Nantucket On a Budget
The island is small, about 14 miles long and 3.5 miles wide and is just 30 miles from Cape Cod. It's most popular during the warmer summer months, but can also be a peaceful retreat during the fall or spring, when it's less crowded and more relaxed. Some of the restaurants are open seasonally though, and ferry services are less frequent during these times.
SightsNantucket is a sight, in and of itself. The entire island has been declared a National Historic District by the National Park Service and there are plenty of historical and informational spots throughout. Some of the most famous include the African Meeting House, Brant Point Light, the First Congregational Church, the Hadwen House, and the Whaling Museum. Many of the homes on the island date back to the 1800s and each has its own rich history. Other notable sights in Nantucket include Great Point Lighthouse, Maria Mitchell Aquarium, the Oldest House, the Old Windmill, and Sankaty Head.
NeighborhoodsNantucket has a number of neighborhoods, but some of the most popular for tourists include the Downtown/Brant Point area, Madaket, Siasconset ('Sconset), and Surfside.
The Brant Point area is the most famous part of Nantucket. It's filled with five star restaurants, world class shopping, and plenty of history and character. Brant Point Lighthouse is also in the area.
Madaket is on the western side of the island, not far from downtown. This is where you'll find the most peaceful long, sandy beaches. It's the perfect place to relax for hours in the sun with a good book.
'Sconset is another small town that is filled with impressive views, luxurious homes, and Sankaty Light Head. The best way to experience the area is along the 'Sconset Bluff Walk, where you can soak up the natural beauty. The downtown has great local restaurants and a charming atmosphere.
On the southern end of the island is Surfside. This area also has nice sandy beaches, larger waves, and a beachy vibe that makes it the perfect place to hang out.
ActivitiesNantucket has plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy. There's hiking, fishing, golfing, shopping and more. The most popular activity is hanging out on one of the many beaches. The sandy beaches make the perfect place to relax for the day. Some beaches are great for kayaking, while others are more popular for surfing or simply lounging in the sun. The more southern beaches have cooler water and stronger surf, while the northern beaches are a bit calmer. Some of the more popular beaches include Children's Beach, Cisco Beach, Coatue, Dionis Beach, Jetties Beach, Madaket Beach, Siasconset Beach, and Surfside Beach.
Boating is also very popular in Nantucket. The harbor is where you'll find sailboats, motor boats, fishing boats, and private yachts. For information you can contact the town pier's Harbormaster.
Food and DiningNantucket has no shortage of five star restaurants where you can enjoy world class cuisine and excellent service. There's all kinds of cuisine available but many visitors enjoy the fresh seafood. There are also a number of more casual restaurants around as well as sandwich shops, ice cream shops, and pizza.
TransportationDriving is probably the fastest way to get around the island, but parking can be limited and challenging. It's also not necessary to drive to explore many parts of the town. Many visitors enjoy biking as the area is very biker friendly. There are a number of bike paths that are both convenient and safe for all skill levels. You can rent bikes from a number of shops around town or at the Steamship Authority ferry dock on Broad St.
Another option is to take the shuttle bus service which connects many parts of the island. The shuttle service is operated by the Nantucket Regional Transit Authority and is referred to as "The Wave". There are a number of loops and the fare is around $2 each way.