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Nantucket: Summer Travel Guide

Updated: Jul 5

This is the dreamiest island in the United States. Located about 30 miles off Cape Cod, Massachusetts coast, Nantucket is a charming little island renowned for its scenic vistas. During July, the island transforms into a picturesque garden adorned with hydrangeas and roses. Here is my ultimate summer travel guide to Nantucket.

 

HOW TO GET THERE:

  • By Air: You can also fly into Nantucket Memorial Airport (ACK) from several major cities in the northeastern United States. It's about a 1.5-hour flight from NYC.

  • By Ferry: Ferry services are available from Hyannis, MA. You can choose between a high-speed ferry and a traditional one, with travel times ranging from 1 to 2 hours.

Credit: luxurycheckin.com

HOW TO GET AROUND:

When visiting the island, it is highly recommended to consider renting a bike or bringing your own. You can bring your bikes onto the ferry to Nantucket. The island is perfect for biking, with dedicated bike lanes and paths, making it an enjoyable experience. Biking is a great way to explore the island at your own pace, and you can discover many charming streets and scenic routes along the way.

Credit: Svitlana

WHERE TO GO:

  • Nantucket Town

Nantucket Town, the island's central hub, embodies traditional whaling village charm and modern energy. Here you can find historic architecture, many lovely shops, and restaurants. You can easily walk here from the ferry station and wander through the cobblestone lanes. This area is one of my favorites, especially during July when the hydrangeas are full blooming.

  • Brant Point

Brant Point is located on the eastern side of the island and is known for its serene view of the harbor and the iconic Brant Point Lighthouse, the second oldest lighthouse in the United States. This is a great area to stay on Nantucket. It's close to the busy scene of the town but also embraces the peaceful atmosphere of the harbor.

  • Surfside Beach

Surfside Beach is located on the south shore of Nantucket, about 3 miles from downtown. It's easily accessible by bike, car, or shuttle bus. Surfside Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Nantucket, known for its expansive sandy coastline and great waves. Providing all the essentials for an ideal beach outing, Surfside Beach is a quintessential Nantucket experience. A trip to Nantucket without basking in the sun is not complete.

  • The Nantucket Whaling Museum

The Nantucket Whaling Museum explores the island's rich whaling history. Nantucket was one of the biggest whaling hubs in the 18th and 19th centuries. It is a must-visit for anyone interested in maritime history and Nantucket's cultural heritage.

  • Siasconset

On the island's east side, there is a gorgeous neighborhood called Siasconset, shortened to 'Sconset, where you can find rose-covered cottages, beautiful hydrangeas, and stunning ocean views. Leisurely strolling along the 'Sconset Bluff Walk is a must. You can bike there from Nantucket town or take the bus to 'Sconset.


WHERE TO STAY:

  • The Nantucket Hotel & Resort:  

The Nantucket Hotel & Resort is a short walk from Nantucket town, making it an excellent location for exploring the island. The hotel is elegantly furnished with classic and modern decor, creating a luxurious and comforting ambiance. A complimentary shuttle service is provided to and from the ferries, beaches, and other local attractions.

  • White Elephant:

The White Elephant is one of the most beautiful hotels on Nantucket. The hotel's waterfront location provides breathtaking views of the Nantucket Harbor, making it an excellent stay for leisure and special occasions.

  • Faraway:

The style of Faraway Nantucket mixes laid-back boho vibes and a chic island atmosphere. It's also within walking distance of the busy downtown area, where you can find the cutest shops and restaurants. The outdoor terrace and cocktail bar are both picturesque and perfect for relaxation.

  • Vacation Rentals:

Renting a house or a cottage is a popular option for those looking to enjoy a relaxing getaway in Nantucket. When it comes to choosing the best places to stay, Nantucket Town, Brant Point, and Sconset Beach stand out as top choices.


WHERE TO EAT:

A summer getaway to Nantucket without a seafood meal is not complete. Nantucket has many seafood restaurants for you, both casual eats and upscale dining. You can also find classic quick bites like pizza and burgers here on the island.

  • Straight Wharf ($$$)

  • Millie's Restaurant ($$)

  • Island Kitchen ($$)

  • Foggy Nantucket ($)

  • Galley Beach ($$$)


BEST BEACHES:

Besides the Surfside Beach I mentioned above, Nantucket has several excellent beaches all around the island. The north shore has calmer water and is perfect for relaxation, while the south shore has bigger waves and is ideal for surfers.

North Shore:

  • 40th Pole Beach

  • Jetties Beach

  • Steps Beach

  • Dionis Beach

South Shore:

  • Surfside Beach

  • Madequecham Beach

  • Cisco Beach

  • Madaket Beach

Credit: dashaelgart

BEST TIME TO VISIT:

May to August is the peak season in Nantucket. If you want to catch the stunning and picturesque hydrangea and rose blossom, early to mid-July is the best time to visit. If you want to avoid the crowd, mid to late September is also a good time to visit, and the hotels are much more affordable during the off-peak season.  


ALL LOCATIONS IN THIS GUIDE:




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