18 Apr 2024

Your Guide to Nantucket Beaches

Guide to Nantucket Beaches

With miles of beautiful beaches to explore on Nantucket, choosing which stretch of sand to stake your claim on for the day can be a tough decision! We’ve compiled a list of our team’s top favorites on the island, so you can spend the hottest days on some of Nantucket’s best beaches.

Surfside Beach

Located on the island’s southern coast, Surfside is one of Nantucket’s most popular and accessible beaches, known for its wide stretch of sandy shoreline and excellent surf conditions—hence the name “Surfside.”

It’s also a favorite for swimming, beach volleyball, and picnicking, and is one of the few beaches on island with a concession stand and restrooms. With a designated parking area and a lifeguard on duty during the summer, it’s a classic beach experience with plenty to keep you occupied.

Madaket Beach

Take a trip out to the western end of the island and visit Madaket Beach, known to islanders as one of the best sunset-watching spots. With a tranquil, quieter atmosphere, its waters are calmer and ideal for swimming, paddle boarding, and fishing.

After a long day by the water, be sure to wind down with dinner at Millie’s Restaurant just off the beach, where you can enjoy great food, drinks, and panoramic views of those famous Madaket sunsets!

Cisco Beach

Want the waves of Surfside without as many of the crowds? Cisco Beach is your best bet. Known for its more laid-back atmosphere, it’s a popular surf spot with nearby trails to enjoy Nantucket’s wildlife.

A day at Cisco Beach isn’t complete without a stop at Cisco Brewers for a truly local experience, so be sure to add this to your plans for the day. Sit back and enjoy live music, food trucks, and craft beers in a relaxed, easygoing setting.

Nantucket Beaches

Great Point Beach

Seeking adventure? Great Point Beach will be your go-to. Located at the northern tip of the island, this beach is only accessible by 4×4 vehicles (be sure to get your permit) or boat. Far removed from the rest of the island, getting there is an experience in and of itself. With a unique, rugged beauty, it’s perfect for beachcombing, wildlife spotting, and exploring the historic Great Point Lighthouse.

This part of the island has strict conservation and preservation guidelines in place, so if you want to experience Great Point, you’ll need to obtain an Oversand Vehicle Permit. This permit is different from the typical beach driving permit, so be sure to apply for the correct one!

Steps Beach

Want to take a break from shopping in town? Head to nearby Steps Beach, located off Cliff Road. Steps Beach offers stunning views of Nantucket Sound and Coatue Wildlife Refuge, and is one of Nantucket’s most iconic spots — perfect for the photographers and those looking for a unique island viewpoint. With a distinct landscape featuring a series of wooden steps and footpaths down to the beach, you’ll see why it gets its name!

Steps Beach is great for beachcombing enthusiasts. There are plenty of shells, driftwood, and other treasures washed ashore by the tide, making it easy to spend hours wandering the sandy shorelines in search of interesting finds.

Best Nantucket Beaches

Searching for a beach the whole family can enjoy? While all of Nantucket’s beaches are great for all ages, here are a couple of our favorite family-friendly options:

Children’s Beach is located right in town and features a playground, calm waters, and shallow tide pools, making it ideal for families with young children.

Jetties Beach is another near-town option with a designated swimming area, picnic tables, and amenities such as restrooms and a snack bar.

No matter how you spend your beach days, you’ll be guaranteed to find a favorite or two on Nantucket!

Nantucket Beach Guide

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