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Things To Do While Staying in Nantucket

Turquoise waters, soft golden sand and lush landscaped are what await you on this quaint island.


Nestled 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod is the charming island of Nantucket. Not only is it recognized as a National Historic Landmark, this 50-square-mile destination has plenty to offer visitors. From picturesque beaches and seaside cottages to chowder shacks and boutique stores, you’re sure to find a little something for everyone!

Begin your day by basking in the sun on Surfside Beach, a favorite of locals and tourists alike. “A clean beach with plenty of room to spread out and beautiful views,” says a reviewer from Texas. “It also has a bathroom and snack stand, where the food was a surprising delight!”

To catch a glimpse of some of the fascinating wildlife on the island, visit the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge (free for pedestrians), where you can walk the trails, admire the views and observe local animals.

Says The Dotdog on, “We saw seals, seagulls and an eagle’s nest with adult eagles feeding chicks. So cool!”

Next, pay a visit to The Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum ($10 per adult, $5 per child) to learn about some of the 700 shipwrecks that have taken place in the area. Says Dawn Eliz on, “With original artifacts from well-known wrecks, learn about lightships, heroism, the precursors to the Coast Guard and the volume of shipwrecks off of Nantucket’s shore from knowledgeable docents.”

Tour the Whaling Museum, home to a 46-foot whale skeleton.Alamy

Finish your day by strolling down Main Street, where you can grab a delicious treat at a fudge shop, look for a souvenir from a quirky boutique, wander through a bookstore and visit the docks to marvel at the colors of the gorgeous sunset.

Martha’s Vineyard is a great day trip.

Take the ferry ($38 round trip) on a scenic, hour-long ride to the neighboring island of Martha’s Vineyard. At this equally pretty destination, enjoy classic New England, get up close and personal with the alpacas on an alpaca farm, explore the trails of the Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary and ride the Flying Horses, the oldest running carousel in the US.

You don’t want to miss ‘Meet the Animals’.

Pay a visit to the Maria Mitchell Aquarium for the popular “Meet the Animals” program ($15 per person). Guests will learn about the feeding habits and behavior of turtles, frogs, snakes and more while getting an up-close look at the critters.

Spy one of the four species of seals that love to bask on the island’s sandy shores.Getty Images

Nantucket in a nutshell.

Getting There:

Fly into Nantucket Memorial Airport, then rent a car or bicycle to explore the island.

Where to Stay:

For a cozy stay in a great location, book a cottage on Says a reviewer of one accommodation, “Close enough to downtown and the beach!” Rates start at $246.

Where to Eat:

Savor fresh seafood at Straight Wharf Restaurant. Raves a reviewer from Michigan,
“Be sure to try their scallops!”

Sip a cocktail at The Nautilus.Getty Images

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.

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