The island of Nantucket may be less than 47.8 square miles in size, but it is the home of some of the most beautiful beaches in the USA.
All of the beaches are publicly accessible, free, and provide spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean, Nantucket Sound, and the famous lighthouses and other sites on this picturesque island.
The beaches are located along all of the island’s shores and have a total length of 80 miles.
The good news is that there are beaches for any preference and need. Some are perfect for families with small children. Others are suitable for youngsters, surfers, and adventurers. There are also beaches preferred by romantic couples and for weddings and wedding photos. Other beaches are more remote and less crowded, so they are ideal for those looking for a quieter and more private, and relaxing time.
When selecting the perfect private residence or other accommodation on the island, it makes sense to look for one close to the beach or beaches you will prefer spending time on the most.
As a whole, the north shore beaches are the ones with the warmest and calmest water because they are on the coast of the Nantucket Sound. The southern and eastern shore beaches have stronger currents, bigger waves, and swells and are more suitable for surfers and adults because they are on the coast of the open Atlantic Ocean.
The beaches on the western shore are harder to reach and are more reclusive and tranquil.
Here is a quick guide for some of the best beaches in Nantucket, MA, which can help you plan your trip or vacation to the island better and choose the perfect local rental or hotel nearby.
As you can probably guess from its name, Children’s Beach is among the top picks for families vacationing with young kids.
It is on the north shore and is right next to the town of Nantucket. It too borders the semi-enclosed and calmer Nantucket Sound, so the water is safe even for the youngest children.
Children’s Beach has a grassy park nearby, a playground, and even a stage where there are various music events and music, yoga, and other fun classes.
There are lifeguards on-site throughout the summer, and The Hungry Minnow snack bar is right next to the beach.
Jetties Beach is among the top-rated beaches and one of the most popular ones for vacationers and locals alike. It is on the calm and child-friendly north shore of the island and has shallow, warm, and safe waters and an amazing view of the Nantucket Sound and of the yachts and boats coming to or leaving the island.
The Beach is only 10 minutes away from downtown Nantucket, and there are multiple amenities for adults and children alike, including a playground, tennis court, a skate park, volleyball nets, and more.
There is also a restaurant, a pavilion, restroom, seasonal lifeguards, and beach umbrellas and chairs rentals.
Cisco Beach is on the south shore of Nantucket and is preferred by younger beachgoers, surfers, and adventurers.
This Beach is often perceived as a surfer’s paradise, mainly due to the waves and rip currents, and also thanks to the popular Nantucket Island School, which is located there. You can rent all the gear and wet suits from the school or book a private surfing lesson or two from the local experts.
There are seasonal lifeguards, but there are no restaurants or snacks available, so it is good to pack some water and snacks when planning to spend the day at Cisco Beach.
This south shore Nantucket beach is another famous and preferred location, especially for surfers, adventures, and other water sports lovers.
You can get to Surfside Beach by bike, car, or take the regular shuttle bus.
Surfside Beach has a popular Shack snack bar as well as a Taco Truck. There are also lifeguards, restrooms and showers, and other amenities.
You can enjoy some surfing, boogie boarding, or bodysurfing even if you don’t have gear because there is a surfing gear and apparel rental on the beach.
Madaket Beach is on the west shore of this charming island and has continuously been rated among the top destinations and best instagrammable locations in Nantucket.
It is the best place to be if you want to experience or take photos of some of the most spectacular sunsets in the world.
Madaket Beach is surrounded by stunning flora and fauna and has very few buildings nearby to ruin the view. It also is usually less crowded than most of the other beaches.
This western beach is a preferred destination for the more advanced surfers, as the surf and currents can get quite rough.
This is an excellent choice for adventure seekers. Nobadeer Beach is the home of the ACK Surf School, where you can rent all types of water sports gear and wetsuits or take a class in SUP, surf, or other. It is also famous for flying kites and playing beach sports.
The Beach is on the south coast and is close to the airport of Nantucket, so you can watch the planes coming and leaving while spending time there.
During the summer, there are lifeguards as well as nearby food trucks at Nobadeer Beach.
Sconset (Siasconset) Beach
Siasconset, or Sconset for short, is among the most iconic and picturesque villages on the entire island. It has postcard-like weathered gray shingle-style cottages covered with roses and surrounded by some enchanting gardens. You can walk through the famous Sconset Bluff Walk straight to Siasconset Beach.
The Beach itself is wide, with fine white sand and grassy dunes.
While there are no services and amenities directly on the Beach, the village of Sconset is right next to it, so you can get snacks, food, drinks, and everything else you might need there.
The current there can be strong, but being on the easternmost coast of the island, Sconset Beach is the place to be when welcoming the new sunrise or if you want to spot some playful seals.
Miacomet Beach is on the south shore of Nantucket, in between the Cisco and Surfside beaches.
It is a long and beautiful beach offering some mesmerizing views of the ocean.
The water often has strong currents, and this beach is usually not as crowded as some of the more popular beaches on the island.
While there are lifeguards there during the season, there are no on-site facilities.
Nearby, you can visit the Miacomet freshwater pond, a perfect place to spend the time if you want silence, privacy, and calm waters.