ESTABLISHED 1833

Things to Do on Nantucket

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“Arriving on the ferry, we looked down onto a busy dock full of people waving hello and saying goodbye surrounded by mounds of blue hydrangea, small buildings covered in weathered shingles and some of the world’s truly astonishing yachts.  The welcoming of Nantucket appeared to be as beautiful as we had heard…  we grabbed a cab at the end of the dock for a quick lift with our luggage to a charming wide white porch dripping with flower baskets and covered with small tables and chairs partially hidden by thick green flowering vines. Behind the charming porch was our home for a few days, one of the oldest inns on Nantucket” 

                                                                                            travellady.com

How to plan a Nantucket vacation? One of the best ways to find great information on activities, sites to see, things to do, where to go, the best beaches, is talk to the locals.  Yes, those who have been here for a long time are the best guides.  There are plenty of guides out there with the newest and best, but Nantucket Island is known for its treasures seldom experienced by the Nantucket lover: hidden walking trails and sites. See below up to date researched and tested information on the best activities on Nantucket Island.

ART

Marvel at the ever-changing venues of art.  Visit the numerous galleries where well-known artists present their work. Observe the Century House Artists-in Residence.  Learn to paint. Sketch. Take a dance class.
 Arts Nantucket
 Artists’ Association of Nantucket
 Cavalier Gallery
 Gallery At 4 India
 Quidley & Co.
 Sketching Tours
 Pierce Galleries
 Sosebee Gallery

AQUARIUM

A great site for local species where you can learng about the sealife around Nantucket.  Walking distance from Century House and Main Street. The new building coming in 2015.
•  Maria Mitchell

ANTIQUE SHOPPING

•  Nantucket Antiques Depot 

BASKET MAKING

Learn about Nantucket basket making. Classes available.
Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum

BEACHES

Retreat to timeless moments of silence in the salty air. Escape the noise, the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  Pristine, hidden, breezy beaches, some sheltered by dunes. Calm waters, surfing waves, swimming. Scenic beaches where you can watch the boats come in. The freedom to explores miles and miles of sand is at your doorstep. Discover the freedom to find little known treasures, the simple pleasures so irresistible, so available. The following beaches can be explored: Brant Point, Children’s, Jetties, Steps, Francis St.Dionis, Surfside, Cisco, Miacomet, Madaket, Tom Nevers, Nobadeer, Sconset,Pocomo, Great Point, Coatue
  Town Guide
•  Chamber Guide

BIKE RIDING

Miles and miles of beautiful bike paths await to be explored.  Most paths have rest areas and water fountains.  Breezes, wild aromatic flowers, birds, and beautiful scenery, sunsets and sunrises.  Here you find the freedom to explore at your own pace. There are over 29 miles of bike paths on Nantucket: Madaket, Cliff, Eel Point, Bartlett, Cisco, Milestone, Nobadeer, Old South Rd., Polpis, South Shore, Surfside, Airport, Fairgrounds bike paths.
  Town Guide: Wheels, Heels and Pedals
•  Chamber Guide

BIKE AND MOPED RENTALS & SALES

Bicycle shops provide rentals by day, week, or month. They have maps of all the bike paths on Nantucket Island.  Please call and have the bicycles delivered at the Century House on 10 Cliff Road if you wish to.  We suggest walking over to the Nantucket Bike Shop for the perfect fit.
Nantucket Bike Shop
  Bike Tours
  Affordable Rentals

BIRD WATCHING

Nearly one half of Nantucket is protected.  A wide variety of wild birds can be found.  Nantucket Visitor’s Bureau has information on seasonal bird watching walks and tours. Also see below more info.
 Linda Loring Nature Foundation
 Maria Mitchell Adult Walks and Field Trips

BOGS, MOORS, AND TRAILS EXPLORATION

Thousands of acres on Nantucket are protected by various conservation groups. This is a first of its kind in the nation. These active groups, artists, community citizens who cherish Nantucket’s natural beauty raise funds to prevent environmental degradation by purchasing the open space. Miles and miles of trails, moors and cranberry bogs can be explored on Nantucket Island.  Forty percent of Nantucket Island is open space of undisturbed natural habitat, including beaches, wetlands, aquifer recharge areas, moorlands, heathlands, cranberry bogs; rare species habitat; ocean, pond and harbor frontage, and properties for passive and active recreation and land preservation some within distance of Century House such as: Tupancy Links, Eel Point, Sanford Farm and Ram Pasture. Go discover!
Nantucket Conservation Foundation Properties
Nantucket Land Bank Properties 
Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge
Linda Loring Nature Trail
Maria Mitchell Field Trips
Sesachacha Heathlands Wildlife Sanctuary
Linda Loring Nature Foundation
The Trustees of the Reservations

CANOEING

 Sea Nantucket Kayak
 
Nantucket Community Sailing

DAILY EVENTS LISTINGS

What is going on every day on Nantucket? Find daily activities and events listings by hour.
•  Yesterday’s Island

FISHING

Full or half a day of fishing with an experienced captain is available.  You never know what you may catch.

GETTING AROUND NANTUCKET (WALKING, BIKING, RIDING)

How to get around Nantucket by walking, biking, riding. This is a great guide on how to really explore the island via the Nantucket Town.
  Wheels, Heels and Pedals

GOLF

Play 9 to 18 holes or hit a bucket of balls at the driving range of the only public golf course on Nantucket Island.  Call to schedule a tee time.  The Nantucket Golf Club, the other golf club is a private, and for members only
•  Miacomet Golf Club

HISTORIC PROPERTIES, AND INTERESTING SITES

Nantucket has so much to offer and you can only learn more about it if you dare to explore like an islander. See where the first woman astronomer was born.  See the 2nd oldest lighthouse in the US, or the oldest Mill in the United States.  Explore the lands and trails preserved by the islands foundations. Discover the Whaling Museum, or learn about the Quakers. Visit the Nantucket observatories and stargaze! See the Hydrangea farm. Miles and miles of Nantucket Island waiting to be discovered.
  Nantucket Whaling Museum
 Sanford Farm and Ram Pasture
 Brant Point Lighthouse
•  Coffin School
 Old Mill
 Old Gaol
•  Sankaty Head Lighthouse
 1800s House
 Fire Hose Cart House
 Oldest House and Historic Garden
 Greater Light
 Quaker Meeting House
 Hadwen House
 NHA Research Library and Archives
 Thomas Macy House
Nantucket Atheneum
 Historic Mitchell House 
 Vestal Street Observatory
 Loines Observatory

 Aquarium
 Shipwreck and Life Saving Museum
 Egan Maritime Institute
 Nantucket Conservation Properties
 Nantucket Land Bank Properties
 Cranberry Bogs
 Moors
 Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum
 Museum of African American History
 Nantucket Lighthouses
 Hydrangea Farm
 Nantucket Conservation Properties
 Nantucket Land Bank Properties
 Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge
 Linda Loring Nature Trail
 Maria Mitchell Field Trips
 Sesachacha Heathlands Wildlife Sanctuary
 Grasslands
 Salt Marshes
 Forests
 Tupancy Links
 Natural Science Museum
  Wheels, Heels and Pedals  Sconset

ICE-SKATING

Public ice skating is available all year around.  Group and private lessons are also offered.
•  Nantucket Ice

KAYAKING

 Sea Nantucket Kayak
 
Nantucket Community Sailing

KITE-FLYING

Pick up your own Nantucket kite and discover the best spots to fly the kites. Just ask. Go ahead.
•  
Nantucket Lite

KITE SURFING AND KITEBOARDING

 Nantucket Kite Surfing
 Nantucket Community Sailing
 KiteTucket

MUSEUMS

Begin your adventure just steps away from the Century House.  The location of the Nantucket Whaling Museum couldn’t be better. Learn about whale hunt, see whale skeletons, a regged whaleboat, a collection of whaling tools, and portraits of the whaling captains and their wives.  Collections include world-famous collection of scrimshaw, Nantucket lightship baskets, 1850 Fresnel lens from the Sankaty Lighthouse, and the restored 1881 town clock.  Hear the stories of the sea and learn firsthand how brave men and women risked everything in selfless acts of courage by venturing into the dark waves to rescue shipwrecked mariners.  Learn about specialized vessels and their loyal crews.  Explore what life was like on a daily basis as seen through the eyes of the Keepers and crewmen of the Unitesd States Life-Saving Service.  These are the stories of Nantucket’s life-savers.
 Nantucket Whaling Museum
 Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum
 Maria Mitchell Natural Science Museum
 Museum of African American History
 Egan Maritime Institute
 NHA Library and Archives
 Shipwreck and Life Saving Museum

NANTUCKET NATURE TRAILS, MOORS, AND BOGS

Thousands of acres on Nantucket are protected by various conservation groups. This is a first of its kind in the nation. These active groups, artists, community citizens who cherish Nantucket’s natural beauty raise funds to prevent environmental degradation by purchasing the open space. Miles and miles of trails, moors and cranberry bogs can be explored on Nantucket Island.  Forty percent of Nantucket Island is open space of undisturbed natural habitat, including beaches, wetlands, aquifer recharge areas, moorlands, heathlands, cranberry bogs; rare species habitat; ocean, pond and harbor frontage, and properties for passive and active recreation and land preservation some within distance of Century House such as: Tupancy Links, Eel Point, Sanford Farm and Ram Pasture. Go discover!
 Nantucket Conservation Foundation Properties
 Nantucket Land Bank Properties
 Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge
 Linda Loring Nature Trail
 Maria Mitchell Field Trips
 Sesachacha Heathlands Wildlife Sanctuary
 Linda Loring Nature Foundation
 The Trustees of the Reservations
  Wheels, Heels and Pedals

PAINTING

Nantucket is famous for the unusual light, and beauty. It’s an artist’s dream. Learn to paint. Observe other plein-air or in studio artists.
  Artists Association of Nantucket
 Sosebee Gallery

PADDLE-BOARDING

 Nantucket Surf School
 
Nantucket Community Sailing
 
Sea Nantucket Kayak

PICNIC AND PICNIC BASKETS PROVISIONS

Rent a bike and head on to the beach, but first grab a couple sandwiches or a picnic from those nearby.  You can also have them delivered by several companies.
 Something Natural
 Walter’s Jr.
 Henry’s Jr.
 Provisions
 Nantucket Gift Baskets
 A Taste of Nantucket

SAILING

 Nantucket Community Sailing
  Endeavor Sailing

SEAL CRUISES

 Shearwater Excursions
 Nantucket Adventures

SHARK DIVING

•  Nantucket Shark Divers

SKETCHING

Learn to sketch.  Nantucket is known for its natural light. Classes available.
 Sketching Tours

SNORKELING TOURS

Maria Mitchell

SPORT FISHING

 Nantucket Adventures

SURFING

 Nantucket Kite Surfing
 Nantucket Surf School

STARGAZING

  Loines Observatory
  Vestal Street Observatory

THEATER, FILMS, MUSIC

View daily plays, shows, films and musicals.
 Artists’ Association of Nantucket
Theatre Workshop of Nantucket
White Heron
Dreamland
Starlight Theatre and Cafe
Nantucket Community Music Center
Nantucket Arts Council
Nantucket Musical Arts Society

TENNIS

Nantucket Tennis and Swim Club
Jetties Tennis

TOURS OF THE ISLAND

Nantucket is best explored by bikes or on foot. There are several options to explore individually miles and miles of Nantucket trails, bogs, forests, beaches.  Nantucket town operates the website Wheels, Heels and Pedals site for information and guide on how to explore Nantucket.  For those who prefer guided tours we recommend tours. Below you will find all types of tours available on Nantucket free and for a fee.
  Wheels, Heels and Pedals
•  Harbor Tours
 Nantucket Historical Association Walking Tours
 Maria Mitchell Birding Trips
 Sailing Excursions
 Gail’s Tours
 Sketching Tours
 Bike Tours
 Natural History Tours
 Stargazing
 Tuckernuck and Muskeget Tour
Seal Harbor Cruises
•  Maria Mitchell and the Daring Daughters of Nantucket
•  Nantucket Preservation Trust Walking Tours
•  Endeavor Sailing
•  Shearwater Excursions
•  Sconset Tours
Linda Loring Nature Foundation
Summer Kitchens House Tour
 Historic Mitchell House Tours

WALKING AND EXPLORING NANTUCKET

 Wheels, Heals and Pedals
•  Nantucket Preservation Trust Walking Tours
•  Nantucket Historical Association Walking Tours
Linda Loring Nature Foundation
•  Nantucket Conservation Foundation Properties
•  Nantucket Land Bank Properties
•  Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge
•  Linda Loring Nature Trail
  Maria Mitchell Field Trips
  Sesachacha Heathlands Wildlife Sanctuary
  Raven’s Walk
•  Sconset Tours
•  Self Guided Tours

WINDSURFING

 Nantucket Community Sailing

WHALE WATCHING

 Shearwater Excursions

 

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