Things to do in Nantucket range from a host of beach and water activities like sailing and fishing to dining, shopping, and visiting cultural sites. Nantucket Island provides an excellent mixture of activities and attractions that are sure to suit any group. There are plenty of activities for families with children, as well as many things to do for couples looking to get away on a romantic retreat. Although Nantucket is most commonly associated with popular pastimes like sailing and playing on the beautiful beaches, you will also find an enchanted vacation destination that offers much in the way of shopping, entertainment, and world-class dining. The most alluring Nantucket Island attractions are its beaches and natural beauty, but you will find no shortage of fun things to do and see around the interior of the island as well.
Perhaps the biggest draw for visitors of Nantucket Island is the magnificent coastline. The beaches on Nantucket Island provide guests the ability to spread out along stretches of coast and enjoy everything from sailing and kayaking to fishing and sunbathing. Jetties Beach, Madaket, and Cisco are just three of the enviable beaches on the island.
Of all the things not to miss on Nantucket Island, dining ranks near the top. Nantucket is renowned for its fabulous seafood, caught fresh from the sea every day. The cuisine and traditional East Coast style and atmosphere in the area restaurants are one of the things that make places like Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard so popular. There are a wide variety of restaurants that not only offer amazing food, but also magnificent locations that overlook the sea. If seafood is not your thing, you will easily be able to find plenty of other options on the island.
Nantucket also provides a nice selection of shopping boutiques, markets, and stores that offer all manner of goods and services. Whether you are looking for fresh seafood, high-end clothing, or home décor to fill your vacation home, you are sure to find whatever it is you are looking for. There are places to shop along the coast and also in downtown Nantucket, as well as a variety of locations dispersed throughout the relatively small island.
Fishing has long been a favorite pastime on Nantucket Island. You have quite a few options when it comes to hitting the high seas for a fishing expedition. You can rent your own boat or charter with a captain, first mate, and all of the gear you’ll need for a successful day of game fishing. The captains of these boats know right where to go to find particular kinds of fish, so you can shape the exact day of fishing you want for you and your group.
There are a number of different tours available on the island. Some are walking tours, others are tours by sea, and others even take place on bicycles. There are a host of tour providers, so first decide what interests you the most and then tailor your experience around what the right company offers.
It is not just the beaches, sailing, and great food and shopping that draws people to Nantucket. There is a decidedly important cultural element alive and well on the island that is preserved in the island’s museums. Places like the Nantucket Whaling Museum and the Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum give insight into the history and traditions of the island.
There are a number of historic lighthouses on the island. You will likely be given a chance to see these on any tour of the historic sites you might take. The Great Point Light and the Sankaty Lighthouse are two of the most important attractions on Nantucket Island.
As with many locations by the sea, Nantucket cruises are a great way to get out on the water if you don't own your own boat or yacht. Cruises depart from offsite locations to bring travelers to the island, and there are also local cruises that serve as tours on the water, too.