When you visit Nantucket island, you are expecting an unforgettable adventure. The island has made a name for itself as an idyllic island paradise.
Firstly, you need to get your finances in order and book your accommodation in advance to have the best vacation on the island. Besides experiencing charming homes covered in blooming roses, warm hospitality, and tantalizing dishes, there are many unique fun activities to do on the island.
Here is a compilation of 6 ideas for great activities to prioritize enjoying when in Nantucket.
1. Join a Cruise
Going on an ocean cruise is part of Nantucket culture. As a visitor, this is an experience that you shouldn’t miss. Going on a cruise offers you a chance to socialize with other vacationers and take in the island’s beauty from the ocean. A cruise is also a great way to unwind after a tedious day. Numerous companies offer cruise services on the island, each with unique offerings.
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One of the most popular cruises for visitors is the Nantucket Cocktail Cruise, which lasts for about an hour every evening. You can bring your own beverages on board, and there’s nice music. Since most vacationers bring alcoholic drinks to this cruise, only passengers aged 21+ can book it. You can also take a private cruise tailored to your needs with only your family and friends.
Whenever you book a cruise on Nantucket island, it’s always best to be on the dock prepared to board at least 15 minutes before departure. Most cruising companies don’t offer refunds for late arrivals or no-shows.
2. Biking & Beach Crawl
Nantucket is a roughly 50-square-mile island whose population balloons from about 10,000 permanent residents to over 56,000 people during peak tourist seasons. With such a massive population increase, the most popular form of transportation on the island during the peak season is biking.
You dont need to bring your own bike when visiting Nantucket, as there are numerous bike rental shops. You can rent a bicycle for a day or your entire stay on the island at affordable rates. You will get around much faster with a bike than with a car as there’s more traffic and fewer parking slots.
You can use your bike to visit and experience the many attractions on the island, including its various beaches. Most beaches are just a bike ride away. Stay vigilant on the road and try as much as possible to stay on the bike paths. Also, it is advisable to carry some food and beverages with you whenever you go out on your bike so that you can have a nice picnic at your destination.
Jetties Beach, Surfside Beach, Tom Nevers Beach, Dionis Beach, Madaket Beach, Cisco Beach, and Siasconset Beach are some of the best beaches and bike routes to explore.
3. Bird-Watching & Hiking
You most likely didn’t expect this, but Nantucket is somewhat famous for bird-watching. The island serves as a home for many birds. Moreover, it has a unique ecosystem that has been attracting nature lovers for decades. You need to do some hiking to get to the best bird-watching spots on the island. If you fancy camping, this could also be your best chance to camp in Nantucket.
There are numerous hiking trails in Nantucket, the most popular being the Stump Pond Loop. The trail is also the longest, measuring roughly 2.4 miles, and takes about 44 minutes to hike. Stump Pond Loop has the highest ascent of all the trails on the island, at 15 meters. Another popular trail is the Tupancy Links Trail, which is 0.8 miles long and has the second-highest ascent at 14 meters.
Other notable hiking trails in Nantucket are Norwood Farm, which is 1.4 miles long, and Squam Swamp Interpretive Trail, which is 2.2 miles long. Some of the birds you can expect to see during one of these hikes include the Ruddy Duck, Black Scoter, Mourning Dove, Bufflehead, and Bonaparte’s Gull.
Do you like surfing or are interested in it? Well, there are plenty of surfing spots on the island. Incase you don’t know how to surf, lessons are offered at several places including Next Level Watersports, Nantucket Island Surf School, and Ack Surf School.
You can also learn stand-up (SUP) paddleboarding. If you are visiting the island with your family or friends, this would be a good time for you to learn a new hobby that you will all enjoy.
You have the option of taking private lessons or group lessons at an affordable fee. You can also sign-up for one week of surfing training. Remember that you will likely have to reserve your spot for surfing classes in advance.
If you are already an experienced surfer, you will have a lot of fun surfing on Nantucket’s beaches. The beaches around the island experience powerful waves, which are perfect for surfing. All you have to do is get to the beach with your swimwear and rent a surfboard. You can rent soft-top or fiberglass surfboards and SUP paddleboards for your desired time at pocket-friendly rates.
You might have never thought about kiteboarding, but it’s also a favorite watersport among vacationers on the island. Kiting is a lot of fun and can be enjoyed by anyone. There are many schools providing kiteboarding lessons on the island. Depending on your ambition, you can go for private, semi-private, group, and off-site coaching.
If you are concerned about kiting safety, you should know that you will be in good hands. All kiteboarding schools on the island prioritize the safety of students. As an enthusiast or pro kiteboarder, kiteboarding in Nantucket is an excellent opportunity to improve your skills.
6. Go Fishing
Do you enjoy fishing? If so, you should use your vacation in Nantucket to take your fishing experience to the next level. Make sure you book an inshore fishing trip while on the island. There are numerous fishing trips for you to pick from, including half-day, full-day, and sunset trips.
An experienced captain will be in charge of your fishing trip, and all fishing vessels meet the US Coast Guard recommended standards for safety equipment. Remember to bring sunscreen, water, motion sickness medication, sunglasses or a hat, snacks, and beverages for your fishing trip. Be prepared to have a wonderful time and maybe catch the biggest fish you have ever caught.