What to Do

South Shore Beaches

The Southern Shore of Nantucket overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. With the fetch all the way to Africa, the waves can be awe-inspiring and dangerous. But most summer days bring reasonable surf and refreshing water temperatures, although cooler than those found on the North Shore beaches. The beaches range from the mainstream with all the typical facilities and crowds, others are more remote and less crowded.

Madaket Beach

If you go further west than Madaket, you will need a towel. It’s a six mile ride from town either by bike or shuttle. Like all Island beaches, this one is at the end of the road. Be warned, some of the most powerful wave energy on the East Coast pounds this beach and can create serious undertow and rip tides. Even experienced surf swimmers often decide to sit it out. But it’s a great place to hang out and there is no better place to watch the sunset.
The Beach is huge, with plenty of room for all comers. Lifeguards are stationed at some places of the beach. The western-most tip is only accessible by permitted four-wheel drive vehicles.
Details:
Google Map
Sand:
Water: subject to strong surf and rip currents
Lifeguards: Yes
Restrooms: portable toilet
Facilities: None
Insider tip: Did we mention the sunsets?
Directions:
Shuttle Route:

Cisco Beach

This is one of the best surfing beaches on the island. It also offers the softest sand on Nantucket. Go down Hummock Pond Rd. all the way to the end. Lifeguards are stationed on part of the beach.
Be careful of the strong undertows and rip tides.
Details:
Google Map
Sand: Best sand on the island
Water: Best surf, worst rips
Lifeguard: Yes
Restrooms: No
Facilities:
Insider tip: You can take a surfing lesson there from Nantucket Surfari (508-228-1235).
Directions:
Shuttle Route:

Miacomet Beach

Located at the end of Miacomet Road or South Shore Drive, this beach has very heavy surf and very strong currents. It is a long beach with a lifeguard in one area. There are no restrooms. One of the beaches that helped Nantucket onto the top 10 list on the Travel Channel. Miacomet Pond is the only fresh water on the island suitable for swimming. A popular spot for young children.
Details:
Google Map
Sand: White and soft
Water: subject to heavy surf and rips
Lifeguard: Yes
Restrooms: No
Facilities: None
Insider tip: What out for snapping turtles in the pond
Directions:
Shuttle Route:

Surfside Beach

This has long been known as the family beach and is three miles south of town on Surfside Road. There is a parking lot that holds about 50 cars, and this beach is crowded during the season, so you might want to ride down the bike path or hop the shuttle bus. There is a snack bar. There are lifeguards on duty, but as with all south shore beaches the shifting sand bars make for potentially dangerous rip tides. The beach is wide with plenty of room for any beach activity.
Surfide is a popular surfcasting beach in the evening.
Details:
Google Map
Sand: wide beach, plenty of room, wonderful sand
Water:
Lifeguard: Yes
Restrooms: Yes
Facilities: Snack bar, freshwater showers, changing rooms, diaper changing station
Insider tip: Limit kite flying to west of beach to avoid airport.
Directions:
Shuttle Route:

Nobadeer Beach

Located near the airport. Limited parking; difficult to access beach. Plenty of surf, wide beach is good for picnics, beach games, and surfcasting. No lifeguard; no facilities.
Details:
Google Map
Sand: Not as nice as Surfside or Cisco
Water: Subject to strong surf and rips
Lifeguard: Yes
Restrooms: No
Facilities: None
Insider tip: A great place to watch the traffic from Nantucket Memorial Airport
Directions
Shuttle Route

Tom Nevers Beach

Located at the end of Tom Nevers Road, this beach has very coarse sand. The surf can be heavy and there are no lifeguards or restrooms available. A great beach for quiet enjoyment, surf and fishing
Details:
Map
Sand: very coarse
Water:
Lifeguard:
Restrooms:
Facilities: None
Insider tip: A surfcaster’s dream
Directions:
Shuttle Route:


Fog wraps the beach at Cisco during an evening walk.

Inquirer and Mirror photo