Nantucket Beaches

Nantucket beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world. Although the island is surrounded by 82 miles of coastline, most of the beaches are actually private property. However, thanks to the generosity of many property owners, most of the beachfront is available to the public. In return, visitors and residents are expected to treat all of Nantucket’s beaches with respect. This includes obeying No Trespassing signs, using only designated entry points, and disposing of litter properly.


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Beach lovers will want to check out all of these Nantucket beaches. The sand, shells, waves and views vary from beach to beach depending on location.


North shore beaches are protected by Nantucket Sound and generally have few waves.

Brant Point Beach
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Located right at the historic Brant Point Lighthouse, this is not really a beach for swimming. There is some sand, but the currents are very strong with lots of boat traffic and no lifeguards or restrooms. This is a nice place to sit and watch the boats go by, but swimming is not recommended. Don’t forget your camera, the lighthouse is one of the most photographed sites on Nantucket!

Children's Beach
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Located right on the harbor and a short walk from town, this is the perfect beach for small children. The water is warm with few waves, and there are restrooms and a lifeguard. You’ll also find parks, playground, picnic tables and a bandstand.

Jetties Beach
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This is a little further out than Brant Point, but it is the closest large beach to town and well worth the longer walk or easy bike ride. The NRTA shuttle service is available during the summer. This is a great family beach with lifeguards, food service (seasonal), changing rooms, and restrooms. The water is calm and warm, perfect for swimming. For those who prefer to stay out of the water, you’ll find volleyball nets, tennis courts, a skateboard park, and a playground. Windsurfing, sailboat, and kayak lessons and rentals available. Beach accessible wheelchairs are also available.

Jetties Beach is a popular wedding venue. For more information:
Jetties Beach Weddings

Dionis Beach
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Dionis Beach is more remote than Jetties Beach, about three miles by bike, but it is a great family beach with bathrooms, showers, lifeguards (in season), and parking near the beach. Located on the western side of the north shore, and sheltered by dunes, the waters are calm and safe for swimming. Expect to find lots of seashells and seaweed!. There are no food facilities.


South shore beaches open to the ocean and usually have large waves and strong currents.

Cisco Beach
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Known for its soft sand and strong surf, Cisco Beach is popular with surfers and young adults. Located on the western side of the south shore at the end of Hummock Pond Road, it is a 4 mile ride from town. This is not a great beach for families with young children as there is heavy surf and no restroom facilities.

Surfside Beach
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One of the most popular beaches on the island, Surfside Beach is about three miles from town and can be easily reached by bike or shuttle (summer only). Some of the island hotels also offer shuttle service in the summer. Located on the south shore of Nantucket, there are restrooms, lifeguards, food service, parking, bike racks and public phones. Surfside is another great family beach, but the surf can be heavy. Beach accessible wheelchairs available.


Western Shore beaches tend to have heavy surf. Unfortunately, two beaches at Eel Point and Smith's Point have been closed due to soil erosion. At this writing, it is not known if they will ever reopen.

Madaket Beach
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At the far western end of the island, Madaket is a beautiful beach, and the best one on the island for watching incredible sunsets. The surf can be heavy so be careful when swimming. There are some lifeguards and restrooms but no food service, so bring a picnic or visit a nearby restaurant. Madaket Beach is accessible by bike via a 5.5 mile paved bike path, or take the NRTA shuttle bus (seasonal). The western most tip of the beach is only accessible by four-wheel drive vehicle.

Check out Millies Restaurant named after Madaket Millie, the first honorary female member of the Coast Guard, whose house was across the road from the new restaurant. Millie was the subject of a popular children's book by Frances Ward Weller.


Eastern shore beaches also tend to have heavier surf.

Siasconset Beach
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Siasconset Beach is wide beach located at the eastern most tip of the island. It is a bit of a ride from town, but is accessible by shuttle service or a 6-mile ride from town via the Milestone Road bike path or the slightly longer Polpis Road bike path. Surf can be heavy with strong currents. There are lifeguards but not much more. You’ll find restaurants and restrooms available in the nearby village of Saiasconset (‘Sconset).

Great Point Beach
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Great Point Beach is very long and there are no lifeguards. It is part of the Coatue Wildlife Refuge. You need a special pass to access it by four-wheel drive which is $140.00 for the season.


Most south shore beaches are easily accessible to Nantucket Town. For those a little further out, you might want to consider renting a bike. There are several bike rental shops in town, and biking is an excellent way to get out and see the island.

Some of the hotels and beds and breakfasts offer complimentary shuttles to the more popular beaches. But, you can also reach Surfside, Jetties and Madaket beaches by taking the Nantucket NRTA shuttle. The shuttle is convenient and affordable. For more information on schedules and routes click here!

No alcohol permitted on any beach in Nantucket!

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