With its endless beaches, cobblestone streets, beautiful New England-style houses and cottages, and stunning wildlife and nature, the magical island is reminiscent of the Caribbean islands and destinations, so you won’t even be able to tell that you are on the Atlantic.
There are multiple reasons why you should visit Nantucket, no matter whether you want to go on vacation, on a surfing trip, a sightseeing and whale watching tour, or other.
Here are the leading reasons why you should add a visit to Nantucket to your bucket list.
The Friendly People
The population of the town and county of Nantucket is less than 15,000 people all year round. But its number usually increases dramatically to up to 50,000 people during the summer, thanks to the seasonal residents and the many tourists.
Still, as soon as you set foot on the island, you will be charmed by the friendliness of the locals. Unlike other tourist destinations, the people of Nantucket will gladly welcome visitors and will assist and greet them during their stay.
In fact, the local people of Nantucket have great pride in their unique town and county and will happily help all visitors enjoy their small island.
The One-of-a-kind Ice Cream
Yes, it may seem a bit strange to add a destination to your bucket list due to the ice cream, but the truth is, there are cafes, juice bars, and ice cream stores which offer some of the best ice creams we have tasted.
So, if you are an ice cream lover, then this is something you should try out as soon as you get off of the ferry.
The Endless Beaches
The otherwise small island of Nantucket has a total of 82 miles of beaches. Some are more suitable for families with children, others for older vacationers. There are beaches preferred by surfers and kite surfers, as well as by youngsters.
You can pick among more than 24 different beaches with fine sand dunes around the island.
The good thing is that the island itself is only about 14 miles long and 3-5 miles wide, so you can easily access each of the beaches by car, bike, or the regular shuttle services which are available during the high season.
The north shore beaches have warmer and calmer waters, offering heart-stopping views of the harbor, and are very close to town.
The southern beaches have colder water, heavier surf, and bigger waves. This makes them suitable for surfers and people who enjoy water sports, as well as for good swimmers.
The east shore beaches are perfect for adventurers and for people who want to enjoy the island’s wildlife and nature.
The Wonderful Buildings and Homes
The buildings in Nantucket play a huge role in the attractiveness and charm of the island. There are some historic brick buildings. Some have wood sidings, and most of them are weathered grey cedar shingle houses.
Thanks to the strict local laws and regulations, the architecture and building of the houses is limited to the traditional New England coast style on the island.
You will love walking around the cobbled roads and viewing these pretty houses in downtown Nantucket.
Plus, you can rent a house on the island and enjoy your stay as a local would in one of the authentic Nantucket homes and rental houses.
The Convenient Transportation
Unlike many exotic islands and destinations, getting to and around Nantucket is easy and inexpensive.
You can get there on a 30-mile ride on a ferry from Cape Cod. You can get on a ferry from Martha’s Vineyard, New Bedford, Hyannis, and Harwichport. Or fly-in via regional jet from the New England coast.
Getting around the island is inexpensive, thanks to the small size of Nantucket and the many affordable local taxi companies and drivers. There is even a dedicated taxi ordering mobile app for the visitors and residents of Nantucket.
There are also regular shuttle lines, and you can also rent a bike or car when visiting the island.
Many Excellent Restaurants, Stores and Markets
When you go to Nantucket, you won’t find a McDonald’s or Dunkin’ Donuts. While there are some well-known name-brand retail stores, there are many more small-sized unique stores, local markets, fish markets, cafes, and restaurants on the island.
You can eat all kinds of food and beverage when visiting Nantucket, including the stunning Maine and Connecticut Lobster rolls.
There are many places to choose to eat your breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner on the island. And you can also order any type of food via the locally-based mobile app for food, grocery, and laundry delivery.
Whale Viewing and Whaling Museum
The island is a favorite destination for whale watching from the months of March to December. There are local tours that will ensure that you get the best sightings possible of these majestic creatures.
You can also visit the unique local Whaling museum where you can see a 14 m skeleton of a long sperm whale.
The island also has a Nantucket Shipwreck and Lifesaving Museum which is open for visitors from the end of May to October.
Sailing and Surfing
Nantucket has several surfing schools, many surf rentals, and clubs, and you can also enjoy a local sailing excursion when you are there.
The sailing trip through the waters around the island and in its beautiful harbor is one which you will never forget.
The Blooming Flowers
In the spring, summer, and fall, you can enjoy the multiple flowers in full bloom around the island. The colorful flowers and beautiful local plants will make your visit even more delightful and refreshing. The most typical flowers are the pink crawling roses which contrast beautifully with the gray weathered shingles of the homes.
The history of Nantucket can be seen on every corner and street. The roads and buildings are historical and are reminiscent of the Quakers and whaling industry from the past. The best such sites on Nantucket include the Wharf, the downtown cobblestone streets, the museums, and more.