7 Things to Do on Nantucket


Nantucket is such an alluring island to visit, so it is no wonder it one of the favorite holiday destinations to many CEOs. However, is it a fun, relaxing place to spend a holiday in? It is a pretty expensive island to spend a vacation in, but is it worth it?

So, what sort of things can one do in Nantucket? Nantucket is a magical place that will satiate your vacation needs. Here are seven things that you can do in Nantucket:

  1. Explore the island and view the architecture while biking.
  2. Go surfing or simply enjoy laying by the beach.
  3. Visit museums and lighthouses.
  4. Take a stroll on the Sconset Bluff Walk.
  5. Visit the Nantucket Atheneum.
  6. Have a seafood feast.
  7. Discover and taste the delicious candy.

The Nantucket island has so much to offer, but today I will be only discussing the seven things I mentioned above. To learn more about these exciting places to visit and wholesome activities, continue reading this blog post.

What are some things that people can do in Nantucket?

The seven things that I have mentioned that you can enjoy doing while you are visiting the magical island ( aka Nantucket) can be divided into two different categories:

  1. Sightseeing activities 
  2. Devouring delicious food experiences

The categories might sound a bit bland; however, you are about to go on a fantastic joyride.

7 Things to Do on Nantucket

Sightseeing activities

Don’t let the word sightseeing deceive you, there is an activity or two that should not be listed in this category, but we will make it work.

Sightseeing might sound tame, but they are actually misrepresented opportunities of having such a wholesome time. Out of the seven things that you can do in Nantucket, five can be listed under the sightseeing activities category. They are:

  • Exploring the island and viewing the architecture while biking.
  • Going surfing or simply enjoying sitting by the beach.
  • Visiting museums and lighthouses.
  • Taking a stroll on the Sconset Bluff Walk.
  • Visiting the Nantucket Atheneum.

Devouring delicious food experiences

Some people often recommend that you eat in while traveling so you could spend your money on experiences and not food. However, I believe that one should splurge to live the full experience if they can afford it.

Food is an art, and devouring delicious dishes is an experience in itself, so make sure you at least try out the infamous dishes that the city or island that you are visiting is renowned for.

Two out of the seven things to do in Nantucket that I am going to talk about today are food-related. They are:

  • Having a seafood feast.
  • Discovering and tasting the delicious candy.

Now that you have a clear picture on what we are going to be discussing today let us jump into exploring this beautiful, breathtaking island!

1) Exploring the island and viewing the architecture while biking

Nantucket’s historic district has more than eight hundred ( 800 ) houses that were built before the Civil War! The majority of these houses were built around the harbor when the island was considered to be the capital of whaling business.

Cabs are a bit expensive, so biking is often the best way to go. You will find many places where you can rent bikes near you. If you are staying in a hotel, ask if they offer complimentary bikes to use or if they rent them because a lot of them do so.

7 Things to Do on Nantucket

Biking is not just a more affordable and eco-friendly way to explore this gorgeous island, but it also allows you to explore it more efficiently and pass through places that cars can’t go through.

What makes the biking experience even better is that the streets of Nantucket have a lane for bikes and scooters only!

You get to explore the beaches, wetlands, and dunes of Nantucket easily by biking on the paved, bike paths.

This is also going to allow you to appreciate and enjoy the architecture of this island!

You can expect to see and enjoy the architecture of those houses while making your way through the town ( the Nantucket town) while riding a bike. If you are confused by the term town, then let me explain. The word town is used to refer to the hub of this beautiful island.

While you are on the bike, enjoy the beautiful scenery and the streets that are lined with houses of captains that are there from the seventeen and eighteen hundreds (1700- 1800).

So do not just expect to be memorized by the beautiful scenery, but prepare to witness history and dwell on the architecture.

Whether you are an architecture geek, or you are a massive fan of taking aesthetically pleasing images, you are going to love riding your bike throughout the island. Nantucket is renowned for its homes.

7 Things to Do on Nantucket

The developers who worked on the town curated a plan and were successful at creating an upscaled and a controlled town, which is why the majority of the historic homes share the same palette.

If you want to watch and take in the beauty of the flowers, then I highly encourage you to go there during July, a time where the island is usually in bloom.

What’s better than looking at a landscape in screaming colors!

2) Going surfing or simply enjoying sitting by the beach

You are visiting an island, of course going to the beach is going to be on this list. Whether you have a brave heart and enjoy the joy of wave rides, or you like to swim in blue water, Nantucket has a vast menu to serve you almost everything beach related that you desire!

The Waters of Nantucket is open to the public, and there is almost a beautiful beach along the coast; however, it is better if you choose a beach that has a lifeguard on duty and clean bathrooms.

For those of you who are love riding waves, but you are traveling with other people who enjoy calmer beaches where they can enjoy having a nice swim, then don’t worry.

There are two beaches that are basically the best of both worlds because it grants everyone their beach wishes and desires. These beaches are:

  1. The Madaket Beach
  2. The Surfside Beach

The Madaket Beach

The Madaket beach is on the Southwest shore. It is the perfect beach to enjoy both surfing and swimming. If you are not a huge fan of crowded beaches, then you have hit the jackpot with the Madaket beach because it is less crowded compared to other beaches.

The Surfside Beach

The Surfside beach is on the South Shore. This beach tends to have bigger waves when compared to that of other beaches. However, it is also a family-friendly beach. This means that it is also an excellent beach for children as well.

Have you spent an entire day surfing and riding wild waves? Well, how about you spend the next day visiting Nantucket’s museums and lighthouses.

3) Visiting museums and lighthouses

Visiting the museums of Nantucket is the perfect thing to do when it starts raining. If you only want to visit one museum, then I highly recommend you check out the Whaling Museum. It is located in downtown Nantucket.

The Whaling Museum

What makes this museum one of the most important museums to visit is the fact the Nantucket was at one point considered to be the capital of whaling business. Though history is cruel and sad, it still happened. Since history often repeats itself, why not learn more about it?

Speaking of whales, did you know that Herman Melville, the author of the infamous, classic book (Moby Dick) was actually a tourist who got inspired to write that book based on his island visiting experience.

PS: Book lovers, you will love the number five thing that you could do in Nantucket, so stay tuned for that.

The Whaling Museum is an interactive museum that is dedicated entirely to explaining Nantucket’s past economy and maritime history. The Whaling Museum has a forty-six foot ( 46- foot) skeleton of a giant whale’s sperm. Yes, you read that correctly!

If you have visited the museum before, I still think it worth revisiting it since the Whaling Museum often updates its exhibitions with other old artifacts and a variety of different educational short films.

Nantucket’s Lighthouses

Now that we have talked about the one museum that you should visit if you are not into museums, let us talk about Nantucket’s lighthouses!

7 Things to Do on Nantucket

Nantucket might be a small island, but it has three alluring lighthouses that you should visit. The three lighthouses that are in Nantucket are:

  1. The Great Point Lighthouse
  2. The Brant Point Lighthouse
  3. The Sankaty Lighthouse

The Great Point Lighthouse

The Great Point Lighthouse is on Great Point, which means it is a little bit hard to reach. However, impossible is nothing. To get there, you should rent a jeep with an over the sand vehicle permit ( because you will drive over the sand) and a four-wheel drive.

It might take you a bit to reach there, but it is worth it. Just make sure you pack some sandwiches, drinks, fruits, and water so you can have a nice little picnic by the Great Point Lighthouse.

The Brant Point Lighthouse

This lighthouse is the closes one to the Nantucket town, making it a great place to bird watch, or just to watch the sunrise and sunset!

The Brand Point Lighthouse is kind of hard to miss thanks to the American flag being painted on the lighthouse, and the white walkway that leads to it.

The Sankaty Lighthouse

The Sankaty Lighthouse is very unique looking thanks to its white and red stripe pattern. It is located in Siasconset, on Nantucket’s eastern point to be more specific.

It is pattern really makes it stand out, so definitely add the Sankaty lighthouse to your sightseeing tour. After you check it out, don’t leave the area right away because the next sightseeing activity that you are going to check out in the Sconset Bluff Walk.

4) Taking a stroll on the Sconset Bluff Walk

Now that you are in Siasconset, you have no excuse to skip the Sconset Bluff Walk! It is not just another walk in a pretty neighborhood.

Why?

Because the walking path of the Sconset Bluff Walk is made of white seashells! Of course, you can not ride your bike on it, but you can enjoy walking on it on foot.

If you decide to take a stroll on the Sconset Bluff Walk and visit the Sankaty Lighthouse, then it makes more sense to have a stroll on the Sconset walk first, then head to the Sankaty Lighthouse.

Why?

Because The Sconset Bluff walk ( which is also known as the Bluff walk) extends all the way down to the unique looking Sankaty Lighthouse. The whole pathway is pretty spectacular, so I highly recommend that you do it in that order.

To reach the Sconset Bluff Walk, head towards the twenty-one (21) Front Street, ditch your bike and start walking on this exquisite walkway. You are going to be mesmerized with beautiful cottages you are going to see.

If seeing walls wrapped in ivy and flowers sounds good to you, then make sure you check out out the Sconset Bluff Walk.

5) Visiting the Nantucket Atheneum

If you are book lover like me, then you don’t need much explanation on why you should check out on Nantucket’s free public library. 

The island’s library receives more than one hundred and seventy thousand guest (170K+) every year. The Nantucket Atheneum is more than just a library; it also hosts daily activities that are suitable for different age groups.

It is also a historical wonder, contains more than one and half a million (1.5 million) resources, and offered educational programs to children, teens, adults, and elders.

6) Having a seafood feast

Like with going to the beach activity, trying out Natucky’s seafood is a must because you are on an island!

Here are three restaurants that you can get some delicious seafood from.

  1. Sayle’s
  2. Millie’s
  3. Cru

From Sayle’s, order the fried clams and walk to the water’s edge ( which is nearby) to enjoy this delicious meal while sitting in front of an enchanting view.

From Millie’s, get yourself the fish tacos. Millie’s is the best place to head to enjoy Mexican food on this island.

From Cru, get yourself some oysters! It is located near the water, which means that you will be indulging some delicious and fresh seafood.

7) Discovering and tasting the delicious candy

Apparently, Nantucket has amazing candy endnote enough people are talking about it. I find it very weird and interesting how this island is not renowned for its delicious candy! It is like a secret, but now you know about it, and you really should buy some candy.

One store that you can check out is called Force Five Watersports, and it is in the Nantucket town. Yes, it mostly a water sports store, but they also sell a wide variety of things like casual clothes, bathing suits, sunscreen, and candy!

You will find the candy section at the back of the store. If you don’t find it, simply ask one of the people working there about the location of the Candy Section. 

Other questions related to things to do in Nantucket

What to pack for a summer holiday in Nantucket?

The best things to pack for a summer holiday in Nantucket include casual outfits like shirts, shorts, summer dresses, and dinner dresses. Make sure you grab your swimsuit, sunglasses, tote beach bag, hat, sandals, tennis shoes, and boat shoes as well. 

Don’t forget to take at least one cozy sweatshirt because it tends to be cool in the evenings and early mornings. Grab a raincoat and an umbrella as well cause it often rains.

Do I need travel insurance when traveling to Nantucket?

Nantucket is often referred to as the Grey Lady. It earned that nickname due to the regular thick fog that rolls in. This means that flights are often not only delayed but also canceled. That is why it is essential to have travel insurance; to able to enjoy your vacation without worrying about your trip getting canceled.

What to do in Nantucket on a rainy day?

On rainy days, the best thing that you can do in Nantucket if you are not into staying in and enjoying the scenery from the window, then visiting museums is the best activity that you can enjoy. I highly recommend you specifically check out the Whaling Museum, which is operated by the Nantucket Historical Association.

Where to stay in Nantucket?

While visiting this beautiful island, you can either stay in a hotel or rent a house via Airbnb. You can pick where you stay based on how many people are with you, and what kind of atmosphere you want to experience (as there are a couple of beautiful neighborhoods to pick from). 

Two of the most popular Nantucket hotels are The White Elephant and Greydon House.

What is the events calendar for Nantucket?

Because the events occurring in this beautiful island varies from one day to another, I found a site that continually curates and updates the upcoming events in Nantucket as a Calendar. You can check that out here.

That’s it for today’s post. You should now know what to do if you decide to spend a few days in Nantucket. If you have any questions about spending a holiday in Nantucket, then feel free to leave them in the comments section down below.

If you have visited this beautiful island before, then feel free to share with us your top three things to do in Nantucket in the comments section.

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