Growing up in Massachusetts, I’ve always gone down to the Cape at least once a summer. However, I don’t make it out to Nantucket very often. With our trip to Ireland canceled due to COVID-19, we decided to spend the week in Nantucket. Here’s your perfect four day Nantucket itinerary.
Day 1: Arrive and Hit the Beach
Plan to arrive by midday by plane or by ferry. This four day Nantucket itinerary starts after checking into your hotel. We stayed at Life House Nantucket.
First stop – the beach! Jetties Beach is located about a 15-minute walk from town. As with all north shore beaches, the water is much calmer than the south shore which is directly open to the Atlantic Ocean. If you’re hungry, grab some lunch at Sandbar. Many hotels have beach chairs available for use, but you can also rent them at Jetties Beach.
Brant Point Lighthouse
After the beach, walk a mile to Brant Point Lighthouse. One of the island’s three lighthouses, Brant Point Lighthouse was destroyed and rebuilt 10 times!
Dinner at the Nautilus
For dinner, head to the Nautilus for Asian fusion small plates. Be sure to make a reservation in advance at this popular dining spot.
Ice Cream at Juice Bar
It’s not summer without ice cream, and the Juice Bar has the best ice cream on the island. Credit cards are accepted for large orders, but be sure to have cash if only one or two people are ordering.
Day 2: A Beach Day at Madaket
On Day 2, check out one of the beaches on the south side of the island like Madaket Beach. You can take Nantucket’s public bus called the Wave for three dollars each way. Trust me, it’s a lot cheaper than an Uber. You can catch the Wave in front of the Whaling Museum and take it all the way to the end of the line. The bus stops in front of a restaurant called Millie’s.
Madaket Beach can be a bit rough but it’s a nice change of pace for the more daring swimmer. This is also the most popular spot for sunset.
Lunch at Millie’s
After checking out the beach, try the tacos, quesadillas, or po’ boys at Millie’s. You can dine in or get takeout to bring back to the beach.
Walk Around Town
Take the Wave back into town and walk around the streets of historic downtown Nantucket.
There are plenty of boutiques and souvenir shops. Fudge from Aunt Leah’s Fudge makes a great gift!
Dinner at Galley Beach
For dinner, walk to Galley Beach to dine directly on the sandy beach. We unfortunately were hit with rain right before our reservation, so we were seated under the tent.
Day 3: Explore the Island
On Day 3, pick up a rental Jeep from Affordable Rentals and explore the island. Despite the name, Jeep rentals are far from affordable, but this is still a fun opportunity if you can swing it. We paid about $425 for a one day rental. Prices decrease if you rent for more days though parking can be tricky if you’re staying in town.
Breakfast from Bartlett’s Farm
Drive to Bartlett’s Farm for one of their famous breakfast sandwiches. The Mr. Popular is a great choice!
Drive Out to Great Point Lighthouse
Driving to Great Point is the highlight of the trip. This lighthouse is located on Nantucket’s northernmost point inside the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge. Make sure your rental car has four wheel drive and a beach permit. You’ll have to purchase an oversand vehicle permit before entering the wildlife refuge.
You can read more about how to drive to Great Point here.
Lunch at Claudette’s in Siasconset
Next, grab a sandwich at Claudette’s in the village of Siasconset. All sandwiches come on multigrain bread with lettuce and their special sauce, but be sure to add “the works”. Head down the street to Sconset Beach for a picnic.
Sconset Bluff Walk
Leave your Jeep parked at the beach and walk to the start of the Sconset Bluff Walk on Front Street. Walk along the bluff overlooking the ocean for beautiful views. The Bluff Walk goes through the backyards of some amazing houses. It will feel like you’re walking through their yards, but rest assured it’s a public walkway.
Sankaty Head Lighthouse
At the end of the Bluff Walk, head up Baxter Road to Sankaty Head Lighthouse. The entire walk including the Bluff Walk is 1.5 miles each way.
Dinner at Cru
For dinner, eat at Cru, a high-end raw bar located right on the harbor. Be sure to make a reservation in advance.
Day 4: Final Beach Moments
Spend the morning on Nantucket before heading home. We took a 2:15 ferry back to Hyannis and enjoyed a leisurely morning at the beach.
Steps Beach is a little farther from town than Jetties Beach, but it is one of the best beaches on the island. You’ll have to walk down a bunch of steps to get to the beach but it’s definitely worth it.
Lunch from Provisions
Before heading to the ferry, grab lunch at Provisions a sandwich spot known for their Turkey Terrific sandwich.
There you have it! Your perfect four day Nantucket itinerary is jam-packed with beach hopping, lighthouse spotting, and driving on the beach. While you could spend longer on the island checking out Nantucket’s many beaches, this itinerary provides all the highlights.