What better for an island to be known for than its beaches!

Nantucket has been protected through strong land use policies, development boards and the historical association. The result is pristine scapes and natural beauty beyond compare.

The best beaches in our LIV Lifestyle, and their distinct charms, span the shores, each having its own unique vibe.

 


NORTH SHORE

Beaches here are protected by the Nantucket Sound which means the water is warmer and the waves are smaller - perfect for family play with small children or sophisticated fare for big ones.

Jetties Beach - A simple walk or bike ride from town makes this a popular summer spot. It is a relaxing family-oriented beach with plenty of amusements for the kids: jungle gym playground, great sandbar, jetties for finding little hermit crabs, broad beach for sandcastles and games, volleyball nets, sailing and board rentals, swimming and tennis lessons, even a skate park. There's a casual family patio restaurant… or you can saunter a bit south at sunset and embrace Nantucket chic at the Galley restaurant.

Jetties is also the prized location of the Boston Pops annual summer concert. Beach chair and umbrellas rentals are available.

Children's Beach - A sweet view of the harbor, in town, across from Steamboat Wharf.During the summer months, you'll find family friendly-activities like dance and yoga for children, tie-dye classes, and a concert series. As the name suggests, shallow harbor waters make this beach perfect for young children.  It's the island's most wave-free little beach.

Brant Point - Walking distance from town, this convenient retreat also captures an amazing view of the harbor from its signature lighthouse point. The perfect place to relax and watch the boats come in and out. Not known for its swimming but more for watching the postcard-worthy world go by.  You are likely to run into an artist painting and couples taking in the views.
 


SOUTH SHORE

Beaches facing the Atlantic Ocean see large waves, strong currents, and cooler water. For a full day on the sand, this shore packs a punch!

Surfside - Accessed by a three-mile bike path or road you will find more adult and adventurer diversion and company here. Great for families who embrace watersport, with food, restroom facilities, and a wide beach that's perfect for picnics, games, and surf-casting. It's one of the most popular beaches in Nantucket, so it's heavily populated with locals and tourists of all ages.

Nobadeer - (aka: "Brobadeer") is known for its super social party scene. College kids congregate to “just chill” blast music from their SUVs and bodysurf all afternoon.The average age is between 18 and 30. Expect lots of surfers, laxers, students on summer break, and perhaps the lone aviation lover watching planes fly in and out of ACK airport. It's one of the only beaches you can drive on so if you dare, remember to let some of the air out of your tires and put your car in four-wheel drive before hitting the soft sand.

Cisco - A surfers paradise, this beach gets the biggest breaks. Rip currents can be very strong but the breeze is always nice. It's the home to Nantucket's best surf school. Surfboards, wetsuits, and stand-up paddleboards are available to rent.  Visit Cisco Brewers on your way home and try their flagship beer, Whale's Tale Pale Ale.

 


EAST SHORE

Open to the Atlantic Ocean, these beaches have large waves and strong currents.

Siasconset - This charming beach is a little more difficult to get to than the others, which means few people and a mellow atmosphere.  If you are an early risers looking to catch the gorgeous sunrise, this is your spot. One of the few places on island where you can see seals. Stop by the Sconset Cafe for homemade granola.

Great Point - The pristine beach and Great Point Lighthouse (also known as Nantucket Lighthouse) make the long journey worthwhile. The lighthouse sits on the end of a seven-mile strip of sand overlooking the gap between Nantucket and Monomoy Island. Fishermen. Great Point and adventurous tailgaters who love the journey for the best. The Great Point spit where two current converge to create “the rip” is known for the island's best fishing. A beach permit and four-wheel drive are required.

WEST SHORE

Beaches tend to have very heavy surf, but most in the area are closed due to soil erosion.

Madaket Beach - The far Western end of the Island. Here is your ideal spot to set up a picnic on the notably soft sand and take in the incredible sunset.  Being 10 miles out of town, this beach is rarely ever crowded.


 

in the end, it's all about the beach

There are plenty of reasons to visit Nantucket, but surrounding all of them is a sandy boundary between sea and land. Unlike some other parts of Massachusetts that shall go unnamed, virtually all the beaches on Nantucket are open and easily accessible to the public.

 


BAYWATCH AT YOUR SERVICE

Heading west around the island from town,
here are the principal lifeguarded beaches:

Children's Beach: As it sounds. No waves, little current (it's on the sheltered waters of Nantucket Harbor), plenty of hot dogs, playground equipment, rest rooms with diaper-changing stations, and T-shirt tie-dying programs on Fridays after noon.

Jetties Beach: The median age rises to somewhere around nine on Jetties, which is the best beach within walking distance of town.

Dionis Beach: Backed by dunes and out of town, this beach is prettier than either of the above, but it's still on the Sound.

Madaket Beach: The south shore beaches are for those who like big surf and a quick drop-off—in other words, the real ocean. Go at sunset.

Cisco Beach: More of the above, only without the view of the waterfront architecture of Madaket.

Surfside Beach: Popular with families. On Fridays and Sundays the nearby airport can be busier than Boston's Logan.

Siasconset Beach: Beautiful, but scary when the surf's up.


Nobadeer and Madekecham Beaches: Both lie to the east of Surfside; the former is popular among the young, single, body-surfing set.

Quidnet Beach: Despite the trophy house looming over its barrier beach, the view from Quidnet over Sesachacha Pond toward Sankaty Head is awe-inspiring. No place to park; ride your bike.

Pocomo Beach: A somewhat stony beach for children and shell-seekers.

Coatue Beach: Rent a sea kayak; pack a lunch, plenty of water, and sunscreen; and plan to spend an entire day exploring the crescents and points.

Seasoned islanders have favorite spots that are far from the clustered towels near the lifeguard stations. They use names that often refer to nothing more official than a nearby landmark. The purists still get there on bikes, along not-well-marked roads, or in their trusty (and tastefully rusty) Jeep Wagoneers and Chevy Suburbans.
But beware: Nantucket is one of those places where people buy a beach access sticker and try out the four-wheel drive on the sand. The resulting scene at Great Point, Smith's Point, and Eel Point is a cross between a tailgate party and a used-car lot.