Can You Do Nantucket in a Day? (Must-Dos & Tips)

nantucket in a day

The tiny, isolated island near beautiful Cape Cod is one of the most popular summer destinations in the country.

nantucket in a day

Marked by beautiful sand-dune beaches, manicured privets, and 19th-century architecture, Nantucket is a sight that pleases every eye.

You can take a ferry ride from Hyannis to Nantucket and visit the splendid attractions across the island. There are also various places to shop and eat on this historically rich island.

Want to know more about Nantucket? Read our guide below to get all your questions answered.

How do you spend a day in Nantucket?

With its beautiful scenery, incredible architecture, and super-friendly locals, Nantucket is a great island to spend your vacations at.

nantucket in a day

Most of the island’s coastline is covered beautifully by beaches, making it a super relaxing place. There is diverse wildlife on the island, as well as beautiful churches, buildings, and museums.

On a day trip to this island, you can visit various sites and participate in numerous activities. For instance, you can take a small hiking tour across the island, chill at the beach, or simply visit different buildings and museums.

The island is not quite huge, which makes it easy to travel across it.

Downtown is a great place to start when exploring the island for the first time. It has a shopping place and some nice cafes for tourists.

You can also visit various museums hosted on the island. For instance, there is a Nantucket Shipwreck and Lifesaving Museum you will find on the island. The ticket to the museum includes a tour and access to some short films.

There is also the Whaling Museum in Nantucket. Since the 18th century, the island has been known for its colossal whaling industry.

nantucket in a day

This museum is a tribute to this label. It includes numerous galleries that highlight the whaling industry from the era.

Another museum that you can visit on the island is the Museum of African American History. It is located in two buildings: the Florence Higginbotham House and the African Meeting House.

nantucket in a day

The museum is in the memory of the community of African Americans that resided in 19th century Nantucket.

Besides museums, you can also visit historical cottages from the 19th century in the Siasconset town. Surrounded by beautiful green gardens, this place is a sight to see and cherish. You will also find numerous restaurants in this area.

nantucket in a day

If you want to hike, you can visit the Sconset Bluff Walk, which starts from the roundabout in the village.

The path is surrounded by numerous houses and extends with the Cliffside and a stunning beach around it. There are also wildflowers across the path, which makes it even more incredible.

And let’s not forget the Sankaty Head Lighthouse. This lighthouse was built in 1850 and is just miles away from Siasconset. It is located near a golf course and makes an excellent place for photography.

How long is the ferry ride to Nantucket?

nantucket in a day

Two ferry lines can take you to Nantucket from Hyannis. These include:

  • The Hy-Line Cruises
  • The Steamship Authority

Both of these ferry lines take about an hour for a one-way ride and operate all year-round.

But some other ferry lines operate during peak season. The Steamship Authority, in particular, offers a car-and-passenger ferry as well.

Using this ferry, you can take your private vehicle to the island.

However, it will take you almost 2 hours and 15 minutes in cruise time to get to the island.

What food is Nantucket known for?

nantucket in a day

Nantucket Island is not only known for its unique seascapes but also its delicious food.

After all, when visiting the island, how can you miss out on the food? Here’s what you can try at Nantucket Island:

Tacos at Millie’s

Located in the quieter parts of Nantucket, Millie’s is known for its hot Mexican food.

With the beach just miles away, you can pick up these tacos and enjoy the most serene parts of the island in a comforting way.

Turkey sandwiches from Provisions

Just when you arrive at the Hy-line terminal on the island, you can pick up these perfect sandwiches from Provisions’.

With the Portuguese bread, finger-licking sauces, and stellar meat, these sandwiches are one of the best welcoming treats on the island.

Clams from Sayle’s

When taking a walk on the beach’s edge, how about grabbing a fried clam?

Sayle’s is known for its hot fried clams spot that is not only a local’s favorite but keeps the tourists coming for more as well.

Cookies from Something Natural

Nothing gets better than a warm, gooey cookie on a cozy island.

Something Natural offers the best chocolate chip cookies, fresh loaves of bread, and sandwiches on the island. You can even buy their cookie dough and take it home as a reminder of your trip.

Grocery from Annye’s Whole Foods

nantucket in a day

Annye’s Whole Foods is a convenient market for all those who want to stay on the island for more than a day, rent a house, and cook for themselves.

With its delicious soups, groceries, chicken, and cookies, you can feel just like at home on the island.

Whale’s Ale from Cisco Brewers

Cisco’s beer is something that every tourist remembers when they come back from Nantucket.

Not only does it offer cocktails, wine, and beer, but if you want to enjoy live music on the island, this is the place to visit.

Peking duck from The Nautilus

How about a delicious full meal on the island? The Nautilus offers an excellent feast menu with its specialty in the Peking duck. Served with steamed buns, vegetables, rice, and sauce, this dish will make you jump with joy.

3 Things to buy in Nantucket?

There are tons of things you can buy when visiting a new location. But Nantucket has some must-haves that every tourist should buy before leaving.

Here are our top picks:

1. Nantucket ornaments

nantucket in a day

As a reminder of your trip on this incredible island, don’t forget to buy Nantucket ornaments from the local boutiques.

Many people sell hand-painted ornaments in various colors and designs that you won’t find anywhere else.

2. Cosy knits

nantucket in a day

The temperature on the island can get very low in the winter. How about resting in the knits without hindering your tourist experience?

You can find various types of hand-loomed knits on the island made from yarns, cotton, and linen that will keep you cozy as well as stylish.

3. Ballet flats

nantucket in a day

If you visit the Island Cashmere on Nantucket, you will be able to find the best French sole ballet flats and other types of shoes.

Not only do they come in different colors and styles, but the quality is top-notch.

Why is Nantucket famous?

Nantucket is not just any random tourist location. The island is famous for its history in whaling and architectural value.

nantucket in a day

It’s home to many reforms, groups, and buildings that reminds us of a significant part of US history.

Plus, it’s home to some of the friendliest people in the US.

Embrace and enjoy the beautiful sand-dune beaches, manicured privets, and 19th-century architecture

Vacationing at Nantucket is definitely an experience you won’t find anywhere else.

So, book a ferry today and hop on it to visit one of the most tranquil, peaceful, and most incredible places in the country.

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