The island of Nantucket is perfect for an unforgettable vacation with your best friends.
The island, which is 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, MA, is much less rowdy and a lot more refined than Las Vegas and other popular getaway spots for buddies.
It has views, attractions, and venues suitable for all tastes and preferences.
Nantucket is known for its stunning beaches, ocean sunset views, picturesque lighthouses and rose-covered cottages, endless beaches, beautiful nature, and remarkably well-preserved historic infrastructure and buildings.
It is a spot where you can eat some of the best seafood dishes in the country and enjoy golfing, surfing, fishing, and all kinds of water sports and activities.
Best of all, you can book one of the many available short-term rental houses for you and your friends in any of the 15 neighborhoods on the island and split the cost so that you are left with more money for the fun stuff during your vacation with your besties.
Here are five ideas for making the best of your Nantucket vacation with friends.
Nantucket has more than 20 beaches and is a top-preferred destination for surfers. Since the various coasts and beaches of the island have different conditions, there is a perfect spot for surfers of all skill levels there.
The north beaches and the harbor, on the shores of the calm and sheltered Nantucket Sound, are more suitable for newbies. Many ponds on the island are even safer for beginners and for enjoying some relaxing paddling, kayaking, or SUP.
More advanced surfers prefer the south coast beaches such as Surfside, Nobadeer, or Cisco, as the surf there is heavier and the currents are usually stronger.
The two surf schools on the island are Cisco and Nobadeer. You and your buddies can rent boards, wetsuits, or other gear there and enjoy some time catching waves, or you can sign up for some fun group lessons offered by the experienced trainers at the schools.
Have drinks at Cisco Brewers
Cisco Brewers was famously named “the happiest place on Earth” in a Men’s Health magazine lifestyle article.
It is a craft beer brewery and combines the Nantucket vineyard and the local Triple Eight distillery.
So, once you get there, you can enjoy the best local beverages on Nantucket and some unique craft cocktails.
Cisco Brewers is a beloved gathering spot for locals and vacationers alike. It has a large beer garden with many tables and benches, three bars with friendly and competent bartenders, and numerous fantastic food trucks with delicious snacks and elevated meals.
You and your friends can sign up for a tasting tour of the brewery, winery, and distillery or sit back and relax with some refreshing drinks while listening to the live music available every day all summer.
Some local drinks to try are the award-winning Whale Tale beer, the Gripah IPA, or the delicious locally made Cranberry and Blueberry Nantucket vodkas.
Take some great photos at the lighthouses
Nantucket is one of the best places to choose for taking amazing Instagram-worthy photos.
You can be sure that you and your friends will have the most likes and followers once you start posting your photos from your vacation on the island.
Just about every step you take and every corner you turn on the New England island is Insta-worthy.
But some spots are especially suitable for taking perfect vacation photos in Nantucket.
The three historic lighthouses are among the top-preferred spots for snapping photos on the island.
They are among the three oldest working lighthouses in the USA and are absolutely beautiful, especially during the sunset or sunrise over the ocean.
You and your buddies can take photos at the oldest of the three lighthouses – Brant Point Lighthouse, located on the harbor and occasionally adorned with flowers and other celebratory wreaths and flags by the locals.
Or you can walk through the famous Sconset Bluff Walk and go to the Sankaty Head Lighthouse on the eastern coast of Nantucket for a fun picnic and some photos.
Great Point Light is the most remote one of the three. It is located on the lands of the picturesque Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Reserve on the northern coast of Nantucket. The most fun way to get there is with a four-wheel drive vehicle and a beach driving permit.
Enjoy the amazing seafood
Even if you and your friends are not passionate foodies, you will undoubtedly enjoy the restaurants and food offered on the island.
Nantucket has become a leading culinary center, home to some of New England’s finest restaurants and eateries.
Plus, it is the place to eat the freshest and most delicious seafood, including the legendary Maine Lobster rolls, the local raw oysters, the clams, scallops, and fish caught in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
Some exclusive fine-dining restaurants often greet presidents, celebrities, and other famous people, requiring table reservations well in advance. So, if you and your friends plan on enjoying an exceptional meal at Straight Wharf, Galley Beach, SeaGrille, CRU, Topper’s, or other exclusive eateries, make sure to book your table weeks or months in advance.
For a top-elevated experience, order some Iced Oysters, Day Boat Scallops, or the Spice Crusted Sustainable Catch alongside the best-crafted cocktails at one of the culinary pillars of the island, Straight Wharf.
You and your buddies can enjoy eating Asian and Mediterranean-style seafood dishes such as Blue Crab rice and Hawaiian Tuna Poke at the Nautilus restaurant.
If you prefer to taste the traditional Nantucket-style cuisine, visit the restaurant named or, The Whale after the famous American novel “Moby-Dick” by Herman Melville.
You and your friends can spend a more casual evening out eating some mouthwatering southern-style barbecue at B-ACK Yard BBQ.
There are also various other excellent eateries that you can choose from, as well as more casual and affordable food trucks, fish and food markets, and stores where you can grab some fresh snacks, meals, or produce, which you can prepare yourself at your rental home.
Spend time in the nature
The local conservation organizations and the authorities and residents of Nantucket are dedicated to protecting their nature.
This is why nearly half of the land on the island is conserved and protected from any future building and development. And also why all of the beaches on the island are free to access and enjoy by the public.
Nantucket has some stunning wildlife reservations and sanctuaries where you and your friends can spot rare birds, animals and admire the local coastal flora and fauna.
There are many walking trails on the island, most of which are very easy and short, so even if you are not an avid hiker and walker, you can enjoy some leisurely strolls to admire the beauty of the island’s nature.
Some of the most picturesque natural reserves and walking trails include Coskata-Coatue, Miacomet, Tupancy Links, Stump Pond, and Sanford Farm.
You should also make sure to walk the one-mile Sconset Bluff Walk through the village of Siasconset if you want to get a close glimpse of Nantucket’s iconic rose-covered shingle-style cottages.