well as enjoy the refreshing ocean breezes which abound. If you are so inclined, you can take a whale tour, a seal tour, or even go clamming with some of the different packages offered by island boating experts.

fishing pole bending in the sunset


As with boating tours, there are many fishing tours offered by island providers, and there are some terrific fish just waiting to be caught off the shores of the Island. Whether your preference is for albacore, striped bass, bluefish, tuna, or cod, the Island sea captains will be able to put you right on the fish - and then it's all up to you!

surfer riding a wave in a wetsuit


There are several beaches where the surf is powerful and challenging for visitors, just as there are some relatively quieter beaches for novices. If you want to maximize your surfing experience on Nantucket, you can attend the Nantucket Island Surf School, where people of all ages can take either private or group lessons to hone their skills before taking them out to the big waves. Mini-camps are also available for youngsters wishing to take a whole week of instruction to become proficient at this exciting sport.

lighthouse overlooking the water
Photo courtesy of


What would a visit to Nantucket be without taking in some of the island's historic lighthouses? There are three which still remain on the island, Brant Point Lighthouse, Great Point Lighthouse, and Sankaty Head Lighthouse. Between them, these sentinels of the sea have witnessed somewhere around 800 shipwrecks which are known to have occurred in the vicinity of Nantucket Island. Both Great Point and Sankaty still operate as navigational aids to mariners, while Sankaty and Brant Point are listed in the National Historic Register. Great Point would have that honor also, if not for having twice undergone rebuilds.

woman holding her child on the beach


Two of the best family beaches are on the North Shore, and they feature smaller-sized waves, with wonderful sandy shores to walk along. Both Children's Beach and Jetties Beach have playgrounds, but Jetties Beach also has tennis courts and a skateboard park. Beaches along the south shore tend to have very heavy surf and strong currents, so only more experienced swimmers should try Surfside Beach or Miacomet Beach. Eel Point Beach is situated on the northwest edge of the island, and is often subject to tidal flooding, which leaves numerous eels in its wake (hence the name). It's also the best beach on the island for collecting seashells, and filling up a bucket of reminders from your visit.