With more than 80 miles of beaches, Nantucket's sandy shoreline is a major draw for visitors in the summer. From protected coves to rough, oceanside surf, there's a Nantucket beach for every mood. The South Shore beaches are ocean facing and tend to be less populated with larger waves, while the North Shore is protected by Nantucket Sound, meaning its waters are warmer and calmer. When you're visiting the Grey Lady this summer, grab a beach towel from the front desks of one of our Nantucket boutique hotels and check out the best Nantucket beaches.
Jetties is popular as it's close to town and easily reached by foot, shuttle, or bike. With changing rooms, a playground, and a restaurant, you'll find lots of families spending the day at Jetties. Get out on the water with sailboat and windsurfing equipment rentals or soak up the sun on the sand. Pack a picnic or head to The Sandbar at Jetties Beach for dinner or a drink as the sun begins to set.
This south-facing beach sees the brunt of the island's big waves making it a popular spot for surfers. Head to Cisco after a storm to check out the pros catching waves or wait for a calmer day to try it yourself—Nantucket Surf School offers surf and SUP lessons here. There are no facilities at this beach, but there are lifeguards on duty and food carts during the summer. If you venture out into the water, beware of rip currents. Make sure to stop at Cisco Brewers (https://ciscobrewers.com/) on your way back into town.
Madaket is known as one of the best Nantucket beaches to watch the sunsets from, as it's western-facing with unobstructed views of the horizon. It also makes for great beach days with its soft sand and big ocean waves (as with any ocean beach, the currents can be strong here). Pack a picnic and ride your bike to Madaket Beach via the bike path, it's an easy 5-1/2 mile ride from Nantucket town.