Happy Wednesday, friends!
First of all, WHOA! You guys, I think we accidecanlly about broke the internet yesterday with my BIG TV QUESTION. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for your insight, input and opinions. I really think we’ll go home and try something new, which makes me nervous, buuuuut I bet we do it. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, thank you!!!
Okay, here’s the deal, time is quickly coming to an end here on Nantucket for the Shulls and yet, there is still so much to do, see, eat, visit and share. The good news is this isn’t a “one time” trip. We will be bACK, so if I miss something this season, we’ll just add it to the list to discuss the next one.
That being said…I’ve made me a list of blog posts I’m going to *try* and get out before we leave all based on questions/requests from you guys.
Which leads us to today’s post…I’m breaking down Nantucket BEACHES 🙂 .
I have received so many questions from you guys asking me to break down the beaches, why we go to certain ones, where they are in relation to our home/town, questions about driving on the beach and which beach you should go to should you visit the island.
I am by no means a Nantucket beach expert, but I can certainly share a few bits of info about our beach adventures this summer. I am not going to get uber specific here, but instead, just give you a nice big overview so you get the main idea. AND BONUS, I realized as I started breaking down these beaches, I’m also, by default, breaking down the island in general which might be helpful for those of you arriving and/or those of you who like to know specifics when I refer to certain places.
So, it’s basically a two for one blog post today 🙂 .
Here is Nantucket…
…see it down there south of Cape Cod and east of Martha’s Vineyard? Yup, that’s it.
From end to end, it’s only about 15 miles long.
Nantucket is one island, one town and one county all at the same time here in Massachusetts.
Alrighty, I went to trusty old Google to find us a Nantucket Beach Map and…
…found this one right here. It’s from Fisher Real Estate on Nantucket, and it’s just what we need to better help you understand where these beaches are that I keep referring to on my blog/IG.
(Side note, I very much feel like Joey on Friends as I would like to “get into the map” with you and show you around, but since I can’t, I will use my words and hopefully, that will make sense.)
So when you take the ferry into Nantucket, you will arrive right there next to Brant Point and disembark in “town”. When I talk about “town” it’s that little area right there which is basically home base for everything. Whenever people tell me they’re coming for the day or two or three days, I always tell them you don’t need to rent a car because truly, most of what you’ll want to do/see/eat and be is right in that little area. This is the heart of Nantucket. When you see us eating out, listening to live music, shopping and visiting our favorite hotel, it’s all right there where the ferry drops you off and picks you up.
DIONIS, CLIFF, BRANT POINT:
I’m going to lump these guys together because they’re the “north shore beaches” and super convenient for tourists. These areas include a lot of names of beaches within this area (if you’ve heard of Jetties, Steps or Children’s Beaches, this is where they’re located). You can easily walk, take The Wave (the local bus) or in some instances have your hotel drop you off at any of these spots. Jetties has parking, a play ground, a sandbar restaurant, this is where Smith takes sailing lessons, you can rent all sorts of kayak/sailing things here too. Smith likes to go to Dionis for fishing because the water is calm and he can wade pretty far out without it getting deep, Steps is where we watched the fireworks this year, and you’ve seen us eat a million meals at Brant Point Grill (located inside The White Elephant resort) because the views of the ferries and boats are so beautiful from their patio. This little section *tends* to have calmer waters and is great for your typical beach vacation. Basically, if you come to visit, you’ll probably head up here.
This beach isn’t located on this map, but this is that very high tip area on the island to the northeast. When weather/sand allows, if you have a specific beach pass, you can drive up here. This part of the island is covered in wildlife. This is a very popular place for fishing which is where Andrew took Smith and the Slaughter boys over July 4th. The ocean is very rough here, but the fishing is good.
This little gem of an area is where we took the boat out on July 4th. Beautiful homes dot the beaches, the water feels warmer, and it’s a great place to jump in and swim about. If you’re heading out on a boat, I would imagine this is where they would take you for a three hour tour (and we are all singing the Gilligan theme now…).
Whenever I go up this direction, I always feel like I’m far, far away. This part of the island just feels very removed (in my opinion) from the rest. Many of the beautiful estates sit on larger properties behind fences with long driveways. It’s beautiful, quiet and feels very private. Needless to say, we’ll eat a meal at Toppers (located at the beautiful Wauwinet Resort), but we don’t bring our rowdy bunch to beach there.
SQUAM, SANKATY, and down to SCONSET:
For sentimental reasons, we love this most eastern part of the island the most. Way back in the day, this part of the island used to be its own city (and it still has its own zip code). This is where the little cliffside cottages are that are covered in roses, and they have a little “village” that’s open during the summer (not year around) with a market, sandwich shop and two shops. It’s charming and lovely and way away from the hustle and bustle in town (about 7 miles). My beach loving family would say it’s great if you want super quiet and chill, but because it gets really deep, really fast, and the waves break too late, it’s not where you would go for surfing and boogie boarding.
This little part of the island is where Andrew and Shay Shull “just knew they were supposed to buy a home”. We put in offer after offer after offer and God (and Real Estate agents) kept telling us no. We like the beaches down here because they’re more remote. The homes are a bit remote. There are a lot of trees. There is some “drive on the beach” access at some points. It just felt remote. Thank goodness the Lord knew the last thing the Shull kids needed was to “be more remote” than they already are 30 miles out to sea.
CISCO to SURFSIDE:
And this is where we spend most of our time. These beaches here are the closest to our home, one of our faves (Nobadeer) has drive on access, the waves are huge (sometimes so huge, they don’t let you out there), it’s shallow for quite a way so the waves break at just the right time, and this is where all the surfing happens on the island (because of those waves). The two surf schools are both located in this area, and if you’re lookin’ for us right now, you’ll find us at one of these places. If I didn’t live where I live right now, I would personally want to live in the Cisco area because it’s covered in hundreds of acres of farmland that butts up to the ocean…I just think it’s so absolutely gorgeous. I would say that these beaches feel very “summer people” or “local” with not a lot of tourists (so it appears). Surfside has “nicer” restrooms (let’s use that word loosely and a little grill for food, Cisco often has one or two food trucks (with, in my opinion, the cleanest porta potties) and Nobadeer has the grossest (I’ve learned so much this summer 😉 ).
And this charming little area of the island is where we call home 🙂 . The Lord knew EXACTLY what He was doing by planting us here.
Finally, on the most western side of the island, you have Madeket. I’ve always liked Madeket. You have amazing views here (you can really see coastline from almost a 365 degree view), there is a cute little market and restaurant called Millie’s, it feels very “summer” and open and happy out here. There are certain areas of the beach that are open to the public and others that are too remote for people to visit. We often enjoy a little trip out to this part of the island.
We certainly love going to the beach!
Now, one last thing…how do you drive on to to certain beaches?
Well, your vehicle has to have a “beach permit pass”. We applied and received ours at the beginning of the year. You have to have it on both the front and back of your vehicle, and there are no exceptions…they check every vehicle for these passes. Once you have a vehicle with a pass, you’re able to drive on certain beaches, park, hop out and bam, you’re right there. We love to drive on at Nobadeer Beach (south shore)…and it certainly makes hauling six people and all of our gear really easy. Did you know that you have to reduce the tire pressure significantly every time you drive out on a beach? You always have to reduce the pressure between 10 and 15 PSI right before you drive on and then bring it back up right after you drive off.
Here’s a map off of the city’s website about beach permits:
And that’s my very brief overview of the Nantucket BEACHES should you be interested/care/need a reference when you’re reading your next Elin Hildebrand novel 😉 .
Basically, if you’re coming into town and don’t have a car (in my opinion, you absolutely DO NOT need one if you’re coming for a few days), you should head to a beach on the north shore for convenience, food, restrooms, etc, but should you want to see one of these other beaches, catch the Wave, or rent a bike or a scooter. It’s so easy to get around (bike paths a plenty!).
If I missed something (and I’m sure I did), please ask in the comment section!
Don’t forget, to see what BEACH GEAR we take with us EVERY TIME, make sure you…
Have a wonderful Wednesday, friends! I’ll see you back here tomorrow! xx