Insider Tips to Nantucket

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What to do on Nantucket

Explorer's Guide | Island mode: ON

Linen pants. Wide-brimmed hats. Flowy pinstripe shirts. Lobster rolls. Boutique shops. If this is the vibe you’re hoping for, book your ticket to the Gray Lady of Massachusetts, the island tucked away in the fog and brimming with beaches. We’ve got you set here for top things to do in Nantucket. Vacation mode ready.


1. Dessert before dinner & avoid the line at Juice Bar

Wondering how you can have some of the best ice cream on the island without waiting in line around the block? Head there before you have dinner. 

2. How to get around

If you didn’t plan way in advance, chances are you missed out on scoring a ferry reservation for your car. So, once you get to the island, you can order taxis ahead of time or, use the extensive bike paths to get around! 

Pro Tip: Another option—ride The Wave!
New Nantucket Bike App Takes Cyclists on Insider's Tour

3. When to visit

The best time to visit the island is after summer. Head to Nantucket in September to get amazing weather and fewer crowds. Locals only ;) Plus you!

4. Best lunch on the island is out of town

The best lunch on the island isn’t found in town. Our top recs:

  • Head to Something Natural for amazing sandwiches baked on homemade bread. Something Natural makes its own Portuguese bread, taking its sandwiches to the next level. Best enjoyed oceanside!
  • Don’t miss the food trucks and live music at Cisco Brewers
  • Stop by Walter's Deli for lobster rolls, pulled pork, and generous portions
We'll make an exception for Walter's Deli, which is in town, and definitely worth stopping by.
walters deli nantucket best sandwish shop
Psst, don’t forget to grab a cookie for dessert from Something Natural

5. You can go in winter, too!

While it may be too cold for a dip in the ocean or picnics on the beach, the first weekend of December is still an amazing time to visit Nantucket each year. Otherwise known as Christmas Stroll, this weekend kicks off the holiday season with dozens of Christmas trees lit up around the island, shopping with mulled cider and hot cocoa, and food, crafts, beverages, and live entertainment all set up on Main Street.

6. Save the red chinos & ACK gear for home

Sure, you might want to snag a pair of Nantucket red chinos or a new sweatshirt that says “ACK” across the front. Wait ‘til you get back home to sport your new gear so you don’t stick out while you’re walking around town. 

mitchells book corner nantucket book store
Be sure to pick up a book at Mitchell’s Book Corner by famed local author Elin Hilderbrand! The perfect souvenir. 

7. You can drive on some Nantucket beaches, but not all of them

Drivers: Heads up. You’ll need an over-sand vehicle permit to drive on beaches like Eel Point, Nobadeer, and Madaket. Plus, you’ll need a separate permit to drive to Great Point. Don’t forget to deflate your wheels (on your four-wheel-drive vehicle) before driving on the sand. 

Pro Tip: Have you ever seen a better spread than this? Inspo for Nantucket

8. Best dinner on the island

Black Eyed Susans: Grab a seat on the counter and bring your favorite bottle of wine—this spot is BYOB! Iconic for the past 30 years, try local favorites like tuna tartare, clams, and linguini. It's the intricate vintage colored glassware for us.

black eyed susans nantucket where to eat
BYOB to Black Eyed Susans for dinner!

9. Where to go after dinner

After dinner, head to Gaslight or The Chicken Box for live music and possibly a sighting or performance of Jimmy Buffett. As Jimmy would sing, "Oh, I think she might be a Nantucket cutie. Or maybe she's from the Vineyard, I haven't got a clue." Margaritaville all night long here.

10. Where to go with the kids

Take them to Children's Beach for swimming and a great playground. Featuring lifeguard on duty, restrooms, showers, food service, and picnic tables, all you need are your sand toys and sunscreen. 

Children's Beach, Nantucket, in The Islands |

Pack your bags, sunhats, and get over to Nantucket. The island of whaling pride is waiting for you.

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