Nantucket is a small island of only 50 square miles, but it is a dream vacation destination and tourist attraction for millions of visitors every year.
Apart from its uniquely preserved colonial buildings built by whaling captains, the charming cottages with gray shingle sidings and climbing roses, and its historic lighthouses and endless beaches, this New England island is also known for its dining and artistic scene.
If you are planning a trip to Nantucket, the first thing to do is book your ferry or plane tickets early on. You should also find the perfect local house to rent for your stay.
Once you are there, you can rent a bike and begin exploring this charming island from coast to coast while admiring some of the most stunning ocean and nature panoramic views.
Here are the five places to add to your itinerary for your Nantucket trip.
The authorities, the Nantucket Conservation Foundation, and the community on this small-sized island are dedicated to conserving its nature. This is why a stunning 50% of it is completely undeveloped and is all-natural.
Squam Swamp is one of the most impressive natural areas to visit in Nantucket. While a swamp may not seem like the most glamorous place to see while vacationing on an island, Squam Swamp is worth it. It is made up of freshwater bogs, dense hardwood forests, green meadows, swamps, vernal pools and wetlands, and a wide variety of trees, shrubs, rare plants, and wild animals and birds. There is a 1.75-mile round-trip walking trail with marked posts and an interpretive map that you can follow.
Brant Point Lighthouse
If you arrive in Nantucket via ferry, then this historic lighthouse is one of the first things you will see. It is within walking distance from the Historic Downtown and is in the Nantucket Harbor, right next to the ferry terminals.
Brant Point Lighthouse is one of the three historic lighthouses on the island which have been guiding mariners for centuries. Constructed in 1746 and completely rebuilt in 1901, Brant Point is still fully functional. In fact, it is among the oldest lighthouses in the USA. It has helped navigate and save hundreds of lives through the years of the whaling ships and other vessels passing through the “Little Grey Lady of The Sea,” as Nantucket is known.
The island of Nantucket may be tiny, but it has an impressive shoreline of over 82 miles of wide and beautiful beaches. There are beaches on all coasts, suitable for every taste.
Jetties Beach is among the best Nantucket beaches for families. It is on the island’s northern shore, which borders the calmer, shallower, and warmer Nantucket Sound water rather than the open Atlantic Ocean.
Jetties Beach is within a 10-minute walk from Downtown. It has multiple family-friendly amenities, including a playground, a skate park, a tennis court, numerous volleyball nets, and more.
It is a perfect spot to spend a relaxing day on the beach, watching the mega yachts and postcard-like small boats pass by. You can stroll along the coast and find some beautiful treasures such as sea glass and shells to keep as memories from your trip.
You don’t have to be a beer lover to enjoy spending a fun-filled afternoon at the island’s only brewery. It is located right next to the Triple Eight Distillery and the Nantucket Winery. This means that you can enjoy tasting and drinking the best of all types of local liquor, wine, brew, and beverages in one place.
The large beer garden and three bars provide an upbeat atmosphere and live music daily. There are many food trucks, so you and your family and friends can enjoy spending the entire day at Cisco Brewers.
It is the place one famous travel author once called – “the happiest place on earth,” so you should definitely try it out!
Murray’s Toggery Shop
While casual coastal and beach wear is the typical apparel for the visitors and people of the island, nothing screams more of Nantucket than the famous “Nantucket Reds.”
These are red pants made of canvas which are designed to fade into a unique pinkish rose hue.
The exciting part is that the Nantucket Reds are trademarked, so in reality, the only place you can actually buy them is at Murray’s Toggery Shop on Main Street in the historic Downtown.
Philip C. Murray introduced the iconic pants in the 1960s, and today, the shop is still run by members of his family. In fact, if you visit Murray’s Toggery, you can meet at least one of the family members who are always around and ready to serve their customers.
You can find all kinds of apparel from the Nantucket Reds Collection at this store and other clothes and merchandise suitable for any taste.
This store is the place to go to buy keepsakes from your vacation in Nantucket or as a gift to a loved one.