Insider's Guide to Nantucket

Traveling to the Island

Getting to Nantucket can be tricky, especially in the heat of summer (but we promise it's worth it!). Try to lock in your travel as far in advance as possible. Below are some resources to help you get to the island. Surrounded by nothing but water, you have two options: arrive by sea or arrive by air. We don’t really recommend swimming.


A cheap and convenient option for getting to and from Nantucket is by ferry, both with or without your car. Please note both Hyline and Steamship serve Cisco beer and make a mean bloody Mary. Steamship Authority runs year-round from Hyannis to Nantucket. It offers both a high-speed, passenger-only boat (takes about one hour), as well as the traditional car-and-passenger ferry (a little over two hour ride). Hy-Line Cruises runs one hour high-speed passenger ferries from Hyannis throughout the year. The Hy-Line also provides a seasonal ferry option between Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. Seasonal, high-speed passenger options are also available via Freedom Cruise Line from Harwich Port, and Seastreak from New Bedford, New York City, and Highland. This Website does a great job of consolidating all the information you want to know about getting to Nantucket by ferry.


By Plane

It’s fastest and easiest to fly directly into the Nantucket Airport (ACK), with flights offered both on a seasonal and year-round basis.Several companies also offer private, charter flights to Nantucket. We'd be happy to provide recommendations if you are interested in this option.   


Where to Stay

Part of what makes Nantucket so great are the different parts of the island, each offering its own unique feel and experience.


This is the heart of the island, closest to the best restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. The cobblestoned streets are only steps away from pristine beaches, bike paths, and historic landmarks. If you are looking for more activity and prefer not to have to deal with a car on island, downtown may be best for you!



For those after more privacy and a quieter place to get away, we'd suggest staying in Sconset. A 17th century fishing village, it is located on the eastern end of the island and is about a 15 minute drive or a 40-45 minute bike ride from town. Be sure not to miss the Bluff Walk and the addictive Sconset Market cookies



This is the closest spot to where the windsports happen on the harbor! It is a 15 minute drive from downtown, and is best described by quiet roads, private houses tucked away, and quick access to walking trails and flat water beaches. Stay here if you're looking to optimize your kiting time.


South Shore

Now over on this part of the island is where the best waves are! These are great beaches for hanging out with the family or just getting wet in the water. Within the South Shore, you can stay in Nobadeer, Cisco, Madaket, Tom Nevers, Surfside, and Miacomet. If you have kids looking to boogie board and play in shorebreak, this is a great spot for you.



Just east of Town, on the northern edge of the island, you'll find Cliffside. It is just a quick walk to the action downtown, while offering beautiful oceanfront views, access to walking paths, and peaceful serenity. The best of all worlds. 



A Few Lodging Options


Hotel Name







(508) 228-4423


White Elephant


(508) 228-2500




(508) 228-0145


The Veranda House


(508) 228-0695


Jared Coffin House


(508) 228-2400


Nantucket Inn


(508) 228-6900


76 Main


(508) 228-2533


21 Board


(508) 228-4749


The Beach Side at Nantucket


(508) 228-2241






Great Point Properties


(508) 228-2266



Getting Around

There are several ways to explore all the Grey Lady has to offer. Rental companies are available for both bikes, cars, and mopeds, as well as the island shuttle and cabs to help get you around. 


Young's Bicycle Shop
Cook's Cycle Shop
Nantucket Bike Paths
Easy Riders
Nantucket Bike Shop


Windmill Auto Rental
Affordable Rentals
Young's Bicycle Shop
Nantucket Island Rent-A-Car


    The Wave


    Best Places to Eat on Nantucket

    Claudette’s breakfast sandwiches + walk to lighthouse
    Island Kitchen – our favorite place to get breakfast
    Downyflake – best donuts on island + diner
    Black Eyed Susan’s – in town. be sure you don't miss the Pennsylvania Dutch cakes! 

    Provisions – Turkey Terrific sandwich is famous
    Fresh – we love the Caprese
    Sayle’s Seafood – fresh fish sandwiches, not too far of a walk from town
    Cisco brewery food trucks an beer – really good options – a must got. There is a free bus you can take from town
    Something Natural - bakery and sandwich shop, known for it's breads and huge sandwiches

    Oran Mor – romantic dinner spot
    Lola Burger – good burgers + lots of options
    Black Eyed Susan’s – also does a great dinner and it is bring your own wine
    Ventuno – great Italian
    Sandbar at Jetties – casual dining + good sunset spot

    Dessert & Sweets
    Juice Bar – best Ice cream + smoothies + juices
    Sweet Inspirations - artisan chocolates and home of the cranberry creation 
    Wicked Island Bakery - morning buns. that's all we have to say.



    Stop and Shop - Groceries both Downtown and Mid-Island
    Hatch’s Package Store - This is typically the cheapest place to get beer and liquor on the island
    Nantucket Wine and Spirits - This is attached to the Stop and Shop mid island
    Murry’s Beverage Store - Located downtown
    Marine Home Center – Nuts, Bolts, Screws, this is the Ace hardware of the island
    Brant Point Marine – Boat parts and cleaning supplies
    Glyn’s Marine – Engine work
    Force 5 Watersports – Wetsuits and clothes
    Indian Summer Surf Shop – Surfboards, wetsuits and clothes
    Computer Solutions – Get your iPhone or computer fixed here; various computer supplies available as well
    Shipping - Need to send a package off island? FedExUPS, and USPS services are available.


    Activities - What to do (when you are not kiting on Nantucket!)

    Drinks at Cisco Brewery + listen to music
    Drive out to Great Point with your 4x4 for a picnic + sunset
    Dinner at Millie’s – Have to go at Sunset
    Dinner at Nautilus – Really good cocktails
    Altar Rock – Take your 4x4 to the highest point on the island and enjoy the view 
    Whaling Museum – Great rainy day activity
    Nantucket Culinary – Sign up for a cooking class
    Loines Observatory
    Shipwreck and Lifesaving Museum
    Nantucket Walking Tours
    Town + historical whaling
    All around the island with bus
    Walk to Brant Point Lighthouse and watch the sunset
    Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum
    Bartlett’s Farm Check out the market's fresh veggies, pies, flowers + more
    Catch a movie at the Dreamland
    Play a round of golf at MiacometSiasconset Golf Course, or Nantucket Golf Club
    Take a surf lesson with Nantucket Island Surf school or ACK Surf School
    Check out the Surf Gear at Nantucket Surf CoIndian Summer, and Force Five Watersports
    Go off-roading! Rent a 4x4 Jeep from Young's Bicycle Shop and drive out the beach to Great Point or ride through the dirt trails in the Moors.
    Rent a paddle board or kayak from Sea Nantucket Paddle Sports and cruise around the harbor.

      Looking for more Nantucket intel? Check out some of the best activities on island100 Things to Do on Nantucket, and some of the Must Sees!  

      Back to Top