Nantucket websites

Helpful Websites of Nantucket

General island information: – Nantucket online – island map – Nantucket Historic Association – video – Nantucket beach areas – Nantucket trail worksheet – Nantucket Chamber of Commerce – Island travel guide – Nantucket Cultural District “This site is published FOR visitors BY visitors” – good list of island-wide beaches Nantucket Art Colony, 1920-1945 – Artist’s Association of Nantucket

Activities: – Nantucket Historic Association – Whaling Museum – Nantucket Island tours – $25 for 1 ¼ hour w/stop overlooking lighthouse – Kayak and paddle board rentals – Jetties Sailing Center – rentals of stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, windsurfers and sailboats – Nantucket Bike Shops for bicycles, scooters – Young’s Bicycle Shop for bikes, cars, jeeps – Affordable Rentals – for cars, jeeps, mopeds

Transportation: – Hy-Line Cruises (private company) – ferry system between Hyannis, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard – Steamship Authority (public company) – Ferry system between Hyannis, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard – Nantucket Regional Transit Authority (NRTA) operates “The Wave”, a seasonal island-wide shuttle buses to many destinations including Surfside Beach, Siasconset, and the airport. – Nantucket Memorial Airport (IATA airport code ACK)


Nantucket – Getting around

Ferry service between Nantucket and Hyannis Harbor

Hy-Line Cruises (private company) –
High speed ferry same day round trip: $77

Steamship Authority (public company) –
High speed ferry same day round trip: $50
Traditional (slow) ferry same day round trip: $37

Both ferry services are walking distance from the HI Hyannis Hostel Only Steamship Authority has a traditional (slow) ferry. The high speed ferry takes about 1 hour between the two ports. The traditional ferry takes about 2 hours, 15 minutes.

Getting around within Nantucket

Public Transportation

Nantucket Regional Transit Authority operates “The Wave”, a seasonal shuttle bus servicing multiple routes throughout the island, NRTA “The Wave” (Nantucket Regional Transit Authority) – Popular, inexpensive public bus system that gets you to the island’s major sites. Great way to get around the island.

Bike and vehicle rentals

Attention bikers – Island is 14 miles long by 3 ½ miles wide with predominantly smooth terrain (no hills!) and spectacular vistas. Twelve designated bike trails—over 32 miles of paths. Price of bikes average $30 per day

Nantucket Bike Shops – bicycles and scooters – 37 Straight Wharf – good bike path map available here –

Young’s Bicycle Shop – bicycles, cars & jeeps – 6 Broad Street – good bike path map available here –

Affordable Rentals – cars, jeeps, mopeds – 6 South Beach Street –

Nantucket Island Tours

Live, narrated tour of the island with one stop overlooking historic Sankaty Head Lighthouse. $25 for 1 ¼ hour.

Nantucket Island Information

The island of Nantucket

Nantucket Island is 30 miles south of Cape Cod. The island is 14 miles long by 3 ½ miles wide. It is one of the two major islands of “The Cape and Islands” (the other being Martha’s Vineyard) and is accessible only by boat and air.

Nantucket Town and harbor is where most of the island’s population lives. Nantucket has a rich maritime history. Nantucket Boat Basin is the premiere destination for New England-area sailors and yacht captains. Stroll along Nantucket Town’s cobbled stoned main street and down the picturesque wharves. The charming seaside village of Siasconset (called ‘Sconset by islanders) on the island’s southwestern side has picturesque streets alongside a stunning, sandy beach.

Nantucket has changed from a near-hundred year reign as Whaling Capital of the World to a premiere summer resort. It is a wonderful destination with magnificent beaches, numerous well-groomed bicycle paths, charming scenery and good shopping and dining. The island has been an art colony since the 1920s.

Nantucket Island’s original Native American inhabitants, the Wampanoag people, lived undisturbed for centuries. Settlement by the British began in earnest by 1659. In the pre-1672 colony, a whale entered the harbor and was pursued and killed by the settlers. This event started the Nantucket whaling industry.

By 1850, whaling was in decline. As a result of depopulation, the island was left under-developed and isolated until the mid-20th century. The isolation kept many of the pre-Civil War buildings intact. By the 1950s, developers created an upmarket destination for wealthy people in the Northeastern United States, by restoring many of these buildings, among other things.

Nantucket Town is designated a National Historic Landmark District, being the “finest surviving architectural and environmental example of a late 18th- and early 19th-century New England seaport town”.

Highlights of Nantucket Town

Nantucket Town and Harbor

The Nantucket Whaling Museum – 15 Broad Street
This outstanding museum illuminates the stories of Nantucket’s people over four centuries. Rooftop observation deck Price varies

Historic walking tours:
– Guided historic walking tours depart from the Whaling Museum twice daily. Price $10
– A self-guided (free) Historic Walking Tour is available in pamphlet form. Visit the Nantucket Visitor’s Center for a pamphlet at 0 Main Street, Nantucket Town.

Sail aboard the Friendship Sloop Endeavor – Established in 1982, this United States Coast Guard certified vessel, is the largest operating sailing charter on Nantucket. It is docked at Straight Wharf, a short walk from the ferry landings. $45 for 1 1 /2 hour sail. 508-228-5585 (call for schedule)

Highlights of Siasconset Village

Siasconset –

From Nantucket Town, ride a bike 7 miles or take The Wave bus to the village square. Here you will find the Sconset Cafe, Claudette’s Sandwiches, and the local Siasconset Market. To the right of Claudette’s is the downhill road to the pristine beach, about 100 yards away. At the square, walk or ride toward the beach (not the road down to the beach) to see a row of 18th/19th century quaint cottages overlooking the ocean. There are also other streets with charming homes you may want to see.

Beaches of Nantucket Island

Vast stretch of stunning natural beaches around the island are open and free to the public. The coastline is ever-changing – shifting with the sands. For a map of Nantucket beach areas visit:

Jettie Beach
A wonderful sunbathing beach about a mile from town. Ride a bike, walk, or take the public bus which departs regularly in front of the Whaling Museum. A historic lighthouse is visible along the way. Have a great lunch at the Jettie Sand Bar right at the beach.
Steps Beach –
Next to Jettie Beach there are many steep steps down to the beach. Here you will see beautiful views of Nantucket Sound and Great Point.

Madaket Beach
The summer colony of Madaket has a secluded and peaceful harbor and beautiful beach with one shop and restaurant. Madaket was where the first European settlers of Nantucket landed in 1659 and quickly set about “procuring” land from the resident Wampanoag Indians. In the following centuries the area served as a farming and fishing community, until modern transportation transformed it into an idyllic vacation spot in the mid-1900s. Easily reachable by bike on paved bike path from Nantucket Town or the Wave public bus

Surfside Beach
On the south side of the island, Surfside Beach is a beautiful, wide beach. Take the lovely, flat 3 1/2 mile bike ride from Nantucket Town or ride the Wave public bus.




Wellfleet is a picturesque village & harbor with many fine art galleries and the Wellfleet Marina. Located halfway between the “tip” and “elbow” of Cape Cod. A total of 70% of the town’s land area is in protection, and nearly half of it is part of the Cape Cod National Seashore. Wellfleet is famous for its eponymous oysters which are celebrated in the annual October Wellfleet OysterFest.

Highlights of Wellfleet

Historic town with semi-outdoor farmer’s market

Wellfleet Harbor
– Harbor walk along pier
– Eat in the harbor at Mac’s take out

Great Island – Historic island seen from Wellfleet Harbor – hike among salt marshes & along sandy beaches

Marconi Site and beach – historic site w/short trails to lovely vistas and beautiful beaches


Marconi Beach/Marconi Station site is down the road from Wellfleet village.

It was here that the Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi (1874 to 1937) directed his most expensive dream, the first communication that was transatlantic without cable between the U.S and England: a message from the US President to the king of England was transmitted here the 18th of January in 1903

Great Island, Wellfleet (part of the National Seashore)

Historic period archaeological sites, mainly small farmsteads widely spaced and linearly arranged along small, east-west running valleys, exist throughout the outer Cape. The initial European settlement of the outer Cape occurred about 1644 when colonists from Plymouth relocated in Eastham. Historical research tells us that fishing, whaling, trading, and farming all were important for these new inhabitants of the outer Cape. One unique site that can be visited is the Wellfleet Tavern site (also known as Samuel Smith Tavern Site and Great Island Tavern site) on Great Island, part of the headland that now forms an outer boundary of Wellfleet Harbor. The site was excavated in 1969 and 1970 by archeologists Erik Ekholm and James Deetz. The artifact types found at the site relate to its designation as a tavern, including high percentages of drinking vessels, pipe stems, and other kinds of glassware.

The park’s Great Island Trail passes by the Wellfleet Tavern site. Interpretive displays describing and illustrating ancient and historic inhabitants and ways of life on Cape Cod can be found at the National Park Service Salt Pond Visitor Center, at the corner of Route 6 and Nauset Road, Eastham.

Outer Cape & Provincetown Tour


Tour includes Provincetown, Dunes, National Seashore beach Truro, Wellfleet town

– Stroll the historic streets and harborfront

Cape Cod National Seashore, Outer Cape
– Pamet Beach at Truro
– Province Lands Visitor Center vistas
– Provincetown Dune Tour (one hour) – $32 (details below)

Wellfleet town
– Picturesque fishing village on the Cape north shore.
– Walk pier & buy take out seafood and ice cream at Mac’s (their picnic tables are on waterfront)
– Great Island marsh walk and beach visit (time permitting)


Provincetown information

Provincetown video

Enjoy a video on about Provincetown called “A Walk in Provinetown” produced May 24, 2015

Henry David Thoreau described Cape Cod as “the bared and bended arm of Massachusetts.” If you go to the very, end of that arm, you’ll arrive at Provincetown.

“P-town,” as it’s known, is one of America’s oldest arts colonies — a longtime sanctuary for novelists, playwrights, painters and Pilgrims. In 1620, the Pilgrims landed first in Provincetown before heading on to Plymouth, and Provincetown has the monument to prove it.

Pilgrim Monument & Provincetown Museum

Location: High Pole Hill Road

$12; $10 + 65 years Open 9-5 Climb the monument
The Provincetown Museum, at the base of the Pilgrim Monument, features a unique collection of exhibits that depict important events and people in Provincetown history and our nation’s history. Exhibits also include the arts, the fishing community, and Provincetown’s rich tourist culture.
The Monument commemorates the history of the Mayflower Pilgrims. It’s the tallest all-granite structure in the United States. Come climb to the top on a series of stairs and ramps and you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular view of Provincetown and beyond. 252 feet high
Museum features history of Provincetown and the Outer Cape with exhibits on the Pilgrims and the Mayflower, as well as the monument itself.

Expedition – Whydah Sea Lab and Learning Center

Location: 16 MacMillan Wharf, Provincetown Open times: 10am.- 5 pm daily
Features treasures from the Whydah (an authentic pirate shipwreck ) as well as displays on diving, artifact conservation and the lives of pirates. $5 for adults (flagship museum “Whydah Pirate Museum” developed with National Geographic, is now open in West Yarmouth )

Dune Tour on the dunes of the Cape Cod National Seashore (one hour tour) out of Provincetown
Arts Dune Tours

Company owns several vehicles. Will put 7 persons in each car. Price: $30-$32 per person
Enjoy the natural beauty of the Cape Cod Sand Dunes. Take a tour of the peaked hill bars historic district sand dunes on the Provincetown Cape Cod National Seashore protected lands.
Imagine dunes stretching as far as you can see with wispy beach grass, dark green pine trees and deep red beach plums nestled in hollows which are brought together by a silhouette of blue sky. Your guide will point out the “dune shacks” where famous artists and writers like Eugene O’Neill and Harry Kemp became inspired to create their art. You will also pass the remains of the Peaked Hill Life Saving Station.

Cape Cod National Seashore

(see separate link on this website for Cape Cod National Seashore)


(see separate link on this website for Wellfleet)

Falmouth Woods Hole Bike Ride

Bike the Shining Sea Bikeway between Falmouth and Woods Hole
(20 mileswest of Hyannis)

Shining Sea Bikeway

The Shining Sea Bikeway (11.5 miles), dating from 1975, stretches between North Falmouth to Woods Hole in the southwestern corner of Cape Cod. It follows a former railroad route across an ancient coastal plane. It weaves through a natural setting from woodlands, marsh, swamp and salt ponds and along cranberry bogs and beaches. Stunning!

Choose from the following rides along the Shining Sea Bikeway between Woods Hole and North Falmouth:
1) Entire bikeway between Woods Hole and North Falmouth, 11.5 miles (23 miles round trip)
2) Falmouth Village to Woods Hole, 3.5 mile (7 miles round trip) – easiest route
3) Falmouth Village to North Falmouth, 8 miles (16 round trip)

Bike rental in Falmouth – Corner Cycle – $17 per day, return same place

Beach visits

– Old Silver Beach just off bike path between Falmouth and North Falmouth
– Falmouth Heights Beach, Falmouth – suggest a visit on the way back to Hyannis after bikeride

Introducing the seaside towns of Falmouth & Woods Hole

Woods Hole

The picturesque town of Woods Hole is a terminal for ferries to Martha’s Vineyard. The seaside town contains several scientific organizations such as the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), the Woods Hole Research Center, NOAA’s Woods Hole Science Aquarium. We suggest a visit to the Acquarium. Focused solely on local waters, this small but impressive aquarium dates to 1871. Seal feeding is 11pm & 4pm. Free

We also recommend a stop at the Pie in the Sky Bakery and Cafe, a favorite of the locals since 1982

Falmouth village – stroll the Village Green where members of the Colonial militia practiced in the 1700s and sea captains built their homes.



We will pool cars (approximate cost $10 per person)

Estimated expenses:
Gas estimate: $10 (car pooling)
Snacks & Misc. (fun) expenses: $20
Packed lunch – free (provided by ASCSA)

To bring:
Bike (optional) – determined by how many bikes are available in our group and how many can be carried on a
bike rack of the car(s) going on this excursion
Swimming attire
Wind breaker
Packed lunch
Sun screen

Chatham Fish Pier & National Seashore Visit



Charming village on the Cape’s south shore at the “elbow” of Cape Cod. Artist colony with lots of galleries and quaint shops. Chatham is blessed with beautiful scenery and includes the Monomy National Wildlife Reserve.

Visit the Chatham Fish Pier at the visitor’s balcony between noon and 1pm daily when fishing boats come in with their daily catch. Watch seals follow the fishing fleet into the Chatham Fish Pier from the overlook.

Visit the Chatham Marconi Maritime Center (museum). The station was part of his visionary wireless network that was planned to link America with Europe and Japan.


Chatham Fish Pier

The Chatham Fish Pier at the corner of Shore Road and Barcliff Avenue on Aunt Lydia’s Cove at 54 Barcliff Road Extension, is a constant source of interest to summer visitors. The members of the fishing fleet make their run each suitable day to the fishing grounds from 3 to 100 miles off Chatham.

Their catch consists of haddock, cod, flounder, lobster, pollock, dogfish and halibut. The one-day fresh fish is placed in ice and transported in refrigerated trucks to the New York, Boston, New Bedford and local markets, reaching there less than 24 hours from the time it is taken from the ocean. The boats start returning to the pier shortly after noon, depending upon the tide.

You may watch from the visitors balcony. Observe local traffic and parking regulations while at the Fish Pier. Parking in upper lot for visitors, lower lot by permit only.

Seals in Chatham

A good place to see seals is the observation deck on the Chatham Fish Pier. You need a private boat to see the seals that are on the Monomy National Wildlife Reserve right now, because they are located on the Atlantic side of South Monomoy Island, which is only accessible by boat. From May to October, Monomoy Island Ferry offers boat rides to the refuge.

Chatham Marconi Maritime Center
831 Orleans Road, North Chatham

The museum is located in the historic Operations Building built in 1914 by Guglielmo Marconi. The station was part of his visionary wireless network that was planned to link America with Europe and Japan. 

Cape Cod National Seashore
(see separate link on this website for Cape Cod National Seashore)