Nantucket is an island with some of the most beautiful beaches on the East Coast and is a dream destination for people of all ages and preferences.
It has amazingly preserved architecture and infrastructures from centuries ago and stunning wildlife. But there are also some of the most modern and exclusive restaurants, stores, and boutiques on this New England Island.
This island, south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is ideal for vacationers looking for the perfect place to relax, bask in the sun, swim or surf in the clean waters, and spend all day outdoors among some of the most beautiful landscapes and views in the world.
Here are some of the best places to go and things to do outdoors while accumulating Vitamin D from the sun rays in Nantucket.
This is among the top-rated beaches on the island. It is located on the westernmost part of Nantucket, where you can experience and photograph some of the most spectacular sunsets ever.
It is a relatively isolated beach without amenities or nearby buildings. The sand is silky-soft, but the water can be pretty rough. This means that it is not the best choice for very young kids.
You can take a stroll down Madaket Beach and have a picnic or a romantic date there.
Millie’s restaurant is right next to the beach, so you can grab some snacks or enjoy dinner after you have spent the day in the sun and the warm water.
SUP Yoga Classes
While you are in Nantucket, you can sign up for these unique SUP Yoga classes. They combine traditional yoga with stand-up paddling and are amazingly energizing, thanks to the flowing water under the boards.
It can be more challenging than doing yoga in a studio or at home, but this is what makes it even more fun.
You can sign up for the classic Vinyasa or Hatha SUP Yoga classes. Don’t worry if you are new to stand-up paddling because the friendly instructors will help teach you to balance, breathe properly, and do the exercises correctly and safely.
There are classes for beginners as well as for more advanced SUP Yoga students available.
Once you get the hang of it, you will love the physical and spiritual experience, which is combined with the fantastic ocean views and landscapes of Nantucket.
Lost Farm Wildlife Sanctuary
Thanks to the various preservation and conservation organizations on the island and the strict local regulations, the nature, flora, and fauna in Nantucket are almost perfectly preserved.
At the Lost Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, you can explore the trails around the most extensive pitch pine forest by Hummock Pond, where you can see a wide variety of different birds. You can enjoy the sight and sounds of the many birds in the Sanctuary. Some of them include Eastern Towhees, Pine Warblers, or Black-capped Chickadees. At night, there are Saw-whet and Barn owls in the wood and in the area.
Seeing the island from the sea
Apart from enjoying the stunning views from the waterfront in Nantucket, you can also take a cruise or go sailing and view the island from the ocean as well.
During the summer season, which starts from the end of May and ends in mid-October, you can get on board Captain Jim Genthner’s 31-foot Friendship sloop. It is a perfect reproduction of the original craft from the 1900s and was built by the captain himself.
The sailing tour departs from Straight Wharf and includes a relaxing and informative sail around the harbor and the Nantucket Sound. The sails are affordable and last for about an hour in the mornings and for slightly longer in the afternoons.
You can also book it for a private party or for a special occasion.
Discover Smith’s Point
It may require quite a hike to get there, but once you reach Smith’s Point, you will be happy you went there. This is the westernmost point of the island of Nantucket, which can be reached with a two-mile walk on the sand along the water.
You can plan your walk to get to Smith’s Point in time to see the sunset if you would like to experience the ultimate romantic moment or take some of the best vacation pictures for your Instagram feed.
You can also take advantage of the Nantucket Walkabout’s tour while getting to the point and can spot some of the unique shorebirds and even some seals while at it.
Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge
This is a unique Wildlife Refuge located on two peninsulas reaching the northernmost point of Nantucket.
With multiple trails in the area, you can take a hike or ride a 4WD vehicle with a beach permit through the picturesque Refuge.
Some of the most popular trails include the Coskata Wood trail, the Inside trail, and the Beach trail. One of the best ways to make the most of your trip to the Refuge is to take the path leading to Great Point Lighthouse, located on the northernmost point of Nantucket.
If you are prepared for a more strenuous hike on the soft sand and have suitable hiking gear, you can embark on the trail from Wauwinet Gatehouse. But always take note of the tides, weather, and the time when going on this hiking adventure.
While in the Refuge, you can spot some local shorebirds, seals, raptors, deer, and other wildlife, along with the coastal flora and the biggest red cedar savannah in New England.
Private Nantucket Beach Fishing Activity with a Guide
If you are into fishing, you can take a private fishing tour with the experienced local guide Steve Tuna. You can select the beaches you want to explore and fish at and rely on Steve Tuna to tell you which beach is suitable for what type of fishing and equipment.
The different beaches on the island have different conditions and tides. The northern ones are on the Nantucket Sound shore and, as such, have calmer and warmer waters, while the southern ones have bigger surf, and the weather and currents are less predictable.
One of the best beaches to explore during your Nantucket fishing tour is the Great Point, located on a 7-mile long eastern shore peninsula. It offers a perfect combination of adventure, wildlife spotting, a beautiful natural environment, and exciting fishing opportunities.
Steve is ready to help beginners and assist advanced anglers in finding the best places to fish on the island. You will also get all the necessary gear for the fishing trip from him.
Nantucket bike trails
As mentioned, even though Nantucket is such a popular summer vacation destination, its beaches and nature are almost untouched and beautiful. One of the most sustainable ways to explore the island is via cycling. There is a network of bike paths that reach practically every neighborhood, area, and attraction there. You can rent a bike there or even take your own bicycle with you on the Steamship Authority ferry when you are coming to Nantucket.
There are many people who love taking weekend and even day trips to Nantucket from Boston and exploring it on their bikes. This is the most eco-friendly way to travel on the island and the most affordable one as well.