Nantucket Port Guide

Expect an idyllic vacation once you dock at the Nantucket Port. Nantucket Island is south of Cape Cod across the Nantucket Sound. The town has the highest property prices among other zip codes in the state of Massachusetts. About a third of the island is protected from architectural developments and fully preserved; you won’t find strip malls and fast-food restaurants. Seaside cottages and seventeenth century lamps still line the island’s streets.

There are a lot of things to do once you set foot at the Nantucket port of call; take a dip at the wide, sandy beaches, do some deep-sea fishing or sail away in the Atlantic.

Shopping

Antique shopping is an excellent activity to enjoy while on Nantucket. Quilts, out of print books and other interesting collectibles can be found at the Nantucket Country Antiques on Center Street. Antiques Depot on Easy Street offers a wide collection of Decoys and furniture dating back from the last 300 years.

The Nantucket Knotworks Shop is home to the popular Nantucket rope bracelet, perfect for souvenirs. Visitors will also find monkey fist rings and other unique nautical gifts. Unique beach glass jewelry can be bought at the Beach Glass of Nantucket Shop near the wharf. They have been specializing in cut optical crystal pieces and hand blown glass since 1995.

Things to See

There are more than 10 beaches to choose from on Nantucket. The Jetties Beach can be easily accessed from town; by bike or by foot. A boardwalk to the beach is available. Visitors can also play at the public tennis courts. Parks, picnic tables and a playground can be found at Children’s Beach; calm enough to be considered ideal for small children. Kayaking is popular at Francis Street Beach, just 5 minutes away from Main Street. Surfers usually hang out at Miacomet and Cisco where huge waves can be enjoyed.

You should also check out the whaling artifacts in the Whaling Museum at Broad Street. The Essex shipwreck that inspired the novel “Moby Dick” is still displayed there.

The Maria Mitchell Association operates an aquarium near the Nantucket cruise terminal and visitors can even touch some of the marine wildlife kept by the staff. They also handle two observatories: Loines and Vestal Street.

Climbing the 92 steps inside the First Congregational Church and Old North Vestry is a worthwhile endeavor; visitors will be able to see the whole town from the top. A visit inside Nantucket’s oldest house, that of Jethro Coffin’s is quite interesting. It was built in 1686 and is a  survivor of several lightning episodes.

Restaurants and Bars

Fine dining with waterfront outdoor terrace is offered at the Brant Point Grill Restaurant. Their seafood appetizers including the Bloody Mary Oyster are a must-try. The Rose and Crown offers family-style dining with a pub-like ambience.

Company of the Cauldron changes their menu weekly; a classical harpist plays 3 times a week while guests enjoy their meals. Eclectic dishes are served at the Boarding House. A sample menu includes Szechwan marinated quail and yellow fin tuna.

The Starlight Café in Union Street offers the finest wine in the island. Healthy meals such as the Yucatan chicken wrap and California eggs Benedict are Fog Island Café’s bestsellers.

Find a Cruise

Ask questions and get advice from other cruisers on our popular discussion board,