Great Point Lighthouse and Coatue
Four-wheeling out on Nantucket's remote, northeastern sand spits (which form the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge) lets you experience the island's most pristine land and seascapes. You'll find windswept dunes, waving marsh grasses, miles of golden sand, and clear blue waves dotted with bobbing seabirds—and you'll likely have them all to yourself (unless you come during slack tide, when local fishermen can be seen surfcasting for—and sometimes fighting with harbor seals over—bluefish). You'll need a 4x4 vehicle with a beach permit to get here. The entry fee is steep June through October at $65, although if you rent a car, it may come with a permit. Stop at the Wauwinet Gatehouse to decrease the air pressure in your tires before driving on the sand. Newbies may want to stick to driving to Great Point lighthouse, where the sand is relatively firm; Coatue is markedly softer and trickier to navigate.