Images of sunsets, evening bonfires, and fireworks over pristine beaches probably come to mind when planning a trip to Nantucket. Located a few miles off Cape Cod, Nantucket has a population of about 12,000 people. Every year, the island’s population multiplies five times during the summer due to an influx of tourists visiting this picture-perfect island. Apart from the beautiful beaches, Nantucket has many activities that make it a dream destination for thousands of tourists every year. A magnificent art scene, a host of great restaurants, hiking trails, historical libraries, and numerous hidden gems, add to the attractiveness of this incredible island.
With so many historical, cultural, outdoor, and gastronomic attractions to choose from, it might be pretty challenging to know where to start and how to make the most of your trip to Nantucket. Plan your holiday with our list of the best places to visit when you are in Nantucket.
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Six Best Places To Visit On Your Trip to Nantucket
1. Jetties Beach
Conveniently poised within walking distance from Nantucket’s main town is the Jetties Beach, which will surely make your summer memorable. At the beach, you are greeted by large amounts of tan sand and shallow waters, perfect for kids of all ages to swim. The beach also contains a playground, tennis court, and a skate park, making it the ideal beach for anyone who is in for a good time. If you are a treasure hunter, ensure you bring a bucket and collect the unique shells and sea glass pepper, which are in plenty on this sandy shore.
2. Great Point Lighthouse
Standing at more than 60 feet tall at the northernmost part of the island is the Great Point Lighthouse, which was established in 1784. Driving down the sand paths and sandy beaches to the Great Point Lighthouse is an exhilarating experience. The Great Point Lighthouse is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and is an important place for migrant and local birds for sanctuary and nesting. Despite it not being recognized by the National Register of Historic Places, it still remains one of the best places to visit in Nantucket.
3. The Whaling Museum
If you want to understand Nantucket’s incredible history of over four centuries, then you need to visit the Whaling Museum. The museum allows you to connect with the island’s historical life as an international whaling capital, and the Nantucket Historical Society runs it. Travel writer Andrew Harper recognized The Whaling Museum as one of the ten places in America that you should visit before you die, and he couldn’t have been wrong.
One of the main attractions in the museum is a 46-foot sperm whale skeleton which will astound anyone who thinks elephants are massive. The museum also contains numerous artifacts and treasures on display, and you can make the most of your trip by visiting their nine historic homes and sites, which are open to the public. If you are not a fan of history, you can climb your way up to the rooftop deck, which offers magnificent views of Nantucket harbor.
4. Enjoy Stunning Views of the Sea at Brant Point Lighthouse
The Brant Point Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse that we cannot leave out on our list of the best places to visit while traveling to Nantucket. The Lighthouse was built in 1746 and is currently in the hands of the US Coast Guard. It remains a small yet powerful symbol of the island, and it will greet you anytime you are visiting the island and bid you farewell as you go back home. The lighthouse’s grounds provide magnificent views of the port and are a great place to relax as you imagine yourself aboard one of the passing luxury yachts.
5. Take a stroll through Sanford Farm & Ram Pasture
If you need good respite from the hustle and bustle of Nantucket town, a visit to the Sanford Farm & Ram Pasture will do you good. This 780 acres of property was originally part of “common land” that was set aside by the original 27 shareholders who settled in the area back in 1659. Sanford Farm is quite popular among cyclists, dog owners, walkers, and runners. The property contains marked trails that offer stunning views of the ocean and magnificent views of North Head and Hummock Ponds.
6. Play a Round of Golf on the Miacomet Golf Course
If someone blindfolded you and took you to Miacomet Golf Course in Nantucket, you would probably think you were in Scotland. Rolling terrain and windy but firm conditions give the golf course an incredible ambiance. Although the ocean is not in view, it is not far away, and this has not detracted the Miacomet Golf Course from being named one of the best golf courses in Massachusetts.
Moving Around Nantucket
Nantucket is a small island, but the island is quite hilly, and moving from one destination to another could take you 30 to 45 minutes using a bike. To get the best experience as you traverse the coastal dunes of this incredible destination, you may need to hire a Jeep, especially if you are with a group of friends. Just ensure that you have the appropriate permit stickers, including unique stickers which allow you to access the Great Point Lighthouse Trail.