Nantucket is all the best things about summer in New England.
Coastal New England is home to many quaint seaside towns, each one more beautiful than the next, and all of them perfect for the ideal summer getaway. But perhaps one of the best seaside escapes in the northeast is Nantucket Island, located 30 miles out to sea off the coast of Cape Cod. Beachgoers have been spending summers on the Faraway Island for centuries. If you’re planning a trip, here are some fun things to in Nantucket.
Don’t waste any time getting to the beach. Just a quick bike ride from town is Steps Beach. Known by both tourists and locals as one of the island’s best stretches of sand, you’ll get equal parts gentle surf and sweeping views of the Nantucket Sound. See if you can count how many steps there are (note: you might lose count, but the descent is well worth it).
Head to Cisco Brewers—Nantucket’s very own brewery, distillery, and winery—for a cool drink after a hot day in the sun. Try one of the local beers, like a Whale’s Tale Pale Ale or a Summer of Lager. For dinner, go downtown to one of the island’s top waterfront restaurants, like Straight Wharf (order the bluefish, bacon, coleslaw, and tomato sandwich).
And of course, a trip to Nantucket wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Whaling Museum. Step inside and see historical artifacts and paintings, a restored 19th century tower clock, and a skeleton of a sperm whale from 1998 that stretches 46 feet.
Related: Nantucket Travel Guide
Touring Nantucket’s lighthouses is another terrific way to see the 14-mile-long island. Three historic lighthouses grace the island’s shores: Sankaty Head light, Brant Point Light, and Great Point Light. The best way to see them all in a day is to get a jeep from a local renter (try Young’s Bike Shop or Nantucket Island Rent a Car).
What to do in Nantucket before you leave? Pick up your iconic Nantucket reds (Breton red sail canvas trousers that are practically the island’s uniform) and try all 18 holes at Nantucket’s beautiful public golf course, Miacomet Golf Club. You’ll feel the fresh ocean breeze as you move down the course, as (no surprise here) the ocean is located only a mile away.
Ellie Nan Storck is the Digital Editorial Assistant at Travel + Leisure. Follow her Instagram at @ellienan.