These Beaches are the perfect place to relax, catch some waves, and spend time with your family.
Whether you want to catch some rays, surf the waves, or spend a day at the beach, Nantucket Beach has the perfect beach for you.
South Shore beaches are generally considered to have larger, more powerful surf than the North Shore. The waves here are significant, but the surf isn’t necessarily good for surfing. The North Shore waves are a bit gentler, making them suitable for beginners, families, and people looking for a friendly SUP or bodyboard ride.
You’ll also find that the north shore beaches have better swimming and snorkeling than the south. The south shore is home to some of the most pristine and beautiful shorelines globally and is the best place to catch some waves, regardless of your skill level.
Nantucket beaches are one of the unique vacation destinations globally, with over 82 miles of coastline. There is a wide variety of sandy stretches to choose from, whether you are a wave rider or a family looking for a safe place for kids to enjoy the ocean. Of course, the sun and sea are the main attractions of this island paradise.
Expect swells that aren’t comparable to those found in world-class surfing destinations like South Africa or California. It is also a great place to enjoy water sports and surfing, particularly for beginners.
1. jetties beaches (North Shore)
Jetties Beach is a family-friendly beach conveniently located near the main town. It’s named after the jetty that sits at its tip, and it’s about a 10-minute walk from downtown (a cheap beach shuttle runs every half hour).
Vast swaths of tall sand and calm shallow water greet visitors to this north-end beach, making it ideal for small children. In addition, there is a playground, tennis court, volleyball nets, and skate park on this large beach to keep the kids entertained.
This is a popular spot for boat watching (we’re talking about everything from small sailboats to mega yachts).
Bring a bucket and go treasure hunting. This sandy shore is peppered with unique shells and sea glass, inspiring beachcombers and crafters.
Thanks to seasonal lifeguards, restrooms, beach chairs, umbrella rentals, a pavilion, and a restaurant, it’s easy to spend the entire day here.
2. Children’s Beach
Children’s Beach is a popular family destination on the North Shore. The water is calm and a great place to start getting your feet wet in the ocean if you’re close to town. Additionally, the town sponsors enjoyable family-friendly activities such as yoga and live music.
Lifeguards are on duty from mid-June to August at the Hungry Minnow snack bar. Additional activities are available on the Nantucket Parks and Recreation website.
3. Brant Point
Brant Point is a stretch of sand that is a relaxing spot to watch the “traffic” of boats enter the harbor, and it’s only a short walking distance.
Just at the entrance to Nantucket Harbor, you’ll find an ancient, picturesque lighthouse on the farthest point of Brant Point Beach. The original Brant Point Lighthouse was constructed in the mid-1740s, and its beauty has drawn sand-loving, camera-toting visitors ever since.
The current structure was built in 1901 and is still very popular.
Brant Point Beach is the best spot for boat-watching on Nantucket, with unrivaled harbor views. While visitors are welcome to swim in these waters, they are frequently navigated by ships of all sizes and have a strong current.
4. White Water Tower
The road leading to this beach on Nantucket starts on the right side of the white-water tower on its north shore and swings around behind it.
After that, look to your right for the Land Bank marker. The Nantucket Conservation Foundation and the Nantucket Land Bank share the beach and dirty parking lot ownership.
The beach can be reached via a footpath that runs through the dunes. There are no facilities available here.
5. Dionis Beach
This peaceful harbor beach can be found at the end of Dionis Beach Road. Approximately 300 feet of loose sand lined by a post and rope structure allows visually impaired people to walk unassisted to the beach.
There is a slight drop-off at the finish of the post and rope structure where, during the summer months, a ramp can assist people in walking down to the beach.
Unlike the beaches of Nobadeer and Cisco, Dionis is a popular destination for families. Its calm, warm surf and dark dunes provide a more relaxing atmosphere and safe water to swim in all day.
There are no concessions nearby; bring a pail for shell collecting and a picnic lunch.
6. Surfside Beach (South Shore)
I’m sure you can guess Surfside Beach‘s most popular activity. Surfing, to be exact.
Bodysurfing and boogie boarding are the most popular water sports on Nantucket’s best beach. It’s a tubular spot to catch a wave because the waves are high, and the ocean is rough.
This beach, located on the southern shore, is known for its natural beauty and the Atlantic Ocean wildness. The waves aren’t always big enough to master with a surfboard, even if they are choppy. You’ll also want to hold on to your children tightly because this isn’t the safest place for them to swim.
The benefits of its celebrity include a variety of amenities such as restrooms, water sports rentals, parking, concessions, lifeguards, showers, and a shuttle service into town. On the downside, summer weekends can be extremely crowded, so get there early.
7. Cisco Beach
Located on the south shore of Nantucket Island, Cisco Beach has incredible waves. The Nantucket Island Surf School has set up shop there, making it a surfers’ haven. The crowd is young, and the beach is trendy just after a storm in which there are strong swells.
Cisco Beach is a great place to go if you’re looking for adventure. However, it is not the ideal beach for families. The rip currents and waves can be pretty intense, which isn’t ideal for small children.
Seasonal lifeguards staff the beach, but there are no facilities, so bring snacks and water.
8. Steps Beach
Steps Beach is a hidden gem. This location is on the island’s Nantucket Sound side, where the water is usually calm and warmer.
The beach is located off Cliff Road, about four miles from town, between Dionis and Jetties, and is not on most people’s radar.
Take in the view of Great Point Light before tackling the impressive set of stairs leading down to the beach.
Many ships have been saved from the dangerous shoals off the point thanks to the famous lighthouse. Steps Beach has safe shores with gentle waves lapping at the sand.
Nobadeer Beach welcomes four-wheel-drive vehicles off-road along its sand, making it the ideal location for adrenaline junkies.
On this broad, soft beach, there’s plenty of room to run, fly a kite, play volleyball, kick a soccer ball, or throw a frisbee.
Nobadeer can be loud and exciting, and it’s a haven for college kids looking for a good time. Take a seat and watch the kids surf, or go for a swim. On-site lessons and board and SUP rentals are available at the ACK Surf School.
10. Ladies’ Beach
The magnificent Ladies Beach welcomes guests with swaying seagrass and sugar-white sand. Within the Smooth Hummocks Coastal Preserve, this secluded haven is nestled in front of rolling dunes at the end of Bartlett Farm Road. Without a doubt.
Strong swimmers and surfers will enjoy the rough and tumultuous ocean, while hikers will appreciate long walks on the sand or an excursion along the numerous trails.
This beach is refreshingly remote (it’s challenging to get here without a car), and it has no lifeguards or amenities. Make a pit stop at the adorable Bartlett’s Farm for some tasty treats and cute trinkets on your way through.
11. Miacomet Beach
The Miacomet Beach area is known for its stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and is an excellent location for families and couples looking for a bit of privacy. Spots lining the sand allow visitors to enjoy the view without feeling like they’re in the middle of a bustling playground.
The Miacomet Beach local area is also a great place to stroll and enjoy the beauty of the area’s natural surroundings, which is sure to provide some much-needed R&R after exploring the island.
Like all south coast the surf here can be pretty powerful, and the rip currents are dangerous, so swimming is not recommended. During the summer, lifeguards patrol the water, but there are no facilities on-site.
Those traveling with small children should visit the beautiful freshwater Miacomet Pond. It is located just behind the beach and provides a very calm and quiet environment to play. Before diving in, keep a close eye out for snapping turtles.
12. Madaket Beach
Madaket Beach is accessible only by four-wheel-drive vehicles and with a beach permit. If sunsets are your thing, arrive at golden hour.
Check the surfing conditions, especially if you have children alone. This ample open space sometimes has powerful surf and an occasional undertow, so be sure to check conditions before setting off. The area is sporadically guarded, but there are no beach facilities.
The strong current inside the channel attracts many anglers to drop a line. The pleasantly cool water is perfect for building sandcastles and playing games on a hot summer day.
There is also the bike path (around 5 miles from town) or NRTA shuttle bus that runs during the season for those who want a workout.
Sand hikers should keep in mind that packing a backpack can be exhausting. A small car park can be found at the end of the road, which explains why you need to drive to the beach.
Check the local paper if you plan on visiting certain areas, as they are often restricted due to nesting piping plover shorebirds.
Siasconset Beach, also known as Sconset, is a popular seal-watching spot on the east end. There’s plenty of room to stretch out, build sandcastles, and throw a frisbee on this beach, with a large expanse of soft tan sand.
The beach, frequently thrashed by rough surf, is lined with grass-topped dunes.
The quaint village of Sconset is just a short distance away, given that there are no amenities on the beach. Adorable shops and restaurants can be found here. Take some time to stroll through the nearby shell-covered lanes and marvel at the magnificent mansions.
14. Great Point
At the very tip of Great Point Beach, the highlight stands tall and proud. The Great Point Lighthouse (also known as the Nantucket Lighthouse), a white beacon hovering against a dazzling backdrop of deep blue, is a big draw.
The waters of this beautiful shore are home to a diverse range of species. The finest fishing on the island is said to be found in this eastern gem, which is a haven for anglers. This beach is difficult to reach from the town’s beach access, and few people visit it, so there isn’t much noise to deter a big catch.
Deer, raptors, and shorebirds all live along the ruggedly beautiful coast. The dunes and small coastal forests, which combine two long and narrow fingers of a peninsula, are a nature lover’s dream, with over 16 miles of trails.
With so much to explore and experience, the best part is discovering what new adventures await. Remember to bring your sunscreen and favorite book, and you’re ready to go!