Things to do in Nantucket

Looking for what to do in Nantucket? A visit to the island is first and foremost about R&R.

Many of the most popular things to do in Nantucket take place in the great outdoors. Spend a day relaxing on the sand at beaches like Jetties and Siasconset, or take a more active route along shoreline hiking trails. Altar Rock provides its visitors with elevated, panoramic views of the island, too.

For history lovers, ideas for what to do in Nantucket include a stop at the Whaling Museum, where exhibits display relics from the harbor's roots. Nantucket Town itself is a designated National Historic District and boasts hundreds of buildings from the first half of the 19th century.

Nights on the town continue to top the list of things to do in Nantucket for many of the island's visitors. Especially during the summer, seasonal bars and restaurants open their doors to lively crowds. Upscale boutiques attract a similarly swanky crowd during the daylight hours.

“Cook with passion” is the motto of Jonathan Stone, who runs this downtown cooking shop with his wife Patty. From pots and pans to food-related gifts and specialty foods, the "Gourmet" has everything aspiring Nantucket chefs and gourmands need to equip their kitchens.

A hand-carved wooden sign bearing golden whales and a big American flag mark the outside of this off-the-radar gray-shingled cottage that teems with antiques: vintage postcards of the Nantucket Yacht Club, whale-shaped ashtrays, weathered wooden buoys, and Nantucked Railroad signs.

Beautiful hand-loomed blankets, throws, rugs, and upholstery fabrics—many of them made on-site in the second-floor weaving studio—have been the hallmark of this weaving collective-cum-shop since 1968.