The quaint island of Nantucket, MA, is anything but dull. With its endless dreamy beaches, remarkably well-preserved pre-Civil War architecture, historic lighthouses, the abundance of untouched flora and fauna, and some of the best restaurants, boutiques, and venues in New England, you are bound to have a great time there.
Here are some additional ideas about making your Nantucket trip even more exciting.
For the most authentic experience, you can rent one of the beautiful weathered gray cottages from centuries ago. You can choose a charming beach house, or a more spacious and glamorous waterfront mansion for your stay, thanks to the many short-term rental residences available.
If you are heading to the New England paradise island with your family in October, you can participate in the traditional family scalloping.
Culinary experts and foodies have hailed the scallops harvested from the waters around Nantucket as the best-tasting ones in the world. In fact, the Nantucket scallops have been referred to as the “black truffles of the world’s seafood.”
If you are interested in harvesting and eating some scallops, you can do so from Wednesday to Sunday throughout October.
The local authorities allow non-commercial harvesting of the scallops before November 1st, when the commercial harvesting begins.
You will need to get a license for recreational shellfish from the Town.
Also, bring or buy the necessary equipment. This includes wet suits or waders, waterproof gloves, some push rakes, a bushel basket, and an inner tube. You will need a knife to open your catch.
Remember that there are strict rules for family harvesting, including picking only adult ones and a limit of one bushel per week per license.
Whether you are a newbie or an experienced kiteboarder, you will be glad to know that Nantucket is an excellent spot for practicing this exciting sport.
Thanks to the different water and weather conditions on the various shores and beaches, there is a suitable kiteboarding spot for people of all skill levels.
During the summer, the winds are primarily from the southwest, so the most suitable place for kiteboarding is the Nantucket Harbor. Pocomo Beach is one of the most popular spots for kiteboarders throughout the summer.
During the other seasons, the wind is mainly from the northeast and south.
You can sign up for private or group lessons at one of the several kiteboarding schools on the island and rent all the equipment you need.
Masquetuck Reservation Trail Guide
You may be surprised to learn that more than half of the land of Nantucket is conserved and protected from any future development.
So, there are many wildlife refuges, reservations, and other areas with untouched nature that you can explore.
The Masquetuck Reservation is 13 acres, including grasslands, meadows, shrublands, salt marshes, and a freshwater bog.
It is a perfect place to watch some rare birds and enjoy a pleasant walk.
There is an easy walking trail that will take you only about 15 minutes to complete.
The main path will lead you through the beautiful reservation and up to the beach. The side trail will take you above, where you can enjoy the stunning panoramic view of the beach as well as the Polpis Harbor.
Here is a detailed Masquetuck Reservation Trail Guide you may want to download or print out before heading off to your next adventure there.
Dubbed “the happiest place on earth,” this 27-year-old brewery is among the most popular venues on the island of Nantucket.
It has a spacious beer garden with a stage with live music every day.
You can spend the entire evening there tasting the locally made craft brews. If you are not a beer-lover, you can taste and enjoy the locally produced wines, spirits, and craft cocktails from the Nantucket Winery and Triple Eight Distillery.
The place is a preferred gathering spot for locals and vacationers alike. There you can enjoy mingling with others, listening to live music, tasting the drinks, and grabbing some delicious snacks and dishes from the food trucks.
You can take a tour to see how the local beer, wine, and spirits are made, sample some of the best local beverages, and have a wonderful afternoon.
Enjoy an evening wandering among the stars
On a clear night, head off to the Nantucket Loines Observatory. You can listen to a lecture by one of the leading astronomers and observe the night sky. The guides will navigate you so that you can see the constellations. If you are lucky, you can watch a meteor shower, eclipse, comet, or the international space station passing over Earth.
It is an excellent spot to take your kids after a long day on the beach or exploring the island.
Sailing excursion – Endeavour Sailing Excursions
Captain James Genther and his Endeavor sloop will take you on an unforgettable sailing excursion around the harbor or the entire island.
Endeavor Sailing Excursions offers a unique way to explore the island and its stunning beaches, cliffs, waterfront properties, and nature.
With over 30 years of experience, the captain will show you the best places to view the wildlife. He will tell you some fascinating stories from the glorious whaling years and the maritime history of Nantucket and keep your family and friends entertained throughout the cruise.
You can bring along a picnic with snacks and beverages of your choice to enjoy while listening to the captivating stories and gawking at the mesmerizing views of Nantucket from the Ocean.
See the Oldest House
This may not sound like the most exciting thing to do for everyone, but once you see the Oldest House and learn more about its remarkable history, you will surely be captivated.
Also known as the Jethro Coffin House, this is the oldest house that is still standing in its original place in Nantucket.
It was built in 1687 by Jethro Coffin for his wife, Mary Gardner. The two were members of Nantucket’s most affluent and influential families during those years.
Today, the house, a National Historic Landmark, is restored and maintains its original look, architecture, and interior as it was in the 17th century when the family first built and lived in it.
There is a unique Kitchen Garden where you can see over 1,700 different plants and herbs.
Nantucket is an angler’s paradise and a perfect spot for fishing, regardless of your skill level and ambitions.
You can go on a guided tour for beginners to learn the basics and practice some onshore fishing.
If you are more experienced, kayaks and boats can be rented for offshore fishing for larger fish such as cod, stripers, and bluefish.
There are fishing charters in the open ocean waters for the most ambitious anglers, where you can try your luck in catching some mahi-mahi, tuna, sharks, marlin, and other beautiful fish.