What to Do

North Shore Beaches

The North Shore beaches face Nantucket Sound. It is a protected body of water that offers warmer temperatures and calmer conditions than the ocean-facing beach. The important exception to this is in Northerly winds, which can kick up quite a chop blowing over the sound from the mainland.

Brant Point

Located at the site of the Brant Point Lighthouse, this small spot of pleasant sand is better suited for boat watching than water sports. A short walk from town ensures that this is a lively spot most days. You will see some of the most beautiful and expensive yachts the east coast has to offer sail past. Enjoy the view, but if you choose to enter the water be mindful of the nearby boat channel, strong current and the steep drop-off.
Details:
Google Map
Sand:
Water: Strong tidal current; sharp drop-off and lots of boat traffic
Lifeguard: No
Restrooms: None
Facilities: None
Insider tips: The current eases at high and low tides
Directions:
Shuttle Route:

Children's Beach

Steps from town and across from Steamboat Wharf, this is an excellent beach for families with very young children. Its in-harbor location assures that it is Nantucket’s most wave-free beach this side of your bathtub.

The water is calm, there is a playground and seasonal snack bar on site. There is a large grassy park that is perfect for a game of Frisbee, tag, or turning cartwheels. Occasional concerts are held on the adjacent bandstand. Lifeguards are present from mid-June through August. The Nantucket Park and Recreation Department offer seasonal activities.
Details:
Google Map
Sand
Water: calm, warm harbor water
Lifeguard: yes
Restrooms: yes, cold water showers
Facilities: park, playground, bandstand, takeout food, picnic tables, limited parking
Insider tips: Don’t miss Friday’s t-shirt tie dying event sponsored by the Nantuket Recreation Commission.
Directions:
Shuttle route:

Dionis Beach

Ride out of town three miles on the Madaket bike path to Eel Point Rd. and you will find Dionis Beach Road. This beach is on the Sound, which makes it perfect for swimming, or picnicking and activities with small children. It has a more remote feel than jetties and it is long enough so that everyone can find their piece of paradise. The dunes provide shelter from the summer’s typical southwesterlies. There are lifeguards, showers and restrooms and limited parking. You will also enjoy great views of Nantucket Sound.

Details:
Map:
Google Map
Sand:
Water:
Warm, Nantucket Sound waters
Lifeguard: Yes
Restrooms: yes, with showers
Facilities: Limited parking
Insider tip: A freshwater shower will make the ride back to town much more comfortable
Directions:
Shuttle Route:

Eel Point/North Point

You’ll need four-wheel drive transportation for this one and a sense of adventure. Eel Point Beach is on the extreme western end of the North Shore.
It is subject to tidal flooding, it is possible to get stranded out there at high tide, if the conditions are right. There is a lot of sea grass, which makes it great for eels, not so great for swimmers. This may be the finest seashelling beach on the island. You are sure to find shells you won’t find on any other Nantucket beaches. While not as nice as Madaket, Eel Point is also a good spot to catch the sunset. This is a remote beach, there are no facilities and you are on your own.
Details:
Map
Sand
Water:
Lots of seagrass
Lifeguard:
No
Restrooms:
No
Facilities:
None
Insider tip:
The island’s top shelling beach
Directions
Shuttle Route:

Francis Street Beach

This Small beach at the end of Francis Street offer calm harbor waters and pleasant harbor views. It is a five-minute walk from Main Street. There are no lifeguards, but there are restrooms and a jungle gym for the young-uns. Kayak rentals are available, but no parking.
Details:
Google Map
Sand:
Water: warm, calm harbor waters
Lifeguard: No
Restrooms: No
Facilities: toddler climbing toy; kayak rentals
Insider tip: A great spot to provide low anxiety beach time a short walk from the ferry docks
Directions:
Shuttle Route:

Jetties Beach

Just west of the harbor entrance, this is THE in-town beach with boardwalk, showers, toilets, and a restaurant. You can choose between the calmer waters on the harborside, or the usually calm waters of Nantucket Sound. You can rent beach chairs and umbrellas. There are volleyball nets, and a playground for kids. Shallow water. No waves. Relax and watch the boats sail into the harbor. This is a short bike ride, or shuttle ride from town.
Nantucket Park and Recreation Department offers swimming lessons morning in July and August. Non-beach related activities include tennis courts and a skate park. Windsurfing, kayak and sailboat lessons and rentals available.
Details:
Google Map
Sand: Narrow along the Harbor side, but plenty of room on the Sound side
Water: Warm Nantucket Sound; extended northerlies will bring in a fine crop of seaweed.
Lifeguard: Yes
Restrooms: yes, with changing rooms and showers
Facilities: Restaurant and takeout food; playground, skate park, tennis courts; parking
Insider tip: This is the site of the Boston Pops Annual summer concert. Make sure to get their early to find the best spot.
Directions:
Shuttle Route:

Steps Beach

You must brave a long stairway to reach this Nantucket Sound beach, but you will be rewarded with warm water and gentle surf. There are lovely views and shelter from Southwesterly winds. Remember to save some energy for the climb back up.
Details:
Map
Sand:
Water:
Lifeguard: No
Restrooms: No
Facilities: None
Insider tip: Check the view of Great Point at the top of dunes
Directions:
Shuttle Route:


Jetties Beach

Inquirer and Mirror photo